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Author Topic: ol' smelly truck camper  (Read 4629 times)

Kola

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ol' smelly truck camper
« on: April 06, 2008, 09:45:03 PM »
Hi, I recently bought a 76 truck camper, 400 dollar special.  :)

I lit the furnace for the first time and let it run a few hours. Inside the camper I smelled a strong odor of propane. I check all the fittings with soapy water and there are no leaks. But I did notice the pressure regulator that ties in at both propane tanks has a small vent in it. Is it normal for this vent to let out fumes? In the cold I could see an accumulation of crystal formation around the vent and a bit up the hoses. Is this normal?

Anyway, I decided to not use the furnace and fired up the oven (propped the door open a bit) and then went outside and opened up the swing door cover where my tanks are stored (to air it out). The oven ran nice and the thermostat kicked on and off and it kept me toasty.

Questions?

Is this regulator vent working normally?
Was it OK to heat using the oven?

Next weekend I will try the furnance agin but this time keep the propane storage cover open..and see if it still smells.  I dont think I should have to keep this cover open though.

Kola from Colorado


Carl L

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Re: ol' smelly truck camper
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2008, 10:43:24 PM »
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Was it OK to heat using the oven?

Well you survived once, but a lot of folks do not.  Just ask your local paramedics or coroner.   The danger from an unvented flame in a closed space is carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless gas that is deadly poisonous.

Please stop rolling dice with your life and get that furnace and propane system checked out by an RV shop!   With an old camper, your hoses could have disintegrated enough to cause propane to disseminate out them with out showing a pressurized leak.   A shop can spot this sort of thing with a manometer.
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

Prowler 23LV TT pulled by a '95 Ford Bronco

Ron

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Re: ol' smelly truck camper
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2008, 11:24:06 PM »
I second Carls advice.  Do not lite anything or use the camper until you have had it checked out by somebody that know what they are doing such as an RV shop.  I think you are very lucky so far but I wouldn't roll the dice again.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

Kola

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Re: ol' smelly truck camper
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2008, 09:39:12 AM »
Thanks guys! I was concerned about running the oven and I did have both roof vents cracked open about an half inch. I made an appointment to have it looked at.

Great site and forum by the way!

Kolaman

Carl L

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Re: ol' smelly truck camper
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2008, 11:58:47 AM »
I was concerned about running the oven and I did have both roof vents cracked open about an half inch.

Not good enough.  Air has a density of 1.2g/L.  Carbon monoxide has a  density of 1.145g/L.   CO is lighter that air but not all that lighter -- it will mix while waiting to escape from a 1/2 inch crack.   Its effects are cumulative over a short term: 

Carbon monoxide is a significantly toxic gas and has no odor or color. It is the most common type of fatal poisoning in many countries.  Exposures can lead to significant toxicity of the central nervous system and heart. Following poisoning, long-term sequelae often occur. Carbon monoxide can also have severe effects on the baby of a pregnant woman. Symptoms of mild poisoning include headaches and dizziness at concentrations less than 100 ppm. Concentrations as low as 667 ppm can cause up to 50% of the body's hemoglobin to be converted to carboxy-haemoglobin (HbCO). Carboxy-haemoglobin is quite stable but this change is reversible. Carboxy-haemoglobin is ineffective for delivering oxygen, resulting in some body parts not receiving oxygen needed. As a result, exposures of this level can be life-threatening. In the United States, OSHA limits long-term workplace exposure levels to 50 ppm.

The mechanisms by which carbon monoxide produces toxic effects are not yet fully understood, but haemoglobin, myoglobin, and mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase are thought to be compromised. Treatment largely consists of administering 100% oxygen or hyperbaric oxygen therapy, although the optimum treatment remains controversial.[19] Domestic carbon monoxide poisoning can be prevented by the use of household carbon monoxide detectors.
[Wikipedia on carbon monoxide]

By the way, take a hint and buy a CO alarm.  About the size and shape of a smoke alarm and often sold in the same place.

Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

Prowler 23LV TT pulled by a '95 Ford Bronco

Kola

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Re: ol' smelly truck camper
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2008, 12:37:58 PM »
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By the way, take a hint and buy a CO alarm.  About the size and shape of a smoke alarm and often sold in the same place.

Good idea. Thanks!

Kola

AirForceAngler

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Re: ol' smelly truck camper
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2008, 09:31:03 PM »
Just as a quick add, that CO alarms are not only good for RVs but the home as well if you have any gas devices. 
2008 Jayco Jay-Flight 24RKS

 

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