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Old 09-02-2008, 05:07 PM   #21
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I think they do two different things. Circulate the air around the coils when mounted on the mechanical side and circulate the air around the inside of the refrigerator with a battery fan like I have.
No doubt that's correct. I'm just thinking that the fan for the outside must surely be overpowered by air circulation while driving. Maybe someone will comment about whether or not it helps while going down the highway in the heat. Your internal fan would be an easy way to help the situation a little, even while underway.

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Old 09-02-2008, 05:20 PM   #22
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Gas station fumes are not an issue in California with most stations required to have vapor recovery systems on the dispensing hose. When its 100 deg and over my fridge does not cool well unless its on gas. Also the pilot light is pretty well shielded to the outside to prevent it blowing out with passing trucks.
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Old 09-02-2008, 05:27 PM   #23
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You definitely want an exhaust fan on your outside coils if you are traveling in hot weather. The convection just won't cut it, and you can't rely on the air flow while driving to adequately move the air either.

Most people put 12V computer fans at the top grill to pull the air out. Here's a picture of mine, with the temporary fan on the left being replaced by the nice, new, big 120mm one on the right. I think it was $8 from NewEgg.
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Old 09-02-2008, 05:51 PM   #24
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I have towed and ran with the propane on the frig since 1997. Never heard any laws making it illigal, except on boats/ferries. Not sure about tunnels, only one in New Mexico and it is short. No sign saying to not enter with propane turned on or burning. The tunnel is on the way up to the forests and Cloudcroft from Alamogordo. Seems to be people who have a fear of LPG as some are of Natural Gas assume it is illigal. If it makes you feel safer not to use it, don't use it. Yes, if all factors and the stars and planets are aligned, you are safer not using it. An all electric trailer would be the safest. All solar, with wind as we drive along would be nice.



I had RVs with a frig since 1986, the first one had 3 way. We have never had a fan attached to the frig or in the frig. The main problem has been food freezing. Maybe in the old 3 way frig when running on 12 v, it would at time run slightly warmer, maybe, maybe not. I am sure a fan would help, but is it worth the effort and power need to have one? Not sure.
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Old 09-02-2008, 06:40 PM   #25
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You definitely want an exhaust fan on your outside coils if you are traveling in hot weather. The convection just won't cut it, and you can't rely on the air flow while driving to adequately move the air either.

Most people put 12V computer fans at the top grill to pull the air out. Here's a picture of mine, with the temporary fan on the left being replaced by the nice, new, big 120mm one on the right. I think it was $8 from NewEgg.
Okay, I have to humble myself and ask exactly how you all do this. I keep looking at the Dometic fridge in our 13' Scamp, and the only thing I can conclude is that I'll have to drill the pop rivets out of the upper grill to access the area where the fan goes. Maybe the fan installations are only relevant to the larger fridges?

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Old 09-02-2008, 07:08 PM   #26
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Many years ago I picked up a brand new Ford pickup in Fargo ND, to use in a travel film. The dealer had just installed a shiny new molded fiberglass camper and hooked up the propane fridge. About 10 miles down the road, billows of black smoke came pouring out the back! I pulled of the freeway, shut off the ignition and jumped out - the whole camper was ablaze!

By the time the fire trucks came and put out the flames, the fiberglass camper had virtually melted into the truck bed. The fire investigator surmised that the propane had leaked into the box and built up gradually from the floor until it reached the level of the fridge flame - then POOF! If there had been kids in the camper, they would have been cooked.

So, whether it's legal or not, I will never have ANY propane device running, or propane tank opened, while driving a rig.
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Old 09-02-2008, 07:36 PM   #27
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Many years ago I picked up a brand new Ford pickup in Fargo ND, to use in a travel film. The dealer had just installed a shiny new molded fiberglass camper and hooked up the propane fridge. About 10 miles down the road, billows of black smoke came pouring out the back! I pulled of the freeway, shut off the ignition and jumped out - the whole camper was ablaze!

By the time the fire trucks came and put out the flames, the fiberglass camper had virtually melted into the truck bed. The fire investigator surmised that the propane had leaked into the box and built up gradually from the floor until it reached the level of the fridge flame - then POOF! If there had been kids in the camper, they would have been cooked.

So, whether it's legal or not, I will never have ANY propane device running, or propane tank opened, while driving a rig.
Jack,

Thank you. That's all I needed.

I can drink warm beer.

baglo
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Old 09-02-2008, 08:25 PM   #28
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I don't ever run the fridge off propane. Where we camp there's always shore power available. For getting to the campground, I plug in the trailer the night before, put a bottle of frozen water inside and then pack it as full as possible with the food. Any meats we aren't planning on eating that night we freeze before going. Having the fridge as full as possible helps keep the temperature as low as possible. I don't tend to camp TOO far from home, but this approach has worked just fine for drives up to 4-5 hours. I always leave the frozen water bottle in the fridge even after we arrive and plug in. Yeah, it takes up a little space - but it helps keep things cold and it's not like there's really a better place to put it for the trip.

Usually it's still about 80-90% frozen by the time we drive back home at the end of the trip.

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Old 09-02-2008, 08:43 PM   #29
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Okay, I have to humble myself and ask exactly how you all do this. I keep looking at the Dometic fridge in our 13' Scamp, and the only thing I can conclude is that I'll have to drill the pop rivets out of the upper grill to access the area where the fan goes. Maybe the fan installations are only relevant to the larger fridges?
On the Scamp, you can just put a fan on the lower black tubes facing up. Whatever it takes to get air moving up the refrigerator enclosure. The 12V supply for a fan is located right in the compartment, and you can either put a switch there or inside the Scamp.
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Old 09-02-2008, 08:44 PM   #30
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We have a 12v cooler that we take in the car with us to keep things cool until we reach our campsite and are able to turn on the propane or 110 for the fridge.
Tried running once on propane driving down the road, but it never stayed lit, so just never bothered after that. ANd yes, we do turn the tanks themselves off...
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Old 09-02-2008, 09:11 PM   #31
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I'm becoming a convert to the idea of packing the fridge with ice for the run down the road.

Cool it down before leaving, and put in the COLD foods. Then a bag of ice, or a jug of frozen lemonade (right next to the milk).

We did this on a 13 hour trip through Texas during the first week of August. It was about 100F outside, and the fridge stayed cold (about 45F). The milk didn't spoil, as the ice was right next to it. (It took us several days to finish it off, after returning home, and it did not turn sour.) Anyway, we set the bag of ice in about a 3 inch (tall) tray, to catch the drip; and I emptied the water a couple times during the day... There was ice left when we got home, so I just left it in the fridge... The next morning, there was still a little ice left, and the fridge box was remarkably cool.

Running on 12v just seems to kill the house battery, and does a poor job of keeping the fridge cold. This is why we tried it with "just" the ice. It was really a lot less hassle.


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Old 09-02-2008, 09:30 PM   #32
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My 30 year old Fiber Stream has a 30 year old Instamatic by Magnavox 4 cubic foot, 2 way (110 volt / Propane) refrigerator. I have both Donna D's fan inside and Patrick M's fans on the outside upper vent. I have 2 fans on the outside vent: a smaller .6 amp and a larger 2.4 amp with a double pole double throw switch between to select which one to run.

I keep a thermometer inside the 'fridge on the bottom shelf.

I have conducted an experiment to find out what circumstances keep the interior the coldest for the most time.

2 days before each trip I would turn on the fridge to pre-chill it to 40<sup>o</sup>F. Each time I turned on the fridge, I also turned on the interior fan. I checked the thermometer 3 times for each trip:
  1. Before Loading with food
  2. During the drive about 1/2 way to destination
  3. The morning after arrival

The first attempt: pre-chill on 110 volts, fridge controls OFF (but left interior fan ON) with 3 frozen Blue Ice blocks in Fridge compartment during travel, fridge on Propane at destination. The results:
  1. 40<sup>o</sup>F
  2. 55<sup>o</sup>F
  3. 45<sup>o</sup>F
Turned on the small exhaust fan the morning after arrival and the fridge was at 40<sup>o</sup>F that night.

The second attempt: pre-chill on 110 volts, switch to, and run on Propane during travel. Turn small exhaust vent fan on at destination, keep running on Propane. The results:
  1. 40<sup>o</sup>F
  2. 50<sup>o</sup>F
  3. 40<sup>o</sup>F

The third attempt: pre-chill on Propane, and leave it running. Turn large exhaust vent fan on before departure, running it during travel. Run both Propane & exhaust vent fan after arrival. The Results:
  1. 40<sup>o</sup>F
  2. 50<sup>o</sup>F
  3. 40<sup>o</sup>F

It appears to me that running the Propane and the exhaust fan during travel have less than the desired effect since the fridge WILL NOT maintain 40<sup>o</sup>F during travel. I suspect that the wind passing the trailer horizontally at 55 mph going down the road overpowers any vertical draft thru the vents on the side of the trailer.
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Old 09-03-2008, 05:49 AM   #33
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On the Scamp, you can just put a fan on the lower black tubes facing up. Whatever it takes to get air moving up the refrigerator enclosure. The 12V supply for a fan is located right in the compartment, and you can either put a switch there or inside the Scamp.
Thanks, Patrick. I'm likely to give that a try.

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Old 09-03-2008, 05:58 AM   #34
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It appears to me that running the Propane and the exhaust fan during travel have less than the desired effect since the fridge WILL NOT maintain 40<sup>o</sup>F during travel. I suspect that the wind passing the trailer horizontally at 55 mph going down the road overpowers any vertical draft thru the vents on the side of the trailer.
That's what I suspected. So some ingenious person could install an air scoop on the lower grill that will encourage a vertical draft while driving. That would probably blow out the propane flame but it might well be helpful while running on 12V. Of course it would also help collect dirt and rain, so it would need a way to divert those from flowing into the fridge area, like shelterd air intakes on big recip-powered aiplanes. Or, I could put a block of ice in the fridge like others are suggesting and just go camping!

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Old 09-03-2008, 09:55 AM   #35
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I have conducted an experiment to find out what circumstances keep the interior the coldest for the most time.
Hey! No fair ruining all of our wild speculation with honest to goodness experimentation!

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Old 09-03-2008, 10:52 AM   #36
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I wouldn't run with scissors either.
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Old 09-03-2008, 10:58 AM   #37
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Hey! No fair ruining all of our wild speculation with honest to goodness experimentation!
Unless you don't have a 30-year old refrigerator! Also missing from the nice analysis is the interior temperature of the trailer at each reading, and the exterior air temperature. All that could conspire to skew the results.

My temperatures in the refrigerator compartment are pretty much at 30F at the start of the day, and at the campground after the trip. Again, running propane and the exterior coil fans while traveling.
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Old 09-03-2008, 05:53 PM   #38
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Back to the original thread for a moment, I don't believe it is actually illegal to run down the road with LP appliances lit, however, I believe it may well be illegal to enter a fuel station with an open flame.

Personally, I don't like to run with the LP tank turned on -- One more thing to worry about in a wreck.

Hmm, are the people who run with the LP on also the people who don't pay much attention to the Gxxx numbers?
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Old 09-03-2008, 06:50 PM   #39
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Back to the original thread for a moment, I don't believe it is actually illegal to run down the road with LP appliances lit, however, I believe it may well be illegal to enter a fuel station with an open flame.

Personally, I don't like to run with the LP tank turned on -- One more thing to worry about in a wreck.

Hmm, are the people who run with the LP on also the people who don't pay much attention to the Gxxx numbers?
As I noted somewhere in this thread, I spent an afternoon with google and on the phone to various BC Gov't departments and nobody could come up with an actual law prohibiting driving with propane on. However, I was cautioned that it could be an issue with your insurer.
I'd call and ask, but that would surely end up in my file.

baglo
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Old 09-03-2008, 10:16 PM   #40
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Hmm, are the people who run with the LP on also the people who don't pay much attention to the Gxxx numbers?

Well Pete, ya got me there. We run with the Propane on and I don't even know what the Gxxx numbers are ur referring to....
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