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Old 05-13-2007, 10:27 PM   #1
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Refrigerator question

I would like to start up my refrig, one day before I leave on a trip. I have no power and my truck will not be hooked up until the following day. My refrig is automatic and swithches to the available power source which in this case will be propane.Is it ok to let the unit run for a day on propane, and what effect will it have on my batteries, if any?
Thanks in advance
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Old 05-13-2007, 11:16 PM   #2
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Our 'stream is vintage so we have completely different refrigeration processes... but my guess is yours will work fine on propane, but I bet you have cooling fans that work in your fridge and run off the batteries in your trailer. It probably will be fine if it isn't 100 degrees or something and really pulling the "juice"... if you are going to be driving a reasonable distance then your batteries should recharge while driving. I wouldn't leave any unnecessary other 12v items on. Hopefully someone with a newer rig can respond and let you know. You should be able to "boondock" 24 hours on your batteries! Good luck.

BTW, our vintage refrigerator only uses propane, no fans, just simple convection type. We can run ours until the propane runs out!

Mrs. NorCal Bambi traveling in S Tardis
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Old 05-14-2007, 01:17 AM   #3
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I have a 2005 19' ccd. I have an older fridge than you.

However, this is exactly what I do the day before a trip. The battery drain should be minimal as the current used to power the fridge is minimal. All energy to cool the fridge is provided by the propane.

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Old 05-14-2007, 05:51 AM   #4
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The draw on the battery for the PC board to open the propane valve is less than an amp. If you only turn it on a day before leaving, your tow vehicle's charge line should be able to replace most of that energy before you reach the campground, the converter will finish charging when you hook up to shore power. The fridge in our Overlander is set up this way, we have done this in this manner ever since I installed the fridge, and had no problem.
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Old 05-14-2007, 06:51 AM   #5
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You can run the fridge on propane and not worry about it for a long time. You'll probobly run out of propane before the fridge itself could kill the batteries. I've had my fridge run on propane for over a week without shore power. If in the drive, or where shore power is availible, I run it off standard A/C, though from what I understand, it cools faster on LP because of the BTU of propane vs. the heating element.
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Old 05-14-2007, 09:47 AM   #6
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Thanks to all for the great advice. What would I do without the Forum. I was supposed to leave for my trip from Arizona to Illinois to day however my truck was invilved in an accident that will require several new tires and later fender repair. Hopefully the tire store carries tires for my Ford 150, and then maybe I will be on the way.This is starting to be a lot of work. Once again thanks for the information.
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Old 05-14-2007, 10:06 AM   #7
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Be careful...I just remembered Dometic (manufac of the fridge) has a recall. Make sure your unit is not involoved in the recall. If it is, I would not run it on LP unattended......

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f425...ate-31053.html
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Old 05-14-2007, 10:22 AM   #8
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First off, if your AS is in a storage place away from where you live, I'd be hesitant to fire up the fridge and leave it unattended a few miles away. A strong wind might knock the pilot out. Probably nothing terrible will happen, but I would not risk it. And yes, anytime the outside temp is above 70 degrees, the fridge fans seem to run almost constantly, unless you have one of the newer units that has the fan cut off switch. Thus battery drain.

Given that, here is what we do: We pack our food and stuff that needs to get transfered to the fridge in those cheap styrofoam coolers available everywhere. In each cooler we throw two Coleman refreezable "Brite Ice" packs. Upon arriving at the AS for a trip, fire up the fridge. Put some of the ice packs around the interior of the fridge and put your food in. This ought to keep the contents cool until the fridge gets to the optimal cooling level, which takes a few hours.

The next day, we put a pack or two in the freezer so we have something to keep food chilled for the ride back home.

Some people use plastic drinking water bottles and freeze those for the same desired effect.

Man, it's almost scary how I almost make sense when I don't wake with a hang-over....

Best wishes.

Jonathan
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Old 05-14-2007, 10:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazylev
First off, if your AS is in a storage place away from where you live, I'd be hesitant to fire up the fridge and leave it unattended a few miles away. A strong wind might knock the pilot out.
If your refrigerator is one of the newer models, it may have an auto ignitor for the pilot, so even at worse case if it blows out, it will reignite. On my Classic the only pilot failure was due to running out of gas, and the ignitor only tries for so long before it gives up and turns on a check light on the refigerator control panel.

Considering that you can drive with the fridge on, unless you have one of those requiring a baffle (see the link below), you should be ok to fire your fridge up......just be sure you are level.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/5575-post7.html

Jack
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Old 05-14-2007, 10:38 AM   #10
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Thanks Silver. I just checked and I do not believe that I have one of the recalled units. Can't beleive that I don't have another problem. Maybe this is my day.Tommorrow I head for Illinois slow and easy.
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Old 05-14-2007, 10:42 AM   #11
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Thanks. I thought I would being enjoying this Airstream. For the year of 2007, it seems like this trailer is in the dark ages. When I add up the cost of the AS, Ford, Hensely and the aggrevation, I could be traveling in a private jet. But I guess that wouldn't be as much FUN.
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Old 05-14-2007, 10:55 AM   #12
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Nope - a private jet is in another price class altogether. My employer has one, the internal cost was $1800/hour the last time I rode in it!

However, with the high price of gas, towing the trailer with the truck on longer trips may be more expensive than driving a car and staying in hotels!
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Old 05-14-2007, 02:29 PM   #13
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Safe trip woodedareas.

I concur with the auto ignitor. Your unit most likely has that. I love that feature on ours. It actually shuts off the fuel to the burner once the fridge gets to temp, then starts itself when there is a call for cool!
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Old 05-14-2007, 08:11 PM   #14
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You may want to check

If your fridge is like ours (dometic)you may want to check for a 12 volt defrost heater. The switch for the heater is located in the middle section between the freezer door and top of the bottom door and towards the right side--. The heater helps to keep the freezer section from icing up when it's humid. A/S recommends that it be turned off when booning or on battery.
Best,
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