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Old 07-21-2017, 12:22 PM   #1
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How much propane does a fridge use

I will be at a racetrack next month with my travel trailer. Since I will only be running the generator part time I want to run the fridge on propane the whole time. Kinda like boon docking. How long will a 20lb tank last? Figure hot water and fridge do t think I will need any heat but you never know if it will be a cold night in Michigan
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Old 07-21-2017, 12:28 PM   #2
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You will get all sorts of answers.
You don't say how many days nor how big your fridge is.

Water heater can be turned on just when needed.
Don't leave it on all the time.

Fridge should be able to go a week on one tank.
Maybe lots more but it totally depends on the unit.
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Old 07-21-2017, 12:28 PM   #3
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Just running the fridge, a 20# cylinder will last a long time.
Running the water heater and the fridge, it'll still last a week or more. Possibly a month.
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Old 07-21-2017, 12:46 PM   #4
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It will be for 5 maybe 6 days. It is a medium size fridge as they say.separate fridge and freezer. It's in a grey wolf 17bh. I have a 2 tank set up so if they say you should get a week with one I should be fine. Only have one battery though. I may upgrade to a dual set up although I will bring my charger to goose it up with generator
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Old 07-21-2017, 01:26 PM   #5
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You will be fine in lp. As long as you don't need heat. Heat is the one item that eats lp. Your battery will not last all week I don't think. If you run heat you will need to recharge daily.
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Old 07-21-2017, 01:31 PM   #6
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Your battery will deplete before a full propane tank.
look up fridge heater, it will suck your battery down.
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Old 07-21-2017, 02:33 PM   #7
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If you told us your fridge make and model number we might be able to tell
you if you have the battery sucking heater between the doors and maybe
tell you if you have a switch to shut it off.

Do plan on charging your battery any time you have the generator running.
2 tanks will last you fine. Probably won't use half of one tank but we're
guessing.

There's been LOTS of discussion about the heater in some fridges that
can be a battery sucker.
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Old 07-22-2017, 12:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmusa View Post
Your battery will deplete before a full propane tank.
look up fridge heater, it will suck your battery down.
The frig heater works on 120 v AC and can't affect the 12 v system unless he has an inverter.
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Old 07-22-2017, 02:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larrytbm View Post
The frig heater works on 120 v AC and can't affect the 12 v system unless he has an inverter.
You are incorrect.
With no A.C. shore power, it starts depleting the 12v battery.
I know because my Dometic does it.
This is a well known problem and well documented.
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Old 07-22-2017, 02:54 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by bikendan View Post
You are incorrect.
With no A.C. shore power, it starts depleting the 12v battery.
I know because my Dometic does it.
This is a well known problem and well documented.
No, the HEATER is only 120 v A.C. When running on propane, the burner is what supplies heat for operation.

Now you may be thinking about the door seal heater on some models, it is a 12 V heat strip used to reduce condensation in humid conditions. There is an ON/OFF switch on the underside of the upper door frame. If the switch is ON, it will drain the battery even if the refer is turned off. This is not a problem, but a feature that needs to be used properly.

"
CLIMATE CONTROL
During the summer months of high temperatures and
humidity, the metal frame between the freezer and fresh
food compartments may have water droplets forming.
The number of water droplets will increase if the vehicle
isn’t air conditioned during these months.
This refrigerator comes standard with a 12 volt (DC)
climate control that will evaporate the water droplets
when they form.
To have the climate control on, you position the switch
(“C” see figure 2) located beneath the top decoration
panel that houses the control panel to ON.
The climate control can be left on continuously or only
used when temperatures require it.
NOTE: The climate control will draw 12 volt DC power
continuously when in the ON position. It should be turned
OFF when a charging source is not available."
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Old 07-22-2017, 02:57 PM   #11
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We travel for 2 months + at a time,Propane on the entire time,use Shore Power every night,the Refer on Auto!We use the kitchen stove Every AM.Furnace only on Backup! We use a Elect Heater,Water Heater on Shore Power,although it can be Propane powered! We Don't Use 1 30# Tank the Entire Time! Only 1 turned on at a time,have Never used but 1! Youroo!!
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Old 07-22-2017, 03:09 PM   #12
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IIRC, on a propane fridge the heater is really not much more than a flame the size of a pilot light. So it's very minimal propane usage. Even when running on propane these fridges still consume a little 12vdc for the contoller circuit board.
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Old 07-22-2017, 08:22 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by larrytbm View Post
Now you may be thinking about the door seal heater on some models, it is a 12 V heat strip used to reduce condensation in humid conditions. There is an ON/OFF switch on the underside of the upper door frame. If the switch is ON, it will drain the battery even if the refer is turned off. This is not a problem, but a feature that needs to be used properly
You are partially correct. It's the door seal heater, but a lot of fridges DON"T have an On/Off switch to turn it off, and it must be mechanically disabled.

There are several threads here about how to disconnect it at the inside light.
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Old 07-22-2017, 11:55 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Boborc View Post
I will be at a racetrack next month with my travel trailer. Since I will only be running the generator part time I want to run the fridge on propane the whole time. Kinda like boon docking. How long will a 20lb tank last? Figure hot water and fridge do t think I will need any heat but you never know if it will be a cold night in Michigan


We have the 8 cu domestic. Recently we went 7 days and nights running frig in early June So Cal heat, 90 ish days, ran water heater and percolated coffee on the stove every morning and fried bacon, eggs and toast on stove most mornings. Took 3.5 gallons to top off propane
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Old 07-23-2017, 05:30 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boborc View Post
I will be at a racetrack next month with my travel trailer. Since I will only be running the generator part time I want to run the fridge on propane the whole time. Kinda like boon docking. How long will a 20lb tank last? Figure hot water and fridge do t think I will need any heat but you never know if it will be a cold night in Michigan
Cold Night @ MIS in the middle of August,,, you could not be that lucky !!!


You will probably have to run your AC to be able to spend any time in your unit,,, If you are worried about cold,,, take sleeping bags & sweats !!!
Also take take Rain Ware just in case,,, my DW & I got drenched one Sunday by a quick hitting Thunder Storm !!!
GO BLUE OVAL !!!
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Old 07-23-2017, 07:35 AM   #16
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Propane usage has always been a difficult thing for us to determine before hand. There can be many variables that affect it.

This past June (2017) we completed a approx. 5,00 mile trip from northern NY to Colorado and back. We were on the road or camping from June 1 through June 28.

I had both of our 20 pound tanks topped off and started both the frig and hot water approx. one week before leaving, while being plugged in at home. The temps ran ion the 90's almost every day and cooled off each night in the Yellowstone area that the furnace also came on a few times. Everyplace we camped at had electric service so that helped to curtail the LP being used by the frig and the hot water.

One of the 20 pound tanks went low to empty about half way home on the return trip and I switch over to the second tank which is still supplying the camper while it's now parked behind the house.

All in all I was quite pleased with amount of LP we used. I really could care less if we used one, two or even three tanks of LP as long as we always still had some supplying the camper. I even carried a third 20 pound tank in the back of the truck just in case we were some place where it was difficult to get the tanks filled right away. The spare tank is still there, still full, never used waiting for our next adventure.

I've been thinking/procrastinating about upgrading to two 30 pound tanks.
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