propane fridges - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-19-2007, 05:48 PM   #15
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I have seen signs about filling portable containers on the vehicle... but I agree, there are lots of hazards which are not well controlled.

The one I find hilarious is the prohibition against using a cell phone in the refueling area, because one guy was apparently so unlucky he started a fire with one. How? Did he put a torch to it? I bet MacGyver would have a tough time blowing up a gas station with an intact cell phone...

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Old 06-19-2007, 07:37 PM   #16
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As was said , safety is the issue. My concern is the rubber hoses. In my case I have rubber hose going from the tank to a regulator then another going to the propane plumbing inside the trailer. Those hoses are exposed to any and all road debris that's around. A small cut could be a real problem. Chances are it wont happen, chances are you're not going to lite a "bunk" full of propane, but ......
I dunno about the other manufacturers, but the propane plumbing, inside the Bigfoot, is all copper. The only propane rubber links, in the Bigfoot, are the two flexible hoses that go from the two 20lbs propane tanks, to the regulator(located outside) .

Since you have rubber plumbing inside the trailer, I think you should check it often, as rubber can crack, but I wouldn't worry a lot about it, if I were you. Rubber hoses are reliable, and last a long time.

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Old 06-19-2007, 08:06 PM   #17
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In my B1700, hoses connect the tanks to the regulator, like everyone has. Another hose runs from the regulator output to the end of an iron pipe, just under the front of the trailer body. From there, all propane lines under the trailer are iron pipe; they connect to copper tubing immediately before running through the floor. All lines under and inside the body are metal, no hose.

I assumed that Bryon meant that he had this arrangement. The hose from regulator to the end of the pipe is quite exposed.
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Old 06-19-2007, 09:28 PM   #18
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I dunno about the other manufacturers, but the propane plumbing, inside the Bigfoot, is all copper. The only propane rubber links, in the Bigfoot, are the two flexible hoses that go from the two 20lbs propane tanks, to the regulator(located outside) .

Since you have rubber plumbing inside the trailer, I think you should check it often, as rubber can crack, but I wouldn't worry a lot about it, if I were you. Rubber hoses are reliable, and last a long time.

Yves.
The rubber plumbing is outside, inside is copper.
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Old 06-19-2007, 10:43 PM   #19
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In Winnipeg and possibly in all of Manitoba it is illegal to fill a jerry can in the truck box...the container has to be on the ground for fueling and then put into the truck box and should be secured.....my greatest fear with people driving with propane on is their driving up to the pumps while someone else is fueling and the vapours drifting in the direction of the propane fridge pilot light/ burner which is on......Also, I run my fridge, while driving, off a 750 watt inverter and have no problem with this while driving, sometimes 8 hrs or more.....when set up in a campground, I`ll switch to propane or the 110V supply at the campsite.....then plug in a charger to recharge my trailer battery......no problem.....Benny
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Old 06-20-2007, 05:43 PM   #20
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I would not necessarily be so concerned about hoses, or disipation into the air while running, or even a gas station..

it's the sudden release and likleyhood of an explosion during and after an impact that would scare me.

The bottle itself is pretty bullet proof. A story here the old timers have heard about from one of our long lost members, and myseldf relaying it on occassion:

Bob Starr lost his property in the "Old Fire" here in the San Bernardino mountains in 2003. When he was allowed to return to his address (Which was all that was left.an address.. no house, no trees.. all burned.) he said the only thing that survived intact were the tanks from his Apache pop up. And they still had gas in them.. and they still worked. The Pop up was melted and mangled, but there.. proudly stood his unexploded tanks.

Not the same as an impact, but I am suspecting they have to meet some pretty stringent impact standards. If the valve is open, all bets are off.
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Old 06-20-2007, 06:10 PM   #21
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I'd wondered about the 'do you travel down the road with your propane fridge lit' question myself. Upon asking a few family oldtimers (Uncle, Grandpa, etc) I was told (with that wise oldtimer confidence!hehe) that it's just fine to do, that they've all done it for years, etc. and that's what you should do too, you silly 'youngin'!hehe
Honestly I'd never really thought about the danger of explosion at the gas station. My concer was if there would be a problem since IMHO the trailer is not level 100% of the time while you're driving. You're going to go up and down grades of various degrees of slope, rough roads, etc and I'd always been under the impression that you had to be PERFECTLY level or else the burner wouldn't work or something...
But now I'm DEFINITELY thinking twice about it! If nothing else, this is just more motivation for me to get my 12V line for my tow vehicle set up, so that I can run the fridge on 12V! hehe
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Old 06-20-2007, 10:14 PM   #22
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Honestly I'd never really thought about the danger of explosion at the gas station. My concer was if there would be a problem since IMHO the trailer is not level 100% of the time while you're driving. You're going to go up and down grades of various degrees of slope, rough roads, etc and I'd always been under the impression that you had to be PERFECTLY level or else the burner wouldn't work or something...
But now I'm DEFINITELY thinking twice about it! If nothing else, this is just more motivation for me to get my 12V line for my tow vehicle set up, so that I can run the fridge on 12V! hehe
The burner will work fine and come to no harm if it's not level. The carefully configured tubes will not cause ammonia to vaporize/condense if the trailer is not close to level, and thus, no cooling... On average though, your trailer will be 'level' on a long drive and you will get some cooling... Unless you're driving to or from the moon, that is....
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Old 07-04-2007, 11:40 PM   #23
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In short a steam cleaning truck was being filled with gas and propane. Although it was believed the pilot light for the steam cleaning eqipment was out it ignited fumes. The quick thinking employee shut off all power and saved a complete disaster. He received minor burns. The truck, pumps and canopy over the pumps received extensive damage. Good picture!!!!

Any source of ignition "must" be shut off in a fueling area. All it take is the right mixture of fuel (fumes) and air and you have big trouble. Imagine the potential for a real disaster.
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Old 07-05-2007, 07:58 AM   #24
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Not to add fuel to the fire... (ok, bad pun)...

Despite the fact that most RV fires on the road start in or around the fridge, (and there are very few for the number of RV miles driven), I don't see a whole lot of risk from fire in driving with the fridge on. The risk (and I'm with Gina on this one) is that when you crash with an open valve on a 20lb propane tank, and the line ruptures anywhere, there'll be a pool of propane lying somewhere at the lowest nearby low spot. Hopefully, you won't also be in that low spot. Whether or not it can ignite is dependent on the wind, the gas/air ratio and ignition sources, but I'd just as soon not find out.

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Old 07-23-2007, 11:33 PM   #25
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I`m not too concerned with the propane being on while fueling and the propane tank exploding....the concern is the little pilot light on the propane fridge igniting the gasoline vapors from a vehicle being fueled, either the vehicle with the propane or other vehicles that are fueling gasoline.....it`s the gasoline explosion that`ll cause one heck of a fire ball and could possibly end in a terrible disaster encompassing all the vehicles under the fuel island canopy....the chance of something like this happening is very real! ....but then again, what do I know... ..Benny
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Old 07-24-2007, 07:48 PM   #26
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I'd wondered about the 'do you travel down the road with your propane fridge lit' question myself. Upon asking a few family oldtimers (Uncle, Grandpa, etc) I was told (with that wise oldtimer confidence!hehe) that it's just fine to do, that they've all done it for years, etc. and that's what you should do too, you silly 'youngin'!hehe
Honestly I'd never really thought about the danger of explosion at the gas station. My concer was if there would be a problem since IMHO the trailer is not level 100% of the time while you're driving. You're going to go up and down grades of various degrees of slope, rough roads, etc and I'd always been under the impression that you had to be PERFECTLY level or else the burner wouldn't work or something...
But now I'm DEFINITELY thinking twice about it! If nothing else, this is just more motivation for me to get my 12V line for my tow vehicle set up, so that I can run the fridge on 12V! hehe
I asked the propane expert about travelling with the fridge on propane a few weeks ago as I was picking up my trailer from being serviced. This is all the guy does is propane repairs, so I would tend to believe him, especially after he mentioned that was going up the next day to examine an RV that went up in flames earlier this year for an insurance claim.

His answer to my question was that my fridge built by Dometic was designed specifically for the VW Westfalia campers which were meant to travel while running on propane. There was no reason why I shouldn't.

When we got to the discussion of being level, he indicated that a fridge could run off level for short periods of time but if we were going to stop for any longer than 10 or 15 minutes off level we could cause damage. It all has to do with essentially gravity feed of the various systems in an [b]ammonia based fridge. If you are travelling where there are hills and your fridge level is going every which way, no damage will happen. On the other hand, if you were travelling up or down a mountain, where you were nose up or nose down for the same periods of time (10-15 min.) you do not want to run your fridge as can get damaged. That is on either propane or 12 V
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Old 07-25-2007, 09:36 AM   #27
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i wouldn't do it thinking better safe than sorry. We have a few omaha steak styrofoam coolers that are heavy duty and tight. I plan to just put the food in there and add ice or dry ice for hauling. We also have a 12/ac coleman cooler that we can throw in the car.

or just eat up the food before you haul and dry ice it if your boondocking.
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Old 07-25-2007, 11:26 AM   #28
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I addressed this topic in my own trailer a while back. I tried using propane and found it works well for keeping the frig cool while traveling. My problem was, I didnít want to be the poster child for why you shouldnít run propane while traveling. So I decided it wasnít for me. (while boon docking we always use propane to keep the frig cool.)

That said, 12 volts is the next best option while traveling down the road. I found I canít remember to disconnect the trailer every time I stop. After a couple battery jumps, I needed to come up with a solution.

So for running electricity there are two things you need to do.<blockquote>1) When the tow is turned off, the power to the trialer needs to be disconnected.
2) When the power is not coming from the tow, the trailer battery needs to be isolated so it will not drain and kill it.</blockquote>I did two things. I placed a relay to shut off when the tow is shut off. Easy-Peasy.

Next, I placed a battery isolator in the path of the frig so that electricity can not run back up to the frig from the trailer battery.

So every thing is totally automatic and brain dead simple.

The 12 volts runs the frig quite well. I did increase the wire size, #8, and make shorter, more direct runs to the frig.

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