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Propane Smell in Trailer


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4 hours ago, John Dorrer said:

It turns out the gas stop or emergency cut off were the culprits. They restricted the flow of propane

It is my understanding that the ‘fuel level’ type gauges, not GasStop with a ‘pressure’ indicator gauge, was a culprit; faulty regulators can restrict flow, as well as the tank’s excess flow valve (EFV) and overfill protection device (OPD) valve if opened too fast. 

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2020 OLEll, Twin, 579

2012 Silverado 1500 4x4

No installed solar, Renogy 40A DC-DC charger, 460Ah LFP battery bank/Victron SmartShunt

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1 hour ago, Cort said:

or sure the more options the better - It's pretty darn cold right now in the southwest.  We are on the way to this one - 

  • 3000W Inverter and lithium's to run the Heat Pump or other options.
  • and maybe this one - generator

No attachment, photo of model specified.

GJ

TV:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Tow, FX-4, Rear Locker      OLLIE:  2018 OE2 Hull 342, Twin Bed.    OLLIE DIY’s: Timken Bearings, BB LiFePO4's, Victron 712 Smart, 350 Amp Master Switch, Houghton 3400, Victron Orion DC - DC, 3000-Watt Renogy Inverter, P.D. 60-amp Converter, Frig Dual Exhaust Fans, Kitchen Drawer Straps.    TV DIY’s:  2 5/16" Anderson System, Nitto recon’s, Firestone Rear Air Bags, Bilstein 5100’s, Mud Flaps & Weather Tech all, installed Ham Radio (WH6JPR).

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3 hours ago, Ronbrink said:

It is my understanding that the ‘fuel level’ type gauges, not GasStop with a ‘pressure’ indicator gauge, was a culprit; faulty regulators can restrict flow, as well as the tank’s excess flow valve (EFV) and overfill protection device (OPD) valves if opened too fast. 

You are correct. I went back and found the post. It was a cheap gauge to measure propane in the tank, "Not the GasStop.". As soon as he removed it and reconnected the line, the furnace fired right up

 

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 John & Susan Dorrer, 2013 F250, 6.2 gasser, 4x4, 2022 Legacy Elite 2, twin beds, Hull #1045, Jolli Olli

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Propane checked out fine - as expected. We went to RV Henderson - a smaller place - and had a good experience. The guy said the regulator was working fine but thought it might have failed in the cold - something about the diaphragm getting too stiff I think. Apparently regulators are not that difficult to replace if it goes. 

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2023 Chevrolet Express 4x4 - 2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull 529 - Roaming the Western US with Skye (my dog) (and at times my Canadian partner). 

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Cort - 

Thanks for letting us know.

Propane does some "funny" and "interesting" things at time - especially in the colder months and or at altitude.

The more you know about these things the better able you are in locating and/or repairing the issue when it happens.

If for nothing other than "peace of mind" it was good that you got it checked out though.

In at least one of the posts above someone mentioned the Gas-Stop product's ability to be used to test for propane leaks.  This was one of the reasons I spent the money to buy a set of them.  It is recommended that you get your propane system "pressure tested" annually.  However, I must admit that I only get mine test about once every five years (unless I've been working on it or suspect that there is a problem.  The Gas-Stops give me a bit of "insurance" that I'm not taking unnecessary risks in this area.

Bill

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On 1/6/2024 at 12:58 PM, topgun2 said:

like you actually had/have a propane leak somewhere between the tank and the furnace?  Tomorrow when the system is pressure tested you should know the answer to this question.

How cold was it when the problem first came to light?

yes as long as you had the regulator on either "automatic" or pointed towards the tank that was 1/3 full.  There are circumstance's when this statement is not true but for the most part, those circumstances are rare.

 

probably, but unless there is a reason to suspect that your current regulator and/or gauges are faulty - why change them?

 

It would be helpful if you filled out your "signature" line such that members of the Forum had a better idea about the age of your Ollie and, therefore, be in a position to give you better advice.  You also might want to review the "proper" way to "open" your propane tanks.  Also, yes, there are gauges that will reasonably show you the level of propane left in a tank (look up Mopeka). 

Bill

  "You also might want to review the "proper" way to "open" your propane tanks"

Bill, I am not aware of any proper way to open the tanks.  I do turn on the tank valve and depress the gas stop about five times.  I do select the tank with the lever instead of using automatic.  I then check gas flow at the stove before turning on the heater.  Anything I am missing?

John


John and Debbie, Beaverton, Oregon,  2017 Ford Expedition EL 4x4 3.5 liter Ecoboost, with heavy duty tow package. Hull #1290, twin bed with Truma package (a/c, furnace, hot water heater with electric antifreeze option), lithium pro package, picked up November 7, 2022

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John - 

 

12 hours ago, John Welte said:

I am not aware of any proper way to open the tanks.

There are a number of videos on YouTube relative to this subject.

HERE is one of those videos.

12 hours ago, John Welte said:

I do turn on the tank valve and depress the gas stop about five times.

The instructions of opening the tank valve remain the same in all instances, however, with the addition of the Gas Stop valves you have added an additional step in that you must now "prime" the Gas Stop's by depressing the "guage" five times (actually once or twice normally does the job, but, I believe that the instructions said to depress it five times.

12 hours ago, John Welte said:

I do select the tank with the lever instead of using automatic. 

The lever you refer to only shows you which tank you want to draw propane from first.  It does not start or stop the "automatic" change over feature of the regulator.  The "secret" to defeating the automatic change over regulator is to only open the propane tank valve on the tank that you want to use first and keep the other tan's valve closed.  When the first tank is empty, the automatic change over feature will try to get gas from your other tank, but, since the valve on that tank is in the closed position, no gas will flow.  The benefit here is that you will know when you have run out of gas in that first tank.  However, the bad news is that you will have to manually go under the propane cover and open the main valve on the tank you were NOT using in the first place.  Murphy's Law states that the only time you will run out of propane in that first tank is when it is dark, cold, raining/snowing, bugs are BAD, your significant other is not happy, the dog is not happy and you are half in the bag.😉  I make it a habit to refill that empty tank as soon as possible such that the old Boy Scout motto of being prepared is satisfied.

Of course, you can always use the automatic change over feature and save yourself the issues involved with doing it manually.  However, the downside here is that the automatic change over feature will NOT tell you when it has "changed over".  This means that you will have to monitor your tanks in some fashion to determine when the "automatic" thing has actually happened.  For obvious reasons it is usually a BEST practice to at least know when you have emptied that first tank.

12 hours ago, John Welte said:

I then check gas flow at the stove before turning on the heater.

Yes, after opening the main valve (and priming the Gas Stop valves if you have them) it is good practice to light something in order to make sure that air has been purged from your gas lines.  I'll usually simply use the cooktop stove inside the Ollie (as you are doing) to do this given it is easier to actually see when the flame is lit.  Of course, the furnace or the fridge could also be used but both of those devices involve control boards that automatically open/close the propane valve located near that device and this could result in malfunctions that complicate the simple issue of getting the air out of your lines.  You could also use external devices such as a fire pit or propane grill to do this, but clearing the air out of the lines to that device will not necessarily clear the air out of the propane line INSIDE the Ollie.

Hope this helps!

Bill

p.s.  There are guages (such as the Mopeka) that can be used to reasonably measure the amount of propane left in each of your tanks.  Or you can use experience (and that warm fuzzy self righteous feeling of confidence in yourself that you will never forget something as important as having enough propane in your tanks) to help you keep your propane tanks in operating order.  But, I have tried a couple of the tank guages (not Mopeka) and from my experience - they simply do not work well enough to be of much value.  Given my years of experience in making my annual two month fly fishing trips to the Rockies, I know that my first full propane tank will last about 6 weeks.  This knowledge actually helps me to NOT be surprised when my cooktop stove either goes out or fails to light.  Note that if I "know" that this first tank is getting low, and, I need to use the furnace or the fridge is critical (its hot outside and those great steaks are waiting for the grill that evening), I've been know to temporarily switch the tanks .  But I will always then treat the very low/empty tank as if it were totally empty and get it refilled as soon as possible.  There is nothing "wrong" about actually using the automatic change over feature of the regulator (and many people do use it).  I simply prefer to really know for sure without having to "worry" about keeping an eye on the regulator looking for that telltale red in its little window.

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  • 1 month later...

We had a propane (LP) issue on our last trip. We arrived at our third stop and I setup the outside camp, the blanket, chairs, grill and fire ring, etc. Then I decided to start the fire ring, since it was getting late, and it gets warmer after the stones heat up. The fire ring flame was half of its usual force.

I hollered at Chris, who was inside getting things ready for dinner, to start a kitchen burner. This is something we do each time we open the LP tank valve, so that we know there will be gas to the furnace later. The kitchen burner was also at half strength. I was puzzled for a while, and eventually checked the rear LP connection. You know that idiotic design where you have to release to bumper, revealing the sewer hoses, to hook up (why not mounted like the front one, aimed curbside)?

Turns out the rear shut-off on that port was half open and it was leaking out of the cable connection without a fitting in place. It's not supposed to do that! I moved the shutoff to 90 degrees, and it stopped leaking. It had moved likely from the sewer hose hitting it over bumpy roads. The fire ring and kitchen burner were now again at full pressure.

This useless rear connection is also dangerous in another way. They run a copper/brass line without protection directly under the frame. This is somewhat OK in front of the trailer wheels, but not a good idea near and behind them. One of several reasons to have the LP off when towing.

I will be removing this line soon, certainly before our next outing. We never have a need to connect at the rear and never pulling the bumper to do so! I have a 12 ft line to a T-connection for grill and fire ring and they each have lengthy lines. We can connect at front and position the grill as far as the rear bumper if we need to. 

I will post info and pics on removing the rear LP line, just past the furnace T, which btw is also behind the trailer wheels. I will cap the rear line and likely add some form of stone-guard or protection. More on this coming soon!

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4 hours ago, jd1923 said:

I will be removing this line soon, certainly before our next outing.

Because we always carry a spare 20 lb. propane tank, we opted to forego the front and rear low-pressure propane connectors on our Hull #1291.  We prefer to be able to position our propane camp stove quite a distance from the trailer anyway.  Your report has confirmed that our choice was the right one for us.

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1 hour ago, Rivernerd said:

Because we always carry a spare 20 lb. propane tank, we opted to forego the front and rear low-pressure propane connectors on our Hull #1291.  We prefer to be able to position our propane camp stove quite a distance from the trailer anyway.  Your report has confirmed that our choice was the right one for us.

We always carried the extra 20 lb. tank in past RVs. I really like being able to plug into the two 30's we have onboard. It was some work to remove the regulators in our grill and fire ring, but glad to have done so.

I would prefer if OTT got rid of the rear one forever! What a dumb design! The front one should be built-in to the propane housing, 12" above where the current one is located, vs. just bolted under the frame. It would be safer and more usable. I do agree with you @Rivernerd. If I was to buy new, I would opt out of these connections and build one myself, since it is convenient.

I was under the Oliver today and these LP fittings are on with more than Super-Glue. Tomorrow, I will spray some penetrant on the LP fittings... I have 2 weeks of other projects, before I can get back to this one!

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13 hours ago, Rivernerd said:

Because we always carry a spare 20 lb. propane tank, we opted to forego the front and rear low-pressure propane connectors on our Hull #1291.  We prefer to be able to position our propane camp stove quite a distance from the trailer anyway.  Your report has confirmed that our choice was the right one for us.

We only have the front quick connect and I use it all the time.  We opted not to get one in the rear, but the line is run and terminates in the back, it just doesn’t have a connector on it.  I don’t know if everyone gets lines run whether you opt for the connection or not, but it might be good to double check.  Mike

Texas Hill Country | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram 2500 6.7L

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On 2/25/2024 at 6:44 AM, Mike and Carol said:

 I don’t know if everyone gets lines run whether you opt for the connection or not, but it might be good to double check.

We have a LPG line run all the way back to the curbside behind the bumper - we added a Quick Disconnect to it a few months ago.  It's been coming in real handy when cooking at night under the awning because of the proximity to the rear LED light just above...

Screenshot2024-03-11at6_49_26AM.thumb.png.43c13efb5b280945c7f72995b813eb01.png

Screenshot2024-03-11at6_48_49AM.thumb.png.c6f0786d4b29947cf58134fc9f0a05df.png

....YUM!

Edited by MAX Burner
added pix for clarity...
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23 hours ago, Mike and Carol said:

We only have the front quick connect and I use it all the time.  We opted not to get one in the rear, but the line is run and terminates in the back, it just doesn’t have a connector on it.  I don’t know if everyone gets lines run whether you opt for the connection or not, but it might be good to double check.  Mike

I passed on the propane QC (Quick-Disconnect) port option to save money, knowing that Oliver runs a terminated line to the rear. I now have fore and aft QC ports on my 2020 OLEll. Here’s what I did:

The terminus line cap was simply removed and an MB Sturgis Quick-Disconnect valve fitting installed. This port is primarily used to fuel my Blackstone griddle, which is generally set up at or near the rear of the trailer, or to the curbside if there is a picnic table of close proximity.

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For the forward QC port, a ‘T’ fitting was installed in the existing line connection. A short hose was then installed leading to within reach through the propane housing screw port where another MB Sturgis valve was positioned. I did not want the QC port located low and exposed in like manner to the way Oliver installs them. 

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This is the QC valve fitting with a 10’ hose connected.

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The 10’ hose is staged on top of the propane tank just inside the screw port opening. 

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For use the screw port is first opened, the valve is opened and hose deployed. This port is primarily used to fuel a dual-fuel generator staged on the trailer tongue or TV tailgate, or with an added length of hose for a fire pit. 

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QC propane ports in action!

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IMG_0687.thumb.jpeg.734eeb76d0fe18041e08763ea160f534.jpeg
 

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@jd1923

i have also inadvertently opened my rear propane quick connect valve by accident, but I just emptied the tank.  Never smelled anything.  But I am not smart enough to say it’s a bad design.  After all, this is my first and only travel trailer.  I chalked it up as user error and moved on.  But your recent issue caused me to rethink the issue and I think I’m going to try putting a quick connect plug together and see if it would stop a leak with the valve partially open.

Has anyone else done this?

Mossey

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Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL  
2017 LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

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2 minutes ago, mossemi said:

But your recent issue caused me to rethink the issue and I think I’m going to try putting a quick connect plug together and see if it would stop a leak with the valve partially open.

That's a good question @mossemi - As a safety feature, the ball valve on the QD can only be opened if the spring-loaded collar is in its extended (normal) position.  If the collar is pushed "back", it allows the user to insert the male connection of the LPG hose.  When the connection is correct, the collar springs to its normal position allowing the user to open the ball valve.  When disconnecting, the valve must be closed in order to push the collar "back" and pull out the male end of the LPG hose, therefore, not allowing a disconnect with the valve open.  

But since you ask... I'm curious....    I'm going to go check right now.  

STANDBY

10 min. later:

....OK, I'm back.  After opening the ball valve and squirting soapy water into the female QD there wasn't any bubbles observed from a leaky QD fitting.  But, now that you've brought this up, we're going to add it to our periodic maintenance procedure!  We've always checked the QD with the LPG hose connected and gas valve open, but never without a hose connected.  Good Call!

Cheers!

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9 minutes ago, mossemi said:

Did y'all have the rubber cap inserted?  I did when mine leaked. Mossey

Mine had the rubber insert, edges a little chewed by pack rats. Like @MAX Burner wrote, it should not leak without the male connector inserted. Looked at mine again yesterday and the valve was at 45 degrees again, partially opened by our sewer hose, the end of the hose being right there. If I do not remove mine, I will use a zip tie to keep the shut-off valve at 90 degrees (closed).

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3 hours ago, jd1923 said:

If I do not remove mine, I will use a zip tie to keep the shut-off valve at 90 degrees (closed).

I was initially thinking you should "safety wire" it shut.  But your mention of zip tie got me to thinking - why not use a zip tie that is reusable like THESE or something similar?

Bill

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4 hours ago, mossemi said:

Did y'all have the rubber cap inserted?

The rubber cap was not inserted when doing the leak test - figuring if the QD was leaky, the cap might have plugged the leak.  But the test can be redone with the cap inserted...

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14 hours ago, MAX Burner said:

The rubber cap was not inserted when doing the leak test - figuring if the QD was leaky, the cap might have plugged the leak.  But the test can be redone with the cap inserted...

I never thought of the rubber plug as leak prevention, just keeping the fitting clean.  But what do I know?

Mossey

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Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL  
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25 minutes ago, mossemi said:

But what do I know?

Apparently that makes two of us!

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On 2/26/2024 at 4:07 PM, MAX Burner said:

The rubber cap was not inserted when doing the leak test - figuring if the QD was leaky, the cap might have plugged the leak.  But the test can be redone with the cap inserted...

Enter the sniffer, a recent Amazon purchase routinely put to good use to eliminate any fear of a minor leak! If ever a tank is opened for use, a quick check is performed. Furthermore, I keep the MB Sturgis protective plugs and caps on all of my fittings and hose ends, even on hoses that are rolled and stowed with mating ends connected. Oftentimes when deployed they are laid out on the ground and the protectors ensure a clean/debris-free connection. 

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IMG_0651.thumb.jpeg.4a65a2b815b8e9dd7f438224fc600d97.jpeg

 

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2020 OLEll, Twin, 579

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/24/2024 at 9:10 AM, jd1923 said:

This useless rear connection.....

Not for us.  We use the back gas port many days a week when camping.  For safety reasons, I don't prefer to use the front one so close to the stored propane tanks.  But then some of my friends love to use it when we have two BBQ's roaring at both ends of our OE2.  I agree that the placement of the rear one is a PITA to use.  

Your rear gas connection sounds like it is defective.  The valve and the connections on ours are belt and suspenders.  Either one of them is supposed to not allow gas to flow.  But if you have a hose connected to it, then one of the two safety aspects is removed from the safety equation.  One solution that may reduce the potential for sewer hoses opening the valve would be to turn your valve so that the handle is towards the curb side (vs the top or street side.  This may require a stand off to do this.  

You concern about the naked gas  line and flying debris has validity.  There are some very well engineered line armor that could easily be placed around the gas line if you feel strongly about it. 

I also appreciate your suggestion about not traveling with the gas tank valves open.  That's great "Safety Thinking".  I'll add it to my departure/arrival check lists.

GJ

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TV:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Tow, FX-4, Rear Locker      OLLIE:  2018 OE2 Hull 342, Twin Bed.    OLLIE DIY’s: Timken Bearings, BB LiFePO4's, Victron 712 Smart, 350 Amp Master Switch, Houghton 3400, Victron Orion DC - DC, 3000-Watt Renogy Inverter, P.D. 60-amp Converter, Frig Dual Exhaust Fans, Kitchen Drawer Straps.    TV DIY’s:  2 5/16" Anderson System, Nitto recon’s, Firestone Rear Air Bags, Bilstein 5100’s, Mud Flaps & Weather Tech all, installed Ham Radio (WH6JPR).

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