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Old 06-13-2019, 02:51 PM   #1
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Question Propane/Co2 sensors keep alarming

I've traveled with the frig on propane since 2012. About 3 years ago on a trip to Glacier National Park, we stopped to eat and sensors were beeping, both front and back. Opening the door for several minutes aired the unit out and they quit. At every stop along the way both to and from, they were going off but never could smell anything, not even propane smell. It made no difference if the ceiling vents were open or closed...as tired that too.

The next year, also experienced the same situation, very frustrating so just disconnected them. Then I made up some soapy water and with the propane on, I checked every fitting I could find seeking a source of any possible leak or seepage. Some fittings I checked several times but never found any possible leak.

Two years ago I replaced both sensors with new ones from Camping World thinking the originals may be outdated or bad. They were close to being outdated so thought I was good to go with new ones.

Well, it didn't work out that way. First trip out, they went off again. With several trips planned, I installed switches to cut power to them when traveling. After getting to a destination, power was restored. They never alarmed when the camper was stationary while using it or when parked at home w/propane tank on. I checked the fittings and lines several more times but no leak detected.

This spring when got the camper out of winter storage and checked the function of the furnace, stove, water heater, etc. all was good. The camper sat in the driveway for about 3 weeks (it was cold) w/propane on before taking a trip last weekend. A hundred miles out, we stopped and sure as could be, the sensors were beeping and light flashing. I cut power to them When we got to the campsite, had the door open for awhile so powered them back up and all the while there, no alarm. Traveling back home with frig on as we always travel that way, when we stopped they were alarming again.

Frustrated, today I took it to a repair center. I hope they can a possible leak and eliminate it. Any other issues, I've been able to correct myself so this is a real bummer.
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Old 06-13-2019, 04:35 PM   #2
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Just called the repair center to see if the camper was 'good to go' as I dropped it off 4 1/2 hours ago for their expert & experienced RV tecs to locate/correct the problem.

I don't feel to bad now as they haven't been able to located the source causing the sensors to go off and said it would take more time. Leaving it there overnight.

Maybe tomorrow. ??
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Old 06-14-2019, 09:01 AM   #3
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Eagle, I just had the same problem. We have been in an RV park 10 days now and our CO2/LP sensor has gone off twice for a short period. I am on shore power only including my hot water heater. The only propane is to the stove. No idea what’s happening. Waiting to see what your diagnosis is!! I guess my situation is a little different, as it’s happening when I’m stationary.
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Old 06-14-2019, 09:26 AM   #4
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Eagle - Could your trailer be picking up the exhaust from your tow vehicle? Does the alarm go off if the gas is turned off at the tank?
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Old 06-14-2019, 11:11 AM   #5
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No news yet from the RV repair center and it's noon of day 2.
I am going to see if they are working on it after lunch...or on another RV.

Twinster2 ... I don't think so as it didn't do that the first couple of years we had it and always traveled with the frig running on propane.
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Old 06-14-2019, 01:32 PM   #6
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I will bet that this is at the inflow side of your stove. Did you try one of those General gas detectors (about $35 at Lowe's)? They really work, even for very slow leaks that bubbles will not reveal.

Good luck! I'm curious to see what happens (and hoping it works out well for you).
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Old 06-14-2019, 03:35 PM   #7
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UPDATE:

They called and I returned their free loaner vehicle to retrieve my camper/pickup. I had left the TV attached to the camper.

Report:
Using an electronic sniffer, checked all connections and found no propane detected inside or outside. Sensors tested and are functioning properly. Noted that other household items can set off the sensors...or a low 'house' battery.
They did find an electrical wiring issue in the junction box on the hitch by the battery which they corrected by wiring properly.
A complete camper inspection was performed as standard on all units brought in and no other issues found w/bearings/lights/brakes/tires/appliances, etc.

So, with no propane leak, not sure what could make the sensors go off.......the black water treatment? But I installed a siphon sewer vent to dispel odors like this: https://www.amazon.com/Lippert-Compo...gateway&sr=8-4 No one has ever smoked in the camper and there is no open food in the camper when traveling so I'm stumped?

A few years ago, I got tired of the sensors going off so installed a push button power disconnect switch on each of the sensors to shut them up. May have to just turn the sensors off while in-route.

OR, any suggestions?
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Old 06-14-2019, 07:11 PM   #8
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One more wild suggestion -- some folks have reported that dogs can set off those sensors. Especially large older dogs with digestive problems. (Sounds like a joke, but it's not.)
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Old 06-15-2019, 06:38 AM   #9
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One more wild suggestion -- some folks have reported that dogs can set off those sensors. Especially large older dogs with digestive problems. (Sounds like a joke, but it's not.)
Nope, no dogs, cats or any animals in this household; home or camper.

I am considering getting an electronic sniffer to use in the camper should the sensors alarm in the future.

It just bothers me not knowing why they alarm.
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Old 06-15-2019, 09:29 AM   #10
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Still think you should try one trip with gas turned off at the tank while on the road to see if you get the same result. If the theory is that it is something other than LP, the only way to confirm this is to remove LP as a option.
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Old 06-15-2019, 09:47 AM   #11
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Still think you should try one trip with gas turned off at the tank while on the road to see if you get the same result. If the theory is that it is something other than LP, the only way to confirm this is to remove LP as a option.
Giving it some thought and believe I will do just that.

Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 06-15-2019, 10:08 AM   #12
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What was the wiring issue they found & fixed? Low voltage could cause the alarms to go off and if there was loose wiring, vibration while traveling could cause movement at the wiring connections and the voltage to fluctuate. This would seem to correspond to the fact that they only went off when you were traveling and not when you're parked.
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Old 06-15-2019, 10:10 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Giving it some thought and believe I will do just that.

Thanks for the suggestion.

Interesting..... I would have tried this first.


Suggestion: To make this a valid experiment, be certain that all residual LP is bled/removed from all lines/devices. In fact, I would actually unscrew the hose from the tanks(s) after that just to make absolutely sure there is no propane present in the trailer.


Of course, if your detector is a combo LP/CO2 detector, and it is still going off, then you'll also have to make sure there is no source of CO2 during this test. e.g. away from all running vehicles etc.


Keep us posted!
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Old 06-15-2019, 11:27 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LJAZ View Post
What was the wiring issue they found & fixed? Low voltage could cause the alarms to go off and if there was loose wiring, vibration while traveling could cause movement at the wiring connections and the voltage to fluctuate. This would seem to correspond to the fact that they only went off when you were traveling and not when you're parked.
The tech that did the work had left for the day and only got info from the service writer that read notes off the work order that didn't detail other than corrected a wiring issue in the hitch junction box. They said they had to charge the camper & TV battery in the morning. I had left them connected for several days before but the camper was plugged into shore power too.
Separated, neither ever suffered a discharged battery.
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Old 06-23-2019, 01:31 PM   #15
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Hi Eagle. Here's something for you to consider. I've had he same problem before and I know it's enough to make you lose your mind when that thing keeps going off repetitively! I did some online research on troubleshooting the sensors and found that a lot of people have had the issue due to the household products they use in their trailer. I then found a correlation, even when just using Lysol antiseptic wipes. I lightly wiped down my sensor, then I switched to mild cleansers going forward such as using vinegar and water; Borax 20-Mule Team and water; peroxide and water, or Murphey's Oil Soap for cleaning and since then I have only had my sensor go off once in the past two years. (Fingers crossed!) What I found as what others have reported that will DEFINITELY set it off is any type of aerosol room freshener. I have used Fa-breeze on my couch a couple of times without an issue, but was careful in where and how much I used and had the windows and door open and the A/C unit turned on. In particular, any Lysol product seems to be a problem.


Just thought I'd suggest this. I know you've replaced your sensors and done a lot of work, but I wanted to make you aware of this, in the event you might be using such products while you're going through this troubleshooting process and it might be propagating the problem unbeknownst to you.
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Old 06-23-2019, 01:58 PM   #16
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The repair center mentioned household products could alarm the sensors.
Lysol products sometimes only for cleaning just before going into winter storage.
Floor cleaning with Swifter mop and pads as floors never very dirty .. footwear comes off when entering the camper.
Kitchen area; regular Dawn dish soap and "Barkeepers Friend" for scrubbing tough spots as will not scratch anything.
Inside widows ~ Windex maybe once a year in the spring.
Woodwork; Pledge wipes or sprayed on a cloth and wipe down once in the spring.
Thedford or RV approved products used in the grey/black water tanks.
Therefore, I don't believe any household products are an issue.
Motorcycle in the garage area ~ door from bathroom to garage always closed once loaded has not caused only the sensor in the garage area to alarm.
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Old 06-23-2019, 03:59 PM   #17
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Good deal ... just wanted you to be aware. The only thing you mentioned that might be an issue is the Pledge products, as they have petroleum distillates in them. A pure lemon oil, (most have petro-products mixed in, so you have to read the label), may be a better substitute, but the important thing is that you are aware of the potential issue and are keeping it in mind. Please keep us posted as to any solutions you find, as this is an issue of interest to many of us. Thanks, and I wish you the best in finding a solution!
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Old 06-23-2019, 05:14 PM   #18
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Thanks,

Will post more as I test and check on possible causes and welcome any solutions others have found.
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