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Old 11-03-2014, 07:56 AM   #1
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2014 25' Flying Cloud
West Dummerston , Vermont
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 64
Refrigerator: Propane or Electric?

We are "snow birds" and will be making extended stays in RV Parks. Just wondering on refrigerator use - Propane or Electric? Appreciate any thoughts on why or why not for each.

Rick, Mary, Molly(Boston Terrier)
Trailer - 2014 25' Flying Cloud
2011 Ford F150 XLT 4x4
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Old 11-03-2014, 08:04 AM   #2
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Battle Lake , Minnesota
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Your fridge is both, set at auto it will choose electric when plugged in and propane when not. Best of both worlds. Who really wants a fridge that cannot preserve your food when moving from one place to another.

Doug and Cheryl
2012 FC RB, Michelin 16, ProPride 1400
2016 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4X4 Ecodiesel 3.92 axles

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Old 11-03-2014, 08:12 AM   #3
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If you have electricity, use electric. Propane costs extra out of your pocket, but electric is usually included in your daily or weekly fee for the site.

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Old 11-03-2014, 08:25 AM   #4
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Extended stay such as at "snow bird" destinations will normally meter your electric use.
Doug and Cheryl
2012 FC RB, Michelin 16, ProPride 1400
2016 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4X4 Ecodiesel 3.92 axles

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Old 11-03-2014, 09:25 AM   #5
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Bowie , Maryland
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Propane requires effort to get refilled.
1995 Airstream Classic 30' Excella 1000
2014 Ram 2500 Crew Cab with Cummins 6.7L Diesel

Sold but not forgotten: 1991 Airstream B190
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Old 11-03-2014, 12:08 PM   #6
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1984 31' Excella
Springfield , Missouri
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This is something that always has been befuddled.

I see photos all the time of people who have 'restored' their AS and have an apartment sized refrigerator in the trailer....which needs electricity to keep their food cool.

We spend quite a bit of time 'dry camping' in national forest campgrounds and national parks. We would be up the creek if we had to rely on electricity.

Once this summer, when it was really hot, I went into the refrigerator (which was on was a move day) to get a candybar out and I didn't get the door shut all the way.

With the outside temp hovering around 100, the inside temp of the box rose accordingly. It took several days to bring the temp down and my threw out all the food....I would have ate the cheese but she would have none of it.

Then she was convinced the box was broken because it wasn't cooling.'

When we are camped in a campground with lights and water, the box automatically switches over to electric and when we disconnect from the juice, it switches back to gas. If the juice is weak, we leave it on gas.

There is a whole science to gas/electric iceboxes which run along the same science as when it is really hot out why your a/c in your car doesn't seem cold.

I guess if you don't dry camp it doesn't make any difference what kind of box is in the trailer, but if I were buying a trailer with an electric box, I would knock down my offer by the cost of a new box and installation.
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Old 11-03-2014, 12:48 PM   #7
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We snowbird. We pay for both electric and propane. I run the frig. on electric when we are in the park. When we are traveling and camping I run the frig. on auto and it switches back and forth between propane and electric. We pay about $20 a month for electric and $30 for propane in the colder months in central Florida. I run the water heater on propane. When it is cold we use the gas furnace. When it is chilly but mild we use and electric heater. The gas-electric refrigerators generally work the same on both gas and electric and are inefficient on both compared to a compressor refrigerator.
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Old 11-03-2014, 02:24 PM   #8
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When we travel between campgrounds we freeze blue ice containers and put them in the fridge to keep it cold. If that's not enough we also use an ice chest. No need gor LP unless you are boondocking, even then proper use of an ice chest will work, assuming ice us available at least every second or third day. These AS are campers, don't forget.
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Old 11-03-2014, 03:09 PM   #9
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Twin Rocks , Oregon
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If I were to do it again, I believe I would specify a compressor refrigerator for the Airstream. AC and DC only. I would also make sure that I have lots of solar on top, for the boon docking times. We have that setup in our FWC truck camper, and it's great
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Old 11-03-2014, 05:00 PM   #10
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I run an apartment fridge on an inverter.

Overall, it is more energy efficient than a a camper fridge.

1/2 Ton Truck, Big Trailer,
Hensley Arrow,,
Yea Baby!
The fact that I am opinionated does not presuppose that I am wrong......

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Old 11-03-2014, 05:26 PM   #11
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Tunnel Hill , Georgia
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We usually spend several weeks in FL during the winter. The first trip we packed refrigerated items in ice chests for the trip south and each day that we traveled between campgrounds. Since then we use the propane traveling and electricity when set-up. This has proved to be much easier for us and fewer trips to the grocery store.


Remember its not the destination, but rather the journey.... its what's in the middle that matters the most!
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