View Poll Results: Do you let the refrigerator burning LPG when driving ?
YES, no problem at all for the fire security and safety 64 66.67%
SOMETIMES but I'm always afraid of fire ! 5 5.21%
NO, there is too much risks of fire ! 21 21.88%
WHAT ? I did'nt know i can drive with the refrigerator on LPG 6 6.25%
Voters: 96. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-26-2003, 04:30 PM   #15
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What studies?

There have been no NTSB studies for the most part (although there is one from 1972 that I just ordered), because the NTSB primarily collects data on commercial accidents (Tractor trailer s for instance) and passenger vehicles that carry more than 15 people. As a result the federal gov't has little data on RV accidents because for the most part they don't collect it. It's not because it's not happening. Likewise the states don't collect national data on RV fires because - yep, they aren't a national agency. Saying that it doesn't happen because there aren't any gov't reports is a head-in-the-sand outlook. The insurance companies are notorious about not releasing the results of their data. They have the data, national and local, but they never release their studies because they don't want us speculating on how they arrive at the premiums they charge.

As for not forgetting -- when we break camp we have a check list to follow, and it reminds us to not only turn off the valve at the refrigerator, but also at the tanks. This is done when we are fresh and not tired from driving for hours on the road. You who don't forget to turn off the pilot prior to pulling into the gas station are at the other end of that process. You are likely more tired, have the valves to your tanks open and may be under more pressure to refuel given the traffic at the station. When it comes to safety the rule is to always ere on the conservative side. Your mistake might not hurt only you, but also innocent people around you. This isn't just my opinion. Here's a passage from ABCs of RVing, Trailer Life (02/01/1999)

For safety's sake, it is recommended that an RV not travel with LP-gas-powered appliance pilots or burners lit. In the event of an accident or when refueling at a gas station, the open flame of a pilot or burner can act as a source of ignition for extremely dangerous escaped gasoline or LP-gas vapors, resulting in a tragic fire. Instead of traveling with LP-gas appliances in operation:

Close the LP-gas tank valve.
Switch the refrigerator over to 12-volt DC mode to maintain an adequate cold level for the food.
Use the vehicle's dash heater for interior warmth.
Leave the water heater off until arrival at camp; the water will heat quickly after the unit is ignited.
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Old 06-26-2003, 05:14 PM   #16
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Re: What studies?

Quote:
Originally posted by Forrest
You who don't forget to turn off the pilot prior to pulling into the gas station are at the other end of that process. You are likely more tired, have the valves to your tanks open and may be under more pressure to refuel given the traffic at the station. When it comes to safety the rule is to always ere on the conservative side. Your mistake might not hurt only you, but also innocent people around you. This isn't just my opinion. Here's a passage from ABCs of RVing, Trailer Life (02/01/1999)


Switch the refrigerator over to 12-volt DC mode to maintain an adequate cold level for the food.
Forrest,
I respectivly disagree any assumption that my "freshness" has anything to do with forgetting to shut off my fridge during fill ups. Lists get old and people forget to follow them. In my haste to depart and my early morning sleepiness I could skip over some checklist items, right?

Obviously you feel confident that your early shutoff and list keeps you safe. I contend that none of the arguments you raise about the practice I follow is germain to me. The reality is you and I are safe when we fuel and that's all we can control. Its everybody else we have to worry about and in essance we can't control them so our only answer is to stay away when they are at the pumps. That's the only absolute we both have. Have you taken the ultimate step and stayed away from pumps when other RV's are refueling? I know I do.

The fact that manufacturers have pretty much eliminated 12 volt operations from most large RV refrigerators pretty much leaves me in a situation where I go 8 hours without cooling or run with the gas on.

As much as I have read Trailer Life, their ABC's are not the gospel of RV'ing and like others, it is the opinion of the writer. And yes if I really want to be safe I won't even take my trailer on the road. That way I won't be exposed to all the hazzards of the road.

Bottom line is you need to be responsible. If you feel that you can't remember, then travel with the gas off. But understand that there are many of us out here who are still of sound and safe minds who take safety very seriously and can do the steps necessary to make sure we are safe in the use of our silver toys.

I'm sure Uncle Sam will legislate some new rule to prevent gas flow on a moving vehicle if this truly is a problem. Its just a matter of time.


Jack
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Old 06-26-2003, 05:37 PM   #17
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I am one of those "Unsafe" drivers that tows with the gas on, and the refer running. As we pull off for a fuel stop and stop at the end of the ramp, the co-pilot goes and turns off the refer.

I have read of an RV fire that was caused when a service station attendent had a major fuel spill and the fuel sprayed on the RV. The untilate source was never found, but I now look for other RV's and avoid them if possible. I also make it a pratice to take the pump on the outside that places my "hot" refer as far away for all of the pumps as possible.

These actions other that turning off the refer are new to me since this issue has come up on the boards.

I look at it this way; I would rather run the risk running with the gas on, than get sick eating food that has spoiled due to the refer getting hot form a day travelling in the Florida Sun.
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Old 06-26-2003, 11:45 PM   #18
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Situations not considered?

It seems my posts have made some of you defensive. There is a difference between saying that a practice is unsafe and saying that you are unsafe. I don't think I've called anyone "unsafe" but have only tried to argue that the practice is unsafe.

That said, have you considered risks that can occur away from the gas stations. I'm looking at this from the view point of a first responder, such as a fireman at the scene of an accident. Let's say there is a gas spill from an accident on the highway. It might be a small spill from a compact car or a large spill from an overturned tanker. Are you going to stop well short of the accident scene to put out the refrigerator pilot light prior to driving by the accident? If you don't, or can't (because of traffic) are you willing to take the risk of being the ignition point?

If there is a train wreck near the highway you're going down and there is some sort of hazardous spill with fumes floating across the road - will you know in time to put out the pilot light?

If a backhoe operator ruptures a natural gas line near the Interstate and the resulting fog of gas drifts across the roadway will you know in time what it is? Or will you be the ignition?

You can say that all of these things are not likely to happen to you, and you will be right, but by saying you are responsible and safe or that there isn't anything wrong with the practice, you encourage others to do the same. As you've pointed out -- "Its everybody else we have to worry about." No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.

By the way, everything I've described above has happened in one way or another. It's not theory.
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Old 06-27-2003, 08:17 AM   #19
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Re: Situations not considered?

Quote:
Originally posted by Forrest
I don't think I've called anyone "unsafe" but have only tried to argue that the practice is unsafe.

Lets also remove all the other potentials of ignition on the road like folks smoking, draging metal components of vehicles, misadjusted safety chains and infinitum.

Jack
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Old 06-27-2003, 09:20 AM   #20
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I was under the impression leaving the LP on was not only unsafe but "against the law" in several states.
Someone posted the CA highway patrol checked their valves to make sure they were turned off during a routine traffic stop.

I would like to run with the LP on but considered Murphy is always checking up on me so safe is better than sorry.

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Old 06-27-2003, 09:25 AM   #21
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I know some local areas prohibit running LP devices in tunnels but I wasn't aware of state prohibitions. I'm going to check my Trailer Life directory tonight when I get home. They have a table in the front that lists each state and their specific regulations on vehicle length, brakes, chains etc. Maybe they have a column on LP operation.

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Old 06-27-2003, 11:10 AM   #22
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Trailer Life Directory

It used to be listed there, but I can't find it in my 2003 directory.

If memory serves right, there is just one state, Oregon, I think, that prohibits running with propane on. besides that, there are some tunnels/bridges where propane is either prohibited or must be turned off. The tunnel at Mobile is one such place. When eastbound, I turn off the tanks at the Welcome Center and relight on the old highway near the Battleship Alabama.
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Old 06-27-2003, 11:22 AM   #23
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OK,

I'm not much on polls but after reading this thread I had to vote.

I always run mine with the gas fridge on, even when filling up. Usually I'm at the diesel pumps anyhow so not much of a chance of the diesel vapors igniting. Even if I were at the gas pumps, isn't gas vapor heavier than air and thus will settle down low?

Pretty much the same idea as the building codes requiring gas water heaters in the garage and elsewhere to be installed on a minimum of a 24" platform to lessen the chance of it igniting fuel vapors.

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Old 06-27-2003, 11:46 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chas
Even if I were at the gas pumps, isn't gas vapor heavier than air and thus will settle down low?
Chas
Wind will stir the air so you can't guarantee that the vapor will stay on the ground. You and others around you would be much safer if you shut the fridge down when fueling.

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Old 06-27-2003, 12:23 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chas
I always run mine with the gas fridge on, even when filling up. Usually I'm at the diesel pumps anyhow so not much of a chance of the diesel vapors igniting.
Thank you, chas. I didn't want to be the first diesel user to admit it. LOL! Besides, my frig is curbside and quite a ways back from the pumps.
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Old 06-27-2003, 12:29 PM   #26
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JC,

If there was enough wind to stir the air then I am sure there wouldn't be sufficient vapors to be ignited in the first place. As it is I am much more worried about static electricity. You know the fires attributed to people getting in and out of their car while refueling. They build up enough of a static charge off the seat to ignite the fuel at the filler opening as soon as the walk back to the filler and touch the nozzle. There at the filler neck I am sure there is enough concentrated vapor to cause ignition.

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Old 06-27-2003, 12:58 PM   #27
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Gasoline vapor ignites in a very narrow range of air-fuel ratios. Generally, it's too rich to ignite in the top of the tank and filler neck, and too lean not far from it. Zapping the pump nozzle with static sometimes is right in the proper mixture to generate a "poof." The people who usually get hurt when this happens are the ones who snatch the nozzle out of the filler neck to try to save the car and spray gas everywhere.

What you really have to worry about is the guy on the other side of the pump, who's cleaning his windshield, or worse yet, going to the bathroom, when the auto shut-off on his nozzle doesn't. The puddle spreads rapidly, and since gas evaporates above MINUS 44F, that puts a good size area right in the ignition ratio zone.

Diesel pumps, nozzles, and the area around them are oily because it takes 125F or more to make it evaporate.
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Old 06-27-2003, 01:31 PM   #28
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Sounds about right to me,

Have you ever heard of being able to drop a lit match into a can of gas and having it extinguished? Believe me I will never try but I have heard of crazed bikers doing it. ( I didn't say Harley riders, did I??) Guess it has everthing to do with available oxygen. There was a horrible explosion near Houston a short time ago, some teenagers were up to no good around an empty fuel storage tank and one wanted to see in the tank, so he took out his lighter to have a look. Killed himself and several of his buddies. Or, closer to home, some drug smugglers who blew themselves up modding a tank to encase their shipments. An empty tank is much more dangerous.

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