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Open Roads Forum  >  Beginning RVing

 > driving with propane on(?)

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Norm Payne

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Posted: 05/21/02 10:18am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OK, let me follow the facts you posted. A refrigerator normally runs 34 degrees and food will not spoil until 40 degrees. When it is 100+ degrees a refrigerator will loose only 1 or 2 degrees in 8-10 hours.

So I can let my refrigerator rise 6 degrees which will take 36 hours.( Loses average 1 1/2 degrees in average 9 hours) That means when camping in over 100 degree temperatures I can leave my refrigerator off for 36 hours, turn it on until it cools down, then turn it off another 36 hours.

Can I assume if I camp in 70 degree weather I can get by for 4-5 days without running the refrigerator?

Norm

wittmeba

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Posted: 05/21/02 10:33am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I too am very 'green' here, but after reading a few of the posts from Lleopold post...

It sounds to me like there is 2 issues:

1 - the possibility of spark from an appliance that uses propane to operate

2 - additional hazard of added fuel should a hose get torn off perhaps from an accident while the valve is open

The first concern seems better addressed by stating 'Turn off appliances' - seems to have little to do with the propane being on.

Second concern is the added risk when driving - how much one wants to push their luck.


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LLeopold

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Posted: 05/21/02 10:48am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That's a good question.

Tell you what. I'll be camping over this holiday weekend and I'll try exactly that for the three days camping and post the results here.

I'll cool down the refer 24 hours before as I normally do, load the fridge with my usual foods from my home fridge and observe and note the temperatures over the weekend, noting how often the fridge is opened and the temperature with no cooling from AC/DC/propane to the fridge (i.e. use it like a cooler).

Obviously, if the temperature in the fridge comes close to 40 degrees F, I'll turn it on, and I'll note that as well as well as how long it takes to get back to the cooling temperature and then repeat.

The purpose of the experiment will be to determine the thermal characteristics of the fridge. I'll also note the ambient air temperature outside and inside the FW. I'll take readings on an hourly (or as close as I can get to an hour) basis. Well, not while I'm sleeping, but waking hours. [emoticon]

Sound reasonable? Are there other factors I should take into account and report? I'll consider this to be the dress rehearsal for the one I mentioned earlier so as to try to satisfy all our curiosity.

*This Message was edited on 21-May-02 10:51 AM by LLeopold*



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Deen

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Posted: 05/21/02 11:28am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've been RV'ing since 1957 with my parents and then got my own trailer in 1968. We've always run with the gas on and have never had a problem. Depends on what your comfort level is.

LLeopold

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Posted: 05/21/02 01:43pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It could also be the "because its always been done it this way" paradigm without taking into account new technologies and innovations in RVs that have taken place over the past 10, 20 and 30 years and what may have been valid viewpoint 10, 20, and 30 years ago may no longer apply with today's RV appliances.

I wrote a (somewhat) humorous parable on this in: http://www.rv.net/forums/index.cfm/fusea........CFB/1/TID/37443/DoOnePage/Yes/page/4.cfm.

*This Message was edited on 21-May-02 01:44 PM by LLeopold*


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Posted: 05/21/02 02:06pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Consider This:
What is occuring under the hood of your car/truck when you pull up to a gas pump? Gas is burning. Or, acually, it is exploding inside of the cylinders. Right along side of the gas pump.
Why would anybody worry about a pilot light that is 15 feet behind them. Your running engine is much more dangerous than the propane, but nobody has suggested turning of the engine 1/2 mile from the gas station and pushing the rig in. (when they do, I want to watch [emoticon])

THERE IS NO REASONABLE DANGER OF RUNNING PROPANE IN THE RV WHILE TOWING OR FUELING!!!


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Norm Payne

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Posted: 05/21/02 02:22pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lou, I tried to pull your chain and you didn't rattle. I always turn the refrigerator off before pulling into a fuel station. Well, actually my wife walks back and turns it off. No matter what any of us says the LP ON / LP OFF people will never change.

I will be very interested in your refrigerator experiment. Safe travels.


Norm
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Posted: 05/21/02 02:55pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Mr. Miller, I hear you loud and clear. Lots of folks do not want to base decisions on scientific facts, only emotions...just like our government officials.

Ken W


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LLeopold

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Posted: 05/21/02 04:56pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Mr. Miller: Please let me know what kind of RV you're using so that I am nowhere near you when you refuel. Beside the fact that every state in the U.S. has a DMV code with regard to open flame, spark, or motor running while refueling, the number of spark-related fire reports is rising. I refer you to a number of petroleum industry manufacturers and safety sites including:
http://www.westernenergetix.com/New%20Information/Chevron_Gas_Refuel.asp
http://www.pei.org/static/index.htm
http://www.esdjournal.com/static/refuelfr.htm

The discussion is not while we are refueling at the pump, but whether propane on or off while in motion on the road and I am trying very hard not bring emotion to the table as part of the discussion, but instead, examine the merits of using propane to run RV appliances while traveling versus the risks. I can cite numerous respected RV authorities that promote propane off, but the propane-on crowd appears to be unconvinced. Are there any RV industry authorities that advocate propane on while traveling?

A number of folks have put the burden of proof (and rightfully so) on those of us who advocate propane-off while traveling by providing reports or incidents of RV fires caused or exasperated by propane (not at the pump) and not merely by heresay. I am making every effort to provide that evidence. To date I have provided non-RV cases where propane was a factor in a more complete destruction of vehicles, but have been unsuccessful with locating RV-specific cases. I have not yet given up in finding those cases.

I am also looking at the practical side of the matter (i.e. are folks who are running with propane on merely burning money away because of an emotional fear of food poisoning?) which is why I proposed the experiments.

How about if I turn the argument around. Beside the potential food poisoning point or because that's the way I've always done it; is there any other valid non-emotional, rational reason to travel with propane on? And again, is the risk of the amount of food loss worth the risk of losing the RV and tow vehicle? Can we somehow quantify that risk? A bellyache versus burns. That's what I am hoping to show one way or the other. Is anyone in the propane-on crowd also willing to perform this experiment and post their results so that it's not a scientific sampling of one?

BTW: orca, what's your impression of your thread to this point? [emoticon]


*This Message was edited on 21-May-02 05:25 PM by LLeopold*


School Teacher

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Posted: 05/21/02 09:47pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

LLeopold,
If you are right, there is no open flame when I leave my fridge on. It has electric lighter, so does not have a pilot. Since it doesn't gain any heat, it does not have to run, and therefore does not ever light.
If this is so, I'm insulating my house with the same stuff they make fridges with. Only run the Heat and AC once a season, get it to desired temp. and leave it. [emoticon]

Lets get real. As you stated, there is no evidence to suggest a danger while traveling with propane on. Food poisoning is a very real danger. We have all been sick because of it at one point or another. It can be very series and even deadly.

So we have to choose between the 'fire risk' of leaving the fridge running. There are no facts to prove this unsafe.

Or, leave the fridge on to protect ourselves from food poisoning.

This is a no brainier.

Now, if I've overlooked something please point it out. I'm always willing to learn something new. But I'm yet to see/hear a reason that the exploding fuel under the hood of the truck/car is safe but the running fridge. 15 behind the tow vehicle isn't.

*This Message was edited on 21-May-02 10:09 PM by The Millers*


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