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Old 08-05-2014, 02:52 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by RhoZeta View Post
Very nicely put, Fred.
I will add tho that 12V alone will not run a fridge. It HAS to have either 110V OR LP to cool. The 12V only runs the control board.
Unless you have some hybrid 3 power source fridge I have never heard of before.
Folding FR campers, like the OPs, that will fit in a standard garage, come with a 3 way fridge. that will "run" on 12V alone. The quotes are there because the 12V setting is really a sustainer mode while towing and will not keep it as cold as it should be for long.
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Old 08-05-2014, 03:06 PM   #12
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Very nicely put, Fred.
I will add tho that 12V alone will not run a fridge. It HAS to have either 110V OR LP to cool. The 12V only runs the control board.
Unless you have some hybrid 3 power source fridge I have never heard of before.
Yes, the three way fridges do run off all three power sources.... my manual lists 4 Dometic models that are three way and will run in DC mode. I travel down the road in DC mode all the time. But it can drain the battery if you are not charging the battery through the pigtail connection on the tv....do not take a long meal break ;-).
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Old 08-05-2014, 03:13 PM   #13
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Ohio State Law

Seems many states have laws about the storage of propane. Might be good to check with your home insurance as well. A persons judgement, may not override the law. I am going to take a guess that there are good reasons for these laws.

Ohio law for storing propane tanks.

(b) 3809.10.2 Storage within residential buildings. Storage of cylinders within residential buildings, including the basement or any storage area in a common basement storage area in multiple-family buildings and attached garages, shall be limited to cylinders each with a maximum water capacity of 2.7 pounds ( 1.2 kg) and shall not exceed 5.4 pounds ( 2.4 kg) aggregate water capacity for smaller cylinders per each living space unit.
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Old 08-05-2014, 03:37 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Pooneil View Post
Folding FR campers, like the OPs, that will fit in a standard garage, come with a 3 way fridge. that will "run" on 12V alone. The quotes are there because the 12V setting is really a sustainer mode while towing and will not keep it as cold as it should be for long.
There ya go, that is one I have never heard of before!
I would think it would not be a bad idea for all RV fridges to be able to do this then?
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Old 08-05-2014, 04:30 PM   #15
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I think the operative words are "attached garage." And yes, you store gas and other flammables in the garage. But I don't think that means you should necessarily add to the risk. But that's just me. A great discussion though.
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Old 08-05-2014, 04:33 PM   #16
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There ya go, that is one I have never heard of before!
I would think it would not be a bad idea for all RV fridges to be able to do this then?
The small fridges in pop-ups and A-frames draw 6-8 amps on 12V DC - and even then, as stated, they do not cool nearly as well as on AC or propane. It would not be practical to run significantly larger fridges on 12V. Freezers are out of the question.

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Old 08-05-2014, 05:13 PM   #17
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I think the operative words are "attached garage." And yes, you store gas and other flammables in the garage. But I don't think that means you should necessarily add to the risk. But that's just me. A great discussion though.
Attached garages are the norm in Colorado for houses built in the past 40 years - winter weather makes that sensible. Many/most of us do not have separate outbuildings like sheds; in newer construction garages tend to be at the front of the house and quite close to the street to minimize snow clearing.

So compliance with a law like Ohio's - if it were to exist in Colorado - would be impractical. I would be taking on more risk by storing a propane cylinder out in the open, where the temperature swings are much greater than in the garage (my insulated, unheated, attached garage doesn't go below 35 degrees F, so I don't need to winterize the water system or remove the batteries from the camper). Outside, an LP tank is subject to the elements, including intense sunlight in the summer. The chances of the propane tank (or a gas can for that matter) venting itself because of pressure differentials are far greater outside than in the garage.

Again, my engineering background and experience tells me that the steel propane cylinder in good shape with the tested metal valve shut (and red on the regulator pressure) is a whole lot less likely to vent than plastic gasoline "cans" with snap on plastic caps (or gas tanks on power yard equipment).

If you want to remove your LP tanks before storing the camper in the garage, I have no issues with that. I would think that you would want to change the tank mounting and plumbing to something simpler to disconnect and remove than the standard camper setup. It still won't be as easy as a battery disconnect switch, but the tank tie downs especially could be made a lot quicker to release/fasten.

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Old 08-05-2014, 09:02 PM   #18
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I remove my tanks, just a general precaution in the event of a leak. I use my garage for my car, which would be an ignition source in the unlikely case of a leak. Just peace of mind for me.

I happen to have a storage shed to store them which presents another potential enclosed area issue, but no electrical there and leaky tanks would be quickly noticed on entry by the odor.


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Old 08-05-2014, 10:57 PM   #19
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Our garage also houses the water heater and boiler. They are at the rear of the garage. I keep my BBQ tank near the overhead door and back my camper in. Probably my most significant precaution is to store my flammables in a cabinet. The propane bottles are always turned off. Just use common sense without going overboard. Run a simple "risk assessment". Keep the bottles away from heat. In the event of a garage fire, you vehicles gas tank will be the first one to go.
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Old 08-05-2014, 11:17 PM   #20
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I personally do not store propane inside the garage or any enclosed space, because if something goes wrong it will not just burn it will explode.
I've seen it happen in a barn many years ago, you can (hopefully) run from a fire but never from an explosion - period.
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