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Old 04-14-2005, 06:45 AM   #43
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Propane - Tunnels/Bridges

I have a question about tunnels and bridges that have the "no propane" warnings. Does this warning mean that I cannot take the camper over the bridge or throught the tunnel, or does it mean that I only have to make sure the the propane is not on? In the past I have always exited when I saw these signs but from one of the previous posts it appears I may be able to continue on to the bridge or tunnel. Anyone know the specifics about this?

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Old 04-14-2005, 08:07 AM   #44
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I have ben looking into this question and I think anyone who is interested in this subject, should try this link and download the The Fire Safety Manual for propane. There is a 5Mbits pdf handbook on the subject.


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Old 04-14-2005, 08:52 AM   #45
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I skimmed over the 100 or more pages and this manual (or at least the one I downloaded) and it looked as if it was for commerial type tanks. I didn't find (not that it might not have been there) an area the talked specifically about average joe type tanks. Most that I saw were 2000-4000 gallon tank specifications, saftey regs, etc. Most of those I don't even have on my 40lb tanks.
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Old 06-25-2015, 01:29 PM   #46
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LP on while traveling

I installed a 12 vdc to 120 vac invertor on the 120 vac circuit to the refrigerator. I have a 100+ amp alternator on my tv 2002 Dodge Ram. I have a dedication power supply from the TV batteries to the inverter, the 7 pronged power supply to the trailer is not heavy enough to power up the 300 watt invertor, but a 10 gauge stranded wire is plenty.
The refrigerator is only 175 watts.
No up and down temps in the refer while traveling, no problems with LP.
Total cost to install about $300, including 50' of 10 gauge stranded wire, the most expensive part. Invertor was $100, 2 relays, and connectors on TV to trailer.
It's been working for the past 3 years after ironing out the bugs.
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Old 06-25-2015, 06:07 PM   #47
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Hey Larry71. You gotta be careful here. Regarding your question you just gottsa read doze signs. I travel with the refrigerator on propane. The tunnels on 95 & 895 through Baltimore are NO PROPANE locations. You must detour around those. There are signs and they will stop you at the toll plaza. Southbound that's before the tunnel so they will turn you around. Northbound the plaza is after you have already gone through so they will ticket you. There is an alternate highway around the city and it's not such a bad alternative or the Key bridge will allow you passage. With all that said there are other locations ( the Chesapeak Bay Bridge & Tunnel for one) that will require you to turn your propane off during passage. Those are the only places I have encountered with a propane restriction. I don't lose sleep over this but I do try and be alert to the signs posted in areas I'm not familiar with.
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Old 06-25-2015, 07:44 PM   #48
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Using frig while in transit

When I bought the AS a couple of years ago, I was a complete neophyte to RVing. They told me as part of the orientation that most people traveled with the propane on and the refrigerator running. So that is what I have been doing ever since. Now that I have read these posts, it makes sense to me that I should shut off the propane before I diesel up the truck. However, considering how few people are going to read these posts, and how many people have probably been told it's okay to drive with the propane and refrigerator on, I have to think that most of the RV's you see in the gas station probably have their refrigerators and propane on. And I have never heard of one exploding (not to say that it has never happened). Considering the panic that ensues when a few cars crash due to some mechanical defect or other, I would think that we would hear about it if people were being blown up in service stations because they left their refrigerators running. Still, I will try to remember to turn my propane off in the future before I diesel up, because it does seem like a good idea.

BTW, I never travel with my hot water heater on. It just doesn't take that long to heat up when I get where I'm going.

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Old 06-26-2015, 08:57 AM   #49
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we tried to run with the refer shut down but packed with those blue freezer packets. after about a 5 hour run, the temp in the refer was getting way to warm for keeping things fresh and cold so we gave up and now run with the propane turned on. i don't like this 'solution' but it seems the only way to keep your food at OK temps. why AS does not include a 3 way refer is beyond me as most every other RV manufacturer offers this as a standard item. in fact, this is the first 2 way refer we have ever owned or used.

the auto feature seems to work just fine but having the propane tanks turned on still concerns me. on the Washington ferry system, you will be handed a huge orange tag when you pay your fees telling you in no uncertain terms that all propane must be shut off before boarding the ferry. and when you get off the ferry, you will find there is no place to pull over and restart your propane, sort of a dilemma for sure.

i guess this is just another 'wart' on the AS brand promulgated by the manufacturer not wanting to offer up an easy solution. i have to think they got some sort of killer deal from Dometic on these 2 way devices.
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Old 06-26-2015, 09:41 AM   #50
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Reefer off while refueling?

I may be very negligent, but my reefer runs on "Auto" or when on the road it is using the propane. My diesel truck refueling is about 25 feet from the reefer vent panel on the trailer road side, same as the truck refueling. I also fill a 60 gallon auxiliary tank, just above the main truck fueling tube.

So, we are supposed to stop the reefer when refueling? Is there a safer reefer set up on a new AS which eliminates this safety issue?

Well, after reviewing my Dometic refrigerator manual, its two thousand warning messages, there it is on page seven....the warning about turning off the refrigerator during refueling.

I guess this is not too much to do, and if it reduces the risk around a gas station, not so much from the diesel, but from the car refueling ten feet from the reefer vent door, this sounds quite reasonable.

Thanks for the heads up on this one.
Happy trails and Good Luck
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Old 06-26-2015, 10:04 AM   #51
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I run with reefer on propane. I turn off the propane to refuel the truck and relight the frig at the next rest stop. Fill the TV before stopping for the night. The frig being off for 30 minute max is not going to harm anything. In Ontario it is ok to run with frig going on propane. It is not ok to have it going anywhere near the gas pumps. Some States It's ok, others not. Best to check in advance.
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Old 06-26-2015, 10:07 AM   #52
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One of the reasons for a decent roof mount solar system, IMO, is save propane for when needed. If in my travels the three-way reefer can run off 12V, then so much the better.

On the hottest days I'd imagine that propane would be needed for a long day.

As the daily refuel is also part of the one hour break after four hours driving -- and ought to include a meal -- seems easy enough to switch over to 12V for that duration.
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Old 06-26-2015, 07:20 PM   #53
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Problem is the 12 volt system is very thirsty for power and you really have to have a good power line to supply enough amperage to power that heater. Secondly if the power connections are not clean in your hookup between the tow vehicle and the trailer, you don't get enough amperage.

I owned a trailer with a 12 volt option and I can't tell you how many times that after a 6 to 8 hour drive I'd find the trailer battery low or dead due to insufficient charge while driving. The issue was that the copper contacts in the trailer plug would tend to corrode. I used to carry contact cleaner that I could spray onto the blades of the plug to dissolve the corrosion. EPA phased out the cleaner due to environmental issues. I ended up running on propane rather than hope the battery was getting sufficient charge.

The danger is if you have a low charge rate and the battery goes down, you would have no braking on the trailer if the breakaway switch got activated. To me I'd rather not have the expense of having a 3 way refrigerator in a towable.

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Old 06-26-2015, 09:16 PM   #54
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With 45 years towing a travel trailer ,we always have the refergerator turned on ,running with propane on and never had a problem while under way....
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Old 06-26-2015, 10:49 PM   #55
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If you're fueling your diesel at diesel-only pumps, you needn't worry about it at all. The flash point of diesel is such that the conditions required for it to be a problem just aren't realistic.

In theory, if there's a big gasoline spill right underneath the air intake for your fridge on a really hot day with no breeze, it's just barely possible that the burner in the fridge could ignite the fumes. I like the RV pumps where there's just one line of pumps, so my fridge is a long way from the pump and I have plenty of time to assess the situation.

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Old 07-02-2015, 01:01 PM   #56
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There is a downside

Do you think the crash scene would be improved or worsened if the propane bottles in the trailer remains had the valves opened and the refer lit? Could the gas lines possibly be severed as well?

I've read the opinions of those who have run with the gas valves open and the refers running on propane. So far, they have "gotten away with it." So, good job so far.

The propane refer does provide a means of preserving food in remote camping situations. It can be dangerous and is really obsolete technology.

I will replace my propane refrigerators with 12VDC compressor refers as they fail. With PVC power and good efficient all electric refers there is no valid reason to install propane refers into RVs. I am not talking about residential refers. Those do eliminate the propane refers, but I don't think they are suitable for RVs either. The existing propane refers consume too much power to run on electricity while on the road; whether the old style 3 way and the 2 way running on inverter 120 VAC. The inverter powering a residential refer can deplete the battery bank in 7 hours according to a friend of mine who has such a setup.

My motor coach has an 18 year old 120 VAC/ 12 VDC compressor refer that works fine. This RV refer can be used with the coach up to 35 degrees out of level. A single battery can power this refer for more than 48 hours. It runs on park electricity for pennies a day. The propane refers: $$ per day.

I do not run on the road with the propane refer lit or the propane valves open. If the day's run is a few hours, everything remains safely cold in the shut off propane refer. If the day's run extends to 8 hours, there will be a longer stop during that time. The refer can be restarted to run during the longer stop, then shut off again before resuming the day's journey. If I'm using the MC as the TV, I may transfer food to the MC's electric refer.

I also have a large Coleman chest type cooler that runs on 12VDC. It can be used for storage of on board food in the trailer during transit and powered by the trailer's 12 VDC system. It draws less than 4 amps @ 12 VDC or less than 48 watts.

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