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Old 05-13-2014, 09:41 AM   #21
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It can depend upon upon the refrigeration year/design. It would not be uncommon for an RV absorption refrigerator to operate on 12 volts and propane. All it needs is a heat source. You may think that you are running on 120 volts, but the reality may be that it is always powered by 12 volts fed from either the battery or the charger/inverter while on shore power.

The lower BTU output from a 12 volt heating element is why an RV refrigerator often cools more quickly on propane than it does on electric.

You are required by law to turn off the propane before entering tunnels. Most places also have laws requiring that an open flame like an RV refrigerator on propane is turned off before entering a fuel apron area. Many people ignore those laws and have had no problems over many years. No problems over many years does not mean that the dangers from that practice don't exist.

Most all safety rules are based upon experience and often are written with someone's blood

vic
What I meant by AC only is the standard household refrigerators in high end motorhomes. I have seen several of them in recent years. They are not common but they are not propane at all since they have a compressor rather than absorption. The 12VDC in all 2 way (propane / electric) refrigerators operates the control board and the DSI system. And yes technically in many tunnels the propane must be turned off the rules were written for much older propane systems that had open flames (pilot light and the burner). The new systems operate on a DSI system plus the propane heater flame is enclosed in a flue to more efficiently heat the elements. I had a very old propane refrigerator and know how it worked and it is very different than the new systems. That said people should technically turn off the propane where posted to do so. There is a very long thread about what people do with the propane system in their RVs. I don't think we should hijack this thread for that purpose. Bottom line the OPs question was propane or battery to run the refrigerator the answer is propane or run the generator unless you have a residential refrigerator. I have not seen a Jayco (doesn't mean that they don't have one as an option) that has a 3 way AC / DC / Propane absorption refrigerator.
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Old 05-13-2014, 03:17 PM   #22
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Since you replied.

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What I meant by AC only is the standard household refrigerators in high end motorhomes.
What you said was

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... All modern RV refrigerators are either AC / propane or AC only run by an inverter. ...
I guess maybe it depends upon your definition of modern. I consider 2000 vintage "modern" and some have 12 volt elements.

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... I don't think we should hijack this thread for that purpose. Bottom line the OPs question was propane or battery to run the refrigerator the answer is propane or run the generator unless you have a residential refrigerator. I have not seen a Jayco (doesn't mean that they don't have one as an option) that has a 3 way AC / DC / Propane absorption refrigerator.
No hijack. I was trying to avoid confusion that 120 volt AC power was "always" supplied to RV refrigerators. That is not "always" true.

If you go back and review you will see that laws and regulations were already mentioned within this thread. My reply seems on topic as anyone else's to me.

Thanks for the reply.

vic
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Old 05-13-2014, 03:52 PM   #23
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Since you replied.


What you said was


I guess maybe it depends upon your definition of modern. I consider 2000 vintage "modern" and some have 12 volt elements.


No hijack. I was trying to avoid confusion that 120 volt AC power was "always" supplied to RV refrigerators. That is not "always" true.

If you go back and review you will see that laws and regulations were already mentioned within this thread. My reply seems on topic as anyone else's to me.

Thanks for the reply.

vic
I guess I didn't include a 14 year old unit in my definition of modern. It is possible that there are 12VDC heated absorption refrigerators the real problem is current draw. Ohm's law applies 100 amps * 12 volts = 1200 watts. You need a large battery bank and large wiring to connect to it to get sufficient power to run an electric element for an absorption refrigerator. Now that inverter technology has advanced it is cheaper to run an inverter and use smaller 120 vac wiring.
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Old 05-13-2014, 04:15 PM   #24
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I guess I didn't include a 14 year old unit in my definition of modern. It is possible that there are 12VDC heated absorption refrigerators the real problem is current draw. Ohm's law applies 100 amps * 12 volts = 1200 watts. You need a large battery bank and large wiring to connect to it to get sufficient power to run an electric element for an absorption refrigerator. Now that inverter technology has advanced it is cheaper to run an inverter and use smaller 120 vac wiring.
Sigh.

2000 "vintage", not year 2000. 12 volt elements go well into the 2000's and I'm certain are still used by many campers.

Power efficiency of a 12 volt heater element for an absorption unit is not a factor when connected to the tow vehicle. The tow vehicle charging system is essentially an unlimited source for loads like a refrigerator heater element.

So when properly connected to the tow vehicle 12 volt use is not a problem. The propane system is for when power is limited like when dry camping.

I guess we've covered everything I need to now. Bye. vic
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Old 06-19-2014, 11:44 PM   #25
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As far as I know, my '12 31SS fridge runs on shore power, generator or propane. Not on 12v. I start mine on propane when I park at the house. And begin preparing for a trip. By the time I leave, it's cold and I travel with it off. If it's a long trip I might turn on the propane to cool things down. But camping I see no reason not to use shore power, generally that is free in most campsites.
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Old 06-20-2014, 12:10 AM   #26
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i think propane is always better
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Old 06-20-2014, 06:55 AM   #27
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120VAC/12VDC refrigerators are alive and well and used almost exclusively in the marine industry, although some RV owners who only camp with FHU are going to them. They use the Danfoss compressors which draw aprox 5A when running. They default to 120V when both power sources are available. If my gas absorp unit ever goes out, that's what id going to replace it.
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Old 04-22-2016, 09:34 PM   #28
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2015 Season:
TT towed reasonably level and the propane refrigerator operated nicely.

2016 Season:
New tow vehicle shocks and springs raise the trailer tongue and tilts the trailer.
Of course I plan to level the refrigerator when unhooking the trailer upon arrival.

Can anyone opine how towing a slightly tilted trailer will effect propane refrigerator operations?
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Old 04-22-2016, 11:14 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Arctic Bos'un View Post
2015 Season:
TT towed reasonably level and the propane refrigerator operated nicely.

2016 Season:
New tow vehicle shocks and springs raise the trailer tongue and tilts the trailer.
Of course I plan to level the refrigerator when unhooking the trailer upon arrival.

Can anyone opine how towing a slightly tilted trailer will effect propane refrigerator operations?
My opine, it may not cool as efficiently as before. And, since you know how well it did before, give it a try.
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Old 04-23-2016, 06:37 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Arctic Bos'un View Post
2015 Season:
TT towed reasonably level and the propane refrigerator operated nicely.

2016 Season:
New tow vehicle shocks and springs raise the trailer tongue and tilts the trailer.
Of course I plan to level the refrigerator when unhooking the trailer upon arrival.

Can anyone opine how towing a slightly tilted trailer will effect propane refrigerator operations?
Instead of the doubt,can't you just buy a new reciver that drops your trailer level?
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