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Old 09-11-2015, 09:07 PM   #1
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newbie question about fridge

Hi all, first post - woohoo!

Our new (to us) 2008 Funfinder X 16' trailer has the usual Dometic fridge, 2-way (AC or propane). Is it possible or practical (or even sensible) to add 12V heater to this ?

Why, you may ask. Truth - I'm not sure. Can I run on propane while in motion? I'd rather run on 12V & save the gas for while parked...

Have tried to find fuel consumption numbers for these fridges - no luck...

Or do we just have to get a new 3-way fridge... scary price...

Haven't had time (impatient) to put details on profile yet, we are a pushing 70 couple who are looking forward to some boondocking...

Cheers, Lorne & Joanie
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Old 09-11-2015, 09:33 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blad61 View Post
Hi all, first post - woohoo!

Our new (to us) 2008 Funfinder X 16' trailer has the usual Dometic fridge, 2-way (AC or propane). Is it possible or practical (or even sensible) to add 12V heater to this ?

Why, you may ask. Truth - I'm not sure. Can I run on propane while in motion? I'd rather run on 12V & save the gas for while parked...

Have tried to find fuel consumption numbers for these fridges - no luck...

Or do we just have to get a new 3-way fridge... scary price...

Haven't had time (impatient) to put details on profile yet, we are a pushing 70 couple who are looking forward to some boondocking...

Cheers, Lorne & Joanie
Ours is also AC or propane, no 12v as a sole power. When traveling, I never leave the refrigerator on as I have heard, it is not good to run them when they are not level. Also, many would consider the propane running a risk. We cool the fridge the day prior and it easily keeps items cold / frozen for the travel day. Safes on propane and reduces the risk of damage or fire..
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Old 09-11-2015, 09:53 PM   #3
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runing fridge on 12v

I do not think it would be practical to modify your 2 way unit to a 3 way many of us use the propane when on the go fuel use on propane I feel is very thrifty only sips it lee
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Old 09-12-2015, 12:30 AM   #4
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Thanks guys, so nice to get responses so fast & from so far away.

Today was our first 'sea trials' - took a 110km (about 60 miles) round trip into the mountains & back. Had spent 2 hours before that messing with the new class 3 hitch & load dist bars & anti sway etc. Only took us 3 tries to get truck/trailer level...

Pulling about 2400 lbs with a 2012 Escape V6 was better than I expected, that hitch really works. Gas mileage in the toilet of course...

A few more 'practice runs' then it's time to winterize - leaves are falling & geese have been spotted heading south... arrgh. Here in Rawdon Quebec, summer is short (barely time for bikini tan lines) & winter is looooonnngg...

All this in preparation for next summer trip to Newfoundland - wish us 2 old farts luck...

Cheers, Lorne & Joanie
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Old 09-14-2015, 09:39 AM   #5
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Congrats on your first successful trip.

I have always run the fridge on propane while traveling, also the fridge uses very little propane, a tank will last a very long time. The heater is what really uses up the propane.
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Old 09-14-2015, 09:41 AM   #6
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Just as an FYI, it does not hurt to run the fridge on propane while driving. I, as well as many others do it all the time without any issues. I've gone up very steep mountain passes, down uneven roads, and parked with the trailer nose down maybe 2' from the rear and the fridge works like a champ the entire time.
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Old 09-14-2015, 09:51 AM   #7
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Run the gas, it doesn't use much more than a pilot light. As for level, while traveling the rig is being jostled enough that the refrigerant is kept moving and doesn't trap it self in any area of the frig. When parked, if the rig feels comfortably level then the frig will work fine on gas or elec.
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Old 09-14-2015, 12:27 PM   #8
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Don't be worried about LP use. It uses 1500BTU/hr. Do the math? About 91000BTU in 1gal LP. So on 1gal alone, it can run 60hrs by itself. That is nothing.

Also, a 12V heater uses WAY too much power and is not as efficient as 120V or LP.
Also, run it on LP going down the road. Do you drive unlevel? No. So it won't hurt anything.
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Old 09-16-2015, 10:26 PM   #9
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Our fridge is never off. Been traveling for 23 years with the propane on. Shut it off for fueling next to a gas truck fueling or at tunnels.
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Old 09-17-2015, 12:50 AM   #10
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Thanks to all for your replies. Update - frig wouldn't work on propane until I tweaked the ignitor about 1/8 inch... fussy little thing eh?

So just back from our 2nd trip, great testing the hitch etc. Serious mountain roads, Escape V6 got into 3rd gear a few times...

Campground was deserted, but beautiful - lake water about 65F - shrinkage was happening LOL

Just an overnight trip but it felt like a week...

I'll try to post some pics
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Old 09-17-2015, 12:58 AM   #11
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We now have a residential refer but up till Feb we've had two way refers and ALWAYS traveled with them running and the propane on. That encompasses some 50+ years of RV'ing.
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Old 09-17-2015, 01:34 AM   #12
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I've been RVing since way back when and I always run the roads with the propane on running the fridge. The only time I don't run the fridge is when the propane has to be turned off while on a Ferry. BTW the run to Newfoundland requires the propane tank to be turned off also.

BTW
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Old 09-18-2015, 08:13 PM   #13
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Don't be worried about LP use. It uses 1500BTU/hr. Do the math? About 91000BTU in 1gal LP. So on 1gal alone, it can run 60hrs by itself. That is nothing.

Also, a 12V heater uses WAY too much power and is not as efficient as 120V or LP.
Also, run it on LP going down the road. Do you drive unlevel? No. So it won't hurt anything.
I'd like to do some math, but around here Propane is sold by the pound. Your typical BBQ tank is 20 pounds, we got a 30 pound one. Any idea how many gallons in those tanks?
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Old 09-18-2015, 08:19 PM   #14
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I'd like to do some math, but around here Propane is sold by the pound. Your typical BBQ tank is 20 pounds, we got a 30 pound one. Any idea how many gallons in those tanks?
4.2 pounds per gallon.

20 lb = 4.76 gallons

30 lb = 7.14 gallons
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