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Old 08-24-2017, 07:02 AM   #1
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Running Fridge on propane on trip

2016 FR FR3 30DS
Might be a silly question, but on my first LONG upcoming trip, if you are running the Fridge on propane, do you just shut off the fridge when gassing the RV? Not sure if you need to turn off the propane tank when gassing.

Thanks for your answers..
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Old 08-24-2017, 07:10 AM   #2
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Many motorhome type rigs are equipped so that it puts the propane refrigerator in lockout for 15 minutes after the key is off to allow fueling. Is yours that way? Here's a page from a Dometic manual. Notice the red highlighted area...
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Old 08-24-2017, 07:13 AM   #3
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The official answer is yes. You are supposed to crank down the LP tank knob in the LP storage bin to stop the flow of propane to all devices.

The rational is that there are pilot lit flames in the fridge and hot water heaters. Those small flames are located inside covered areas and on the opposite side of where I fuel.

I personally don't.

If my fuel inlet were closer to an LP source I might follow the conventional wisdom.
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Old 08-24-2017, 07:19 AM   #4
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Do they even use Pilot Lights in these anymore ??? I know the oven does, but my 2007 and 2018 trailers didn't have any pilot lights for water heater or frig or furnace, they were both electronic ignition and didn't rely on pilot lights.
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Old 08-24-2017, 07:23 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by TheWolfPaq82 View Post
Do they even use Pilot Lights in these anymore ??? I know the oven does, but my 2007 and 2018 trailers didn't have any pilot lights for water heater or frig or furnace, they were both electronic ignition and didn't rely on pilot lights.
Some refrigerators (mostly in PUP's/Truck Campers/A Frames) still have a constant flame. Everything else uses DSI. (Direct Spark Ignition)
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Old 08-24-2017, 07:31 AM   #6
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5 picker may be right. The newer hot water heaters may use a solenoid to open a gate and an electric infighter to start and a sensor to shut down if the infighter does not work.

My 30ds has a safety solenoid at the tank that is always on (powered) unless the the LP detector goes off.

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It's possible that you might be able to use the master D.C. switch inside the door to shut off the safety solenoid. But I suspect it's wired to always be powered.
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Old 08-24-2017, 12:45 PM   #7
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ropane Usage While Fueling

I never run my water heater while traveling. It heats up quickly, so no need. Instead of turning off propane at the tank(s), I would think it easier and as safe to simply turn off the refrigerator while fueling.
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Old 08-24-2017, 02:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technorick View Post
The official answer is yes. You are supposed to crank down the LP tank knob in the LP storage bin to stop the flow of propane to all devices.

The rational is that there are pilot lit flames in the fridge and hot water heaters. Those small flames are located inside covered areas and on the opposite side of where I fuel.

I personally don't.

If my fuel inlet were closer to an LP source I might follow the conventional wisdom.
OK, I understand your thoughts, I used to think the same way. Then went to a class on hazmat and changed my mind. Reason? Unless you are on the outside pump, and the wind is blowing, another vehicle could pull in and spill some fuel (from a burp in the filling process or whatever) and your reefer or waterheater sparks, Great Balls of Fire!!

We run from Nashville to Pensacola often and have no problem with food getting too warm, if its cold to start with, it'll still be cold when we get there. Turn your reefer and H2o thank off and enjoy the ride. Just my two cents worth!
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Old 08-24-2017, 03:02 PM   #9
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Never have, but make sure all electric shut off when filling propane
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Old 08-24-2017, 06:34 PM   #10
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A) Turn off the propane at the tank.
B) Turn off the fridge, or it will attempt to ignite...with the spark igniter firing steadily.
C) A safety interlock is not the same as being safe. Relying on any backup safety device as the primary safety device will work just fine -- until it doesn't.

An underground fuel tank full of gasoline may not ignite, but, lets assume something simple. You or a vehicle at a neighboring pump has the pump handle locked on, and you're relying on the pump to kick off when the tank is full. THAT device fails and there is a 5 gallon gasoline spill before you shut off the pump.

The fumes from 5 gallons of fresh gas on the ground will be extremely combustible. People are warned to ground themselves prior to touching anything around the pump if they have gone into their cars in cold (dry) weather for shelter. Static discharge from sliding out of your car seat can ignite the fumes around the filler neck and create a tragic situation. People are similarly warned to stay off cell phones near pump islands because there is a risk of a static discharge.

Now assume you started the fill-up and ran into the convenience store for drinks and snacks. Your family is waiting in the tow vehicle. There's a line...and you need to pee. The pump overflows. The automatic lockout on the fridge igniter times out at 15 minutes and the fridge igniter starts firing.

Turning off the propane valve and power to the fridge is something you'd have to do, at most, once a day (how many miles and fill-ups can you manage in a day?). It's worth the trouble to protect your family, others at the pump islands, and the investment in your rig. And in most jurisdictions, it's the law.
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