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Old 10-09-2011, 08:16 PM   #1
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AFrame fridge on LP

Just got back from out first dry camping experience with our A126. Had an awesome time with a ton of great Geocaching folks.... That's another story.

My question for all the aframers here is how they have felt with using LP on their fridge?

I noticed after a couple hours away from the camper that when we returned (had switched to LP after using 12v on the drive down) the cabinet area under the sink was warm. There was an odor coming from inside it, kind of a warm or 'almost' hot smell. I think it was a mix of the warmth of the LP heat stack (being new and unused) and the woods and materials that are new that gave the strange smell.

I wasn't sure if some of the fumes from the burning LP were getting into the camper, or if it was just the new burn off that I was smelling. It was pretty warm yesterday so the camper windows stayed open all day then closed at dusk. No alarm from the co detector. I decided to err on the side of caution since we didn't have anything left in the fridge that couldn't survive an overnight without being super cold (just some Jelly and butter left at this point).

Up side was our conservation efforts led to little drain on the battery. We left and the multimeter read 12.86 volts, same after arriving with the fridge on 12v for the 2 hour drive. Checked before leaving and had 12.67v on the battery. Had 12.86v when we got home from the 2 hr drive back(fridge back on 12v).
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Old 10-10-2011, 08:23 AM   #2
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Can't answer your questions, but I have noticed the warmth under the sink from my frig and I have only run it on electric. Was concerned when I first noticed it, then decided it was probably normal. And I noticed it after I first turned the frig on for the pre-cooling day. (I always turn it on a day or two before our planned trip so that everything will stay cold, I just turn it off during travel.) I didn't notice it being as warm once we were at the campground.
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Old 10-10-2011, 10:31 AM   #3
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I don't recall smelling fumes the first time we used the refer on gas. As you've concluded, the warmth under the sink is normal. There's just that single partition between the refer and the sink, and it doesn't completely isolate the two compartments from each other. On some really cold nights camping in northern Michigan last month, I was wondering whether the water pipes under the sink would be ok until I remembered the spillover heat going in there. I suppose I should think of that as a feature.

I think if there were a gas leak into the cabin you'd have it happening whenever the gas is on whether or not the refer is on, given that the gas piping up to the unit and to the stove would be under pressure either way.

Geocaching sounds like a lot of fun. At the state park in Copper Harbor, MI, we ran across two camp hosts hiding a geocache and had a nice chat with them about the hobby. All I have is a Garmin E-trex, would that work?
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Old 10-10-2011, 04:44 PM   #4
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For clarification, I didn't have any smell of LP gas, but rather the smell of the flue gasses post combustion, but only minor. I'm guessing the heat is just the fact that there is more heat on the cabinet side when using the LP (the LP stack is close to that side of the camper).

@Hamguy: Yes - you can cache with the eTrex. That's what I started with (eTrex Legend). It will work fine, but will have weaker reception under tree canopy than the newer models (I'm assuming you have an older eTrex, not one with an H in the model name - if you have an H then that will do fine under tree cover too). The biggest feature for folks that want a trail GPS is having the ability to load hundreds (or thousands) of caches before leaving on a trip and having all the information right on the GPS (the older eTrex line didn't support that).

If you get into it and want a more budget minded touch screen unit that supports paperless (no need to print cache pages with coords and descriptions) then the Garmin Dakota 20 is a great unit. There are lots of other 'Geocaching' friendly units out there too. The Geocaching.com forums are a great place to learn the units available.
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Old 10-10-2011, 05:07 PM   #5
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Thanks for the geocaching information. It seems like a form of recreation that meshes well with camping, as does birdwatching, which is the Mrs.' traveling hobby. Maybe since we got her some new binoculars for that pastime, I'll have a compensatory right to get a better GPS. It's the older unit as you suspected.

Apologies to other members for my temporarily hijacking the thread.
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Old 10-12-2011, 09:22 PM   #6
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I've never had an issue with the underside of the sink area when the fridge is running on propane .. which it has done for about 15 camping days this year. I did notice that the top of the cabinate, behind the stovetop did definately warm up .. but thats because propane generates alot more heat, and cools much more efficentily than AC power. Perhaps also .. if you keep the large window open with the fantastic fan on .. it may draw in some fumes ... we do not use the large window as the A122 has the small window placed nicely over the bed that just rips air in .. when the fan is on at night.

hope this helps .. dmo
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Old 10-14-2011, 10:00 PM   #7
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Venting

Gas/Electric Fridge Venting
Have a read of this and related technical articles on ventilation and running 3 way fridges on 12V. It will give you some food for thought.
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Old 10-14-2011, 10:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goody59
Gas/Electric Fridge Venting
Have a read of this and related technical articles on ventilation and running 3 way fridges on 12V. It will give you some food for thought.
Interesting.... According to the article, the A's from Rockwood qualify as 'bad' venting.....
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Old 10-15-2011, 04:33 PM   #9
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That may be so and so have I in the 205 Flagstaff pop up I have but using all the information I am going to change my bad ventilation to good ventilation. Shouldn't be too hard. I am going to add a cut out in the bench with a vent/grill that will be above the cooling fins of fridge. I will build out the baffles at the rear (Just metal sheeting) and fill in between baffles and make them within 1/2 inch of the cooling fins. I will add 12V fans to push air up and over fins, a fan to assist with exhausting the hot air above the fins and out my new top vent and a fan inside the fridge to circulate the cold air around the cold space of fridge. It shouldn't be too difficult.
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Old 10-17-2011, 09:04 AM   #10
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yea .. i would go the upper baffle route myself ... as i find my fridge works extremely well .. even on a trip to Virginia this year ... where temps hit 120, the fridge just kept on cooling.
Some people will install fans on the outside to push the hot air out of the fridge back compartment. I have no need to do this as this mod is for fridges that have a cooling defincency ...

dmo
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