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Old 07-21-2009, 10:30 PM   #1
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Woodywhite's Avatar
1960 18' Traveler
1975 27' Overlander
La Honda , California
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 59
Refer basics

My new 1960 18' Traveler is my first trailer that will actually be mobile. So I'm slowly plowing through the trailer top to bottom and checking systems. I'm pleased to say that the refrigerator works when plugged into a land line, although it did take a long time to chill out. I haven't tested the propane yet.

This may sound really basic, but does the electricity (specifically the fridge) continue to run when I'm driving and the AS is plugged into my truck? I'm assuming I don't want to be on the road with the propane system engaged.

Also, when testing the propane system. I have read that I test it with some dish soap. I presume this means I put some dish soap on each of the propane junctions, turn on the tank and look for bubbles. Anything more to the testing than this?

None of my friends or relations have trailers or RV's so I really appreciate the "kindness of strangers" I've found here on the forums.

Thanks for your input.


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Old 07-21-2009, 10:42 PM   #2
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1988 25' Excella
Sunnyvale , California
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Electric cycle for fridge is 110V and takes lots of power to heat fluid for cooling cycle.. Some have 3 cycles (110V AC, Propane and 12V) and if you had 12V operation it would work while driving, but puts heavy load on battery and alternator, and could deaden battery if you stop for a long meal or side trip..

Propane test is usualy done with mix of liquid dish soap and water to facilitate bubbles, and check all the way around hoses and connections beyond tank valve and regulator.. Use your nose as well, since sometimes it just smells like propane, even if you can't see bubbles, and that shold be presumed to be a leak.. (If it's been immobile for a long time, you may need to have propane tank valves replaced and tanks tested -round valve knobs are bad.. triangular shaped ones are good..). Hoses do get brittle and then flex once too often and then leak.. (ask me how I know...)

Some folks do drive with fridge running on propane.. Use search tab above (type in refrigerator or fridge and driving and propane and see what you get) to find threads from members who routinely do it, never do it, think it's OK and think it's stupid.. Only general conclusion is that if you crash, having open propane line and fire in burner unit of refrigerator is likely going to make the crash incrementally worse.. Pretty much everyone agrees you should stop short of pulling into gas stations and shut unit off, and then turn back on after safely leaving gas station, however...

If tank is aluminum (rather than rusty steel) it is real valuable, so don't let it get away.. You may have to search to find someone to replace valve properly..

Good luck

>> And often refrigerators take a while to get to operating temps.. Not llike home models that are cold after 15 minutes.. You should also have circulating fan gizmo inside to move air around and keep temps relatively constant..


In Theory, there's no difference between Theory and Practice, but in Practice, there is usually a difference...
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Old 07-22-2009, 09:33 PM   #3
2 Rivet Member
Woodywhite's Avatar
1960 18' Traveler
1975 27' Overlander
La Honda , California
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 59
Hi Condoluminum,

Thanks for the prompt reply. I did find a 12 volt converter in a compartment under the refrigerator, so I presume this means that the fridge will run while I drive. You mention that it puts a heavy load on the battery and alternator. Is it enough to make me want to turn the unit off while I drive? I'm not enthusiastic about having the propane on while in transit.

I'm hoping to test the propane system this weekend. Then I can test the rest of the appliances as well. My tanks are the old steel kind with round handles so I need to get new ones. Since you're in my region (I'm in La Honda), do you have a local source for a new tank? I have one from my camping cook stove, but should get a second one to replace the other tank on the trailer.

Thanks again for your help,

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