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Old 07-06-2004, 08:10 AM   #1
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Keeping Refrigerator cold while driving

This is our first Airstream and I had a question about keeping the refrigerator cold while driving. We do a lot of "day traveling, night camping" and have always had a three-way refrigerator (12v-110v-gas) which kept things cold while driving. I was just curious if anyone had any tricks for keeping things cold when you are diconected from power and driving? I had been told not to run the gas on the refrigerator while driving.
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Old 07-06-2004, 08:24 AM   #2
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hey grizz,

why not run it on gas?

i do.

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Old 07-06-2004, 08:33 AM   #3
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Grizzy.

When I pick up our coach the first thing I do is bleed the propane lines and then turn on the fridge using propane. I then put a couple of those Coleman Brite-Ice packs in the main compartment, and one in the freezer. Load up fridge, and away you go.

Some people have noted that during high winds, their pilot light will sometimes extinguish. Something to watch for.

There are pro's and con's to this method. You can find lots written on the subject by searching the archives.

The main concern is that you must turn OFF the propane when you need to get gasoline. After all, there is a pilot light which could ignite gas fumes.

Once we get to camp, if there is electricity, I then switch the fridge over to AC.

Jonathan
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Old 07-06-2004, 10:39 AM   #4
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i pull with the fridge on LP all the time also

good point about turning it off before fueling. easier than that for most trips just fuel up prior to hitching up. while camped i usually make a fuel run one of the days to avoid having to fuel on the way home.
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Old 07-06-2004, 12:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireFighter
good point about turning it off before fueling. easier than that for most trips just fuel up prior to hitching up. while camped i usually make a fuel run one of the days to avoid having to fuel on the way home.
Just to make sure I've got this, I had always been told that running the gas refrigerator was a fire hazard while triving -- is that not the case with the airstream?
thanks for the help
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Old 07-06-2004, 12:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grizzy
Just to make sure I've got this, I had always been told that running the gas refrigerator was a fire hazard while triving -- is that not the case with the airstream?
thanks for the help

Interesting but I have never heard that one. Just shut off pilots when fueling.
The only fridge fires I have read about were due to obstructions in the flue,
nothing when driving. I'm like the rest, been doing it for years nothing yet.
Anyone have any knowledge about fires due to driving with the frig. on?
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Old 07-06-2004, 01:30 PM   #7
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faster faster

no worry if it catches fire while driving go faster eventually the wind will put the fire out! LOL sorry everyone.
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Old 07-06-2004, 02:38 PM   #8
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The towing while running the LP is a sometimes hot topic. (yes that was supposed to be a pun!)

The issue with running the refer on propane is the open flame, while under full load of the burner, the pilot for those with a pilot, or the igniter that is 12 volt DC.

All of the above are ignition sources. What could you ignite you ask? Fumes from the yahoo next to you at a gas station that dumps $2.00 of gas on the ground, A VERY big pocket of Methane gas, or other flammable gas.

I for one am more worried about the 50 gallons of gasoline I carry in a frame mounted tank. The propane will vent and will require a large concentration to cause an explosion.

I am also more concerned regarding the possibility of food poisoning due to the refer getting too warm. I run mine on gas all the time I travel, many of the Airstreamers I know do.
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Old 07-06-2004, 09:24 PM   #9
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I have had no problems using propane while towing except the pilot blowing out. I put a large piece of aluminum inside the access door that allows lots of ventilation but keeps the gusts of wind blowing out the pilot ( most of the time ). I think when you have a strong side wind while towing the updraft just sucks the flame out. Other than that it fridge works about 90% better while in tow.
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Old Yesterday, 01:44 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by crazylev View Post
...

The main concern is that you must turn OFF the propane when you need to get gasoline. After all, there is a pilot light which could ignite gas fumes.
While there's no shortage of uninformed advice based on "conventional" wisdom, this particular bit of advice (proffered by a vast number of people, but only based on opinion) cannot be found in Dometic or Norcold propane 'fridge owners' manuals.

It is true that the typical RV 'fridge is a fire hazard (running on 120VAC or propane) but not because they catch fire in gas stations. And it is also true that Washington State Ferries (among others) and New England tunnels demand propane be turned off/tagged off, there's nothing I've found in the literature even suggesting turning off the pilot when fueling up -- just people's opinions about best practices.

Before I replaced my 120VAC/propane Norcold with a 12VDC compressor Isotherm, it had been my habit to fuel my truck in such a way as my vintage riveted aluminum was not under the gas station canopy -- sort of buying into the conventional wisdom re the hazard of a propane fridge pilot light in a gas station.

Michael
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Old Yesterday, 02:49 PM   #11
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Grizzy,

Whoever said that to you is offering his/her opinion on the subject. There have been literally thousands of posts regarding running with the fridge on. If it were possible to read them all I would venture say that the vast majority of us do it and have been doing it for decades. NO, it is not unsafe to run with the fridge on.

If you want to spend tens of thousands of dollars on an Airstream only to have to carry extra ice packs and coolers so you can travel in the heat then feel free to do this. I asked anyone on this forum to send me one, just one, example of an Airstream catching fire while going down the road because the fridge was on. It has been years and yet, no one has given us one single example of this happening. I did get some pictures of motorhomes burning on the side of the road but even then the fires were from the front of the units, where the gas runs into the engine.

I am not a crazy fool risk taker but I am someone who weighs risk against safety seriously. If you really want to scare yourself, think about that tank of gas sitting below you and your family as you travel down the highway. And...how about the risk of getting into an accident when driving?

You can worry yourself sick if you want to. Pick your poison. Keeping your food cold (and safe) in the fridge of your Airstream is very safe. Statistics prove this.
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Old Yesterday, 02:53 PM   #12
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Should have said statistics "support" this. Statistics alone can't prove anything.
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Old Yesterday, 05:18 PM   #13
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Grizzy,

Whoever said that to you is offering his/her opinion on the subject. There have been literally thousands of posts regarding running with the fridge on. If it were possible to read them all I would venture say that the vast majority of us do it and have been doing it for decades. NO, it is not unsafe to run with the fridge on.

If you want to spend tens of thousands of dollars on an Airstream only to have to carry extra ice packs and coolers so you can travel in the heat then feel free to do this. I asked anyone on this forum to send me one, just one, example of an Airstream catching fire while going down the road because the fridge was on. It has been years and yet, no one has given us one single example of this happening. I did get some pictures of motorhomes burning on the side of the road but even then the fires were from the front of the units, where the gas runs into the engine.

I am not a crazy fool risk taker but I am someone who weighs risk against safety seriously. If you really want to scare yourself, think about that tank of gas sitting below you and your family as you travel down the highway. And...how about the risk of getting into an accident when driving?

You can worry yourself sick if you want to. Pick your poison. Keeping your food cold (and safe) in the fridge of your Airstream is very safe. Statistics prove this.
Just so you know, the person you responded to hasn't been on the forum since 2008. Maybe his fridge blew up...
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Old Yesterday, 09:18 PM   #14
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Sheesh, I missed that! Thanks. I was wondering how a thread like this would have surfaced after all of the discussion here.
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