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Old 05-02-2015, 09:43 PM   #1
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Question Propane Gas

I have a 2013 Thor Windsport 34E and I have heard varying comments on turning the propane gas off while traveling. Many people say turn it off other says to leave it on. Any suggestions? Not sure what to do.
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Old 05-02-2015, 10:10 PM   #2
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We leave ours on so the frig keeps cold
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Old 05-02-2015, 10:24 PM   #3
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You'll find all the same opinions here (both of them: off and on! LOL). We leave ours on but since we have a genny and its running 99% of the time while going down the road the propane isn't being used. In fact we could run with the propane off. An old habit from the 5th wheel--which didn't have a genny.
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Old 05-03-2015, 05:49 AM   #4
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Off. We found that if we pre-cool the fridge the night prior to leaving, it stays cold for several hours - providing you don't open it.

I believe it may be illegal in some states or at least locations (like going through tunnels) to have it running. On the other hand, it's probably no different than a propane fueled vehicle.
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Old 05-03-2015, 07:04 AM   #5
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Long tunnels are usually posted no hazard materials allowed. That includes propane on or off.
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Old 05-03-2015, 11:18 AM   #6
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Long tunnels are usually posted no hazard materials allowed. That includes propane on or off.
In my next of the woods we have a couple of tunnels where RV must pull over to have the propane tank inspected before being allowed to enter the tunnel. In both cases the inspector will turn off the propane if the owner had not already do so.

In my Class A I keep it off since the frig is not propane fueled. If I'm traveling in cold weather during a rest stop I'll turn it on to run the furnace and then close it again before rolling.

In the Class C I ran both ways, sometimes with propane on and sometimes with propane off and genny running.

The most important aspect in my opinion, if you run with the frig on propane turn it off a couple of minutes before refueling the motor home.
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Old 05-03-2015, 11:43 AM   #7
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leave ours on for the fridge
The only real issue is remembering to turn off the fridge (and any other auto-sparkers such as the water heater) before entering a gas station. The propane doesn't have to be off. Just ignition sources.

I've only traveled through one tunnel so far, and I had researched it before hand.... no requirement to turn the LP off.

One wish list item I have would be for remote control switches for these appliances up on the dash. And maybe even a solenoid shut-off for the propane.


One side comment... I have an ARP controller installed on my fridge. It protects against overheating from conditions such as out of level. I have noticed that it will often shut off the fridge while travelling. I'm not sure if its more because of hills and rough roads, winds, maybe my controller tuning isn't quite right or the thermocouple placement isn't ideal.... or maybe the fridge really does just overheat a lot while underway.
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Old 05-03-2015, 12:43 PM   #8
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One side comment... I have an ARP controller installed on my fridge. It protects against overheating from conditions such as out of level. I have noticed that it will often shut off the fridge while travelling. I'm not sure if its more because of hills and rough roads, winds, maybe my controller tuning isn't quite right or the thermocouple placement isn't ideal.... or maybe the fridge really does just overheat a lot while underway.
Last year I was researching my Class C's Elec/Propane fridge because in my opinion 3 days to cool was too long. One reoccurring problem I came across, while traveling and stationary, was the vent to the roof being obstructed and not allowing the generated heat to escape from behind the fridge. The issues found ran the spectrum from the simple (insulation falling into the vent cavity, to the complex (roof vent cover installed in the wrong location and blocking the vent cavity.

The solutions also ran the spectrum from the installation of vent fans in the fridge vent cavity or outside near the burner to reconfiguring or reconstructing the vent cavity itself.

It could be that while you are travelling the hot air that accumulates around the fridge is not being allowed to escape.

Just a thought.
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Old 05-03-2015, 01:20 PM   #9
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yes, there's very likely some funny wind currents taht affect these things... back drafting and the like... while driving. It could be just the controller not functioning "correctly" because of them... but I can believe it possible the the fridge operates out of acceptable range just due to wind currents, crosswinds, "blocakages", etc.....

side track, but did you find the solution to your problem? Yes, 3 days is a problem.... well I don't know about in extreme desert temps, but generally that seems like a problem... mine cools down "enough" in just a few hours.... and very well just over night.
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Old 05-03-2015, 01:58 PM   #10
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yes, there's very likely some funny wind currents taht affect these things... back drafting and the like... while driving. It could be just the controller not functioning "correctly" because of them... but I can believe it possible the the fridge operates out of acceptable range just due to wind currents, crosswinds, "blocakages", etc.....

side track, but did you find the solution to your problem? Yes, 3 days is a problem.... well I don't know about in extreme desert temps, but generally that seems like a problem... mine cools down "enough" in just a few hours.... and very well just over night.
The solution to my problem was a small battery operated fan inside the refrigerator. The problem for me was a lack of air circulation on the inside coils. After putting the fan in the fridge cooling time went from 3 days down to about 3 hours. This is the link to the fan I purchased.

FridgeCool Fan with On/Off Switch - Valterra A10-2606 - Refrigerator Accessories - Camping World

One set of D cell batteries is all I have ever used and I still use it when cooling the residential fridge in the Challenger (still on the initial Duracell batteries). Not sure if it helps, but heck I have it why not use it.

As a note: the fan would be turned on when I started the fridge cool down and get turned off when the fridge was turned off after the trip. One trip was three weeks long and a couple were two weeks long. As an additional note, I had the large Dometic 4 door fridge/freezer with ice maker in that class C.
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Old 05-03-2015, 10:19 PM   #11
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Dave, thanks for the heads up on the frig-fan. Its on order.
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Old 05-03-2015, 11:14 PM   #12
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On my previous post about the tunnels and inspectors turning off your LP bottle if the owner had not done so, I forgot to mention both of those tunnels are a couple of miles long and they are both under water.
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Old 05-04-2015, 02:01 AM   #13
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WE leave ours turned on but turn the fridge off while travelling.
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Old 05-04-2015, 03:15 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by blw2 View Post
leave ours on for the fridge
The only real issue is remembering to turn off the fridge (and any other auto-sparkers such as the water heater) before entering a gas station. The propane doesn't have to be off. Just ignition sources.

I've only traveled through one tunnel so far, and I had researched it before hand.... no requirement to turn the LP off.

One wish list item I have would be for remote control switches for these appliances up on the dash. And maybe even a solenoid shut-off for the propane.


One side comment... I have an ARP controller installed on my fridge. It protects against overheating from conditions such as out of level. I have noticed that it will often shut off the fridge while travelling. I'm not sure if its more because of hills and rough roads, winds, maybe my controller tuning isn't quite right or the thermocouple placement isn't ideal.... or maybe the fridge really does just overheat a lot while underway.
I'm new to RV ownership, so this post intrigued me. Our fridge runs on LPG and we leave the fridge on (because it has food in it) when driving. Are we supposed to turn the fridge off completely before entering a gas station?

Our water heater can run on LPG or 110V, but we normally don't turn on the water heater unless we are parked for the night and need hot water for showers.
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Old 05-04-2015, 04:22 AM   #15
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I'm new to RV ownership, so this post intrigued me. Our fridge runs on LPG and we leave the fridge on (because it has food in it) when driving. Are we supposed to turn the fridge off completely before entering a gas station?

Our water heater can run on LPG or 110V, but we normally don't turn on the water heater unless we are parked for the night and need hot water for showers.
The problem is that you do not want the refrigerator burner igniting while you are pumping fuel into the coach. During the correct conditions the spark from the refrigerator igniter could start a fire due to the gas vapors in the air around gas pumps while you and others are fueling. This same thing holds true for the hot water heater. If you have it on while travelling turn it off before fueling. With my Class C, I did not begin fueling the coach until my wife informed me that the refrigerator was turned off. I never travelled with the hot water heater on.
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Old 05-04-2015, 04:49 AM   #16
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The problem is that you do not want the refrigerator burner igniting while you are pumping fuel into the coach. During the correct conditions the spark from the refrigerator igniter could start a fire due to the gas vapors in the air around gas pumps while you and others are fueling. This same thing holds true for the hot water heater. If you have it on while travelling turn it off before fueling. With my Class C, I did not begin fueling the coach until my wife informed me that the refrigerator was turned off. I never travelled with the hot water heater on.

Makes sense. What I don't get is this.. I've read my thor owners manual word for word from cover to cover and this precaution was never mentioned. No one at the dealership mentions it during our two hour orientation either. It makes sense though.
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Old 05-06-2015, 01:37 PM   #17
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Thors owners manuals are basically worthless. I didn't even get one with my outlaw 29h. I called thor and they sent me one, and refers mostly to the class A model
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Old 05-06-2015, 03:40 PM   #18
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Makes sense. What I don't get is this.. I've read my thor owners manual word for word from cover to cover and this precaution was never mentioned. No one at the dealership mentions it during our two hour orientation either. It makes sense though.
Yes, it makes sense... but I'll admit to forgetting to do it a time or two, with no fire or explosion

I really wonder IF anything bad has ever happened because of a fridge or WH trying to ignite.
I mean really, it can't be any different than some old beater car with leaky spark plug wires and all sorts of other misc sparking and short circuits, non explosion proof headlight switches, etc... firing up after a re-fuel stop..... and folks smoking and doing all sorts of things around gasoline...

I might be seriously concerned if my fridge or was located less than maybe 2ft away from the fuel fill port.... as it is, I do my best to comply with the advice since it "makes sense" but I'm not too worried.... especially if it's even a little bit windy to blow away the fumes and keep them dispersed....
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Old 05-06-2015, 05:27 PM   #19
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There's an off option? Just kidding....... But, we leave ours on, to keep the fridge stuff frozen hard, (ice cream, meat, pizza). Unless if there is a legal restriction along a travel route, it stays on.

This is completely contrary to my old practices when pulling a PopUp with a 3-way refrigerator. I would always insist that the propane be shut off when travelling. But, the 3-way fridge could run on 12v while in transit, keeping everything cold.

Newfangled large absorption refrigerators used in motorhomes are only designed as 2-way, propane or AC. So, I choose to use propane while in transit. Of course, if it's really hot and muggy outside, I'll run the genny to fire up the A/C, which will automatically power the refrigerator also. But the propane valve at the tank is still on.
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Old 05-06-2015, 07:05 PM   #20
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Yes, it makes sense... but I'll admit to forgetting to do it a time or two, with no fire or explosion

I really wonder IF anything bad has ever happened because of a fridge or WH trying to ignite.
I mean really, it can't be any different than some old beater car with leaky spark plug wires and all sorts of other misc sparking and short circuits, non explosion proof headlight switches, etc... firing up after a re-fuel stop..... and folks smoking and doing all sorts of things around gasoline...

I might be seriously concerned if my fridge or was located less than maybe 2ft away from the fuel fill port.... as it is, I do my best to comply with the advice since it "makes sense" but I'm not too worried.... especially if it's even a little bit windy to blow away the fumes and keep them dispersed....
FYI, there are numerous documented cases of gas station fires being started by the static electricity generated from folks getting in or out of their car while the nozzle was pumping gas in the tank.
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