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Old 07-21-2007, 09:58 PM   #1
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What keeps fridge cold while travelling?

I guess this is a very basic question, which I cannot find in the owners manual.
I have an '81 Excella II with a Dometic elec/gas unit. the manual says turn off the gas while you are travelling, but it does not specifically say that in the electric mode, the Univolt system will invert the 12v to 120 while you are travelling down the road, which is what I suspect happens.
Can anyone confirm my suspicions?

Bob and Gail
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Old 07-21-2007, 10:05 PM   #2
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Many use the fridge on propane when traveling. Many don't. The fridge is designed to run that way.
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Old 07-21-2007, 10:21 PM   #3
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We use ours on propane. many members prefer not to.
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Old 07-21-2007, 10:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ole81
it does not specifically say that in the electric mode, the Univolt system will invert the 12v to 120 while you are travelling down the road, which is what I suspect happens.
Can anyone confirm my suspicions?
hi bob

sorry no univolt magic at the fridge...

your unit may very likely be a '3 way' fridge if it's original from 1981...

that means it will run on 12v via the tv connector...

this mode doesn't generate enough power to make a hot fridge cold,

but it will keep a cold fridge cold during a days travel...

cheers
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Old 07-21-2007, 11:02 PM   #5
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Propane,
I run with it on all the time. If you do not want to do this lots of ice in the freezer.
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Old 07-22-2007, 06:32 AM   #6
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Airstream INC realizes there is a danger of running with the propane on while in transit. For liability reasons, they do not recommend leaving the gas on to keep the refrigerator cold. It will usually last 8 hours without cooling, (if you do not open the door.) so they tell you to turn the gas off. Many people follow their recommendations. I do. If I am going to drive longer than that, I keep the amount of parishables low and buy a $1 bag of ice along the way. The wind along the way has the potential to blow out the flame (and if the gas cutoff valve fails to work) you have a potentially large dangerous problem.
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Old 07-22-2007, 08:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ole81
I guess this is a very basic question, which I cannot find in the owners manual.
I have an '81 Excella II with a Dometic elec/gas unit. the manual says turn off the gas while you are travelling, but it does not specifically say that in the electric mode, the Univolt system will invert the 12v to 120 while you are travelling down the road, which is what I suspect happens.
Can anyone confirm my suspicions?

Bob and Gail
Keep Smiling....
Hi Bob and Gail,

I suspect that this was done by A/S as a product liability issue. I ran my fridge on LP in my 40' Monaco Dynasty MoHo when I was full-timing for 5 years when on the road and never had a problem.

While it is true that some of the older models had a tendency to experience flame-out in heavy winds or while traveling, most units are totally capable of operating while traveling. I use mine in my CCD all the time!

And just a bit of enlightenment here. A Univolt does not invert 12VDC into 120VAC. It is a converter which means that it takes shore power (120VAC) and converts it into 12VDC to run all of your appliances' control voltage and keep your battery charged.

An inverter will change 12VDC into 120VAC, but in the case of your fridge, you will need to be sure that your inverter, drawing off your battery, will not pull the battery down to a low charge state.

This might be a possible solution if you only use the inverter for the fridge, isolate that circuit, and be sure that you are connected to a running tow vehicle while you are using it. Most fridge 120VAC elements are under 450 watts, so you're not talking about a huge amount of energy here.
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Old 07-22-2007, 08:22 AM   #8
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I run on propane but shut it down before fueling up.

Some units still will run on 12VDC but it draws a huge amount of current, like 35 amps. If you T/V is hooked up and running you should be ok as most T/V's have around a 100+ amp capacity. But shut down the T/V and leave the frig on DC power will zap your batteries in no time at all.
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Old 07-28-2007, 08:05 PM   #9
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With the Dometic recall, the thought of running the propane whilst traveling down the highway really scares me... too bad there hasn't been more thought in making a standard for roadway use to keep foodstuff cold.
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Old 07-28-2007, 09:18 PM   #10
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Last weekend we traveled about 6 hours to get to where we were camping. It was well over 100 degrees when we left Phoenix.

The refrigerator was cooled down with shore power for over a day. Everything in the fridge was cold to start with. We added two blue ice things to the fridge and put about half a bag of ice in the freezer (one door model). We also have a small battery powered fan inside the fridge. We stopped once along the way for lunch and the door was opened for a minute or so.

When we arrived at the camp site the blue ice things ware still frozen, very little of the ice in the freezer had melted and everything in the fridge was very cold.

I see no reason to run with the propane on.
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Old 07-28-2007, 10:03 PM   #11
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I see no reason to run with the propane on.
I'm with Richard on this one.
If you start out cold with a cold refer and don't open it, it stays cold all day.
The consequences of a propane leak reaching an ignition source is not worth it to me. This isn't only a refer issue, your complete propane system is charged and susceptible to developing a leak with all of the flexing and vibration.
Maybe you get by with it, maybe you always will.
Maybe.
Dave
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Old 07-29-2007, 05:23 AM   #12
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Last weekend we traveled about 6 hours to get to where we were camping. It was well over 100 degrees when we left Phoenix.
Where did you go, Richard? Fishing in the White Mountains?
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Old 07-29-2007, 07:12 AM   #13
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Those Coleman Xtreme ice chests work pretty good, can keep stuff (beer!) cold for 3-4 days! I keep one in the back of my pickup all the time!
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Old 07-29-2007, 07:42 AM   #14
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Where did you go, Richard? Fishing in the White Mountains?
We were camped at Hawley Lake.
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