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Old 07-02-2012, 06:41 PM   #1
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No propane to fridge, stove etc

First time use of my 94 Fleetwood Southwind 34' this weekend, I could not get my fridge to crank up on LPG or onboard generator (7000 watt Onan) in fact no hot water either, checked all fuses, no hum from inverter when genset running, all other stuff on 12 volt seems okay! Over the 2 days all power from batteries drained and needed a jump start to come home......is my inverter dead? Thanks folks for any advice and help. John
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Old 07-02-2012, 07:52 PM   #2
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Howdy and welcome. Are you sure your LP gas is turned on?
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:42 PM   #3
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There should be a LP leak detector near the floor. Make sure it's on. And your LP is turned on at the tank.

You don't say if you were plugged in when the batteries died. If you were, check that your 'Converter' (an Inverter provides 120Vac from the batteries, and not likely that you have one unless the PO added it, should be easy to find if they did) is getting AC power. Many are supplied by a GFI and if yours (check the kitchen and bathroom for GFIs) is open, no charging to the batteries.

Then, many RVs of that age don't charge the chassis battery while on shore power. Easy check is to plug in to shore power, and measure the voltage across the chassis battery after 10 minutes. Assuming your house batteries are OK, and are getting 13V from the converter, you should see over 13V. If you don't, cure is to add a Trik-L-Charge device or a small $20 float charger from WM.
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:54 PM   #4
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Not plugged in

Not plugged in and LPG turned on, tank gauge reads just over half full. I'm curious to know why nothing happens when the generator is going?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim_HiTek View Post
There should be a LP leak detector near the floor. Make sure it's on. And your LP is turned on at the tank.

You don't say if you were plugged in when the batteries died. If you were, check that your 'Converter' (an Inverter provides 120Vac from the batteries, and not likely that you have one unless the PO added it, should be easy to find if they did) is getting AC power. Many are supplied by a GFI and if yours (check the kitchen and bathroom for GFIs) is open, no charging to the batteries.

Then, many RVs of that age don't charge the chassis battery while on shore power. Easy check is to plug in to shore power, and measure the voltage across the chassis battery after 10 minutes. Assuming your house batteries are OK, and are getting 13V from the converter, you should see over 13V. If you don't, cure is to add a Trik-L-Charge device or a small $20 float charger from WM.
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:56 PM   #5
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Yes, it's turned on, Many thanks!
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:05 PM   #6
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But have you checked to see if you have a high flow valve in the tank? The valve detects a high flow condition and shuts off the flow of propane in case of a line rupture, If you turn the on/off valve on too quickly it can activate the valve and keep propane from flowing. You need to turn the valve off, then on VERRRY slowly.
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:22 PM   #7
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Hi delphi
Sounds like you have a breaker on your generator that is open it may be a switch type or a reset button on or near the generator. If your house batteries are low some of your gas appliances will not work. Get hooked up to shore power and see if your converter starts working then start working on one problem at a time takes a while to get familiar with all the systems but this is the place to ask.
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:37 PM   #8
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Yes, it's turned on, Many thanks!
What's turned on? The gas to the refer or the converter to charge the batteries? Or the genset output?
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Old 07-03-2012, 12:03 PM   #9
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Great advice and info...........

Thanks Folks for your very informative advice, I truly appreciate it! I won't be able to get to the Southwind for a day or so......will try all suggestions, gotta a gut feeling some of you may have hit the "nail on the head!"
I'll report back.
Many thanks again,
John
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Old 07-03-2012, 06:26 PM   #10
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Your first order of business is to est. whether you have propane running or not. The best place to do this is at your stove. It doesn't have any of the electronic controls that other appliances do. If the propane has not been used for awhile, it won't light either. Hold a match next to the burner and turn on 1 element. Does the flame get pushed away from the burner? Do you hear any gas hiss? If not, then you have a propane issue. Like Mr_D has suggested, you will need to determine if you have a safety shut off on the tank that closes in the case of a sudden surge in gas flow.

If you rule that out, then you need to start looking at things like the regulator and a pressure test of the system. If you have no gas, it is going to be something like the regulator not working our out of adjustment, the open/close valve not working or some kind of leak in the system. In most cases, any of these are likely going to mean some kind of professional intervention. Adjusting or replacing regulators is not for the inexperienced and you need to have a manometer to test the water column pressure which should be 11 inches. A bad or maladjusted regulator can cause problems for all your propane base appliances. Of course there is the obvious too, you have propane in the tank, yes?

If you can get the stove going, then the rest of your issues are going to be traceable to the 12v power system. Eliminate the obvious first however. If you have propane flowing, your stove will work.
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Old 07-05-2012, 07:47 PM   #11
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Reporting back................Jim_HiTek, thank you and yes the leak detector was off, turned it back on again............it beeped for ages, shut up and then I had Propane!
Really happy about that, thank you!!
My only other minor irritation now is getting AC power from the Genset, tried tweeking the breakers on the Onan, main circuit board on the converter thingie.........nothing lights up. Am I missing a switch somewhere?
I haven't tried plugging into Shore Power, if that helps?
Hey thanks so much again to all who have given me guidance and suggestions, this is wonderful site, I appreciate you all very much! John
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Old 07-05-2012, 08:01 PM   #12
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Have you checked to see if the power cord needs to be plugged into the generator, many older MH need the power cord plugged into a receptacle inside the cord storage compartment. When I had my diesel-electric shop I fixed a number of gen. problems by plugging it in.
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Old 07-06-2012, 10:16 AM   #13
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A little maintenance of the LP leak detector with a vacuum cleaner will help shorten the beep time. They can accumulate dust in the detector, vacuuming it out helps.

As far as the genset goes, if elmorc's excellent advice doesn't pan out, check for AC at the junction box in the genset compartment. From there the wiring goes to the Auto Transfer switch (which is just a big relay), usually located next to or behind the Circuit Breaker panel (though it can be mounted anywhere). From there it just loops to the breakers. There is also a power lead from the genset that goes to the rear AC, bypassing the breaker panel since there's a breaker in the genset for that. Several seconds after the genset starts, it applies 120V to that relay that both closes it and supplies power to the rig through the breaker panel. When the genset isn't running, the relays other set of contacts steers shore power to the breaker panel.

It isn't good for the batteries to be run down to often so when you're not working on the rig, just disconnect the ground cables from the two sets. There are many parasitic loads on the batteries even with the 'Salesmans' switches above the door 'Off'.
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