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Old 09-09-2021, 03:22 PM   #1
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Boondocking First Time questions

Hello Folks,

I have a Fleetwood Storm 33ft class A and will be boondocking for the first time. Two questions- how long will my onboard propane run my refrigerator. Just two adults with no kids opening and closing the frig all day long. Propane tank is standard size- 14 gal per spec sheet.

Second question is when I listen to the dashboard radio or outside radio is it running of the coach batteries or house? Am I risking killing the batteries?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-09-2021, 03:46 PM   #2
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Propane will last weeks.

Turn on the radio to some loud rock and roll. Switch off the house battery disconnect and see if it gets quiet.
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Old 09-09-2021, 06:24 PM   #3
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I had a Monaco back 2003-2013. I’d fill that big propane tank up in the spring and not fill it nail the next spring running a frig, water heater, stovetop, and occasionally the two furnaces. My bet is your tank will run the frig and water heater at least a month.
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Old 09-09-2021, 08:13 PM   #4
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Thank all of you for the input.
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Old 09-09-2021, 09:14 PM   #5
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As the others have said, with a full propane tank you will most likely have more than enough propane to run your fridge for several weeks if not longer. The biggest propane hog is the propane furnace but, again unless the furnace is running 24/7 you should be able to go a couple weeks with mild-moderate furnace usage. Just keep an eye on your propane gauge so that you become familiar with how your appliances effect your overall propane usage.

Regarding your radio, as Twinboat suggested, it's fairly easy to determine if your radio runs off of your house batteries or your chassis batteries by using the house battery bank disconnect switch. If you get concerned, you can always run your on-board generator to re-charge the battery bank.

The most important piece of advice is to go out and just have fun boondocking!
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Old 09-09-2021, 09:39 PM   #6
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Propane will last longer then house batteries......unless you recharge them routinely

Fridges use very little propane and is only ON when fridge temps drop below thermostat set point
Infrequent door opening and 'window shopping' that 14 gallons of propane will last for months
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Old 09-10-2021, 05:52 AM   #7
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Thanks folks. I feel better about the whole program now. I will just have fun!
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Old 09-10-2021, 01:49 PM   #8
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Have you tested fridge on LP yet? The performance should be similar to electric. Spiders love to make nests in burner tubes I hear they are attracted to added scent from and what I have seen. I suggest pulling access panel look for debris/rust on top burner tube, fish some paired or tripled pipe cleaners in and out of burner tube. View the flame it nice and blue. should have, how can be described quiet jet sound.
I have cleaned my LP fridge burner tubes every season as well as old school water heater in last TT . Speaking of water heater do you run it normally or tested on LP as well.
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Old 09-10-2021, 02:04 PM   #9
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+1 on cleaning the fridge burner and flue. My propane 1993 Norcold was slow to cool - it got very cool, kept ice cream hard and all that, just took forever to get there. I found lots of advice here about what to do.

Cleaned off (and out) the burner nozzle, cleaned the flue out, banged out the rust, blew and vac'ed everything.

Now, it gets even colder, faster. I can hear it burning - like a propane torch on high - where before there was no sound (so the orifice was obviously partially plugged.)
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Old 09-10-2021, 02:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleetwood13 View Post
I have a Fleetwood Storm 33ft class A and will be boondocking for the first time. Two questions- how long will my onboard propane run my refrigerator. Just two adults with no kids opening and closing the frig all day long. Propane tank is standard size- 14 gal per spec sheet.
What type/size of refrigerator do you have? I have a Norcold 1200 4-door (2 refrigerator doors and 2 freezer compartments) and have measured propane usage; it uses about 1/2 gallon per day. I've also done theoretical calculations based on BTUs of heat of propane and they indicate the usage would be .4 gallons per day.

So when predicting how much propane my refrigerator will use, I assume 1/2 gallon per day, and when I refill the propane tank after extended boondocking, my prediction of how much I'll need is pretty accurate.

What I don't know is how much one of the Norcolds that's half the size of mine would use. Maybe it'll use half the propane of the bigger unit, but maybe not. I don't know of anybody else who reports actual numbers of propane usage in general, and definitely not of propane when the only thing using propane is the refrigerator.

Something else to know is that your 14-gallon propane tank will actually hold only a little over 11 gallons (onboard tanks are filled to 80%). So if I had your propane tank and my refrigerator, I'd plan for three weeks, and hope for closer to four.
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Old 09-10-2021, 11:09 PM   #11
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I would say weeks for the refrigerator as you have a relatively small propane tank, the one in my coach is 32 gallons by comparison.
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Old 09-11-2021, 04:13 PM   #12
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Thank you for the advice on the cleaning. I will do that. I have used the frig many times and it cools quick. I just haven’t used it enough to gauge consumption.
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Old 09-11-2021, 05:53 PM   #13
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My Fleetwood Bounder has a switch that toggles the radio from chassis to coach batteries, don’t know if you have that or not. It is near the radio and says “Park” for the coach position if memory serves.

And yes, I agree, your fridge will go for weeks on that propane, and a decent amount of time even when adding hot water heater into the mix.
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Old 09-11-2021, 06:15 PM   #14
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If you have AGS (Automatic Generator Start) be sure to set it to start when the batteries are down to 50% charge. In case you use more electric than planned or you lose track of time, your batteries will get recharged when they need it.
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