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Old 03-04-2014, 03:28 PM   #71
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Like Baglo and Doug we get it cold for a couple of days before leaving, We always try to keep the freezer full of frozen stuff - usually blue ice type things after we have been out for a while. It seems that keeping the freezer full of frozen stuff helps mitigate the swings in temperature as the outside weather changes. We always drive with the LP on and have never had any problems with it blowing out.
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Old 03-04-2014, 05:08 PM   #72
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That's good to know Eric. When we had our camper, I do remember a few times we would arrive at the campground only to find out that the pilot light had blown out. Luckily, the refrigerator was so small, it held in the cold pretty well.
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Old 03-04-2014, 11:06 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by CADreamin View Post
So Jon (and others), I'm gathering that most everyone runs the propane for the refrigerator while moving from place to place? We used to do this with our camper; however, since this is our first trailer ....
That has proven to be a controversial question in forums like this.

I normally run the refrigerator in our Boler (like an Escape 17') on DC power, but have run it on propane to avoid shutting off and relighting, and to keep it cooling during stops without that relighting. Since Escapes now have modern refrigerators which don't need manual lighting (right?), these concerns don't apply, and I would just run on DC power while towing with a new trailer.
I always run the refrigerator on propane when not on shore power in our motorhome, but that this a two-way (AC power and propane) unit only - larger absorption refrigerators generally do not offer a DC power power option; we are in a similar situation to Jon. This is not a factor for Escapes (no refrigerators that large), so again I would use DC power.

Cooling performance is not the determining factor for us in either case, but it is common for RV refrigerator owners to report that the propane burner is the strongest heat source and thus most effective power source for cooling.

I see no problem with running the refrigerator on propane while in transit; however, it believe that it must be done properly. To me, that means:
  • propane must be shut off at the tank in some circumstances (some tunnels, generally on ferries), so it cannot be used at those times
  • fuel-burning appliances must be shut off at gas stations since they are a potential ignition source for gasoline fumes (I just hit the button on the refrigerator and water heater before entering stations in our motorhome - presumably you are already doing this but it would take a minute more to get out and do it with a trailer)
  • airflow can blow out the flame on some appliances; this should be checked to avoid continual relighting attempts by the appliance if is not a pilot light model
  • some (but not all) appliance manuals specifically prohibit their use on propane while driving - this should be checked for, understood, and recognized
I suggest being prepared for some people to tell you that it is recklessly hazardous to operate any propane appliance while driving, or that the refrigerator simply won't work while moving. I think you need to make you own decision, with information and consideration.
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:10 AM   #74
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Brian

Great insight, as usual. Thanks for your very helpful comments and thoughts.

Jan
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Old 03-06-2014, 03:18 PM   #75
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When I first got my trailer I was driving with the fridge on battery power,and what I found was it was draining my battery more than I was getting charge from the vehicle.After talking to Reece about it ,I have been running with the fridge on propane and have had no problems with that.
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Old 03-06-2014, 11:46 PM   #76
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When I first got my trailer I was driving with the fridge on battery power,and what I found was it was draining my battery more than I was getting charge from the vehicle.After talking to Reece about it ,I have been running with the fridge on propane and have had no problems with that.
Woodie,
Automotive charging systems typically can throw out a lot of current which should be able to keep up with the reefer's draw. Maybe it is a voltage issue. You could do a voltage check at the trailer battery while the fridge is on with the tow vehicle running. For comparison, you could also check the voltage at the tow vehicle battery. The difference would be the voltage lost to wire and connector resistance. Some of these trailers have the battery at the rear of the trailer which adds to the problem. It may just need bigger gauge wire to preserve voltage. Just a guess.
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Old 03-06-2014, 11:56 PM   #77
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Reace advised me to have a #10 ground wire installed in the tow wiring when I was considering a 3-way fridge. Did that. Cost an extra $25 because the installer normally uses a smaller ground.
Then I opted for the 5 cu. ft. two-way fridge. I don't run it on propane while driving and it holds the cold for hours.
You probably have too small a ground, assuming that you have the larger alternator that comes with Toyota tow prep package.
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:20 AM   #78
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This may be slightly off topic, but it is a solar related question. For those of you that have had the factory installed solar, how have you found the durability of the exterior panel? Sometimes those hard rain or hail storms can come up quickly in the mountains, so I just wanted to check to see how well the panels have held up for folks.

Thanks much!
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:26 AM   #79
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Most solar panels are hail and snow resistant by nature. I'd have to read my paperwork in re: warranties. I have not heard of any form members having any problems with breakage of the factory panels.
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:31 AM   #80
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I hadn't read anything to suggest they don't hold up well either--which is a great thing--and I was hoping I hadn't missed anything! We've added the solar to the build list, and when I asked about durability, the suggestion was to post the question to the forum as Escape has not heard of any related issues.
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