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Old 07-06-2017, 05:23 PM   #1
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Gas power my frig

It seems obvious, but it's my first time. How do I switch from electric to gas to power my frig in my Rockwood Premiere 2516g? There's an on/off switch behind the panel outside, a dual for temp (I think) and an ignition switch. I can travel and keep things cold, correct?
Thanks in advance!
Georgia
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Old 07-06-2017, 05:30 PM   #2
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It seems obvious, but it's my first time. How do I switch from electric to gas to power my frig in my Rockwood Premiere 2516g? There's an on/off switch behind the panel outside, a dual for temp (I think) and an ignition switch. I can travel and keep things cold, correct?
Thanks in advance!
Georgia
Depending on the fridge, most have a panel at the top of the fridge where you can designate lp gas (when on the road) or electricity when you have hook ups. Of course, you'll want to have your lp tank valve open.
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Old 07-07-2017, 02:53 AM   #3
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Here is a article on using your fridge while towing. You do not want to use propane:
http://www.robertssales.com/articles...ps_tricks.html
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Old 07-07-2017, 04:33 AM   #4
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Here is a article on using your fridge while towing. You do not want to use propane:
Tips and Tricks for Camping Trailers | Roberts Sales - Denver, Colorado
And people should not drive Chevy trucks...

There is nothing wrong with using LP when traveling to keep the fridge cold IF proper precautions are taken, and the fridge and RV are properly configured for it. If you have the 12 volt option that would be a better choice.

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Old 07-07-2017, 05:49 AM   #5
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I ran my frig on gas while on the road, but it's up to people to decide what's best for them. I have one that runs off an inverter now. I haven't taken it on a road trip yet, so I'm not sure how well that will work. We'll see.
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Old 07-07-2017, 09:33 PM   #6
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I have owned two 5th wheel TT and have towed all over the USA, have always ran my fridge on propane while towing. It is not unsafe to do so. My fridge is on the RH side of camper, I refuel my truck on the LH side, I do not shut off the fridge while refueling as some suggest. I have never had any problems with fumes at a fuel station. However this is what I do, you must do what makes you comfortable.
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Old 07-07-2017, 10:39 PM   #7
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And people should not drive Chevy trucks...



There is nothing wrong with using LP when traveling to keep the fridge cold IF proper precautions are taken, and the fridge and RV are properly configured for it. If you have the 12 volt option that would be a better choice.



Aaron


I guess I'm just cautious". I would not want to be towing a pop-up down the road with propane burning in it.
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Old 07-07-2017, 10:45 PM   #8
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I guess I'm just cautious". I would not want to be towing a pop-up down the road with propane burning in it.
But your tow vehicle is driving down the road with Gasoline burning in it! In an "explosion engine" to boot!

I've always traveled with the fridge on propane in RV's that don't have a 3 way refrig. The burner and exhaust are on the outside and sealed away from the interior of the camper. I've never had a flameout or anything so they must be designed to handle the wind speed of travel.
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Old 07-07-2017, 10:47 PM   #9
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Here we go on the gas on/off while driving debate. I'll break out the popcorn!!

kellyg: Suggest you post the make and model of your fridge so someone with the same one can tell you how to operate it. Or if all else fails, read the manual. If you don't have the manual, google the make and model and you can probably find the manual on-line.
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Old 07-07-2017, 10:51 PM   #10
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Here we go on the gas on/off while driving debate. I'll break out the popcorn!!

kellyg: Suggest you post the make and model of your fridge so someone with the same one can tell you how to operate it. Or if all else fails, read the manual. If you don't have the manual, google the make and model and you can probably find the manual on-line.
I had to dig out the manual to remember how to get mine to ignite after the first winter storage. They could have put a push and hold to ignite label on the thermocouple button. I wrote it next to the button with a sharpie after that.
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Old 07-08-2017, 08:08 PM   #11
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Using propane on the go IS a no go.
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Old 07-08-2017, 08:18 PM   #12
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Using propane on the go IS a no go.
Said the "Novice Travel Trailer Guy". His words, not mine!
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Old 07-08-2017, 08:23 PM   #13
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Using propane on the go IS a no go.
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Said the "Novice Travel Trailer Guy". His words, not mine!
His little sign DID ask for feedback!
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Old 07-08-2017, 10:12 PM   #14
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I would like to pull my rig with the frig on LP but for some reason it will not stay lit. Runs all day while sitting still but get error lit after hitting the road. Any ideas anyone?
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Old 07-08-2017, 10:13 PM   #15
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Using propane on the go IS a no go.
You'd be in the vast minority of RVers.
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Old 07-09-2017, 09:23 PM   #16
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You'd be in the vast minority of RVers.
Running with LP on while driving is NOT illegal in any state. But it is (and should be) illegal in high-danger areas. Particularly when fueling up at gas stations, going through tunnels, and on the ferry. The latter was verified personally by myself in the summer of '09 when I took a series of ferries in Washington State. Each of the four times I was given a bright pink tag to put on the handle of the LP to show ferry employees that the LP was off. They took it seriously enough to watch me while I affixed the tag and turned the handle. I personally do not drive with any propane appliances on. When we pack up to go, we make sure the propane is shut off. I used to drive a tow truck years ago....and having towed the remains of several burned to the ground Travel Trailers and a Class-A also a Class-C. I would rather fill an ice chest full of ice rather than take the chance of my RV burning to the ground.....but that's just me. I don't carry the cost of a RV as pocket change. If safety is your first priority, then the clear choice is to drive with your propane turned off. If you feel the benefits of driving with your propane on outweigh the potential dangers, then you may choose to keep it turned on. Either way, you're making an informed choice. It’s your RV. You can do whatever you want! However, running with your propane on can be a dangerous act.

If you’re in a collision, if you have to go off the road due to a blown tire, whatever, and you break the insulated black pipe which is what goes from the propane tank to the length of your RV, whether it’s a motorhome or a fifth wheel or whatever. And you have four branch lines, you have one that goes to the refrigerator, one that goes to the stove, one to the furnace, and one to the hot water heater. If you break those then what’s going to happen is it’s going to fill your space up with propane. If it finds an arc or a spark, it’s going to light off. Remember, when you park the rig for more than a few minutes the rig must be level or the refer must be turned off to avoid damage to the refrigerator. I'll take my chances on replacing $200 worth of spoiled food versus $30,000 and up on an RV and tow vehicle, thank you.
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Old 07-09-2017, 09:38 PM   #17
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"If safety is your first priority" maybe you shouldn't even be on the road.

"Safe" means something different to every person.

Everyone has to determine what level of risk they are comfortable with. I'd say your comfort level on LP gas is a LOT lower than at least half of the people on this forum.

(BTW: LP tanks have a high flow valve that closes if a pigtail should rupture. Of course, the valve could fail, so there you go - another risk to consider!)
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Old 07-10-2017, 08:26 AM   #18
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It seems obvious, but it's my first time. How do I switch from electric to gas to power my frig in my Rockwood Premiere 2516g? There's an on/off switch behind the panel outside, a dual for temp (I think) and an ignition switch. I can travel and keep things cold, correct?
Thanks in advance!
Georgia
With a standard height pop-up, you have a small (less than 3 cu ft) 3 way, continuous run fridge. Many of the posters don't have a fridge like that, or have forgotten how they work.

As you may have already found out, there is no temperature control on the fridge. The propane dial and the AC dial with numbers (some fridges don't have an AC adjustment) simply adjust the amount of heat going to the ammonia. More heat, more cooling (theoretically). But the fridge runs continuously until you turn it off - there is no control board, no thermostatic control.

So the first order of business, if you want to keep your food in the safe but unfrozen range (32-40 deg F), is to get a battery powered wireless outdoor thermometer (mine was $10 at Walmart). Put the sensor inside the fridge and the display in the tow vehicle when towing or in the camper when camping. Now you know what temp your fridge is actually at. FWIW, I'm on my second year on the original supplied AA and AAA batteries for the thermometer.

To use on propane, you have to manually light the burner. You turn the propane dial to a high number, turn the propane switch on and push and hold it in, and then push the ignition button. At high altitude (above 5,000 ft), it probably won't stay lit on the first try. You get a "poof", and the flame blows itself out. Another forum member taught me to push the igniter button again immediately after the "poof". This generally gets it started within 3 tries.

When towing - because you have a manual start on propane, when the flame gets blown out by too much air from the speed of the vehicle, the fridge has no way to restart itself. I've tested towing mine on propane on my A-frame - on a good day, the propane burner may stay lit for a couple of hours before it gets blown out and the temp starts rising. For this reason, I have to tow with the fridge on DC.

Depending on your specific fridge model and the wiring on your tow vehicle, the tow vehicle may not be delivering enough voltage to the camper battery to keep it fully charged when the fridge is running on DC. The fridge on my A-frame is a Dometic 4223, and has a 160 watt DC coil (13.5 amps nominal). If I tow all day with the DC on, the fridge does a pretty good job of pulling the fridge temp down into the high 20s. And the minivan just keeps the batteries where they are at (12.9V at the camper batteries with fridge on).

But the fridge is depleting my camper batteries when we make pit stops, and that charge is not recovered while the fridge is on and we are moving. If I get the fridge cold enough (high 20s), I turn it off for the last couple of hours before arrival at the campsite. This gives the vehicle a chance to top off the camper battery, and the fridge will not reach 40 degrees from 28 or 29 in 2 hours.

You will probably find that the fridge, as installed, will not maintain temps in hot weather. That is the installation, not the fridge itself. An ammonia fridge needs cooling of the coils in the outside fridge compartment to work properly. Too many installations don't create enough (or any!) natural air flow to cool the coils. You should be able to really feel the hot air flowing out of the top vent when things are working.

On my A-frame, hot air was getting trapped in the top of the compartment, preventing cooler outside air from coming in. A combination of insulation, improved baffling, and finally a 120mm computer case fan was needed to get reliable fridge performance on even the hottest days. See http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...ge-104964.html on the 3rd page of the A-frame section for more details on the mods.

hope this helps
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Old 07-10-2017, 08:38 AM   #19
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With a standard height pop-up, you have a small (less than 3 cu ft) 3 way, continuous run fridge. Many of the posters don't have a fridge like that, or have forgotten how they work.

As you may have already found out, there is no temperature control on the fridge. The propane dial and the AC dial with numbers (some fridges don't have an AC adjustment) simply adjust the amount of heat going to the ammonia. More heat, more cooling (theoretically). But the fridge runs continuously until you turn it off - there is no control board, no thermostatic control.
Not sure I'm buying this, at least for electric. On my old Coleman popup (don't know the fridge brand), it ran on 12VDC. It had a real thermostat that turned the heating element on and off, although it was only a 1 to 10 dial, no degrees. It did NOT adjust the amount of heat, it was either on or off. I know this because I rigged up a green LED ahead of the thermostat to tell me that I had 12VDC coming from my tow vehicle, and a red LED after the thermostat to tell me when the thermostat was providing power to the heating element. The red LED would be either on or off. Of course, that was 30 yrs ago, so maybe they've changed how these are controlled.

I can't speak to how the LP side worked, though.
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Old 07-10-2017, 06:37 PM   #20
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A PUP is likely to have a 3-way fridge.
1. 120-volt AC when hooked to shore power.
2. 12-volt DC when hooked to the tow vehicle.
3. Propane.

As you can see, MANY run on propane while on the road. But in some states, that is illegal, and it increases risk of a fire or explosion in a crash. The issue is that in a severe crash, it's possible for a tank with an open valve to tear loose from its mount and spew propane into the atmosphere, and with metal-to-metal grinding in a crash, there's a possibility of sparks or a gasoline fire also igniting the propane.
Check the laws where you tow...the risk assessment is up to you. Using propane on the road is needed more often in the big rigs, because they have huge refrigerators, and they don't have a 12-volt option.

An RV fridge uses quite a bit of power. On the RV battery alone (no tow vehicle alternator supplying charging power), you can drain the 12-volt battery in hours. But connected to a RUNNING tow vehicle, a PRE-COOLED fridge will sustain for many hours...in most cases, unless you're driving for days, this is a good way to do it. I've done this for years while boondocking at my destination, and the battery always has enough charge after setup to last about 3 1/2 days. (I now have solar, and 12 volt power is no longer a concern.)

The fridge will have a brand and model number, so, if you don't have a manual, you should be able to get one online. That would fully explain operation of your fridge. For example: https://www.dometic.com/en-us/us/sup...manual-archive

RV fridges don't use compressors like home fridges. They use heat to change the state of a gas (largely ammonia). Start your fridge on shore power about 24 hours prior to departure. This will also top off your battery. But, if your battery is low, it can take about 70 hours (3 days) to fully charge the battery. Simply charge the battery as needed and start the fridge 24 hours before you need to load it with food.

Gas and Propane Refrigerators - How Refrigerators Work | HowStuffWorks
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