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Old 06-19-2017, 12:55 PM   #1
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Refrigerator Operation

If I have my refrigerator on auto and I disconnect from shore power the fridge automatically switches to propane, correct? There is nothing I need to do to make it switch over but to be sure the propane is tuned on before that process happens?
If the propane is off and there is no shore power and I run it from DC with the car running is it drawing power from the trailer batteries or from the car battery or is the car battery and solar keeping the trailer batteries charged while the car is running?
I ask this since if you wanted to run while driving on DC and didn't plan on turning the car off you wouldn't have to worry about the propane pilot being blown out. We've never had a fridge in all the years of camping and this is all new to us.
I didn't seem to get a definitive answer from the literature provided by ETI. Hope my question makes sense. Any tips, hints or info would be deeply appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-19-2017, 01:02 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by mcdonner View Post
If I have my refrigerator on auto and I disconnect from shore power the fridge automatically switches to propane, correct? There is nothing I need to do to make it switch over but to be sure the propane is tuned on before that process happens?
Question 1: Yes.
Question 2: Yes.

Others can address the rest of your concerns.
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Old 06-19-2017, 01:51 PM   #3
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MY opinion, using the milage of my current trip.

Miles driven: 6500
Miles driven using propane: 6500
Miles driven using 12 volts: 0 and I have a dedicated heavy 12 volt charging cable.

Propane does a great job ours stays on propane for weeks on end unless we're in a campground.

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Old 06-19-2017, 02:37 PM   #4
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Yes, I agree to Ron's comment, on a recent 7,000 mile trip we were entirely on propane, except where hooked up in cg's. Your assumption about operating off 12v while on solar and battery is fine, except at night But I do not think the unit operates as well on 12v vs propane. In other words you may need to adjust the temperature setting on 12v to a higher number.
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Old 06-19-2017, 03:26 PM   #5
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Not sure I buy it but my mechanic swears that our 4 cu ft. Dometic draws 30a on 12v and would quickly draw down our 2 6V batteries and the max of 9a our solar system produces quite rapidly.
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Old 06-19-2017, 03:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcdonner View Post
If I have my refrigerator on auto and I disconnect from shore power the fridge automatically switches to propane, correct? There is nothing I need to do to make it switch over but to be sure the propane is tuned on before that process happens?
Correct. Auto takes the best source 'automatically'. Provided your propane valves are open, and you have propane, it will switch to that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcdonner View Post
If the propane is off and there is no shore power and I run it from DC with the car running is it drawing power from the trailer batteries or from the car battery or is the car battery and solar keeping the trailer batteries charged while the car is running?
The fridge will run off the trailer's battery power. The tow vehicle and the solar panels are both providing some charge back into the RV batteries, but the fridge doesn't run from the tow vehicle battery. Be aware that if your fridge is set on DC power (or auto but with the tanks turned off), if you stop somewhere along the way to go shopping or whatever for a few hours, you'll return to seriously depleted or dead batteries. If you have the solar, the effect will be lessened, but substantial.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcdonner View Post
I ask this since if you wanted to run while driving on DC and didn't plan on turning the car off you wouldn't have to worry about the propane pilot being blown out.
We've never had ours blow out since we purchased the trailer. We run it pretty much on propane all the time, going down the road or standing still. It's heat that powers the absorption cycle, and the propane burner is the best source of heat. We find our fridge gets substantially colder using propane vs any other source.
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Old 06-19-2017, 04:51 PM   #7
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Correct. Auto takes the best source 'automatically'. Provided your propane valves are open, and you have propane, it will switch to that.
Robert! How come nobody pays any attention to my answers? What was wrong with them? Guess I'll stick to decorating questions!

Made me laugh...
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Old 06-19-2017, 04:55 PM   #8
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We just picked up our 21' one week ago and find the refrigerator works great on 110 volt or on propane (set on auto) when we are stopped camping. On the road we keep it on auto (so on propane) and it has not worked well at all, with refrigerator climbing to the low 50s and freezer climbing to the low to mid 30s. Then when we stop it cools back down. Anyone else had this problem? Any solutions?
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Old 06-19-2017, 04:57 PM   #9
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We just picked up our 21' one week ago and find the refrigerator works great on 110 volt or on propane (set on auto) when we are stopped camping. On the road we keep it on auto (so on propane) and it has not worked well at all, with refrigerator climbing to the low 50s and freezer climbing to the low to mid 30s. Then when we stop it cools back down. Anyone else had this problem? Any solutions?
By the way, after 48 hours the whole unit quit but on Tammy's advice we cut the wires and bypassed the fusible link and that got it going again, but still the climbing temps when going down the highway.
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Old 06-19-2017, 04:58 PM   #10
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Robert! How come nobody pays any attention to my answers? What was wrong with them? Guess I'll stick to decorating questions!

Made me laugh...
Sorry Karen. I think I posted before reading the thread. Chagrinned...
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Old 06-19-2017, 05:34 PM   #11
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Chagrinned...
Don't be. You know I was just joshing you and that's only because I've met you in person!
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Old 06-19-2017, 05:41 PM   #12
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Don't be. You know I was just joshing you and that's only because I've met you in person!
Karen, Your answer was an Executive Summary. Robert wrote a Staff Report.
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Old 06-19-2017, 05:56 PM   #13
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Okay, that one got me going...
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Old 06-19-2017, 06:01 PM   #14
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Karen, Your answer was an Executive Summary. Robert wrote a Staff Report.
Excellent. And appropriate! An exec does an exec summary, and I in fact am just staff.

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Old 06-19-2017, 06:02 PM   #15
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It is good to repeat the answers in a different way, or not, because that simply means that others are confirming it. Happens all of the time.
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Old 06-19-2017, 06:23 PM   #16
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Robert! How come nobody pays any attention to my answers? What was wrong with them? Guess I'll stick to decorating questions!

Made me laugh...
I read your answers, Karen, and I thought they were to the point, complete, and quite accurate. So, thanks!
When I read Robert's, I thought the same thing as you: Didn't he read the earlier posting? For the record, I laughed as well, Robert.

Edit: I just read your synopsis, Steve and Debbie.

Edit of Edit: I just did the same thing, didn't I: respond before reading all the posts. Well, all I can say is: this forum is fun, and I enjoy the on-line camaraderie; thank you all.
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Old 06-19-2017, 10:04 PM   #17
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I'm a big fan of running on propane - however our frig keeps burning out the fusable link when on propane. We have the link bypassed now but it pops the button on the chimney stack when we're on the move so we're forced to run it on DC instead of propane until we can get somewhere to have Dometic replace the frig or do whatever they will be doing. At any rate we have had some degree of success so far with DC. We do have a solar panel so I assume that is helping. But comparing DC and propane I would say that with a properly running propane system vs DC I would go with propane every time.
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Old 06-19-2017, 10:13 PM   #18
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By "pops the button on the chimney stack" do you mean the reset button for the fusible link?
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Old 06-20-2017, 08:19 AM   #19
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We just picked up our 21' one week ago and find the refrigerator works great on 110 volt or on propane (set on auto) when we are stopped camping. On the road we keep it on auto (so on propane) and it has not worked well at all, with refrigerator climbing to the low 50s and freezer climbing to the low to mid 30s. Then when we stop it cools back down. Anyone else had this problem? Any solutions?
We are having the exact same problem. In another thread someone suggested a "hepvo valve" solution. We did that and it did not help.
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Old 06-20-2017, 09:11 AM   #20
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So, are both of you saying the refrigerator flame is blowing out while traveling? If so then you will have a fault light. If not, then you are losing heat thru the hose. Did you cover the hose? I did and my problem went away?? Not sure what else? What happens to freezer? Mine stayed below freezing but the refer rose to 50, but I was in 108 temperature before I covered the condensate hose. After wards there was little change in temperature between night time and day time.
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