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Old 08-08-2015, 01:16 AM   #1
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Water Heater/Fridge at same time

I had a full tank (20#) and was getting ready for a 3 day trip. A day and a half before I turned the fridge on to cool down (maybe should have used elec,). In any event I get to the campground and the fridge is cold and I turn on the water heater. On the second night the fridge lost most of it's cold. I turned off the water heater and the fridge cooled down again.
1. Do you keep the water heater on all through the camping trip?
2. If the propane was getting low would the fridge suffer, sharing propane with the water heater?
3. Do you cool your fridge down on shore power and then switch to propane when under way?
I need to get a propane guage. I am thinking of getting a twin propane tank holder. Would that be ok with a feather light 185RB. Sorry for so many ? but this is the first time I have had this issue.

Jack
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Old 08-08-2015, 09:18 AM   #2
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First, you shouldn't get the issue of your fridge not operating as efficiently when your water heater is on. Maybe have something looked at. Now to answer your questions.
Keeping the water heater on during the whole time out really comes down to personal preference. That preference can vary with outside weather climate. Personally I turn my water heater on when I first get to a site and then turn it off during the day turning it back in the evening. My unit maintains a good hot temperature throughout. Now when the weather gets colder, I leave it on.

I am not aware that your fridge would suffer when the propane is low and you are sharing with the water heater.

Definitely, cool your fridge on shore power prior to leaving on a trip. There are lots of arguments for an against leaving propane items like your fridge and water heater running while under way. Some states have laws which say you cannot have your propane bottle in the open position while under way. Some state say propane must be turned off in tunnels.

Propane guages are handy, getting twin tanks would be a nice upgrade.

I see you are in Stagecoach, NV. I am from Dayton originally my father is still there. I have settled and retired in Alaska. However, if you want a good honest no BS person to look at your rig (if its not under warranty) to double check if there may be a problem with your system; go check out Ed's RV repair in Mound House. Some people have issues with him because he seems distant and acts put out. He is the type of business who will tell you what it cost to fix a problem then if you ask he will tell you how to fix it yourself and how to save money doing it.
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Old 08-08-2015, 12:08 PM   #3
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Many propane systems have device in the regulator that prevents rapid loss of the propane in the event the line is ruptured. You can also trigger this device by turning on the propane too quickly. If triggered, the line will still feed some propane, but at a very low rate of flow. Probably enough to run the fridge. When you also tried to run the water heater, the reduced flow would not support both properly. Although you didn't notice, it probably took a long time for your water to get hot as well as the fridge not staying cold.

The cure is really simple. Turn off the valve on top of the propane tank. Break open teh connection to the tank and bleed off any pressure. Lightly tap on the side of the regulator. This should reset the safety device. Re-tighten the connection and slowly open the valve on the tank. Everything should work just fine.
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Old 08-08-2015, 03:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by us71na View Post
Many propane systems have device in the regulator that prevents rapid loss of the propane in the event the line is ruptured. You can also trigger this device by turning on the propane too quickly. If triggered, the line will still feed some propane, but at a very low rate of flow. Probably enough to run the fridge. When you also tried to run the water heater, the reduced flow would not support both properly. Although you didn't notice, it probably took a long time for your water to get hot as well as the fridge not staying cold.

The cure is really simple. Turn off the valve on top of the propane tank. Break open teh connection to the tank and bleed off any pressure. Lightly tap on the side of the regulator. This should reset the safety device. Re-tighten the connection and slowly open the valve on the tank. Everything should work just fine.
Ahh yes. very right you are sir. Even with all my years I had forgotten this little tidbit of information.
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Old 08-10-2015, 01:06 AM   #5
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I ran my fridge and water heater on propane for 18 days straight and used exactly one tank of propane. I shut off the water heater at night and during the day when we were out on day trips.
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