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Old 01-23-2013, 07:52 PM   #1
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Near Miss Propane Freak Accident

After traveling about 100 miles I went into the FW and noticed immediately a very strong propane smell. I closed the propane tank valve (left on for the fridge) and carefully opened a couple of windows to air it out.

I discovered a bottle of wine had fallen out of the kitchen drain board, onto the front of the stove, and knocked one stove dial slightly open enough that the gas was turned on to the burner. We must have taken a big bounce to have knocked the bottle out of the drain board. The front of the stove is tucked up against the sink front when the slide is in and the bottle was resting between them.

Needless to say, we will properly store the wine in the future. I don't know if the propane was concentrated enough to explode but I'm very happy to have discovered and mitigated the problem when I did. And yes, the wine survived the trip unscathed.
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:32 PM   #2
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Surprised the alarm did not go off hope you don't have a problem with it or a blown fuse
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:52 PM   #3
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One of our dogs turned a valve on years ago. Now we just have cats and they don't bother the stove.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:28 AM   #4
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Congrats on a successful outcome!

When you enter the coach and encounter that really strong smell, the better plan is to carefully exit the same way you came in, leaving the door open on your way out? Then shut down the propane, and disconnect the batteries and power (if plugged in) and let the coach air out for a while prior to proceeding.

Spent a lot of time working at a dealership when I was younger, servicing Rv's and selling propane, so I'm used to being around the stuff. Maybe to the point of being a little too complacent? Tell you what though, that scenario you describe is scary - even when/if you know what you're doing? Not talking about an occasional "whiff" of propane, but something much stronger, to the point it's nearly overwhelming? That's about as dangerous a situation as you can imagine. It doesn't take much of anything to set something like that off!

I once had a guy bring a coach in for an estimate - with bulging sidewalls. He didn't want to talk about what happened to make it that way, and I didn't want to waste my time writing an estimate to fix it. It was obviously totaled!
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:47 AM   #5
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This brings up the debatable question of turning off LP while underway. In a MH you are traveling where inside LP issues can be readily detected via alarm or otherwise. With trailers you really have no idea what's going on inside the unit.

I feel like the best option for us is to tuen it off anyway. The fridge will stay cold enough for a fair travel time (YMMV) or I can run the generator. I know a generator isn't an option in most trailers while underway and solar or battery may work - not a lot of experience with trailers.

For us it's off when underway. Should be off when fueling anyway so it's one less thing to think about then. As for the fridge temps, we have thermometers is the freezer and box so we can monitor the situation. I'm a lot less concerned with food safety and beer temp than I am about LP issues. Just one way of doing things. To each their own.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:49 AM   #6
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I would RUN not walk to purchase a properly working LPG detector and have it installed in the kick panel near the fridge and stove.

These alarms are NOT fused. They are wired directly to the chassis battery

You should also have a C02 detector wired similarly in the bedroom.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:21 AM   #7
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I would have been so upset if that happened to me I would have poured the wine down a gullet.

Glad you came out unscathed with this experience.
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr4Film View Post
I would RUN not walk to purchase a properly working LPG detector and have it installed in the kick panel near the fridge and stove.

These alarms are NOT fused. They are wired directly to the chassis battery

You should also have a C02 detector wired similarly in the bedroom.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
First, yes they are connected via a fused circuit, if yours is not, it is installed contrary to code, RVIA and the manufactures instructions which are a part of the detector's UL certification. You may have been trying to say its on an unswitched circuit that is always powered.

Second, we do not use, nor can you readily purchase CO2 detectors for motor homes. You may have been trying to suggest a Carbon monoxide detector. The symbol for that is CO. Two very different gases, two very different sources and two very different sets of problems.

And just for the record, thanks to the mercaptan oderant in the LP gas, your nose can detect the gas leak LONG before the detector will.
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:18 PM   #9
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I would have been so upset if that happened to me I would have poured the wine down a gullet.
Good plan.

Every night my DW opens a bottle of wine and leaves it on the counter to breathe, I come by and check it, its rarely breathing so I give it mouth-to-mouth.


Sorry for the highjack, but just too funny to leave alone.

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Old 01-24-2013, 03:13 PM   #10
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did you feed the dog, he was telling you something
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:18 PM   #11
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Switch the power off sure at an EXTRNAL switch, but DO NOT disconnect batteries, doing so posses a greater risk of creating a spark, than leaving them alone.
The batteries are better left alone, just leave everything to vent DO NOT turn on any fans etc the sparks at the brushes in the small electric motors could start a reaction IF the gas was concentrated enough.
Remember leave the batteries alone.
Cheers
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:22 PM   #12
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I woulda drunk the wine; just to teach it a lesson.
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:21 PM   #13
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Are we sure we didn't drink the wine before hand, thus causing the problem in the first place?

Just kidding, of course. Glad you didn't blow up!

My wife is obsessive about putting EVERYTHING away before the motorhome moves.

Don't ask me how she came to that conclusion.
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:49 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the comments and the funny ones, too. We won't travel with the gas on anymore. The typical co2 detector won't register propane as far as I know, and even if I had a propane detector, I would not have heard it going off while I was driving but I might have heard it before opening the door.

I did exit immediately and shut off the gas. I did not disconnect the batteries since I was afraid of a spark. It didn't take long after I opened the windows to air out enough that I dared turn on the range exhaust and bathroom fans to help exhaust anything remaining. I do agree that the nose will smell propane long before a propane monitor.

Bottom line is everyone is safe and the wine is flowing.
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