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Old 08-29-2012, 09:58 AM   #1
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Default Fridge on propane while going down road

Do any of you do this? Pros and cons?
thanks
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Old 08-29-2012, 11:01 AM   #2
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Absolutely. Pros: It keeps the food cold. Cons: None that I can think of, unless you prefer room temperature food.

There is some debate over whether you should shut it off at the gas station. Personally I don't worry about it and fill up with the fridge running.
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:56 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LJAZ
Absolutely. Pros: It keeps the food cold. Cons: None that I can think of, unless you prefer room temperature food.

There is some debate over whether you should shut it off at the gas station. Personally I don't worry about it and fill up with the fridge running.
X2

There are many folks that are adamant about not having your refrigerator running while re-fueling. In order for your "running" refrigerator (and the odds of it actually "running" while you are stopped to get gas is slim - it only lights when the reefer calls for it and while you are on the road, it probably doesn't call for it often), you would have to have a concentration of fumes 3-4' off the ground and 12-25' (or more) feet away thick enough to pose a problem. If that were to happen, IMHO, you would have died at the pump handle for lack of oxygen. Many stories out there about "refrigerator fires", but, the fact of the matter is, I can't find a single one that is documented while re-fueling (igniting the fueling fumes as a starter of the fire). A refrigerator's cooling fluid is, by itself, very flamable (ammonia mixed with hydrogen) and those fires are going to happen no matter where you are and most all of them that I've been able to find happen in campgrounds and parking lots.
It is just like the "cell phone scare"...there hasn't been a single documented case of a cell phone causing a fire while re-fueling a car. You are much more likely to cause a fire while refueling through static electricity...that's why pump nozzles have plastic coverings

The above, is my opinion from the research I've done and the years of experience I've had. If the concern is such that you worry over it, leave it off. Your frozen stuff may soften a bit and your favorite beverage won't be that "icy" cold that most of us prefer, but, the food should last during a normal day's worth of driving with the unit off altogether. Me? I like my "post setup cold one" to be really cold!



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Old 08-30-2012, 08:11 AM   #4
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I do most of the time without any issues. Only con I can think of is before going through most tunnels you are required to stop for inspection and turn off your tanks. Since you are supposed to stop anyway its no big deal to turn the tanks off especially if you have the little doors on top of the cover and don't have to pull the tank cover off like mine does.
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Old 08-30-2012, 09:51 AM   #5
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Excellent! Now I don't have to worry about the ice melting or frozen meat. I'll be taking bottled chicken and potatoes but wanted to have some frozen hamburgers and steaks too.
It really is like having your own little apartment behind the truck.
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Old 08-30-2012, 10:13 AM   #6
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I am not sure how much propane it uses up, doing that, but I have done it without seemingly using up much. I have also talked to several other RV'ers at work and they run their propane to cool the fridge while traveling also.
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Old 08-30-2012, 01:01 PM   #7
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It really doesn't use much propane at all. Not sure exactly how much, but I've run the fridge on propane when dry camping for up to 4 days and there was still lots left in the tank.
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Old 08-30-2012, 04:48 PM   #8
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The flame that heats the absorption system boiler is just about the size of pilot flame. Not much propane usage at all, even if it ran constantly, which it doesn't.

Several sources I've read indicate a duty cycle on propane of between 20 and 30%. That is one of the reasons I don't worry about the refrigerator being "on" while fueling. In theory, if IIRC, you should be able to get 20+ days of usage out of 20 lb propane tank. The electric heater's duty cycle is pretty much 100%; it runs virtually all of the time trying to keep the refrigerator cold. The flame is much hotter than the electric element; if you need it cooled down fast, even though plugged into a campground, it is more efficient to use the LP side as opposed to the 120v side.



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Old 09-05-2012, 01:46 PM   #9
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I like this idea but.....Wouldn't the winds extinguish the flame? If so, does the propane continue to flow? Does it re-light itself?
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Old 09-05-2012, 03:42 PM   #10
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Very difficult for the wind to actually blow out the flame...it is designed for running while on the road and is very well protected. They are DSI, so, in the event that one did blow out, it would automatically re-light itself.



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Old 09-06-2012, 09:07 PM   #11
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Default Fridge?

While driving down the road and the fridge is set on auto. Isn't the fridge running on your electrical plug to your truck?

I thought the LP is only used when there is an interuption in the connection or electrical service?
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Old 09-07-2012, 08:05 AM   #12
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Only if it's a 3-way fridge. I know my 210 WBS is only Propane or 110. I think some Manufacturers like LivinLite still do the 3-way fridges on some of their models.
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Old 09-07-2012, 08:09 AM   #13
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Only if you have a fridge capable of running on 12V. Many of the RV fridges only have 2 options: propane or 120V. That's all mine has.

If you have that option you can certainly use it.
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Old 09-07-2012, 10:26 AM   #14
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Most "newer" RV refrigerators are LP or 120v; in the early days when campgrounds were few and far between and "hookups" were unheard of, 12v operation was almost needed in order to run the refrigerator (a lot of campers during that time had LP lighting and 12v for the refrigerator was necessity should you run out of LP).

Those days are gone and very few refrigerators are capable of 12v operation, nor would I want one. The amp draw of a 12v heater to run the refrigerator is horrendous (that's why they've mostly gone away).

As an aside; we've been on the road now for almost 3 months...just had to fill one 30lb tank that we used for a couple of weekends last fall and this trip. Most of LP usage was the water heater and the grill, but, even with the LP running while traveling, I got 3 months out of the tank.



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