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Old 01-11-2016, 05:09 PM   #43
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I've been an RV owner for over 14 years and have camped in RVs for at least 25 years. In that time the fridge has remained on, in LP mode throughout the journey, at gas stations, on the road. If I'm not in a place that has electricity, the fridge runs on LP there too....the only addition I placed into my external fridge compartment was a Halon fire extinguisher since so many of these fridges have had issues where the ammonia lines crack, rupture and have a high probability of fire:

SS-30 Halon Extinguisher Straight Auto Deploy - RV Cooling Unit Warehouse

Like Frank said, you gotta do what you feel comfortable doing, taking a lot of what you read here and assess what may work best for you. Everyone has opinions on many things pertaining to RVs, let alone Airstreams. For years I've had a lot of folks say things that shouldn't have been done, which in the end almost all of them turned out to be some of the best things I did, disproving a lot of naysayers, but your results can and will vary.

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Old 04-19-2016, 07:25 AM   #44
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I hate to open this can of worms again, but is it far riskier for my Airstream motorhome (1981 280 gas, not diesel)?

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Old 04-19-2016, 09:19 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Tap View Post
I hate to open this can of worms again, but is it far riskier for my Airstream motorhome (1981 280 gas, not diesel)?
As long as the fumes expelled during refueling do not reach open flame of any sort, that would not be a cause of ignition.

Of course, static discharge has been identified as cause of many, if not most occurring during refueling of gasoline powered vehicle fire(s), including cars/RVs.

Possibility of static discharge ignition is minimized by dissipation of electrical imbalance as reason airplanes are grounded to an earth ground or the fueling truck before and during refuel... There are videos of static discharge on the Internet. Here is one by Mythbusters

In the old days static discharge was not considered an issue because the refuel required climbing on or being in direct contact with airplane and fuel nozzle from initial thru completion of refuel. Best safety practice I have found on gasoline powered vehicles, to minimize static source, is to use my hands to touch both the vehicle and pump (fuel dispenser) at the same time for two or three seconds, then get pump activated and touch the pump handle as I also maintain touch with the vehicle.. Then unscrew the fuel cap and insert the fuel nozzle while again touching the vehicle.

Now, I should include the possibility of fumes from other nearby vehicles in the conversation. That requires knowledge of requirements for "ignition" and support of fire. That info is readily available from many sources.

When I am refueling my Diesel where flammable fuel is present, I shut off all Airsream appliances as soon as I stop at a Gas Station... I follow above procedures when refueling any sort of gasoline powered device (lawn mower, genset, etc)... Always set fuel container on the ground as well.

Once done with refuel, move vehicle away from pumps, go into store, then return to AS and restart propane appliances.
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Old 04-19-2016, 09:40 AM   #46
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The OP referenced a Halon fire extinguisher system, but if memory serves the production of halon gas was banned in 1994 because of its damaging effect to the atmosphere although manufacturers were still permitted to use existing stocks.

At one time halon was the de facto standard fire suppressant for use in computer rooms as personnel could supposedly breath in a halon saturated atmosphere and it would not damage the computer equipment. Halon was removed from that service after some computer room personnel suffocated during a halon release. IIRC it was decided halon was no better than CO2 at protecting room occupants from suffocation, putting out fires, and not damaging sensitive equipment. At the same time it is a lot more expensive than CO2 and just as any other CFC does a lot more damage to earth's atmosphere.

Personally, I would be very reluctant to use halon in an area as confined as a motor home especially if it might go off while the occupants were sleeping and they risk never waking up. Your concern is not unwarranted but, IMHO you would be better served switching to an all electric refrigerator such as those used in today's Airstream Interstate.
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Old 04-19-2016, 01:37 PM   #47
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Before any ignition of fuel vapors can occur, the concentration of vapors must be above the Lower Explosive Limit and below the Upper Explosive Limit. For gasoline the LEL is 1.4% by volume and the UEL is 7.6% by volume— according to NIOSH.

But since most of us don't carry "sniffers" that can accurately measure the concentration of gasoline vapors, the safest rule is this: if you can smell gasoline, turn off all sources of ignition, including pilot lights and spark ignition on appliances.

The average human nose can detect as low as 60ppm of gasoline (or rather, the benzine in gasoline), or 0.006%, well below the Lower Explosive Limit. So the rule is, "the nose knows."
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Old 04-19-2016, 08:23 PM   #48
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A properly designed Halon system is safe for personnel inside the area. Been there, survived that.

Unfortunately it's no longer available. CO2 systems are cheaper, but do require life-threatening concentration to put out fires, and can cause thermal shock to electronics as well as static discharge issues.

It's not an easy problem.

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Old 04-20-2016, 04:00 AM   #49
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My Classic and Ram 2500HD rig is over 52' long. I have been known to pull into a multi island gas station to get diesel for the truck. No big deal....

But the refrigerator is probably 30 feet behind where I am fueling the diesel, but about even with the second gasoline pump where some one else could be putting gasoline into their vehicle on the other side......

In a month or so, I will be upgrading the refrigerator to a Vitrifrigo DP2600 with a 12Vdc DanFoss compressor, so there will be no more open flames in that area.
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Old 04-20-2016, 10:17 AM   #50
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Getting gas without blowing up question.

If a person is fueling outside and there is not a fairly significant amount of gasoline pooled on the ground, and there is no spark or open flame within a foot or so of the explosive vapor displaced by the added liquid, the chances of blowing up while fueling are very, very, very, remote.

Superat stultitia.

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