Figuring out power: Furnace, Fridge, etc

Discussion in 'First Time & New Camper Owners' started by SimonSenz, Jun 19, 2019.

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  1. SimonSenz

    SimonSenz Member

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    Hi Everyone,
    We are getting ready for our first trip with the new PUP - 30 days on the road with about 10+ stops mostly at RV parks with power. We have only used the PUP once thus far. Excited.

    Please correct me if I am wrong:
    - The fridge can run on propane, the 12v battery, or the electricity from the camp?
    - The furnace runs from the battery or from the electric?
    - The AC only runs when hooked to the electric? (We have a unit in the roof.)

    I am planning to run the fridge on propane while on the road (although my wife has asked me to show her some articles that this is common practice).

    Would love any feedback.
    Thanks.
     
  2. HappyTraveler

    HappyTraveler Active Member

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    Not positive and not knowing what kind of furnace you have, but think that runs on propane. Maybe battery and/or electric if there's a fan to blow the hot air, but not to heat with, that's the propane.
    AC is electric only.
    Fridge, if it's a 3-way will run on all 3 supplies you mention. Not sure about running it on propane while driving; maybe you can run it off the battery while driving.
    We're new to pupping, so still learning about this stuff too.

    Have fun on your trip!
     
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  3. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, fridge runs on all. Some dont like to use propane while driving, others do. 12 volt for the fridge isnt great. ( a good cooler might be worth it) furnace is ellectric 12 volts for the fan and propane to keep it hot. It will run off the 110 hook up as well. Ac is ellectric hook up only, as is the outlets. If you have power at the sites, you might want to get a smaller ellectric heater. They work well in the pup and will not use up the propane. All the 12 volt suff can run off battery or the electeical hook up at the site. Pop it up in the driveway for a bit and tinker around with stuff, thats a long trip to figure stuff out on. Have fun!
     
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  4. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

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    You might want to check to see if you can run the fridge on propane while driving. I know our pup cannot. Also, if you can run it on propane make sure to turn it off before pulling into a gas station...bad things could happen!! As for running it on 12V, check to see if your setup to do that. Not all tow vehicles are wired for that.
     
  5. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Active Member

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    At freeway speeds, 65mph; our frig flame would not stay lit
     
  6. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Active Member

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    Definitely sort this stuff out in the driveway before your trip And even then, you can get a surprise (our propane frig is ineffective in hot weather such as 100 Deg F in Nevada).
     
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  7. Nicole721

    Nicole721 Member

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    Can't help you on any questions; I make sure everything is packed and DH does all the "stuff" to make sure we have an operational camper.
    But I just wanted to say, wow ambitious first long trip. Hope you have a great time and do a trip report on everything you did. Safe travels.
     
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  8. GalsofEscape

    GalsofEscape Active Member

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    ours stayed lit..but when we ran the fridge on battery, it would drain the battery- so that may depend on the OP's camper whether or not his stays lit or if he can run the fridge all day on the 12V.
     
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  9. SimonSenz

    SimonSenz Member

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    Thanks everyone. Yes. Big trip for a first. We had hoped to do a couple more local weekends but life did not allow for that. The camper was a gift from Make a Wish foundation so that we could get my daughter to a family event out West. We are going for it. All five of us. When the guys gave us the camper, getting our car rigged for the hook up took a really long time so the tutorial was a bit rushed. He did say we could run the fridge while on the road. Let's hope it works. Thanks for the tip on the gas stations. I read that as well. We joined RVTripWizard and planned out the journey. Let's hope it all goes as planned.

    So - for the furnace to work, I just need to light the pilot? The switches for 12v, 120v are just for the fridge?
    Thanks for the tip on the heater. That is a great idea. I have one of those small furnace type portable ones in my basement. Perhaps something smaller would do?
     
  10. Annunzi

    Annunzi Member

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    I personally would not run the fridge on propane while driving, on open flame and gas is not something I want to risk.

    We plug the trailer in a day before our trip and run the fridge on 120v to cool it down. Then when we leave, we turn the fridge off and throw a couple ice packs in the fridge to keep it cool.

    Our furnace doesn't have a pilot light, it lights automatically and is controlled by a thermostat as long as the propane tank is open.

    If the 12v/120v controls are on the outside panels directly behind the fridge, they would be the fridge controls. There would also be the propane controls there with a pilot light.
     
  11. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    If the flame stays lit while going down the road then there is no issue running it on propane..
     
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  12. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    I also pre cool the fridge, and on the road it gets frozen ice water bottles. My fridge is not very cold so its nostly for drinks and condiments. Food goes in my cooler. A small crematic heater works well in the pup.
     
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  13. Spaceace5150

    Spaceace5150 Active Member

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    Like others, I have trouble keeping my fridge pilot lit while driving... I would also suggest a nice cooler if its a long drive.
     
  14. Rusty2192

    Rusty2192 Well-Known Member

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    Does your tow vehicle (TV) have a hot 12V charge line? If so, you can run the fridge on 12V while towing if the propane won’t stay lit. Just be sure to check if it shuts off with the ignition or not. If not and it’s always on, then be sure to unplug the pup from the TV at every stop or you might come back to a dead battery in the TV. Precool the fridge on AC or propane first and the 12V will maintain the temperature on long drives.
     
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  15. SimonSenz

    SimonSenz Member

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    Hi Rusty. I will read the manual. THere is a two prong plug in the third row. So I am guessing yes. We do plug the PUP to the TV for brakes, etc. So you think that would be enough? The guy at the RV dealer did not mention that as an option. He is the one that suggested the propane. By precool on AC, do you mean while we are plugged in here at the house, I should switch on the red button? :)
     
  16. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    These fridges can be fiddly. They can also be super awesome. I suggest putting any perishables in a high quality cooler until you get to know your particular fridge.
     
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  17. SimonSenz

    SimonSenz Member

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    A few comments about getting a good quality cooler. Any suggestions on what kind? Thanks.
     
  18. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    Yeti and similar are the best, but very expensive. The "Extreme" or 5-day coolers from the cheaper companies (like Igloo, Coleman, etc.) are still really good (and good enough for me). You will be buying a block of ice every few days to a week depending on weather, but you'll need food anyway. You can improve cooler performance by making a cover for it from Reflectix or similar material. We usually throw a towel on it. :p

    And do go for block ice, not the other stuff. It'll last days longer.
     
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  19. SimonSenz

    SimonSenz Member

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    Thanks! We were thinking of getting one of those small ice makers. It is gonna be hot out west!
     
  20. Rusty2192

    Rusty2192 Well-Known Member

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    For the charge line I meant in the 7-way trailer plug. It’s used to charge the battery on the pup and can also run the fridge while driving. If the dealer set you up with brakes, they probably set you up with this circuit too. An easy way to check would be with a tester like this.

    CURT 58270 Vehicle Socket RV Blade 7-Way Towing Tester 7-Pin Trailer Wiring https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001EOWQY4/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_rWmdDbPEA0TVE

    To precool, 120V AC is the easiest if you are plugged into shore power at home. Turn on the green 120V switch. It can take a full day to cool down, so I like to do it the day before we leave. Then when you leave you may be able to turn off the green and turn on the red 12V switch. If you don’t have an active charge line from the TV that will drain your pup’s battery in no time, so propane would be the only option to active cool while driving.
     

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