Always remember to turn the LP System off at the bottles during durations of storage!
It will be necessary to bleed the air out of your LP System after it has been off or opened to refill the LP tanks. To do this, first turn on the LP bottle(s) depending on your RV you may have one or two tanks. On top of the tanks, there is a shut-off valve that will need to be opened to supply gas to the appliances. This shut-off valve also contains an OPD safety valve that will automatically shut off the flow of gas from the tanks if the gas is released too quickly. To prevent the safety valve from shutting off the gas supply, you will need to open the tank valve slowly. You should hear a “PFFFT” noise when opening the valve, once that sound is heard; you can open the valve the rest of the way at your normal speed. Next, go inside your RV to the range or stove top burner and turn on the main burner. Try to light the burner, if it does not light right away, try again until the burner lights. Once the burner lights, the majority of the air should be bled out of the system. Note: Air in the LP System can cause an appliance to function improperly. An example would be the refrigerator. The refrigerator will not light until the LP System is properly bled out.
Refer to your owner’s manual or a Big Sky RV service employee for specific appliance help questions. Another thing to keep in mind when using a LP System is a new RV furnace will have an odor for the first several hours of operation. This is completely normal, and will go away.LP Gas/Propane Detector:
The detector is designed to sound an alarm if any LP Gas/Propane is detected. Please keep in mind, that any strong cleaning chemicals, perfume or hairspray may set the detector off. The detector may also sound if the coach batteries are low. In any case the alarm sounds immediately exit the RV and shut propane valves off, ventilate and then investigate cause for alarm.LP Gas/Propane Regulator Valve:
The LP Gas/Propane Regulator Valve is designed to maintain a certain pressure in the LP Gas/ Propane appliances. The valve is connected by hoses between the LP tanks and the LP gas line.
If you have two LP tanks, you might have an automatic switch over. Refer to your owner’s manual or a service representative. The regulator will have a tank selection lever, which allows you to select which tank you would like the gas to come from. It will also have a small window or gauge that will show “green” if there is gas available from that tank. When the selected tank is empty, the regulator will automatically switch to the other tank for an uninterrupted gas supply. Although the regulator switched tanks, the small window or gauge will show “red,” indicating that the original tank is now empty and needs to be refilled. Please keep in mind the tank selection lever does not automatically move when the tank is empty. The lever will remain is the original position that was selected; however, you can switch the tank selection lever to show that the gas is coming from the other tank. When you move the selection lever; the indicator will turn back to “green.” Three things to remember: (1) if you move the selection lever from the empty tank to the full one, you still have an empty tank, (2) both tanks will have to be open for the 17 automatic change over to occur and (3) DO NOT put the lever in the center! If you do, the indicator will never show if a tank is empty, and you don’t want to end up with 2 empty tanks.Air Conditioners:
Air conditioners are another great addition to your RV. Air Conditioners are available in 8000 BTU, 11000 BTU, 13500 BTU or 15000 BTU. The bigger the unit the larger the BTU requirements. If you are running too many appliances and the A/C you can trip the breaker at the generator, or if you are plugged in, at the power source. Note: If the RV is new, debris from the duct work may be blown out. This is not uncommon, and will dissipate with time. Another thing to keep in mind is RV Air Conditioners are only capable of about a 15–20 degree Fahrenheit differential, which is based on the size of the A/C unit and size of the space being cooled. This means the air conditioner is not likely to cool the air inside the RV more than 15-20 degrees lower than it is outside. If it is 90 degrees outside, inside it will be about 70-75 degrees. This is due to the fact that RVs typically only have R-7 wall insulation. Refer to your owner’s manual or Big Sky RV service employee for A/C operation. Big Sky RV is not a certified refrigerant repair facility, and cannot perform AC repairs in house. All AC repairs have to be sublet out to a certified repairman.Refrigerator:
The refrigerator will not run properly if the RV is not level when parked! RV refrigerators are very different from household refrigerators. First, RV refrigerators can operate on both LP Gas/Propane and 110 volt electric power. Smaller refrigerators can operate on 12-volt battery power. Secondly, RV refrigerators have no moving parts. That means there are no fans to circulate the air, and no compressor to circulate refrigerant. So plan ahead and start your refrigerator early, 12-24 hours before you fill it with food is a good rule of thumb. It is also a good idea to put in cold food and not over-fill the refrigerator. As mentioned before, RV refrigerators do not have a fan to circulate the cold air. Consider asking a Big Sky RV parts representative about a small battery operated fan that sits on a shelf. These fans will help keep all the food cold by circulating the cold air. NOTE: For every minute the door is open, it will take 1- hour to replace the cold air.
You should run the refrigerator in the Automatic Mode. When the camper is plugged into shore power (see additional information) the refrigerator will run on 110-volt electric power. If you unplug the RV, the refrigerator will automatically switch over to LP Gas/Propane ( when the LP tanks are open), and if the unit is plugged in again, the refrigerator will automatically switch back to 110-volt.
Refrigerators can safely run while the RV is moving, but it is a good idea to shut off the refrigerator when refueling the tow vehicle. Also, keep in mind, if you stop and park the RV and 18 it is not level, it is best to shut off the refrigerator and restart it when you start moving again. Check your states laws regarding pilot lights and travel prior to traveling.
If you are not using your refrigerator, it is a good idea to prop open the door and wipe-up any water that may have dripped from the coils when the refrigerator defrosted. This will help to prevent any mold or mildew from growing inside. Propping the door open will also prevent damage due to expansion from hot weather. Check your owner’s manual for other operational tips.Furnace:
Furnaces are a must have for cold weather campers or just those cool Montana mornings. The type of furnace in your RV is likely to be a Forced Air LP Furnace. This type of furnace uses a combustion chamber that is heated by burning a propane and air mixture. As air moves around the combustion chamber, the air is heated to the desired temperature and then is blown throughout the camper. To operate a modern RV furnace, simply ensure there is propane in your tanks, turn your thermostat on, and then set the thermostat to the desired temperature. The furnace will automatically cycle on and off to maintain the desired temp. Note: If you have a brand new camper, the first few times the furnace runs it may emit a burnt smell. This is NORMAL and will be temporary. The smell can be intense and may even set off the smoke alarm. To help eliminate the odor, Big Sky RV recommends opening all the windows and doors, then set the thermostat to 90 degrees and let the furnace run for 1 hour. This process should thoroughly burn off any residue left from the Furnace Manufacturer.
An RV furnace is a 12 Volt/Propane appliance. Which means it will draw on your batteries if left on. Once the battery power starts to get low the burner will quit operating however the furnace motor will continue to run and will run until it completely drains your batteries. So always remember to turn off your furnace at the thermostat while leaving the coach unattended in storage.
A couple things to know about furnaces. First, the furnace must exhaust burnt combustion gases to the exterior of the RV. This means the vent on the outside of the RV is VERY HOT during furnace operation. So when you set up camp, keep in mind of this area and do not block the vent with any obstruction or allow kids to touch it. If the furnace vent becomes blocked, it can be a fire hazard. In some states, insects and/or birds can build a nest in the vent causing a blockage, so if your trailer has been sitting for any period of time, it is a good idea to inspect the exhaust vent for blockage. If there is a sign of any blockage, we recommend you call an RV Service Department for further instructions. Secondly, the furnace has an internal thermal limiting system. If the internal temperature of the furnace becomes too high, the furnace will shut itself down. Most of the time, this problem can be eliminated by not blocking the vents. When you put rugs or storage bins over vents it blocks the air flow necessary for the furnace to function properly. If this happens to you, remove everything blocking the vents, let the unit cool for 10-20 minutes and then restart the furnace. If the furnace continues to limit out, please call the Service Department for further instruction.
If your RV is equipped to handle below freezing temperatures, it is likely that your plumbing and holding tanks rely on the forced air furnace for heat. To minimize freezing your tanks or lines always insure that you have propane and adequate 12V power, wether it is battery power or you are plugged in. If your RV has other heat sources like heat pumps, electric heaters or catalytic radiant heaters, you must also run the forced air furnace to protect your water system.
An RV Furnace has no real scheduled maintenance and should give you years of trouble free operation; however it is possible for components to fail. If you have any questions or concerns or should your furnace fail to operate normally, please contact the service department at 406.587.0039 or 800.877.9606.