Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Tech Issues: Propane Exhaust Smell
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 > Propane Exhaust Smell

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Bionic Man

Colorado

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Posted: 05/22/20 12:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

First trip for the season was boondocking about three weeks ago. Everything worked fine.

Took the trailer home, put it away in the garage until the trip this weekend.

We are at a State Park, but I didn’t get a spot with electric, so we are running the trailer mainly on propane.

When we got here I thought there was a propane exhaust type smell in the trailer. It got worse as the night went on. Bad enough that I shut everything off last night, including the propane bottles.

Turned everything back on this am and the smell came back. I think I’ve isolated it to the fridge. If I run it on electricity (powered from my Yamaha 2000) no smell. Even if we run the hot water heater or furnace. It’s warm enough now that I am running my built in Honda (which burns propane) and still no smell.

I don’t notice a smell outside the fridge by the access panel when running on propane. I got up on the roof and the round vent covers are in place as is the bigger plastic cover over the top of the fridge. And I don’t notice a smell up there.

Any advice on where to go next?


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2oldman

New Mexico

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Posted: 05/22/20 01:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My water heater puts out a pretty good propane exhaust smell.

Matt_Colie

Southeast Michigan

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Posted: 05/22/20 01:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Bio,

There should be an upper and a lower vent for the reefer. Make sure that they are both clear. Then, get a look at the flame in the reefer, it should not show more than a slight fliker of yellow. Any more than that and it needs cleaning and adjusting.

Matt


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SpeakEasy

Western New York

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Posted: 05/22/20 01:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had the same exact issue twice in my popup years ago. Once when the fridge was 6 years old, and then again when it was 12 years old. I replaced the fridge burner orifice. Evidently they had a 6-year lifespan.

-Speak


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MEXICOWANDERER

las peñas, michoacan, mexico

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Posted: 05/22/20 01:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Check for excess yellow flame tips
Should be an occasional flicker of yellow

wopachop

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Posted: 05/22/20 03:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Might be a good time to test your propane detector if your trailer has one. If you have the little coleman propane tanks you can poke the little shrader valve. Its just like letting air out of a tire.

Propane sinks so think about that as youre walking around smelling. Squirt bottle with soapy water would be my approach. Even if it turns out the mixture is off its not a bad idea to squirt soapy water. Some items it helps to shake them gently. My propane regulator hose will leak if if i pull the hose in a certain direction.

SpeakEasy

Western New York

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Posted: 05/22/20 04:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

wopachop wrote:

Might be a good time to test your propane detector if your trailer has one. If you have the little coleman propane tanks you can poke the little shrader valve. Its just like letting air out of a tire.

Propane sinks so think about that as youre walking around smelling. Squirt bottle with soapy water would be my approach. Even if it turns out the mixture is off its not a bad idea to squirt soapy water. Some items it helps to shake them gently. My propane regulator hose will leak if if i pull the hose in a certain direction.


The smell of propane is distinctly different from the smell of propane exhaust (or burnt propane). The OP described a smell of exhaust.

-Speak

naturist

Lynchburg, VA

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Posted: 05/22/20 04:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My guess: wasp nest, dead stink bugs, or other obstruction in the burner tubes.





beemerphile1

Ohio

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Posted: 05/22/20 07:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The refrigerator has a flange gasket all the way around where it slides into the cabinet. There should never be fumes leaking inside the living space.

I never trust the manufacturer so I always pull the refrigerator after purchase and make sure it has an air tight seal.


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