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Old 10-08-2002, 11:54 AM   #1
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Question Run the fridge while traveling?

In the latest "Blue Beret", there is an interesting article on fire safety in trailers and RVs. One suggustion is to not run the fridge
when traveling because the use of propane could be a fire hazard. They suggest getting the fridge very cold the night before and turning it off while traveling. I am curious as to how people are handing this. Has any one had a bad experience in this situation?
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Old 10-08-2002, 12:42 PM   #2
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My personal feeling is this: the chance of fire is less than that of food poisoning so I run the frig while travelling. I am always aware that it is on and when I pull into a gas station I turn it off before I pull up to the pump. I am also aware that certain bridges and tunnels require you to turn off the propane. So far, no bad experiences.
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Old 10-08-2002, 12:55 PM   #3
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Cool runnin mun! I have recently asked myself the same question. However, I do recall seeing a pile of burning smoldering aluminum and rubber attached to the back of a late-model SUV on the interstate last year. Logic tells me that bad things can happen given the opportunity. I just drove five hours on Sunday after having had the refrigerator and freezer running on LP for three days and when I arrived at home everything was still pretty much in the shape it was when I closed the door and left the campground. I am however, interested in other people's thoughts.
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Old 10-08-2002, 04:40 PM   #4
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Texas heat

I'll guarantee that you can not travel for any extended time with the fridge off during our hot summers. Even at the best, the fridge can just get the temperature in the safe zone on my thermometer after running overnight in 80+ temperatures. Two hours turned off with the temperature in the 90s and the thermostat is in the danger zone.

Like gwsullivan, I fear food poinoning a lot more than a fire. I feel my refrigerator is far less of a hazard than the car that just pulled up to the pumps with a catalytic converter hot enough to set grass on fire (not uncommon).

I turn it off when fueling unless I can position the truck/trailer so that the fridge is far from the nearest pump.I don't stop where I see a tanker filling the underground tanks whether the fridge is on or off. To me, that is a far greater hazard.
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Old 10-08-2002, 07:31 PM   #5
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That's why they make 3-way refrigerators.
I have never traveled with the gas on and I am not planning on doing so in the future.
The 12V feature is very effective and it is beyond me, why not all MH's are equipped with that option.
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Old 10-08-2002, 08:13 PM   #6
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Right on Peter. Hate to say this right now, but it doesn't seem the added 12v heater should actually make that much difference in price as everything else is already there and it makes it pretty much a no brainer.

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Old 10-08-2002, 08:27 PM   #7
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For me I just run it on AC as I usally have the generator going anyway to run the roof air. In a towing situation I towed with it on and made the stops as necessary to turn off the unit prior to and after filling up gas or diesel.
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Old 10-08-2002, 09:55 PM   #8
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Run the fridge while traveling?

My rule of thumb is never operate the refrigerator on anything other than 12-volt when traveling. I do have a rather good reason, or maybe it is because I live subject to Murphy's Law on a regular basis. In a 36 month period of time (covering 72,000 miles of travel) I had three different fuel pumps malfunction while refueling my '99 Suburban tow vehicle. The least fuel that was spilled amounted to about 5 gallons and I wouldn't even want to estimate the most that was spilled. In the worst case, the supply hose between the pump and nozzle burst sending fuel everywhere - - and there was no clearly labeled emergency pump shut-off at the island - - a 150 yard trek to the customer service desk was necessary to notify the attendant of the problem as there wasn't even an intercom. In the two worst cases, the spill had to be cleaned-up before my vehicle could be moved.

In each case I knew that there were no pilot lights or open flames in the trailer as I learned the rule of no LP use during travel over 20 years ago when I purchased my first RV with a 3-way refrigerator. While many have had problems with these refrigerators, each of mine has performed flawlessly on 12-volt - - in fact my first refrigerator was nearly always operated on 12-volt. I always get a little gittery when refueling when I see an RV pull in that may have its refrigerator running on propane - - I nearly pannicked once when someone (not an Airstreamer) pulled in with their hot water heater running.
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Old 10-08-2002, 10:35 PM   #9
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pilot lights and gas stations

You may as well check your gas tank level with a match.
The water heater situation is even more effective , especially on my rig, since it is on the same side as the fuel tank.
Besides the obvious no-no for refueling, I am always concerned about road hazards.
A friend of mine drove behind a pick-up truck, who decided throw a tire stored in his bed at him. He ran over it with his RV, blew his right front tire and tore everything up underneath his rig. Luckily, he didn't have his gas turned on, or else he wouldn't have to worry about repairs.
Two days ago, I was drivng behind an old early 70's RV, a funky old coach, when the truck in front of him lost his right front tire and wheel. He just flew in the ditch but the tire rolled right in front of the old RV and he barely missed it. No way could he ever have stopped in time.
And then there is deer and dinosaurs....
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Old 10-09-2002, 06:29 AM   #10
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Wow! It seems as if we have divergence of opinions. I propose the following question. If indeed one may operate the refrigerator on 12 V while in transit then why tempt fate or even Murphy himself by running the risk of having the LP on? Is the ability to operate the fridge on 12 V while in transit limited to motorhomes or can it also be done with travel trailers?
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Old 10-09-2002, 10:10 AM   #11
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Unfortunately, My refer does not have the 12 volt option or I would certainly use it. When it is time to replace the refer I will definitely get the three-way.
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Old 10-09-2002, 10:16 AM   #12
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According to the instructions on my 2-way refrig, there is an ignition cutoff. It turns off the capability of lighting when you turn off the vehicle ignition and will not restart it for 20 minutes after the ignition comes back on. Of course this is IF the ignition cutoff is connected correctly.
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Old 10-09-2002, 05:28 PM   #13
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Picture this:

You are driving down the interstate and all of a sudden you spot something that looks like a discus or large hubcap rolling across the median grass. You have nowhere to go as the object heads straight for you. It hits the asphalt and goes under the vehicle slicing a hole in your transmission pan, severs transmission cooler lines and cuts clear through the floorboard into the carpeting behind the front seats. The object was an engine flywheel with teeth from hell that fell off a flatbed truck going the opposite direction on the interstate. This happened to my dad about 12 years ago and I'd sure hate to think what it would do to my Excella 500 gas line. My vote: Run the fridge the day before on 110 v. to make sure all food is good and cold. Freeze anything you will be eating later in your trip. Place Blue ice in the freezer at the same time. Place 1/2 gallon milk jugs of frozen water in the frig. before leaving if space is available. You can drink it later on if you wish. It has worked for me for the short trips I make and the 1/2 gal. jugs take several days to thoughly thaw out.
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Old 10-13-2002, 11:49 PM   #14
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DRIVING WITH REFER ON PROPANE

My friend had a motorhome that the insurance com now owns because of a ref. fire while driving with it on propane.

BEWARE
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