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Old 08-30-2017, 01:31 AM   #1
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Frig on while traveling

Taking our first camping trip in our 17 ace. Is it ok to travel with the frig running on propane? Will be on some 4 lane mountain roads was concerned about level. Thanks
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Old 08-30-2017, 01:34 AM   #2
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It will be fine, while driving its level as much as it isn't, it all averages out.
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Old 08-30-2017, 01:38 AM   #3
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Oooh boy you're opening up a can of worms with this question LOL.

The system is designed to work while underway. You don't really have to worry about being level as the coach is bouncing around enough to keep the ammonia flowing.

Many people use the fridge on propane while underway without issue (us included). There are some things to think about though: Using it on propane means the propane valve is open so if you get in an accident you'll have a possible leak (and fire). You also should turn off the fridge when you stop for gas as there is an open flame in there.

Having said that: You can simply cool down the fridge and then turn it off. It will stay cold for many hours while you travel without having to have it run. Another option is to run the generator to provide 120V (and possibly A/C for your comfort) while you travel.

Many things to think about...
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Old 08-30-2017, 01:46 AM   #4
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Our refrigerator is powered by the inverter, so unless I switch it to LP it continues to run on 120 volts while underway. If I park for any period of time, I switch it to LP. While driving, of course, the vehicles alternator keeps the house batteries charged.
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Old 08-30-2017, 02:12 AM   #5
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Set the fridge to "auto" & let it do it's thing. As for the accident worry, you have propane onboard whether you're running the fridge or not, along with gasoline or diesel fuel. A safety note, try disconnecting your propane at the tank or bottle & open the valve, you'll find it doesn't flow due to a safety valve in the tank, also when opening the valve on the tank/bottle do it slowly or the safety valve will shut down flow.
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Old 08-30-2017, 02:15 AM   #6
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Have had the rig for only a couple weeks and my hair has burst into flames on at least three occasions. So there's enough juice from the alternator to run the frig and still maintain the house batteries? I apologize for my ignorance but I don't want to make a mistake and ruin something. A big investment for a couple of old folks.
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Old 08-30-2017, 02:22 AM   #7
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Thanks to everyone for the guidance. On Friday we will either be looking forward to our next trip or have a for sale sign on the rig. But I think we will be just fine.
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Old 08-30-2017, 03:15 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Steamboat View Post
Thanks to everyone for the guidance. On Friday we will either be looking forward to our next trip or have a for sale sign on the rig. But I think we will be just fine.
Hey Steamboat, I just traveled from Arkansas to Petersburg, WV and back with many drinks and food in the fridge running on propane the whole trip. No problems and tank level still on full. It uses very little propane for fridge. Went in through the Allegheny mountains, whew! Just as bad as remembered.
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Old 08-30-2017, 04:00 AM   #9
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Traveled from SoCal to Yellowstone to NW Montana and back to SoCal with the refrigerator on Auto. Smooth sailing.
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Old 08-30-2017, 10:36 AM   #10
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We always cool our fridge/freezer down on shore power, usually turning it on the day before we leave on a trip. This gives it a 'head start' on the cooling process. As already suggested, just set it on 'Auto' and forget it.
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Old 08-30-2017, 10:49 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Blackjeepjk View Post
Hey Steamboat, I just traveled from Arkansas to Petersburg, WV and back with many drinks and food in the fridge running on propane the whole trip. No problems and tank level still on full. It uses very little propane for fridge. Went in through the Allegheny mountains, whew! Just as bad as remembered.


Thanks for the post . We're heading over the Alleghenies too heading to Harpers Ferry WV from home in Clarksburg. This is our shake-down cruise and will run the frig on propane. Question, we have a red Jeep jk that we will be our toad, if you flat tow yours (if standard tranny) do you leave it in gear?
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Old 08-30-2017, 11:31 AM   #12
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Not concerned about being unlevel being concerned about the gas being on. Had a issue last year traveling On I95 ran over debris kicked up bent drive shaft and tore propane line but was not on just think what could of happened. I run my generator to keep refigerator cool
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Old 08-30-2017, 01:40 PM   #13
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When you get above 5,000 ft, the frig won't operate reliably on propane. The Norcold book says to use the generator for reliable cooling above 5,000 ft elevation. Ours won't relight above 4,500 ft.
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Old 08-30-2017, 02:37 PM   #14
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When you get above 5,000 ft, the frig won't operate reliably on propane. The Norcold book says to use the generator for reliable cooling above 5,000 ft elevation. Ours won't relight above 4,500 ft.
So if I'm camping in Denver my fridge won't run on propane? What about your furnace at those elevations where you will need it? Mine must be flawed, it's ran just fine all across this great country border to border coast to coast high & low. Turn to "auto" & worry about something of greater importance.
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Old 08-30-2017, 02:52 PM   #15
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I'm in the "it will be fine" camp...
there is a factor to consider though....

The whole thing about operating it out of level is about increased boiler temperature. When the ammonia can't run back down into the boiler to complete the cycle the temps go up. The fridge sitting off level can prevent the return of ammonia.

So, when the temps go up it destroys the chemicals inside the thing that protect against internal corrosion. Corrosion can mean eventual leaks...and potential fire.

When driving up hill it's off level....so the boiler temps can increase theoretically to danger levels. Appearently it doesn't take long.

I have a controller installed on mine that monitors the temp and shuts it down till it cools. Sadly I was having electrical noise interference and it wasn't working properly for a while and I didn't know it, but I recently upgraded my unit and relocated the controller to inside the coach so I can keep an eye on it. I wish I had mounted the previous one inside so that i had better info re. what sort of temp increases I have experienced real world from driving up and down mountains.... As of now I really don't know...

I've heard some folks theorize that while driving sitting off level may not be the same as parking off level since the motions help the fluids to run back down into the boiler.... I don't know..seems plausible....maybe....

More info than you probably ever wanted to know about these fridges can be found here
https://www.arprv.com/
I'm not affiliated with this outfit...just a customer. I will say that Paul the owner is very responsive and helpful.
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Old 08-30-2017, 03:33 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Steamboat View Post
Have had the rig for only a couple weeks and my hair has burst into flames on at least three occasions. So there's enough juice from the alternator to run the frig and still maintain the house batteries? I apologize for my ignorance but I don't want to make a mistake and ruin something. A big investment for a couple of old folks.
We are old...and have been doing this for a long time....
regarding the refrig....when Ron hooks up in the driveway in prep for a trip, usually a day or so ahead of departure...he turns the refrig on automatic. Granted, in the driveway it is on Lynx to level it...driving down the road it is on automatic (using propane)...therefore, when we stop and hook up to power at an RV campsite, the refrig automatically senses the change and goes elec.

Feel free to ask any question you might have....many have differing opinions and we feel it is never to late to learn a new trick !!

Happy Camping !

Kay
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Old 08-31-2017, 12:36 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steamboat View Post
Thanks for the post . We're heading over the Alleghenies too heading to Harpers Ferry WV from home in Clarksburg. This is our shake-down cruise and will run the frig on propane. Question, we have a red Jeep jk that we will be our toad, if you flat tow yours (if standard tranny) do you leave it in gear?
Mine is a 2015 jk and yes I flat tow everywhere. About 6,000 miles to date on this one. Transfer case in neutral and tranny in gear or park. Key in your coach or pocket.
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Old 08-31-2017, 12:55 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by vkb View Post
We are old...and have been doing this for a long time....
regarding the refrig....when Ron hooks up in the driveway in prep for a trip, usually a day or so ahead of departure...he turns the refrig on automatic. Granted, in the driveway it is on Lynx to level it...driving down the road it is on automatic (using propane)...therefore, when we stop and hook up to power at an RV campsite, the refrig automatically senses the change and goes elec.

Feel free to ask any question you might have....many have differing opinions and we feel it is never to late to learn a new trick !!

Happy Camping !

Kay
I'm old too, been doing this a long time. I set my fridge on auto and have never had a problem. While traveling the rocking motion compensates for the fridge not being level, and unless you are going up and down some really steep grades the fridge will never be that far out of level.
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Old 08-31-2017, 01:50 AM   #19
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Thanks for all the input and recommendations. Ran the frig on propane and it began cooling right away. Switched to shore power at campsite and have ice cubes ready to use. Not everything went that well. Connected city water, opened the faucets to purge air and when I turned the spigot on, water began running onto the coach floor and down into the dumping bay. Extended slide and and found drain from the sink had pulled apart and water was running onto slide floor. Was able to reach up through bottom of slide and push drain back together. Temporary fix for now will have to figure out how get access for permanent fix.
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Old 08-31-2017, 09:55 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Steamboat View Post
Thanks for all the input and recommendations. Ran the frig on propane and it began cooling right away. Switched to shore power at campsite and have ice cubes ready to use. Not everything went that well. Connected city water, opened the faucets to purge air and when I turned the spigot on, water began running onto the coach floor and down into the dumping bay. Extended slide and and found drain from the sink had pulled apart and water was running onto slide floor. Was able to reach up through bottom of slide and push drain back together. Temporary fix for now will have to figure out how get access for permanent fix.
One thing for sure...when a person/couple has an RV, if you are not a 'HANDY' person...you soon will be ! Good luck with your plumbing problem !
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