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Old 08-13-2011, 08:50 AM   #1
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Gas light on the fridge

Last trip out we saw the "check gas" light flashing on the fridge. Tried to light the hot water heater and that didn't fire up so I just assumed we were out of gas and ran on shore power for the weekend. Went to pull the propane tanks (2-30 pound tanks) and one was completely full and the other is about half. This is strictly judged by picking them up. Put it all back in, opened both tanks and switched the fridge from "auto" to "gas". About a minute later the check gas light starts flashing again. Went to light the water heater and it fired up this time after two cycles thru the auto ignitor.

Suggestions please. Dealer is quite a distance away and we are going out Labor Day weekend. I'll have shore power at the site but it will be about a 5 hour drive each way.
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Old 08-13-2011, 09:19 AM   #2
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you simply neeed to purge the gas lines. Light the stove burners first. Then once you have a good flame every thing else will work.
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Old 08-13-2011, 10:15 AM   #3
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I had the same problem the first camping trip of this year. Fridge worked on electric at home but wouldn't work at campground on gas. Our issue was that the camper wasn't quite level. I don't imagine that this is your issue but thought I would throw it out there.

Good luck!
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Old 08-13-2011, 11:38 AM   #4
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Check voltage and condition of your battery. If you have a very low battery, the converter will not connect to the 12 VDC circuits.

Are your DC lights dim?

Low battery symptoms include fridge not working on gas; heater not working at all; dim lights; weird Concertone radio operation and displays.
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Old 08-13-2011, 01:25 PM   #5
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When this happened it was our fifth trip out with a brand new camper bought in Mid-May. Being level wasn't an issue; I don't think it's a battery issue. We have always used shore power at the sites, the trailer is plugged in while at home and I always disconnect the battery when plugged in. Lights are fine, Concertone works fine. Haven't tried the heater since it was 108 on the last trip! The only time the battery is connected is while driving.
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Old 08-13-2011, 02:22 PM   #6
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Last trip out we saw the "check gas" light flashing on the fridge. Tried to light the hot water heater and that didn't fire up so I just assumed we were out of gas and ran on shore power for the weekend. Went to pull the propane tanks (2-30 pound tanks) and one was completely full and the other is about half. This is strictly judged by picking them up. Put it all back in, opened both tanks and switched the fridge from "auto" to "gas". About a minute later the check gas light starts flashing again. Went to light the water heater and it fired up this time after two cycles thru the auto ignitor.

Suggestions please. Dealer is quite a distance away and we are going out Labor Day weekend. I'll have shore power at the site but it will be about a 5 hour drive each way.
Assuming that your trailer is equipped with an auto-changeover LP gas regulator, you need to use the correct procedure when opening the valve(s). Start out with two known-full tanks. SLOWLY open the valve on one of the tanks, this becomes your "active" tank so turn the indicator knob to point at that tank. SLOWLY open the valve to the other tank. Your level indicator (not the pointer knob) should now show green. You can now purge the gas lines of air by lighting one or more of the stove top burners. The fridge should now operate normally on LP gas - assuming you are not connected to shore power. Keep an eye on the gas level indicator and as you use gas it will slowly change color from green to red or orange. When it changes fully to red or orange, it means that the auto-changeover valve has switched to the second tank. You can now manually turn the indicator knob (usually an arrow) to point at the second tank, close the valve to the first tank and get it refilled. After refilling and reconnectiing, SLOWLY open it's valve, and the cycle starts all over again, etc, etc.

Not exactly sure why, but sometimes the auto-changeover valves will not operate correctly if not initialized correctly and refuse to let gas flow from either tank.

Clear as mud - right ??

...VTX-Al
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Old 08-13-2011, 02:54 PM   #7
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I don't think it's a battery issue. We have always used shore power at the sites, the trailer is plugged in while at home and I always disconnect the battery when plugged in. The only time the battery is connected is while driving.
What is the voltage on your battery when it is "disconnected"?

I never disconnect the battery when plugged in.
The 3 stage chargers in our units will keep the battery healthy as long as they remain connected while you are on shore power.
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Old 08-13-2011, 04:59 PM   #8
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I'll have to check the battery voltage. I was worried about overcharging/cooking the battery by leaving it connected while on shore power.

I followed the post above by VTX Al and all seems to back to working properly. The burners all lit on the stove, the water heater works, I flip the switch on the fridge to gas and the light stays green--not flashing. I left it that way for quite awhile and all seems normal.

Thanks for the advise and instructions. Is over charging the battery an issue or am I worrying about something needlessly?
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Old 08-13-2011, 05:17 PM   #9
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Thanks for the advise and instructions. Is over charging the battery an issue or am I worrying about something needlessly?
Yes. I have always had my RV plugged in at home since 1977 and never had a problem. People should be checking the battery water level once a month no matter what.
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Old 08-13-2011, 05:28 PM   #10
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Is over charging the battery an issue or am I worrying about something needlessly?
with a modern 3-stage converter, you shouldn't have to worry about overcharging. your 2012 trailer should have one.
only if the converter malfunctions, so check the batteries occasionally.
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Old 08-13-2011, 05:42 PM   #11
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Good job Al
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Old 08-14-2011, 07:16 AM   #12
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I agree with the battery suggestions your getting. Too many people never realize that their batteries aren't up to par because they pay little attention to them. I leave my little group 24 always connected and let the converter do it's thing.

And as pointed out above, always go to your stove first when trying to diagnose a possible gas problem.

With regards to your propane tanks, I always leave the one I'm not using with it's valve closed and the tank selector pointed at the tank in use. I was told that with the selector pointed up, I was drawing off both tanks and that left me uncomfortable with the chance of being caught totally out of propane.

Best of luck.
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Old 08-14-2011, 07:56 AM   #13
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IWith regards to your propane tanks, I always leave the one I'm not using with it's valve closed and the tank selector pointed at the tank in use. I was told that with the selector pointed up, I was drawing off both tanks and that left me uncomfortable with the chance of being caught totally out of propane.
Best of luck.
Times two. Opposite tank off unless I am dry camping. When dry camping I leave both on and check for a red indicator on my nightly walk around. If I find it I switch it over and remove the dead bottle for filling immediately (if possible). I sometimes carry a 20 pound bottle for the Lil Red Campfire and have dropped it in place of the 30 pound when we needed "longevity" before heading to the fill spot.

I have heard the "lever up" statement before, but my research shows that it is not a recommended technique.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Marshal Auto Changover Regulators Pamplet.PDF (4.79 MB, 25 views)
File Type: docx propane_safety_and_use.docx (50.3 KB, 16 views)
File Type: docx Purging propane containers.docx (15.7 KB, 25 views)
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Old 08-14-2011, 08:53 AM   #14
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Appreciate all the advice and the attachments. Love having this forum available to get the experience and knowledge of others.
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Old 08-14-2011, 09:39 AM   #15
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I agree with the battery suggestions your getting. Too many people never realize that their batteries aren't up to par because they pay little attention to them. I leave my little group 24 always connected and let the converter do it's thing.

And as pointed out above, always go to your stove first when trying to diagnose a possible gas problem.

With regards to your propane tanks, I always leave the one I'm not using with it's valve closed and the tank selector pointed at the tank in use. I was told that with the selector pointed up, I was drawing off both tanks and that left me uncomfortable with the chance of being caught totally out of propane.

Best of luck.
Whether to opt to open both tank valves is a matter of personal choice. However, if your only open one then you defeat the purpose of the auto-changeover regulator.

If you have an auto-changeover regulator, as most modern trailers do, the "tank selector" does not actually "select" one tank or the other. It's sole purpose is to simply point to the one in current use. And yes, regardless of the position of the "tank selector", left, right or straight up, you can eventually totally run out of propane. But, you are not drawing off of both tanks simultaneously, but rather sequentually as the auto-changeover regulator draws from one tank and then the other as the first one empties. That is why the regulators have a colored indicator to tell you when they have switched tanks. Curiously, an many instances, the operation of the auto-changeover regulators is not adequately explained during your purchase walk-thru .

Page 4 on Herk's Marshall regulator document reference explains this procedure. Other manufacturers regulators work the same but differ in appearance.

...VTX-AL
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