Beware of Fumes.

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Jim, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    This was posted as a blog entry rather than a post by a new Funster Davnsueagen. I thought it worth posting here so more will see it. Is this correct, is the autogas different to regular bottled lpg?




    Posted 26-09-2008 at 01:13 PM by DavnSueagen
    I have a rechargable propane gas bottle in my motorhome. My reasons for buying it were simple, although the bottles come to a good few quid ,they eventualy pay for themselves with cheaper gas and are a huge asset when travelling abroad. Erm, well not quite. To my dismay I have had quite severe fumes coming into the van coming from our fridge and have had our carbon monoxide alarm screaming out at ten past two in the morning. What these manufacturers dont tell you is that they are not considered compatable with "Dometic" fridges.
    I have written to "Dometic" to ask there advise and they have told me via email that arrived this morning that they do NOT recommend the use of auto gas with their fridges because of the oil content. These fumes can be very dangerous and I assume in my ignorance that they could be fatal.
    It seems I have to change our fridge to use the refillable bottle.
    So if you have a "Dometic" and are using auto gas please be careful and if you are thinking of getting auto gas and have a "Dometic" check it out with their Technical Dept.
    This is what it does to your eyes:Eeek:
     
  2. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    personally i would say if the fridge is fitted correctly then it shouldnt matter what gas was used, butane ,propane or autogas, as the fumes SHOULD exit via the flue tube in the fridge vent.
    if the CO detector was triggered it would indicate a leak in the vent system, allowing fumes into the motorhome, and the alarm would be triggered by any type of gas.
    also, if it was the autogas causing the problem then the same fumes would be present when you use the hob, oven or gas heater/water heater.

    my first line of attack would be to have the fridge vent system checked for leaks by a corgi registered plumber who should have the correct detectors for the job.

    only my views on the subject,

    john.
     
  3. madbluemad

    madbluemad

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    I have a Dometic fridge and freezer which both run off autogas. I havent had any problems with it. The alarm did trigger one night however that was a prblem with the heating and not the fridge.

    My wife June has an excellent sense of smell and whilst we were having trouble with the heater she could smell the gas befor the alarm went off. Since the heating has been fixed there isnt a trace of gas.

    I will be interested to watch this thread and may contact dometic and my mh manufacturer to query it.

    I have been informed by Calor that the gas that goes into the bottles is from the same tanker that fills the autogas tanks at there depot.

    Cheers
    Jim
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2008
  4. moandick

    moandick Read Only Funster

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    I have had an RV for near on 5 years now and have always filled the 'house' gas tank and the 'engine' gas tank with autogas from the same pump - and being a full-timer, I use an awful lot of gas.

    Many RV'ers have had an 'extend-a-stay' fitting put in so that they can use bottled gas in lieu of auto gas - but it utilises the same pipework and is fed to the same fridge/freezer, hob etc., etc.

    I don't know of any reason why autogas should be considered as different gas to bottled gas - and I have filled up in LPG depots where they were filling bottles from the same tank as they filled my RV.

    I therefore am a little sceptical about a difference in bottle to autogas - I am more inclined to consider the regulator on the bottle being badly set or even the wrong type for the gas being used.
     
  5. oldun

    oldun Read Only Funster

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    Most USA RV systems are designed to run on autogas so there should be no problems with them.

    Most UK caravans/motorhomes are designed to rum on bottle gas so there is the possibility of a problem though I cannot see why there should be one.

    Problems that arise could be with dirty jets or bad installation causing a back draft from the exhaust vent into the van.

    I certainly won't have this problem with my current van as my fridge only works off 12V. I can't make up my mind whether this is good or bad.
     
  6. DavnSueagen

    DavnSueagen Read Only Funster

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    Just to confirm that Dometic do not seem to agree with the gas manufacturers that the gas known as Autogas and purchased from garage forecourt pumps is the same as the bottled stuff ie. Calor or Flo etc. It appears to have more oil content. ( in their opinion):helpsos: I have posted their reply to my query. As you will see ,the man to reply is their technical manager. He should know or should he?[/COLOR] They also recomend in their instruction manual that " house gas or town gas" should be not used.:thumbdown:
    I thank those that have written their replies but it has just bamboozled me even more.
    I have had the fridge serviced and started to "fire" it up again and still its fuming ,a litle bit like me. I am now going to save up for a new fridge by a different manufacturer. Happy and safe new year to you all.


    Dear Sir,
    I'm sorry you not had a reply, this is the first time I've seen your e-mail.
    Ref the problem with Auto Gas. We recommend that Auto Gas isn't used with the Dometic fridges, as there can be a high content of oil with in the gas.
    This is what can lead to the discolouring. If you check your flame at the back of your fridge you may find that the flame has a orange tip. The fridge is intended exclusively for liquid gas (propane/butane).

    If I can be of anymore help, please get back to me.

    __________________________________________________
    John Harvey
    Aftersales Technical Manager
    Dometic UK LTD
    Dometic House
    Blandford St Mary, The Brewery, England
    Phone: +44 844 6260133
    Internet Site: Dometic
     
  7. ruffingitsmoothly

    ruffingitsmoothly Read Only Funster

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    As far as I am aware lpg and Autogas is the same thing!

    Autogas - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I have used Autogas in the fixed tank on my RV's for many years not sure if I would know where to fill up with this so called ordinary LPG:Confused::Confused:

    Regards Pat
     
  8. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    Dometic - Autogas - Propane?

    This does seem rather odd. I cannot see why Dometic should believe that LPG contains oil, nor why they believe Autogas is not suitable for their systems. I wonder whether this is a 'side effect' of the recent arguments about liability for oil residues leeching from rubber supply pipes and the subsequent deleterious effect on regulators?
    I use Autogas from Countrywide Farmers. They have a regional network of pumps available 24/7 via an electronic access key and payable on account. (Also charge me VAT at 5% as it's for cooking / heating.) I am sure the three storage tanks supplying my local pump have a Propane label on them.

    Also, on the Countrywide website, there is a link to the site below explaining the benefits of using Autogas (mainly for propulsion). Note the second bullet point in the 'Did you know?' section:

    About LPG Autogas
     
  9. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Hi all this did the rounds about a year or more ago.It resulted in LPG being the same as bottled gas or a mixture of the 2 ie propane and butane.Since the fridge etc, are supposed to run on either it should not make any difference :Rofl1: but Dometec seam to be covering there a--e by saying use bottled gas which according to the LPG suppliers is the same :thumb::Rofl1: If the carbon monoxide alarm is going off I would recommend that you get the installation checked straight away as no fumes should enter the van, unless you have a window open by the vents :Eeek:
    terry
    Roger (wildman) may remember more about this !! he's probably in chat heehee
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2009
  10. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    LPG in the UK tends to be propane abroad various mixes of propane and butane, but contrary to the opinion of Dometic's so called technical staff no added oil. Sometimes however, if the wrong sort of hose is used a gungy oily mess is created in the pipes that can create problems with regulator. the fault lies in the type of rubber used for pipework, not the gas itself. LPG-AUTO gas, is plain and simple propane and or butane, no problem for any applience at all. If you have been affected change the pipes and possibly the regulator if and only if it is lower than the pipes.
     
  11. metz

    metz Read Only Funster

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    Hi Folks, My first post on this site, i' a vanner myself but work in the repair side of the caravan industry, i like to moniter the motorhome forums to give me an idea of some of the problems you guys have, it helps sometimes if i get a call out to a motorhomer in trouble, as far as the fridge burning on Auto Gas go's if you saw the injectors and burner's on a Fridge that's been burning Auto Gas as opposed to say Calor Propane then you may understand Dometis's statement, if the fridge has been serviced correctly there shouldn,t be enough monoxide produced to cause a problem, if you have any suspision at all about monoxide leaking into your unit please get it checked by a competent engineer, most fridges i attend have not been serviced correctly or at the correct intervals as recommened by the manufacturer, (every 12 months) alot are not installed correctly, which in turn can lead to a variety of poblems.
     
  12. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    You are I think missing a point, one that you have alluded to already. The average motorhomer goes away every other weekend with maybe a few longer breaks througout the year, a lot of these times the fridge is used on a hookup and never get run on gas. Others fulltime again with hookup, then there are a few who use the van more often and wildcamp useing a lot of gas, these are the people most likly to have fixed tanks and be using autogas, but it is not the autogas causing the problem just prolonged useage without regular servicing. Fridge removal in most vans involves a certain amount of dismantling and hence tends not to get done as it should.
     
  13. Blisters

    Blisters Read Only Funster

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    I have run autogas/LPG cars for years and know the lads who fit these systems day in day out, and they tell me that the autogas in the UK is purer than that on the continent which varies quite substantially, also about 12-18 months ago there was a batch of dirty LPG which was delivered to stations from Birmingham to Manchester and across to Nottingham and it caused serious problems for gas cars mine included and this is the same gas which will have gone in M/H abitation gas
     
  14. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Hi Metz are you saying that all the fridges you come across like you describe are on LPG? or is it a mixture of some on LPG an some on bottle gas ?Is the problem down to incorrect servicing or the gas used ?The LPG people say there is no difference between LPG and bottled gas
    terry
     
  15. Sundowners

    Sundowners Funster Life Member

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    I am quite confident that "town gas or house gas" is VERY different to LPG, the two cannot be interchanged without change of jets.
    Nigel & Pamala
     
  16. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    I worked in the refining and oil production industry for over 20 years.. LPG is primarily a mix of two gasses, butane and propane, there is no added oil in LPG .. the ratio varies depending on the country and season.. the ratio of propane is higher in the UK due to the colder climate, there is no difference in so called 'house' gas and auto gas.

    I have used Butane abroad and Propane in the UK and all ratios in between... the fridge has never needed a jet change nor burned abnormally, however I did notice propane burns slightly dirtier.. but .. if an appliance isn't working correctly .. have it serviced ..

    Our fridge is used on gas more than electric, even when travelling as it has no 12v facility.

    If you have CO in the van DON'T USE THE FRIDGE have it serviced and the installation checked .. it has nothing to do with the LPG ..
     
  17. PeteH

    PeteH Funster

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    de-ja-vue

    Hi

    2am on a spanish campsite last winter CO2 alarm triggers. Checked EVERYTHING and could find no reason for its action? The frig: was on Electric. No heating on (Not cooking at 2am!!)

    I wrote to the manufacturer of the Unit (FireAngel) and they could throw no light on it, So I "swapped it out" the old one is still monitoring (in my Garage) and has never "misfired" again the new one is in the exact same location as the old, and it too has never "operated" except on a test check.

    My R-V Dometic Frig; is a 240V/12V/Gas Version. (looks like a retrofit?) and I check the burner regularly as I find that Particles of Rust/Debris can fall onto the burner unit and cause partial blockage, especially after travelling following a lengthish "lay-up".

    I tend to subscribe to the "dodgy" hose theory, as there would be no economic case for diferent gases for Road or Domestic use, and business` would not spend money if not necessary.

    pete
     
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