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Old 04-21-2012, 09:09 PM   #43
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Disconnect your AS when fueling

I always have my refrigerator on while traveling. No explosions. No setting the forest on fire. No accidental ignition of gasoline vapors at a gas station.

Of course I have started out with outrageous statements to some, and I believe this is mostly a, so called, wive's tale from some source in the past. If gasoline vapors are such a problem... do not do the following.

(1) Do not park your tow vehicle and trailer with the refer on in a parking lot. When it is hot, gasoline tanks in the other vehicles maybe venting and could cause an explosion.

(2) Move your fuel tank to the roof of the tow vehicle. The refer could fire up and blow you sky high since the tank is within twenty feet of your gasoline tank. (Short AS trailer owners only.)

(3) Ignite gasoline vapors...? Then what? You have a flash and then... nothing. Explosion? You might have seen where a match can be put out in gasoline, and as everyone agrees it is the vapors that are volatile. The people who spill fuel onto the asphalt in front of the pump is very common and can be very dangerous.

(4) Drop a match into a full gasoline tank... the match goes out. Drop a match into a 99% empty gasoline tank and your eye brows will be curled by the flame coming from the filler spout.

(5) If you live East of California, Oregon and Washington and West of a line from the western borders Wisconsin to Louisiana... you are NOT in a potential danger zone for vapors. The Rocky Mountain States have winds most of the time that can blow your vehicle and trailer off of the road on a good day, dispersing any gasoline vapors. Hays, Kansas on a good summer day always has the wind speed at half of the temperature, around 104 degrees... Also a proven fact... or a wive's tale.

I am, of course, making light of some the extreme conditions and folk lore that comes with the industry. For an explosion you need fuel and an ignition source (static, open flame, spontaneous combustion of rags in an enclosed container) and... a semi closed container (gasoline tank I presume with the gasoline cap off while fueling) to explode. But, I have already given the example of a scientific test of putting a match out in liquid gasoline. A nearly empty gasoline tank is more dangerous than a full tank... theory.

While getting to wear a tie and nice plastic "cap" as an OSHA "safety representative" for a couple years, I was able to investigate accidents and several fatalities. Most were preventable. Three explosions examined that common sense, if it were so common, was ignored. One was an oil field storage tank at a pump site in Wyoming. The fatal accident was caused by the employee running the metal pole to measure the oil level within the tank. The metal pole made contact with a power line to the pump. Man and tank left the site...

The second most common explosion were oily rags in an enclosed container during the hot summer months. Spontaneous combustion. And yes, it does happen and it can be explosive.

Third. Working with oxygen and poor housekeeping with oily rags or grease on your hands or clothing while exposing them to pure oxygen from a tank. It will catch you by surprise and give third degree burns.

I climbed onto many active oil well drilling and servicing rigs in Wyoming, where you would expect explosions of methane gas, flare pits or dissolved volatiles in the drilling mud. Never had the displeasure of investigating an explosion in the time I read accident reports from the field. They some times use blow torches to "thaw" out equipment... not smart, but done... but no bad results that I ever heard.

So... I have seen situations where there is high risk and attention must be given to the dangers. But, this reoccurring debate is always interesting, but if it were the great risk some say... the event would be reported on every television, radio and newsprint in the country. And if it ever does occur, I would like to read the fire marshall's report for the "real, actual cause".

And please. Give some examples of similar situations that we can add to the Folk Lore of explosions caused by an ill-timed refer flame igniting and causing an explosion of gasoline vapors. I have just offered some of my job forced experiences, during my youth spent harassing construction sites with unguarded box stretchers, ungrounded light bulbs, safety nets around cowboys on horses and other mundane examples of how a rumor and fact sometimes are not accurate nor agree.
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Old 05-04-2015, 07:59 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Ray Eklund View Post
I always have my refrigerator on while traveling. No explosions. No setting the forest on fire. No accidental ignition of gasoline vapors at a gas station....I am, of course, making light of some the extreme conditions and folk lore that comes with the industry.... But, I have already given the example of a scientific test of putting a match out in liquid gasoline. A nearly empty gasoline tank is more dangerous than a full tank... theory.

While getting to wear a tie and nice plastic "cap" as an OSHA "safety representative" for a couple years, I was able to investigate accidents and several fatalities. Most were preventable.....
It was likely not intended but your post is misleading and derogatory towards those excercising good, common sense. Your former "OSHA safety representative" status notwithstanding.... (and that reference is particularly unworthy of belief, not that your weren't once employed by OSHA but that you might use that former employment in an attempt to establish your ridicule as credible.) It is never acceptable to ridicule those who practice safety measures, even if you personally consider those measures extreme.

I have little fear personally of my refer causing a fire at a gas station. I am not fearful of travelling with my refer running on propane. But I am aware of it's position relative to gas pumps, the relative-wind, and the position of other vehicles when refueling. I believe a refer heating unit installed several feet above ground and placed more than 10' in an open space from a running refer is extremely unlikely to cause a problem. But that is no reason to ridicule those who take precautions against the unlikely event.

I also don't trust dirty little boys who hate to take baths to remain unsupervised near open swimming pools. Accidents happen by definition and precautions should never be placed in ridicule.

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Old 05-04-2015, 09:36 AM   #45
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I happened to be reading my refrigerator owners manual one day, must have been really bored. Anyway it said the refrigerator has a built in feature that, when running on propane, turns itself off for 15 minutes when it detects a tow vehicle ignition off. The feature is there just for filling up of gasoline at a service station. My trailer is a 2013 model.
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Old 05-04-2015, 10:46 AM   #46
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I happened to be reading my refrigerator owners manual one day, must have been really bored. Anyway it said the refrigerator has a built in feature that, when running on propane, turns itself off for 15 minutes when it detects a tow vehicle ignition off. The feature is there just for filling up of gasoline at a service station. My trailer is a 2013 model.
I had an early Dometic in my 310 motorhome that did have that feature, but it was connected to the ignition switch in the motorhome to sense when the engine was running.

That same system could be incorporated into a tow vehicle and trailer, but would require a new wire through the umbilical cord to sense the ignition on in the tow vehicle. I have never seen it done and don't know how it could be done easily with the existing wiring.

So, although the feature may be on the refrigerator, I doubt it is activated in your setup. Most refrigerators do not have this feature in their design to begin with.
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Old 05-05-2015, 08:08 PM   #47
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Boxite you need to lighten up a bit.

I still stand by my statements. I have NEVER read, heard or was told about any problem.

- You are more likely to cause an explosion deep frying a turkey in your back yard, garage or porch.

- Do you use a ground strap when pouring gasoline from a container into your lawn mower or other gasoline operated piece of equipment?

- Have you started your propane or natural gas grill with a "magic wand"?

I have seen more people drive off with the gasoline hose still attached to the vehicle.

I have seen more smokers filling their trucks/car/motor cycles.

Please provide us, and more specifically me, with at least one legitimate report from a State, City or County Fire Marshal concerning an explosion or fire at a gas station caused by a trailer's refrigerator operating.

So many individuals seem to have a problem getting their "refer" started. And this is exposed directly to a spark and combustable gas/fuel.

Do you get warts from handling toads or frogs? If you touch a bird's egg in the nest, does the bird eject it from the nest. These are also unproven wive's tales.

Newer trailers have an automatic shut off when the ignition is off. As I think I also read in my Dometic manual. What if it is 100 degrees out and we stop for a six hours, with the tow vehicle attached. Then what? Unplug each stop?

Please, put me in my place. I can handle getting a lesson and an education. How about some actual cases than can be checked out.

Should I be more worried about a meteorite striking me while pumping gasoline? The odds might be a lot less likely, but I do not fall for rumor, wive's tales or fables. Someone might have some examples. I have none to offer at this time.
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Old 05-05-2015, 10:01 PM   #48
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Refer ON while towing? Myth Busters?

OK. I located the manual for my 25 footer 2014 Dometic Refrigerator.

Page 6. Refrigerator Overview: Temporary Gas Lockout. "When the refrigerator's temporary gas lockout is energized, the LP gas operation will automatically lock out for 15 minutes when the engine is switched off. This will prevent LP gas operation when stopping at a refueling station."

This does NOT shut down the hot water tank if, for whatever reason it is on while you are traveling.

This does NOT shut down the furnace if you are traveling.

Page 5. LED Panel Indications: The AUTO indication dot is lit. LP indication dot flashes slowly. Result: "Temporary GAS LOCKOUT function. Only in AUTO mode. It delays LP gas operation by 15 minutes when ignition switch is turned OFF. This is for stopping at a refueling station."

I am now presenting my case in a reasonable manner and not depending on rumor, folk lore or unsubstantiated cases.

When I pull into a service station, my spout for my fuel tank is about twenty+ feet from my refrigerator vent. This area is also fully contained with loose fitted sheet metal to avoid wind from blowing out the pilot when moving or in a strong wind. I cannot imagine a possibility of igniting gasoline vapor from the process of filling my fuel tank and this is 20+ feet from my refueling.

If I were to have the trailer parked over a previous gasoline spill... where gasoline is puddled and I am numb from driving, so I do not notice... there could be a possible problem. Yet, doubtful.

The refrigerator ignitor has a difficult time igniting the LP pilot and it is close to the source of fuel.

I would have to have a person pouring gasoline into the compartment where the ignitor/pilot light is located. Maybe an unlikely situation, but your imagination might be better than mine.

Most flash fires I was familiar with was with a dirty work shop at a garage. Spontaneous combustion of oily rags in a can DOES occur.

The more common flash fire. Greasy rag and Acetylene/Oxygen tanks. The Oxygen and grease can ignite and create a flash fire causing serious burns on an individual, at the least. You will see a garage attendant with greasy hands handling an Oxygen Cylinder fittings, etc.

Supposedly: Cell phones and refueling fires?

- Check out Cell Phone Gas Station... Myth on Mythbusters "Can using a cell phone at a gas station start a fire?" Mini Myth or not?

People can believe almost anything if it is presented to them in a factual context. We all must be able to assume risk that can be found in any every day situation and avoid those situations that are dangerous, not by themselves alone, but by a combination of factors. I could make up better Myths than this particular one. I would like to be able to Google this topic and discover a list of occurrences to use as examples, but cannot find ONE.

So, I have again, expressed my opinion from experience and exposure to situations that would be easier to prove or disprove. Had I any evidence to offer that was contrary to my experience, I would not hesitate to admit to not knowing and wrong.
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Old 05-05-2015, 10:29 PM   #49
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I run our fridge on LP when traveling. I will run it again on LP when we travel.

I fuel with diesel, usually at the pumps were the big rigs fill because the entrance exit for us is unusable without tearing something up.
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Old 05-05-2015, 11:21 PM   #50
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Not to be totally argumentative, but I believe the temporary gas lockout feature only works on rv's like motorhomes? The manual doesn't know what kind of RV it is installed in. It is generic.
Not sure how the fridge could figure out that the ignition in the tow vehicle was off, as it is still being run by the trailer batteries.
But, go ahead and try it. We often do an overnight with the fridge running on gas and the trailer hooked up.
And we often run with the fridge on if we are on a longer drive in warmer weather.
Not arguing the safety of it but you will notice in the manual that it does say in the " safety" section that the fridge should not be run in the close proximity to gas fumes?
CYA. Is what it is all about.


George
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Old 05-05-2015, 11:35 PM   #51
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The tow vehicle 7 pin plug. One I think is 12 volt power. Maybe its turned off unless ignition is on. If so that could be used for the fridge.
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Old 05-05-2015, 11:37 PM   #52
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'Course, this just could be a coincidence...

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Old 05-05-2015, 11:47 PM   #53
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Wow.. impressive fire.. We need to be careful out there, folks...

My first thought was.. 'why doesn't the station not have extinguishers....? We do here in Texas...

And I just bought another one for our AS..
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Old 05-05-2015, 11:50 PM   #54
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The tow vehicle 7 pin plug. One I think is 12 volt power. Maybe its turned off unless ignition is on. If so that could be used for the fridge.
And what does the fridge run on when the 7 pin is not plugged in?
Just curious.


George
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Old 05-06-2015, 12:00 AM   #55
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And what does the fridge run on when the 7 pin is not plugged in?
Just curious.


George
George, in an AS trailer, the 12VDC circuit provides power to the AS 12VDC items... Lights, AC control circuit, Fridge control circuit, water heater circuit, furnace circuit. , water pump, electric brakes when the breakaway switch engages.

If you only have power when the umbilical is attached, you have a problem with your 12VDC system. Dead battery(ies)... Bad cables/connections...

Most states require your electric brakes to be functional before towing.
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Old 05-06-2015, 02:32 AM   #56
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George, in an AS trailer, the 12VDC circuit provides power to the AS 12VDC items... Lights, AC control circuit, Fridge control circuit, water heater circuit, furnace circuit. , water pump, electric brakes when the breakaway switch engages.

If you only have power when the umbilical is attached, you have a problem with your 12VDC system. Dead battery(ies)... Bad cables/connections...

Most states require your electric brakes to be functional before towing.
You missed my point. I have power with the umbilical attached and not. My house batteries work fine.
It was suggested in a previous post that when plugged in that the fridge draws power from the 12 volt line in the umbilical and can sense when the ignition is off and thereby shut of the propane to the fridge when stopped at a fuel station.
I was sarcastically trying to suggest that this was not the case.
Obviously I missed the mark.


George
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