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Old 10-17-2012, 01:23 AM   #1
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Question Propane issues (newbie)

I bought a used 2007 Salem travel trailer, and I can't get the propane working to the stove, oven, or heater. I forced the refrigerator to use propane, and I can hear it burning (I'm not sure what it's supposed to sound like though), but it doesn't seem to be cooling very quickly. I left a burner on for five minutes and no propane is coming out.

I just filled the propane tanks on Saturday and put them on. I sloooowly opened the valve and sloooowly moved the tank select doohickey to one of the tanks. I heard a hiss as at least part of the system was pressurized, and the pressure indicator went to green.

Any thoughts on what is going wrong? I'm leaving for a trip on Thursday morning, so I need to figure this out ASAP!

Thank you!
Bryan
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Old 10-17-2012, 02:14 AM   #2
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Quick update...

The freezer is definitely getting cold after 30 to 45 minutes of leaving it on. I turned off the refrigerator and tried to light a stove burners again, but I couldn't get any of the burners to light after several minutes of leaving them in the High/Light position.

I'm totally stumped.

Bryan
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Old 10-17-2012, 02:27 AM   #3
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There will be more traffic on the day shift so you might need to check back. While you wait for feedback I would like to welcome you to the forums!
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Old 10-17-2012, 02:52 AM   #4
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There will be more traffic on the day shift so you might need to check back. While you wait for feedback I would like to welcome you to the forums!
I was just hoping there was an insomniac with an answer out there, but I really didn't expect any replies until tomorrow anyway. And thank you for the welcome! I'll get over to the introductions section when things calm down a bit.
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Old 10-17-2012, 03:58 AM   #5
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This is just a guess with a question. Is your frig a 3 way 12V, 110V, Gas? Is it auto switching? Is it pluged into 110V? Has the stove ever worked since you bought the camper? If any of these are true it could be cooling 12V or 110V.

It kinda sounds like the overflow preventer valve (OPV) on top the tank. Reccomend trying the following: Close both tanks and leave them closed for 5-10 minutes. Then with all appliances OFF SLOWLY and VERY SLOWLY open the valves while listening for gas flow( you will be able to here it flow) hesitate opening the valve if you hear the gas flowing then continue opening the valve until it's fully open.

What may be happening if the lines are empty as the gas rushes to fill the line the OPV will trip and then you will not have any gas flow.

Good Luck
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Old 10-17-2012, 07:51 AM   #6
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The fridge needs 24 hrs to completely cool just an fyi.

Try turning both propane tanks off then very slowly turn the valves back on and see then if you have gas flow.



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Old 10-17-2012, 07:59 AM   #7
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Sounds like you might have tried the "slowly" bit.
Does the furnace blow heat?

If the furnace dos not blow heat, you have a propane flow blockage.

Make SURE the tanks are full. If you did not watch the dude fill them yourself; lift one to make sure it is heavy.

Make SURE the green pressure indicator STAYS green when you light the furnace. (If it does the propane and regulator are fine; if not your OPD is tripping due to a leak (maybe under the camper).
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:20 AM   #8
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I just filled the propane tanks on Saturday and put them on. I sloooowly opened the valve and sloooowly moved the tank select doohickey to one of the tanks.
Close both propane valves. Set the tank selection valve 1st before opening the tank valves.

But before slowly opening the tank valves, turn off all propane to the camper. Make sure the fridge, water heater, stove burners and oven valves are off. There is a flow limiting device built into your propane tank valves. If does not detect enough back pressure on the system, than that safety device will let only a minimum amount of gas flow.

For information on the flow limiting device, check about 1/2 way down the page here: Propane Safety and Use
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:38 AM   #9
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h20ski, I was not hooked to 110. The fridge has on/off and auto/gas switches, so I set the fridge for gas and then pressed on. It took 30 to 45 seconds of trying before it was able to stay lit, and then I could hear a constant, burning-type sound from inside and outside the trailer. It could still have been the 12V driving it, except it sounded like gas was burning. I assume (and I'll try it in a little while) that the refrigerator hums when it's running on 12V/110V power.

Yes, I've tried turning the valves slowly multiple times (with over 5 minute breaks in between). I watched the guy fill the tanks up - they were about 54 lbs. each when he was done. I even tried opening the bleeder valve briefly on one of the tanks, because I was told that can unstick the valve. I haven't tried to set the tank selector before opening the valves, and I'll give that one a try.

The furnace blows cold air for three or four minutes, and then it gives up. The furnace sounded like it was trying to light gas about three times early in the cycle. There isn't a pilot light or anything I need to set on it (besides the thermostat) is there? I thought they were all auto-igniting for safety these days.

The propane detector (next to the floor in the kitchen area) is showing a green light. Could it be faulty? Would it shut off propane to the stove and oven but not the fridge? And I haven't checked the fuses, because I didn't think that would affect the stove, but could one of the fuses affect the stove?

It's starting to sound like a blockage to me, but it's weird that the fridge runs and not the stove, oven, or furnace - the fridge is furthest away (physically) from the propane tanks. I haven't tried the water heater, because I don't have water in the trailer yet. I'll take a peek under the trailer to see how the propane line is routed, and maybe I'll find a clue there.

Thank you everyone for your quick responses!

Bryan
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Old 10-17-2012, 11:49 AM   #10
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The fridge is silent (or nearly so) when it's on 110V, and I could smell the propane exhaust when it was running off propane anyway, so the fridge is definitely running off propane.

I tried moving the tank selector to a tank, slooooooooooowwwwwlllllly (really!) opening the valve, and there was no change.

I took a peek under the trailer and followed the metal (iron?) line back. There is a line that comes off that I believe feeds the hot water heater. And then there is a three-way that comes off that has one end blocked, one end goes to the furnace, and then the last end goes to the stove/oven...I think. And, finally, a line comes off near the end of the metal line that goes up to the refrigerator.

Would there be one of those leak preventing valves in the three-way that feeds the stove and furnace?

Bryan
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