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Old 09-21-2014, 09:16 AM   #1
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Quick fridge question!

I have a quick question: Is there a way to run the fridge while towing? My starcraft had a 3-way fridge (AC,DC, propane), so I would simply switch to DC while towing. It appears with my 2011 Flying Cloud FB27, there's only 2 modes (AC & propane, no DC). I definitely don't want to tow with the propane on. Am I missing something? Thx, Jim
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Old 09-21-2014, 09:21 AM   #2
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People tow with their fridge running in propane mode all the time. You just need to shut it down when fueling, and for some ferries etc.


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Old 09-21-2014, 09:33 AM   #3
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Also, people sometimes have a problem with the flame blowing out. If this happens, the propane will be automatically turned off by the thermocouple no longer sensing heat from the flame.
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Old 09-21-2014, 09:55 AM   #4
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I've operated my 2006 Safari on propane while driving since I got it, without the slightest problem. I don't even bother to shut it off when re-fueling because I stop at the first pump in the line I come to. That way, the trailer is quite a safe distance from the pumps.

I know some guys shut down the fridge while driving but I see no sense in that, unless you're driving a very short distance.
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Old 09-21-2014, 10:53 AM   #5
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It is designed to run safely with the propane on. If you can't live with that then you need to follow the suggestions that some have offered here. Pack your fridge with dry ice, freeze extra bottles of water and put them in with the food, take along an extra ice box, buy some dry ice or simply just shut the door and hope for the best. Short trips in moderate temperatures shouldn't cause much trouble.

There are virtually hundreds of pages on this topic. Do a search on running with the fridge on and you will have lots of suggestions.
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Old 09-21-2014, 01:14 PM   #6
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All, thanks for the quick replies. I appreciate everyone's comments. Good to know that towing with fridge in "gas" mode is fine!
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Old 09-21-2014, 01:41 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by jgoss View Post
All, thanks for the quick replies. I appreciate everyone's comments. Good to know that towing with fridge in "gas" mode is fine!
We (and most everyone we know) tow with the fridge on propane.
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Old 09-21-2014, 06:17 PM   #8
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Apologies if this is high jacking - it may be related....

Last trip out I started the fridge 2 days in advance (I usually do that one day in advance). It was in the storage yard and as usual, I had the battery switch in "use" position as the microprocessor for the fridge needs electricity. And I ran the fridge on "auto" figuring it would have to select propane since it wasn't plugged in to shore power and wouldn't run on the batteries.

The first few times I tried to turn it on, LP was flashing on the display which I believe means there's a problem with the feed of propane. After restarting 3 times, I finally heard that satisfying "swoosh" of the igniter and knew the propane was running.

When I went back to hitch up for our trip a couple days later, fridge temp was a frosty 32 so clearly everything was working, but the electric jack quickly started "whirring down" like the batteries were running low (they've been perfect all last year and this year and the trip before, water was perfectly full).

I didn't use the meter to check, I just plugged the umbilical in to my truck and the jack acted fine from there and of course we hooked up to shore power for the weekend and the batteries charge up.

I'm wondering if the fridge somehow DID run on batteries in the AUTO mode and not on LP? Is that even possible? What else might have drained the batteries? While a new 2012 to me, it did sit on the lot for 2012 after being manufactured in Oct 2011 and actually delivered to me in April 2013.

Puzzled....
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Old 09-21-2014, 06:24 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by SteveSueMac View Post
Apologies if this is high jacking - it may be related....

Last trip out I started the fridge 2 days in advance (I usually do that one day in advance). It was in the storage yard and as usual, I had the battery switch in "use" position as the microprocessor for the fridge needs electricity. And I ran the fridge on "auto" figuring it would have to select propane since it wasn't plugged in to shore power and wouldn't run on the batteries.

The first few times I tried to turn it on, LP was flashing on the display which I believe means there's a problem with the feed of propane. After restarting 3 times, I finally heard that satisfying "swoosh" of the igniter and knew the propane was running.

When I went back to hitch up for our trip a couple days later, fridge temp was a frosty 32 so clearly everything was working, but the electric jack quickly started "whirring down" like the batteries were running low (they've been perfect all last year and this year and the trip before, water was perfectly full).

I didn't use the meter to check, I just plugged the umbilical in to my truck and the jack acted fine from there and of course we hooked up to shore power for the weekend and the batteries charge up.

I'm wondering if the fridge somehow DID run on batteries in the AUTO mode and not on LP? Is that even possible? What else might have drained the batteries? While a new 2012 to me, it did sit on the lot for 2012 after being manufactured in Oct 2011 and actually delivered to me in April 2013.

Puzzled....
Unless you have something "non-standard" in your electrical setup, the fridge only runs on AC (i.e., shore power when connected) or propane. Even if you have an inverter, it will not run the fridge on the AC. So, if your AS was not plugged into shore power, the fridge was working off the propane. However, even when the fridge runs on propane, there is a small draw on the battery for the electronics. If your batteries are in good condition and were fully charged when you turned on the fridge, they should have lasted two days powering only the fridge's "brain" unless there was some other power draw on them.

Is it possible that you had something else on? A light perhaps?

If not, I would have the batteries checked out, they may not be in good shape.
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Old 09-21-2014, 06:31 PM   #10
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If you have the DC option on your Starcraft, you can certainly use it while towing although my suspicion is that it might not work as well as on propane.

Also, it will probably draw a substantial current from your tow vehicle and may not be wise to leave it switched on with the vehicle parked for extended periods.

Many many people - including me - just run with propane when on the road.

If your fridge is reasonably new it will have DSI (Direct spark ignition) and if the flame should blow out it will almost certainly re-light automatically.

Some older fridges do not have this feature and need t be re-lit manually if they blow out as someone has already mentioned. That isn't applicable with newer fridges.

Brian.
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Old 09-21-2014, 07:08 PM   #11
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Fridge uses 12V

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveSueMac View Post
Apologies if this is high jacking - it may be related....

Last trip out I started the fridge 2 days in advance (I usually do that one day in advance). It was in the storage yard and as usual, I had the battery switch in "use" position as the microprocessor for the fridge needs electricity. And I ran the fridge on "auto" figuring it would have to select propane since it wasn't plugged in to shore power and wouldn't run on the batteries.

The first few times I tried to turn it on, LP was flashing on the display which I believe means there's a problem with the feed of propane. After restarting 3 times, I finally heard that satisfying "swoosh" of the igniter and knew the propane was running.

When I went back to hitch up for our trip a couple days later, fridge temp was a frosty 32 so clearly everything was working, but the electric jack quickly started "whirring down" like the batteries were running low (they've been perfect all last year and this year and the trip before, water was perfectly full).

I didn't use the meter to check, I just plugged the umbilical in to my truck and the jack acted fine from there and of course we hooked up to shore power for the weekend and the batteries charge up.

I'm wondering if the fridge somehow DID run on batteries in the AUTO mode and not on LP? Is that even possible? What else might have drained the batteries? While a new 2012 to me, it did sit on the lot for 2012 after being manufactured in Oct 2011 and actually delivered to me in April 2013.

Puzzled....
Yes the fridge runs on 120v A/C and propane; but both use 12 volt to run the control board, but not to actually cool the unit. Typical draw is 1-2 amps of 12V continuously for the control board, so that will run the battery down in a couple days. Especially w/o solar to top off the battery during the day.
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Old 09-21-2014, 07:21 PM   #12
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Yes the fridge runs on 120v A/C and propane; but both use 12 volt to run the control board, but not to actually cool the unit. Typical draw is 1-2 amps of 12V continuously for the control board, so that will run the battery down in a couple days. Especially w/o solar to top off the battery during the day.
Ok - that would explain why we've never had that problem running it one day in advance of a trip but 2 days is a problem. I may just plan on replacing the batteries for the 2015 season. I guess I'll have to search the battery threads (hope those aren't as "religious" as the hitch threads :-) - and think about upgrading the factory charger too).

Thanks!
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Old 09-21-2014, 07:39 PM   #13
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Ok - that would explain why we've never had that problem running it one day in advance of a trip but 2 days is a problem. I may just plan on replacing the batteries for the 2015 season. I guess I'll have to search the battery threads (hope those aren't as "religious" as the hitch threads :-) - and think about upgrading the factory charger too).

Thanks!
Um, battery threads can be contentious. Lead acid vs. AGM vs 6 volt golf cart vs. adding several more batteries....and then solar to keep them up.......etc......etc.....
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Old 09-22-2014, 07:31 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by SteveSueMac View Post
Ok - that would explain why we've never had that problem running it one day in advance of a trip but 2 days is a problem. I may just plan on replacing the batteries for the 2015 season. I guess I'll have to search the battery threads (hope those aren't as "religious" as the hitch threads :-) - and think about upgrading the factory charger too).

Thanks!
Steve, by now you have undoubtedly seen that nearly any topic on this forum can become a "religious war!" ;-)

If you are going to camp w/out electric hookups and you do not have solar panels, you might want to consider adding two more batteries (for a total of 4) when you switch out the old ones. We do have the solar panels and will still be adding two new batteries shortly. Since we already have AGM's and the new batteries will be under our bed (FB model) we will be sticking with the AGM's.
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