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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers

 > Running the refridge on propane

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RobertS

Ottawa, Ontario

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Posted: 06/03/02 06:24pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hello to everyone that has responded.

With all due respect to those that have responded, I do have a few points to make.

I am new at RVing, and the dealer that I am purchasing my TT from said it is against the law in Ontario Canada to travel with propane appliances running while towing. Case in point, about a week ago there was a story on the local news cast that a TT had burned to the ground. They had video footage too. It was devistating. There was no explosion, the trailer just disintigrated into flames. The fire chief indiacted that it was caused by a leak in the propane tubing. This was on the highway and the occupants barely escaped with their lives.

I am astounded that anyone would consider towing with propane running. You have absolutely no control of what could happen.

The comment about gasoline in cars is irrelevent. Cars are constructed to travel with gasoline. My trailer dealer states that TT are not.

Again with all due respect, how can members of this forum jump all over those that may not meet the wheelbase towing formula, but remain silent about this issue? Does the majority travel with their propane on?

RobertS

driddle

Winterville, North Carolina

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Posted: 06/03/02 07:37pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

On a hot summer afternoon, you are out on your deck cooking steaks for your family and suddenly a car, driven by your neighbors 16 yr old, comes careening into your deck and hits your gas grill and knocks the bottle off. A huge explosion comences and your house burns to the ground. It would be safer to stay inside and use the electric grill..............anything can be taken to the extreme....Also, there are many a LP powered truck out on the road these days. Better not open the bottle, what if they are in a wreck? I have always run w/ the refrig 'on' and bottles open except when in Virginia through the tunnels. No problem....been towing for only 5 yrs. but have lugged lots of miles......


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Brettnandrea

new jersey

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Posted: 06/03/02 07:43pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

i'll agree that turning the tanks off is the safest way, but leaving them on is also safe. i have been camping for 25 years and always check for leaks at the start of every season and never had anything come loose or leak on any of the 4 trailers. i used to run on 12v while traveling, but for whatever reason, the newer trailers don't have 3way. for the past 5 years i always travel with the fridge on gas. the only place i had a problem was the chesapeak bay bridge/tunnel, where i had to shut the gas off.

dbkennel

Montana

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Posted: 06/04/02 03:22am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am puzzled.

Driving with the propane on is on this forum occasionally. I can see having it on if it is the only means to keep the fridge cold, making sure to turn it off BEFORE pulling into the gas station. And pulling away from the pumps before restarting the pilot light.

But what puzzles me is, don't these campers have a 12v option for the fridge??

We run our fridge on 12v keeping in mind to turn it off when we stop for extened amounts of time. (So our batt power stays up.) Maybe we were just lucky to have found 2 used units now that have the 12v option??

Running the fridge on 12v just seems like a safer way to to keep the food cold to me.


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Huntindog

Phoenix AZ

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Posted: 06/04/02 05:17am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

dbkennel, As I stated in my earlier post campers seem to get 3 way fridges and trailers 2 ways. ( I see that you have a camper) This is the travel trailer board. Thats the reason for the disscusion.
Cheers!


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SilveradoWilderness

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Posted: 06/04/02 07:37am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well, time for me to chime in on this topic again. Les makes his points well again, and I am in agreement with the rest of the members who drive with propane ON.

It has always been my impression that the PERCEIVED threat was pulling in to a gasoline station with the pilot light lit. Once you realize that the gasoline vapors are heavier than air, and consider that your refrigerator pilot is AOA 42" above ground, and that the gasoline vapors would have to accumulate in an explosive range to that heighth, then you begin to see how truly unlikely gasoline vapor ignition becomes.

To the letter of the law, yes, I must conceed, approaching the pumps with an open flame is not advised...but I do it every time we travel (with the refrigerator running on propane). It is a calculated risk, and one that I will continue to take.

I also would like to respectfully question the others who see catastrophe looming around every curve when the propane bottle is turned on. Flexible copper tubing with compression fittings is exactly what makes it more safe. A rigid connection, such as black iron pipe or rigid copper with flared fittings wouldn't absorb the motion of the coach like the flex does, and that indeed WOULD lead to leaks, in my humble opinion.

We'll never solve this dilemma here, will we?

Regards,
John


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LAdams

Northern Illinois

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Posted: 06/04/02 08:08am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I echo John's sentiments and I would think John knows quite a bit about this topic as a professional Fire Fighter...

I fail to see the increased safety factor of a gasoline tank in a car over a propane tank... The only difference between the two is the gasoline tank is baffeled to prevent foaming when the fuel is sloshed about back and forth... As a matter of fact, I would think the propane tank itself is quite a bit safer than a gasoline tank as the propane tank walls are quite a bit thicker...

Propane refrigerators are designed with quite a few safety features to prevent gas flow should a given set of conditions not occur... If you are doing your maintnenace at the beginning of the year and doing a routine check for gas leaks as you should be, the likely hood of failure is very low... I would think it would be no more dangerous than a 12 volt wire abrading on a sharp edge and shorting out and causing a fire...

Comparing safety of traveling with propane on and the wheelbase of a tow vehicle/trailer combination is nonsense... There is NO comparison between the two different issues and if you can't see that, perhaps you should rethink your RV career...

If you don't feel safe traveling with your frige on propane, then don't do it... Either buy a 3 way frige or run your frige on AC off an inverter... I wonder if those who question this procedure would turn their frige (and tanks) off if sitting in a campsite on a windy day, say with winds in the 20-30 mph range??? It isn't much different than having your frige on rolling down the road at approximately the same speed...

Here's the bottom line on this topic that has been "beat to death"... If you don't feel safe doing it, then don,t... There have been many other alternatives offered over many months of discussion of this issue...

Personally, I have been traveling this way for for close to two decades and it works well for me... Therefore I will continue to travel this way and tell others I see no problem with it aside from the caveats of refueling...

Best Regards,
Les




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Drbolasky

Weisenberg Township, PA

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Posted: 06/04/02 08:48am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Frankjake:

No disrespect taken. This is a forum for healthy discussion, and that is exactly what is happening here. If it makes one or more folks out there really think this thing through, then it's worth it.

I will concede that geographic location may play a part in one's decision to roll with the gas on. And yes, if we are to play endless "what if's" with ourselves then none of us would leave our homes!!

The answer rests with each of us...how much risk are we willing to take? I applaud those who have stuck to their guns......I just hope the odds are on their side....and mine when we pass on the road.




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Sportsman2505qss

Winter Springs, Fl USA

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Posted: 06/04/02 11:39am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We run with the frig on propane. I think with all the new safety features we are ok doing that. Just getting up in the morning can be a risk to someone. I think you have to do what you feel comfortable with. I think the reason campers have 3 way friges. is that they don't have a freezer and most TT and above have freezers and that is why only the two way. I don't think you can run a freezer off the battery. I know our popup had the 3 way and our TT just has the 2 way.Our popup had no freezer and we have one in the TT.

PWALT0366

Brownsburg, Indiana

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Posted: 06/04/02 12:18pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for all the comments - I do see there are quite a few different opinions on this subject. Hope everyone's "feelings" are intact. I did not realize this was such a touchy subject. I am sorry I did not search this topic before my post as I know it has been asked numerous times (I'm new to this forum thing).

Happy and Safe travels to all

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