Safety of Propane on while traveling? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

Go Back   Escape Trailer Owners Community > Escape Tech > Escape Systems | Water, Waste, Charging & Propane
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 04-10-2017, 09:45 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Chapitre's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Trailer: 2014 5TA/ *012 17B (previous)
Posts: 442
Safety of Propane on while traveling?

Is it safe to have the propane running the fridge while traveling? What if the flame goes out?
What if you're in an accident?
__________________

__________________
Min D
Chapi II
--------------------
'Have No Regrets'
Chapitre is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2017, 09:58 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Jim Bennett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Trailer: 2017 Escape 5.0 TA
Posts: 14,159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chapitre View Post
Is it safe to have the propane running the fridge while traveling? What if the flame goes out?
What if you're in an accident?
If you look back here and on FGRV you will find this has been discussed ad naseum. The final verdict is that there are a bunch of points of view, and nobody is changing the mind of those who have made theirs up (mine included ).

I usually have mine on all the time, other than places like tunnels and ferries that require it shut off.

If a flame goes out, the gas valve to the appliance shuts off. It is pretty much only fridges that folks operate on the go, and the odd time the the furnace.

I checked with the Federal and all Provincial Departments of Transport, and it is fully legal in all jurisdictions to have it on while in motion.

If you are in an accident, I think you would have bigger things to worry about. Fast discharge from a propane tank will cause the valve to close. Fuel leaks on your tow vehicle would be more of a worry.

Anyway, be prepared for lots of controversy which usually is part of this topic of discussion.
__________________

__________________
2017 Escape 5.0 TA
2015 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5L EcoBoost
2009 Escape 19 (previous)
“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” — Abraham Lincoln
Jim Bennett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2017, 10:29 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Iowa Dave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Benton County, Iowa
Trailer: 2013 Escape 21 Classic Number 6, pulled by 2018 Toyota Highlander
Posts: 4,286
Propane

Hi Jim/
Good summary of past forum activity. I too tow with the propane refrigerator on. Once in a great while my fridge will blow out and when I stop I hear it clicking and it restarts. I have a remote sensor with a readout in the tow vehicle so I know if I'm starting to warm up. Time to stop anyway.
Dave
Iowa Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2017, 10:34 AM   #4
Site Team
 
cpaharley2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Chilliwack, British Columbia
Trailer: Escape#4, 2019 Escape21 DejaView pulled by 2014 Ram Hemi/8sp
Posts: 19,458
Dave,
I thought when you got warmed up, you started drinking.....
__________________
Jim
It is not the years in your life but the life in your years Lincoln
cpaharley2008 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2017, 10:49 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Iowa Dave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Benton County, Iowa
Trailer: 2013 Escape 21 Classic Number 6, pulled by 2018 Toyota Highlander
Posts: 4,286
Magic Elixr

Hi Jim
My mother, who wasn't much of a drinker used to observe that alcohol must
Indeed be something magical as it was consumed to keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. I've been a lifetime testing that theory. But not while driving (anymore). Propane to keep things cold or heat things up. Can't be the only thing on Earth that works that way can it?
Dave
Iowa Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2017, 10:55 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Somewhere, Florida
Trailer: 1804 Schooner
Posts: 1,642
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iowa Dave View Post
Hi Jim
My mother, who wasn't much of a drinker used to observe that alcohol must
Indeed be something magical as it was consumed to keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. I've been a lifetime testing that theory. But not while driving (anymore). Propane to keep things cold or heat things up. Can't be the only thing on Earth that works that way can it?
Dave
Yes, but how does alcohol or propane know the difference?
__________________
“Quoth the Raven, ‘Nevermore’......” E. A. Poe
C&G in FL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2017, 11:07 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
thoer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Galesville, Wisconsin
Trailer: 2017 21 "Blue II" & 2017 Highlander XLE (previously 2010 17B "Blue" & 2008 Tacoma)
Posts: 4,207
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
... Fuel leaks on your tow vehicle would be more of a worry.

Anyway, be prepared for lots of controversy which usually is part of this topic of discussion.
I remember decades ago when hydrogen powered cars were being tested and Mercedes has some hydrogen powered buses they were testing. Very promising in that the only thing that would be emitted in any quantity was water. Some people were very concerned about the hydrogen being "explosive" Somewhere I read a comparison of how much more dangerous gasoline fumes were than hydrogen gas, and the same applies to LP. Mythbusters did some fun episodes determining what it actually to make an LP explosion.
__________________
Eric (and Mary who is in no way responsible for anything stupid I post)

"Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance." George Bernard Shaw
thoer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2017, 12:37 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
escape artist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: St. Thomas not BVI., Ontario
Trailer: 2014 Escape 5.0TA / 2016 Ram Eco Diesel 4X4
Posts: 6,217
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iowa Dave View Post
Hi Jim/
Good summary of past forum activity. I too tow with the propane refrigerator on. Once in a great while my fridge will blow out and when I stop I hear it clicking and it restarts. I have a remote sensor with a readout in the tow vehicle so I know if I'm starting to warm up. Time to stop anyway.
Dave
Hi: Iowa Dave... I'm still amazed that something that heats up by propane can cool something down!!! The piece of hammock style furnace filter twist tied to the lower fridge vent keeps ours alight.
As for battery charging that's a whole nother matter. If I can feel my pacemaker battery clicking I'm outa luck!!! When asked by my Urologist how they charge it I told him "Its up to my wife to charge it"!!! Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
__________________
Quote Bugs Bunny..."Don't take life too seriously, none of us get out of it ALIVE"!!!
'16 Ram Eco D. 4X4 Laramie Longhorn CC & '14 Escape 5.0TA
St.Thomas (Not the Virgin Islands) Ontario
escape artist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2017, 03:53 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Seattle, Washington
Trailer: 17b - 2017 model
Posts: 351
If you get into an accident, and the propane tanks fly forwards severing the high pressure lines, and something else is on fire from the accident, would you want to have this going on inside your vehicle:



Sure, the probabilities are low, as they are with driving in general. Gasoline fires aren't pretty either, but society has collectively decided that the benefits of driving outweigh the risks. You'll have to make a similar choice regarding propane use and the fridge. I'll go with 12 volt whenever possible myself, and consider propane in limited cases.
paulk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2017, 04:23 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Somewhere, Florida
Trailer: 1804 Schooner
Posts: 1,642
Quote:
Originally Posted by paulk View Post
If you get into an accident, and the propane tanks fly forwards severing the high pressure lines, and something else is on fire from the accident, would you want to have this going on inside your vehicle:



Sure, the probabilities are low, as they are with driving in general. Gasoline fires aren't pretty either, but society has collectively decided that the benefits of driving outweigh the risks. You'll have to make a similar choice regarding propane use and the fridge. I'll go with 12 volt whenever possible myself, and consider propane in limited cases.
Since the propane tank(s) are bolted done, and in many cases in an enclosed carrier (5.0/5.0TA a compartment; bumper pulls in the optional front storage box), it will take one heck of an accident to have the tanks displaced to a point that the high pressure lines are severed. If an accident is that catastrophic, you may be lucky to survive. And given the fact that the 12 volt demand of a Dometic refrigerator will quickly drain a battery/batteries that are not being concurrently recharged, I, like Jim, will continue to run on propane when traveling. Obviously, the decision is a personal one, but a 12 v short can also start a fire. I personally consider the risk of using propane on the go just slightly greater than running into a rhinoceros on any highway in North America. And I have seen batteries discharged to the point that recovery is impossible. I think that is a far greater likelihood than a propane fueled fire.
__________________
“Quoth the Raven, ‘Nevermore’......” E. A. Poe
C&G in FL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2017, 04:50 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Seattle, Washington
Trailer: 17b - 2017 model
Posts: 351
Quote:
Originally Posted by C&G in FL View Post
Since the propane tank(s) are bolted done, and in many cases in an enclosed carrier (5.0/5.0TA a compartment; bumper pulls in the optional front storage box), it will take one heck of an accident to have the tanks displaced to a point that the high pressure lines are severed.
They are bolted down, but not at the bottom. If I remember correctly, on the 17b at least, there is a long skinny rod to the top, which would apply an enormous lever arm force at the top during a collision. Obviously, I haven't tried this experiment, but I would question whether or not this long rod can withstand the violent sideways forces involved in a 50-60 mph collision. The rod appears to have been designed to hold normal vertical up/down driving forces, not sideways violent ones.

Even without that, sideways impacts at traffic lights and stop signs are another category of collision that is common relative to forward impact collisions. I'm pretty sure a direct impact could sever something in that area.

I agree though that this kind of risk is far less than the risk of driving in general. Maybe a tad higher than a rhinoceros collision though.
paulk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2017, 05:01 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
dfandrews's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Ventura County, California
Trailer: 2015 Escape 17A -- "The Pullman"
Posts: 1,841
Quote:
Originally Posted by paulk View Post
They are bolted down, but not at the bottom. If I remember correctly, on the 17b at least, there is a long skinny rod to the top, which would apply an enormous lever arm force at the top during a collision. Obviously, I haven't tried this experiment, but I would question whether or not this long rod can withstand the violent sideways forces involved in a 50-60 mph collision. The rod appears to have been designed to hold normal vertical up/down driving forces, not sideways violent ones.

Even without that, sideways impacts at traffic lights and stop signs are another category of collision that is common relative to forward impact collisions. I'm pretty sure a direct impact could sever something in that area.

I agree though that this kind of risk is far less than the risk of driving in general. Maybe a tad higher than a rhinoceros collision though.
The base plate for the tanks is attached to the trailer frame with steel screws. The "Skinny" rod is actually a 3/8" threaded rod that sandwiches the tanks between an upper slotted steel bar and the base plate, basically forming a single unit attached to the frame. Shear forces are pretty effectively transmitted to the frame.
__________________
Don & Teresa
2015 17A: 2011 Honda Pilot
In Orbe Terrum Non Visi / RLTW
dfandrews is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2017, 05:25 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Seattle, Washington
Trailer: 17b - 2017 model
Posts: 351
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfandrews View Post
The base plate for the tanks is attached to the trailer frame with steel screws. The "Skinny" rod is actually a 3/8" threaded rod that sandwiches the tanks between an upper slotted steel bar and the base plate, basically forming a single unit attached to the frame. Shear forces are pretty effectively transmitted to the frame.
I hear what you are saying, and it's very possible you are right that this assembly could withstand those forces, but I don't have the ability to calculate it or estimate it from experience. To me, that warrants caution, unless the manufacturer tells me it's ok.

I would guess the failure point, at whatever maximum force this can withstand, would be the threads rather than the rod itself, or alternatively the metal piece that holds the tanks down from the top.
paulk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2017, 05:27 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
thoer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Galesville, Wisconsin
Trailer: 2017 21 "Blue II" & 2017 Highlander XLE (previously 2010 17B "Blue" & 2008 Tacoma)
Posts: 4,207
...or the weight of the rhinoceros?
__________________
Eric (and Mary who is in no way responsible for anything stupid I post)

"Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance." George Bernard Shaw
thoer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2017, 05:28 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
gbaglo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: North Vancouver, British Columbia
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B - "Toad". '08 Toyota RAV4 V6
Posts: 13,693
Suggest the tank valves be disconnected and opened prior to travel and when empty, shift to park.
__________________
2009 Escape 17B "Toad"
2008 Toyota RAV4 V6 Sport
North Vancouver, British Columbia

What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
gbaglo is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2017, 06:07 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Jim Bennett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Trailer: 2017 Escape 5.0 TA
Posts: 14,159
Almost everything we do has an inherent risk of danger, we just have to decide whether to accept it or not. So many things we regularly do are much of a higher risk factor than something ever happening to your propane tank which if released from it's restraints due to an accident. that at least for me is not even considered to be a risk in the least. We could not move if we were to worry about every potential risk we take.

Besides, if the force from an accident was enough to ever cause the propane tank to break loose, probably get pierced when it hits something anyway.

My preference is to live life, not worry about how it ends. But, we must each do what works best for us, and even if you do wish to turn your tanks off while in motion, there is nothing wrong with doing so.
__________________
2017 Escape 5.0 TA
2015 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5L EcoBoost
2009 Escape 19 (previous)
“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” — Abraham Lincoln
Jim Bennett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2017, 06:13 PM   #17
Member
 
Lornanaugle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Tracy, California
Trailer: 2015 19'
Posts: 48
The Escape manual states to turn off the propane tank when in motion. I am a scaredy cat when it comes to things like flames and propane so for me, it is an easy solution: Let the battery do the work. If we stop for long periods of time, then the propane goes on for that duration.

Lorna
__________________
"We're all just passin through", Hank Jr.
Lornanaugle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2017, 06:15 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1700
Posts: 11,814
Quote:
Originally Posted by paulk View Post
If you get into an accident, and the propane tanks fly forwards severing the high pressure lines, and something else is on fire from the accident, would you want to have this going on inside your vehicle...
No, and I assume that neither would anyone else. That's why modern (as in made in this century) high pressure propane hoses (or "pigtails") use a connector on the tank end which incorporates an excess flow valve: if the hose is ripped apart, the momentary high flow rate of propane trips this valve nearly closed, so only a very small rate of flow continues.

This is the valve which Jim mentioned in post #2. It is also the source of annoyance when the tank valve is suddenly opened into an RV plumbing system which is not already up to operating pressure, because the momentary flow surge trips the excess flow valve.
Brian B-P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2017, 06:26 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Somewhere, Florida
Trailer: 1804 Schooner
Posts: 1,642
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lornanaugle View Post
The Escape manual states to turn off the propane tank when in motion. I am a scaredy cat when it comes to things like flames and propane so for me, it is an easy solution: Let the battery do the work. If we stop for long periods of time, then the propane goes on for that duration.

Lorna
And when you buy coffee at McDonalds, the cup has a waning on the side which states that coffee, which is best brewed at temperatures slightly below boiling, is extremely hot. Millions of people consume hot coffee daily with no problem so you have to ask yourself, why does McDonalds include this warning. Of course, if you follow the news then you already know the answer, and it has something to do with what a certain profession does best, and that is inventing a problem which in reality is not a problem. So you have to ask yourself another question and that is why would ETI include a statement in the manual telling you to turn of the propane tank(s) when in motion. I wouldn't be surprised if Reace himself runs the refrigerator on propane when traveling. But let's get to a more important issue. How many here have been brazen enough to cut the little tag off your mattress or pillow that States "do not remove under penalty of law?
__________________
“Quoth the Raven, ‘Nevermore’......” E. A. Poe
C&G in FL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2017, 06:27 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
gbaglo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: North Vancouver, British Columbia
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B - "Toad". '08 Toyota RAV4 V6
Posts: 13,693
Few days ago, a woman sat in her car, in her driveway, with a child in the back seat, while her other daughter ran into the house to get something.
Tree fell on the car.
Luckily all three are fine, and nobody is suggesting that trees be cut down.
__________________

__________________
2009 Escape 17B "Toad"
2008 Toyota RAV4 V6 Sport
North Vancouver, British Columbia

What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
gbaglo is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off






» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Escape Trailer Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:39 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.
×