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I've finally given up on the Atwood Propane Alarm installed below the dinette. My Ollie is a 2016 and the alarm has gone off multiple times on every camping trip I've taken since picking up my camper in March 2016. On my first night out on my current trip a couple of days ago, it went off and I decided to remove it. I talked to Jason who confirmed that it is extremely sensitive and many slight odors tend to set it off. He told me that even odors from the batteries may set it off. So, here's my question: has any forum member found an alternative alarm that does the job of detecting a propane leak without interrupting your sleep frequently when no propane leak exists?

 

I've reached the conclusion that the Atwood alarm is worthless. Because it goes off so frequently and is triggered by non-propane odors, it serves no real purpose. The only way I could use it to stay safe is to pull into an RV repair shop every time it goes off to check for a propane leak. If I did that, I would spend all of my travel time at RV shops.

 

Jason mentioned that he will ask Oliver to identify, research and test an alternative, but he isn't sure they will. He also mentioned that the location of the alarm may be part of the problem. I love my Ollie, but it's frustrating that Oliver hasn't solved this long-standing issue with one of its third-party componen ts (and perhaps the design issue resulting in the location of the alarm in the camper).

 

 

Don

 

2020 Conqueror UEV 490 Extreme Platinum

 

 

2019 Ram Rebel

 

 

States I visited with my Ollie (Sold October, 2019)

 

 

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We also suffer from Propane false alarms.  I must admit that I have placed a fan near the detector to clear the air on occasion and run the MaxxFan nearly 24/7.  The statement about detector location made me search for recommendations and I found the following statement from this website.

 

Propane is heavier than air, accordingly it will sink and accumulate near the floor of any room. Place the Propane detector on the wall 2 feet from the floor, and at least 2 feet from any corner.

 

So maybe the solution is to move the detector.  I’ll have to consider that.

 

Mike and Krunch

Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL   LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

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I wouldn’t abandon it entirely, you may just have a bad unit. Ours has alarmed one time in three seasons. That was due to a 25 mph crosswind blowing exhaust fumes from the water heater inside. (Note to self..... don’t run the gas water heater in a stiff crosswind.) Otherwise it has been perfect. It has never tripped due to propane. I do test it monthly along with the other detector.

 

Replace it with a new one, if that doesn’t cure the problem,  then you can worry about relocating it or other options. It does indeed need to be low down, due to the higher density of propane. By the time a ceiling mounted one triggered you might already be suffocated.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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I set mine off while cleaning glue from the edge of the vinyl floor under the dinette with Goof Off (MEK?). I guess that shouldn’t have surprised me. But it’s never gone off otherwise. I imagine that each unit has its own particular tolerance so replacing it with another might well solve the problem.

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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We’ve had #313 since March 2018 and the propane detector has never gone off. I think Overland may be correct:

 

... I imagine that each unit has its own particular tolerance so replacing it with another might well solve the problem.

 

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Bill and Martha

2018 LEII Hull 313

2019 Chevrolet 2500HD Duramax with a custom Turboencabulator modification 

 

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We do not have our Oliver yet. But I can tell you that this issue is not unique to Oliver. If you go to a Casita facebook or forum you will find pages dedicated to what sets off propane/CO detector. Conversations with owners of other brands will tell you it will affect any tightly build trailer.  Some precautions to take. Maintain airflow, do not block sensor and vacuum the unit occasionally. Careful what you store on the floor. Be careful of the cleaning products used, especially on the floors.  Some products will give off fumes for hours after use and collect once the trailer is closed for the night. Be careful using aerosol products inside your trailer. Put the deet on outside. Dogs especially farty ones and the detector often do not get along. Lastly some have taken to carrying a portable wand to double check the false alarm and rewiring a cutoff switch or pulling the fuse.

 

 

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Bill Thomas 2019 Elite II Hull # 534

2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD 2500

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Not sure what brand ours is, doesn't say on the front face but it has never gone off (knock on wood) to the best of my recollection and we are hull #70 March 2015 delivery. As others have suggested sounds like you might have a faulty unit to replace.

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Since my propane detector has gone off twice this morning, sitting in the driveway, I am now wondering if mine that goes off all of the time is the defective one.  Or is the ones that have never gone off that are defective.  Just thinking out loud.

 

Does anyone have a test procedure for verifying a propane detector functionality that they can share?

 

Mike Mossey

Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL   LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

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We used both dogs?. Oh well!  And the only place I can find a replacement is at eTrailer, although I haven’t talked to OTT about it either.

 

Mike

Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL   LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

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  • 9 months later...
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Our CO/Propane detector has been randomly alarming this last week.  I put a fan blowing on it and it still wants to go off. It woke us up this morning at O-dark-thirty and is now sitting here on the dinette table. It was going off yesterday with the door open, windows open and roof vents open.  It was good all night until early this morning. Both roof vents are still open and one window was partially open while we ran an electric heater (mid 30s right now).  
 

Our Atwood is hardwired, the wires are soldered onto the circuit board, so I snipped them.  I’ve been looking on Amazon for a replacement, either hardwired or battery. There are a couple of Atwood’s and some MTI models.  Has anyone replaced theirs yet?  Since our smoke detector is also a CO detector it seems that a propane only detector would be ok. More models available without the CO detection. Mike

A81DA4C4-2155-479C-9F04-4525AE7BD087.jpeg

Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram 2500 Laramie 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel

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Mike and Carol:

Our unit was doing the same over the last few months; but ours is not an Atwood.  This is the replacement unit I used Safe-T-Alert Model 35-742-WT (Dual Carbon Monoxide & Propane Gas Alarm Unit).  It was purchased from Camping World, installed in same location as the original unit.  There is a one amp fuse under the left side bed for the unit.  According to the manufacture these units should be replaced every five year.  I installed quick disconnects in the 12VDC feeds which will make it easy to replace in the future.

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Horace & Dianne

Chesapeake, Virginia

2016 Toyota Tundra Crewmax 4x4 Limited

2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull # 93

 

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I replaced mine with one I picked up in Hohenwald from the service department last August.  As I remember, the price was as good as elsewhere, maybe about $60.  I then replaced it while on the road when I got aggravated enough to drag out some snips and wire nuts.  I cut the wires at the butt splices to the Ollie wiring and used wire nuts to connect the new one.  I used wire nuts because I didn’t think the new detector would solve the problem, but 9 months later, I think the test has been a success and butt connector are needed to complete the job.

Measure the hole before ordering a new one.

Mossemi

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Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL   LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

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mossemi is certainly correct about measuring that hole - there are very few of these detectors on the market that will fit in there nicely.  Also I purchased my new one from Oliver for the same reasons that Mossemi cites.

I have replaced mine twice - once under warranty and once about a month ago.  Exactly the same symptoms as described and I did exactly the same thing with a fan (this kept it going for a bit longer than in Mike & Carol's case).  Since this last one I replaced is only two years old, I contacted Atwood/Dometic and asked about getting it serviced/repaired/warrantied and they told me that I would need to take it to my nearest "Service Center"for diagnosis.  I hate to not be optimistic but I'm guessing that this will either be expensive (relative to the cost of the new unit) or fraught with a bunch of trouble.  In any case I will do it and report back on the process.

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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I’ll check with Oliver Service.  Is it the same Atwood model?  If there was a Camping World close by I’d check there, I’ll check their web site.  I can’t find the same model on Amazon. 

Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram 2500 Laramie 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel

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Mike - 

Just tell Jason Essary your hull number and he will get the right model for you.

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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  • 3 weeks later...

Is the unit an LP detector or LP/CO?  Our Leisure Travel Van LP/CO detector (I don't know the brand) gave us false alarms (mounted at the base of a dinette seat) always in the middle of the night!).  No propane leaks - propane was off.  Turned out there were some faulty alarms installed during the period of time when our van was built.  Replacement alarm fixed the problem.  The only time the new one has gone off was when my husband was winterizing and set a bowl of antifreeze - that spilled when he was removing a water filter - on the floor near the detector.  

I don't know when RV industry began using these combo detectors; we had a 2014 5th-wheel that had separate units: LP detector in the kitchen baseboard under a cabinet and a CO detector mounted high on the wall in the bedroom.  Maybe LP and CO detectors do not have the same ideal installation location?

 

Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin "Pearl" - Hull#699; taking delivery December 7, 2020

2013 F350 3.2l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

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On 5/26/2020 at 9:53 AM, topgun2 said:

Mike - 

Just tell Jason Essary your hull number and he will get the right model for you.

Bill

I called Jason and he sent me a replacement.  Same one you have.  Mike

Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram 2500 Laramie 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel

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Posted (edited)

As I mentioned in my May 26th post above, I'm still dealing with Dometic concerning my warranty claim.  They had me take the "dead" alarm to an authorized service center - the local CampingWorld - who tested it and confirmed that it was indeed dead.  Then I emailed Dometic and asked what did I need to do next and they asked me to send them a picture of the dead unit.  Great, but, CampingWorld kept it!  So, I sent Dometic a description and a link to their own website.  In return they sent me a picture (the same one that is on their website) to confirm that this was the unit.  I confirmed it just yesterday so now we will see what happens next.

Bill

p.s. (edit) sure is a bunch nicer on those rare occasions when I have needed to deal with Oliver.

Edited by topgun2
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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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9 hours ago, Susan Huff said:

 gave us false alarms (mounted at the base of a dinette seat) always in the middle of the night!).  No propane leaks - propane was off. 

 

Same exact situation with alarm in late 2018 LEII, usually around 2 AM, and even if no propane tanks are near the trailer. Since the CO detector function is redundant, I'm looking for another LP-only solution. Sometimes it's not worth the aggravation of trying to get a warranty replacement of a part that will likely just fail again.

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I have had the same problem with my detector as well. It would go off more and more frequently even though it was only less that three years old. Probably a combination of age, normal dust, and the fact that my trailer had been in Oliver service very frequently. Remember the old service area was very dusty. Anyway, I decided to just replace the detector. I found the Atwood 36681 detector in white at Panther RV Products for $49.95. I paid around $20.00 for shipping but that may have been for quicker shipping, don’t remember. That was about a year ago and I haven’t had any issues since. These detectors don’t seem to have a very long service life to begin with (depending on environment) so I think that there are a couple things that can be done to lengthen the detector life. Cover or remove and seal it in a ziplock type bag would protect it during solvent cleaning in the trailer or if the trailer is in a heavily dusty place such as the old service area or similar. Simply covering with plastic wrap would help greatly. In reality, the detectors should be sealed in plastic at the factory (due to dust and solvent) At installation and until delivery day so that the customers can have a new detector with full life expectancy. 

Edited by mountainoliver
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Older (I'm not too sure what that means) alarms had an expected life of 5 years.  But I've been told that the newer ones (not sure what that means either) have a life of 10 years.  Supposedly, the newer ones will also give you a warning via a certain series of beeps as to when they are at of approaching this end of their expected life.

All of the above is still no reason for the detector to die after only 18 months in service.  Once I get (another) reply from Dometic I'll update.

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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