Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 05-16-2012, 01:03 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
2010 27' FB International
pocatello , Idaho
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 8
Leaving Fridge Running

I have a 2010 27' International that we use mainly on weekends. We keep it at a storage facility without electric hookup during the week. It does have solar panels. We turn the fridge off when not in use. The fridge takes a while to cool down after not being used during the week. Does anyone keep their fridge running all season - maybe turn it down when not actually using it. I don't think it draws much power, but not sure about LP.

Idaho air is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2012, 01:16 PM   #2
Rivet Master
Skater's Avatar
1995 30' Excella
Bowie , Maryland
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,343
In terms of usage, it should run for weeks on a bottle of propane without a problem. Personally I wouldn't leave it running unattended like that, though.

We leave our fridge running at home now that we have a level spot for the camper, but on electric, and we're home in the evenings and all.

I suggest considering other options - for example, if you use some blocks of ice, you can cool the fridge down much faster. Dry ice is even faster if you have a convenient way to get it.

1995 Airstream Classic 30' Excella 1000
2014 Ram 2500 Crew Cab with Cummins 6.7L Diesel

Sold but not forgotten: 1991 Airstream B190
Sold: 2006 F-250 6.0L Powerstroke Supercab
Skater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2012, 01:25 PM   #3
blmitch5's Avatar

2006 19' International CCD
Olathe , Kansas
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 4,182
Images: 1
I wouldn't run it on LP in storage. It may also be against the rules of the storage facility. We bring ours home the night before we leave and plug it in and turn on the fridge, it's always cold the next day when we pack it. Also only pack it with cold items like pop etc, if you pack it with warm pop etc it will work harder to cool back down. Some people freeze their water bottles and that also helps.
Get involved and sign up for a Rally!
WBCCI 4973
blmitch5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2012, 01:27 PM   #4
Rivet Master
1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,592
Heat operated RV stile refrigerators are very very inefficient compared to the home compressor types. On 120 volt power, they may average between 200 and 300 watts per hour, while a modern home type, double door one will run 50 to 100 watts per hour. Your storage facility will be footing a bill which is going to be reflected in the charge they must make for the use. From the energy use, they are, hands down, very inefficient. And the same is true with Propane, while a cylinder will last quite a while, the actual amount of energy used is considerable over months of operation.

One can debate the "wear and tear" issue of far more running hours. I don't think it is clear one way or the other if long term operation of an RV type refrigerator is more, or less, damaging to the total life of the cooling unit. Some feel it is, some do not. I have seen lots of opinions, but I have never seen any long term real tests which look credible and show one side or the other is best.
idroba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2012, 01:36 PM   #5
Rivet Master
TBRich's Avatar

2006 19' Safari SE
Tucson , Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 4,369
Images: 64
We store our Bambi at home covered under a port and we leave the frig running on shore power full time. The AC is also set for 87 in summer months (cooler when we need to be in it for some reason)...and furnace at 40 degrees in the winter. When we hit the road we run it on propane and also pack it with cold or items so they help maintain the cold...

I agree that you should check with your storage facility to make sure it's OK to leave the frig on propane while in storage,...they may not allow that. They may not even be keen on with electricity.
TB & Greg and Abbey Schnauzer
AirForums #21900 . Membership Chair, 4C
Unit #3954
Travel Log: AZBambi...On the Road Again
TBRich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2012, 04:08 PM   #6
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
rluhr's Avatar
1968 17' Caravel
2005 30' Safari
Somewhere , roaming America
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 1,090
Images: 39
Originally Posted by idroba View Post
Heat operated RV stile refrigerators are very very inefficient compared to the home compressor types.
Believing that absorption-type refrigerators were efficient, I was sure you were wrong about this, until I looked it up. You're right. Our Dometic NDR1062 refrigerator's AC heating element is rated at 325 watts. I am sure it does not run continuously, but even at 30% cycle that would mean 100 watts per hour. That's kind of like leaving a big incandescent light on all the time.

On the other hand, for those who keep their trailers at home and plugged in, having a second refrigerator can be handy. We use ours regularly, so it is never turned off. The electrical cost is about $80 (in our local area) per year, assuming 100 watts per hour average.
Former full-timer | AIRSTREAM LIFE magazine | Tour of America (old blog) | Man In The Maze (current blog)

rluhr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2012, 05:19 PM   #7
Rivet Master
1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,592
I like to measure things and bet you will find that, on average, the heater runs well over half time. My old 310 motorhome with the electric refrig and buzz box Univolt on (another very inefficient device) use to take 6 KWh a day just siting there doing nothing. At the average rate of about 12 cents a KWh that is 72 cents a day or over $22 a month.

If you have an absorption unit that "won't keep up and cold" in hot weather, the heater element (and yours is rated at 325 watts) will be operating full time.

If you or anyone wants to have fun and be shocked at how much things run or cost to run, buy a Kill O Watt meter for about $25 and you can measure stuff, over time, like an RV refrigerator. You may turn a few things off...LOL.
idroba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2012, 05:49 PM   #8
Rivet Master
richinny's Avatar
2011 34' Classic
Westchester Cty.NY , / Miami FL
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 3,122
in addition to good advise above i'll mention that the freezer cools much quicker than the fridge. you can try first loading the cool stuff into the freezer until the fridge cools.
2012 F150 Super Crew 5-1/2' bed Ecoboost 4x4 3.73 elec. lock diff. Propride hitch
give life. kidney & pancreas transplant 9/9/06
Ingrid-my unofficial '"World's Oldest Streamer" 1909-2008 R.I.P.
richinny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2012, 06:45 PM   #9

2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , WNY
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 10,802
Images: 1
Thumbs up For Us....

the important thing is we have a working fridge.

Propane usage is negligible, only time it's on AC is when plugged in at home.

Cools much faster on LPG, usually started the day before we leave.

I would NEVER leave it on, AC or LPG, in remote storage.

Kind'a like leaving the iron plugged in when no one's around.


AF #1

"Sticks & stones can break your bones...and hail will dent your Airstream"

So when is this..."old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
ROBERT CROSS is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:07 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.