Propane on/off? while towing - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-05-2006, 09:56 AM   #1
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Soliciting opinions on whether folks leave the propane running for the fridge while towing.

I've been somewhat reluctant to do this routinely, though would be nice to have a cold fridge on arrival.

On the other hand, I have also left it inadvertantly on without any problems.
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Old 11-05-2006, 10:35 AM   #2
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Soliciting opinions on whether folks leave the propane running for the fridge while towing.

I've been somewhat reluctant to do this routinely, though would be nice to have a cold fridge on arrival.

On the other hand, I have also left it inadvertantly on without any problems.

I leave mine on and have never had a problem. The gas will automatically shut off if the flame goes out.

John
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Old 11-05-2006, 10:47 AM   #3
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This is an old can of worms.

You have to turn it off when going into a gas station by law. (An open flame near a gas pump, I think, everyone agrees, is a Darwin Award waiting to happen)

To me, cold beer is not worth an explosion risk, and if I want it cold, I have a 12v option on my fridge which gets used when underway.

I also have a small electric cooler in the car for sodas etc to enjoy while driving. (Uhm, no.. the beer stays in the trailer )

My humble 2 cents.. there are so many other ways to acheive the goal of cold food, it just isn't worth the risk.

I know my propane is safe in the tank, and it is a big danger once it treks out of it.
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Old 11-05-2006, 11:01 AM   #4
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I have also left it inadvertantly on without any problems.
Lately, inadvertantly must be my middle name.

However, I have made up laminated instruction cards to ensure that I don't forget details when setting up or breaking camp.

My refridgerator is only 2-way; 110 volt AC and Propane. More due to my Scottish Ancestry of being thrifty than anything else, I secure (turn off) the propane while on the road. The procedure for this is written into my instruction cards.
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Old 11-05-2006, 11:42 AM   #5
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The most extensive discussion of this topic may be in Propane.

I think I already said enough in that one...
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Old 11-05-2006, 01:03 PM   #6
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In my humble opinion leaving the porpane on while traveling is kind of like taking a long day hike in the woods without a map and compass or matches, etc. Or like driving without a seat belt. The odds are in your favor that nothing bad will happen.
However the odds that something bad will happen are increased.

Now if it wasn't for other people sharing the road I'd say take what ever risks you like. But the roads are shared so by leaving the propane also increase the risks for other people on the road, like me.

Example of the kind of thing that can happen. An accident, the propane tank gets riipped off the trailer.

Popane on. Hose breaks, big likelyhood of fire with propane spuing out under tank pressure.

Popane off. Hose breaks, since there's no pressure in the hose, no propane coming out. Much better odds of no fire.

Now ask yourself how you'd like to be driving along and all of a sudden trying to avoid a big white spinning blow torch in the road.

Please not travel with the propane on.
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Old 11-05-2006, 03:21 PM   #7
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It's an old can of worms all right. That may not prevent me from chiming in on this one, since I have struggled with this for what seems a long time now.

I used to use propane while traveling, trying to remember to shut if off before going in to gas stations. Mistakes did happen, however. In my three-way, the 12v option was no option at all, and rewiring it, testing it for element resistance, adding fans, baffling, etc. did not really change the situation. In addition, the propane now keeps flaming out. In reading the Dometic writeup on it I discovered that the 12v element is 125w and the AC element is 175 watts. The difference is apparently enough to change the action from throughly ineffective to quite effective.

I had an spare 300w inverter which I hardwired into system in order to run the frig using the AC element. I worked and worked well. The tow vehicle and the batteries "shared " the load, as the battery meter clearly showed. After four-five hours of driving the 100% charge had turned into 92%. In the meantime I had added a couple of battery shutoff switches and it dawned on me that if I simply shut off the batteries and ran the inverter off the tow vehicle I would still have 100% left in the batteries when I camped out.

Would it work? Yes it did, and quite well. One problem left: On a cross country run (when boondocking) the batteries would not be charged at all and would eventually run out. To influence the tow vehicle's ability to charge I am in the middle of changing the charge and ground wires to 6 gauge. Trailer is done, next the tow vehicle. I will then run the test again to see what happens. I think the answer is solar, but that will have to wait a while. In the meantime my frig arrives nice and cold when I camp
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Old 11-07-2006, 06:29 PM   #8
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Soliciting opinions on whether folks leave the propane running for the fridge while towing.

I've been somewhat reluctant to do this routinely, though would be nice to have a cold fridge on arrival.

On the other hand, I have also left it inadvertantly on without any problems.

I would never ever take off on the road and leave the propane take turned on.
There are just too many "What If's" that could happen.
I have set up a 12 volt Battery system in my Boler that sits on the tongue and is wired so it is getting a charge off my tow vehicle so I could run the fridge on its 12v system without discharging the battery.
I have heard of the pilot light getting blown out and it is a law at fueling stations that there be no open flame.
Not to mention the hundreds of weird things like something, some how rupturing a gas line while going down the road.
For a little time to turn valve OFF and ON and Ignite fridge and a warm drink my wifes and my life is too important.

Gerry
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Old 11-08-2006, 07:29 PM   #9
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It's good to hear some ideas on this subject. I have never figured out if my fridge works on 12V. I was told it uses the same element as A/C, but it may be at a lower wattage. That's a new one on me. My problem may be the switch. I know in Texas it is hard to keep it cold in the summer on anything but propane. As to the original subject, I knew flames had to be extinquished at gas stations, but I was told it is against the law to tow an RV with a flame lit (fridge or water heater) in the state of Texas. However, I have not confirmed this. I have traveled a few times with mine lit but it would not stay until I cleaned out the orifice. With all that said, I don't think it is a good habit to travel with it on, but Texas weather creates a lot of problems.
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Old 11-08-2006, 08:28 PM   #10
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It's good to hear some ideas on this subject. I have never figured out if my fridge works on 12V. I was told it uses the same element as A/C, but it may be at a lower wattage. That's a new one on me. My problem may be the switch. I know in Texas it is hard to keep it cold in the summer on anything but propane. As to the original subject, I knew flames had to be extinquished at gas stations, but I was told it is against the law to tow an RV with a flame lit (fridge or water heater) in the state of Texas. However, I have not confirmed this. I have traveled a few times with mine lit but it would not stay until I cleaned out the orifice. With all that said, I don't think it is a good habit to travel with it on, but Texas weather creates a lot of problems.
Hi:Our 3 way fridge works very well on 12v. while driving as there is lots of air flow past the vent and the charge wire through the tug supplies enough charge for both batteries... We even had icecubes in the freezer!!!Propane works best while camping as it is a naturally better action for the heating of the ammonia that does the cooling...however on electric camp sites we have paid for the privledge of a 110v. land line and tend to use that...as for the beer its better kept in the trailer than the tug!!! The only problem is the frozen lettuce Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 11-08-2006, 09:48 PM   #11
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The only problem is the frozen lettuce
To keep lettuce from freezing, purchase an cheap, plastic insulated lunch [b]bag. Put the lettuce in that, and the whole thing in the refer.
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Old 11-09-2006, 07:54 AM   #12
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I have always left the propane on , except when refueling.
I have never had a proplem, nor do I expect to.
One camper the flame on the fridge would blow out and the propane would shut off, but redesigning the sheild helped that.

We have towed from Elk River, Mn to Washington state nonstop and the food would be junk if we shut the propane off.
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Old 11-09-2006, 08:19 AM   #13
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To keep lettuce from freezing, purchase an cheap, plastic insulated lunch [b]bag. Put the lettuce in that, and the whole thing in the refer.
Hi: A tip o the hat for the lettuce trick...Now why didn't I think of that??? We are very fortunate to have 1 R.V. dealer in town who specialises in refrigeration... He showed me what happens when propane goes awry... A stick built slide in camper with the propane left on whilst driving... Needed new cupboard doors...chared... new window...melted +siding and trim etc...and the dealer said " He got off lightly" Why even go there!!! Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 11-09-2006, 09:23 AM   #14
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We run the fridge at home for a day to get it cool then put our items in the fridge and run it an additional day to get the items to the correct temp then when we go camping and we run the fridge on the 12V DC while towing and things remain cold. We also put in a frozen gallon of watter, in a 1 gal plastic milk bottle if there is room.

We also have one of those 5 day coolers that we put ice and drinks in and carry it in the truck bed.
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