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Traveling with Propane on

Surgtech94
Explorer
Explorer
Do you travel with the propane on to run the refrigerator? What safety measures need to be taken? We haven’t been traveling more then 1 1/2 hours from home, so our fridge hasn’t cooled down much, but planning on some longer trips. Thanks In Advance
66 REPLIES 66

bikendan
Explorer
Explorer
Have been traveling with the fridge on propane for the past 30 years, with 4 different trailers.
Do leave it on electric during the night before and switch to propane when we leave.
Dan- Firefighter, Retired:C, Shawn- Musician/Entrepreneur:W, Zoe- Faithful Golden Retriever(RIP:(), 2014 Ford F150 3.5 EcoboostMax Tow pkg, 2016 PrimeTime TracerAIR 255 w/4pt Equalizer and 5 Mtn. bikes and 2 Road bikes

bikendan
Explorer
Explorer
steveh27 wrote:
I precool my 3way fridge on electric then drive with it on 12volt. When I get where I'm going I will turn it to propane. If I need to get gas I turn it off at the fridge, gas up, and when out of the gas station will ignite the propane back on.


Very few RVs have 3-way fridges, usually only popups, A-frames and truck campers.
Dan- Firefighter, Retired:C, Shawn- Musician/Entrepreneur:W, Zoe- Faithful Golden Retriever(RIP:(), 2014 Ford F150 3.5 EcoboostMax Tow pkg, 2016 PrimeTime TracerAIR 255 w/4pt Equalizer and 5 Mtn. bikes and 2 Road bikes

time2roll
Nomad
Nomad
valhalla360 wrote:
Of course, if that's the case, it has a ventilation system so the heavier than air CO2 doesn't build up...not to mention vehicles cruising at 30-60mph will move a surprising amount of air.

Mostly, it's a CYA.
I think it is caution for if there is a wreck. All traffic could be stopped and blocked with propane leaking.

rlw999
Explorer
Explorer
BB_TX wrote:
Theoretically there is a very slight chance that while filling up your and your RV was sitting next to a gas pump and the refrigerator vent panel was very near that gas pump hose as it was pumping gas and the wind was exactly right to lift the heavier than air gas fumes up and blow those into the refrigerator vent and the refrigerator was currently cooling and the fumes reached the burner, then yes, a fire is possible.


And it's not just your own pump you need to worry about, the guy on the other side of your RV might have tipped over the 5 gallon can he's filling, causing a pool of gasoline under your RV.

I saw that happen once, fortunately, he was on the other side of the pump island so the pool of gas didn't reach me, as soon as I saw it happen, I stopped pumping, pressed the call button on the pump to tell the store clerk, and moved my RV away from the island.

valhalla360
Nomad III
Nomad III
time2roll wrote:
ford truck guy wrote:
I went in and an inspector came out with their yellow and orange rain coat and clip board to WATCH me turn OFF the propane at each bottle..

did that, was good to go, merged into traffic and 1/8 to 1/4 mile later I was OUT of the tunnel :S
The tunnel has a dip that can collect the heavier than air propane.


Of course, if that's the case, it has a ventilation system so the heavier than air CO2 doesn't build up...not to mention vehicles cruising at 30-60mph will move a surprising amount of air.

Mostly, it's a CYA.
Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
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Michelle_S
Explorer II
Explorer II
When we had our TT and a Gasser TV, I would just pop inside and turn the fridge to OFF quicker and easier than turning both tanks off.
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CA_Traveler
Explorer III
Explorer III
Surgtech94 wrote:
Thank you everyone for the information. Yes, forgot our fridge was Automatic. But I believe I have to turn propane on and light stove to make sure propane is flowing to fridge? How do I know if fridge ignited on propane? TY
For a short fuel stop it should not be necessary to light the stove. But can be helpful to purge any air after storage.

My refer has a error light if it's not working on AC or propane. I can hear the noise when outside when the propane is lit but after a fuel stop the refer may not need immediate cooling.
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Bob

dedmiston
Moderator
Moderator
Surgtech94 wrote:
Thank you everyone for the information. Yes, forgot our fridge was Automatic. But I believe I have to turn propane on and light stove to make sure propane is flowing to fridge? How do I know if fridge ignited on propane? TY


You should hear it flow and then a slight "whoosh" when it ignites. Also, your fridge should show an alarm if it doesn't ignite within a few seconds.

If I don't hear the fridge ignite right away, then I turn on a stove burner and then retry.

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mdcamping
Explorer
Explorer
I leave the propane on when fueling up at gas stations, ferry or tunnels I will shut the propane off.

Mike
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time2roll
Nomad
Nomad
ford truck guy wrote:
I went in and an inspector came out with their yellow and orange rain coat and clip board to WATCH me turn OFF the propane at each bottle..

did that, was good to go, merged into traffic and 1/8 to 1/4 mile later I was OUT of the tunnel :S
The tunnel has a dip that can collect the heavier than air propane.

Surgtech94
Explorer
Explorer
Thank you everyone for the information. Yes, forgot our fridge was Automatic. But I believe I have to turn propane on and light stove to make sure propane is flowing to fridge? How do I know if fridge ignited on propane? TY

fj12ryder
Explorer II
Explorer II
pasusan wrote:
I actually don't turn it off when fueling and never have... But - I just posted this picture in another thread and look at what it says:



Danger!
Yeah, I think that falls under the CYA label. 🙂
Howard and Peggy

"Don't Panic"

valhalla360
Nomad III
Nomad III
If your in a MH and the fuel fill is right next to the fridge or hot water heater vents, I might consider it. But honestly, I can't recall every spraying gasoline outside the vehicle and modern systems largely capture the fumes anyway.

But since it's the sparks that are a concern, do you disconnect and shut down the 12v system before you pull into a gas station...of wait, you can drive with the 12v system shut off. Unless you've replaced your alternator and starter with a marine spark protection...there will be plenty of sparks if there are any fumes.

Of course, out in the open air, it might startle you a bit but is unlikely to do much more. Kind of like too much lighter fluid on the campfire. You get a big whoosh but not much else. Explosions require the fuel/oxygen mixture to be contained.
Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV

thomasmnile
Explorer
Explorer
Wasn't a propane fridge but......


For those who can never get enough of "Florida Man" stories.....:E

Martyn
Nomad
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