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andyfuson 09-19-2003 01:55 PM

Running the fridge while towing?
I plan to head out this weekend for my first Airstream camping adventure.

Is it okay to start the fridge on propane an use it to keep the groceries cold until I arrive at my campground, or is this a problem?

If it is a problem, please tell me why. Any info would be helpful.

Thanks, Andy

Lee Pace 09-19-2003 02:16 PM

Driving with Fridge lit
This is from the book "By George".

DON"T DO IT....Don't drive into
a gas station with your water heater lit - or your fridge lit. Really, you shouldn't travel with the water heater on....and we do drive into gas stations with the fridge lit. But don't say I said so, By George! It is NOT safe.

andyfuson 09-19-2003 02:54 PM


I never thought about the gas station angle. I was only concerned with possibly harming my new baby.

Is this a big problem? I wonder.

LittleRadio 09-19-2003 02:54 PM

Dumb Question!
Boy, I'm green. I guess I was too young, or didn't care enough to ask my father how we kept our fridge contents cold during our 17-hour stints to Myrtle Beach (from Detroit).

If running your fridge on LP is dangerous, how do you guys do it?? Do you stuff it with ice? Or do you freeze all your stuff at home the night before? (Then the milk and other stuff thaws en route).

Great question! This'll come in handy when I finally buy my first AS...

andyfuson 09-19-2003 03:05 PM


I never thought about the gas station angle. I was only concerned with possibly harming my new baby.

Is this a big problem? I wonder.

Fun-Lovin 09-19-2003 03:27 PM

Never thought about the gas station angle myself. I bet this is the reason they make the ac/dc/lp fridges, so that you can run them on dc when traveling.

Kistler 09-19-2003 03:29 PM

I guess it is just luck, we have never had a problem, but we run our refrigerator on propane when on the road (except in gas stations) always.

I would like to know how you keep food cool if you don't. Here in the sunshine our RVs --especially our Airstream--get really hot inside.

LittleRadio 09-19-2003 03:32 PM

another question
Those who run their fridge on LP...

do you stop a block from the gas station and turn off the pilot? Then get back in and fill up?

And then turn it back on once you're a safe distance away?


gwsullivan 09-19-2003 03:37 PM

I travel with my refer running on LPG because I feel there is less chance of blowing myself up then getting food poisoning from warm food/milk. However, I am very aware that the propane is on and I turn it off before entering a gas station. There are also some tunnels that require you to turn off the gas before entering.
Running the frig while travelling is somewhat like religion... there are always differing opinions. What ever you do- THINK and be safe.

Kistler 09-19-2003 03:40 PM

Yes, at some point before the gas fill-up, we stop and turn off the frig. We do not travel with the hot water heater on LP ever.

It is a little inconvenient to stop before getting to a station but I do believe gas fumes are volatile.

We are afraid of food poisoning so we do run the LP refrigerator; no problems in the last 5 rvs we've owned.

yukionna 09-19-2003 04:06 PM

Does anyone know whether or not it is legal to run the propane while traveling in any of the new tunnels in Boston (from the Big Dig)?

jcanavera 09-19-2003 04:44 PM

We beat this subject to death a few months ago. You will find those who say absolutely not and others like me who say its ok, with certain safety considerations. Rather that duplicate this all over again, here is the link to our discussion. You will note a few of us got our dander raised on this issue. The bottom line is you have to make the choice that gives you comfort.

Read on.



andyfuson 09-19-2003 05:56 PM

Well, this has certainly been an interesting discussion. I think that the answer is that one should not operate lp devices near fuel sources, however, it does seem that it is common to operate these devices while on the road.

It is good to see how useful these forums can be.

Thanks, Andy

diesel 09-19-2003 05:58 PM

I have a Dometic RM3807 in my 1995 Excella 1000. The manual included in my Airstream Book in section H-37 states:

"LPG Gas Delay Mode: When the vehicle engine is turned off The AES system initiates a delay cycle which prevents the refrigerator from operating on LP gas for 25 minutes. The purpose of the delay cycle is to avoid having a gas flame present during a refueling stop at a gas station.

Warning: In travel trailer aplication it is necessary for your dealer/hitch installer to wire the tow vehicleand trailer to obtain this feature. In late 1993 model trailers, Airstream has run a wire from the refrigerator to the hitch for this feature. A Wiring diagram is included at the end of this section.

If the vehicle engine is restarted during this delay period, the LP operation will not start until the delay period is over. This means that each time the vehicle engine is stopped, the complete 25 minute delay cycle takes place.

If 120 volt AC becomes available during this delay cycle, the AES system will start operating in the 120 volt AC mode immediately.

If the RV is stopped somewhere other than a gas station you may wish to cancel the delay cycle. To do this, set the main system swithc C to OFF for several seconds, then back to ON, and the system will start operating in the LP mode."

I know this system works. When I first got my trailer, I thought that something was wrong with the refrigerator because every time I stopped the refrigerator was off. Then I read the manual.

In very hot weather, I pull away from the fuel pumps, leave the engine on, go into the trailer, and cycle the refrigerator back on.

But remember you must have an Dometic Automatic Electronic System, AES, Refrigerator to have this safety feature.

My tow rig is diesel but most fuel pumps have both diesel and gas available adjacent to one another.

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