Propane/CO Detector Issue - Fiberglass RV
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Old 08-29-2020, 01:14 PM   #1
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Name: Lawson
Trailer: Casita
Colorado
Posts: 5
Propane/CO Detector Issue

We own a 2019 Casita Spirit Deluxe trailer and are in our second season of camping in it. It has a Safe T Alert Model 35-742 Combination Carbon Dioxide and Gas Alarm installed (by Casita)

Twice last season, and night-before-last, the alarm went off in the middle of the night. It seems that 3am is it's preferred time to awaken us!

The documentation that came with our trailer indicates that if CO is detected the alarm will sound 4 "beeps" and then be silent for 5 seconds, and if it detects propane it will sound a constant beep. The alarm that occurred recently was intermittent beeps, not a constant sound.

Here are the conditions that existed at the time of the alarm:

1. The propane valves were turned off at the bottle and had not been on the entire trip.

2. We do not smoke and nothing had been cooked, burned, or heated in the trailer.

3. It was a chilly evening, so the windows were closed and the roof-top vent was closed, but we were using no heating device of any kind.

4. The alarm went off at 3am after we had bee sleeping for approximately 5 hours.

Are we doing something wrong, is this alarm defective, or is this just Safe T Alert's perverse way of conducting an annual alarm drill? I absolutely believe that this alarm is a critical piece of safety gear and want to be prepared to evacuate our trailer if it sounds because of a propane leak or CO, but the number of times it has gone off for no apparent reason has me doubting its efficacy.

Any help or information would be appreciated.
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Old 08-29-2020, 03:10 PM   #2
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The manual that comes with it says to vacuum the face plate weekly ( or wipe it with a damp cloth ). I don't do it that often, but mine does not alarm if wiped down.
There is also information about placement. Mine is not a combo unit, but it's not to be placed in a draft, for instance, near the door.
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Old 08-29-2020, 04:27 PM   #3
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What color and pattern were the LEDs? The manual describes the LED functions, which in combination with the beeping should indicate the cause (including end-of-life which is hopefully not the case with new camper).
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Old 08-29-2020, 05:25 PM   #4
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Some beep at end of life.
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Old 08-29-2020, 05:49 PM   #5
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What Glenn said.

The lack of ventilation could also have something to do with it. I always keep a window and/or vent cracked open. Certain... err... nocturnal human emissions are capable of setting off the LP detector, though in your case the beep pattern appears to implicate the CO detector.

End of life seems unlikely in a trailer built in 2019.
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Old 08-30-2020, 04:57 AM   #6
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Given what the OP stated this is an enigma. However, these detectors are very sensitive to various chemicals and can be set off by any number of things they are not “expected” to detect (e.g., hair spray, deodorant, canine flatulence), and that is per the manufacturer, Saf-T-Alert. Given the fact that it seems to be happening at 3:00 am, that is likely the time that the converter might be going into boost mode and creating some off-gassing in the battery(ies), but I am guessing that the Casita’s battery is mounted on the tongue and not internally in a vented battery box. I have an acquaintance who got a propane alarm when a disposable 1 pound cylinder started to leak in an outside storage compartment. What is strange is that as stated it seems to indicate CO, but with the propane valved off there would seem to be no source of incomplete combustion. And I can easily understand the OP’s frustration. You haven’t truly lived until you have been ripped from your sleep by a screaming alarm in the middle of the night several nights in a row. If it were happening at all hours I might think it would be a defective alarm but as has been stated, it is relatively new.
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Old 08-30-2020, 07:38 AM   #7
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Casita battery is in a compartment under the street side rear bench. Donít know how well it is sealed from the cabin, but access is through an exterior hatch.

We went through an episode of repeated nocturnal false (smoke) alarms at home. Always at night, and we finally just replaced all of them, even though they were less than ten years old. Problem solved.
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Old 08-30-2020, 10:33 AM   #8
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Name: Mary Ann
Trailer: in the market
Oriental
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I owned a cruising sailboat for 18 years. We had a propane stove that was installed below where the propane tanks were located. I had an electronic valve between the tanks and the stove. My tanks were mounted outside the cabin.

That said, it was still possible to get propane inside the cabin with the tank valves and the electronic value closed. If you have propane in the gas line to your fridge or stove or heater when you close the tank valves, you have trapped the propane gas inside your trailer. With all the ventilation closed it would not take much of a leak to set off a super sensitive propane detector.

What we always did on the boat was close the tank valves with the gas appliances turned on and lit. That burned up the gas in the line.
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Old 08-30-2020, 10:34 AM   #9
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Name: Lisle
Trailer: 2018 Casita Spirit Deiuxe
Massachusetts
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Smile

They are super sensitive. I have had them go off because I had cooked pasta in the camper with windows closed (except bathroom window) and I think there was too much humidity in the camper. Also after cooking something which was highly seasoned and the odor was still in the camper. Also, I must admit, I've had it go off more than once in a night after I had eaten a bean dinner -- this was human, not canine flatulence. So if it goes off, and you're pretty sure there was no genuine propane or CO to trigger it, once you have vented the camper, leave the roof vent open a little and get back to sleep. Some folks just disconnect them to prevent being awakened from sleep. Myself, I'm glad the little thing is hair triggered and try to keep it happy by running the fan while cooking, and leaving the roof vent open after eating chili.
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Old 08-30-2020, 10:38 AM   #10
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Do you have the manual for this model?
You can find may be your answer in the trouble-shooting section :

https://www.mtiindustries.com/wp-con...ies-Manual.pdf
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Old 08-30-2020, 11:07 AM   #11
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Name: Dick
Trailer: '15 17' LD Casita and '17 Tahoe LT
Texas
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Was the refrig. on propane? I know they are necessary but we had a scare with our nearly new Carriage back before we bought our Casita. Several mornings in a row, when we turned on the furnace to knock off the chill, we could smell propane until the blower cleared out the vents. Alarm never went off and it was located near one of the furnace floor vents. Had a mobile repair lady look at it and when she removed the furnace, the main propane line was less than finger tight. As you probably know, that is why the blower comes on a few minutes before the burners ignite. We felt so very lucky that it didn't go boom.
On another note, while in Quartzsite a few years ago, a couple camped near us left early one morning heading to Yuma to shop. 30 minutes after they left, their trailer actually exploded. They would have been seriously injured if not killed had they been in the trailer. It tore the trailer apart.
I think Casita says they are supposed to be replaced after 5 years. Maybe check yours and see what the date is. Could have been on the self a long time before installation.
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Old 08-30-2020, 11:20 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmad1 View Post
I think Casita says they are supposed to be replaced after 5 years. Maybe check yours and see what the date is. Could have been on the self a long time before installation.

They need to be replaced five years after installation, not five years after manufacture. The clock starts when the unit is connected to electricity.
New instructions advise to write the date of installation in the manual.
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Old 08-30-2020, 11:22 AM   #13
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I stand corrected...
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Old 08-30-2020, 11:49 AM   #14
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Name: MJ
Trailer: Trillium 4500
Washington
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Howdy, a couple of years ago, while conducting a search for a battery operated propane detector, I came across manufacturer literature that stated voltage fluctuations in the supplied power could effect the ability of those detectors to reliably detect and, why they did not offer a battery powered model, as that would be unsafe and a liability. There was also some mention of inadequate voltage causing the units to alarm. Of course now, I cannot find that reference so I could share it.Something to consider, As the camper battery draws down, or fluctuates, below a certain point , perhaps it causes the detector to alert/alarm.

stay safe all!
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Old 08-30-2020, 03:03 PM   #15
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All I can add is- take it seriously, check for leaks. Turn the propane off and burn it out at the stove, air out the trailer, close it up, and see what happens. My sister had a new house built and their first night with heat on, they heard the CO monitor go off. And yes, they had a leak, someone had plumbed the gas lines wrong.
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Old 08-31-2020, 08:45 PM   #16
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Name: Jann
Trailer: Casita
Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawson Drinkard View Post
We own a 2019 Casita Spirit Deluxe trailer and are in our second season of camping in it. It has a Safe T Alert Model 35-742 Combination Carbon Dioxide and Gas Alarm installed (by Casita)

Twice last season, and night-before-last, the alarm went off in the middle of the night. It seems that 3am is it's preferred time to awaken us!

The documentation that came with our trailer indicates that if CO is detected the alarm will sound 4 "beeps" and then be silent for 5 seconds, and if it detects propane it will sound a constant beep. The alarm that occurred recently was intermittent beeps, not a constant sound.

Here are the conditions that existed at the time of the alarm:

1. The propane valves were turned off at the bottle and had not been on the entire trip.

2. We do not smoke and nothing had been cooked, burned, or heated in the trailer.

3. It was a chilly evening, so the windows were closed and the roof-top vent was closed, but we were using no heating device of any kind.

4. The alarm went off at 3am after we had bee sleeping for approximately 5 hours.

Are we doing something wrong, is this alarm defective, or is this just Safe T Alert's perverse way of conducting an annual alarm drill? I absolutely believe that this alarm is a critical piece of safety gear and want to be prepared to evacuate our trailer if it sounds because of a propane leak or CO, but the number of times it has gone off for no apparent reason has me doubting its efficacy.

Any help or information would be appreciated.
We had same problem with new Casita and we pulled the fuse and bought a battery C/O detector. We hung it from the wall between the big dinette (our bed) and the small side dinette. No more problems. Seems like the location of the C/O detectors in Casita's are a problem.
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Old 09-01-2020, 05:14 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Jann Todd View Post
We had same problem with new Casita and we pulled the fuse and bought a battery C/O detector. ....
Which of course would leave the OP without a gas (propane) alarm.
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Old 09-01-2020, 08:51 AM   #18
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Mr. Lawson, if you have any doubts about the efficiency of your propane detector, go ahead and see a propane specialist.
This is what a trailer parts technician once told me and I did well to take his advice, because today I might not be here to advise you.
It's not like looking for a water leak ...
Have a good day.
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Old 09-01-2020, 02:08 PM   #19
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Name: MJ
Trailer: Trillium 4500
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Hello again.My previous post is offered as a possible reason an otherwise sound detector might alert/alarm when there is no dangerous condition. To be certain, I do not suggest anyone ignore or disregard staying safe, no matter what! Happy and safe camping to all!
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Old 09-01-2020, 04:53 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawson Drinkard View Post
..
Any help or information would be appreciated.
You still around Lawson? Its been three days since you asked.

I still think the LEDs will help us figure out whats going on.
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