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Old 08-27-2016, 10:01 PM   #1
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Propane problem

A couple months ago I had a problem with my propane appliances not working. While travelling I found an RV repair shop where the tech found an excessive amount of oil in the oik trap in the propane line as well as oil in the regulator. He drained the oil trap and replaced the regulator.

I just finished another camping trip where one morning the stove went out shortly after lighting it, as if the LP tank was empty. Ten minutes later it worked fine. The next day while running the stove I tried using the water heater but it had only a lazy yellow flame. I shut off the stove and water heater then fired them both up again in twenty minutes and they worked fine. I ran the refrigerator on propane on the way home (5 hour trip). When arriving home the refer was not working ... showing "no LP flow" error code.

I had the propane tank filled today. The monitor panel read 1/2 full. It took only 3.4 gallons. It's a 13 gallon tank. I tried the stove and water heater at the same time today and no problem. I'll try out all the LP appliances tomorrow.

Any advice?
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Old 08-27-2016, 10:23 PM   #2
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I made a manameter like the one in this youtube video. It will help you check the pressure.

https://youtu.be/QnlfQK-8qy4
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Old 08-28-2016, 02:16 PM   #3
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If you have oil in the LP lines, it is coming from the LP tank, meaning you somehow got a batch of LP with excess mercaptan oil (the stuff that makes the unique smell), or some type of contamination. Water in the LP also makes for oily globs that can get sucked into the lines. Changing out the regulator doesn't fix that, so if there is still goop in the tank, you may have repeat problems until you get it all. In bad cases, the tank may have to be emptied and cleaned.

Try cleaning the trap if it has one, and replace the regulator again if it too is clogged. If it happens a third time, you may have to pay for a tank cleaning.
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Old 08-28-2016, 02:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camper Ken View Post
A couple months ago I had a problem with my propane appliances not working. While travelling I found an RV repair shop where the tech found an excessive amount of oil in the oik trap in the propane line as well as oil in the regulator. He drained the oil trap and replaced the regulator.
I just finished another camping trip where one morning the stove went out shortly after lighting it, as if the LP tank was empty. Ten minutes later it worked fine. The next day while running the stove I tried using the water heater but it had only a lazy yellow flame. I shut off the stove and water heater then fired them both up again in twenty minutes and they worked fine. I ran the refrigerator on propane on the way home (5 hour trip). When arriving home the refer was not working ... showing "no LP flow" error code.
I had the propane tank filled today. The monitor panel read 1/2 full. It took only 3.4 gallons. It's a 13 gallon tank. I tried the stove and water heater at the same time today and no problem. I'll try out all the LP appliances tomorrow.
Any advice?
Camper Ken
I suspect your "propane pressure regulator" is failing, (or has failed).

Camco Horizontal 2-Stage Propane Regulator

Mel
'96 Safari

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Old 08-28-2016, 04:32 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies so far. Since I had the initial problem in early July and the oil trap was drained and a new (Camco) regulator installed I don't want to try that remedy again only to have the problem reoccur. I'll get it into an RV repair shop so that if the tank does need to emptied and cleaned it can be done and hopefully get this problem resolved for good.

By the way I watched the tech empty the oil trap and watched him pour the oil out of the original regulator. He said there was about a cup of oil total. That sounds like a lot of oil in the system and appears the problem is back again after using the motorhome only about a dozen nights.
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Old 08-28-2016, 04:45 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies so far. Since I had the initial problem in early July and the oil trap was drained and a new (Camco) regulator installed I don't want to try that remedy again only to have the problem reoccur. I'll get it into an RV repair shop so that if the tank does need to emptied and cleaned it can be done and hopefully get this problem resolved for good.

By the way I watched the tech empty the oil trap and watched him pour the oil out of the original regulator. He said there was about a cup of oil total. That sounds like a lot of oil in the system and appears the problem is back again after using the motorhome only about a dozen nights.
As Gary said, you got a bad fill somewhere in your travels. Have you been to Mexico? Our friends go every year and every year they have oily residue in their propane system during the summer when they return home. Caused by high Butane content. They can produce the product cheaper and normally in a hot climate it's not a big problem other than regulator maintenance a little more often.
I didn't think it was a problem this side of the border but ya never know.
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Old 08-28-2016, 04:58 PM   #7
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Man oh man! I feel for ya. I hope I never run into that problem.
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