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Travelling With Propane On ? Safe / Dangerous Or Ok?


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#16 clairemr1

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Posted 22 December 2015 - 11:12 AM

    the towing instructions that came with my new trailer say to tow with fridge in DC mode. i mostly do it that way, although i experimented with towing with propane briefly this summer. towing with fridge in DC mode for me has not affected the temp inside the fridge or my batteries in nearly 2 years. others tow with fridge on propane and have suffered no ill effects. i think it's fine either way, just do what you like and enjoy your trip................


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#17 Wally Z

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Posted 22 December 2015 - 11:29 AM

    the towing instructions that came with my new trailer say to tow with fridge in DC mode. i mostly do it that way, although i experimented with towing with propane briefly this summer. towing with fridge in DC mode for me has not affected the temp inside the fridge or my batteries in nearly 2 years. others tow with fridge on propane and have suffered no ill effects. i think it's fine either way, just do what you like and enjoy your trip................

Maybe there's a difference with the 13ft. and the 17ft. refrigerators and the load they put on the same battery.  Maybe this should be a poll so we can see how many use DC with each refrigerator size.  I'm guessing they have different size heating elements and controls. 


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#18 clairemr1

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Posted 22 December 2015 - 11:34 AM

i bet you're right, wally. that could acct for the drop in refrigerator temps and drain on the batteries that some owners experience when towing with fridges in DC mode. the fridges are the same in the 13 and 16 ft trailers, so i'm thinking the 16 fters might not experience the ill effects of towing in DC mode either. just a guess of course.................i like your idea of a poll


Edited by clairemr1, 22 December 2015 - 03:41 PM.

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#19 borderbrae

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Posted 22 December 2015 - 12:32 PM

A lot of the difference between successfully towing with the fridge in DC mode and towing using the propane is in the TV wiring. If the TV wiring is minimal gauge wiring it can't conduct enough electricity to the trailer's battery to replace the amount of juice the fridge is taking out of it when running on DC. Some guys have replaced their TV's wiring and now tow with the fridge on DC. Some vehicles come equipped with wiring that can support the DC operation from the get-go. I tried it with my truck and it wasn't good so I run the fridge on propane. It isn't a big enough deal for me that I'm going to replace the wiring, to some it is a piece of cake and a simple job so they do it. 


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#20 MGD

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Posted 22 December 2015 - 12:56 PM

I tow with the propane on. I usually shut if off when I pull into a gas station. I've probably forgotten to do that once or twice. I've towed across Oregon several times, and never been asked by the attendants (Oregon is full-service only) whether my propane is on or to shut it off. I usually pull in so that my TV is under the canopy and the Casita is sticking out. I concur with CCJohn on this one. I'm not worried about a rupture when on the road; my primary concern would be having a small leak which could create a hazard at a fueling station. If you have a rupture during an accident, the tank's OPV system should mitigate all but the worst circumstances, and if they occur, you have worse problems than a couple of gallons of propane.

 

Some states require that propane be extinguished in tunnels. This has all been hashed out multiple times on both forums.


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#21 clairemr1

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Posted 22 December 2015 - 02:52 PM

    a google search of propane fires in rvs reveals some interesting articles and info. according to "www.macthefireguy", a 35 year firefighter/paramedic with masters degree in fire safety from the state of oregon, the safest travel procedure is to travel with fridge in DC mode, if available. if no DC mode is available or if your wiring or fridge do not support travelling in DC mode, while travelling with propane on to fridge, turn off fridge before pulling in to gas stations. rv fires due to propane can and do occur and there are some documented cases of rvs destroying gas stations as well as the rv as a result of having propane on while refueling. a few months back, a casita member, whose name escapes me just now,posted pics of gas stations/rvs destroyed as a result of propane explosions. some gas stations and some tunnels have signs that ask that propane be turned off before entering.

    it's good to remember too that our LP detectors have about a 5 year lifespan and should be replaced after that time frame. i've also read that it's prudent to have a rv tech check the propane system regularly to detect and correct any leaks.

    whichever way you chose to travel while powering the fridge, there are safe ways to do it both with DC mode and with propane. safe travels to all


Edited by clairemr1, 22 December 2015 - 04:16 PM.

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#22 CC-John

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Posted 22 December 2015 - 03:32 PM

 

    the towing instructions that came with my new trailer say to tow with fridge in DC mode. i mostly do it that way, although i experimented with towing with propane briefly this summer. towing with fridge in DC mode for me has not affected the temp inside the fridge or my batteries in nearly 2 years. others tow with fridge on propane and have suffered no ill effects. i think it's fine either way, just do what you like and enjoy your trip................

Maybe there's a difference with the 13ft. and the 17ft. refrigerators and the load they put on the same battery.  Maybe this should be a poll so we can see how many use DC with each refrigerator size.  I'm guessing they have different size heating elements and controls. 

 

 

There's a big difference...

 

The 13' & 16' Casitas have a fridge that is about half the size of the one in the 17' models.. The smaller fridges have lower BTU gas burners and lower wattage heating elements than the larger fridges do, therefore they don't pull as many amps on DC as their larger brethren..

 

Comparing the DC power consumption of the fridge in the 13'/16' models to the one installed in the 17' models is comparing apples to oranges..


Edited by CC-John, 22 December 2015 - 03:35 PM.

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#23 clairemr1

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Posted 22 December 2015 - 03:37 PM

    thanks, john, please read posts 17 and 18 above, already figured that one out


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#24 CC-John

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Posted 22 December 2015 - 04:04 PM

    thanks, john, please read posts 17 and 18 above, already figured that one out

 

You may have come to that conclusion on your own, but I spelled it out for anyone else that reads thru this thread.. ;)


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#25 thetravelkids

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 06:30 AM

My Bride and I have traveled around 250,000 miles in RV's...a Class C MH, 2 Class A diesel pushers, our Casita, our Element, two rental units in Hawaii (one Class C, one Class A), and six trips in South Africa in rental Class C MH's.

Other than going through some tunnels and being on a ferry (U.S. Coast Guard mandated) , we have run with our propane on.

Rather than a poll about who runs with their propane on or off, how about a poll of those that have been involved in an accident? Did they have their propane on or off? Was there an explosion?

I would think that would be far more informative than just a poll who runs with their propane on or off.


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#26 MGD

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 10:00 AM

Final analysis: do whatever you want. That's what the rest of us will be doing.


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#27 clover

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 12:01 PM

I've run with the propane on while traveling. It stays on at home as well. I've even refilled the lawn mower with gas when it ran out right next to the Casita. 

 

The video I think Claire is referring to was a motor home that started on fire from some other reason and not because of the propane fridge. 

 

Clover


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#28 clairemr1

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 08:03 PM

I've run with the propane on while traveling. It stays on at home as well. I've even refilled the lawn mower with gas when it ran out right next to the Casita. 

 

The video I think Claire is referring to was a motor home that started on fire from some other reason and not because of the propane fridge. 

 

Clover

no, another casita member posted on here several months ago about news reports of travel trailers/rvs exploding and destroying gas stations as a result of propane being on at the time of refueling. i can't recall the casita member's name at the moment, maybe he'll chime in again and refresh my memory.

    also please refer to posting # 21, and read what a fire expert recommends as the safest mode to travel in. bottom line, as we've said many times, do what you want to do. some travel with fridge on propane because it's either convenient for them or their wiring from the tow vehicle doesn't support proper fridge functioning. i've towed with both DC mode and with propane. however, i predominantly tow with fridge on DC mode, along with several other casita owners who have posted on here, because 1. it's what my fridge manual advises me to do 2. my tow vehicle wiring supports the fridge without any decrease in my battery or lowered fridge temp. 3. i feel it's the safer way to travel. my choice. pick yours and go with it. safe travels


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#29 Wally Z

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 10:24 AM

The safest way not to have an accident with your trailer is to stay at home. :rofl:


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#30 clairemr1

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 10:28 AM

    LOL, wally, and you know that ain't gonna happen!!!


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