My wife and family lived in a beautiful rural area not far from a very picturesque river. From our patio we could see the first of many excellent campsites with many happy families enjoying a weekend of fun in their trailers and tents. We just happened to comment on a very expensive truck camper that turned into the main driveway from the highway. Normally we would not have mentioned it but the total cost of the rig with the modern matching graphics must have cost almost $100,000. in all. It really looked sharp from our vantage point.
They set up their rig on the first site in full view of our home. About five minutes later we heard a loud bang. The door of the camper had blown off, a person was blown mostly out of the door and the camper was on fire. Fortunately the person was not badly hurt except for bruises and a scrape where their arm had hit the door handle as they were blown out. Their dream was a write off as the camper and truck were totally destroyed in the fire.
Later we learned that the evening before their main propane tank had gone empty. They had a two burner propane stove as a back up. It was connected to a small four pound propane tank. They had it for many years. Earlier, before they had arrived at the campground they had stopped for tea and used the two burner. As far as the insurance investigator could surmise, the hose may have developed a tiny leak allowing propane gas to fill the camper. The owner had opened the door and walked in with a lit cigarette and boom.
Do not let this happen to you. Here are four danger points you must be aware of.
Outdated propane fuel tanks. Because the fittings may corrode or spring leaks or rust through, any tank over ten years of age must be traded for a new one. You may be able to talk a service station into refilling the old one but why take a chance.
Propane gas is heavier than air. If you get a leak inside your RV the gas will settle down near the floor. You might be standing up above the gas when you cause a spark and suddenly find yourself out side on your back.
Shut the gas off. It is amazing how many people use the stove in their RV, finish up, close the door and drive off. A lot of turning, twisting and vibrations occur while driving and this may loosen a fitting or two inside the RV. If you did not turn the propane tanks off at the hitch you are possibly creating a bomb.
One thing you might forget, bring a match anywhere because you might need it in an emergency. Many people have ignored this trifle on their vacation trips. bring a USB lighter because it is very safe and practical to carry anywhere.
Excessive gas. This refers to the two burner stove that burns white gas or camp stove gas. These stoves are a little tricky to light. Once the tank is filled up with gas you pump it up with air. Turn up the valve, open the gas intake and light the stove. Turn it down and lower the valve and you are in business. A lot of people make the mistake of not paying attention and either they fail to make sure the feed pipe is not all the way in or they are not ready with the match or lighter and the stove floods. There is no explosion but all of that gas suddenly goes whoosh. The stove and the table go up in flames. If you are lucky you do not get burned.
Practice these four pointers and you will enjoy living another day.