Operating a 3-way fridge while driving? - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 07-14-2021, 12:17 PM   #41
Senior Member
 
Name: Jann
Trailer: Casita
Colorado
Posts: 1,056
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raspy View Post
It's important to have the fridge work while driving.

On older fridges that have to be manually lit, but blow out, it's possible to make a simple metal shield that will stop the problem. This sits inside the outer fridge cover, and over the flame area. Very simple to make. I had to do it on one of mine and the problem went away.

On newer fridges that light themselves, it is not a problem.

If you need more power to run the fridge on 12 volts, run a new charging wire from the tow battery to the trailer battery and connect it at the tongue with a 50 amp Anderson plug. Actually two wires, + and -. I've installed these on two of my setups and they work very well. Use an Anderson plug at the tongue, and install a 50 amp breaker near the tow battery. I used #6 wire on one and #4 wire on the other. With this you can run the fridge on DC and you can charge the batteries much faster than with the seven pin 12 volt lead.

On my last trailer, the fridge was about 20' back from the gas fill on the truck. I would switch the fridge to propane when we left home and turn it back to 120V after we got home. I never shut it off while traveling during the whole trip. I'm not arguing that as the best policy, but I saw no danger in doing it. Of course, where specifically mandated, I would have shut it off, and as I recall, shutting it off was required on the Mobile Bay Ferry in Alabama.
It's not just your truck while filling with fuel but all other vehicles fueling and causing fumes. If you leave a flame or an igniter on when fueling you are a danger. Fumes from other pumps can get to your trailer and cause a fire. Always shut off all appliances before entering the pump area all the time. This is for all people. You can throw a match into gas and it won't burn if there isn't air around but if there's any air and fumes it will explode. The picture of the RV on fire appears to be an engine fire. That is the biggest cause of fires in RV's along with generators running while traveling.
Jann Todd is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2021, 12:40 PM   #42
Senior Member
 
Name: Jann
Trailer: Casita
Colorado
Posts: 1,056
Owner said he'd had trouble with the vehicle backfiring and the fire started in the engine area according to the owner. This has nothing to do with propane as there isn't propane in the engine area. But this shows you to always shut off your engine. Don't know if his engine was on or not. Use common sense and knowledge and watch around for people who don't. I've ask people to not use their cell phones near me while fueling or to smoke. I also won't fuel near another RV since they may not have shut off their appliances. I'd rather be safe than sorry. In Oregon you can't fuel your own vehicle for these reasons. Maybe there shouldn't be automatic fillers on pumps. That way you couldn't get back into your vehicle while fueling causing a possible spark when you go back to the tank.
Jann Todd is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2021, 12:45 PM   #43
Senior Member
 
Name: Jann
Trailer: Casita
Colorado
Posts: 1,056
Quote:
Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
This is the article describing the case I mentioned with the fire started by gas splashing at the fridge vent. Now news articles are often wrong of course but this one seems to be well documented with a statement from the RV owner...

https://www.houmatoday.com/news/2010...ana-couples-rv
It doesn't have to be gasoline splashing onto your vehicle. It is the fumes that causes fires when in contact with an ignition source. So a vehicle next to you can cause yours to catch fire if the fumes comes to your ignition source. The firemen even said to always shut off all appliances.
Jann Todd is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2021, 02:48 PM   #44
Senior Member
 
Raspy's Avatar
 
Name: John
Trailer: Black Series HQ19
Smith Valley, Nevada
Posts: 2,492
I wonder why there aren't more fires from catalytic converters? They can easily be over 536 degrees which is the ignition temp of gasoline, they are low to the ground where spilled gas would be, and almost all vehicles have them. Even front brake rotors could be that hot.
__________________
I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt.
Raspy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2021, 02:57 PM   #45
Senior Member
 
Alex Adams's Avatar
 
Name: Alexander
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1300
New Hampshire
Posts: 993
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raspy View Post
I wonder why there aren't more fires from catalytic converters? They can easily be over 536 degrees which is the ignition temp of gasoline, they are low to the ground where spilled gas would be, and almost all vehicles have them. Even front brake rotors could be that hot.
Difference between open flame/spark and just high heat. Open flame/spark ignites immediately whereas excessive heat requires a build up to reach flash point. Where I have seen plenty of catalytic converter fires has been on highways when a plastic bag or similar item blowing around snags on the bracket holding the converter to the exhaust pipe. Seen the aftermath (car on fire) about a dozen times over the years.
Alex Adams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2021, 03:07 PM   #46
Senior Member
 
Glenn Baglo's Avatar
 
Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B 2020 Toyota Highlander XLE
British Columbia
Posts: 7,739
Or the driver pulls over and parks in tall grass.
__________________
What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
Glenn Baglo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2021, 03:15 PM   #47
Senior Member
 
Raspy's Avatar
 
Name: John
Trailer: Black Series HQ19
Smith Valley, Nevada
Posts: 2,492
Alex, How long does it take vapor to get hot? Seems that would be nearly instantaneous. Gas vapor from a puddle of gas, only inches from the catalytic converter. A moving car, picking up a bag in the wind, seems different.
__________________
I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt.
Raspy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2021, 05:36 PM   #48
Senior Member
 
David Tilston's Avatar
 
Name: Dave W
Trailer: Trillium 4500 - 1977, 1978 (2), 1300 - 1977, 1973, and a 1972
Alberta
Posts: 6,178
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raspy View Post
Alex, How long does it take vapor to get hot? Seems that would be nearly instantaneous. Gas vapor from a puddle of gas, only inches from the catalytic converter. A moving car, picking up a bag in the wind, seems different.
I suspect that convection keeps the combustible vapors from spending enough time in contact with the hot surfaces.

I was once working on an old natural gas compressor. It had an exhaust stack that was about 30' tall, and straight up. I never saw that before, or since. The only way this 1000 hp unit could shut down was to ground the ignition. This let the stack fill up with a combustible mixture of gas and air as the compressor ground to a halt. A few seconds after the compressor stopped spinning, (my mistake) there was a very loud explosion.

It was explained to me, by the site supervisor, that when the gas stopped flowing in the red hot turbo charger, it heated up and ignited. That then ignited all the gas in the stack. This was normal, and no damage resulted. I would have liked to see this at night, from outside the compressor building.

The point being that there was a few seconds between the gas stopping and ignition. Now natural gas is not nearly as easy to light as gas vapor, but I think that is why gas stations are not blowing up everywhere.
David Tilston is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2021, 03:12 PM   #49
Senior Member
 
Name: Keith
Trailer: Scamp
Texas
Posts: 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by parmm View Post
You are required to turn off your propane tank before pulling up to fuel pumps at a gas station as your propane refrigerator has a open flame. A pilot light is considered a open flame. You must turn the fridge off before pulling up to the pumps!!! 29 Code of Federal Regulations ß 1917.156 (4) Smoking and open flames shall be prohibited in areas used for fueling, fuel storage or enclosed storage of equipment containing fuel. Most states have the same law!
29 CFR 1917.156 applies to Marine terminals. Youíll note that it also says that ďonly designated persons shall conduct fueling operations.Ē

I tend to fuel up along the highway, it is more convenient than most marine terminals.
Keith2000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2021, 03:47 PM   #50
Senior Member
 
Glenn Baglo's Avatar
 
Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B 2020 Toyota Highlander XLE
British Columbia
Posts: 7,739
Cost me $90.05 to top up my 1/4 full tank this morning with regular. A first for me.
__________________
What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
Glenn Baglo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2021, 09:48 PM   #51
Senior Member
 
Name: Jann
Trailer: Casita
Colorado
Posts: 1,056
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith2000 View Post
29 CFR 1917.156 applies to Marine terminals. Youíll note that it also says that ďonly designated persons shall conduct fueling operations.Ē

I tend to fuel up along the highway, it is more convenient than most marine terminals.
It doesn't matter where you fuel up the answer is still shut off all appliances with flames or igniters. The results are still possible fires or explosions if you don't. Fumes build up and explode.
Jann Todd is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2021, 10:11 PM   #52
Senior Member
 
Glenn Baglo's Avatar
 
Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B 2020 Toyota Highlander XLE
British Columbia
Posts: 7,739
Sign on gas pump this morning said "no smoking within 7.5 metres ( that's 24.6 feet ).
So, bring a tape measure.
__________________
What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
Glenn Baglo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2021, 09:28 AM   #53
Senior Member
 
Borden's Avatar
 
Name: Borden and Carole
Trailer: 1978 Earlton Ontario boler
Ontario
Posts: 1,365
Registry
Fires

Quote:
Originally Posted by parmm View Post
Yes, you can call it anecdotal, but when you've seen the stupid things people do at gas pumps that I have seen, you would be screaming caution too! Gas stations are a accident waiting to happen in my experience! And yes, I have seen gas stations burn up because of stupidity!
Have been around when tanks blew up. Next station down the road from grandparents. They said tanks all near empty "long weekend" and witnesses put person having a smoke over by tanks filling and vents area. Stupidity for sure.
Borden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2021, 09:30 AM   #54
Senior Member
 
Borden's Avatar
 
Name: Borden and Carole
Trailer: 1978 Earlton Ontario boler
Ontario
Posts: 1,365
Registry
10 gauge

Quote:
Originally Posted by ehoepner View Post
When towing my 3 way frig is always on DC. I cool it down on AC at least a day before leaving home. The only issue with using DC while driving is the wiring of the tow vehicle. The wiring on some tow vehicles is not done correctly. They use a 16 or 14 gage wiring instead of a 10 gage wiring for the DC voltage supply to the trailer.

If the tow vehicle wiring is 16 or 14 gage the tow vehicle cannot supply enough volt/amps to the trailer to run the frig.
Will have to check ours.
Borden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2021, 10:50 AM   #55
Senior Member
 
Raspy's Avatar
 
Name: John
Trailer: Black Series HQ19
Smith Valley, Nevada
Posts: 2,492
Quote:
Originally Posted by Borden View Post
Will have to check ours.

Look at post number 24 for a brief description of how to improve the wiring and get more power to the trailer. The normal seven pin wiring and plug will not be enough.
__________________
I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt.
Raspy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2021, 10:41 AM   #56
Senior Member
 
Name: Joe
Trailer: 1999 Casita 17' SD
Ohio
Posts: 701
This dead horse has been kicked down the road more then a few times

When I bough our 1999 17' Casita back in 2013 I read up on the subject.

The majority travel with the refrigerator on propane. And there are several areas you must turn off the propane. That includes when refueling your vehicle and in some, not all, tunnels. The one I found was the Chesapeake bay Tunnel, they even have you stop so they can verify the propane is off.
To run it on 12 volts requires a LOT of modifications to your vehicle and trailer's wiring and it MIGHT work.
Running on propane the flame can blow out. Fixes for that are installing a baffle and installing an optional REIGNITER. I did both and had no problems. I also believe I read that Dometic stopped offering a 3 way, just propane and 120 AC. Also some vehicles only have propane, like a VW camper van.
The refrigerator' performance can be improved drastically by installing baffles to refine the air flow. Mine would stay in the 30f's range in 90f plus temperatures.

If your really afraid of traveling with the refrigerator on propane then maybe you should stay home.

Yes there are many examples of stupid people doing stupid things and paying the price.
Joe Romas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2021, 10:57 AM   #57
Senior Member
 
Glenn Baglo's Avatar
 
Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B 2020 Toyota Highlander XLE
British Columbia
Posts: 7,739
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Romas View Post
If your really afraid of traveling with the refrigerator on propane then maybe you should stay home.

Unless you have a gas stove, or electric, for that matter.
__________________
What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
Glenn Baglo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2021, 11:39 AM   #58
Member
 
Trailer: 16 ft Casita
Posts: 30
While driving

I have always run my frig on propane while driving on every trailer that I have owned for years never had a problem and never turn it off while filling up tv you would have to have gas at over the ground before frig would start a fire.
johnlochbuie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2021, 11:50 AM   #59
Senior Member
 
Name: Keith
Trailer: Scamp
Texas
Posts: 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jann Todd View Post
It doesn't matter where you fuel up the answer is still shut off all appliances with flames or igniters. The results are still possible fires or explosions if you don't. Fumes build up and explode.
Just pointing out that no one has yet cited an applicable federal regulation. I understand the risk, I used to consult for one of the two major dispenser manufacturers and worked on projects to reduce the risk associated with static at the handle.

Still, I just try to make sure my stops are short and my fridge pilot is as far from any dispenser as possible. In most stations I would have a hard time finding a safe place to turn off my fridge and reignite the pilot away from dispensers, vents, and other possible hazards. Maybe I should get a bigger fuel tank so that I can be a bit more picky about my stations.

There is one station I pass on my travels that I will not pull into with my trailer. Though Iíve only been there maybe two dozen times Iíve seen three separate spills due to the dispenser not shutting off automatically. One was all over my feet. None were while I was towing my RV. Shame is that they have a very good location with nicely arranged islands. Oh well.
Keith2000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2021, 12:24 PM   #60
Member
 
Name: Tom
Trailer: Amerigo
Wisconsin
Posts: 42
Run the fridge on gas while driving, you may have to turn all gas off when going thru tunnels. There will be signs for this. Otherwise the electric used while the gas is on is minimal, it is only used to run the controls. The gas provides the heat to make fridge run
Been doing it for years like that!
bigangelman is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
fridge, vin


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Can a 3-way Dometic fridge work on 120V while not hooked up to gas? Vic Berger Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 16 06-25-2020 09:21 AM
Can a 2-way fridge become a 3-way fridge? Rob Carmody Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 13 06-24-2016 10:54 AM
7 way plug to 4 way plug back to 7 way plug immrbill Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 3 08-10-2015 11:08 AM
tire failure while driving 55 (ish)mph Flygal General Chat 9 06-24-2009 06:27 AM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:44 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.