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Old 04-19-2014, 07:41 PM   #15
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Always! But then again I run the heater going down the road in cold weather as we'll....
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Old 04-19-2014, 08:24 PM   #16
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Always! But then again I run the heater going down the road in cold weather as we'll....
Well done.

Learning how to use an Airstream, is very important.

Some owners have learned, as you have, so that you can enjoy all it offers.

Others still try to invent the wheel.

Oh well, to each his own.

And so it is.

Andy
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Old 04-19-2014, 08:35 PM   #17
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I tow with a diesel as well, but I believe that there is a circuit set up in the Dometic so that when you are on propane and 12V (e.g. towing), and you shut down your engine (no power being seen from your car on the 7 pin), there's an automatic time delay for restart on the fridge....specifically to allow people to refuel without having to go in and manually shut off their fridge. Pretty sure this is in my Domectic owners manual.
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Old 04-19-2014, 09:31 PM   #18
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Depends on if there are groceries in there. Tomorrow- yes, I will be traveling with the refrigerator on. I turned it on yesterday hooked up to shore power in the driveway to let it get to the proper temperature. I turned the gas on just now so I won't forget tomorrow when we drive away.
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Old 04-19-2014, 09:36 PM   #19
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And you can be sure, if there was the slightest risk of danger while towing with the refrigerator in LP mode, that the refrigerator manufacturer's and Airstream's lawyers would have big red caution placards plastered in the rig and in the manuals....
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Old 04-19-2014, 09:51 PM   #20
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I have visited and posted on lots of automotive related forums, I don't think I have ever seen one with so many opinionated people who are so sure that there is only one "proper" way to do things, and are so sure that so many things that are done everyday cannot be done.
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Old 04-20-2014, 03:45 AM   #21
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Yep. That about sums it up.
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Old 04-20-2014, 05:17 AM   #22
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I had a 3way fridge a while back and used the 12volt system while towing but find it doesn't work as good as propane so we used the propane while towing and now with a 2 way fridge in our airstream we use the propane all the time while towing,and since it was designed for this ,we use it! 16 years no problem
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Old 04-20-2014, 05:40 AM   #23
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Yes, haven't blown up yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
'cause battery powered wouldn't last too long? ...
The 115V electric heating element is in the 65-100W range, depending on fridge size. I assume the 12V heaters would be similar, so they draw 6-9 amps, pretty much continuously if the weather is warm. A typical fully-charged battery can run a fridge for only 9-12 hours and then it's totally flat.

Speaking of propane, if it's frigid I also run my catalytic heater while towing. Not to keep the water pipes from freezing, since I don't use the plumbing system when camping in freezing weather, but to keep the fridge from freezing everything solid and to keep canned goods from freezing.

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Old 04-20-2014, 10:39 AM   #24
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What?

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Originally Posted by J. Morgan View Post
I have visited and posted on lots of automotive related forums, I don't think I have ever seen one with so many opinionated people who are so sure that there is only one "proper" way to do things, and are so sure that so many things that are done everyday cannot be done.
Don't get the point of this post. The OP asked a question and people have shared their experiences and opinions. What are you trying to say? This "run with the fridge on" question usually erupts into a war but this thread hasn't done that. Are you trying to start something? I haven't seen any name calling or angry statements.
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Old 04-20-2014, 12:47 PM   #25
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I run down the highway with the fridge on.
If it were dangerous they would have a warning sticker for that...
It it were dangerous they would not make propane refrigerators...
Do motor homes turn off the fridge? No. They do not.
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Old 04-20-2014, 12:53 PM   #26
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I run down the highway with the fridge on.
If it were dangerous they would have a warning sticker for that...
It it were dangerous they would not make propane refrigerators...
Do motor homes turn off the fridge? No. They do not.
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Old 04-20-2014, 09:29 PM   #27
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Got to keep them groceries cold!
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Old 04-21-2014, 12:05 PM   #28
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After reviewing my Airstream owner's manual, the Dometic refrigerator manual, and several sources on Propane safety, I'm going to suggest that while Dometic and Airstream don't insist that you turn off the propane cylinders before traveling, propane safety authorities recommend that you do so. So, we're going to travel with our propane off after packing our fridge with lots of really cold stuff as if it were an ice chest.

Should you choose to run with the propane and fridge on in a modern Airstream, please be sure to set the fridge to "AUTO" and ensure the water heater is OFF. I have no idea whether that precaution helps with vintage models using older propane-fired refrigerators.

Please note, I'm not telling you what to do. It's your rig, your camping trip, your food, and your family.

Citations follow.

Here are some tips to help keep food cold in transit: Keeping Your RV Refrigerator Cool... the Basics - RV Basics .com

Here are three propane safety citations, all of which make identical recommendations using identical wording:
That recommendation is as follows:
On the Road
Most RV refrigerators can keep food and beverages cold
during several hours of travel without a power source.
For your safety, it is recommended that the propane supply
be turned off at the tank while driving.
Here's a citation from http://www.propane.ca/en/about-propane/safety:
  • "In most provinces, it's law that all appliances and pilot lights must be turned off and cylinder valves closed while traveling."
Here's an interesting collection of sources on propane safety: Rules of the Road, which includes the following citations for Manitoba and Nova Scotia: "Open propane cylinders are not allowed while traveling on open highways."

There are of course many citations for the requirement that propane cylinders be turned off before boarding a ferry and that certain sizes and/or quantities of cylinders aren't allowed in certain tunnels under any circumstances.

I have found several secondary sources which claim it's illegal to take your RV on the road with the valve open, but other than the links above from Woodalls, I'm having a hard time at the moment finding the actual chapter and verse for any particular state. On the Airstream website, for example, at Airstream, Inc :: Customer Support, I found this video How to Use Your Propane Tanks - YouTube

Airstream manual:
At the beginning of section "H" on Appliances (Page H-1 of the Airstream International owner's manual) it says:
WARNING: Most LP gas appliances used in recreational vehicles are vented to the outside of the vehicle. When parked close to a gasoline pump, it is possible that gasoline fumes could enter this type of appliance and ignite the burner flame, CAUSING A FIRE OR AN EXPLOSION.
The same owners manual says nothing in Section H (Appliances) on the refrigerator page except to explain that it's not necessary to maintain level operations while moving since the movements will adequately slosh the ammonia about.

Dometic Manual
The Dometic refrigerator manual says at the top of page six under the heading, Refrigerator Lockout
When the refirgerator's temporary gas lockout is energized, the LP gas operation will automatically lock out for 15 minutes when the engine is switched off. This will prevent LP gas operation e.g. when stopping at a refueling station. See installlation instructions ALTERNATOR D+ CONNECTION to install this feature.
In a WARNING box right next to this text, it says the following:
FIRE OR EXPLOSION HAZARD. The temporary gas lockout feature will not work when AUTO mode is turned OFF. Consequently, while refuleling or parking near a gasoline pump, make sure AUTO mode is ON and all LP gas appliances vented to the outside of the vehicle are shut OFF. Otherwise, gasoline fumes from gasoline pumps could come into contact with an LP gas appliance burner flame and ignite. Failure to obey this warning could cause a fire or explosion resulting in death or serious injury.
The Dometic manual then additionally talks about how it's not necessary to maintain level operations while in motion since the ammonia will slosh about with normal travel activity.

So within the Airstream and Dometic manuals, there's plenty of room to assume that it's possible to safely travel with your refrigerator on and your propane running. Within the other documents I found, there's plenty of room to assume it's a really good idea to turn off the propane while traveling after you've gotten your fridge good and cold and packed it with things to help it stay cold in the interim. Your call, folks.
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