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Old 05-09-2019, 02:03 AM   #1
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generator use

What are your thoughts on running the generator to cool refrigerator while on the road? My refrig is good for about 5 hours before getting too warm. Is it okay to run the generator while underway?


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Old 05-09-2019, 02:26 AM   #2
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Run it on GAS (propane). That's what it's there for.
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Old 05-09-2019, 10:14 AM   #3
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I run my generator all the time while on the road. Not only for the frig. but run your AC as well. For long drives 5+ hours we also have the slow cooker on with ribs.
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Old 05-09-2019, 10:17 AM   #4
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Residential Fridge?
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Old 05-09-2019, 11:19 AM   #5
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Run it.
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Old 05-09-2019, 12:16 PM   #6
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What are your thoughts on running the generator to cool refrigerator while on the road? My refrig is good for about 5 hours before getting too warm. Is it okay to run the generator while underway?


2017 Thor Quantum RS26, Cummins 4000 generator.
Yes itís OK to run generator while underway. However, if you plan to run it solely to power an absorption fridge on 120V electricity, it doesnít make much sense. A generator will use a lot more fuel than the propane option, will require more maintenance, is noisier, etc.

Are you concerned having the propane on for fridge? Iím not, but know some RVers are. That would be one of the only reasons to allow the fridge to get warm over hours of travel.
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Old 05-09-2019, 12:23 PM   #7
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For units with the gas fridge, some have installed an inverter off the batteries, near the fridge, that will power it without having to use LP or run generator...if you don't need the generator already for A/C while underway. Most units with the residential fridge have an inverter already in place. This would give you another power option for other 120V things while traveling as well.
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Old 05-09-2019, 12:27 PM   #8
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If you have a residential Fridge: it depends...
(You might have other options...)
If you have an absorption Fridge: it's actually not necessary... but perfectly okay.
(Back to the residential Fridge...)
Since they run on 120 volt power: the generator is certainly a good option...
But if your Fridge is wired to run from your inverter: it might run on battery power also.
(might run: not will run!)
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Old 05-09-2019, 12:50 PM   #9
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Any unit with a residential fridge has an inverter as standard and it will auto switch over when not on shore or generator power...unless the store switch is off.


justcurious...are you still out there?


Is you fridge LP/120V or strictly a residential fridge?...we're running out of firewood waiting and Bob has to pee.
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Old 05-09-2019, 12:52 PM   #10
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... And you won't be using THAT pile of firewood...

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Old 05-09-2019, 01:05 PM   #11
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Absorption fridges when on 120V consume in the order of 300 Watts if I recall correctly, depending on model and size. Powering from a small inverter while pulling roughly 30 Amps from alternator seems preferable than running a 4,000-Watt generator for 300 Watts, which is essentially idling. Propane is more efficient, but I agree small inverter while driving is better than generator (if only powering fridge) for those who donít want to use propane.
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Old 05-09-2019, 01:13 PM   #12
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If your route includes any tunnels: leave the propane off.
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Old 05-09-2019, 05:43 PM   #13
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Running Gen Underway

I called THOR and asked about running the generator underway for the fridge and they recommended doing that as apposed to using propane to power the fridge..

I still use propane on the road and not the generator but now I now know I can run the generator while traveling if I elect to do that. I agree that using the generator underway uses more propane compared to running the fridge off propane with the generator off.

I had an issue with the fridge overheating on the road which is why I called THOR. Turns out, my issue was unplugging from shore power and the fridge not changing to propane as it should have in auto mode. Now, I always check to make sure it jumps over to propane when I unplug, Have not had any issues with warm fridge since then.

One more thing. The generator manual says to run the generator for at least two hours a month to keep it in good operating condition. I do run the generator underway just to make sure it gets frequent use and does not sit for long stretches unused. We often make trips that do not require the use of the generator so running it underway every month is good to maintain the generator (based on what I read in Cummings manual).
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Old 05-09-2019, 05:57 PM   #14
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Many on this Forum run the generator, while underway, to run the AC when traveling in summer hot weather.

Yes, your MPGs are slightly affected.
But it keeps the rear of the coach cool.
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Old 05-09-2019, 06:24 PM   #15
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I agree that using the generator underway uses more propane compared to running the fridge off propane with the generator off.
I'm curious - - Your generator runs on propane ? Most run on whatever fuel the MH uses, gasoline or diesel.
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Old 05-09-2019, 06:43 PM   #16
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I called THOR and asked about running the generator underway for the fridge and they recommended doing that as apposed to using propane to power the fridge..
I wonder what their recommendation would be for RVs that don't have a generator? Like..... all travel trailers and 5th wheels.
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Old 05-09-2019, 08:06 PM   #17
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......cut.....

One more thing. The generator manual says to run the generator for at least two hours a month to keep it in good operating condition. I do run the generator underway just to make sure it gets frequent use and does not sit for long stretches unused. We often make trips that do not require the use of the generator so running it underway every month is good to maintain the generator (based on what I read in Cummings manual).
Does your manual say anything about power level during generator exercising? Mine recommended about 50%, or roughly 2,000 Watts. My old and inefficient A/C was good enough. Iíd have some concern running only the refrigerator for long periods.
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Old 05-09-2019, 11:54 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by 16ACE27 View Post
I wonder what their recommendation would be for RVs that don't have a generator? Like..... all travel trailers and 5th wheels.


Iím quite sure itís ok to use propane for the fridgedairy while traveling but I think itís not ideal from a safety standpoint. I mean to run mine on the inverter when I can with propane being the option of last resort. Sure the risk of a fire is small but if you have a choice why not use it? Plus you wonít get a ticket from the tunnel police when you donít remember to turn off the propane valve.
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Old 05-10-2019, 05:03 PM   #19
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I run with propane powering the fridge as much as possible, I only turn on the generator if I need roof AC's.

Interesting how afraid some folks are of propane when they are driving a box made by the lowest bidder carrying 80 gallons of unleaded. To each his own.
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Old 05-10-2019, 05:11 PM   #20
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I wonder what their recommendation would be for RVs that don't have a generator? Like..... all travel trailers and 5th wheels.

Most trailers have 2-Ways with LP or 12V...some even have 3-Way including 120V. The tow vehicle keeps the batteries charged in the trailer while underway. With the previous TT, I would use 12V while underway, then switch over to gas once at the destination. LP cools better than 12V.
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