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Old 07-20-2006, 10:07 AM   #1
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When to shut off LP tanks

We are new to RVing, and just got our 25' Safari on June 1st. So please excuse the elementary narure of our questions.

We have been closing off both LP tanks during storage, but leaving them open while running and camping. We have been running the refer on gas while traveling between campgrounds.

Are we doing something wrong, or is this practice OK?

SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
Santa Rosa Beach, Florida
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Old 07-20-2006, 10:17 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosetags
We are new to RVing, and just got our 25' Safari on June 1st. So please excuse the elementary narure of our questions.

We have been closing off both LP tanks during storage, but leaving them open while running and camping. We have been running the refer on gas while traveling between campgrounds.

Are we doing something wrong, or is this practice OK?

SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
Santa Rosa Beach, Florida
You've opened up a can of worms by asking that question
Some will tell you it's perfectly fine and others will tell you it's unsafe. Personally I think you will be fine.

Welcome to the forums. Enjoy your new Airstream.
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Old 07-20-2006, 10:48 AM   #3
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I too am new to RV-ing. I can't see any other way to get the frige up and running before you leave and while the AS is moving.

This Friday we are heading out to Pismo Beach for our first trip...
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Old 07-20-2006, 11:13 AM   #4
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Use your search function you'll find a thousand opinions on this topic.. My opinion is I never roll with LP open. Food and beverages are in iced coolers in the back of my truck. For us it works well because our AS is not stored at my home so I can't always turn it on and cool the fridge before hitting the road. My other reason is more personal. My business partners Grandparents both died in a freak RV accident when the open propane exploded... now this was many years ago and I know for fact safety technology has changed but, it has always stayed in the back of my mind.....So that's my reason for not leaving LP open while on the road. Right or wrong.... don't know... it's just what I do.
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Old 07-20-2006, 11:25 AM   #5
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Yes. There are as many opinions on this as there are threads on the forums.

When in storage, we always shut down both of the propane tanks. This eliminates the possibility that should there ever be a leak, there is less of a chance of a fire or worse. And NEVER store those tanks anywhere indoors!!! Always close them up. When we go out, the first thing I do is open the tanks, go in the AS and turn the gas on the stove, light all burners for about 30-60 seconds to purge some of the air out of lines. If it is cool out, I'll light the furnace for a few seconds to, followed by water heater for a second or two. The idea is to purge the lines as much as possible.

We always have a chalenge lighting the fridge after storage. There is just a small amount of gas needed to run the fridge, so any air left in the lines takes some patients before it finally lights. After that, anytime we need to run fridge of gas during a trip, the fridge just fires right up.

As far as running fridge on gas, we do it. But we do it with extreme caution. The real concern is pulling into a gas station for all the obvious reasons. I always try and find an end pump. Our gas fill on the van is on the drivers side, and the fridge is on the curbside of our Bambi. Moisture on the pavement by pumps could be gas. Avoid that.

Some people here will turn off the fridge before entering a service station to which I will agree, that will give you more protection.

Use common sense, survey the scene, and do what is comfortable for you.

Jonathan
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Old 07-29-2006, 02:01 AM   #6
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I had a 1971 25 footer and always ran the fridge on the road with propane. Kept everything nice and cool. That was the procedure recommended int eh owners manual. I thought transferring food from a cooler to the box defeated the purpose of convenience. All precautions around gas as above. Lighting was difficult initially but one it was going it never went out. i understand it only burns about 1 1/2 pound a month to keep everything cold. Not bad economically.

Joe
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Old 07-29-2006, 02:31 AM   #7
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I have been turning the propane off at the stations, but if you are filling up several times a day for days cross country, it gets to be a pain. I also forgot to turn it back on a few times and the fridge was too warm when I went in it and discovered it. I couldn't always find a place to pull over and turn the tanks back on either.

I did have a question about turning the gas tanks back on. You do have to go back inside each time and restart your refrigerator, right? And should I be going inside and turning it off first? I think it either blew out a few times too or it did not restart when I turned it on. I also just read some where that the fins do not do anything for 20 minutes, is that so? I wound up having spoiled food and drinking my ice cream in the heat.

Now my refrigerator is on the curb side and I already pick the end pump anyway, besides lev is anyone not turning off the gas when they fill up?
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Old 07-29-2006, 02:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wheel interested
besides lev is anyone not turning off the gas when they fill up?
I never have it on in the first place.
I run down the road with mine on 12Vdc. I will never have another 2-way fridge. They are a pain when you have to run down the road on gas. The flame can be blown out with any amount of wind in the right direction.
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Old 07-29-2006, 12:10 PM   #9
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I have towed with the gas on and the fridge running. I prefer not, though. It depends on the length of the trip. For shorter ones, I can transfer a couple of blue ice packs from the freezer to the top shelf of the fridge, and the freezer's still frozen when I get there. I do have the option of running it on 12 VDC in the Excella, but I haven't gotten around to installing the power cord in the truck for it yet.

As for refueling, I have a diesel. I normally let it do the turbo cooldown AT the fuel pump while refueling. Some fuel bays, however, are an ecological disaster due to previously spilled fuel. I've driven away from several of them that were just too disgusting to use. I've had good luck at Flying J's RV lane, though.

My thought is that the fridge is a LONG WAY from the fuel filler on my truck. That tiny flame is such a small risk . . .

Yes, I need to get that power cable installed on my truck. (But right now I'm busy converting the Excella to Dexter brakes. Then I can get parts from any NAPA store. Plotting and planning . . . and SPENDING.)

Lamar
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Old 07-29-2006, 12:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pattersontoo
I never have it on in the first place.
I run down the road with mine on 12Vdc. I will never have another 2-way fridge. They are a pain when you have to run down the road on gas. The flame can be blown out with any amount of wind in the right direction.
The DC would be a nice option to have. Our refrigerator constantlys shuts off when we are in travel mode (on gas). I would not use this mode for a short run for a camping weekend, but when you are going on a week plus journey, it is a must. Our unit is a Jackson Center right now, and I have asked them to remedy the situation.

At fuel stops ( I prefer Flying J also) I use the couple minute turbo cool down to shut off the LP and the frig (if it is still operating). Then after departing the lane I turn on the LP and frig. Yea, it is a pain but with the diesel we rarely have more than two fuel stops per day.
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Old 07-29-2006, 12:35 PM   #11
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I run with fridge on LP, I only open one bottle. My fridge is on the street side while fill for diesel on the truck is curb side. I can get over 400 miles per tank so I normaly fill up before hitching up. I shut the fridge down for refuel.
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Old 07-29-2006, 12:39 PM   #12
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Mine is a 94 Excella. In my Airstream owners manual it states that the wiring to the fridge is such that if you turn off the tow vehicles ignition the power to the fridge is automatically disconnected and the fridge won't restart for half an hour. This assumes you have pulled in and turned off your ignition to refuel.
I have not tried to confirm this however.
Must put it on my to-do list just for my own info.
Al
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Old 07-29-2006, 03:00 PM   #13
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i run with mine lit. i have a big enough gas tank in the silverado that i usually only fuel once a day on cross country runs.

shutting it down is not a problem.

john
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Old 07-29-2006, 06:58 PM   #14
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Hello everyone ,I have the fridge lit on the road ,never goes out .Am
I understanding correctly that when you guys go to the gas station to
get fuel ,you figure the fumes at the station will go into the trailer and blow
it up? Has this happened ?To AZstreamin ,what do you mean by open propane? The coach filled with gas only and ignited? Propane is highly explosive ,so thats a bad thought .I like to have the gas off when all are sleeping in the trailer unless the fridge is on with no 120 volt shore power.
Any way, risks are part of the deal when using propane .I don't turn off the fridge gassing up ,after all the fumes at the pump shouldn't blow into the trailer ,and the pumps are outside . plenty of ventilation .In a closed
environment ,gasoline ,propane definately a different story.Usually the pilot
goes out ,the gas should be cutoff ,like in the water heater .I guess in a
freak situation anything can happen .I always shut the bottles off when not in use ,and if Im shutting down the propane for the night ,I will close the
bottle valves and let the stove and the water heater especially run out of
propane on its own .I never have the water heater lit while asleep ,the furnace we don't use much ,the airstream is well insulated anyway.

Scott
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