Running with propane - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-02-2008, 04:33 PM   #15
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Before getting the 12V line connected to the Scamp, I tried towing with the fridge running on propane. Every time, it blew out. I heard there were some suggestions for placing aluminum foil somewhere inside the louvered door to cure that, but I soon got the 12V line installed and didn't try again. On really hot days, the fridge just doesn't do well on 12V, so I'd try propane again if I knew I could count on it working.

As for accessory fans, which gets the nod; the inside-the-fridge fan like Donna's, or the one that helps circulation above the outside of the fridge? I seems like air circulation while driving would have a greater influence than a fan mounted in the same area, so maybe Donna's suggestion is better while underway?

Parker
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Old 09-02-2008, 04:50 PM   #16
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Before getting the 12V line connected to the Scamp, I tried towing with the fridge running on propane. Every time, it blew out. I heard there were some suggestions for placing aluminum foil somewhere inside the louvered door to cure that, but I soon got the 12V line installed and didn't try again. On really hot days, the fridge just doesn't do well on 12V, so I'd try propane again if I knew I could count on it working.

As for accessory fans, which gets the nod; the inside-the-fridge fan like Donna's, or the one that helps circulation above the outside of the fridge? I seems like air circulation while driving would have a greater influence than a fan mounted in the same area, so maybe Donna's suggestion is better while underway?

Parker
I've Googled all the BC Gov't sites I thought might have something on this issue. I was referred to I.C.B.C. and all they could come up with is a pamphlet that says you should. They couldn't find a regulation. They referred me to Commercial Safety branch and at least they were familiar with the question. They couldn't find a regulation either, but suggested it could be more of an issue with your insurer ( not taking reasonable precautions??? ). She just called me back and says they can't come up with an actual regulation. You do have to shuts tanks off for the ferry and when at a gas station.

So, as to the quote above. How do you run a 12 V line for your fridge, and if it is practical why would Dometic have a three way 3 cu. ft. fridge but a two way 5 cu. ft. fridge. I suspect the battery just wouldn't support the larger fridge.

baglo
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Old 09-02-2008, 05:01 PM   #17
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You pump gas and there are fumes and you have an open flame burning in back of the fridge.
Just maybe the guy on the other side of the island may be closer to the open flame and he is pumping gas.

Of all the campers I have seen that cought fire, it was at the back of the gas fridge,

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Old 09-02-2008, 05:02 PM   #18
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So, as to the quote above. How do you run a 12 V line for your fridge, and if it is practical why would Dometic have a three way 3 cu. ft. fridge but a two way 5 cu. ft. fridge. I suspect the battery just wouldn't support the larger fridge.

baglo
The 12V for the fridge comes from the Scamp wiring system. It involves running a separate 12V from the TV for that purpose. I'm not sure what's done with the larger units, but our 13'er has the three-way fridge.

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Old 09-02-2008, 05:29 PM   #19
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The 12V for the fridge comes from the Scamp wiring system. It involves running a separate 12V from the TV for that purpose. I'm not sure what's done with the larger units, but our 13'er has the three-way fridge.

Parker
If you have a charge wire you have 12 volt running to house battery from the Tow Vehicle. All trailer 12 volt systems run from the battery. The problem running the fridge on 12 Volts when under tow is the size of the alternator in the tow vehicle.

Example: When I tow with my 1998 Chev Blazer there's not enough current to charge the battery and run the fridge, which would require about 12 Amps more than required for the Blazer.
When I tow with my 2005 Dakota the 12 Amps are easily supplied. The Dakota has the full tow package, which I believe includes a larger battery and larger alternator.

The actual current drawn by the fridge is about 9.5 amps. With the standard 74 amp/hour battery it will take almost 4 hours to drain the battery to the 50% point if it's not being charged.

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Old 09-02-2008, 06:04 PM   #20
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I seems like air circulation while driving would have a greater influence than a fan mounted in the same area, so maybe Donna's suggestion is better while underway?

Parker
I think they do two different things. Circulate the air around the coils when mounted on the mechanical side and circulate the air around the inside of the refrigerator with a battery fan like I have.
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Old 09-02-2008, 06:07 PM   #21
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I think they do two different things. Circulate the air around the coils when mounted on the mechanical side and circulate the air around the inside of the refrigerator with a battery fan like I have.
No doubt that's correct. I'm just thinking that the fan for the outside must surely be overpowered by air circulation while driving. Maybe someone will comment about whether or not it helps while going down the highway in the heat. Your internal fan would be an easy way to help the situation a little, even while underway.

Parker
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Old 09-02-2008, 06:20 PM   #22
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Gas station fumes are not an issue in California with most stations required to have vapor recovery systems on the dispensing hose. When its 100 deg and over my fridge does not cool well unless its on gas. Also the pilot light is pretty well shielded to the outside to prevent it blowing out with passing trucks.
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Old 09-02-2008, 06:27 PM   #23
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You definitely want an exhaust fan on your outside coils if you are traveling in hot weather. The convection just won't cut it, and you can't rely on the air flow while driving to adequately move the air either.

Most people put 12V computer fans at the top grill to pull the air out. Here's a picture of mine, with the temporary fan on the left being replaced by the nice, new, big 120mm one on the right. I think it was $8 from NewEgg.
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Old 09-02-2008, 06:51 PM   #24
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I have towed and ran with the propane on the frig since 1997. Never heard any laws making it illigal, except on boats/ferries. Not sure about tunnels, only one in New Mexico and it is short. No sign saying to not enter with propane turned on or burning. The tunnel is on the way up to the forests and Cloudcroft from Alamogordo. Seems to be people who have a fear of LPG as some are of Natural Gas assume it is illigal. If it makes you feel safer not to use it, don't use it. Yes, if all factors and the stars and planets are aligned, you are safer not using it. An all electric trailer would be the safest. All solar, with wind as we drive along would be nice.



I had RVs with a frig since 1986, the first one had 3 way. We have never had a fan attached to the frig or in the frig. The main problem has been food freezing. Maybe in the old 3 way frig when running on 12 v, it would at time run slightly warmer, maybe, maybe not. I am sure a fan would help, but is it worth the effort and power need to have one? Not sure.
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Old 09-02-2008, 07:40 PM   #25
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You definitely want an exhaust fan on your outside coils if you are traveling in hot weather. The convection just won't cut it, and you can't rely on the air flow while driving to adequately move the air either.

Most people put 12V computer fans at the top grill to pull the air out. Here's a picture of mine, with the temporary fan on the left being replaced by the nice, new, big 120mm one on the right. I think it was $8 from NewEgg.
Okay, I have to humble myself and ask exactly how you all do this. I keep looking at the Dometic fridge in our 13' Scamp, and the only thing I can conclude is that I'll have to drill the pop rivets out of the upper grill to access the area where the fan goes. Maybe the fan installations are only relevant to the larger fridges?

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Old 09-02-2008, 08:08 PM   #26
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Many years ago I picked up a brand new Ford pickup in Fargo ND, to use in a travel film. The dealer had just installed a shiny new molded fiberglass camper and hooked up the propane fridge. About 10 miles down the road, billows of black smoke came pouring out the back! I pulled of the freeway, shut off the ignition and jumped out - the whole camper was ablaze!

By the time the fire trucks came and put out the flames, the fiberglass camper had virtually melted into the truck bed. The fire investigator surmised that the propane had leaked into the box and built up gradually from the floor until it reached the level of the fridge flame - then POOF! If there had been kids in the camper, they would have been cooked.

So, whether it's legal or not, I will never have ANY propane device running, or propane tank opened, while driving a rig.
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Old 09-02-2008, 08:36 PM   #27
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Many years ago I picked up a brand new Ford pickup in Fargo ND, to use in a travel film. The dealer had just installed a shiny new molded fiberglass camper and hooked up the propane fridge. About 10 miles down the road, billows of black smoke came pouring out the back! I pulled of the freeway, shut off the ignition and jumped out - the whole camper was ablaze!

By the time the fire trucks came and put out the flames, the fiberglass camper had virtually melted into the truck bed. The fire investigator surmised that the propane had leaked into the box and built up gradually from the floor until it reached the level of the fridge flame - then POOF! If there had been kids in the camper, they would have been cooked.

So, whether it's legal or not, I will never have ANY propane device running, or propane tank opened, while driving a rig.
Jack,

Thank you. That's all I needed.

I can drink warm beer.

baglo
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Old 09-02-2008, 09:25 PM   #28
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I don't ever run the fridge off propane. Where we camp there's always shore power available. For getting to the campground, I plug in the trailer the night before, put a bottle of frozen water inside and then pack it as full as possible with the food. Any meats we aren't planning on eating that night we freeze before going. Having the fridge as full as possible helps keep the temperature as low as possible. I don't tend to camp TOO far from home, but this approach has worked just fine for drives up to 4-5 hours. I always leave the frozen water bottle in the fridge even after we arrive and plug in. Yeah, it takes up a little space - but it helps keep things cold and it's not like there's really a better place to put it for the trip.

Usually it's still about 80-90% frozen by the time we drive back home at the end of the trip.

mkw
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