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Old 06-09-2012, 01:26 PM   #1
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Fridge on or off?

We're new to Airstreaming and want to know if we should travel with the fridge on gas power. The manual says "No", but we've been told it's okay because the new regulators have an automatic shut-off if there is a reduction in LP gas system pressure. What's the answer?
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Old 06-09-2012, 01:31 PM   #2
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Most RVrs run with the fridge on. I do. In the interest of maximum safety, you may find times when its not needed to run fridge when underway. Such as shorter trips when the refrigerator is already very cold inside. Or times when there is no food in fridge at all.
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Old 06-09-2012, 01:48 PM   #3
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I keep it off but put freezer packs in the freezer before we leave. The frig acts like a cooler.
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Old 06-09-2012, 02:17 PM   #4
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I do, here is another thread, same question about a week ago. http://www.airforums.com/forums/f483...oad-92098.html
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Old 06-09-2012, 04:55 PM   #5
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My vote is, of course you run with it on. Why not? It's designed for it.

Not to be a smarty pants....but really, why wouldn't you? Sort of like why wouldn't you play the radio in the car? That's one of the reasons you get an Airstream, instead of a pop up with an Igloo cooler. Or a "Whatever" car instead of a '78 Chevette with no radio so that you have to have a Boom Box in the back (aka Igloo cooler.....)

There are tunnels and some bridges where you have to turn the LP off. But other than that, run with it on.

Best of luck,
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Old 06-09-2012, 05:53 PM   #6
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Old 06-10-2012, 01:15 PM   #7
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Thanks all for the input!! Really appreciate it!! Have a good one!!!Sherlock27
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Old 06-11-2012, 06:47 AM   #8
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Not to be a smarty pants....but really, why wouldn't you? Sort of like why wouldn't you play the radio in the car? That's one of the reasons you get an Airstream, instead of a pop up with an Igloo cooler. Or a "Whatever" car instead of a '78 Chevette with no radio so that you have to have a Boom Box in the back (aka Igloo cooler.....)
There is a picture around here somewhere of someone with a camper that got into an accident that damaged the water heater. The gas was on, and the regulator didn't do its job of shutting off the gas when the excess flow was detected. Propane everywhere! That can lead to some obvious problems (didn't in that case, though).

Very rare set of circumstances though, and even with all of that, it didn't result in a fire. We run with ours on for longer trips where the fridge probably won't stay cold on its own.
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Old 06-13-2012, 04:27 PM   #9
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We have never kept the fridge on since we bought Pearl in 2009 due to her age and being afraid of a mishap. But decided to try towing with the gas on for our recent 7,000+ mile journey from PA to CA and back. Didn't have any problem and noticed that the fridge didn't ice up as much on gas.

Hope this helps.

Ellen and Wayne
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Old 06-13-2012, 05:10 PM   #10
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I have an electronic thermometer in my refrigerator and it firmly reinforces my decision to run with the refrigerator on, especially in our Texas summers.

Even in moderate outside temperatures, my 2010 refrigerator will not hold safe food temperatures for more than a few hours, even with the door never opened.

At the Airstream plant two weeks ago, we were told to run with it off and turn it on while we stop to eat. With a refrigerator that takes hours to initially cool down, the duration of a noon meal stop will barely get the cooling process started, let alone significantly cool the box.

I think Dometic and Airstream preach that it should be turned off as a Cover Their A** statement.

Of course, turn it off before approaching the gas pumps and restart it after refueling. The risk is low, but it is a law. I often refuel my diesel at truck stops amid idling 18-wheelers and in that situation, The pumps are diesel only. I leave the refrigerator on then as well as leaving the engine running in hot weather.
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Old 06-18-2012, 12:54 PM   #11
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Frig Operation

If we don't operate the frig on gas while travelling, we can operate on batteries. Will the frig discharge the batteries even when being charged by the tow vehicle? We have two batteries on a 22FB.

Thanks!

Chris
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Old 06-18-2012, 01:49 PM   #12
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Battery life

I am not sure how fast a particular model will flatten your batteries but it is a pretty short time. They pull a lot of watts/amps. I would buy a couple bags of ice at $1.50 to be safe. A full fridge will stay cooler than one that is almost empty. We freeze a couple half gallon milk bottles in the freezer at night and move them in the refrigerator section when we hit the road in the morning.
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:00 PM   #13
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If I could ever get mine working on gas I would run it when traveling. As it is it holds cold pretty well for about 4 hours after being unplugged.
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherlock27 View Post
If we don't operate the frig on gas while travelling, we can operate on batteries. Will the frig discharge the batteries even when being charged by the tow vehicle? We have two batteries on a 22FB.

Thanks!

Chris
I used to own a Hi-Lo trailer that had a 3 way fridge. Our normal mode when towing was 12 volts. The fridge took a lot of amps and there were a few times where we arrived at a campground only to find the battery dead (and of course you needed power to activate the Hi-Lo's lifting system).

What we eventually learned is the auxiliary power lead that comes back to your plug on the rear of the towing vehicle is a bigger gauge wire which allows for maximumizing the voltage back to the power receptacle. If the wire is the same gauge as the wire for the running lights, turn signals etc., it won't carry as much power needed to keep the battery on an even keel. If you look at many factory tow packages, alternators usually were sized larger to accommodate the additional power requirements necessary to keep the trailer battery charged.

I also learned that my Hi-Lo's power issues were caused by dirty contacts on the trailer plug. I used to carry a very small file that would allow me to get rid of the dirt and corrosion that would build up on the contact within the plug. Just doing that every once in a while would keep that charging circuit operating at peak performance. Also the use of dilithium grease on the electrical contacts on the plug and receptacle would insure a good electrical connection.

Jack
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