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Old 03-22-2021, 06:59 PM   #1
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Name: Jason
Trailer: Casita
CA
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possible Propane leak or something else?

Hi everyone,

I have a 2020 Casita travel trailer and my Atwood detector alarm went off last Thursday evening. I opened the windows and turned off the propane just in case. Initially we thought maybe one of the kids farted in the trailer. So we all had a good laugh and went to bed. I turned the gas back on Friday and the alarm did not go off again in till Sunday evening. I guess my question is do I actually have a gas leak or is the Atwood detector not working correctly? Keep in mind that the vin date says it was built 5 months ago. Should I be having this type of problem already?
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Old 03-22-2021, 10:27 PM   #2
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Name: Kenneth
Trailer: Scamp
Wisconsin
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Atwood detector alarm

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpowersphoto View Post
Hi everyone,

I have a 2020 Casita travel trailer and my Atwood detector alarm went off last Thursday evening. I opened the windows and turned off the propane just in case. Initially we thought maybe one of the kids farted in the trailer. So we all had a good laugh and went to bed. I turned the gas back on Friday and the alarm did not go off again in till Sunday evening. I guess my question is do I actually have a gas leak or is the Atwood detector not working correctly? Keep in mind that the vin date says it was built 5 months ago. Should I be having this type of problem already?
Mine (2017 Scamp) went off several times when new also. Was yours LP or CO? I used a vacuum cleaner and a soft brush to clean the MFG dust out and it has not gone off again. Now that may be good or bad, but it still tests OK.
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Old 03-23-2021, 06:24 AM   #3
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
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A technician will use a manometer to measure the pressure after the regulator (should be 11 inches WC). Then he will shut off the propane at the tank and watch the manometer reading for a short time (1-2 hours perhaps). It should not drop. If it does, there is a leak. A more crude test you can do yourself is to open the valve on the tank, make sure all gas appliances are off, then close the valve on the tank. Come back in perhaps 12-24 hours and with the tank valve still closed open the stove valve for a second and see if you hear gas, or if you have enough gas to light the stove for a few seconds before it goes out. If there is no gas in the line you have a leak. If there is a little gas then you still could have a slight leak which is why the manometer test is prefered.

Keep in mind that, when they exist, many manufacturing defects show up in the early life of a product.
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Old 03-23-2021, 08:51 AM   #4
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Name: Darwin
Trailer: 2002 19 ft Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel
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With a slow leak the foul smell in propane goes away however the gas is still there. Here in Louisa County, VA a family in an RV were badly burned one morning when the camper exploded. DO NOT light the stove. Have a qualified gas person do Do the manometer test.
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Old 03-24-2021, 06:22 PM   #5
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Would like to see what the outcome of this issue is.
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Old 03-24-2021, 06:33 PM   #6
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Would like to see what the outcome of this issue is.
Maybe you will .. unless it is an explosive outcome.
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Old 03-27-2021, 10:23 AM   #7
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I would check all pipe and hose fittings to confirm they are snug tight. Then turn on the gas and use a soapy water solution and spray the fittings watching for bubbles to indicate a leak. If that doesn't work then I suspect an appliance issue.
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Old 03-27-2021, 10:40 AM   #8
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Name: Ray
Trailer: Vanguard
British Columbia
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Originally Posted by jpowersphoto View Post
Hi everyone,

I have a 2020 Casita travel trailer and my Atwood detector alarm went off last Thursday evening. I opened the windows and turned off the propane just in case. Initially we thought maybe one of the kids farted in the trailer. So we all had a good laugh and went to bed. I turned the gas back on Friday and the alarm did not go off again in till Sunday evening. I guess my question is do I actually have a gas leak or is the Atwood detector not working correctly? Keep in mind that the vin date says it was built 5 months ago. Should I be having this type of problem already?



Have you done any painting lately? Some paint odors will trigger propane alarms.
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Old 03-27-2021, 10:54 AM   #9
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CO or what?

Have you explored the possibility that the CO alarm is being set off by a nearby battery being charged or is faulty? I had that happen in my house one time. It turned out that the CO detector was too close to a sump pump back up battery that was aging and in need of replacement. I replaced the sump pump battery and the problem went away. An internet search will find other cases where a CO alarm was too close to charging golf cart batteries.
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Old 03-27-2021, 11:38 AM   #10
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Trailer: Scamp
Ca
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Propane / CO Alarm

These detectors are notorious for giving false alarms. We also had false alarms on our brand new 2020 Scamp 13' Propane / CO detector. Of course, any alarm should be taken very seriously as these gases can be potentially deadly.
We found that the primary instigator of these false alarms is moisture inside the trailer (something that occurs very easily inside a sealed fiberglass travel trailer). Ours would go off right after a hot shower or if it was cold outside and we were sleeping with the windows closed. The solution is to leave a window open a crack and keep your fan running on very low to keep fresh air coming in and circulating. I wrote an article about it on my blog:
https://scampgrounds.com/methods-to-...oke-co-alarms/
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Old 03-27-2021, 11:41 AM   #11
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British Columbia
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Originally Posted by RonHalvorson View Post
Have you explored the possibility that the CO alarm is being set off by a nearby battery being charged or is faulty?

CO is carbon monoxide, which is a byproduct of combustion. I believe the OP's issue is with an LP ( liquid propane ) gas detector.
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Old 03-27-2021, 12:10 PM   #12
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The problem with GAS is that it is deadly dangerious and any thing other than having it checked out by a licensed GAS person is unacceptable.
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Old 03-27-2021, 12:20 PM   #13
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Trailer: casita Independence
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How many people and pets? Crack a window and leave the head vent open some. I have a 2020 as well and it went off a few times in cold weather.
You may want to leave all windows and vents open for a few days to let it air the new out.
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Old 03-27-2021, 12:34 PM   #14
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I still believe that it would be prudent to consider the possibility that gases other than LP or CO might set off detectors/alarms for these products. Here is a quote from the FMCA forum that might apply to this case: "Had a bad battery(s) in the coach bank when we first acquired the rig and did not realize. When the charge system went into high gear it caused the batteries to gas more than normal and it set the LP detector off."

Here's another quote regarding false alarms for CO detectors from the FireEngineering website: "Interfering gases of similar molecular size and chemical reactivity may produce false positive response. Major interferents that can affect CO detectors are acetylene, dimethyl sulfide, ethyl alcohol, ethylene, hydrogen cyanide, hydrogen sulfide, isopropyl alcohol, mercaptan, methyl alcohol, propane, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide."
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Old 03-27-2021, 12:47 PM   #15
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Name: Bill
Trailer: Casita
Alabama
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Propane Detector Issue

We also had the unexpected midnight alarm with our 2015 about three years ago. Our problem turned out to simply be an issue with the alarm -- it was four years into a "projected lifespan of five years." These things DO fail...and not uncommonly. That said, it's not worth your life guessing. I purchased a new one, cussed a little getting it in and the old one removed, and then tested it with the gas on and doors closed. (I tested it with a "whiff" of propane from my propane torch out in the yard before install to ensure it worked properly.) After an overnight test with me NOT in the trailer, but everything buttoned up, I declared victory. The new one was about $30 IIRC; the hardest part was crawling around replacing it. Whatever you do---do it safely!
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Old 03-27-2021, 04:37 PM   #16
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My 2020 casita battery does not have a vent to the inside.
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Old 03-31-2021, 10:55 AM   #17
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Name: Renae
Trailer: 17' Casita SD
Minnesota
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This happen only once when we owned our Casita, on the other hand it happens every time we turn on the water heater in our Escape. For us it has been all about the wind. My husband now sets up a small table on end to block the wind from the vent and no issues. I guess the secret is to stay out of the wind or park the other way.
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