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Old 06-17-2024, 11:00 PM   #1
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Run fridge on propane while traveling

Our fridge is electric/propane. We’ve always just camped within a few hours so never had the propane on while traveling. We are taking a cross country trip soon and will need it on. Any issue with running fridge on propane while traveling?
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Old 06-17-2024, 11:53 PM   #2
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I do it. I wish I had the one that works on 12 vlt. I dont like having the propane on while driving but I do it and it works just fine. Some people say you shouldn't because it isn't truely level. It works just fine
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Old 06-17-2024, 11:53 PM   #3
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You shouldn't have any problems.
We made certain that our stove and water heater were off.
The refrigerator uses very little propane. Since you're moving, you don't need to worry about leveling.

Safe journey!
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Old 06-18-2024, 01:45 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Golfnbike13 View Post
Our fridge is electric/propane. We’ve always just camped within a few hours so never had the propane on while traveling. We are taking a cross country trip soon and will need it on. Any issue with running fridge on propane while traveling?
RVers have been traveling with propane fridges operating, for over 70 years. Some people are anti-propane fridges
Luckily, in recent years, there are optional choices, like 12v only fridges and residential fridges.
So RVers have more options now. Each have pros and cons.
Personally, I've had 3-way fridges and 2-way fridges, over the past 35 years. I loved my 2-way fridges and got good service from them. As a retired firefighter, I have no problems with them as long as you do regular inspections. I have spent hundreds of hours on the road, with my fridges running on propane.
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Old 06-18-2024, 05:54 AM   #5
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Be mindful of local regulations. In some areas “mostly bridges and tunnels “ propane must be off.

We now have a 12 volt fridge but in our old unit we would turn the fridge off out of an abundance of caution considering if we were in an accident there would be a ready source of ignition present. Not that we somehow thought the fridge itself would catch fire.

We could do a 6 hour day with the fridge closed with no problem. We never wanted to drive more than that anyway.
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Old 06-18-2024, 06:14 AM   #6
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If you fuel up while towing with the fridge on LP make sure you turn off the LP tank before you approach the pump.
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Old 06-18-2024, 06:25 AM   #7
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Every camper I owned I always travel with the frig running on propane. Never had any issues. Later RJD
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Old 06-18-2024, 06:34 AM   #8
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Like others have said no issues with it on. That includes filling the truck with gasoline.

If you live in a southern state then you know gas fired water heaters are put in the garage. Only code requirement is they be 18" above the floor because gasoline fumes are heavier than air. Your propane flame is at least 36" high and outdoors. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 06-18-2024, 08:14 AM   #9
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Thanks

Thanks for all the quick answers everyone! I feel a lot safer about it now.
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Old 06-18-2024, 08:47 AM   #10
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If you fuel up while towing with the fridge on LP make sure you turn off the LP tank before you approach the pump.
Turning off the propane tank can create more danger then not.
If any of the 3 gas appliances, water heater, fridge, or furnace, attemp to light , they will activate the spark ignition 3 times before shutting down. That can't be any safer then a shielded small flame on don't.

Besides, there are all sorts of vehicles coming and going at most gas stations. Any one of them can spark a gas fire, but they don't.
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Old 06-18-2024, 08:52 AM   #11
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As noted the "sky is not falling."

Just set the fridge to Auto and drive.

Local regulations are so rare as they rarely need be considered for planning purposes. Any restrictions as to "flame" on will be dramatically posted before the minuscule numbers of under water tunnels (mainly) that have them. No restrictions for normal cylinders anywhere as long at they're turned off even in those rare areas. Giant semi-trailers full of liquid propane or natural gas have more restrictions. Just read the couple signs.

The little flame in my small popup refrigerator would blow out on the road until I put some baffles in the compartment. Roo has never blown out and it lives on Auto. And doesn't need several hundred pounds of Lithium batteries or solar chargers.

NOTE: This topic will spontaneously reappear again in a day or two asking the same question. And getting the same responses which haven't changed in decades. Just set the refrigerator on Auto and drive!

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Old 06-18-2024, 08:58 AM   #12
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I leave mine on when traveling including fueling up. The fridge is on the passenger side and I fuel from the drivers side at the outer pump. When I go thru truck stops its all diesel and that would take a lot too ignite.
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Old 06-18-2024, 01:14 PM   #13
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If you fuel up while towing with the fridge on LP make sure you turn off the LP tank before you approach the pump.
In 1984 we came into Sheridan, WY only to witness the devastation of a Sinclair station and half a super market due to an RV entering the station with propane fridge running. Three people were killed in the explosion and numerous people suffered burns. Every vehicle in the super market lot had the paint burnt off it. Our Dometic will maintain the cold and the freezer for 8 hours not running. That includes trips to the interior where summer temps can reach >95°F. i've seen 110°F at the Arctic Circle on the Haul Rd.
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Old 06-18-2024, 01:33 PM   #14
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In 1984 we came into Sheridan, WY only to witness the devastation of a Sinclair station and half a super market due to an RV entering the station with propane fridge running. Three people were killed in the explosion and numerous people suffered burns. Every vehicle in the super market lot had the paint burnt off it. Our Dometic will maintain the cold and the freezer for 8 hours not running. That includes trips to the interior where summer temps can reach >95°F. i've seen 110°F at the Arctic Circle on the Haul Rd.
You measure the fridge with a thermometer? I had a 2-way that would not maintain well. Over 40 degrees is not good for the refrigerator and well heck I was used to soft ice cream from the freezer..lol.

I was using a fridge thermometer and noticed after traveling the fridge temps were above 40 degrees but when I stopped it was below 40. Come to find out the design of the back of the fridge allowed wind to blow out the pilot sized flame for the propane side of the fridge. It was on and off and on… anyway my fridge did not maintain cold enough temps for food safe temperatures.

I called Dometic and they were aware of the issue and sent me a wind blocking device to put on the fridge and it worked like a charm after that.

I always ran with my propane on.

I guess the gas station incident can happen. I heard where someone sprayed gasoline all over the side of their RV to cause and explosion. 1984 was a long time ago and I guess if it was a big hazard the government would be here to help us and there would be signs right next to the signs that say don’t fill 5 gallon containers in the bed of your truck. I’ve never seen a sign at a gas station that told me to turn off my propane.

Now tunnels are a different story.
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Old 06-18-2024, 01:46 PM   #15
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I can't find anything on this as devastating as it should have been. Nothing on the explosion, fire, or RV refrigerator. Got a source? (Not calling you out, just curious.)

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Old 06-18-2024, 01:57 PM   #16
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Now tunnels are a different story.
Which tunnels? Just curious. I can count those I've seen on the fingers of one hand and they're all under major ports on the east Coast. The Navy would prefer these remain intact so their boats can sail over them but there are only signs on a couple and only the Bay Bridge-Tunnel has a gate or inspection as I recall. Just gotta turn the valves off, nothing more.

Rogue container ships are more of a danger, at least to bridges.

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Old 06-18-2024, 03:38 PM   #17
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Thanks for all the quick answers everyone! I feel a lot safer about it now.
You will get a lot of PERSONAL opinions on this subject but in the end, YOU need to be comfortable with whichever decision you make.

I have been camping for close 50 years and until 1-1/2 years ago when we purchased a R/V with a residential refrigerator, we always traveled with the LP refrigerator on.
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Old 06-18-2024, 04:00 PM   #18
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In my youth, I was a smoker. And a pump jockey (in the days before self-service). I can't imagine I didn't have a lighted cigarette while pumping at some point or other. And I'm here to tell about it.
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Old 06-18-2024, 04:02 PM   #19
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MV Dali

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Rogue container ships are more of a danger, at least to bridges.

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Can you say MV Dali?
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Old 06-18-2024, 09:28 PM   #20
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Which tunnels? Just curious. I can count those I've seen on the fingers of one hand and they're all under major ports on the east Coast. The Navy would prefer these remain intact so their boats can sail over them but there are only signs on a couple and only the Bay Bridge-Tunnel has a gate or inspection as I recall. Just gotta turn the valves off, nothing more.

Rogue container ships are more of a danger, at least to bridges.

-- Chuck
lol..I didn’t say all tunnels. Actually the only one I was checked was the Bay Bridge tunnel…but I’ve never been checked at any gas station..
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