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Old 11-08-2010, 10:34 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by lilynhoward View Post
O We've just picked up our new AS, after a brief stint in the Class B world. Our refer there ran on 12v, so we've kinda been used to that.
Class Bs are different and the 3 way fridges work great for them.

The fridges are half the size of the fridge in your 'stream, and require half the electricity, and that makes a big difference. There are 3 way fridges in those sizes, so no need to fuss with inverters.

In a B, all the wiring is right there so it's easy to do tricks like have a light on the dash go on if you turn of the ignition while running the fridge on 12 volts, or have it switch to gas, or whatever.

The wiring is shorter, there are fewer connectors, and it's easy to get the 15 amps or so without fancy tricks.

The coach battery is more likely to charge from the alternator, and make up any lost ground from the fridge running on 12v while parked, than is the case with a trailer.

Finally it is generally more of a nuisance to load propane on a B so conservation is more important.
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Old 11-08-2010, 09:50 PM   #16
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What states are these? I was not aware that there were any state-wide prohibitions.
Directly out of the Airstream manual...it didn't say what states.
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Old 11-08-2010, 09:53 PM   #17
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Class Bs are different and the 3 way fridges work great for them.

The fridges are half the size of the fridge in your 'stream, and require half the electricity, and that makes a big difference. There are 3 way fridges in those sizes, so no need to fuss with inverters.

In a B, all the wiring is right there so it's easy to do tricks like have a light on the dash go on if you turn of the ignition while running the fridge on 12 volts, or have it switch to gas, or whatever.

The wiring is shorter, there are fewer connectors, and it's easy to get the 15 amps or so without fancy tricks.

The coach battery is more likely to charge from the alternator, and make up any lost ground from the fridge running on 12v while parked, than is the case with a trailer.

Finally it is generally more of a nuisance to load propane on a B so conservation is more important.
Thanks for the clarification, all makes sense. I'm convinced to use the LP, but I just need to find out about the alternator sensing wiring from TV to AS...not sure that I'll always remember to run back and shut it off at the gas station.
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:22 PM   #18
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So the question remains, what about the alternator sensing wire that needs to be connected to the refer? Does anyone have this or does Airstream just not connect it for some reason?
Jeff

I am not sure that I understand your question. My understanding is that the charge line to the 7 pin connector going to the trailer is limited to 5 amps. This will charge the battery at the rate of 5 amps. I guess they figure that this will take care of the trailer lights since this is the only load.

Are you planning on turning off the gas to the frig when you stop for fuel for your TV? I don't see any reason for this.

Dan
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Old 11-09-2010, 12:10 AM   #19
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The Fuse for the 'trailer battery charge' circuit on our Ford is a 30 amp fuse...as I recall, the wire is 10 ga back to the TV's 7-way plug...

There's also a 30 amp, 12 volt circuit breaker in this circuit inside our AS...

This wiring allows for timely recharging of the AS's batteries when we're on the road...

Many gas stations with room to refuel RV's I've seen have notices posted requesting that any open flame devices on the RV be shut off before operating the pumps...It's probably state law in most if not all states...

Now, in reality, when you're refueling your TV, and the trailer is some distance behind the pumps, there's probably not much danger in igniting fumes with the refer propane burner...

But why take the chance? As you drive away, you might pass close enough to some spilled fuel to cause it to ignite - remote chance, yes I know, but it's still possible...

Be safe out there...

Ray
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Old 11-09-2010, 12:11 AM   #20
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I use the LP when underway. But if I wanted to run the refrigerator element electrically, I'd consider installing a shore power connector at the front of the trailer. I'd install inverter in the tow vehicle and bring 120 volt power to the rear of it. Under hot weather when other loads are present on the alternator, consideration should be given to tacking another 300+ continuous watts of load on the alternator as far as life expectancy.

It is difficult to carry 300 watts at 12volt from the tow vehicle's alternator/battery all the way back to the refrigerator without excessive voltage drop. The cabling would have to be very heavy. The inverters are sensitive to low input voltage so generally are located near the 12 volt source.
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Old 11-09-2010, 08:44 AM   #21
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Directly out of the Airstream manual...it didn't say what states.
I think that's lawyer-FUD.

The alternator sense line, mentioned upthread, is present only on trailers with a 9-pin connector. Prior to the mid 1980s it was uncommon for tow vehicles to be equipped from the factory with a useful trailer connector of any kind, and so a certain amount of wiring changes always had to be made and it was no big deal to use the 9 pin. After that Detroit had standardized on the 7 way flat blade and so Airstream switched to that.
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Old 11-09-2010, 08:53 AM   #22
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Many gas stations with room to refuel RV's I've seen have notices posted requesting that any open flame devices on the RV be shut off before operating the pumps...It's probably state law in most if not all states...

Now, in reality, when you're refueling your TV, and the trailer is some distance behind the pumps, there's probably not much danger in igniting fumes with the refer propane burner...

But why take the chance? As you drive away, you might pass close enough to some spilled fuel to cause it to ignite - remote chance, yes I know, but it's still possible...

Be safe out there...
I do shut off the fridge while refueling but I doubt if it's really necessary.

Any flasher or relay in a car or truck, or DC motor, produces sparks and will ignite flammable vapor if present. As such the same ignition hazard is posed by headlight relays, door locks, window motors, motorized minivan doors and hatches, and electric radiator fans.

Even with no breeze and a pooled spill the lower explosive limit won't be reached except within a few inches of the surface of the pool. The vapors are heavier than air to a far greater extent even than propane. The main risk therefore is ignition sources that could potentially be dropped, like cigarettes.
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:01 AM   #23
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there are a LOT of dangers involved with rvn...

for new folks the challenge is prioritizing the common hazards...

working out a sensible plan to deal with them,

then sorting out how to think about the wildly remote issues...

and deciding what2do with rv'urban myths.

here are a few 100 posts about the fridge ON issue, including a poll...

(see post #5 and FOLLOW the links)

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f425...tml#post882070

IF ferry travel is a regular happening, learn how to quickly and simply SHUT OFF the lg at the tank/regulator.

fueling is very common, so learn which pumps are easiest to navigate...

typically the OUTSIDE row in a UNcovered area of pumps is ideal.

or the fueling island that is the longest WALK to the building entry.
_________

the REAL hazard at all fuel stops is HITTING something with the stream...

or stepping in a gooey pile of oil/diesel/kitty litter.

and don't forget the random nail/screw snagged by a tire...

that explodes just minutes after getting back on the shoulder-less roads...



cheers
2air'
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:34 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Jammer View Post

Any flasher or relay in a car or truck, or DC motor, produces sparks and will ignite flammable vapor if present. As such the same ignition hazard is posed by headlight relays, door locks, window motors, motorized minivan doors and hatches, and electric radiator fans.
Agreed, the risk is minimal, but one never knows. And I subscribe to the tenant that if there's a way to be safer about something, well, then I'll try and do that. If I figure out a way to easily activate that feature in the refer, I'll post it.

Thanks everyone!
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:34 AM   #25
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Jeff,

I respect your concern about traveling with the propane on. You are not alone although I personally believe that you are worrying when you shouldn't be. There have been many posts about this subject but yours has been different since you have an alternative in mind.

I suppose you could install an inverter somewhere, wire it to your battery somehow and hope that your TV alternator can keep up the load. On paper this makes sense.

Or, you could do as someone advised and that is to cool everything down prior to leaving, turn off the gas and then pack the fridge with dry ice. Some just shut the fridge and turn it back on when they get there.

Or, you could put your worries aside and run with it on like about 98% of us do. Yes, there are SOME places where you have to turn off the gas but they are not entire states. Traveling on ferries and through SOME tunnels require this. In these very few cases, it is not difficult to turn off the gas, drive where you have to and then restart the fridge when you are through.

I have turned mine off for a ferry ride and ONE time at a gas station in Oregon where the attendant made me do it.

In closing, I would suggest that you try to find one case of a trailer burning up or blowing up because of the fridge being left on in transit. I have asked this question before and people responded with videos of RVs on fire. Most of them were mohos that started in the engine compartment. I think your worries will ease a bit if you talk to more people who leave their fridges running without incident.

Best wishes. I think your inverter idea would work but it will take a little doing.
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Old 11-21-2010, 12:17 PM   #26
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I respect your concern about traveling with the propane on. You are not alone although I personally believe that you are worrying when you shouldn't be. There have been many posts about this subject but yours has been different since you have an alternative in mind.
Or, you could put your worries aside and run with it on like about 98% of us do. Yes, there are SOME places where you have to turn off the gas but they are not entire states. Traveling on ferries and through SOME tunnels require this. In these very few cases, it is not difficult to turn off the gas, drive where you have to and then restart the fridge when you are through.

I have turned mine off for a ferry ride and ONE time at a gas station in Oregon where the attendant made me do it.

.[/QUOTE]

Living on the Island requires ferry rides on every trip for us.

Gas off on all ferry and fuel stops, or enclosed areas such as service centers.

I have lots of solar and that helps if I am on an open deck ferry, but most of the time the big rigs are on the bottom deck.
On a two hour ferry with the fridge on AC, I found, even with my large battery capacity(four T105's). the 130A alternator was maxed out on startup for the first few minutes, and that meant belt squeel on many occassions.
The belt squeel, I am sure, did not impress other ferry users that were waiting to exit from the enclosed ferry deck.

To solve this, I first retrofitted the OEM Isolator with a SurePower 1315-200 separator, and then installed a manual solenoid so that I had complete cockpit control over the charge system. (my 350+Watts of solar also influenced this system)
With this setup, I can manually disconnect the charge from the house batteries, (eliminating belt squeel on startup) and let the solar recharge the T105's if sun is shinning, or switch fridge to gas and hit solenoid and charge with alternator.

Theory is:
If you have solar panels, travelling during the day, they will not put anything into the battery system if your alternator is putting out the charge. Big expense = no benifits. (kinda like a marriage?) ---- (I mean ahh - not many of us old guys drive a lot a night anymore!)

With the addition of a manual solenoid, I can disconnect the alternator from the house system, and let the sun charge my batteries free while travelling. BETTER FUEL MILAGE ALSO.
Experience is, even in cool weather, furnace runs at night at off grid site - electric coffee, lights, TV, etc. in AM, hit the road after the sun comes up, normal day stops, arrive at boomdock stop in evening, and solar has everything fully charged for another cycle.

Happy and safe travels
Dave
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Old 11-21-2010, 03:06 PM   #27
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Plus your trailer has Carbon Monoxide detectors in it so if gas if a hazard you can hear the screaming alarms while at the gas pump.
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