Running with propane - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-02-2008, 09:43 PM   #29
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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?
On the Scamp, you can just put a fan on the lower black tubes facing up. Whatever it takes to get air moving up the refrigerator enclosure. The 12V supply for a fan is located right in the compartment, and you can either put a switch there or inside the Scamp.
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Old 09-02-2008, 09:44 PM   #30
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We have a 12v cooler that we take in the car with us to keep things cool until we reach our campsite and are able to turn on the propane or 110 for the fridge.
Tried running once on propane driving down the road, but it never stayed lit, so just never bothered after that. ANd yes, we do turn the tanks themselves off...
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Old 09-02-2008, 10:11 PM   #31
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I'm becoming a convert to the idea of packing the fridge with ice for the run down the road.

Cool it down before leaving, and put in the COLD foods. Then a bag of ice, or a jug of frozen lemonade (right next to the milk).

We did this on a 13 hour trip through Texas during the first week of August. It was about 100F outside, and the fridge stayed cold (about 45F). The milk didn't spoil, as the ice was right next to it. (It took us several days to finish it off, after returning home, and it did not turn sour.) Anyway, we set the bag of ice in about a 3 inch (tall) tray, to catch the drip; and I emptied the water a couple times during the day... There was ice left when we got home, so I just left it in the fridge... The next morning, there was still a little ice left, and the fridge box was remarkably cool.

Running on 12v just seems to kill the house battery, and does a poor job of keeping the fridge cold. This is why we tried it with "just" the ice. It was really a lot less hassle.


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Old 09-02-2008, 10:30 PM   #32
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My 30 year old Fiber Stream has a 30 year old Instamatic by Magnavox 4 cubic foot, 2 way (110 volt / Propane) refrigerator. I have both Donna D's fan inside and Patrick M's fans on the outside upper vent. I have 2 fans on the outside vent: a smaller .6 amp and a larger 2.4 amp with a double pole double throw switch between to select which one to run.

I keep a thermometer inside the 'fridge on the bottom shelf.

I have conducted an experiment to find out what circumstances keep the interior the coldest for the most time.

2 days before each trip I would turn on the fridge to pre-chill it to 40<sup>o</sup>F. Each time I turned on the fridge, I also turned on the interior fan. I checked the thermometer 3 times for each trip:
  1. Before Loading with food
  2. During the drive about 1/2 way to destination
  3. The morning after arrival

The first attempt: pre-chill on 110 volts, fridge controls OFF (but left interior fan ON) with 3 frozen Blue Ice blocks in Fridge compartment during travel, fridge on Propane at destination. The results:
  1. 40<sup>o</sup>F
  2. 55<sup>o</sup>F
  3. 45<sup>o</sup>F
Turned on the small exhaust fan the morning after arrival and the fridge was at 40<sup>o</sup>F that night.

The second attempt: pre-chill on 110 volts, switch to, and run on Propane during travel. Turn small exhaust vent fan on at destination, keep running on Propane. The results:
  1. 40<sup>o</sup>F
  2. 50<sup>o</sup>F
  3. 40<sup>o</sup>F

The third attempt: pre-chill on Propane, and leave it running. Turn large exhaust vent fan on before departure, running it during travel. Run both Propane & exhaust vent fan after arrival. The Results:
  1. 40<sup>o</sup>F
  2. 50<sup>o</sup>F
  3. 40<sup>o</sup>F

It appears to me that running the Propane and the exhaust fan during travel have less than the desired effect since the fridge WILL NOT maintain 40<sup>o</sup>F during travel. I suspect that the wind passing the trailer horizontally at 55 mph going down the road overpowers any vertical draft thru the vents on the side of the trailer.
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Old 09-03-2008, 06:49 AM   #33
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On the Scamp, you can just put a fan on the lower black tubes facing up. Whatever it takes to get air moving up the refrigerator enclosure. The 12V supply for a fan is located right in the compartment, and you can either put a switch there or inside the Scamp.
Thanks, Patrick. I'm likely to give that a try.

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Old 09-03-2008, 06:58 AM   #34
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It appears to me that running the Propane and the exhaust fan during travel have less than the desired effect since the fridge WILL NOT maintain 40<sup>o</sup>F during travel. I suspect that the wind passing the trailer horizontally at 55 mph going down the road overpowers any vertical draft thru the vents on the side of the trailer.
That's what I suspected. So some ingenious person could install an air scoop on the lower grill that will encourage a vertical draft while driving. That would probably blow out the propane flame but it might well be helpful while running on 12V. Of course it would also help collect dirt and rain, so it would need a way to divert those from flowing into the fridge area, like shelterd air intakes on big recip-powered aiplanes. Or, I could put a block of ice in the fridge like others are suggesting and just go camping!

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Old 09-03-2008, 10:55 AM   #35
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I have conducted an experiment to find out what circumstances keep the interior the coldest for the most time.
Hey! No fair ruining all of our wild speculation with honest to goodness experimentation!

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Old 09-03-2008, 11:52 AM   #36
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I wouldn't run with scissors either.
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Old 09-03-2008, 11:58 AM   #37
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Hey! No fair ruining all of our wild speculation with honest to goodness experimentation!
Unless you don't have a 30-year old refrigerator! Also missing from the nice analysis is the interior temperature of the trailer at each reading, and the exterior air temperature. All that could conspire to skew the results.

My temperatures in the refrigerator compartment are pretty much at 30F at the start of the day, and at the campground after the trip. Again, running propane and the exterior coil fans while traveling.
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Old 09-03-2008, 06:53 PM   #38
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Back to the original thread for a moment, I don't believe it is actually illegal to run down the road with LP appliances lit, however, I believe it may well be illegal to enter a fuel station with an open flame.

Personally, I don't like to run with the LP tank turned on -- One more thing to worry about in a wreck.

Hmm, are the people who run with the LP on also the people who don't pay much attention to the Gxxx numbers?
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Old 09-03-2008, 07:50 PM   #39
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Back to the original thread for a moment, I don't believe it is actually illegal to run down the road with LP appliances lit, however, I believe it may well be illegal to enter a fuel station with an open flame.

Personally, I don't like to run with the LP tank turned on -- One more thing to worry about in a wreck.

Hmm, are the people who run with the LP on also the people who don't pay much attention to the Gxxx numbers?
As I noted somewhere in this thread, I spent an afternoon with google and on the phone to various BC Gov't departments and nobody could come up with an actual law prohibiting driving with propane on. However, I was cautioned that it could be an issue with your insurer.
I'd call and ask, but that would surely end up in my file.

baglo
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Old 09-03-2008, 11:16 PM   #40
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Hmm, are the people who run with the LP on also the people who don't pay much attention to the Gxxx numbers?

Well Pete, ya got me there. We run with the Propane on and I don't even know what the Gxxx numbers are ur referring to....
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Old 09-04-2008, 08:56 AM   #41
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the tanks are to heavy for me to run with...but I can manage to walk briskly if they are not full
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Old 09-04-2008, 02:49 PM   #42
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I never noticed my refigerator not getting cold enough until I switched from Scamp to Casita. I soon realized that my 2003 Scamp had the refrigerator upper vent on the top of the camper while the Casita is on the side. I suspect that was the difference and then added a fan to the Casita. Seems to be much better. Guess I thought all Scamps were that way.
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