Fridge - is this right? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-09-2013, 01:35 AM   #1
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Fridge - is this right?

Hey there!

We haven't had a propane fridge before and I just lit ours up for the first time tonight to make sure it's working. It's a Tedco 444TW and is 3-way.

I expected to see a lot of flame through the viewing port when it was lit, but as you can see below, it doesn't amount to much. Can anyone tell me if this is normal?
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:39 AM   #2
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A propane fridge runs on a 150W electrical heater, when it runs on 110VAC. The flame just has to heat as much as that. It basically amounts to a pilot light worth of flame.
Yours seems to be running fine. Is it cold inside? put an ice-cube tray in it and see if it freezes.
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:52 AM   #3
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Thanks, David. I figured I'd wait for a response to see if this seemed normal before I tried running it for an extended period of time and left it unattended.

I don't know why, but I always thought they consumed more gas than that!

Thanks,
Clayton
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:24 AM   #4
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It may seem like a small flame, but 150 watt electrical load on 12 VDC will kill you battery fast. Don't plan on running on 12 VDC unless you are powering the trailer with you tow vehicle (TV). Typically while you are driving. 110 is good if you have shore power.
On propane, you can expect it to work for a week or two on a 20 lb tank.
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:45 AM   #5
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About driving with the ref on 12VDC

As many have learned the hard way, most TV to trailer charging lines/connections can't carry enough current to charge the coach battery and run the refrigerator (about 16 amps total) at the same time. As a result the refrigerator sucks down the coach battery and, after driving all day, you have a dead battery for the night and have to drink your cold beer in the dark.

It's all about wire size and the connecting plug
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Old 02-09-2013, 11:08 AM   #6
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About driving with the ref on 12VDC

As many have learned the hard way, most TV to trailer charging lines/connections can't carry enough current to charge the coach battery and run the refrigerator (about 16 amps total) at the same time. As a result the refrigerator sucks down the coach battery and, after driving all day, you have a dead battery for the night and have to drink your cold beer in the dark.

It's all about wire size and the connecting plug
Good advice.
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Old 02-09-2013, 11:59 AM   #7
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critical is having the trailer level so that damage does not occur to the cooling coils!
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Old 02-09-2013, 12:36 PM   #8
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Hi Clayton, the flame looks the same as mine. I was told to turn the fridge up to the coldest setting for a while and then turn it to about half, it freezes very well. Marina
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Old 02-09-2013, 12:38 PM   #9
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critical is having the trailer level so that damage does not occur to the cooling coils!
True on older models
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calindor View Post
Hey there!

We haven't had a propane fridge before and I just lit ours up for the first time tonight to make sure it's working. It's a Tedco 444TW and is 3-way.

I expected to see a lot of flame through the viewing port when it was lit, but as you can see below, it doesn't amount to much. Can anyone tell me if this is normal?


Call me stupid, but I don't see anything in this (opening) post that says the fridge is set to run on electric-?

Per the visible flame- looks perfectly normal to me- nice and blue, too! Yellow would be a sign it's not burning properly.

An absorption fridge on propane isn't like a big ol' oven or something- it's just "heating" the ammonia so it can "cool" your fridge! Don't need a blazing fire to do that...

As for gas use: I can wintercamp for six days on a single twenty pound cylinder using my gas heater about sixteen hours a day in addition to running the fridge on gas.

Francesca
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:53 PM   #11
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A lot of good information, as usual.

It is a 3-way, as I had mentioned, and I was looking forward to being able to use 12v while traveling to keep everything cool. With this new information, I will have to consider where I plan to end up that night. If it's got full service and I can depend on 120V, then running on battery while driving should be okay... but if we're boondocking, then I have to weigh the importance of cold beer over lights. HHMMMmmm!

It's either that or run some new wiring from the battery. In the past I have considered taking the 12V power lead out of the trailer connector altogether and running a separate connection to the side of it. That way I can stay hooked up with my running and brake lights, but leave the rest of the 12V power on a separate 10AWG connection. The question I have to answer is if the alternator and electrical system can handle the full draw of charging the tug battery, trailer battery, fridge on 12v and other incidentals.
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:12 PM   #12
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....... The question I have to answer is if the alternator and electrical system can handle the full draw of charging the tug battery, trailer battery, fridge on 12v and other incidentals.
We've argued and discussed this here a number of times. My opinion as a retired automotive engineer is that the alternator has plenty of capacity. The key is to get the power back to the trailer with a minimal voltage drop.

I've also mentioned a number of times that one can buy new, heavy gauge copper wire at a metal recycler at a fraction of retail prices. The wire is off the end of very long spools, so a 20 foot length to an electrician is scrap.

In any case, you don't want to run an absorption type refrigerator off a battery alone, as it just takes too much power.
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:11 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by David Tilston View Post
It may seem like a small flame, but 150 watt electrical load on 12 VDC will kill you battery fast. Don't plan on running on 12 VDC unless you are powering the trailer with you tow vehicle (TV). Typically while you are driving. 110 is good if you have shore power.
On propane, you can expect it to work for a week or two on a 20 lb tank.
Really David? I lived in a cabin many years back that had an old servel propane fridge, much larger then an rv fridge and I got about a month off of a 20lb tank.

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Old 02-09-2013, 08:05 PM   #14
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We rarely run our fridge while driving though do have the ability to charge our battery from the tow vehicle plus we have a solar panel. Our normal driving day is 4 hours. For four hours the fridge can usually maintain temperature well enough unless it is extremely hot.

As to lights versus anything else, if you have LEDs the power draw for lights is tiny compared to a fridge's 12 volt requirement. The ony other 12 volt hog in a trailer is the propane furnace.

When we had our motorhome on occasion we would run the fridge on propane while driving. I've never tried it with the trailer. If you do run it while driving it must be shut off at gas stops.

If you're really concerned you can always put a sealed container of ice in your fridge and it will keep it cold enough. We did this for a couple of days while boondocking on a hilltop in a strong wind storm where the fridge would not stay lit.
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