Propane while traveling ? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-30-2012, 06:40 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Frederick L. Simson View Post
I used to, but I no longer do it since I had a refrigerator fire.

I found that running my 30+ year old refrigerator on gas while driving was no more effective at keeping it cold than using frozen "blue-ice" packs while driving. Each method kept the inside no colder than 50 degrees.

The risk of loosing the trailer (or worse) is not worth it to me. I just need more ice packs.
I came very close to having a fridge fire last year. We took off on our normal winter trip to Death Valley. Got all leveled and tried to light the fridge. I usually light it with a BBQ lighter, thank goodness. Usually when I light it there's a small "whumph" sound then I verify with the BBQ lighter unlit. I noticed some smoke from near the gas inlet. I turned it off and tried again paying close attention to where the flame was. NOT GOOD. The flame was at the air input ports, burner plugged.
Ice worked well for a few days, then at an RV repair place they were able to blow out the spider nest. Fridge has worked great sense, with me spraying spider killer into both vents about once a month while sitting at home. And I keep the fridge running on electricity when parked in it's cubby.
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:40 PM   #16
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Until last year it never would have occurred to me to tow with the propane on. I was shocked when I found people turning their propane off before getting onto a ferry in BC's interior. When I asked a couple of them they commented to the effect that they ALWAYS run the fridge on propane while traveling.

Then, later last year we went to Texas to pick up our new-to-us Bigfoot and found that - at least in that trailer - the fridge LIKES to have propane ON while towing - if the flame blows out, I guess the electric lighter re-starts it! And in the "zillion above" temperatures of Texas, New Mexico etc in August, it seemed like a really good idea, too!

So now, Its ON all the time, unless I'm parked at home - which is about 99.9% of the time anyway!
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Old 05-31-2012, 08:14 PM   #17
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Why not flip the switch to 12v and let the battery (and alternator) run the fridge?
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:04 PM   #18
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My fridge does not have a 12V option. It is 110V or propane (its a BIG, 2 door fridge with separate freezer that keeps things at minus 20C, even in the desert, and its not as good on 110 as it is on propane
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:15 PM   #19
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I'm puzzled. Everything I have ever heard about the older propane, or propane/electric fridges says they are really touchy about needing to be level when run, both for effective operation and to prevent damage. Pretty sure not going to stay level being towed.

Plus the air flow needs to be across the heat exchanger but not the generator or separator which need to boil the ammonia, don't want to have heat loss from there. Don't see 60 mph driving airflow being effecient.

We always packed freezer with blue ice packs, froze when parked good for at least one day of keeping fridge cold enough for food storage.

Not saying it don't work just wondering how well and what long term effect running while driving would have on the fridge.
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:23 PM   #20
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When towing I run on 12 volt and would not likely try the propane.
If an accident were to happen having those bottles open could be a problem.
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:36 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerDat View Post
I'm puzzled. Everything I have ever heard about the older propane, or propane/electric fridges says they are really touchy about needing to be level when run, both for effective operation and to prevent damage. Pretty sure not going to stay level being towed.
The issue with not being level while parked is that the fluid might separate and gather in one spot, then the liquid would boil off and the now un-suspended solids would plug the piping and the fridge won't function at all after that happens.

While driving the agitation of the trailer going down the road prevents this effect, so it is feasible to run on propane in motion without fearing separation/boil-off/clogging.
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Old 06-01-2012, 05:48 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Darrell O View Post
Why not flip the switch to 12v and let the battery (and alternator) run the fridge?
When you stop for any length of time the fridge needs to be turned off or you risk dead batteries. Also I have found that the high current demand of the fridge doesn't allow the trailer battery to charge as well. While there are cures for both these issues, we bring the ice chest anyway, might as well use it. Raz
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Old 06-01-2012, 08:39 AM   #23
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No. i plug in the day befor i leave and bring the fridge to temp with 120 volt. when i travel i put it on 12 volt, it will hold the temp till i get where i am going. boon docking i use gas, otherwise 120volt.
if you travel with it in gas mode your tank valve is on. in case of any accident you have a potential gas leak with the dangers that involves.
if the pilot light blows out the thermocoupler will shut the pilot off anyway so thats not an issue.
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Old 06-01-2012, 12:24 PM   #24
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Traveling thru Canada and Alaska, we found that our new battery would not be charged enough, to run the heater at night (cold nights). The fan would come on but the furnace would not ignite because the power was below 12volts. We shifted to running gas while traveling and had no problem again, (2 months, went above the arctic circle). We now have a 50 watt solar panel on the roof and run electrical while traveling all the time.
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Old 06-01-2012, 03:14 PM   #25
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Not saying it don't work just wondering how well and what long term effect running while driving would have on the fridge.
This article explains it in the very last line, following a lot of information on how these fridges work.
Frederick is right on the money.
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Old 06-04-2012, 09:53 AM   #26
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thanks Roy; read the article, very informative
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:17 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Darrell O View Post
Why not flip the switch to 12v and let the battery (and alternator) run the fridge?
One of the reasons people do not like to use the 12V option on 3 way fridges is due to the *BIG* battery draw that many of the older fridges use up.
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:24 AM   #28
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if you travel with it in gas mode your tank valve is on. in case of any accident you have a potential gas leak with the dangers that involves.
I thought the newer valves on the tanks automatically shut off with leaks. I know my BBQ at home would not light some times if we cranked the valve open too quickly.
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