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Old 02-17-2021, 04:36 PM   #41
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I do not have a strong opinion.
But, when I asked my master technician, he told me that he has seen many Airstreams that had a fire start from the flame on the refrigerator getting fanned in the perfect way. Of course he was the one to fix the damage which he described as significant. In the context of that, it makes me lean towards turning off the gas and freezing the contents of the Refrig and Freezer ahead of time to get you through a long travel day.
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Old 02-17-2021, 04:47 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by djabl View Post
I do not have a strong opinion.
But, when I asked my master technician, he told me that he has seen many Airstreams that had a fire start from the flame on the refrigerator getting fanned in the perfect way. Of course he was the one to fix the damage which he described as significant. In the context of that, it makes me lean towards turning off the gas and freezing the contents of the Refrig and Freezer ahead of time to get you through a long travel day.
How come no one here is saying anything about their Airstream caught fire?
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Old 02-17-2021, 04:58 PM   #43
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I travel with it on. On mine, the flame is maybe 5/8ths of an inch in height, located at the base of a 4 foot long baffled chimney. It is covered by a shield and the whole assembly is inside of an aluminum box. The reefer door is louvered.

If the flame goes out, the thermocouple cools, the gas is shut off.

If the propane line mysteriously bursts, the OPD valve on the operable tank senses the sudden high flow and shuts off the gas.

It would be a remarkable confluence of events to cause a problem.

But, to each their own.
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Old 02-17-2021, 11:11 PM   #44
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We are obviously in a very small minority but we never tow with propane tank valves open, even for short trips. We have those blue freezer blocks that we normally keep in the freezer and we put a couple of those in the fridge section when towing. Everything stays cold or frozen even for several hours. We have been told that it’s dangerous to run propane while driving if you get into an accident.
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:13 AM   #45
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We never run propane on the road. If reefer will not stay cold, we put cold items in a cooler then transfer later. Have you ever seen remains of a propane explosion? Not worth the risk.
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:55 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by Halford1 View Post
How come no one here is saying anything about their Airstream caught fire?
Again, this Master Technician works for a 5 Rivet Airstream Dealership and has been doing this work for a long time, so he has seen a lot of crazy stuff during his career. And of course this is where people bring their trailer to get stuff fixed. It's his story.
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Old 02-18-2021, 11:14 AM   #47
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When I bought my AS, the tech (also at a 5 rivet dealership), made a point of pointing out that while some people don't like the idea of towing w/ propane on for the fridge, that that's what the fridge was designed to do, be on while towing...
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Old 02-18-2021, 11:21 AM   #48
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Wake Up

It's hard to understand some of the comments on this topic! Remember, "Put your Mind in Gear, before you open your mouth."
I suggest you "Google" the topic (assuming you know how to use a computer)and get the facts and what the Experts and RV Refrigerator Manufacture recommend. Don't forget to also check the Insurance Industries statistics, as I did!
1. RV fires are one of the largest causes of RV loss in the USA! Driving with the LPG tanks on does increase the risk of FIRES!
2. RV Refrigerator Manufacturers say food can stay cold for 6-8 hours with the Refrig off!
3. There were 20,000 RV FIRES in the USA last year, that 400 FIRES per State on average.
4. Good Sam VIP reports that the second leading cause for Claims is from Refrigerator FIRES and Propane Leaks! Note, Electrical failures cause about 30 % of FIRES.

The bottom line is this! You are "Playing Russian Roulette" when you drive with the propane on. THINK!
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Old 02-18-2021, 11:38 AM   #49
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Personal choice. A wide majority of people travel with their refrigerator running on propane. A smaller number do not. The only time I have shut my tanks off was when it was posted at tunnel entrances and on ferries. I am not aware of any state that ban propane use on the road.
I agree, personal choice, perhaps a "managed" risk.
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Old 02-18-2021, 11:46 AM   #50
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The best practice to to turn off all propane while driving.
The fridge can run off 12v via the 7 pin
the hot water heater and furnace should NOT be on while driving

thus there is no reason to leave propane on
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Old 02-18-2021, 11:56 AM   #51
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As part of my reno I'll be using a DOT tank in the frame kind of like an interstate but actually it's for a VW camper van and this thread has me wondering how motorhomes and vans turn off their gas? I wasn't planning on individual valves at the cooktop and water heater.
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Old 02-18-2021, 12:09 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by waninae39 View Post
The fridge can run off 12v via the 7 pin
This is only true if you have a 3 way fridge. Most propane refrigerators will also run on shore power, but not 12 volts.
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Old 02-19-2021, 10:32 AM   #53
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I agree, personal choice, perhaps a "managed" risk.
The risk is NOT Manageable, you are not in control of a sudden accident that can lead to a FIRE from Propane! It like walking across a frozen lake with Thin Ice, you can't manage when you are going to fall through. Would you pay Russian Rouelle, I don't think so. You want to argue with the Insurance Companies' statistics, not me.
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Old 02-19-2021, 10:48 AM   #54
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We always run our refer on propane while traveling...coast to coast..if real cold. The furnace is on.....
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Old 02-19-2021, 11:08 AM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick n Mary View Post
My response is close the tanks, keep them off.
My reasons are multiple,
1. If a stone or debris hits any exposed lines, no propane!
2. If you are involved in an accident, a line is cut, BIG trouble!
Fire? Leaking propane and an oder? BIG trouble when the police and or fire department show up.
3. Spot DOT inspection? because we are not commercial, this will be rare. I was a commercial driver, my colleagues have reported MAJOR fines for other safety issues, I would hate to think what this would be.
There is a device that cuts the flow off if it becomes too fast. Screws right on the tank.
I haven't done it yet because I hate extra connections.
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Old 02-19-2021, 11:12 AM   #56
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No device needed to stop the flow, it is built into the tank and was part of the OPD upgrade years ago.
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Old 02-19-2021, 03:45 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by HoldenGatt View Post
I'm curious, everyone who has said they leave their propane tank open while traveling have newer AS. Any vintage owners do the same?
We did all the time with our '63 Safari.
Even before modifying the fridge vents,(pilot kept blowing out on the road), we had no problems.
The original tanks had modern OPD valves and the thermocouple shut off when the flame went out.
18 'splosion free Seasons.👍

snipQUOTE "But, when I asked my master technician, he told me that he has seen many Airstreams that had a fire start from the flame on the refrigerator getting fanned in the perfect way."

Without a gas leak anywhere?...I don't see how.
Fanned in a perfect way and the flame would go out....AMHIK, see above.

Bob
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Old 02-19-2021, 04:21 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by Sailorguy View Post
The risk is NOT Manageable, you are not in control of a sudden accident that can lead to a FIRE from Propane! It like walking across a frozen lake with Thin Ice, you can't manage when you are going to fall through. Would you pay Russian Rouelle, I don't think so. You want to argue with the Insurance Companies' statistics, not me.
Suggest you ratchet it down a notch. There are a lot of people who don't see it your way, and, as stated, it's a personal choice. 20+ years of pulling a trailer with propane running the fridge, zero incidents.
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Old 02-20-2021, 05:23 AM   #59
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We recently purchased our Airstream and we travel with propane OFF. It was recommended in an RVing class I took as well. Reasons are numerous:

Laws may require the LP turned off (and if you end up in accident with it on, causing harm to another vehicle, your insurance company and the lawyers probably will lay full blame on you)

Fire risk is possible with propane on while driving, whether it's objects hit on the road or a wayward flame in fridge part. I've seen photos of scorched housings where the pilot flame moved about. Maybe the designs are safer now but...

It's legally required you turn off propane going through tunnels and fueling stations, at least in my state. I recall a tunnel being like a furnace flue several years ago when a semi-truck had an accident, incinerating several vehicles. I'd be afraid to forget to turn off the propane before such places, too.

The refrigerator is well insulated and a 3-4 hour trip with securely closed doors probably won't destroy the contents. Someone mentioned adding a couple ice bottles is a great idea. A friend of mine suggested freezing salty water in plastic bottles and they stay frozen so much longer than plain water! I used in a cooler and everything around the salty bottle stuck to it, so keep a little space around it.

One more thing--fridges should be level and one manual I read discussed how the flame must be level as well and if the flame tilts too much, the refrigerator will shut off and require a reset or something like that. If one is driving steep mountain roads, not sure that flame is going to be level.

Our Airstream was a great purchase and we want to minimize risk of damage to it and us as much as possible, not to mention it is our home on the road. Turning off/leaving on propane continues to be interesting argument. I have browsed other miscellaneous forums where it seemed evenly split. In the end, I think it's a good idea to weigh all potential consequences. Safe travels.
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Old 02-20-2021, 05:55 AM   #60
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Now with over 4000 views I amazed at how many people profess their opinions as the gospel according to..whom?
I would enjoy seeing real statistics about how many RV fires were a direct cause of someone driving with their propane tanks turned on. Not refrigerator fires, not fires while parked or camping, but a direct result of the propane valves open at the tank while driving. I feel certain there are no such statistics. This is simply an issue for freedom of choice!

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