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Old 08-28-2016, 06:45 PM   #1
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Using Propane Gas to Cool Refrigerator

I have a 2017 Forest River Sunseeker 2500TS - If I don't have access to electric Hookup and I want to start cooling my refrig. (takes 24 hrs to cool prior to loading food & leaving I am told) before I leave for a trip, can I use my propane to do it? Must I leave the Master Battery Switch on then turn on propane tank? Will that in any way run down the battery if I leave both on for 24 hrs? Advice would be helpful - I am newcomer to RV world!
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Old 08-28-2016, 07:19 PM   #2
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While on propane, the fridge uses 12 volt DC battery power. You should be ok for a 2-3 days on pure battery power. The camper has other 12 volt battery draw that also depletes the battery over time.

If you are truly concerned about your battery(ies), then here is what I'd do.

Get a cheap Harbor Freight 2 stroke generator. There are coupons in most men's magazines (this month's Snowgoer magazine) for the 800 watt 2 stroke generator at $89.00

Before I got solar, I'd go out every 3-4 weeks, fill the tank up with a 32:1 fuel/oil mixture, fire up the generator and let it run for 10 hours to top off the batteries.

Having a backup generator is also a pretty good practice. This tiny one won't run the microwave or hot water heater but will charge your batteries and run your fridge on Alternating Current.
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Old 08-28-2016, 08:32 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Skyliner View Post
While on propane, the fridge uses 12 volt DC battery power. You should be ok for a 2-3 days on pure battery power. The camper has other 12 volt battery draw that also depletes the battery over time.

If you are truly concerned about your battery(ies), then here is what I'd do.

Get a cheap Harbor Freight 2 stroke generator. There are coupons in most men's magazines (this month's Snowgoer magazine) for the 800 watt 2 stroke generator at $89.00

Before I got solar, I'd go out every 3-4 weeks, fill the tank up with a 32:1 fuel/oil mixture, fire up the generator and let it run for 10 hours to top off the batteries.

Having a backup generator is also a pretty good practice. This tiny one won't run the microwave or hot water heater but will charge your batteries and run your fridge on Alternating Current.
Thanks for the info!
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Old 08-28-2016, 09:24 PM   #4
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Watch for level when you have the fridge on... they need to be either level or moving.

We just plug in an extension cord and let it run on 110v at home a bit. But really only a bit because our street is way NOT level.

We load it up with frozen water bottles for a few hours before loading it up with food. And we load it with food shortly before we launch.

We found a large blue ice that we put in the freezer.

Personally rather than buy a generator I would buy a solar panel setup to keep the battery charged. How long the battery will run things depends on the battery and how much is running. I would not blindly trust the battery for more than a couple days unattended. I think mine was dead after a week with nothing really turned on when I forgot to hit the disconnect switch when storing once.
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Old 08-28-2016, 09:33 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by brmahoney View Post
I have a 2017 Forest River Sunseeker 2500TS - If I don't have access to electric Hookup and I want to start cooling my refrig. (takes 24 hrs to cool prior to loading food & leaving I am told) before I leave for a trip, can I use my propane to do it? Must I leave the Master Battery Switch on then turn on propane tank? Will that in any way run down the battery if I leave both on for 24 hrs? Advice would be helpful - I am newcomer to RV world!
I'm not sure if the master battery switch is connected to the fridge. I know mine does not disconnect the slides or level up system. It mainly disconnects the appliances that have LED's such as radio, co detector etc. these slowly bleed the battery down.

The way to tell is leave to use the switch to disconnect the battery, turn on your fridge with the button up top of the door and press auto or gas and open the door to see if the light comes on...
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Old 08-28-2016, 10:32 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by stevejahr View Post
Watch for level when you have the fridge on... they need to be either level or moving.

We just plug in an extension cord and let it run on 110v at home a bit. But really only a bit because our street is way NOT level.

We load it up with frozen water bottles for a few hours before loading it up with food. And we load it with food shortly before we launch.

We found a large blue ice that we put in the freezer.

Personally rather than buy a generator I would buy a solar panel setup to keep the battery charged. How long the battery will run things depends on the battery and how much is running. I would not blindly trust the battery for more than a couple days unattended. I think mine was dead after a week with nothing really turned on when I forgot to hit the disconnect switch when storing once.
Thanks for the Info!
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Old 08-28-2016, 10:34 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by dalford View Post
I'm not sure if the master battery switch is connected to the fridge. I know mine does not disconnect the slides or level up system. It mainly disconnects the appliances that have LED's such as radio, co detector etc. these slowly bleed the battery down.

The way to tell is leave to use the switch to disconnect the battery, turn on your fridge with the button up top of the door and press auto or gas and open the door to see if the light comes on...
Thanks for the Info!
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Old 08-29-2016, 01:25 PM   #8
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BTW dug it out and the gadget we use (in addition to frozen water bottles) is a "Kooler Kube". You can get them at Camping World and Wal-Mart for about $15. Cheap as RV gadgets go

YMMV on master disconnect... mine is up front under the propane tanks and does cut off *everything* (as it should IMHO).
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Old 08-29-2016, 01:31 PM   #9
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You will drain your batteries if you precool your Frig. If you are at home, why wouldn't you plug into an extension cord? That way your batteries are at 100% and you have a cold fridge?
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Old 08-29-2016, 01:36 PM   #10
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You will drain your batteries if you precool your Frig. If you are at home, why wouldn't you plug into an extension cord? That way your batteries are at 100% and you have a cold fridge?
I agree, but, the OP may not have access to electricity.
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