Traveling with your Fridge on?

rpm2203

sure - that's fine
Sep 7, 2003
98
Southern Ontario, Canada
I have often wondered if I am doing the correct thing or not....

I don't like traveling with a cooler, so what I do is pack up the fridge with all our food before the trip - like just before. What I do then is
switch the fridge to 12V and 'assume' that the car power will power the fridge while we travel. Once at the site, I switch it back over to
110V and run it that way. We don't actually have a battery, but from all accounts it seems to work.... our food is cold and from what I can
see the fridge is running... when hitched, the trailer is pretty level, so as far as I can see, there should be no problem.

Thoughts, comments - advice? This a good idea, or am I risking damaging the fridge?
 

hakrjak

Active Member
May 20, 2010
448
I think you need a battery for this to work properly because the power coming from the TV while towing isn't that much.... I would buy a cheap fridge thermometer though, and leave it inside the fridge. This is what I do, because there is no other way to know if the fridge is cold enough to keep food from spoiling. That way you can check the temp whenever you want to see if it's safe.

Cheers,

- Hakrjak
 

Yellowkayak

Popups.....when sleeping on the ground gets to you
Mar 13, 2007
2,198
My Chevy Crew cab lights have to be on to keep the battery on the pup charging as well as run the frid. We switch ours over to 12V also on trips. Made a two day long trip with one night in a hotel. When we stopped at a hotel for the night, we switched over to propane, then switch back over to 12V when we get on the road. So far it works flawlessly.

JJ
 

Full Circle

Greely, Ontario, Canada
Apr 4, 2009
1,226
Greely, Ontario
Yup, i run it on 12v as well, but i have a battery. I'm pretty sure it would run the fridge without one, but depending on your TV and alternator, it might be too much of a load to handle for a long time. I've also found that throwing a few frozen water bottles on the bottom then any frozen meat on top of them helps to keep things nice and cool.
 

Unstable_Tripod

Well, there's your problem!
May 20, 2008
14,278
Seattle, Washington
In regard to the OP's not having a PUP battery: The issue is how many amps the TV's alternator is able to send back to the fridge given the gauge of the charge wire and the demand of the TV. It's pretty likely that the TV alternator is not meeting the fridge's full demand. So (and I could be wrong on this part) I think the TV battery is probably being drawn down to supply power to the fridge. I would not operate this way. Pre-cool the fridge at home by running it on AC while the PUP is plugged it to the house. If it is a short trip (an hour or two), run with the fridge off. If it is a long trip, run with the fridge on propane.
 

rabird

Howdy!
Mar 3, 2006
7,840
N. TX
The fridge uses less than the headlights on bright!

Some folks that have ruined a battery or two actually disconnect the PUP battery (leaving the brakes connected) for fear of ruining another. Their fridges get cold!
 

samtgrizz

Super Active Member
Jun 3, 2009
869
San Antonio, Texas
I plug in my fridge the day before we leave and cool it down on 110. It takes a 3 way fridge a long time to cool down. I then switch to 12v for the trip and change back to 110 as soon as I get the PuP plugged into Shore Power. 12v provides the least efficient cooling method for a 3 way fridge.
 

hakrjak

Active Member
May 20, 2010
448
I hear some people run on propane while they are driving.... Anybody know if this is safe or works? I would think the wind would blow out the flame!

- Hakrjak
 

Unstable_Tripod

Well, there's your problem!
May 20, 2008
14,278
Seattle, Washington
It is safe, legal and it works for most people. (90% of all RVs run with propane on all of the time.) My dealer recommends it. In some cases there is a problem with the wind blowing the flame out. I had this happen last year. I will be testing a couple "mods" to stop this. The first is simple: put a piece of duct tape over the lowest set of louvers in the access compartment door. (There is plenty of ventilation from the other louvers.) The wind that blows the flame out is probably coming through there. If that works I may just leave it at that or I may mount a piece of aluminum (about the same height as the top of the bottom louvers) in the compartment. This would look better from outside.
 

rabird

Howdy!
Mar 3, 2006
7,840
N. TX
Wonder what your PUC owner's manual recommends?
Do I don't! [;)]

The fridge maker warns to turn the flame off before refueling, they are ok with it.
 

samtgrizz

Super Active Member
Jun 3, 2009
869
San Antonio, Texas
Remember that if you decide to travel with the propane on, it is illegal to have any open flames while near a service station fuel pump. And often tunnels and bridges have restrictions too.
 

Flyfisherman

Super Active Member
Mar 4, 2003
3,682
Shallotte, North Carolina
My Starcraft owner's manual was real adamant about not traveling with the L/P tank open. They cited the danger of an accident and said it was against some state laws (although I never off hand could find one that did), but that filling up with gas is the scary part for me ... I can just see it now .... KAAAABOOOMMMMM (end of my fishing days!)

So, I opted not to travel with the L/P tank valve open.
 

Davylee

Camping = Life is Good
May 4, 2009
1,839
Maine
I have run on propane on longer trips just shut if off while gassing up ( [A] I have forgotten a couple of times though) Never had a p[roblem with it blowing out. I had it on battery once while going to a remote site got there and no battery, drained it right down. A week with no battery but I only needed it for lights, and lanterns work fine (except for the extra heat) when push comes to shove. :)
 

hakrjak

Active Member
May 20, 2010
448
Anybody else watch that Myth Busters on propane tanks exploding awhile back, and they couldn't get one to explode no matter what they tried.... They couldn't even pierce one with a 9mm bullet..... Until they shot oe with a gattling gun and it finally exploded -- but when is that going to happen to you? ROFL

Here it is:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FHTXwpVMvs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhti2xAB-Gk&feature=related


Cheers,

- Hakrjak
 

Unstable_Tripod

Well, there's your problem!
May 20, 2008
14,278
Seattle, Washington
I forgot to mention the point about turning the flame off before entering a fuel station and leaving it off until after pulling away from the pump area. Definitely important.

I have never been able to find a state law against driving with propane on and as I said previously, most RVs do all of the time. There are a few tunnels and ferries where it must be turned off.
 

sbergerson

Member
Mar 31, 2007
47
Pine River, MN
We travel with the propane on all the time. Never had a problem. Never had the flame blow out. Just got back from a 6,200 mile trip with snow, 114°F heat, high winds, rain, etc., and every time we set up, the fridge was nice and cool.

Steve
 

kgunn

Member
Apr 21, 2010
35
This past trip was my first time driving with the propane on, mostly because everytime I tried running it on 12v it blew the inline fuse at the pup battery. Everytime we stopped I checked to make sure the flame was still burning and had no problems. When I picked up my new pup the service guys advised me to run the fridge on propane while driving.
 

hakrjak

Active Member
May 20, 2010
448
I've been running it on propane while driving the last couple of trips and it's worked fine also. Never blew out! Amazing, considering my water heater blows out constantly, and has a much bigger flame.

- Hakrjak
 




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