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Old 06-04-2012, 03:51 PM   #1
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Newb Question: Run frig on the road?

I'm guessing I can cool down the frig at home, fill it before we leave for the weekend and if it's a short trip turn the frig off and fire it back up when we get to the site. Orrrrrr....can I keep it running on propane while I'm on the road to destination?

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Old 06-04-2012, 03:55 PM   #2
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you will get all different answers. I run mine on the road. have had lots of trailers and never had a problem. I am sure there could be problems , but so far I have been lucky
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Old 06-04-2012, 04:02 PM   #3
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They are made to run while driving.

Some people think the igniter could ignite gas fumes while filling up. You would have to have a big gas spill on a hot day with fumes everywhere and that is unlikely. I don't think anyone has shown a fridge has ever ignited gas fumes.

We leave ours on.

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Old 06-04-2012, 04:18 PM   #4
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I travel with mine running. The risk of static electricity igniting gas fumes is much higher than the refer burner.
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Old 06-04-2012, 04:19 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
They are made to run while driving.

Some people think the igniter could ignite gas fumes while filling up. You would have to have a big gas spill on a hot day with fumes everywhere and that is unlikely. I don't think anyone has shown a fridge has ever ignited gas fumes.

We leave ours on.

Gene
I will have to dig but there was at least one that I am aware of. It occurred in WV, IIRC they determined that the pilot light on a gas refrigerator in a pick up camper sparked the explosion. There were several mitigating circumstances, one of them being a fairly substantial fuel spill due to some one locking a nozzle open and walking away from it.

I always try to refuel without the trailer attached, or if necessary pull to one side and shut the fridge down prior to the refuel. FWIW I have a diesel tow vehicle, but quite often have to fill up near the gas pumps.

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Old 06-04-2012, 04:23 PM   #6
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I always have run with it lit, and always will ('cept on bridges and tunnels with explicit regs.)
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Old 06-04-2012, 04:32 PM   #7
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I run lit also. Dependent upon what I see at a gas station, (position of my trailer, wind direction, other RV'ers, I may or may not shut down the pilot. For an example in some cases the trailer is not even close to a pump and the wind direction is such that the breeze is downstream of the trailer. In that type of case there is no way any fumes could reach the trailer, and I feel safe in keeping the fridge on. Obviously if my towing path takes me close to the pump, I'll turn off the gas. Typically I always stay clear of other RV'ers fueling. I'm not sure if they put as much concern as I do in the safety side of things.

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Old 06-04-2012, 04:40 PM   #8
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We're of the "leave it on" school.

If that makes you nervous, turn can it off before pumping gas...then pull away and turn it back on.

If you feel more comfortable with it off for the whole trip, you can pack the frig with cold or frozen items and run with it off...so long as it's not such a long tow that food items run the risk of spoiling.
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Old 06-04-2012, 04:53 PM   #9
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Same as above, run it on propane whilst crusing. The important thing, is to shut it down, (and the pilot light on the stove) before putting propane back in. The below pics happened, because of a leaking main shut-off and not shutting down the interiors.
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Old 06-04-2012, 04:57 PM   #10
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If I see a big lake of gas by a pump, I'll drive away and go somewhere else. Most spills are small and evaporate fast. If the fumes were so thick the fridge igniter or pilot light could light the gas, you probably couldn't stand being there. If you smell such intensity, roll on through. Also, the fridge on ours is on the opposite side from the filler on the truck.

There may be more danger from spoiled food if running without the fridge on, or stopping at the entrance to the station to turn it on or off (blocking access, making it difficult for others to see traffic).

If it is a diesel spill, I doubt it could be lit. No where near the volatility of gas.

There are other reasons to be worried about a gas fire—static electricity being the primary one. Maybe the heat of a catalytic converter could ignite fumes under just the wrong circumstances. Considering the volatility of gas and the gazillions of fillups, it is surprising there are so few fires no matter what the cause.

Wahoonc, as soon as I wrote that I hadn't heard of a fire, I knew someone would find one.

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Old 06-04-2012, 05:01 PM   #11
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Same as above, run it on propane whilst crusing. The important thing, is to shut it down, (as also the pilot light on the stove) before putting propane back in. The below pics happened, because of a leaking main shut-off and not shutting down the interiors.
Mike, since the propane tank is usually away from the trailer when being filled, was this filled on the RV? Probably a good idea to park away from the fill station when getting propane from a dealer; at a campground they take them away on a gold cart.

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Old 06-04-2012, 05:20 PM   #12
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Mike, since the propane tank is usually away from the trailer when being filled, was this filled on the RV? Probably a good idea to park away from the fill station when getting propane from a dealer; at a campground they take them away on a gold cart.

Gene
With class A, B & C coaches, one has no option, plus most people are NOT going to unlatch their trailers when fueling. My feeling, after watching this insanity happen, is to get the pets out of the coach, as well. When we left Ajo, the insurance companies were still trying to figure out WHO was at fault. If the wind had not been coming out of the north, away from the propane and gas pumps, this could have been insanity central.
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Old 06-04-2012, 05:28 PM   #13
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My 85 31' Excella has an IGNITION SWITCH override that turns off the pilot when the Tow Vhcl has been turned off ie, fueling and such. The function is a timer that keeps the pilot off for 20 minutes and than re-lights back into operation in the AES mode. What we have is a Dometic RM-3804 and it works like a champ and has been a dream for all of these years. The only thing we have replaced is the main board with a dinosaur (not that we needed it - just wanted to update the electronics) and I fabbed a new condensation tub due to the old being embrittled.
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Old 06-04-2012, 05:32 PM   #14
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Just don't forget the pilot light on the stove. We had the "smell" last year and finally tracked it down to the main shut-off, after we trusted some idiot "R.V. pro" to put in a new gas valve. For not, as it turned out. and we still leaked. I'm not sure how much "sniffers" cost, but I'm blown away that some "techs" don't have them.
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