Dometic 2-way fridge question - Fiberglass RV

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Old 12-01-2007, 12:23 PM   #1
Name: Paul
Trailer: 2012 Escape 19 / 2013 F-350 Crew Cab 4x4 Diesel!!!
British Columbia
Posts: 76
Hi Everyone

My first post to an excellent site. I've been lurking in the shadows for a month and decided it was time. We have an Escape 17 on order (can't wait til March!!!) and upgraded to the larger Dometic fridge from the 5th wheel model. This larger fridge is 2-way only. My inlaws have RV friends who drive with the propane on and have never had any problems. Wouldn't the pilot light blow out??? Obviously this means driving with the propane tank valve open so if there were an accident........!!! Would it be worth it to pay more for a 3-way?


Paul S.

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Old 12-01-2007, 03:57 PM   #2
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Name: Brian
Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
Posts: 5,000
There are a lot of topics already about driving with the propane on, normally to run the refrigerator. Rather than rehash those here, I'll just suggest doing a Search. I did one for
+propane +"while driving"
and got quite a few matches, including the directly relevantI think that the reason that there is no ability to operate on 12V power in larger RV refrigerators is not cost, but rather the impracticality of providing them with enough power. If the appliance requires only one amp at 120V AC, it is going to need 10 amps at 12VDC, to get the same power (power in watts = volts times current in amps). In practice, 3-way refrigerators use separate heating elements for 12VDC and 120VAC, and the 12V one is often has a lower power rating, so it is not as effective but it may be more practical to provide with power.

It is possible to run the two-way refrigerator on 120VAC from an inverter, with the inverter powered with 12VDC from the tug while driving. More than one FiberglassRV member does this, although perhaps not with such a large refrigerator.

1979 Boler B1700RGH, pulled by 2004 Toyota Sienna LE 2WD
Information is good. Lack of information is not so good, but misinformation is much worse. Check facts, and apply common sense liberally.
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Old 12-01-2007, 04:46 PM   #3
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Name: Peter
Trailer: 2005 19 ft Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel
Posts: 1,519
Another thing worth noting is that refrigerators are pretty well insulated, and stay cold inside a long time as long as you don't open and close the door. Mysteriously, people don't tend to open and close the door a lot in a trailer while it's in motion, so if it starts out cold, it stays cold! Our strategy here is to plug our trailer in and load up the 'fridge night before we leave. After a day's travel the frozen stuff is still frozen and the milk and sodas are still cold.

Some people here have also suggested freezing water-filled pop bottles and stocking those in their 'fridge to keep it cold. It takes a lot of heat to melt two liters of frozen water, much more than a 'fridge is likely to loose in a day of travel with the door shut.

So the simple man's way to keep a dual-fuel system cold while you're in the road is to stuff one or two liter-sized pop bottles of water in the freezer with your other freezer food the night before you leave. At the end of the day's travel you just plug in or turn the propane on and get the 'fridge/freezer cooling again and re-freeze your bottle(s), and you're ready for the next day's travels. No running your battery down, no leaving the propane on.

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Old 12-01-2007, 06:04 PM   #4
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Name: Frederick
Trailer: Fiber Stream
Posts: 8,125
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Wouldn't the pilot light blow out?
My 30 year old, Insta-matic Fridge has a lot of baffles around the pilot light area, and has not blown out in some very windy conditions.
Frederick - The Scaleman
1978 Fiber Stream 16 named "Eggstasy" & 1971 Compact Jr. named "Boomerang"
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