Running the refrigerator - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-12-2014, 07:35 AM   #1
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Question Running the refrigerator

I just purchased a used 2012 13 ft Scamp. I am in love! I am wondering if it is best to run the refrigerator on electric or gas. Any thoughts on this?
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Old 03-12-2014, 08:21 AM   #2
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Ok, I just figured out how to look at past posts on this subject. It appears that gas is the way to go with the frig.
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Old 03-12-2014, 08:49 AM   #3
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What kind of electric power are you using ?

If you have access to 120 Volt AC aka shore power, that's your best bet. Propane gas works better than 12 Volt DC.
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Old 03-12-2014, 09:03 AM   #4
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I'm sorry, I should have been more specific. If I do not have access to plug in, is it better to run the refrig on battery or gas? It appears that the answer is gas.
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Old 03-12-2014, 09:08 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by kscigouski View Post
I'm sorry, I should have been more specific. If I do not have access to plug in, is it better to run the refrig on battery or gas? It appears that the answer is gas.
Yup - Gas is the easiest way to go! The fridges tend to be real power hogs on DC.
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Old 03-12-2014, 09:36 AM   #6
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Just remember to try and keep the unit as level as possible.
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Old 03-12-2014, 10:09 AM   #7
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When at home, I often pre cool the fridge on AC. Camped I use propane. There are brave souls that will ride down the road with the fridge on propane. I'm not one of them. The 12 volt element is intended for travel but usually doesn't work well because the tow vehicle can't supply enough current to charge the battery and supply the fridge. A precooled fridge will stay cold (<40*) for several hours on a 70*-80* day. For long trips I bring an ice chest. Enjoy your Scamp and welcome to the group, Raz
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Old 03-12-2014, 10:12 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone for the quick and valuable responses. I have spent several hours just "being" in my Scamp while it is parked in the garage. I think I have most of it figured out. I like the idea of pre-cooling the frig before heading out.
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Old 03-12-2014, 10:27 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by kscigouski View Post
Thanks everyone for the quick and valuable responses. I have spent several hours just "being" in my Scamp while it is parked in the garage. I think I have most of it figured out. I like the idea of pre-cooling the frig before heading out.
Due to how long it takes most of our fridges to cool right down - turning it on at least 12 hours prior is always a good idea. Adding only cold foods to it also helps. I keep a couple of small freezer packs in the freezer compartment and use those beside the dairy products and meats while running down the road. Keep the fridge closed and it will stay cool for the day without running it on DC.
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Old 03-12-2014, 10:28 AM   #10
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Running the refrigerator

I, too, precool on 110v before leaving, and would not run propane going down the road. But I also deep freeze an Arizona Tea bottle (filled with water) and put it in the refrigerator for traveling. Recently, on an 8-day trip, it was still mostly frozen upon arriving home. Admittedly, propane is the best way to run these refrigerators with 110 only slightly less efficient. But if you are paying for a campsite with electric hookup, why use propane when you are already paying for the electricity. I only use propane if there is no electricity available.
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Old 03-12-2014, 10:38 AM   #11
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I actually try and keep a couple of large bottles of water along with a couple of plastic milk jugs in my freezer at home ready to go should I suddenly decide to take of on short notice & no have much time to cool the fridge down before leaving. The frozen water bottle works well at helping the fridge cool down faster and the larger milk jugs I use in my portable cooler. Once melted you have yourself good drinking water - although the one in the fridge may take weeks to actually melt.
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Old 03-12-2014, 12:36 PM   #12
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The night before I leave on a trip, I throw a couple of zip bags of ice in the fridge, plug in Scamp and turn on fridge to 110v. In the morning, unplug 110v, switch over to 12v, plug into car and go with fresh ice packs in fridge. If I have 110v at where I stop, switch over to that. Would like to use propane, but it is to hard to get lit. Would use 12v while driving in any case.
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Old 03-12-2014, 01:07 PM   #13
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Freezing milk jugs

Don't use the same milk jug two years in a row. The road vibration wears the plastic which leads to " why's the floor wet?"
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Old 03-12-2014, 08:33 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by P. Raz View Post
Don't use the same milk jug two years in a row. The road vibration wears the plastic which leads to " why's the floor wet?"

Which is why I use an Arizona Tea jug. The walls of these jugs are really thick.
I doubt that they would fail if used for 10 years.
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Old 03-12-2014, 09:40 PM   #15
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We plug our fridge in with an extension cord the day before we leave for a camping trip. My favourite trick is to put frozen soups and stews in the fridge to help it stay cool while we drive. Usually pack in some frozen juices too. Often things remain frozen for a week or so if they are on the bottom. Sure is nice to have a meal or two that just need heating.
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Old 03-13-2014, 12:56 AM   #16
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I agree with pre cooling the refer on AC but I have always run it on gas while on the road. Never had a problem in 30 years in any of rigs I've had. So my question for you that don't is why not. I know some folks that run with the water heater on also, but also know of a few that burned their RV's up because of that. Seems the side wind while driving pulled the flame to the outside when it kicked on. Personally I only turn the water heater on 10 minutes or so before someone wants a shower being it only takes that to have enough hot water, plus it saves the LP. Ever look at the flame when the water heater fires up....dang it's big. I can see if it was sucked to the outside....BBQ time.
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Old 03-13-2014, 04:32 AM   #17
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How do you secure the stuff in the fridge while moving?
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Old 03-13-2014, 09:05 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Borrego Dave View Post
I agree with pre cooling the refer on AC but I have always run it on gas while on the road. Never had a problem in 30 years in any of rigs I've had. So my question for you that don't is why not. .
!) I have had the flame blow out while traveling
2) Getting old - mush brain - will forget to stop and turn it off before pulling into gas station.
3) If someone was to crash into the side of my trailer I would prefer it not turn into a fire ball due to having an open propane line.
4) Should I do something stupid such as have an accident and the trailer goes over would prefer not to have an open running propane tank burst into flames should it have a heavy impact with the ground or the tug.
5) The fridge with just a little foresight prep stays cool enough and food safe to travel without it on for many hours even in very warm weather.
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Old 03-13-2014, 12:00 PM   #19
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Carol, the points you list are valid reasons for your concerns. With the millions of miles driven by all RV's every year I would expect that may happen once in a while although I've never heard of one. Of all the pictures I've seen of a trailer after an accident, never once a fire but it could happen. The only RV's I've seen burn were motor homes with the location split half and half between being on the road or in camp. At our camp two years ago one of our buddies had his Bounder catch on fire. It was seen within 10 seconds and was put out and no injuries. Cause; wiring short behind the refer (nothing to do with the refer) that had been repaired by a large RV shop just two weeks earlier. They did do a beautiful repair though.

John, I pack it up full and or use those adjustable tension rods to keep things from moving around....to much.
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Old 03-13-2014, 12:18 PM   #20
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Dave, one of the advantages of being older with a mushy brain (had a 5 year old ski racer tell me last week that I was forgiven for not remembering his name from six months prior due to my being old and having a mushy brain) is that I have seen a fire fueled at a crash site due to propane tank on a trailer being left on. Not to mention wire shorts in trailers can happen at anytime - parked or driving and I would rather not look back and see I am pulling a ball of fire. Besides even if it is a slight chance of an accident it still doesnt fix my old mushy brain and help me to remember to turn the tank off when I pull into a gas station.

Its just my personal comfort choose and you did ask why some of us don't tow with the propane on. Not everyone will agree with my choose or reason for it.

Edit to add: Although the odds may be low as to an event actually happening - it can happen. Having had an event take place which took a family members life with odds of it happening of 11 million to 1, so I am probable more cautionary than some when it comes to playing odds. ;-)
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