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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello fellow campers. My family is new to RV camping. I have a concern and was hoping that some of you seasoned campers might offer up some advice. Our motor home has propane that can be used for cooking & the refrigerator. My husband does not want to ever turn off the pilot light (accessed on the outside of the camper through a door) due to the fact that he is afraid that he will have difficulity getting it to light again. My question is, Is it safe to drive down the road with this pilot lite on all the time? And my second question is---doesn't this waste alot of propane?
I would greatly apprecaite any comments. I hope that i have explained it well enough.
Thanks in advance..
 

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Welcome to the site :welcome:

It should be safe - it would be no different than running the fridge on propane while traveling. You should extinguish all of these before you pull into a fuel station. Some long tunnels requires that you also have the flames out. I doubt it would use much more propane than a refrigerator (if any).

I've had stubborn pilot lights before - is that what he is experiencing? Might need to get it checked.
 

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I would have to disagree that it is safe. The propane on the fridge, furnace and water heater is under higher pressure and an igniter that will relight it. In these cases, if you know you are coming to a tunnel or fueling station you MUST pull over and turn everything off. It's not so much that the propane is the problem but can fuel the REAL problem which is "sparks" from the starters and igniters for propane devices. Tunnels may have gasses that are flammable and fueling stations are obviously a source of fumes. There have been numerous stories of fires in tunnels and these requirements are potential preventatives.

Since the pilot light must be hand lit every time and uses less propane and if the flame goes out for whatever reason, now you have propane entering your rig freely. Hopefully the propane alarm which should always be active will sound but a spark from anything else could cause a problem. I'm afraid the pilot will have to be relit when at the new destination.

Warning - some tunnels do NOT even allow propane containers to travel through them. I personally know of someone who just last week used their GPS to try and manuever through the Boston area. Since the GPS does not always know these things, they were directed to an underpass that was under repairs and therefore was too low for his rig. They tried to avoid that road and in doing so ended up at a toll booth to an underground thoroughfare that PROHIBITED propane of any kind. Being an RV the toll operator did not allow them through. Since there was NOWHERE to turn around, they had to wait for a Police escort and were then allowed through after an admonishment of the obvious. They were a little embarassed that State Police had lights going and made them follow until they got to a safer road. So they were impacted by a temporary underpass repair and then a new "no propane" sign that was installed because of a prior accident in the tunnel that prompted it.

The amount of propane used for a pilot is VERY small and is not the reason for not using it. Nevertheless whatever amount of propane left to flow without being burned is dangerous and the oven should be in the off position when traveling.

I would recommend to restart the oven, do not use the Pilot setting. Turn the oven dial to about 250-300 degrees and light the burner from the edge of the burner reaching in using a long lighter so you don't have to be a circus contortionist to get this started. When the oven lights, let it run for about 30 seconds. This allows the Pilot thermocouple to warm up. Then turn the oven off to the Pilot setting and the pilot should now be lit. This is the way my Mom used to relight the pilot in her house before electronic ignition.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Artsmart & Happiestcamper for your comments & advise. They were both very useful and something to think about.
 

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Welcome to the forum.
I agree with artmart. When you balance the risk vs benefit of having an oven ready to start at the end of the day, I would chose the hasell of relighting the pilot. Artmart's idea for lighting up the pilot the old fashion way sounds good. I only started pulling an RV in July 2010 and I have made it a rule that I keep as much risk and potential disaster out of our lives when pulling, that would mean in my camp, turning off the pilot.
To make a very strong point check out this u tube video, it is a very sobering image.
YouTube - RV Fire
Happy camping and stay between the ditches.
 
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