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Old 08-21-2007, 08:23 AM   #1
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traveling with Refrig running?

We have a new Safari 19' and have a very basic question. Remember I am very new to RVing. When we are towing what is procedure to have power to refrig. and lights ? I hope I'm not scaring anyone with the elementary nature of this question!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks
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Old 08-21-2007, 08:52 AM   #2
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Some people run with the refer on gas, others don't. We do the former. Use the search feature and you will find several lengthy threads on this subject.
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Old 08-21-2007, 09:03 AM   #3
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Tnickels,
This may be close to the number one question that members of this community are split on. Which means that it has been debated over and over again. A perfect opportunity for you to become familiar with the forum search capability. For the record we're in the gas and fridge off while traveling group. I've done enough risky things in life already... We typically run the fridge on AC until we hitch up. Even in AZ that usually gives it enough of a head start to keep the beer cool.
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Old 08-21-2007, 09:11 AM   #4
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This issue has been discussed many times. If you are going out for the weekend probably off. If you are going out for an extended trip probably on. Mine has been off once in 18 months. If you have a gas engine then remember to turn it off while fueling. Another thing: You may need to install a baffle in the fridge compartment. Mine kept flaming out. THe factory installed a baffle. no more problems.
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Old 08-21-2007, 09:27 AM   #5
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We are of the fridge on while towing philosophy. It is recommended that you turn it off before fueling so that the spark from the ignition (or pilot from older units) won't start a fire at gas stations while fueling. However, my tow vehicle is diesel and diesel is harder to ignite. Also, our fridge is on the opposite side from the truck's fuel tank filler so there is less chance of a problem during filling. And I don't think the Airstream has ever been under the canopy while fueling at any truck stop or gas station we have used. It is always on an outside isle and stuck out in the cross path kind of in every one's way...ooops, sorry about that.

The main issue would be pulling through the islands with gasoline vapor floating along and suddenly your fridge ignites to start cooling and that ignition causes an explosion. I'm sure this has happened somewhere or sometime in the past or people wouldn't be afraid it would occur again, but I would think that if there was that much gas fumes floating around the pumps that starting the vehicle engine would cause the explosion not to mention that customers would be overcome by the gasoline fumes and be falling on the ground left and right. Or am I the only one who thinks this? Anyway, it is entirely a personal choice whether you are comfortable with a gas appliance in use while you are whizzing down the interstate or highway.
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Old 08-21-2007, 10:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnie's Mate
I'm sure this has happened somewhere or sometime in the past or people wouldn't be afraid it would occur again, but I would think that if there was that much gas fumes floating around the pumps that starting the vehicle engine would cause the explosion not to mention that customers would be overcome by the gasoline fumes and be falling on the ground left and right. Or am I the only one who thinks this?.
I think it's more for a situation where an accident occurs at the gas pump or where there might be spillage on the ground. I think most of us here can't either quote an experience that they are aware of or have been personally involved with. The risk is always there though.

I turn mine off when fueling, and I tend to avoid pumps where there are other RV's fueling. I don't trust that they have turned theirs off.

As far as traveling goes. I do travel with gas on and feel quite safe doing that. The major concern from folks who don't is the fear of fire from an accident. While that is a valid concern, I believe there is always danger of fire even from the tow vehicle itself. Again, like on the gas pump situation, I don't believe we have any folks who can speak to this personally or have seen a documented story that relates to a problem caused by gas on while towing. My advice is to do what is comfortable for you as far as gas on while traveling. Turn it off though at the pumps.

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Old 08-21-2007, 12:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera
I think it's more for a situation where an accident occurs at the gas pump or where there might be spillage on the ground. I think most of us here can't either quote an experience that they are aware of or have been personally involved with. The risk is always there though.

I turn mine off when fueling, and I tend to avoid pumps where there are other RV's fueling. I don't trust that they have turned theirs off.

As far as traveling goes. I do travel with gas on and feel quite safe doing that. The major concern from folks who don't is the fear of fire from an accident. While that is a valid concern, I believe there is always danger of fire even from the tow vehicle itself. Again, like on the gas pump situation, I don't believe we have any folks who can speak to this personally or have seen a documented story that relates to a problem caused by gas on while towing. My advice is to do what is comfortable for you as far as gas on while traveling. Turn it off though at the pumps.

Jack
I'm sorry, I didn't mean to sound like I wanted proof of this happening. I think it is a possibility and I believe it has happened. I don't think anybody made it up or that it is a wives' tale that it could. No doubts here. But I personally think the odds are low. Not impossible, just low. I hadn't considered the possibility of gasoline spills. I guess it's like turning off my cell phone while I pump gasoline. I never have and keep my cell phone in my right front paint's pocket very close to the pump handle so I'm in big trouble if it ever explodes 'cause there'll be no getting to it in my pocket. It is a matter of what one is comfortable with.

Like I said earlier, the OP has to decide if he/she is comfortable operating a gas appliance unattended while traveling down the road. I watch "The RV Roadshow" on DIYnetwork, unfortunately they're all re-runs now, and Gary Bunzer mentioned using the fridge on gas while driving and seemed to think it OK to do so. I'm not saying that makes it gospel, but it may lend some credence to the practice. He didn't mention turning it off when fueling, though. I would think that would be a good idea if the external door to the fridge compartment is anywhere near any of the gas pumps. When I'm at the pumps, my Airstream is out from under the canopy and the door to the fridge compartment is probably 20' minimum from the nearest gasoline pump. From that distance, any gas fumes should have been sufficiently dissipated to prevent them from being too easily ignited.
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Old 08-21-2007, 01:00 PM   #8
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READ the question folks. it's not about mythical rv explosions at chevron...

Quote:
Originally Posted by tnickels
When we are towing what is procedure to have power to refrig. and lights ? I hope I'm not scaring anyone with the elementary nature of this question!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks

hi tnickels and welcome to to the forums.....

"power to the refrig and lights"

when the 7 pin connector is plugged into the tow vehicle power plug,

electricity is supplied to the 12 volt lights inside/outside your trailer.

actually the inside lights are running from your trailer battery...
which is being charged (ever so slightly) by the alternator in your towvehicle...
but that's an advanced question!

your fridge only runs on 110v ac electricity or lp gas....

the unit IS designed to run on lpgas while moving...

some tunnels and most ferries require turning off compressed gas during transit...

and some folks do the same when fueling. i do not.

while on the road should the flame go out on the lpgas fridge, it will try to re light 2-3 times automatically.

if not successful the lp gas stops flowing.

again welcome aboard.

your questions don't scare me, but some of the answers do!

cheers
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Old 08-21-2007, 01:45 PM   #9
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Thanks 2 Air....very clear and concise. No switch has to thrown inside unit for the lights to work , correct?
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Old 08-21-2007, 01:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
some tunnels and most ferries require turning off compressed gas during transit...

and some folks do the same when fueling. i do not.
Frankly 2air, your answer frightens me a little also. According to the safety regulations that are posted in every fuel station in the world, there are several things you must do when refueling. First is switch off the engine, second is do not smoke or create any sparks, three avoid using the mobile telephone.
Please people, turn your sparking and flaming equipment off before driving through a gas station. If not for your own safety, do it for mine.
OK, I’m off soapbox now, sorry, thank you
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Old 08-21-2007, 02:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky
Please people, turn your sparking and flaming equipment off before driving through a gas station. If not for your own safety, do it for mine.
OK, Iím off soapbox now, sorry, thank you
The one rule that many folks don't follow is the "don't get back in the car rule". This is really evident once the weather gets cold. If your car is like mine the static electric you build up sliding in and out of the seats is real, and I've felt the discharge occur once I get grounded.

In our neck of the woods we are EPA regulated to the point that we have vapor recovery systems on the gas nozzle. The fumes are pretty limited when you fill. Out in the wide open spaces though where gas nozzles are free to breath, you have a real issue on your hands if you are carrying a static charge from your car seat and you touch that fill handle.

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Old 08-21-2007, 02:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnie's Mate
I'm sorry, I didn't mean to sound like I wanted proof of this happening. I think it is a possibility and I believe it has happened.
No nothing to be sorry for. I'm not looking for proof either because somewhere, someplace, it probably did happen. I think the point I make is that in the case of towing with gas on, I can guarantee you that some governmental regulatory authority would have jumped in by now if this were really an issue of consequence or fires were happening with some frequency.

Is towing with the gas off safer than with gas on? Yep it is. After 8 hours on the road with temps in the 90's, will my food in the fridge be be safer with the gas on than with the gas off? Based on how my fridge holds its cold, it will be safer if I keep the gas on. So I make my choices.

With the RV's filling at the gas pumps, I think many folks are pretty careful about this and hopefully most are turned off when they pull in. I think if this again was a common occurrence, we'd all be seeing pictures in the nightly news. On the other hand as I noted, I trust no one, and will attempt to be the only RV fueling at a series of pumps.

Jack
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Old 08-21-2007, 02:18 PM   #13
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Even in the humid south I can vouch for the static electricity issue. My wife's last vehicle had cloth seats. The manual said they would have either a silk or wool blended fabric depending on the color. Even in the summer with the a/c on I would sometimes get a slight spark when I would get out and touch the metal of the door when I would close the door inside of our garage.

BTW, I thought those vapor recovery nozzles were required everywhere. I know we have them all over Georgia. That may be because of the heat and ground level ozone issues during the summer, though.
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Old 08-21-2007, 02:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
No switch has to thrown inside unit for the lights to work , correct?
Only the individual light switches. There is no master trailer power switch (not to be confused with the infamous battery disconnect switch...). You do have AC breakers and DC fuses though. Do you know where those are?
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