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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > Propane smell inside trailer...how to best diagnose?

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Baja Man

Inland Empire, CA

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Posted: 10/24/22 07:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am going through testing all trailer systems...refer on propane, heater, stove, oven.

Two days ago I switched refer over to propane to let it run on propane and see if it would get colder than when on 120V. It did not. It actually was 1-2 degrees warmer!

I tested stove, oven, and furnace (lighting and letting them run for 5-10 mins) and then shutting them off. I left the refer on propane overnight.

Yesterday, there is a gas odor inside the trailer. Not sure where it is coming from....stove, furnace, or refer....all of these were run on propane for testing. I thought maybe it was residual gas smell from when I was lighting the burners (it took a minute or so for propane to get to stove/oven, as they had not been lit for many months.

Today, I entered trailer and could still smell gas, so I turned off the refer and closed propane tank valve.

NOTE: I did check, before running any propane items, using soapy water in a spray bottle, the lines that connect tanks to diverter valve. No leaks at these rubber lines.

Propane detector alarm did NOT activate.

Thoughts on where this gas smell can be coming from? BTW...it does not smell like rotten eggs (read that propane can smell like this)...to me, it smells like propane gas.

I guess I could spray soapy water on ALL line connections inside trailer....stove and furnace. Furnace is installed under a couch.

Could it be refer....since it didn't get colder than when running on 120V? Maybe refer is not getting all the propane (due to a leak) it needs to work at optimum level while on propane?

Where to start? Other methods beside soapy water?

Thanks!

* This post was edited 10/24/22 07:58pm by Baja Man *


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midnightsadie

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Posted: 10/24/22 07:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

go check your battey, when they run out of water they smell BAD.

Baja Man

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Posted: 10/24/22 08:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

midnightsadie wrote:

go check your battey, when they run out of water they smell BAD.


They are maintenance free.

Smell is inside trailer.

Fulltimers

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Posted: 10/24/22 08:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Baja Man wrote:



Where to start? Other methods beside soapy water?

Thanks!


I lit match...

NO DO NOT USE A MATCH!!

I was actually stupid enough to use a match once... I found the leak! Didn't realize propane was that flammable.

A dead decaying mouse can smell pretty bad.


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Bobbo

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Posted: 10/24/22 09:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Whenever we use the propane oven, my wife thinks we have a propane leak. What she is smelling is the odor of the burned propane. We have that discussion every time.


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MFL

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Posted: 10/25/22 05:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Your factory installed propane alarm is designed to be very sensitive, if still functional. It should work better than your nose!

Often times an RV furnace, or oven will give off an odor, when new, or when not used for a lengthy time. This will go away with use. If only running for 5-10 minutes, it may smell again next time.

You can purchase a small propane gas detector, that will fit in hard to reach areas. They are not expensive, google will help you.

Jerry





schlep1967

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Posted: 10/25/22 05:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Did you leave the pilot light in the oven on? If it goes out it will still be releasing propane.


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Dick_B

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Posted: 10/25/22 07:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don't know why but when my active propane tank is low there is a propane odor. After almost 20 years I still can't explain it.


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Bobbo

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Posted: 10/25/22 07:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

schlep1967 wrote:

Did you leave the pilot light in the oven on? If it goes out it will still be releasing propane.

No, it won't. That is the purpose of the thermocouple. If the pilot light goes out, the thermocouple shuts off the propane supply to it. That is why you have to press and hold the knob in when lighting the pilot light. It overrides the thermocouple and allows propane to flow to the pilot light while the thermocouple heats up enough to keep the pilot light valve open and the propane flowing.

agwill

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Posted: 10/25/22 08:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When your tanks get low on propane you will also find there is an odor of gas.


al

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