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Old 07-10-2004, 04:18 PM   #15
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Thanks to everyone who posted on this thread and for the lead to the poll and its discussion. We leave Friday for 2-3 weeks travel in the Montana area. I know we have traveled with the refrig on in the past although I have always felt uneasy. This renewed thread has convinced us to follow jschelle's routine (above) or to practice the off/on routine, making the co-pilot in charge of the duty. Great thread to reactivate here in the peak of summer travel season!
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Old 07-10-2004, 05:32 PM   #16
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I just don't have the guts to travel with the fridge on. So far we've always used a cooler of ice to get where we're going, and keep stuff cold until the fridge comes up to temp.
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Old 07-10-2004, 06:36 PM   #17
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Gas off and a cooler full of ice (and beer, etc...)

We've gotten in the habit of turning the gas off when towing. So of course the fridge is off too. We put a large frozen water jug in the Coleman Extreme and go for it. Now, part of the reason we do that is because the fridge in the new trailer cools down so fast. Within one to two hours. My lovely wife may correct me, but I believe we put the frozen water jug into the fridge (to give it a kickstart) and turn it to auto at the campground. Much better then the previous smaller unit.
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Old 07-11-2004, 01:23 AM   #18
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For safety we NEVER travel with our propane tanks on. Therefore, no refrigerator on. The contents in the refrigerator stay cold since the door is shut for the 4-6 hours we travel. When we stop for the night then we turn the propane on. I'm just very careful around propane.
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Old 07-11-2004, 02:51 AM   #19
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After attending a 2 day safety seminar during rhe Escapees Spring Escapade ... we were convinced about turning the propane off at the tanks.

Read this ...RISKY BUSINESS

And this ... Propane: On or Off?

We have never had a problem with food spoiling when the fridge is off. If the weather is going to be hot ... or the drive especially long ... we just freeze a few 16 oz. water bottles and place them in the fridge before hitching up. A small fan also helps. In most cases ... none of this is necessary.
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Old 07-11-2004, 08:17 AM   #20
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Porky,

I am not intending to fan a flame here but after reading both articles I have trouble see how either one applies to running with the propane on and the refer running on gas as you travel. A am one of those "unsafe" Rvers that does travel with the propane on.

In the first article the main anecdote was regarding a main line that failed to a stove in the coach. Unless the gas was allowed to build up to a sufficient concentration it is not going to ignite. Going down he road the air movement past all of the windows and the refer vents will pull a lot of it out. The fact that the gas regulator failed is also a story I have trouble applying to the Airstream world. The regulator on a fifth wheel is in an inside the body, vented compartment along with the tanks. The LP is heavier than air so it will sink. If you had a regulator failure while towing the amount of air flow would disperse the gas and you could have empty tanks. Yes a spark could be a problem, but the OPD Shutoff should close and a small amount of gas will leak out so even empty tanks are unlikely.

In the second article I would have to say this accident happened before the mandated OPD valves. Along with the regulator failure in the first article. The OPD high flow shut off will close and stop the flow of propane should a line get ruptured. Even my 78 motorhome has a cut off valve so in the event of an accident the gas flow will be stopped.

The gas station fumes or having someone spray gasoline on the rig is a concern of mine. We always turn our refer off before pulling in AND make every effort to choose a pump that allows for the refer to be away from all pumps. I too will bypass if I feel there is an issue with too many RV's in a station. I know what I do, I don't know what they do.

Lastly I have a hard time with the idea that I need to use valuable freezer and refrigerator space for Blue Ice, or frozen bottles of water that I then need to transfer tot he refer to help keep it cold. I have a larger refer, but when we are on the road I don't want to use the space to store food to blue ice packs or frozen bottles of water that I will not drink.

Everyone has a different amount of risk that they are willing to assume. but I wanted to offer my opinions on the articles you linked to.
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Old 07-11-2004, 09:17 AM   #21
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I also travel with my refrigerator on. It is a little easier to shut it off in a motorhome, just a few feet to walk to shut it off when fueling, tunnels, etc.

I question the story, or the capabilities of the writer in the first story. A completely broken line and he is leak testing fittings? C'mon, at least be realistic or get out of the business of telling people how to repair their rvs. In the second incident what would have happened if the regulator failed while camping? It could happen at anytime. All the propane line entrances through the body are sealed, how was the propane traveling to the refrigerator? If I had a leak like that I would rather be in motion than stationary. This guy scares me.

As Brett said in the second story, pre OPD (probably the first also because it was a line break and propane continued to flow). I have no doubt this has happened but it would have to be a hard hit. Propane lines are run within the frame of the trailer as much as possible. IMHO all bets are off in accidents this severe, batteries explode, tanks can be ruptured. The flame in the frig is a very minor concern to me.

No expert is going to tell you to run with the propane on, liability would be huge. Common sense must prevail, don't combine open flames and fuel, shut off in tunnels, etc.

John
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Old 07-11-2004, 11:25 AM   #22
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We travel with our LP refer on, and to keep the pliot light from blowing out we put a piece of aluminum inside the access panel. It keeps the gusts of wind from blowing out the pliot. You place the panel far enought inside so the air flow is not impeeded comming through the door so the pliot and burner and works well. When you have a side wind the amount of draft going up the flue wil put out the pliot once in a while. That is on our 02 31' Classic. Give it a try, it's worth it.
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Old 07-11-2004, 05:13 PM   #23
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Long ago I removed the old three-way refrigerator from my International and replaced it with a $150 3.7 cubic foot AC-only household unit. When on the road, I activate an 8-gauge wire connecting my tow vehicle to an inverter in the trailer, and the inverter powers the refrigerator. I have an ammeter and voltmeter in the tow vehicle's cockpit to assure everything is working OK, along with a switch to turn off the circuit when parked, thus running the refrigerator only from my coach battery during mid-day breaks. My refrigerator draws about 10 amps when it cycles on, less than my headlights. When I get to the campground, my trailer battery is fully charged and the food still cold. This has been working for me for the past 15 years.
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Old 07-11-2004, 05:57 PM   #24
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Wow, glad I asked the question! Being a newbie, I wanted the low down. The poll results were helpful, Tim, as were the articles, Porky. I asked the question because I will be driving from Maryland to South Dakota and intend to drive 4-6 hours and rest for a couple hours until I get there. I have not traveled with the refrig on to date because the trips have been short. It will take about 38 hours to get to SD, and I want to take food with me. The jury is still out on whether I will run with the refrig on, but at least I have enough information to understand the pros and cons.

Thanks to all who responded.
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Old 07-11-2004, 07:35 PM   #25
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Hi Brett,

So basically you're saying that if your lines are good, your regulator is good, and you have the newer valves on your propane tanks, there's not much that can go wrong? If a line breaks or otherwise begins releasing large amounts of propane the valve will shut off the flow? This is new to me, as it just came up recently on another thread. I didn't realize the tank valves did that.

I guess it's just the thought of having a flame in my trailer when I'm not around to monitor it. Of course I leave the trailer unattended or sleep with the fridge on and don't worry about it then.

I know our trailer's PO regularly travelled with the fridge on, and he and the trailer have both survived without incident. Maybe we'll give it a shot on our next trip.
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Old 07-11-2004, 08:44 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts
Hi Brett,

So basically you're saying that if your lines are good, your regulator is good, and you have the newer valves on your propane tanks, there's not much that can go wrong? If a line breaks or otherwise begins releasing large amounts of propane the valve will shut off the flow? This is new to me, as it just came up recently on another thread. I didn't realize the tank valves did that.
Steph,

You got it. That is the main reason for the conversion to OPD.
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Old 07-12-2004, 07:43 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinsel Loaf
We travel with our LP refer on, and to keep the pliot light from blowing out we put a piece of aluminum inside the access panel. It keeps the gusts of wind from blowing out the pliot. You place the panel far enought inside so the air flow is not impeeded comming through the door so the pliot and burner and works well. When you have a side wind the amount of draft going up the flue wil put out the pliot once in a while. That is on our 02 31' Classic. Give it a try, it's worth it.
Thanks for your reply. I have enjoyed reading all the feelings about traveling with the fridge on - but really wanted to hear what I can do about the pilot blowing out. It happens EVERY TIME for us. My dealer here in WPB is going to try and rig up something - but I will give them your info on the aluminum foil.

Since you have the same unit - we bought ours used - but it is like brand new. We have discovered there is a plastic covering on all the lettering on the unit. This plastic covering is breaking down, moisture is getting behind it, and it is next to impossible to get off. Dealer doesn't seem to know anything about it. Did your unit have a plastic covering on the lettering???? Thanks for your reply.

Jennifer
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Old 07-12-2004, 07:45 AM   #28
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Oops - I mean a piece of aluminum - not aluminum foil!
Jennifer
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