Running Fridge while Driving - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 12-13-2013, 02:47 PM   #1
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Running Fridge while Driving

Hi, never had a trailer before, trying to read and understand choices around operating fridge while driving. Do I have it clear here:

-Seems like many/most people run propane while they drive. Sometimes the flame is blown out, but then relights itself and carries on its merry way?

-Some people cool fridge before leaving, then leave fridge off while driving.

-A few people run 12V while driving. Requires a heavier gauge wire from tv to trailer, ideally shutting off when tv is off. Tv and trailer batteries don't get charged while driving. Would solar and dual 6V options resolve this problem, enabling successful running of the fridge on 12V and charging of batteries? Is there another solution for successfully running 12V and charging batteries? j
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Old 12-13-2013, 03:43 PM   #2
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That's about it in a nutshell for choices.

I always cool it down on 120V for a day or so at home first. When travelling short distances (up to 3-4 hours, depending on outside heat) I don't worry about running it when driving.

When it is real hot out, or I will be doing a days drive, I always put it on propane, and have never had an issue with it not working great. Just be ready to turn it off where required, like ferries or refueling.

I don't have the 12V option, and doubt I would use it if I did.
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Old 12-13-2013, 05:14 PM   #3
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I escape for about 6 straight months a year. Start and leave the fridge on propane and leave it there the whole time. Last year turned on March 31 off Oct 4. Traveled from coast to coast and back. Lessons learned.. keep fridge and freezer fairly full, limit opening fridge a lot on travel days, when possible park fridge vented side of trailer away from midway sun..
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Old 12-13-2013, 05:24 PM   #4
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Every RV I have owned I would start the fridge on 120 for a couple of days then switch it to propane for travelling and sitting. Never had any problems.
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Old 12-13-2013, 05:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PGDriver View Post
Every RV I have owned I would start the fridge on 120 for a couple of days then switch it to propane for travelling and sitting. Never had any problems.

Did you shut propane down and restart after fueling up the tow?
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Old 12-13-2013, 05:27 PM   #6
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Jamie,
You will need some additional information in order to answer your question. Go here The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1) and read parts 1 and 2 and then determine what your 12v needs are. What is the draw of the refer while on 12v. You then calculated perhaps 50% run time and determine your needs for a 24 hour period. You then look at your battery capacity as well as solar and your tow vehicle adding to that capacity. You do the math and end up with your answer. Or, turn on the propane…….
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Old 12-13-2013, 06:56 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone for the answers...I knew that darn math would come back to bite me in the rear. j
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Old 12-13-2013, 07:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
Did you shut propane down and restart after fueling up the tow?
Hi Glenn

Good point, no I didn't I guess thats another thing to add to my list of things that may or may not get done in my lifetime.
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Old 12-13-2013, 07:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PGDriver View Post
Good point, no I didn't I guess thats another thing to add to my list of things that may or may not get done in my lifetime.
Ha, ha...your post made me feel better about everything I may or may not do. Thank you!
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Old 12-13-2013, 07:41 PM   #10
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This is the sort of question which can start a very long and heated discussion.

... but I agree that the summary of alternatives is good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
Did you shut propane down and restart after fueling up the tow?
There's no need to shut off the propane supply, just to remove the source of ignition (which creates a danger due to gasoline fumes around a fuel pump). That means turning the refrigerator off, or perhaps to electrical power. Same for the furnace or water heater if they are left running (which is much less commonly done).

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamie beers View Post
-Seems like many/most people run propane while they drive. Sometimes the flame is blown out, but then relights itself and carries on its merry way?
Although some appliances with pilot lights - typically water heaters - are available with re-lighters, it is not common and I have not heard of a refrigerator doing this. Refrigerators typically don't have pilot lights; they either go between low and high flame operation of one main burner, or just turn that one burner completely off and on (spark igniting it).
Appliances without pilot lights which use direct spark ignition (DSI) should relight as required, and if the flame won't stay on after some time they should give up and indicate a fault condition; the fault can be reset when you stop and operation resumes. (This would include, for instance, the Dometic RM2454)

In our old non-Escape trailer, I prefer to use 12V power while driving (that's what it's for), but it is a pain to light that refrigerator so I have used the leave-it-on approach... fuel stops kill the benefit of this idea.

In our motorhome, the Dometic DM2852 refrigerator offers no 12V option so the choice is easy: I run it on propane and hit the off switch before fueling. No problems.

Current owners or buyers: Which specific Dometic model is in the Escapes? The 19' (which I believe Jamie is buying) has (according to the Escape website) a "4.3 Cubic ft. 3-way Dometic Fridge", with a 6.7 cu ft model optional... are these the RM2x54 Americana series, the 8-series, or something else? I don't see anything else in the current DometicUSA catalog that would exactly match the listed volumes.
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