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Old 11-01-2017, 10:44 PM   #1
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Turn off your Propane while driving

Reading through some of the threads it sounds like some people are not using 12 volt DC to operate the fridge while driving. On doing some quick research on Drive BC you will find that it is not legal to drive in BC with the propane tank valves open. That may also be the case in other provinces and states.
Here is quote from the drive BC web page.

"Is there a law in BC about leaving the propane appliances in my RV running while I am driving? I already know that I have to turn the propane off when I get on BC Ferries but I want to be sure that I can use it otherwise.

This reader has asked an important safety question to kick off another season of RV use and the answer to this question is a quick one: yes, there is a law that would prevent this. The Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations require that the appliance tank valves be closed when your RV is moving. Also, a quick consultation with a Gas Safety Officer at the BC Safety Authority confirmed what I have always believed, this is not a good idea. In fact, it could be very dangerous in some circumstances."

Just something to consider...
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Old 11-01-2017, 11:06 PM   #2
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Been through this numerous times. There is no law against driving with propane tanks open. Jim Bennett contacted department of motor vehicles in all provinces and they all said it is not illegal.
If it were, all the frozen food being delivered throughout the country would have thawed.

Please post the link to the site where you got this information.
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Old 11-01-2017, 11:13 PM   #3
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Operating RV's with Propane On | DriveSmartBC
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Old 11-01-2017, 11:19 PM   #4
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That makes sense about the refrigerator trailers...
The link to Drive BC has to be approved first before it will show.
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Old 11-01-2017, 11:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eggscape View Post
The link to Drive BC has to be approved first before it will show.
You're almost there. Only three more posts ( I think ) and you'll be able to post links.
I raise this issue of links because there is an official looking site that perpetuates this myth, but a search of Motor Vehicle Act cannot turn up such a law.

Here's a hint. I Googled "Massey Tunnel and propane" and found this and way more than I have the patience for:

Compressed gases

3.06 Compressed gases:
(a) No vehicle shall enter the tunnel if its load includes any compressed gas referenced to this subsection in the Schedule.
(i) Empty containers which last contained a compressed gas referenced to this subsection in the Schedule shall not be carried through the tunnel.
(ii) No empty tank vehicle shall enter the tunnel if that vehicle is used to carry compressed gases referenced to this subsection.
(b) Compressed gases referenced to this subsection in the Schedule may be transported in lots of 45 kg gross weight per vehicle, provided that gross container weight does not exceed 4.5 kg.
(i) Empty containers which last contained a compressed gas referenced to this subsection in the Schedule shall not be transported through the tunnel when the above quantity limitations are exceeded.
(ii) No empty tank vehicle shall enter the tunnel if that vehicle is used to carry any compressed gas referenced to this subsection.
(c) Compressed gases referenced to this subsection in the Schedule and used as fuel for vehicle accessories may be transported in lots of 45 kg gross weight per vehicle, provided that gross container weight does not exceed 22 kg.
(i) Empty containers which last held a compressed gas referenced to this subsection in the Schedule may be transported through the tunnel only when the above quantity limitations are not exceeded and when all valves on containers are securely closed.
(d) Transport of compressed gases referenced to this subsection in the Schedule is not restricted, regardless of quantity or size of containers, except that no tank vehicle whether empty or loaded shall enter the tunnel if that vehicle is used to carry any compressed gas referenced to this subsection in the Schedule.


http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/...64/174_70#3.06
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Old 11-01-2017, 11:38 PM   #6
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I believe this is the link and it is not an official site just one that the owner has set up as a hobby.
Very similar name though, the official site is DriveBC and his site is DriveSmart BC.
Operating RV's with Propane On | DriveSmartBC
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Old 11-01-2017, 11:46 PM   #7
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Also a good point made by Fraserway RV one of BCs largest dealers...take it for what it is worth...now that I think of it...when I pull up to the first gas pump the fridge flame would be very close to the second gas pump.

"One of the biggest safety concerns is that your propane must be shut off before pulling into a fuel station. Many of your appliances have pilot lights, which could spark off the fuel vapour that floats in the air around fuel stations."
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Old 11-01-2017, 11:48 PM   #8
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Yep...that would be the one.
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Old 11-02-2017, 02:47 AM   #9
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At Escape they told me the battery power on the fridge will not keep the food cold while traveling. I will use propane when traveling or just get the fridge really cold add ice or frozen food and keep the door closed. Depends on how far you are going and how hot it is...
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Old 11-02-2017, 04:49 AM   #10
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Also a good point made by Fraserway RV one of BCs largest dealers...take it for what it is worth...now that I think of it...when I pull up to the first gas pump the fridge flame would be very close to the second gas pump.

"One of the biggest safety concerns is that your propane must be shut off before pulling into a fuel station. Many of your appliances have pilot lights, which could spark off the fuel vapour that floats in the air around fuel stations."
Yes this is one of my concerns about traveling with the fridge on propane. Getting gas. I know that many of you do, so How do you avoid trouble at the pump? Do you shut it off and than restart it? That sounds like a pain. I’ve not had trouble traveling on 12volt, I just turn it down to 2 bars. 250-300 miles is my limit. Propane does keep things colder. Opinions please.
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Old 11-02-2017, 05:42 AM   #11
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Supposedly there are rules on website designations, those ending with .gov are government, others are not?
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Old 11-02-2017, 06:45 AM   #12
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Ed, the subject has been brought up here on the forum many times. Personally, I think the risk is extremely low. The main reason is, fuel vapors don't "float in the air" as described by the website. They pool near the ground, because they're heavier than air. Second, vapors with a high enough concentration to ignite would be due to spilled fuel, not from normal refueling. Third, the flame in the fridge flue isn't really open, being mostly enclosed behind the panel and burner assembly. And fourth, I've seen no documented case of explosion or fire caused by an RV fridge while refueling.

Yes, RVs have caught fire. Some have even caught fire at gas stations. There are videos online if you search hard enough. What you will find harder to pin down is any gas station fire caused by an RV fridge running on propane.

I personally think it's a solution in search of a problem, but if you want to shut off the tanks before refueling, there's nothing wrong with that.
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Old 11-02-2017, 10:20 AM   #13
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Yes, this has been discussed here and at FGRV many times in the past.

As baglo mentioned, I contacted all Provincial, Territorial and Federal Departments of Transport asking specifically if the fridge in a travel trailer could be left on propane while travelling, and each and every one replied that is allowed to be on when in trasport, and only in areas otherwise specified (like on ferries) are you obligated to turn off the propane.

That DriveSmartBC site is not an official government site, even though they do try to look so. These kinda sites make it frustrating to get actual facts, as anyone can set up a website and put on it whatever meets their agenda. If anyone is interested I know of a few political sites that state facts that can't possibly be wrong.

You probably guessed it, but I have almost always travelled with the propane on to my trailer fridge for 25 years now, and will do so without concern into the future. Trying to use my solar to assist with the 12V on a 6 hour run last year saw my batteries drop a fair bit, but I will be doing more testing with this, this coming year. I would love to use a renewable energy source and save my propane for campsites as needed.
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Old 11-02-2017, 10:38 AM   #14
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For me, one of the most interesting things I have seen regarding propane "dangers" was one or more Mythbusters episodes when they TRIED to get LP tanks to explode.

Speaking of non-governmental sites, here is one from an Australian LP company, so they have an agenda quite different than the ones posted above but they too "bust some myths": Can LPG Cylinders Explode - Blast LPG Myths (Mythbusters Videos) | ELGAS - LPG Gas for Home & Business

Were I the worrying type, I'd be a lot more concerned about that tank of gasoline in my tow than an open LP cylinder.
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Old 11-02-2017, 10:40 AM   #15
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One of the reasons we decided to get two solar panels on the roof of our 2017 21' - installed by ETI - plus the dual 6 v batteries - are that we boondock all year around, sometimes in semi shady sites... and so that setup means we never have to ever worry about having enough battery power.

plus no portable panel to place, move around, etc. (although we also have that, from our Casita)

The added bonus is that with 2 roof solar panels is that we can run the fridge on 12v while under tow for a long day. No propane needed to be on.

so we dont need to even think about turning off the propane at a lunch break, or when refueling.

i love having fewer things to worry about when towing ...



just posting this here so if anyone is having a 21' built, and they like to boondock a lot, as we do, it is possible to get 2 solar panels on the roof, and the benefits.

nice to have these options at build time!!!

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Old 11-02-2017, 11:47 AM   #16
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All interesting comments and thanks for going over it again. Obvious to me now the site I came across is a spoof site.
As for the fridge on 12 volts running down the trailer battery while driving...I noticed our 2018 Ford F-150 does not charge our last trailer battery as fast as I would like. I imagine the stock wiring is of such a gauge that it only allows a trickle compared to what the alternator is capable of producing.
Since I have the HD wire to run to the rear of the truck to plug my winch into the receiver...I think I will experiment with a separate charging wire from that to the trailer battery. I will use an either or switch or jack to select between normal charging method and charging via much larger wire.
It will be interesting to keep track of the battery condition and the fridge temperature with it set on high.
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Old 11-02-2017, 11:53 AM   #17
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It must be true because I read it on the internet.

Yes, as many have said, this issue has been discussed many times and many folks, including myself routinely leave the propane on full time except for ferries. If the trailer's out in the open at a gas station, which it almost always is, the propane stays on.

Consider that CruiseAmerica has about 4-5000 units on the road. Their units use the propane full time for the fridge except when plugged in. You've got to think that an outfit with that many units on the road is pretty confident that it's OK to run on propane when underway.

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Old 11-02-2017, 01:37 PM   #18
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Quote:
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As for the fridge on 12 volts running down the trailer battery while driving...I noticed our 2018 Ford F-150 does not charge our last trailer battery as fast as I would like. I imagine the stock wiring is of such a gauge that it only allows a trickle compared to what the alternator is capable of producing.
I have a 2017 and plan to do a modifcation to fix this issue. As the video explains, this method allows for the "truck logic" such as "turn off the power to the 7 pin when the truck is off" to still work. I am doing it similarly to the video below except I am adding an additional part so I don't have to cut into any of the truck wiring and can just plug in the connections necessary. I have parts lists if you are interested. Also, for reference Escape uses an 8 gauge wire on the 21' from the 7 pin to the battery. YMMV.

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Old 11-02-2017, 02:03 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by ericw View Post
I have a 2017 and plan to do a modifcation to fix this issue. As the video explains, this method allows for the "truck logic" such as "turn off the power to the 7 pin when the truck is off" to still work. I am doing it similarly to the video below except I am adding an additional part so I don't have to cut into any of the truck wiring and can just plug in the connections necessary. I have parts lists if you are interested. Also, for reference Escape uses an 8 gauge wire on the 21' from the 7 pin to the battery. YMMV.

Eric
That's seems like a good solution to help should help those that want to use DC for the fridge while towing. As mentioned with both the truck's charge and that from my solar, it did not keep up to the demand of the battery charging and running the fridge.

Are you planning to do this mod soon? If so, it would be a good one to take some photos of and post links to components used. I know I would be very interested.
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Old 11-02-2017, 02:25 PM   #20
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I saw this discussed on another forum. A couple of links had been given to propane associations. What the associations said was that tanks should be off. (No, I do not have the links.) They said that, at gas stations, the vapors from a refrigerator on gas or other appliances can cause a fire or explosion. I believe they were referring to the gas pumps. It is interesting to note that the consensus on that forum seemed to be to drive with the propane off.

In any case, the OP should know that many of us do not drive with propane on. We rarely use propane but others use it almost exclusively. So they are used to having it on. We are not and, if we use it, we then make certain that it is off for travelling. We use a cooler in the car and ice packs and move them back and forth, freezing them at night. This is some trouble for sure but that is what we will continue to do.

As I often say, any issue that is important to you should be looked at elsewhere, several places. Do not depend upon any one forum or only one or two sources for your information.
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