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Old 05-30-2019, 12:07 AM   #21
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Running the fridge while towing.....

Unless it is going to be real hot while I am towing, I typically turn my fridge OFF. An RV fridge / freezer is capable of maintaining the internal temperature for a good 8 hours, under most circumstances! (As is your house fridge / freezer). After all, you arenít likely to be opening and closing the fridge door very often while towing. I have never arrived at my destination with any fridge related concerns. FWIW.....
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Old 05-30-2019, 12:22 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by dnicoll View Post
Unless it is going to be real hot while I am towing, I typically turn my fridge OFF. An RV fridge / freezer is capable of maintaining the internal temperature for a good 8 hours, under most circumstances! (As is your house fridge / freezer). After all, you arenít likely to be opening and closing the fridge door very often while towing. I have never arrived at my destination with any fridge related concerns. FWIW.....
Thing is that since a 3-way fridge has a 12v setting, it's a no-brainer to use it while driving.
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Old 05-30-2019, 12:21 PM   #23
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Very Dangerous

In the event you were involved in an accident, having an open propane line is very dangerous. While traveling, appliances move and they can break the propane line allowing the gas in the tank to escape. You only need a small spark to ignite propane gas. A broken line can trigger a fire in an instant. I believe it's even illegal to travel through tunnels with an open propane line.
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Old 05-30-2019, 12:48 PM   #24
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Hey everyone. I was thinking of running my 3 way fridge off the battery while I was towing. My logic is that the truck will charge the battery while we go so the battery won't be dead when I get to the RV park. Anybody tried this? Good idea or bad? Thanks!
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I did that with our old 1999 Coleman pop up. (Never had a battery on the pop up, we always had an electric site and the converter powered the 12V side.) Just check to make sure your tow vehicle will supply enough power.
Ran my 1988 Coleman PUP's fridge from the TV for 20 years, no problems with enough power. I don't think you'll have any issues, either.

My Coleman came with a 4-pin connector for lights and a separate 2-pin for the aux power. I switched it to a 7-pin to make it a single connector. However, I had issues with all the pins in the connector "failing to connect." I don't recall the reasons anymore. But to make sure I knew there was power to the fridge, I installed a green LED off the power line at the fridge ahead of the T-stat so I knew that the TV was supplying power. I installed a red LED in the line after the T-stat so I knew when the fridge was actually drawing power. I drilled holes and mounted the LEDs in the outside access panel so I could see them anytime I walked by the PUP.

These lights helped when on shore power also, because my fridge was really only 2-way (12VDC and propane), so on shore power, it was fed 12VDC from the converter. So the LED's still told me when it was powered.
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Old 05-30-2019, 01:05 PM   #25
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I think a lot of folks are missing the fact this is a small 3 way fridge designed to be run on 12v and in a pop-up.

I had two of these in two different pop-ups and one in a truck camper and all three ran just fine off the battery/tow vehicle. Didn't matter how long the trip.
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Old 05-30-2019, 01:06 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by cpslim2000 View Post
In the event you were involved in an accident, having an open propane line is very dangerous. While traveling, appliances move and they can break the propane line allowing the gas in the tank to escape. You only need a small spark to ignite propane gas. A broken line can trigger a fire in an instant. I believe it's even illegal to travel through tunnels with an open propane line.
There are only 2 or 3 tunnels, on the East Coast, that have such restrictions.
IF you do a search, probably 80-90% of RVers travel with the propane on.
And people have been doing it for decades.
It comes down to personal preference.
Plus, the OP was talking about running their 3-way fridge on 12V, not propane.
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Old 05-30-2019, 01:19 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by cpslim2000 View Post
In the event you were involved in an accident, having an open propane line is very dangerous. While traveling, appliances move and they can break the propane line allowing the gas in the tank to escape. You only need a small spark to ignite propane gas. A broken line can trigger a fire in an instant. I believe it's even illegal to travel through tunnels with an open propane line.
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There are only 2 or 3 tunnels, on the East Coast, that have such restrictions.
IF you do a search, probably 80-90% of RVers travel with the propane on.
And people have been doing it for decades.
It comes down to personal preference.
Plus, the OP was talking about running their 3-way fridge on 12V, not propane.
And... newer (2002+) propane tanks (with ACME valve) have a safety device that shuts off gas flow in the event of a severed line.
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Old 05-30-2019, 01:29 PM   #28
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And... newer (2002+) propane tanks (with ACME valve) have a safety device that shuts off gas flow in the event of a severed line.
Yep, forgot about that.
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Old 05-30-2019, 01:32 PM   #29
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Yep, forgot about that.
You only forgot it... some seem to refute it.
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Old 05-30-2019, 05:35 PM   #30
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Running down the road with the fridge running on propane is a bad, bad idea, not to mention illegal once you pull in a gas station. You might as well light matches while you're pumping your gas. If your propane tank is turned on and you have a leak, a blow out or kick something up from the road and damage a line it could be catastrophic.
And yes, I've done it before too.
If the fridge is already cold, it will stay cold for a fairly long time.
I'd stick with running on 12v dc and keep an eye on the batteries, everyone's situation is different and it might work fine for you.
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Old 05-30-2019, 05:37 PM   #31
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When I had the pop ups, I always used the 12VDC setting when traveling and never killed the battery even going from NW Indiana to Hot Springs Arkansas.

The travel trailers didn't have a 12VDC option as those large fridges would pull very high current to do so. I used the propane on those and just shut off the propane before pulling next to the gas pump. When done, I pulled away from pump, and restarted the fridge. Very easy with DSI fridge but pop ups are still push piezo ignitors.

I did learn to use an easier method. It did cost me about $5 total, to and from site but well worth it. It was using a cooler instead. No need to pop up camper before and after trip to get food out. Well worth the minimal expense for ice.

Good luck
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Old 05-30-2019, 08:52 PM   #32
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I would sometimes run the fridge off of the battery while under way. On long trips I would have a dead battery when I arrived. So I stopped doing that and ran the fridge on propane while towing from then on. And yes, the tow vehicle was supplying power to the battery, just not as fast as the fridge was using it.
X2. Dead battery after an hour and a half of towing. Will use propane going forward.
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Old 05-30-2019, 10:28 PM   #33
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I had a dead battery the first time I tried running on 12v while towing. I had to add a fuse to fuse block under the hood on my 2006 F150 to make the charging wire hot. Some old guy in the campground turned me on to this. My dads 2012 Ram did not even have a wire installed on the trailer plug. My Tundra was hot from the factory. Just something to check
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Old 05-31-2019, 09:24 AM   #34
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X2. Dead battery after an hour and a half of towing. Will use propane going forward.
Unless you have a residential fridge (and probably even if you do), 1-1/2 hrs to dead indicates you have some other kind of problem, IMHO.
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Old 05-31-2019, 09:36 AM   #35
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Running down the road with the fridge running on propane is a bad, bad idea, not to mention illegal once you pull in a gas station. You might as well light matches while you're pumping your gas. If your propane tank is turned on and you have a leak, a blow out or kick something up from the road and damage a line it could be catastrophic.
And yes, I've done it before too.
If the fridge is already cold, it will stay cold for a fairly long time.
I'd stick with running on 12v dc and keep an eye on the batteries, everyone's situation is different and it might work fine for you.
Something like this is posted here about 15x/year. We often ask for actual/factual references/proof to the statement. We never get verifiable links, it seems. The statement usually turns out to be an opinion stated as a fact.
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Old 05-31-2019, 10:27 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by dtptrson View Post
Running down the road with the fridge running on propane is a bad, bad idea, not to mention illegal once you pull in a gas station. You might as well light matches while you're pumping your gas. If your propane tank is turned on and you have a leak, a blow out or kick something up from the road and damage a line it could be catastrophic.
And yes, I've done it before too.
If the fridge is already cold, it will stay cold for a fairly long time.
I'd stick with running on 12v dc and keep an eye on the batteries, everyone's situation is different and it might work fine for you.

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Something like this is posted here about 15x/year. We often ask for actual/factual references/proof to the statement. We never get verifiable links, it seems. The statement usually turns out to be an opinion stated as a fact.
Shouldn't common sense supersede actual/factual? Open flame at a gas pump!

BTW, mine is on propane when I travel and I have forgotten to shut it off when fueling but I feel a bit sick for a while after.
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Old 05-31-2019, 10:42 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtptrson View Post
Running down the road with the fridge running on propane is a bad, bad idea, not to mention illegal once you pull in a gas station. You might as well light matches while you're pumping your gas. If your propane tank is turned on and you have a leak, a blow out or kick something up from the road and damage a line it could be catastrophic.
And yes, I've done it before too.
If the fridge is already cold, it will stay cold for a fairly long time.
I'd stick with running on 12v dc and keep an eye on the batteries, everyone's situation is different and it might work fine for you.



Shouldn't common sense supersede actual/factual? Open flame at a gas pump!

BTW, mine is on propane when I travel and I have forgotten to shut it off when fueling but I feel a bit sick for a while after.
Then say ďit makes good common sense to meĒ instead of the general ďitís illegalĒ.
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Old 05-31-2019, 12:44 PM   #38
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Hey everyone. I was thinking of running my 3 way fridge off the battery while I was towing. My logic is that the truck will charge the battery while we go so the battery won't be dead when I get to the RV park. Anybody tried this? Good idea or bad? Thanks!
I see in your profile you have a 2019 Rockwood 2716G PUP. If you look up the fridge model number at Dometic, and download any manuals, you will find the fridge likely has a 120 watt coil for both the DC and AC modes, no thermostat, and no control board. This means the fridge draws 10 amps while running in DC mode.

Based on my experience with an A-frame with the same fridge, chances are the fridge will not stay lit running on propane while towing. There isn't enough height, and the burner size is too small for the flame to not get blown out by the towing wind. And it does not have auto-ignition in propane mode. You can verify this by using a battery-powered wireless thermometer with the send unit inside the fridge, and the receive head in the truck. This lets you monitor fridge temps, which is important since the fridge has no thermostat.

On DC, the 120 watt coil and the air flow through the fridge rear compartment while towing makes the fridge cool pretty well. When you stop - that's a different story. All 3 modes will benefit by adding a 12V computer fan to exhaust hot air out the top vent - I tie-wrapped the fan to the vent and added a manual switch in the fan power line.

Whether or not your truck will sustain the 10A load plus charge the PUP batteries depends on the wire sizes used in the truck tow package wiring and the alternator programming. On my minivan, I would generally see about 13.2V at the A-frame batteries when the fridge was on, and about 13.8V when the fridge was off. This means the A-frame batteries were at best only trickle charging when the fridge was on, and would discharge whenever we stopped for gas, food, or at a rest area.

The easiest way to know is hook up the PUP, leave the truck in idle, and measure voltage at the PUP battery with fridge on, and with fridge off. Just remember, when the truck engine is off, you are using 10 amp-hours every hour. And you only have 40 usable AH in a standard single PUP battery.

That's where the thermometer comes in. After about 4 hours of towing in 75 degree temps, the fridge would pull down to the high 20s. At the next stop, I turned the fridge off so the batteries could charge, or at least not lose charge. When the fridge temp got back up to high 30s, I would turn the fridge back on.

High wall PUPs have a different fridge that will auto-light on propane so towing on propane generally works.

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Old 06-03-2019, 06:53 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by PupCamper View Post
Hey everyone. I was thinking of running my 3 way fridge off the battery while I was towing. My logic is that the truck will charge the battery while we go so the battery won't be dead when I get to the RV park. Anybody tried this? Good idea or bad? Thanks!
Why do that, your fridge will stay cold for 8 to 10 hrs freezer also if you open to get something out for lunch. Being doing it for years.
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Old 06-03-2019, 06:59 PM   #40
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Hey everyone. I was thinking of running my 3 way fridge off the battery while I was towing. My logic is that the truck will charge the battery while we go so the battery won't be dead when I get to the RV park. Anybody tried this? Good idea or bad? Thanks!
We have a two-way (110 and gas) fridge and when we travel long distance we use the auto function with the gas turned off (tried using gas and the pilot light blows out and I don't think it is recommended). We then turn the power on (solar) We have two 160 watts solar panels, 4 deep cycle batteries on the trailer and dual 220 amp alternators on the truck. Works like a charm.
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