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Old 05-09-2016, 11:46 AM   #15
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I've run with on bottle on when we are traveling. Modern refrigerators are designed to run when the trailer is on the road. Other than tunnels, I've not run into any situation in any of the states where I have traveled where it is illegal to run with the fridge on gas.

My only concession is when I fuel the tow vehicle and normally will turn the refrigerator off while at the pumps. Once I pull away I'll pop back into the trailer and turn the fridge back on. There are times I haven't and in those cases its been when because of available pumps, the trailer is well beyond the pump area with no pumps on either side. Also I'm careful about wind conditions and situations where winds are blowing the gas fumes away from the fueling pump, I might not turn off fridge.

I'm usually picky about the islands where I fuel and as a general practice I avoid pumps where another RV'er is fueling. I'm not sure about the status of his fridge and lean towards wanting to fuel away from other RV's.

Jack
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Old 05-09-2016, 11:55 AM   #16
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They are designed to run that way while on the road. I run my water heater also! and sometimes my heat! The warnings NOT to just come from a litigation CRAZY corporation.
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Old 05-09-2016, 11:55 AM   #17
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Propane is heavier than air. Thus the requirement to turn LPG off while going through tunnels (it can accumulate there in lower levels). Coast requires turning it off on ferries in US and Canada.

We only keep LPG turned on while driving more than 5-6 hours on days where temperature is above 75 or so. We pack a lunch in a small cooler with reusable "ice trays" and do not open the refrigerator door until connected to electricity. Beer is always cold at the end of the day and we monitor our refrigerator with a thermometer to assure food stays safely cool.
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Old 05-09-2016, 12:00 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by switz View Post
Tomorrow our Dometic ammonia based coolant refrigerator will be removed from our 23D and replaced with a Vitrifrigo DP150iL with a freon based Danfoss compressor that only runs on 12Vdc. Between a 300 amp-hour lithium battery (has 270 amp hours available) and the 500 watts of solar panels the roof, no power issues.

It draws 68 watts when running, or 5.6 amps. if it were to actually run 10 hours out of 24, the 56 amps could be replaced in a little over two hours by the solar panels.
I am anxious to see the results of your installation in the 31. Our 2002 Classic 30 slideout has the 8 c.f. Dometic and I'm seriously considering replacing it with the Vitrifrigo 2600. In our over 60 nights of use of our two trailers, only one night was without shore power, and I have a eu2000i generator. I think the charge current from the TV will be sufficient while on the road and see no reason not to convert to 12V refrigeration, even without solar, given our past use. I can always add solar if warranted.

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Old 05-09-2016, 12:27 PM   #19
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Ours is on propane as well for last seven years extended travel. Maybe there's a realistic risk but it's not very realistic.
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Old 05-09-2016, 12:39 PM   #20
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Some of the Bambi units do come with 3way power options. The 12v is good for the road but not for initially cooling it down.
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Old 05-09-2016, 01:08 PM   #21
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Searching for government regulations is a feast or famine thing. You are either inundated with specific regulations or you just get someone's opinions with no reference citing.

The only state regulations I've found regarding LP tanks is for Maryland:
LP Gas is prohibited on I-95 tunnels of Baltimore Harbor and Fort McHenry. Alternate route for RVs with propane is over the Francis Scott Key Bridge on I-695. [http://www.rvtripwizard.com/rv-info/...road-laws.html, http://camping.about.com/od/rvfullti...egulations.htm]

There are local regulations for tunnels with a pull off area so you can close the valves, but nothing regarding using LP as you travel. There are LP fueled vehicles that travel down the highway, I wonder if they have to avoid the tunnels.

For the DOT regulations I found an article for farriers [shoes horses and other animals, hoof care and other stuff] dealing with the DOT requirements for transporting propane, oxygen and acetylene: [https://www.americanfarriers.com/art...tion-of-fuels]

Propane
The DOT sets exact limits on the weight of hazardous materials that may be transported before a vehicle is required to have a placard. A placard is a sign that is attached to the vehicle denoting the types of hazardous materials being transporting. When you are transporting propane cylinders, you are transporting hazardous materials. Vehicle placarding is required when the total weight of the cylinders and propane reach a combined weight of more than 1,000 pounds or exceeds 25 20-pound cylinders. Very few farriers are ever likely to have to deal with this transportation regulation. DOT requires that propane cylinders be secured on a flat surface or in a rack, tote or mounted so they won’t move around in the vehicle. A propane cylinder not in use or not connected by a hose to an appliance must be plugged or capped. Leaving your forge connected to the propane tank is legal under DOT regulations. DOT regulations also apply to the transportation of propane cylinders in closed vehicles, such as passenger cars, vans and trailers, when the amount of propane exceeds 90 pounds, or about 21 gallons. Farriers could have to deal with this regulation if they transport more than four 20-pound cylinders or three 30-pound cylinders. Some exceptions to the above regulations will apply when entering tunnels, crossing bridges or traveling down some parkways. For example, when crossing over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, you are not allowed to transport more than two 60-pound cylinders. In Canada, the maximum number of cylinders that can be transported in enclosed vehicles without displaying a placard is five, as long as each cylinder weighs less than 30 kilograms (66 pounds). A full 20-pound cylinder typically weighs about 17 kilograms (34.5 pounds). For open vehicles (back of a pick-up truck), the total combined weight of the propane and cylinders cannot exceed 550 kilograms (1,213 pounds).

I would think if it's illegal to use propane while traveling, there would be some kind of warning sticker somewhere in the AS. If the RV mechanic said it was illegal I'd sure like to know what his source is because I can't find anything on it.

As far as refueling at a gas station I would say there is a much greater risk of igniting the gasoline fumes with static electricity. Some people will put the nozzle in the tank and start it up then get back in their car. They pick up another charge of static electricity and then get out to remove the nozzle, creating a spark and starting a fire. [Leave the nozzle in, shut off the fuel or get the attendant to turn off the pump. Never pull the nozzle out.]

Anytime you are getting ready to touch the nozzle, touch the car and some metal on the fueling island to ground everything and prevent the static spark.

We travel with one cylinder open and the fridge running, I'm sure a lot of RVs, travel trailers and other vehicles do too. If there were some kind of laws against it and it was that big of a hazard, there would be signs posted somewhere.
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Old 05-09-2016, 02:03 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richw46 View Post

As far as refueling at a gas station I would say there is a much greater risk of igniting the gasoline fumes with static electricity. Some people will put the nozzle in the tank and start it up then get back in their car. They pick up another charge of static electricity and then get out to remove the nozzle, creating a spark and starting a fire. [Leave the nozzle in, shut off the fuel or get the attendant to turn off the pump. Never pull the nozzle out.]
I think we almost always see one video a year either on the news or Internet where someone has started a fire from static electricity while fueling their vehicle, or filling a container that is in the bed of their pickup truck. I've felt the occasional static spark as I get out of the car so I'm much in agreement on the static risk. Wind can move gas vapors around so I usually am cognitive of the breeze in relationship to the gas pumps and my Airstream.

My only encounter with a regulatory requirement for gas shutoff was down in Mobile Alabama when we went through the tunnel on our way to Florida. I remember there may have been a turnout before the tunnel where we shut the gas down. It was back in the 80's and since that encounter I've not been in a tunnel situation since where the shut down was required.

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Old 05-09-2016, 02:28 PM   #23
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I'm with Jack. We run the fridge, but turn off the propane at the gas station and tunnels or other restricted areas.

If we forget to turn it back on, the stuff stays cold and/or frozen the rest of the day. We travel only up to 6 hours a day.
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Old 05-09-2016, 02:34 PM   #24
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There's no other practical option than running propane while driving.
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Old 05-09-2016, 02:43 PM   #25
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My 2011 23fb FC has a 3 way frig.
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Old 05-09-2016, 03:09 PM   #26
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We always leave our fridge on automatic and it stays on for up to 6 months while traveling , no problems, beer always stays cold.....
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Old 05-09-2016, 03:15 PM   #27
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Normally we run the refrigerator on gas while traveling.

The exception is then we need to enter a long tunnel (normally posted as "no explosives" or such), in which case. we run on the inverter through the tunnel.
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Old 05-09-2016, 03:16 PM   #28
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We've been running our propane frig turned on while we travel since 1971, thats 45 years, and only had a problem when occasionally a passing semi blew the flame out and the unit shut down, and that was before we got our 1990 Airstream, which will automatically reignite. Some tunnels require you to shut the tanks down tight, and then we do, but otherwise the unit turns itself off when being towed and the ignition is turned off, and then has a delay before starting after the engine on the TV is restarted. That to avoid an open flame at the fuel pumps, which I can appreciate.
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