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Old 07-16-2008, 09:10 AM   #1
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traveling with cold food in fridge ?

hi i have 1989 t1550 i know that the camper has to be level for the fridge to work so i gess it can not be running when traveling. what are you guys doing to keep your food cold. i will be traveling about 1.5 hrs and would love to stock the fridge before i leave and just have to plug the camper in when i get there. the fridge is a 2 way 110v / propain. if i run the fridge the night before i leave. will it stay cold for my trip / when i get there and plug it in will it cool down fast enugh so that my food will not spoil?
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Old 07-16-2008, 09:32 AM   #2
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We use a bunch of freezer blocks.

We put them in the freezer the night before, then move them to the fridge at the time we depart, do not open the door until we get there and then turn it back on and take blocks out so they do nt add to the heat load.

We have 8 hr trips this way with no issues.

We also have 2 of the Camco battery fans inside. They pump more air then the Valtera ones. But both are good. Key is moving air.

John
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Old 07-16-2008, 10:34 AM   #3
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We turn the fridge on several days before a trip, and begin to load it after it is nice and cold. Remember it may take 8 to 12 hours for the fridge to get down to safe cooling temps for food. I don't recommend putting food into the fridge until it is nice and frosty.

There have been lots of discussions about travelling with the fridge on. Some do it; some don't. I do it except for when pulling into a gas station. Then I shut it off before approaching the pumps and turn it back on after leaving the pumps. Others feel that even that is unsafe. Personal decision, I guess. I feel better about it now that I am using diesel instead of gasoline.

My fridge has the Dometic recall upgrade which puts a large shield on the fridge over the stack - that seems to prevent any possiblity of the flame being blown out by the wind.

For a short trip of less than 3-4 hours, if you really don't want to run the fridge, you should be just fine providing that the fridge is nice and cold when you leave and don't open it until you are on campsite and have the unit running. Again, remember that if it has been off for a few hours, it will take several hours for the coolant system to get back to full efficiency. Opening it and closing it several times while it is just getting started on cooling again will remove whatever cold air is in the fridge.
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Old 07-16-2008, 10:43 AM   #4
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Re: traveling with cold food in fridge ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mventrice
hi i have 1989 t1550 i know that the camper has to be level for the fridge to work so i gess it can not be running when traveling. what are you guys doing to keep your food cold. i will be traveling about 1.5 hrs and would love to stock the fridge before i leave and just have to plug the camper in when i get there. the fridge is a 2 way 110v / propain. if i run the fridge the night before i leave. will it stay cold for my trip / when i get there and plug it in will it cool down fast enugh so that my food will not spoil?
People do run their fridge on propane while traveling. Personally, I chose not to just to ease my mind that if an accident happened, I don't want vented combustible gas added to a rolled trailer.

An hour and a half drive with a pre run cold stocked fridge you'd most likely be fine without having to do anything but plug in when you get there.

We use 20oz water bottles when we camp so I usually freeze 6-8 of them and thow them into the fridge for the drive. We drink those when they thaw. If I doing a long drive I go to the local meat store and buy a 20lb block of ice I have a plastic tray for that fits into the bottom. Otherwise I try to always have a cooler with extra crushed ice, I don't like having to buy from the campground or the closest store. Often times a rake over the coals in price for some frozen water.

Have you tested the fridge at length on both electric and gas?

Take care,
Jason
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Old 07-16-2008, 10:44 AM   #5
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is it ok for the fridge to be on when traveling

i have visted a few websites that have pros and cons of oporateing the fridge while being in motion.

is it safe for my 1989 fridge to be oporateing when in motion? i read that if the camper is not moveing and is not level that the fridge can be damaged? can it be damaged while moveing ?

the fridge works great and would hate to damage it by using it while moveing.

if i were to use it i would use it on 110v with an inverter or a generator i don t like the idea of open gas when moveing

thanks for your help
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Old 07-16-2008, 10:48 AM   #6
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To travel with the refrigerator running or not is a question that comes up a lot. We prefer to not worry about the open flame question so we turn our refrigerator off while moving. It's no problem at all: Simply throw a few bottles of water in the freezer the day before you leave. In the morning, transfer the frozen bottles to the refrigerator. If you keep the refrigerator door closed, your food will stay cold all day and the water will be drinkable when you get to your destination. We've traveled this way for years.
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Old 07-16-2008, 08:34 PM   #7
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We turn our fridge on about a week before the first outing of the season and leave it on for the season. We were told that it will last longer if it's not getting cold and then warming up all the time. As for traveling, we load up the fridge and freezer before we leave and leave it closed until we get to a site and plugged in. We've never had a problem with anything going bad. We traveled 10 hours to Maine last week and had no problem.
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Old 07-17-2008, 05:54 AM   #8
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We travel with ours on gas. Never had a problem.
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Old 07-17-2008, 09:41 AM   #9
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A past camper had a 12v option on the fridge which was handy. We use the fridge on gas now while traveling and never had a problem. We just stop and turn it off before filling up with gas, no problem. We'll turn it on 120v a day before we leave and it switches over when we hook up.
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Old 07-17-2008, 09:33 PM   #10
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Ok, Maybe I am doing something wrong, but we've traveled quite a few miles and never turned out frige off once, except for the week it broke.

We've never had a single problem with it not cooling while driving. I dont see why you would turn it off when you fuel up as the frige vent is on the opposite side of the fuel filler hole?

Ours broke when a cooling section holder snapped loose from it's weld and allowed the cooling line to crack in a weld from the vibration. This must have been something that Norcold was having trouble with, because they replaced the entire cooling unit under warranty, and when the new unit came, the weld tab was completely different with a rubber gromet on it to not let it break again.

If you get in an accident with your camper, I find it hard to believe having the frige on or off is going to make a big difference. Every camper I've seen that has been in a accident, there isnt too much left of them to fix
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Old 07-17-2008, 10:37 PM   #11
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Most certainly a lot of folks run with appliances on propane power... heater, fridge, hot water tank, etc. I believe for certain 'to each his own.' My fear doesn't stem much past the open LP tank valve. Having them closed provides me with piece of mind I guess.

There are tunnels where open tank valves are prohibited. I'm sure it's the case of getting pulled over for another infraction and getting inspected and then fined.

I don't recall exactly where I saw this, but there is information available as which tunnels prohibit LP gas, and which tunnels merely have LP gas restrictions.

Take care,
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Old 07-18-2008, 03:48 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lode
There are tunnels where open tank valves are prohibited. I'm sure it's the case of getting pulled over for another infraction and getting inspected and then fined.

I don't recall exactly where I saw this, but there is information available as which tunnels prohibit LP gas, and which tunnels merely have LP gas restrictions.
http://www.woodalls.com/output.cfm?ID=1195129

http://www.rvsafely.com/rvroadlaws.htm

http://www.rvadvice.com/travel/TX.html

http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/info...cfm?faq_id=137

I am certain that there are more resources out there, but I found these with a brief Google search.

Some places require the tanks and appliances to be simply shut off completely while there are some that ban LP all together. Where we've travelled in the northeast US, there is plenty of warning via road signs for you to either change your route or pull over and shut things down. In some cases, the law specifies "subject to inspection". In this post 9-11 world, I suspect they mean it.
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Old 07-18-2008, 05:43 AM   #13
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We have always driven with our gas refrigerator on. We have always turned it off when buying gas. The potential of a fire is very low when filling but fire's have happened so we shut it off. In all our travels the only place we've had to shut off our propane is the Chesepeake Bay Bridge and on Ferry crossings. I'm sure there are others but that's been it in driving every state and all the provinces of Canada.

Again it takes minutes to turn it off or on.

I will say that most of the time when driving, we hardly ever drive more than 200 miles in a day, that a closed refrigerator stays cool and if you plan ahead and cool it way down before driving, a closed refrigerator stays cool enough.

Norm Milliard
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Old 07-18-2008, 07:05 AM   #14
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LP Gas is prohibited on I-95 tunnels of Baltimore Harbor and Fort McHenry. Alternate route for RVs with propane is over the Francis Scott Key Bridge on I-695.
This is one we deal with a lot. Fortunately, there are two relatively short detours, both on I-695, which is the Baltimore Beltway, around the west side if we are going I-70W, I-795N, or I-83N and around the eastside if we are going I-95N.

I will also use the west side because of the tolls on the eastside!!!

We travel with refrigerator on gas and turn it off if we need fuel, but most of our trips are less than three hours and I make sure the truck is full before I start so I usually don't have to fuel with the trailer attached.
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