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My latest refrigerator is a 3 way, so for safety reasons, I'll be using the DC setting while driving. I understand that the DC setting does not efficiently cool down a refrigerator, but can be used to maintain a low temperature while driving.
I do use the propane if I'm on the road a long time and it's hot out. For short trips, I just turn it off and let everything inside keep it cool. I only have an AC and propane fridge.
I've tried using an inverter to run the fridge on AC but it caused such a load off the charging system, my gas mileage went down quite a bit. It took a little too much out of the alternator. It did work good but it cost too much on gas to keep using it.
I know how bad it is too use propane and did look into replacing the fridge. I priced new ones and was quite shocked at the prices. I looked into used and they weren't too bad but, I can't figure out how to get the fridge out of my RV. I don't think it would fit out any of the doors.
Yes, we do on long trips. I tried off the battery but had a hard time remembering to change over when we stopped. Just remember to turn off the gas when filling your gas tank. My dad had just bought his and the dealer had been showing him how everything worked, started the fridge, etc., then sent one of the men out back with it to a gas station to have the gas tank filled. Neither the driver nor the kid filling the tank turned off the propane. It blew up and messed up the whole passenger side of the van. Seats, carpet, windshield, wiring harnesses, etc. had to be replaced. Luckily, no one was hurt. If it was mine, I would have said, I want a different van, but Dad didn't want to wait for another one, so accepted this one once it was repaired. Just a lesson about how explosive propane is.
Running through an inverter or running on DC is almost the same thing. Howerver on AC/inverter the fridge really works, less some eff. so it would cost you a little more. Propane still cost too.
So the best bet on short trips. Shut it off and hopefully it stays cold until the campground's free hydro is available. (Or get a compressor fridge)
For safety reasons run on DC. But really the only difference is a possible standing flame and propane leak in an accident as opposed to just a propane leak. (of course we shut the tanks off ).
IT'S NOT WORTH IT. (but than how often do you have an accident)
The Inverter really adds a drain to the alternator. Running on an Inverter is not worth the extra load and gas mileage. The inverter will draw over 20amps from the charging system. Believe it or not, my RV only has a 45amp alternator. If I had an actual DC fridge, it would draw far less. I think the DC fridge only draws about 5 to 10amps vice over 20 with the inverter.
I looked at replacing the fridge but I can't get it out of the door. The fridge is too big. I would have to take it apart piece by piece and then figure out how to get a new one in. New fridges are not cheap either. I may look at one of those coolers that run off DC. They only cost about $100. I might try to covert my fridge to that system. It would draw far less power and not use the propane at all. It just wouldn't allow me to use the freezer.
The only time I've used the Propane is when we are on a long trip. We use to travel a couple hours to a campground and we just left it with nothing running. When we moved this past summer, we needed to run the fridge on something. We had a lot of food and were on the road for about 8hours a day for 6 days.
I'm not too worried about an accident. My RV is a 1977 Dodge 1 ton van with everything re-enforced. It's actually made of steel not aluminum foil and plastic. I had the frame re-enforced on the back end too for the trailer hitch. The propane tank is well under the RV and is behind a heavy metal frame. Believe me, I did not feel comfortable with the propane on but we had to do something. Where we live now, there's all kind of campgrounds around. We won't have to drive far to go camping. When we were in the Prairies, it was at least 2 hours to anything.
I know betterr, but sometimes I do.
The battery setting just barely keeps the fridge as cool as when we unplug from electric.
I am going to start just putting a bag of ice in there when we travel in the heat!!!
We are , however, very careful to be sure the propane is off at the tank before buying fuel.
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