Our TT is stored in our backyard and our rig is always plugged in, thereby we use electric to pre-chill our fridge. Propane does tend to chill an RV fridge faster, but in our case, either mode takes about 4-6 hours to reach proper operating temps. Propane use is quite small since flame is comparable to a pilot sized flame used by household water heaters. We run our Dometic fridge on Auto mode, subsequently going down the road it switches to propane, once we arrive to our campsite and plug back in, it returns to using electric. Adding an interior fan can help improve cooling efficiency and recovery.
I bring a number of hard-sided freezer gel packs. I turn the fridge on, add the freezer packs, then the food. Usually 6-8 hours later, the refer is at operating temperature, and I can either put the freezer packs away, or move them to the freezer part (assuming enough space.) If I didn't have to worry about rig storage, I'd definitely fire it up a day or two before a trip.
On the matter of LP consumption for refrigerator use, my 3.7 cu. ft. refrigerator uses 260 grams of LP per day (thanks, Mr. Metric version of my refer manual). Yes, it's a small refrigerator and I believe the OP's refrigerator is 4.6 cu. ft.
Converting grams into pounds, using 453.6 grams per pound, my refer consumes .57 pounds of LP a day. With a 20 pound tank, that's approximately 35 days to run my refer continuously at a controlled temperature. At least in my particular case, it's a real world "estimate".
Your mileage will vary based on consumption.
I cool down the refrigerator at home connected to shore power. I plug it in the night before I am going to fill the refrigerator. That way it is cold when I put the food in. I connect to shore power when I get to my destination. The refrigerator runs off propane while traveling and it uses very little propane.
We store our TT with the fridges propped open to breathe. When we travel, we throw a bag of ice in them and close them up with no food inside. Transport the food in a cooler to the TT from home and then into the TT fridge at destination.
Is it better to pre-cool with propane or would it be better to connect to home power and cool it down on electric? Then, is it normal to run it on propane while driving to the campground?
Maybe our frig is about shot, but ours takes overnight to get to about the lowest setting we have, then load it up with cold stuff and shut it off when we leave house and is good till we stop for the night.
--Doesn't matter which to cool down with. We like propane because it works faster with ours, and we know it works before we start out.
--Driving down road with propane on... Big and many views flame wars about this. We don't, just something about a open flame going down the road and logical sence to us. Others say it is what they are made for. I looked all through our owners manual and it makes no mention of this. And others in the past actually copied their manual that says it is OK. But our model doesn't so we don't. (And I don't care if others do or don't before the flames start).
In hot summer if we will be driving for a long time, wife freezes some water bottles overnight that keep frig cool and around noon they go from freezer to frig and that also makes ice cold water to drink along the way.
As a related side note...couple years ago was checking roof and took off frig vent and happened to have sun just right and saw some stuff under the screen. Went and got a flashlight and was surprized how much stuff was below screen. Old leaves caught on spyder webs etc.
So now when I clean out frig burner box I also check from above first and poke stuff down so I can vacuum out. Doing this yearly now there is very little from year to year, but if you haven't checked you could have quite a build up of stuff over the years.
We have no concerns as you say. Ours works better on propane, too.
Excellent posts. Thank you. Do all(or at least most) TT fridges (mine is 2011) auto switch between propane and electric depending on whether or not the TT is connected to an electric source? Or is that normally just on upper end TT's?
Minnesota Viking fan trapped in Wisconsin
2011 KZ Sportsmen Classic 19BH
2013 Chevy Silverado 1500, Ext Cab, 5.3L Z71, 4x4, HD towing/cooling pkg
AAA Plus RV
* This post was
edited 03/10/13 06:54pm by path1 *
1990 37 ft King of the road 5th wheel. Great carpentry, summer home
1997 33 ft Holiday Rambler, Never again will a new RV come into this family
2003 25 ft Majestic M/H, Old RV rental Best travel machine we've ever owned.