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Old 09-12-2012, 11:31 PM   #1
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Default Propane Leak? Ran out of Propane? You decide!

(I'm a teacher..gotta put this in test format! LOL!)

Read the following passage and choose the best answer below:

An RVer who owns a 2011 PleasureWay Plateau with a 12 US gallon propane tank fills her tank prior to her big summer trip. She then spends 13 days and nights living in her RV. All but 5 nights were dry camping. The fridge ran on propane for 8 days. All 13 days she use propane to boil water for coffee & to heat the water (she prefers to turn the hot water heater on as needed rather than let it stay on). She also ran her propane generator for approx 4 -5 continuous hours during an especially loud and hot night in a Wal-Mart parking lot. She put the RV away, with all systems off, for about 2 weeks and then went on another 10 day trip. This 10 day trip was ALL dry camping. The fridge ran on propane almost continuously - except for the 2 days that she spent driving to and from. Also boiled a kettle of water every morning for coffee and ran the hot water heater daily. She ran the generator for exactly 1 hour one day to charge the battery. When she returned she put the RV into storage with all the systems off. Then, ready to go on another trip and when she turned all the systems on discovered that the propane tank was empty. This came as a surprise to her, however, since she's not very good at keeping an eye on the LPG gauge she has no idea how much was in the tank when she put the RV away.

Choose the best answer:
A) The RV sprang a random leak and all the propane leaked out while it was in storage.
B) The RV simply ran out of propane due to operator error in not checking the gauge and there is nothing wrong with the system.
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:36 PM   #2
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Default Re: Propane Leak? Ran out of Propane? You decide!

I pick: B) The RV simply ran out of propane due to operator error in not checking the gauge and there is nothing wrong with the system.

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Old 09-13-2012, 12:23 PM   #3
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Default Re: Propane Leak? Ran out of Propane? You decide!

I'd choose B as well, Teach.

And when do we get the answer?
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Old 09-14-2012, 10:52 PM   #4
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Default Re: Propane Leak? Ran out of Propane? You decide!

Quote:
Originally Posted by teachergal
(I'm a teacher..gotta put this in test format! LOL!)

Read the following passage and choose the best answer below:

An RVer who owns a 2011 PleasureWay Plateau with a 12 US gallon propane tank fills her tank prior to her big summer trip. She then spends 13 days and nights living in her RV. All but 5 nights were dry camping. The fridge ran on propane for 8 days. All 13 days she use propane to boil water for coffee & to heat the water (she prefers to turn the hot water heater on as needed rather than let it stay on). She also ran her propane generator for approx 4 -5 continuous hours during an especially loud and hot night in a Wal-Mart parking lot. She put the RV away, with all systems off, for about 2 weeks and then went on another 10 day trip. This 10 day trip was ALL dry camping. The fridge ran on propane almost continuously - except for the 2 days that she spent driving to and from. Also boiled a kettle of water every morning for coffee and ran the hot water heater daily. She ran the generator for exactly 1 hour one day to charge the battery. When she returned she put the RV into storage with all the systems off. Then, ready to go on another trip and when she turned all the systems on discovered that the propane tank was empty. This came as a surprise to her, however, since she's not very good at keeping an eye on the LPG gauge she has no idea how much was in the tank when she put the RV away.

Choose the best answer:
A) The RV sprang a random leak and all the propane leaked out while it was in storage.
B) The RV simply ran out of propane due to operator error in not checking the gauge and there is nothing wrong with the system.
You teach/taught either creative writing or journalism, right?
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Old 09-15-2012, 08:29 PM   #5
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Default Re: Propane Leak? Ran out of Propane? You decide!

Quote:
The RV sprang a random leak and all the propane leaked out while it was in storage.
It would be hard to imagine not noticing that when you pulled it out of storage (or when you received a phone call from your storage place about the fire).

'Filling a propane tank' might be misleading, as 'full' is anything over 2/3 and probably never more than 80%. The HWH shouldn't be the culprit, as it has a thermostat and thus only runs on demand: Long showers? Hot water dish washing? Depending on ground water temperature, it might be using more propane by being turned on and off.

If I add right (and I teach math), 16 days of refrigerator use plus a long generator run sounds like a lot of propane.
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Old 09-16-2012, 03:26 PM   #6
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Default Re: Propane Leak? Ran out of Propane? You decide!

Definitely "B".
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Old 09-16-2012, 06:04 PM   #7
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Default Re: Propane Leak? Ran out of Propane? You decide!

If you look at the rate propane is consumed for each the water heater, generator and fridge, 12 gallons of propane, less 20% for expansion could easily be used. I vote B, ran out of fuel
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Old 09-16-2012, 11:37 PM   #8
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Default Re: Propane Leak? Ran out of Propane? You decide!

Yep, you all were correct...out of propane!

I took it to get it filled and it only took 6 gallons (12 gallon tank) - so that seems a little low, even if you figure 2/3 full that would be 8 gallons. But, it's registering "full" on the gauge and everything works just fine now! I'm also going to do a better job of watching it while I'm using it AND writing down where the levels are when I put it in storage. (I use the RV mostly on weekends so it's in and out of storage constantly!)

Apparently the guy who filled the tank the last time did it wrong. Since the tank sits back away from where you fill it there are extension hoses and the last guy who filled the tank closed the valves going to the extension hoses so when the guy this time hooked it up the vapor didn't come out. When he finally got the hose open he just let it sit for a good 2 mins (or more) letting vapor out before he started filling.

Also, the last time I got propane I had the battery and everything disconnected while I was getting propane and the drove home (5 miles) before turning the battery on. As soon as I turned the battery on, the propane detector went off. It made sense at the time, but only sorta, I didn't have the windows open when I got propane so how'd it get inside?

This time when I got propane the guy asked me to check the gauge inside so I had to connect the battery (he was done putting propane on and the propane was off and all propane appliances were off) - I could smell propane in the air all around the coach, yet the alarm didn't go off.

The guy then told me about a valve at the top of the tank that sends the propane to the appliances (he almost forgot to re-open it) and he said if you don't open in then propane goes inside the RV when you fill it. Seems to me that might be why the detector went off the last time...if the valve hadn't been closed.

How do ensure that your propane tanks are filled correctly? How do you make sure that it's not overfilled (happened to my parents), and valves aren't left open or closed when they shouldn't be, etc? Are there some reliable websites etc that explain how all this works so I can go into my next propane fill armed with education?

The propane system is so important to the comfort of the RV - no propane and you have no hot water, no fridge, no coffee, no generator...it's basically just a van without a working propane system! But it's also so dangerous and I want to know exactly how to keep it safe and do it right!
(I'm also a control freak...esp when it comes to my RV!)

Also, I'm an elementary reading teacher! I guess creative writing is a part of that, but I don't get to do much writing with kids! I spend more time working with teachers and working with struggling readers.
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Old 09-16-2012, 11:42 PM   #9
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Default Re: Propane Leak? Ran out of Propane? You decide!

This kind of thing is why I'm glad mine is one that has a bay for two 20lb tanks. Much easier (and possibly safer) to deal with. Some of the (later?) Xplorers had a fixed tank, which sounds like what you have.
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Old 09-17-2012, 02:23 AM   #10
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Default Re: Propane Leak? Ran out of Propane? You decide!

Quote:
Originally Posted by teachergal
How do ensure that your propane tanks are filled correctly? How do you make sure that it's not overfilled (happened to my parents), and valves aren't left open or closed when they shouldn't be, etc? Are there some reliable websites etc that explain how all this works so I can go into my next propane fill armed with education?

The propane system is so important to the comfort of the RV - no propane and you have no hot water, no fridge, no coffee, no generator...it's basically just a van without a working propane system! But it's also so dangerous and I want to know exactly how to keep it safe and do it right!
(I'm also a control freak...esp when it comes to my RV!)
Caveat: The following info is based on 4 years of experience getting my tank filled, and what I have gleaned from researching this topic on the net. I am not a propane expert. Always consult a professional before making any decisions regarding your personal use of propane. That said, I take my Roadtrek to an actual propane dealer, rather than the local gas station with a propane fill station. An RV dealer with a propane fill station might also be OK, based on their knowledge of RV propane systems. Unless things have changed, ASME tanks, like what they put into class B vans, are designed to be filed to not more than 80% of their total capacity, and there are safeguards built into them to prevent overfilling. If you get too much, someone has defeated the overfill protection somehow, either knowingly or otherwise. Here's a link to some propane tank info. I think it's pretty intuitive.
http://www.propanesafety.com/mounted-asme-tank/

Your specific tank may look different, but as they always say, the principles are the same. The overfill prevention features include the "fixed maximum liquid level gauge" and the "relief valve". Click each of them for an explanation of how each works. I suppose a novice propane fill person could ignore or misinterpret escaping vapor or liquid and overfill your tank. The "filler valve" itself probably has a pressure activated auto-stop mechanism. Best to find a local propane supplier/dealer, and ask them if they are familiar with and fill ASME vehicle mounted propane tanks. If they charge a bit more, it's likely worth it. Make sure they understand the propane system is not for supplying fuel to the engine of the vehicle, but to run the various appliances and systems on board. There are different rules for filling and testing and/or the certification of ASME tanks that store and send Propane or LNG to the vehicle engine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by teachergal
I spend more time working with teachers and working with struggling readers.
That skill set will come in handy on this forum.
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:53 PM   #11
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Default Re: Propane Leak? Ran out of Propane? You decide!

If you had a propane leak you would most likely have smelled it. It doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the tank itself. It could be in the lines and numerous fittings servicing all your appliances. I developed a leak after traveling the gravel Top of the World Highway in the Yukon that I have to get repaired. My leak is the shutoff valve or somewhere past the valve in the lines and fittings going to all the appliances and most likely is underneath the B given when and where it happened.
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:58 PM   #12
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Default Re: Propane Leak? Ran out of Propane? You decide!

Those are great questions, I have the same van so would like to hear the answers. I have had the propane tank filled as when i picked up the van it was very cold so we ran the furnace and the fridge on propane for a week and then did some other dry camping so I had it topped up. I had an issue with my greatwest and it turned out the regulator was leaking. The PW seems fine so far.
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