Originally Posted by Rich30039
Do you run your fridge on propane or 12v while in transit? My Casita would stay cold on 12v but I understand that the Escape 21 fridge takes more juice to keep it cold. Will the solar panel be enough to keep the batteries from going dead?
I have a 19 with the standard size fridge and solar panel. I hesitate to run it on propane all the time while in transit because one of my friend's trailer caught on fire while she was driving, and unfortunately she had dogs in it that perished. We don't know if the propane flame caused the fire or not, but she did have it on that day, so I've always been super paranoid about it. Thus, I cool my fridge down on AC while it's sitting in the driveway before we leave. I then put a couple of large bottles of solid ice in the fridge, switch it to DC, and turn the fridge down to 2 or 3. I usually have the freezer full of frozen items as well.
In transit, while stopped for lunch or other extended breaks, I switch it to propane and park the trailer so the solar panel is in the sun. Then back to DC when we're underway again. For trips of 5 - 7 hours, this system works, and I have never arrived at camp with a low battery or a warm fridge as long as it's a sunny day. For trips over 7 hours or when it's cloudy, I usually switch it to propane for the last couple of hours of travel, so the battery has time to charge.
Others will say I'm being ridiculous and causing myself way too much trouble (i.e. just put it on propane and forget it), but my system is really no trouble, and it gives me peace of mind. Also the fridge is a 3-way fridge, what purpose would DC serve other than to travel with it on?? Seems to me it was designed for that.
Anyway, others have and will weigh in on this topic. Most travel with propane on, you never read about fires or explosions, and it works well for them. One day I may get there myself, but since I have the option to use DC and am able to do so without draining my batteries, that's what I do. For a 21 with a larger fridge, the right answer might be different. You could try it and see what happens.