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Old 12-30-2007, 09:21 PM   #1
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We r doing a stretch of dry camping at the moment which involves more generator use then normal.
After a couple hours of running the generator in the evening and shutting it down the carbon monx detec alarms.

This has happend the last two nights.
After opening windows and resetting the detector all is well.

Can anyone explain what is happening here after the generator is shut off? Are the fumes hanging around after the fact and comming in to our rig? Why dont the fumes gain entry while generator is running?

We dont want to wake up dead this would ruin our vacation.
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Old 12-30-2007, 09:21 PM   #2
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We r doing a stretch of dry camping at the moment which involves more generator use then normal.
After a couple hours of running the generator in the evening and shutting it down the carbon monx detec alarms.

This has happend the last two nights.
After opening windows and resetting the detector all is well.

Can anyone explain what is happening here after the generator is shut off? Are the fumes hanging around after the fact and comming in to our rig? Why dont the fumes gain entry while generator is running?

We dont want to wake up dead this would ruin our vacation.
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Old 12-31-2007, 01:41 AM   #3
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Sometimes we have the same problem when running the generator. It has happened while the generator is running and sometimes right after turning it off. Our generator is right under the bedroom on the left side. The generator exhaust is right under the forward part of the bedroom slide. I noticed on the newer Pace Arrows and maybe the Bounders as well, they moved the generator exhaust so it exhausts out the back of the motorhome. It could be some of your exhaust is seaping into the moho through a slide seal or somewhere else. It doesn't take much to set of a carbon monox detector.

Some folks have added the exhaust extension to divert it up to the top of the rv.
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Old 12-31-2007, 02:46 AM   #4
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CO detectors have a level across time factor before alarming. Why after shut down? That is puzzling.
The detector is on the ceiling because CO tends to rise as opposed to the propane detector which is near the floor where propane will pool.
They are cheap enough and battery powered. My OEM is in the frontroom, so I added a 2nd one in the bedroom, JIC.
If it happens again see if anything is occuring outside about the same time,ie: another rigs generator nearby, campfire, evening windshift. No? Then it is time to look at your routine just before it occurs, furnace start up, water heater on propane, propane space heater startup.
BTY, cooking/toasting can set one off without setting off the smoke alarm. It happens in our house everytime we roast a holiday turkey.
Good luck.
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Old 12-31-2007, 05:18 AM   #5
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Is it an RV CO detector or a standard house one?
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Old 12-31-2007, 05:29 AM   #6
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The same thing happens to mine. I usually take the battery out of it,clear it up and install the battery and then every things alright.

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Old 12-31-2007, 06:06 AM   #7
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I assume its an rv detector. It came with the motorhome new.

The generator is also at the back under the left side of bedroom. We ate at restaraunts both evenings so no cooking some furnace use though.

And there is no wind at all. Not even a breeze. Maybe this is a factor.

The fact that it activates the alarm shortly after shutting generator off puzzles me but Bob you say the same thing so there must be something to it. Unburned fuel sitting around after the fact perhaps?
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Old 12-31-2007, 07:28 AM   #8
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CO alarms don't sound until a certain level of carbon monoxide has been detected for a certain amount of time. They do not work like LP detectors and smoke alarms where a puff of gas or smoke sets them off immediately.

When the CO alarm goes off it indicates the carbon monoxide has accumulated to a level that can cause severe damage to you body. You need to open windows and run away from the motorhome for an hour. If it happens a couple of times a week you need to go to an emergency room and be tested for CO poisioning.

This is something you dont want to mess around with. CO can not only kill you, it can leave you with long term medical problems.

Find any leaks into the motorhome and seal them. Also, route the generators exhaust away from the motorhome. I would also buy another (additional) CO alarm since you are looking at a life and death situation. Buy an Atwood (made by Kidde) CO Alarm that has a digital readout so you will know the exact level of CO and not just have an alarm that sounds telling you that CO is at an unhealthy level.
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Old 12-31-2007, 07:38 AM   #9
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Consider purchasing a generator exhaust extension. a sample of this product is
here.
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Old 12-31-2007, 07:49 AM   #10
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From the Cummins/Onan web site;

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Statement Regarding Exhaust Extensions
Cummins Power Generation, manufacturer of Cummins Onan generator products,
does not endorse the use of RV generator exhaust pipe extensions. Like all fuel
burning devices, engine-driven generators emit carbon monoxide (CO) which, if not
safely handled, can produce serious injury or death. Cummins Onan generators, in
conjunction with RV OEM installed tailpipes, are designed to meet RVIA standards
for safely handling exhaust gasses while minimizing noise and maximizing generator
performance. Improper modifi cations to the exhaust components can result in
unreasonable hazards to the vehicle occupants.
Cummins Power Generation has been unable to this date to identify any
commercially available exhaust extension kit which meets reasonable standards for
safely handling exhaust gases.
Cummins Power Generation's concerns revolve around 6 areas:
1. Weight: Unless entirely self supporting, extensions add weight to the end of the
generator tail pipe which can stress and crack or break the exhaust system parts
that are not designed to carry the additional weight. This could result in exhaust
gases escaping directly under the coach, and therefore could be extremely
dangerous to vehicle occupants.
2. Fit: To be effective conveyors of exhaust, connections & joints must be gastight.
Such connections are not guaranteed unless the exhaust extension kit is
properly assembled each time it is used.
3. Exhaust Direction: Because exhaust extensions vent at the roof line, there is a
major concern that exhaust will be sucked in by rooftop air conditioners, vents
and windows.
4. Heat: Many extension designs involve exposed metal that can be a burn hazard
to anyone passing by who might contact the exposed extension pipe.
5. Backpressure: Adding an extension may increase backpressure on the engine,
and thereby reduce engine performance or cause the engine to fail meeting
government-regulated exhaust standards.
6. Warranty: The use of an exhaust extension kit may void the Cummins Onan
warranty. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
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Old 12-31-2007, 11:17 AM   #11
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While your Gen is running it is expelling the exhaust away from the MH and Gen cooling fans are disapating any C02 vapors away also. After stopping any exhaust caught in Gen chamber will drift into MH if you have a chamber that is not tight near top of it or thru wiring holes out of it.
Its a plus if your C02 detector is that sensitive to set off the alarm.
I totally agree with DIRK's quote people forget when running Gen with extentions and using AC's in summer that you are not safe at all.
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