Propane...

Discussion in 'General Community Discussions' started by gwbischoff, Aug 22, 2007.

  1. gwbischoff

    gwbischoff
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    Ok, common sense and most people (myself included) say not to run down the road with your propane on.

    Others are from the camp of "Awww shoot. You ain't gonna' hurt nuthin'".

    I always err on the side of caution, but it'd be nice to run the fridge during an 8 hour drive across the desert.

    So which is it?
     
  2. rodman

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    I don't know what the rule is but I have always run the tank on so the fridge stays cold. Esp like you said on a longer trip.

    As always just my opinion,
     
  3. pianotuna

    pianotuna
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    Hi,

    How about running an inverter and powering the fridge from that?

    QUOTE(gwbischoff @ Aug 22 2007, 07:00 PM) [snapback]8103[/snapback]

    Ok, common sense and most people (myself included) say not to run down the road with your propane on.

    Others are from the camp of "Awww shoot. You ain't gonna' hurt nuthin'".

    I always err on the side of caution, but it'd be nice to run the fridge during an 8 hour drive across the desert.

    So which is it?
     
  4. Texasrvers

    Texasrvers
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    We used to keep the propane on while we were going down the road in order to keep the fridge cold. But then we kept hearing horror stories which convinced us this was not the best thing to do. So now we do some other things to keep the food cold. Actually many times if it is not very hot and if we are not traveling very far we don't do anything. Items have stayed cold and/or frozen for 3-4 hours this way. If we have room we sometimes use the ice packs used in ice chests. We freeze them overnight and then put them in the fridge area right up against items that should remain cold (like mayo, milk, etc.) These have never fully thawed out even on long travel days. If you don't want to buy these ice packs you can freeze water in small plastic bottles and they work just as well. If it is really hot we run the generator which in turn runs the fridge. If it's this hot we usually run the the roof air also. Basically we just decided to play it on the safe side. Besides we never could remember to turn off the propane and fridge when we filled up with gas, and you are definitely supposed to do that. So now we don't have to worry about that either. Sorry pianotuna, I can't answer your question about using the inverter.
     
  5. Butch

    Butch
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    We have also heard the horror stories that relate to operating a refrigerator on propane. With our first rv, we did not even consider the possible dangers of running the refrigerator on propane while going down the road. After many conversations with others on the subject, i.e, various dealership personnel, rv'ers, and service/customer service personnel with the manufacturer's of both the refrigerator and the Rv, the majority stated," that the refrigerator was designed to be operated on propane while in transit". We have known of some, who operate their furnace while in transit. I draw the line on this one. We presently do use our refrigerator on propane while in motion, but one must make that decision in which they are most comfortable with.
     
  6. John Blue

    John Blue
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    In all our years of travel the only time propane is off is at "re-fill time". This happens about every two years or so, 47 gal. tank. Never had a problem, never talked to anyone who had one, and never found anyone who had a fire due to propane. Bad wiring in RV units will burn down more equipment than propane. In our bay the MH has vents system to let in air and vent gas out. Also has all copper pipes to each piece of equipment with cast iron manifold at tank. If system is build right you will never have a problem.
     
  7. Butch

    Butch
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    John Blue,

    Have to agree with you, but we were talking to a couple from New Jersey, who related this information to us. They were in their motorhome on an expressway, heading north from Florida, and was about to pass a 5th wheeler. For some unknown reason they delayed the passing, and BOOM ! The refrigerator exploded, blew the side of the rv out, and the contents of the refrigerator followed all over the highway. This is of course all hearsay, second hand info, but definitely makes one think as to what could happen.
     
  8. rodman

    rodman
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    This is all new to me. I have never heard any stories. Are you guy's talking about motorhomes or trailers. I have been pulling a TT for a little over 10 years and never heard anything.

    Thanks for the information
     
  9. sparky

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    well I have had 2 campers and now I am on my 4th motorhome logging almost 200,ooo miles and "always" leave the propane on---except when fueling and I have "never" had a problem
    sparky in Virginia
    :) :)
     
  10. Texasrvers

    Texasrvers
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    I can't say if the stories we heard were about motor homes (which we have) or travel trailers, or if they were even true for that matter. They were just some of those stories that float around like urban legends. If I recall, though, at least one had to do with the propane lines that jarred loose from road vibration and then a spark somehow ignited the propane and boom. Another involved not turning off the propane at a gas station (which we were bad about) and again a spark somehow ignited the propane or the gasoline or both and boom again. I was very glad to hear from Butch that the refrigerator and RV manufacturers say they are designed to be run on propane while in transit so that if we ever have to use it while we're traveling it will probably be safe. However, we have gotten so used to not using the propane when moving we probably won't start now.
     
  11. Big Ben

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    Twelve years of full timing we have never had a problem running the propane on the road. I would think if there were a real problem , there would be laws against doing it or at least recommendations from the manufacture not to do it.
     
  12. mastercraft

    mastercraft
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    I run with mine on, I just turn it off when refuelling. A friend of mine did experience a problem with the propane on, but the propane was not the problem. He got into an accident where a large bus passed him at a high rate of speed. He ended up flipping the travel trailer and vehicle. The interstate was closed for 4-5 hours while Haz Mat turned the propane off. This is the only case I personally know of that having the propane on turned into a dangerous situation. With as many members that this site has, you would think that if running with the propane on is dangerous, someone would have a personal experience.
     
  13. RLM

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    I've never turned off the propane on my 04 motorhome when moving. Neither the water heater or stove have pilot flames and the propone won't ignite until the electric starters are engaged.

    I even wonder if a flame is needed to make a fridge cold when operating on propane. I cannot hear the sound of propane igniting as it does when the water heater is on.

    So, if there is no flame from the heater or fridge then it would not seem a hazard issue when refueling. Propane fumes by themselves can't ignite fuel fumes inherent at a gas station.

    This is a good safety topic that needs a definative answer. Perhaps from the manufacturer or a certified RV technician.
     
  14. mastercraft

    mastercraft
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    RLM,
    On my 5th wheel and both travel trailers I owned the propane did ignite from the outside. There is not a pilot light, but that ignition could ignite gasoline fumes or so they say. If the ignitor ignites the propane close enough to gas fumes, then I suppose a disaster could occur.
     
  15. dmsscs

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    We always travel with the gas on the fridge, we were told that as long as the fridge was level for 24 hours before we turned it on, we could travel with the gas on, no problem. We have been doing it in our last two motor homes. I haven't heard any horror stories, yet. We sit around a lot of campfires, I'd think some one would have mentioned it by now!
     
  16. John Blue

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    One more update, we do shut down refrigerator if we are in RV side of fuel pits (Flying-J) due to gas vapors around pumps. This only happens one or two times a year. We always use the truck diesel pumps and drop off tow to fill it up with gas if we can. You have a very small fire in ref. burner (if it is cooling) and that could start a fire at gas pumps.

    Disaster telling will be around forever, like RV person making coffee on the I-5 in LA.
     
  17. Onemoretrail

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    I shut the propane off when travelling due to concerns about what if my motorhome does get in an accident or what if I forget to turn it off when refueling. My better half feels safer in any event. We use freezer packs which usually keep the fridge cold enough as long as no one keeps opening up the fridge. Even if it does get too hot, then I use the 12 volt selection in the fridge and shut if off immediately when the motorhome is shut down. Believe me that does not happen too happen up here! :rolleyes:
     
  18. cathycamping

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    We purchased our first camper (a 38' 5th wheel) last August, the dealer told us that the fridge was meant to run on propane while in transit. We usually don't if we are going on short trips, but our trip from Wisconsin to South Dakota we did. Although I did freeze food to use as "ice blocks" with some food that we did put in a cooler. It was nice to be able to have an ice cold beverage once we were done driving and set up everything up.

    I have never heard of blow-ups during travel. It might be an urban legend. I guess if its going to blow up, it will blow up no matter where you are (in transit, or parked)l.
     
  19. riggarob

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    Hi all. The only time I turn mine off, is when we go thru the Cheasapeak(sp) bay/bridge tunnel , when crossing the Cheasapeak bay. Called them before we headed that way, and it was the only thing that they told us we had to do before crossing. Other than that, as you all well know, the fridge automatically swiches to what ever power source you are on. :)






















     
  20. John Blue

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    I found this data in FMCA dated June 2007 on RV fires.

    Roughly 70% of motorhome fires are in engine compartment due to coolant and fuel leaks. Another 20% can be attributed to tires and service brake (over heat) problems. So only about 10% of coach fires can be caused by other means. Less that 1% are due to propane problems.

    So the bottom line is to keep your coolant and fuel hoses in good shape, and yes coolant will burn, water will dry out in a second and (ethylene glycol) will burn. Also keep a check on air pressure in tires (over heat). All this information is good for towing trucks as well as motorhomes. :p
     

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