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Old 01-31-2016, 05:49 PM   #1
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Refrigerator while moving

In the past, I have had 3way refrigerators that ran off of battery power while moving. What have any of you found is the best way to keep items cold with the two way? I do not want to run on propane while traveling. Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-31-2016, 05:50 PM   #2
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Propane while traveling, works great.
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Old 01-31-2016, 05:52 PM   #3
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I run my propane, and don't worry about it.
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Old 01-31-2016, 06:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kittyfeet View Post
What have any of you found is the best way to keep items cold with the two way? I do not want to run on propane while traveling.
Assuming that you didn't want to be told "run the fridge on propane," there are a few other ways to deal with the situation.

1 - Don't even carry refrigerated/frozen foods in transit. Buy them at your destination. You can pick up regional specialties this way.

2 - Carry an ice chest and use either bagged ice or Blue Ice packs, or even dry ice for stuff that absolutely must stay frozen.

3 - Use a portable 12v fridge that plugs into a power outlet in the tow vehicle. Dometic makes several in different sizes (I have the smallest, to carry soft drinks within easy reach of the driver) but none as big as your trailer's fridge, of course.

One thing you probably won't be able to do is load up your fridge and then keep food cold in it without running the fridge. It's not insulated well enough for that.
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Old 01-31-2016, 07:03 PM   #5
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Your fridge will keep stuff cold enough for a few hours if left entirely off. A lot depends on how full it is (the more full the better, assuming the contents are at proper temperature to begin with) and the ambient air temperature (the lower the better, up to a point.) In 50 to 70 degree ambient air, you can easily go three to four hours with the fridge off. Test it and see. On the other hand, don't expect a lot of time if the outside air is in the 90's or higher.

Having said all of this, when we had an adsorption fridge, we ran it on propane while on the road (and turned it off at gas pumps.) We currently have a marine fridge with a Danfoss compressor (12 V only) and it runs all the time.
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Old 01-31-2016, 07:28 PM   #6
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In moderate air temperatures (fall, winter, spring) I regularly leave it off for a 5 hr drive and the temps stay in the safe zone in the fridge and my ice cream does not melt in the freezer. Gets a little soft though.
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Old 01-31-2016, 07:35 PM   #7
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The best way to tell if the food in your freezer is still safe is this…

Freeze a small container of ice. A Jell-O pudding cup filled halfway with water and frozen is normally fine for this, but for a moving trailer you probably want a container wider than it is tall so it's less likely to tip over in transit. Place a coin on top of the ice. As long as the coin stays on top of the ice, then the ice hasn't thawed, and neither has the food. But if you ever see the coin inside the ice, you know that the ice has thawed and refrozen, and it's time to throw out the food.

This is a trick I learned from living in an area where people have to evacuate for hurricanes, and we need to know when we return whether anything we had to leave behind is still safe for consumption.
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Old 01-31-2016, 10:38 PM   #8
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The best thing to do is run the fridge on propane. The risk of food poisoning from a warm fridge is real and is much greater than the theoretical risk of a fire from leaving the propane on, especially in hot weather.

Otherwise, use a thermometer, load and fully cool the fridge before travel, and you'll be mostly ok for a while if it's not too hot out.
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Old 02-01-2016, 12:20 AM   #9
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We run our fridge on propane while driving.

Some good advice I got once though was to turn it off before fueling. You don't want an open flame around gas fumes.
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Old 02-01-2016, 01:02 AM   #10
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Hi, last year [2015] we went across this country. Over 13,000 miles and for 3 1/2 months. We turned our refrigerator off twice for a quick defrost only. Shore power at camp grounds, propane while traveling and at Walmart parking lots.
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Old 02-01-2016, 07:36 AM   #11
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Fridge & towing

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Old 02-01-2016, 07:53 AM   #12
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We have always traveled with the Airstream's refrigerator powered by propane. We have been doing this for ten years now. We have 1,700 nights out in the Airstream and 140,000 miles of towing.

We rarely stay at a place more than two or three days. Restocking at each new location would very bothersome. Early on in our Airstreaming, we tried turning off the refrigerator while underway. It just didn't work for us.

We keep a very close eye on our LP system.

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Old 02-01-2016, 08:00 AM   #13
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Thanks everyone. Propane it is!!!
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Old 02-01-2016, 08:31 AM   #14
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I've driven 500 mile days in 95+ degree midwest humidity with the fridge off. Never had any problems with freezer defrosting or warmth in the fridge. I do turn it on for about an hour mid-day when we take a lunch break.

Wondering why the need to keep the fridge running?
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