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Old 01-15-2014, 11:52 PM   #15
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I have always run with the propane on even when refueling. I would turn it off if I ever came to a gas station where it smelled like spilled gas and the air was "dead." It really in my opinion comes down to common sense. Airstream and trailer magazines tell you to not run it when underway, but if you ever read the instructions for a flashlight it tells you first not to take the batteries internally. What! Just common sense. When I first got my trailer I had a mis-conception that the frig would only keep food marginally cold. (I guess it was from years of camping with ice chests), Since my first trip with it I have had ice cream even in the hottest weather. Works great!
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Old 01-16-2014, 09:30 AM   #16
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We run with the fridge off. I'm happy to concede that the risk of propane mishaps is minimal but, to steal a line from Airstream Inc., it's how we roll.

When we're on the driveway at home the fridge is always on using shore power. We load before a trip, switch off just as we leave and the fridge (and freezer) stay cold enough during a day's travel. We have hit the LPG switch when stopped for a long lunch and we have supplemented the cooling with a bag of ice occasionally, especially when heading south. Of course, if we stay up here north of Lake Erie then our cooling requirements are not in the same league as you guys who live closer to the Equator than we do.
Yep, that's our procedure as well ... although we don't have the LPG switch - just a valve to turn on/off.
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Old 01-16-2014, 11:09 AM   #17
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Depends on the outside temperature.
The past couple of trips out there has been no need to run the fridge cuz it's COLD anyway.
Normally we run with the fridge on propane while traveling to keep the groceries cool.
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Old 01-16-2014, 11:31 AM   #18
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We would LIKE to travel with it on, but whenever we have tried that it goes out somewhere along the way. Any suggestions?
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Old 01-16-2014, 11:44 AM   #19
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We would LIKE to travel with it on, but whenever we have tried that it goes out somewhere along the way. Any suggestions?
I think your trailer has the slots cut in the refrigerator service door for air entry to cool it. You might try putting a thin cheap cut down furnace filter in the space behind the louvers to protect the flame from drafts.

It is not real common that a refrigerator goes out, so another possibility is a dirty burner which has a marginal flame due to the need to be cleaned. Also, your gas pressure may not be set right, so the flame is not strong. Checking the gas pressure and re setting it or replacing the gas regulator is probably a professional service.

I am assuming your '85 refrigerator is not one with electronic ignition which automatically lights when it needs cooling, but is one of the older units with a two speed flame which modulates to cool or just idle.
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Old 01-16-2014, 12:23 PM   #20
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We would LIKE to travel with it on, but whenever we have tried that it goes out somewhere along the way. Any suggestions?
What idroba said. When trying to figure out the problem, I found that the gas pressure at my appliances was less than it should be. Replacing the switching regulator at the propane tanks resolved that issue, and haven't had the refrigerator flame blow out on the road since then. You want to see gas pressure of about 11 inches of water measured at the appliance under normal operating conditions. I think the usual test is to run another appliance (I ran the water heater while testing) and measure the pressure from the test port at the refrigerator. If memory serves, mine was at or a little below 9 inches of water before I lit the water heater.
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Old 01-16-2014, 12:45 PM   #21
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On my earlier campers I always ran the fridge on propane going down the road. Never had a problem. Then we got a slide in camper with a three way and I decided to give the 12V a try on the road. It worked just fine for years. The only thing you absolutely have to remember is to switch back to propane whenever you stop and turn your engine off. I must say I was disappointed to learn that the fridge in our 2013, 20' FC was only a two way. I still run down the road with the fridge on propane and have not experienced any problems yet. If it wasn't safe to go down the road on propane all the refrigerators would be three way or they would be useless to travel with.
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Old 01-16-2014, 02:33 PM   #22
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We travel with our's on.

We have had the "flame out" problem a few times.

I added a bit of aluminum tape (from Lowe's or HD, in the heat and air section) around the the shroud covering the burner area to make it a little less accessible to the wind. It has helped a lot.


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Old 01-16-2014, 02:42 PM   #23
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I was nervous when I started traveling, to keep the fridge on. I decided on my last trip to keep it on and had no issues. Just keep an eye on it...
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Old 01-16-2014, 03:46 PM   #24
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I leave my fridge on all the time while I travel. However, in many years of towing travel trailers I have see two trailers setting on the road side on fire where there was a malfunction.
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Old 01-16-2014, 06:54 PM   #25
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There are a lot of reasons fire can start in a trailer. Was it confirmed that these were refrigerator related?
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Old 01-16-2014, 09:51 PM   #26
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How long can you go leaving it on using propane for just the fridge? A month? Longer?
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Old 01-16-2014, 11:43 PM   #27
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How long can you go leaving it on using propane for just the fridge? A month? Longer?
An old fridge like mine with a pair of 30-lb tanks like mine would probably go a month or more just running the fridge (no cooking, no water heater.) This is a total guess based on how long it takes me to empty a 30-lb tank in normal camping, using the oven and stove top occasionally and heating water with propane in addition to the fridge when traveling or boondocking.

However, keep in mind that most newer fridges still require 12V power for the control board to operate on propane, so you'd need a solar panel to maintain the battery if you have one of those and want to leave it running just on propane. I suspect the trade-off is that the new ones use even less propane, since they can be off when not actively cooling, rather than having a pilot-level flame all the time and a bigger flame when cooling.
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Old 01-23-2014, 11:05 AM   #28
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Thank you for the information; we will give it a try. Our trailer has been at JC since Halloween storm getting outside put back like it was before tree smashed it. Maybe we should ask them to check out burner while it is there Having aluminum withdrawal!
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