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Old 05-06-2016, 10:17 AM   #1
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Coach Odor revisited-update- Propane

Finally determined that the odor I have been chasing is propane. Doesn't smell like propane to me but it goes away when I turn off the valve at the tank. And it returns when the valve is reopened.

The fittings at the tank, reefer, cook-top, furnace, and water heater are all tight.

I have not been able to access the tees that connect the individual lines to the main line.

I suspect the flexible plastic line servicing the cook-top because it flexes when the room slide is deployed. Is this a common problem?

Are there removable panels to access the tee connections on a 1998 36'?
I will be searching for them when I return home where the coach is.

Thanks for your input.
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Old 05-06-2016, 01:00 PM   #2
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Have never heard of the leaks in the area you are suggesting, so don't think it is anything close to a common issue with Alpines.
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Old 05-06-2016, 02:10 PM   #3
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Agree-- not a common issue on Alpines--you are the first I know of who has complained of propane "leaks." And no, access to the slide area under the cabinets is extremely limited on most models.
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Old 05-06-2016, 04:48 PM   #4
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Gene, I don't see a year, or even an Alpine in your profile so this might not apply to you. I have a 05 Alpine and it has a propane sensor, I believe WRV has installed them from day 1, if so you have 2 problems, the propane leak and why your propane alarm did not go off!
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Old 05-06-2016, 08:25 PM   #5
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Coach Odor

The coach is a 1998 Alpine 36.

It has a factory installed LPG detector that as far as I can tell is working properly.
I don't think the leak is big enough to get the concentration needed to trigger the alarm.

The odor is faint and doesn't smell like propane to me. But it goes away when the tank valve is closed.

The previous owner told me today that he recently replaced the tank valve.So, going on the theory that "The last thing you fixed is likely not fixed" I will check the valve first when I get back home.

The tank valves on my mid 70's GMC's would leak unless they were in a "full on" or "full off" position.
If the Alpine tank valve is the same design then it may be leaking in the open position even though I have tightened it as much as I can.

Thanks to all who have replied.
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Old 05-06-2016, 10:29 PM   #6
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If the leak is enough to smell, your alarm should have gone off, replace it, your lives are not worth the chance it is defective. JMHO
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Old 05-08-2016, 01:06 AM   #7
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They do make a small hand held propane detector, Mac the Fire Guy had them for sale at one time.

Could it be ammonia from the Dometic Refrigerator? Just a thought.
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Old 05-10-2016, 12:20 AM   #8
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Propane leak update and conclusion

I bought one of the hand held LPG leak detectors today and tested it against every propane line and connection in the coach. No response! The device is just not sensitive enough to detect very small leaks.

Then I used a spray bottle filled with dish soap and water on all the connections, starting with the tank shut off valve which the PO had recently replaced. BINGO!
The first connection down stream from the tank valve- the nipple between the valve and the regulator- had a very very small leak. The $.02 soap bubbles worked better than the $25.00 hi-tech electronic detector.

Thanks to all who replied with suggestions.

On to other projects. Nonfunctional speedo and tach are next.
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