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Old 12-04-2015, 03:41 PM   #1
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Propane sensor

We took our maiden voyage in our new (used) Leisure Travel Van Unity in November. Great trip, except for the propane sensor, which awakened us (and probably the whole campground) on two separate occasions at about 4:00AM. The first time, we couldn't get it to turn off for more than a minute or two with the mute button....once we finally found that. So we drove away to be polite to our neighbors, and it finally stopped. We had the propane system thoroughly examined and there was no leak. And, no, we do not have a flatulent dog and we did not eat beans either! So the second time my handy husband just drilled that thing out and disconnected it.

My question is....do we really need one? Having been raised by a gas company worker, my nose is very well trained to the smell of gas. Besides which, unless it is freezing, we sleep with the windows open. Do all rigs have them? Did they always have them? Or is this just an over-abundance of caution? From what I red they seem to malfunction like this from time to time, and being awakened twice in a week to a shrieking alarm was quite enough for a lifetime.

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Old 12-04-2015, 03:55 PM   #2
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profile info..... What year RV do you own?

It may be time for a new sensor (check the DOM date)

I suggest you use the sensor as it is a safety issue. Carbon monoxide and other gases have NO smell...you just go to sleep and never wake up.

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Old 12-04-2015, 04:45 PM   #3
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Someone some time ago posted a long list of things that Explosive Gas Sensors "Sense". Let's see if I saved a copy. It does not look like I saved it but it was a long list. Includes hair spray, Air Freshneer. Dogs (And Humans) Alcohol, Gasoline, and a whole bunch of cleaning products.
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Old 12-04-2015, 05:26 PM   #4
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Replace the sensor.
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Old 12-06-2015, 09:11 AM   #5
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We take the knobs off of our cooktop after one of our dogs accidentally turned one on and alarm went off. Our original alarm started beeping steadily signaling time to replace it. The original company went out of business. The alarm sold as a replacement was smaller in width so I had to fill in the hole with wood and epoxy . The new one had a third wire which I insulated. Your rig may use the third wire.
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Old 12-06-2015, 10:02 AM   #6
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Propane is odorless, there is a trace gas added to make it smell.
Propane is heavier than air so will concentrate at floor level, and may reach explosive concentrations before anyone notices the smell. Particularly if sleeping. Hence the location, of the alarm, near the floor.
The alarm is , industry wide required safety equipment, for at least the last 30 years, probably closer to 40.
The alarms do go bad , usually past their replacement date,( 5 years ), and newer units are much less likely to give false alarms.
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Old 12-06-2015, 12:27 PM   #7
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Propane sensor

Make sure the battery compartment is properly ventilated. Leisure Travel Vans had an issue for a while with the battery vapors going into the coach because the vent was blocked by accident during the build (search on sprinter-source.com blog for more info)
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Old 06-10-2016, 09:04 AM   #8
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I actually just stumbled on your post, the same thing happened to me on my maiden voyage. Except it went off almost the whole night. The dogs were freaked out, I was awake the entire night and two years later I still have trouble sleeping in the RV because of that traumatic first night. I replaced it because it was 6 years old and it hasn't gone off since. I'm hoping one day I can sleep soundly without worrying about some sensor going off!
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Old 06-10-2016, 09:11 AM   #9
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Yah, If it was mine, I'd replace it.
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Old 06-11-2016, 10:43 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by milasman View Post
Replace the sensor.
X2. The alarm going off in the middle of the night happened to me, too. Installing a new alarm solved the problem.
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Old 06-12-2016, 08:44 PM   #11
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I suppose the respondents who had the LP gas sensor go off in the middle of the night never thought to turn off the main battery switch?????? These things are not self powered and thus when you turn off the battery, they do not operate.

Mine is ten years old, and right now tests OK and squeals when you shut off the battery as it should (old CCI unit, new MTI units do not squeal when power is removed).

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One respondent mentioned Carbon Monoxide as a reason to keep a working sensor, but a standard LP sensor DOES NOT sense CO, just explosive gasses. MTI does make a combination unit, the 35 series that is a LP and CO sensor, and is probably worth the extra money to purchase it.

I am now ordering a MTI 35-742BR from Amazon to replace my old unit (which as noted, the mfg of is now out of business).


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Old 06-15-2016, 07:43 AM   #12
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I know what you mean. It took me weeks to feel like I could expect to sleep without being blasted awake! We took our sensor out and have a new one to replace it. But we haven't actually installed it yet for fear it will go off again!
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Old 06-15-2016, 07:48 AM   #13
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WE didn't think of cutting off the battery switch. It was our first trip, so we were still steep on the learning curve. We were actually hooked up to shore power at the time, but if we cut off the electrical supply (plug and battery), wouldn't that have left us stumbling around in the dark! Never-the-less, an idea to keep in mind in case it ever happens again! Thanks.
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Old 06-15-2016, 07:51 AM   #14
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That is very interesting. I think that may have been the problem. On our second trip, we had a battery go bad and it did give off some funky smelling fumes. We took it out quickly, for fear it could blow up....which I read on-line can happen. But we wondered if it had been slowly deteriorating before that and maybe giving off small amounts of fumes we didn't smell. We didn't re-install a new propane sensor yet, although we bought one. I just haven't been willing to be awakened in the middle of the night to a screaming alarm! But we will do it next trip.

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