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Old 02-25-2021, 06:57 PM   #61
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I did a test a couple years ago. After 6 hours of towing with the fridge on DC, with 240W of roof mounted solar and the truck DC hooked up, fridge/freezer temps rose to 10/1°C and the two 6V AGM batteries dropped to 11.8V. Swapped to propane and all was back to normal in less than 2 hours.

Unless something can be improved with my DC supply, I will be sticking to propane when towing. It is not that costly and totally safe.
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Old 02-25-2021, 07:21 PM   #62
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Jim,
Suggest you repeat the information you acquired in your across-Canada survey of provincial laws regarding propane.
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Old 02-25-2021, 07:33 PM   #63
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I was a firefighter for more than 40 years and continue to work in the fire industry as a fire origin and cause investigator, which I began doing in the early 1980's. I was a fire inspector also, involved in writing fire codes, and conducting fire research. Gasoline and LPG are close to the energy released upon ignition. When confined, such as in a compartment - room or interior of an RV or even in an engine compartment, and ignited, they can responde explosively, with the force of dynamite (or dynamite has the force of confined gasoline). The additional danger from an LPG cylinder is what is called a BLEVE, Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion. An LPG cylinder is exposed to a fire, such as the fire in the videos. The liquid (propane) in the cylinder begins to heat, eventually boiling. The pressure from the boiling liquid overcomes the pressure relief valve of the cylinder. The fire weakens the metal propane cylinder. The cylinder fails, the pressure helps the failure, and the sudden release of the pressurized gas causes the liquid/gas to rapidly expand and is ignited by the fire, all happening within milliseconds. The resultant explosion is catastrophic, causing extensive damage. The fireball can go hundreds of feet (Kingman Arizona railroad bleve disaster, https://www.firehouse.com/rescue/art...one%20civilian). That is when the propane becomes explosive and causes damage. Otherwise, leaking propane that ignites will just burn like any propane torch, like a plumber's torch. The cylinder will not explode - otherwise plumbers would not hold the torch in their hand. Spilled gasoline can ignite and cause a greater fire and fire damage than leaking propane due to the gasoline being liquid and spreading over a larger area. The escaping vapors from teh gasoline ignite, when they find an ignition source. That is why it is a fire code requirement that no open flame can be within 25' of gasoline dispensing, or propane refueling operations. With that said, I am not aware of any RV exploding due to a BLEVE. Leaking propane, yes. Leaking gasoline, yes.
The greater hazard within an RV is due to the failure of the absorbtion refrigerator - not so much in newer refrigerators or compressor models.
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Old 02-25-2021, 07:34 PM   #64
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I just leave it all off when traveling. Before I leave I plug the fridge into the shore line at my house and make ice cubes and freeze 500 ml bottles of water and put in the freezer and fridge part. Keeps everything frozen in the freezer and cool in the fridge.
Only problem I see with that is that the 500 ml ice bottles occupy a lot of space. Redesign for consumables in the refrigerator and/or freezer.
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Old 02-25-2021, 08:03 PM   #65
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I agree. That is what I do. Use propane while driving for refrigerator, and even furnace if it is exceptionally cold, and I will be stopping for a snack, lunch or potty break.
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Old 02-25-2021, 08:24 PM   #66
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Jim,
Suggest you repeat the information you acquired in your across-Canada survey of provincial laws regarding propane.
I reached out to all the Provincial and the Federal Departments of Transportation regarding whether propane was allowed to be on and used in an RV while travelling and every one said it was legal. Of course places like ferries require propane is off while onboard, but this is separate from normal road travel.
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Old 02-25-2021, 10:30 PM   #67
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The BLEVE scenario could occur with a propane tank (in the very unlikely case that the trailer turns into an inferno due to some other cause) regardless of whether the propane is in use (to run a refrigerator), or whether the valve is open... so that small risk is irrelevant to the decision whether or not to use propane appliances while driving.
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Old 02-25-2021, 11:33 PM   #68
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I should have made that point more clear. Yes. Using propane while moving is perfectly safe. No problems. We park 20 gallons of an explosive in our garages - gasoline is an explosive according to California law, when in a confined space. We have an open flame, a water heater, in the garage with the car. That is why the water heater is on a pedestal. That is why a natural gas heater is near the ceiling in an automotive repair shop. gasoline vapors hang out along the floor.
The only problem I have had with propane while moving is keeping a pilot lit. And when the pilot goes out, the gas valve closes and no gas flows. So a pilot light that is not lit does not allow gas, propane, to flow or escape.
Oil change shops (I won't use a business name) have paid for my TV. Fluids in the engine compartment are mostly combustible/flammable - radiator coolant, power steeting fluid, some brake fluids, engine oil - more ignitable on the exhaust manifold than gasoline. So what we think is a hazard, may not be such a hazard. Don't spill engine oil on the block/exhaust manifold. Gasoline evaporates before it can ignite. Don't accidentally double gasket. If the oil filter requires a torque value, as in a Porsche Turbo Carrera, be sure to use a torque wrench to tighten the oil filter housing - or in newer trucks. If the oil filter housing is not properly torqued to the block, oil can seep out, land on ahot engine surface and ignite. My job is to investigate the event, evaluate it, and prove, or disprove, the event.
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Old 02-25-2021, 11:41 PM   #69
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John,
Appreciate reading informed comment.
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Old 02-26-2021, 05:52 AM   #70
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John,
Appreciate reading informed comment.
I second that opinion.

I would also point out the obvious about BLEVE. While an explosion doesn’t occur, every time propane is employed as a fuel for any device, liquid propane is boiling, because boiling is the conversion of a liquid to a gas. We tend to think in terms of water when we hear the word “boil.” Water boils at 212° F/100° C slightly variable by elevation. Propane boils at a much lower temperature, and boils slower as temperature drops, hence poor performance when outdoor temperatures are very low.

And John, I used to have problems with swirling wind (vortexes) blowing out the pilot light on my refrigerator. I constructed an aluminum baffle to keep the wind from directly hitting the combustion chamber. Now it doesn’t blow out when traveling.
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Old 02-26-2021, 07:39 AM   #71
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We park 20 gallons of an explosive in our garages - gasoline is an explosive according to California law, when in a confined space.
I'm also an Ohio Certified Fire Safety Inspector, Certified Arson Investigator, and have a degree in Fire Science. I find your comparison of a car parked in a garage with gasoline in its tank a disingenuous comparison to anything else that was discussed here.

A parked car with its gas cap on is more closely compared to a trailer with nothing operating on propane.

A car parked in a garage has no comparison to pulling into a gas station with an open flame from a propane appliance.

SMH

edit: I also have personally witnessed 20 lb propane tanks BLEVE at two separate fires at the same propane distribution facility. It's not something you want to be dismissive about.

Blasts sparked memories of incident in '80

The fire and several tank explosions at 2:25 p.m. June 19, 1980, - exactly 20 years and one month since Wednesday's explosion - at the former Propane Industrial Service Inc. resulted in six injuries, the evacuation of more than 500 people and at least $500,000 in damage.

The first disaster was caused when a truck driver for the business was loading a propane tank that exploded and set off a series of other explosions. He suffered third-degree burns on 50 percent of his body.

More than 50 firefighters battled the blaze that was described as the worst in Willoughby's history up to that time. Five firefighters were treated for smoke inhalation at West End Hospital in Willoughby, now known as LakeWest Hospital.

The first explosion caused a fire that spread out of control quickly and engulfed 200 storage tanks full of propane and naphtha fuel. The business stored and distributed the two fuels.

This explosion blew out windows in the company's offices, scorched nearby shrubbery and automobiles and sent pieces of metal flying hundreds of feet in the air, raining down on spectators.

"I would imagine this looks like Mount Saint Helens as it was erupting," Tom Owens said, reporting over the phone that day as he watched the inferno from his office at nearby Ohio Rubber Co.

The fire and explosion backed up traffic around the location for several hours. Area fire chiefs said even with enough manpower, there was no way to be ready for a major explosion.

Firefighters were prevented from getting too close to this scene because of the heat and numerous explosions.

Background on propane gas

Propane gas, a liquefied petroleum gas used for fuel, is extremely flammable.

Propane is volatile because it is a petroleum product and it has a boiling point of minus 42 degrees Fahrenheit. That means if propane comes in contact with the atmosphere, it literally will boil. Also, if the gas is exposed to any type of spark, it will [ignite].
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Old 02-26-2021, 07:43 AM   #72
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A car parked in a garage has no comparison to pulling into a gas station with an open flame from a propane appliance.

Another reason to always use the nearest pump and leave your trailer as far away from the pumps as possible.....
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Old 02-26-2021, 10:21 AM   #73
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I reached out to all the Provincial and the Federal Departments of Transportation regarding whether propane was allowed to be on and used in an RV while travelling and every one said it was legal. Of course places like ferries require propane is off while onboard, but this is separate from normal road travel.
I do not know how current or correct this article is but according to it-
Open propane cylinders are not allowed while traveling on open highways
in New Jersey, Nova Scotia, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND and Manitoba.

https://www.goodsam.com/article/defa...icleID=2377513
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Old 02-26-2021, 10:39 AM   #74
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I do not know how current or correct this article is but according to it-
Open propane cylinders are not allowed while traveling on open highways
in New Jersey, Nova Scotia, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND and Manitoba.

https://www.goodsam.com/article/defa...icleID=2377513
Another senseless rule in NJ that probably very few actually follow.
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Old 02-26-2021, 02:30 PM   #75
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I do not know how current or correct this article is but according to it-
Open propane cylinders are not allowed while traveling on open highways
in New Jersey, Nova Scotia, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND and Manitoba.

https://www.goodsam.com/article/defa...icleID=2377513
The only thing certain about summary articles like this is that they are riddled with errors. Jim Bennett, did your survey of the actual rules in Canada include Nova Scotia and Manitoba?

The PEI entry regarding propane is in the section for ferry rules, not the road. Yes, of course, propane tanks must be closed on ferries there and probably everywhere.

Unless someone shows me a link to the relevant legislation or a reference to the statute and section, I'll assume that this is incorrect. If it is correct, I have violated the rule in both Nova Scotia and Manitoba... and I'm not concerned about that.

To be fair, I spot-checked the Alberta driving rules that the article listed, and the items that they list are valid, so somebody did put at least a decent effort into the list.
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Old 02-26-2021, 04:28 PM   #76
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Unless someone shows me a link to the relevant legislation or a reference to the statute and section, I'll assume that this is incorrect. If it is correct, I have violated the rule in both Nova Scotia and Manitoba... and I'm not concerned about that.
Good example of violating rules while driving is that probably almost all of us have violated the motor vehicle laws in all states when picking up our trailers in Sumas and then driving several days home with no trailer tags.
It comes back to enforcement as to whether rules are ever followed if they do exist. In the case of tags on a trailer, seems that it is universally ignored by law enforcement. Same with going over 80 in a 65, which most are doing here as there is pretty much no enforcement of the 65 limit.
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Old 02-26-2021, 07:24 PM   #77
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Good example of violating rules while driving is that probably almost all of us have violated the motor vehicle laws in all states when picking up our trailers in Sumas and then driving several days home with no trailer tags..
But in this case it's an example of acting safely and legally, despite the rumoured existence of a rule... which is more likely fiction or a misunderstanding.

The other "rule" that comes up in forums like this, aside from fictions about propane, is the idea that it is somehow illegal to use any type of tire other than Special Trailer (ST) on a trailer. That has been quoted as absolute fact in forums, in online advice related to RVs, and even by tire retailers... but it's fiction. So, while none of my three trailers have ST tires on them, I'm not concerned about a rule infraction, despite the online warnings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg A View Post
It comes back to enforcement as to whether rules are ever followed if they do exist. In the case of tags on a trailer, seems that it is universally ignored by law enforcement. Same with going over 80 in a 65, which most are doing here as there is pretty much no enforcement of the 65 limit.
I agree that enforcement determines effective rules. I can't imagine a law enforcement officer checking whether the propane tank valve is open on an RV of any type, even if the vehicle is stopped for some other reason (speed enforcement, etc), or writing a ticket even if it were an infraction and that infraction was brought to the officer's attention.

One caution about enforcement: even if a rule is never enforced proactively, it may be applied retroactively... have an incident and get charged with violating the rule that a law enforcement officer would have let slide one minute before the incident.
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Old 02-26-2021, 08:44 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by kavm View Post
I do not know how current or correct this article is but according to it-
Open propane cylinders are not allowed while traveling on open highways
in New Jersey, Nova Scotia, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND and Manitoba.

https://www.goodsam.com/article/defa...icleID=2377513
Yeah, I never wrote an article, but I am correct. One thing I refuse to do is to lie.

I should have saved all the emails though never, but this is the one from PEI;
Good Morning Jim:
Prince Edward Island subscribes to the Federal Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act and Regulations.

To address your question, recreational vehicles can operate on the highway with the propane valve open (fridge operating), with the exception being while on a car ferry. While on a car ferry, the propane valve must be in the closed position.
Hope this answers your question.

best regards,

Doug MacEwen
Safety Coordinator
Highway Safety Division
Department of Transportation
and Infrastructure Renewal
(p)902-368-5219
(f) 902-368-5236
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Old 02-26-2021, 08:51 PM   #79
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The only thing certain about summary articles like this is that they are riddled with errors. Jim Bennett, did your survey of the actual rules in Canada include Nova Scotia and Manitoba?
I had emailed all provincial Departments of Transport, and while I did post a few of the first responses I received I never posted them all, not wanting to load a thread with them. Not absolutely positive, but pretty sure I heard from all of them. I specifically asked about the refrigerator in an RV being allowed to operate in an RV on the road. This was in 2010.
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Old 02-26-2021, 09:12 PM   #80
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Much of the "information" on the internet is misinformation or misinterpretation that somebody read somewhere and repeats like gospel. I tend to ignore most, if it's without citation, and then I want to read that source.

There is one website that is dressed up to look like an official BC Motor Vehicle site. It claims it is illegal to run with propane tanks open. A simple check of BC Motor Vehicle Act proves that untrue.
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