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Old 05-12-2010, 01:00 PM   #1
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How much propane does average Fridge burn in 24 hours?

Curious.... I use gas all the time on my Dometic fridge/freezer combo and I can barely tell any is getting used! Cold as heck too!

Ideas?
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Old 05-12-2010, 02:51 PM   #2
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Well I can tell you're not a member of FMCA.

FMCA just signed up a new advertiser (an insurance company that I won't give a plug for) and they had a multi page advertisement on the dangers associated with rving and one that caught my attention was to never use your refer on propane while traveling or you will most likely burn your rv to the ground. Hogwash! I posted a couple times on their forum which at least 5 other people visit occasionally and was pretty much lead to believe that if I can't post something nice, stay away. Me and Seajay! Sure felt good to get that off my chest.

To answer your question, I bet it won't use 20 lbs in a year.
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Old 05-12-2010, 03:16 PM   #3
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Well I can tell you're not a member of FMCA.

FMCA just signed up a new advertiser (an insurance company that I won't give a plug for) and they had a multi page advertisement on the dangers associated with rving and one that caught my attention was to never use your refer on propane while traveling or you will most likely burn your rv to the ground. Hogwash! I posted a couple times on their forum which at least 5 other people visit occasionally and was pretty much lead to believe that if I can't post something nice, stay away. Me and Seajay! Sure felt good to get that off my chest.

To answer your question, I bet it won't use 20 lbs in a year.
Wow... that is efficient! (sp) Sweet deal! BTW... my fridge runs on gas unless plugged into shore power... then auto switches to AC. I love it.
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Old 05-12-2010, 03:33 PM   #4
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Your fridge is using just about the right amount. The amount used in 24 hour is very small. Maybe it could be measured in ounces but it certainly would be a very small number compared to the amount of propane on board. Want to watch that propane drop in volume? Turn on your furnace for a few days. Even worse would be if you had a propane generator like my first coach. This was a huge mistake but I didn't know what I was getting into and no one was willing to offer up that this could be a problem.
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Old 05-12-2010, 05:30 PM   #5
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Curious.... I use gas all the time on my Dometic fridge/freezer combo and I can barely tell any is getting used! Cold as heck too!

Ideas?
Well assuming this is a serious question here goes.

There's approximately 91,500 btu's in a gallon of propane. I have a 12 cu/ft Norcold refrigerator that burns 2400 btu/hr. So one gallon of propane will last about 38 hrs. However that's if the refrigerator runs constantly. Again, assuming it runs for 8 hours out of a 24 hr. period a gallon of propane should last about 5 days. Naturally it all depends on how hot the outside temperature is, how full the refrigerator is, the temperature setting and how often you open the door. If you have a 30 gallon propane tank it should last about 150 days.
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Old 05-12-2010, 05:54 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by RJay View Post
Well assuming this is a serious question here goes.

There's approximately 91,500 btu's in a gallon of propane. I have a 12 cu/ft Norcold refrigerator that burns 2400 btu/hr. So one gallon of propane will last about 38 hrs. However that's if the refrigerator runs constantly. Again, assuming it runs for 8 hours out of a 24 hr. period a gallon of propane should last about 5 days. Naturally it all depends on how hot the outside temperature is, how full the refrigerator is, the temperature setting and how often you open the door. If you have a 30 gallon propane tank it should last about 150 days.
Lots of good numbers but my experience is this...I've owned my mh for 32 months. When I bought it the propane tank was full. Since then I've filled it twice, first time it took 16 gallons and the second twelve. I have 25000 miles and the refer is on propane all those miles. I must have the "green" unit. Maybe I'll get a rebate check.
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Old 05-12-2010, 08:57 PM   #7
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I say ''Bull Short'' on burning you coach by running your refrigerator on propane while traveling. I have been camping for 15 years and I always run my unit on propane except when plugged into shore power. Concerning ''burning your coach'' think about this. You have got 75 gallons plus of gasoline under the coach in a tank that is thicker than a beer can. If this puppie is gonna ''flame'' that will probably be the source of danger. Also, I carry full coverage and full replacement insurance on the old sow .........
One more thing.. I Never Turn off MY Refrigerator... NEVER, except to maintain the burner.

Nuff said ...
Seajay the sailor man ...
ps to Jim...... Them folks on the ''other forum'' have on shorts that are way too tight.........
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Old 05-12-2010, 09:46 PM   #8
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How much propane---

Elkhartjim - I agree with you about running the fridge while driving- the RV fridge is designed to be run on electrical when available or propane when the RV is on the road ( electrical too when equipped with a generator) and this is done to support the RV lifestyle- the fridges have an enclosed burn chamber and the flame will not be blown out by the moving air when on propane (as is possible with WHer's and furnaces)and the fridge outside body/cover is designed for this as well - the statement about "burning to the ground" in reference to the fridge was obviously made by someone with little to no experience with RVing- I look after a large RV rental fleet and we tell people that the fridge can be operating when travelling but not the stove, furnace or water heater- the stove for obvious reasons and the WH and furnace on account of the chance that the hot exhaust air can be blown backwards and damage the coach body - I have seen this happen several times - it all depends how strong the wind is - did the person who wrote that article specify that the coach will "burn to the ground" on propane or electric when driving ? - this is a classic example of an insurance company not asking the people who make RV's about this topic and then giving their personal 'expert' opinion and making their insurance coverage and policies using this information as a reference - wonder how many people have been affected by this ?
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Old 05-13-2010, 08:39 AM   #9
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Copied from current FMCA magazine.

2. Refrigerator Fires And Propane Leaks
Hundreds of claims every year result from refrigerator fires caused by malfunctions in the fridge’s cooling system. A motorhome can burn up in minutes as a result of these malfunctions. When it comes to the refrigerator in your motorhome, familiarize yourself with the make and model and always be on the lookout for recalls. The experts at FMCA Motorhome & Auto stay in contact with propane appliance manufacturers, and you should, too. Bookmark the Web site of the manufacturer of your RV refrigerator, for example, and periodically go online to check for recalls or other safety information. If you attend RV shows or rallies, stop by the booths of RV manufacturers and ask whether there are any recalls that pertain to your refrigerator. Also be sure to follow these basic guidelines:
  • Never paint your propane tank a dark color.
  • Be sure your oven or stove burners are completely off when not in use.
  • Make sure your engine and any propane appliances are turned off before refueling.
  • Be certain that older propane tanks have an overfill protection device.
  • Check exhaust and intake vents for any blockages.
  • Install a propane gas detector.
  • Do not drive with your refrigerator running on the propane setting.

I guess the insurance company doesn't know we have gas detectors and the way I check mine is by using a butane lighter.
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Old 05-13-2010, 09:41 AM   #10
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This seems to be a combination of a knee jerk reaction to a known problem and the wrong conclusions to the available facts.

It's well known that manufacturers are having ongoing recalls on refrigerator cooling units. The reason for the recall is that weaknesses in the cooling unit could cause a freon leak resulting in a fire or explosion. However, this result can occur anytime on suspect units and not just while traveling down the highway. I suspect that FMCA's recommendations are given to limit public exposure to any incidences that may occur while on the road.

If you are an owner of a suspect cooling unit and haven't had a chance to get it replaced and there is no evidence of it leaking, then the responsible thing to do is not use the refrigerator in the propane mode when public exposure is the greatest. But if your unit is not suspect use it as designed.
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:31 AM   #11
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That insurer shows once again that a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing. Sure there have been fridge problems due to overheated cooling units, but they are not related to propane use on the highway. Once they figure that out, they will probably tell us not to use our fridges at all.
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:23 AM   #12
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How much propane

In adition to what Gary says, what about the other gas appliances? - if someone lights a cigarette outside of an RV in a campground should we turn all the appliances off? - " The experts at FMCA Motorhome & Auto stay in contact with propane appliance manufactures, and you should too" - this statement indicates to me that they are getting their info on fridges and other appliances from Dometic, Norcold, Atwood etc. and that these manufactures are telling them NOT to run the RV fridges while driving - this tells me that whoever was reading the info on the fridge recall regarding cooling unit failure and fires made their own version of the info and made a 'blanket' statement regarding running the fridges while driving - Gary makes a good point - whats next? - will the insurance company void a claim based on this info from FMCA if an FMCA member operates their fridge while driving? - as RJay says "This seems to be a combination of knee jerk reaction to a known problem and the wrong conclusions to the available facts" -
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Old 05-13-2010, 08:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RJay View Post
Well assuming this is a serious question here goes.

There's approximately 91,500 btu's in a gallon of propane. I have a 12 cu/ft Norcold refrigerator that burns 2400 btu/hr. So one gallon of propane will last about 38 hrs. However that's if the refrigerator runs constantly. Again, assuming it runs for 8 hours out of a 24 hr. period a gallon of propane should last about 5 days. Naturally it all depends on how hot the outside temperature is, how full the refrigerator is, the temperature setting and how often you open the door. If you have a 30 gallon propane tank it should last about 150 days.
what he said
I have run ours for long long long time
and during summer i run it more on lp to slow the spinning of the power meter at the lake house rv port gettaway, also run the water heater on gas.
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Old 05-13-2010, 08:39 PM   #14
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Looks like some more Insurance company and their legal folks setting up another way to deny a claim in the event an RV would burn.

Being in the refrigeration business I have worked with a lot of different refrigerant gasses such as ammonia, propane and butane. Yep, these are used for refrigerants in large systems....never had one burn up or explode. Plenty of other things around the units burned, but they all have safety devices to prevent this.

The man that knows nothing will speak the loudest on an issue.

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