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Old 06-15-2013, 10:49 AM   #1
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Gas or Generator for fridge on road

Newbie question-Use LP or generator to run fridge while travelling? We use generator for coach AC. Does adding fridge increase generator fuel consumption significantly to warrant using cheaper LP?
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Old 06-15-2013, 10:52 AM   #2
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The frig likely has auto power source selection, which will likely select AC power if the genny is running. I would leave it powered from the genny.
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Old 06-15-2013, 10:58 AM   #3
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The frig likely has auto power source selection, which will likely select AC power if the genny is running. I would leave it powered from the genny.
Yep.
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Old 06-15-2013, 11:13 AM   #4
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I think the OP was actually asking which was more efficient going down the road.

I keep track of every cost, and when factoring in the per hour cost of running the genny (fuel, oil change, maintenance and lifetime expectancy) the generator can be $$ per hour.

My rule is, if for some other reason (all I can think of is Roof Air) you need to run the gen while driving, then the fridge is along for the ride on AC. The fridge AC load is negligible.

My dash air keeps the coach very cool where we are sitting while driving, and the actual MPG difference is also negligible... MAYBE 1/2 MPG.

The propane used by the fridge is also negligible.

My math says let it run on propane unless the genny is on for some other reason.
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Old 06-15-2013, 11:24 AM   #5
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Run it on propane unless you need the genny on for another reason. If you need the genny to run air conditioning, you may as well run the fridge on the genny as well.
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Old 06-15-2013, 11:48 AM   #6
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We usually just let our fridge sit in the auto position. It will switch to electric whenever the generator is operating, or when you are plugged into shore power. One exception is when we are parked somewhere and only have a 15A cord plugged in for electric. Then we manually switch the fridge to propane and turn the charger down to 5A input. That allows us to use a few things in the bus ie: tv, satellite, fans and even 1 Air conditioner if we have everything else off. Worked for 5 years now.
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Old 06-15-2013, 01:11 PM   #7
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Running fridge on road

I usually turn the fridge OFF while driving to the next destination. If the fridge is cold, it will keep for the 4 to 6 hours you may be on the road. My rig only runs the fridge on 120v power (shore or genny) and propane. Not on 12v. Not sure which rigs have that option, if any.

For very short runs, I use propane. Cheaper and easier than using generator. If you are on a long, hot trip and running genny for A/C, then might as well let it run the fridge, too!

Happy Trails!

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Old 06-15-2013, 01:47 PM   #8
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Usually just turn ours off. We only drive about 4 hours during the day and it stays just fine.

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Old 06-15-2013, 02:02 PM   #9
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We run the frig on propane as long as possible. When we need the generator then the frig will switch over. We have a fair amount of frozen items in the freezer so we pay attention that the frig is up and COLD.
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Old 06-15-2013, 02:13 PM   #10
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We have a residential, so we don"t have to be concerned about it.
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Old 06-15-2013, 02:55 PM   #11
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V My rig only runs the fridge on 120v power (shore or genny) and propane. Not on 12v. Not sure which rigs have that option,

Darryl
If I'm not mistaken you need 12V available to run on propane.
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Old 06-15-2013, 03:39 PM   #12
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No right or wrong on this, and many variables.
-Some turn it off, if going for short distances
-Some run the generator the full way
-Some run the inverter the full way, without generator, letting the coach engine maintain the battery bank while driving. (But, some have the generator/alternator capacity to easily do this, some don't.)
-Some run just LP

We are in the leave it in Auto, as that covers us on the three things that can occur while driving. LP most of the time; Generator when on for roof air; Inverter when on for charging of computers or temporary microwave usage while underway.

We do have a system that we follow if going into a gas station for fuel. Who ever is shotgun, has the responsibility to either turn the refrigerator off completely, or usually we just switch on the inverter over our head by the front door on our coach.

If you do use LP, or Auto with LP, develop a system that always reminds you to TURN OFF LP at fuel stops... (Or tunnels as needed.)

Have fun, be safe,
Smitty
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Old 06-15-2013, 03:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty77 View Post
No right or wrong on this, and many variables.
-Some turn it off, if going for short distances
-Some run the generator the full way
-Some run the inverter the full way, without generator, letting the coach engine maintain the battery bank while driving. (But, some have the generator/alternator capacity to easily do this, some don't.)
-Some run just LP

We are in the leave it in Auto, as that covers us on the three things that can occur while driving. LP most of the time; Generator when on for roof air; Inverter when on for charging of computers or temporary microwave usage while underway.

We do have a system that we follow if going into a gas station for fuel. Who ever is shotgun, has the responsibility to either turn the refrigerator off completely, or usually we just switch on the inverter over our head by the front door on our coach.

If you do use LP, or Auto with LP, develop a system that always reminds you to TURN OFF LP at fuel stops... (Or tunnels as needed.)

Have fun, be safe,
Smitty

Now that is what I call keeping a process simple and logical. Never have understood why some insist on unnecessarily complicating things.
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Old 06-15-2013, 04:00 PM   #14
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Fridge propane usage is pretty small a bit more than a pilot light but still less then what the generator will use in gasoline. Put it on auto (if you have the option) and leave it there.
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