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 > Gas fridge on the move?

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CA Traveler

The Western States

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Posted: 05/11/22 09:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You could have other issues. Replace the regulator to eliminate it. Look up how to clean the nozzle and do so. Purchase or modify a second nozzle for high elevation and change as needed. Check the ignitor, etc.

One main propane concern occurs with a crash causing a leak while driving. Current propane tanks detect excessive flow and shut down the supply. Many/most of us drive with the propane on.


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Posted: 05/11/22 09:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Clean the nozzle/burner etc.
if it works, it works. Could easily take a couple attempts to light if it was blown out on the road from wind. Was pretty common with our old AF campers at high speed or head winds.
Is yours not also DC and switches over? It was our stop gap when traveling.


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Grit dog

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Posted: 05/11/22 09:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

wildtoad wrote:

Why not just turn the fridge off during travel? Things should stay cold for hours if you keep the door closed.

Seems like that’s what happened and the OP like most people would prefer to have their fridge running.
That’s a great suggestion if you don’t travel far or in hot weather…. Or use your fridge throughout the day.
Seems counterproductive to basically have a vertical ice box though. It was made to run 24/7 traveling or not.

windhorse

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Posted: 05/11/22 12:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Exactly, and I am more than double that ??

JoeChiOhki

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Posted: 05/11/22 04:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lwiddis wrote:

Fridge is 26 years old.


Since it has a Check light, that means it likely is a computer controlled unit and wouldn't surprise me that the Thermocouple is dirty that detects flame or your circuit board is starting to go (There's several Norcold and Dometic fridges that DinoBoards were made for that replace the original control system and are superior to the original equipment).


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vern kelly

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Posted: 05/11/22 06:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a 98 Lance and it has always had trouble running on gas if speed is over ~50 mph as the flame gets blown out causing the check light to come on, otherwise it works great on gas. May have been your problem with a cross wind as you say it worked before. If it is failing while stationary could be something else. I had to replace my dometic control board after only 4 years with a dinosaur board and never had another problem. It would just shut off the gas solenoid 5 minutes to 4 hours triggering the check light. Thermocouple voltage tested fine. Was a common problem with this vintage.

I use the DC mode while on the high speed roads and am careful not to leave it on DC if the truck is not running. DC works fine on the road to maintain temperature if you have at least an 8 awg wire from truck to camper battery through a 40 amp circuit breaker and an isolator solenoid. Remember that it is not on continuously and cycles just like ac or gas mode. Always pre cool the frig a day before leaving on the trip.


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mbloof

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Posted: 05/12/22 10:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

vern kelly wrote:

I have a 98 Lance and it has always had trouble running on gas if speed is over ~50 mph as the flame gets blown out causing the check light to come on, otherwise it works great on gas. May have been your problem with a cross wind as you say it worked before. If it is failing while stationary could be something else. I had to replace my dometic control board after only 4 years with a dinosaur board and never had another problem. It would just shut off the gas solenoid 5 minutes to 4 hours triggering the check light. Thermocouple voltage tested fine. Was a common problem with this vintage.

I use the DC mode while on the high speed roads and am careful not to leave it on DC if the truck is not running. DC works fine on the road to maintain temperature if you have at least an 8 awg wire from truck to camper battery through a 40 amp circuit breaker and an isolator solenoid. Remember that it is not on continuously and cycles just like ac or gas mode. Always pre cool the frig a day before leaving on the trip.


All good advice. [emoticon]

Personally, while I generally precool my fridge and put already cold stuff in it and the freezer most of my destinations are < 3hrs away and I see no issue(s) with traveling with it off - things are not going to thaw out or get warm in the time it takes to travel and then get the fridge going/cooling again.

It should be noted that (decades ago now) Lance recognized the problem with running the fridge in DC mode (and/or charging from the truck) and invented the "Lance connector" to solve/deal with the issue.

Lance dealers would install 8AWG wire+solenoid+fuse connected to their 'special' 7-pin 'Lance connector' outfitted with 2x 8AWG wires and 5x 14AWG wires umbilical cord to the purchasers/owners Lance truck camper. Properly installed Lance campers have no issue running the refrige on DC or charging the house battery from the truck.



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windhorse

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Posted: 05/13/22 04:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have reached an agreement with the refrigerator. I have started to turn it off while driving. It has stopped turning off with check light on. Instead I leave a couple of plastic bottles of water in the freezer. They turn to ice when the fridge is on that keeps my food frozen and/or cold when I drive, so for now my problem seems to be solved.

StirCrazy

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Posted: 05/14/22 08:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

dometic used to have a problemm of the flame blowing out while driving. I have this issue curenty but its only in very gusty conditions at higher speed. they did put out a baffel system to help with this. I have been doing some reading and am working on my own setup to prevent wind gusts from blowing the pilot out. it is also more comon when it is cooler and the flame is on low.

Steve


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adamis

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Posted: 05/14/22 09:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

On my Bigfoot I keep the fridge on Propane all the time including driving. Most of our driving is in hot weather and for several hours a day. There is no way the fridge will keep up under those conditions so keeping it on is a must. It rarely if ever blows out while traveling.

I did one trip to Las Vegas for a convention in July. I added some fans in the vent chase on the back of the fridge hoping to help the airflow in the extreme heat. Ironically, these fans even when not running changed the airflow dynamics of the that vent chase. The fridge would no longer stay running while driving down the freeway. It took a few trips with barely cold food before I admitted defeat on my "upgrade" and removed the fans. Since then, fridge has been rock solid. Lesson learned, the airflow dynamics can be something very difficult to account for but is a huge factor in wether the fridge will run while driving.

I know the newer compressor fridges are all the rage. Maybe someday when I have one I will think the same. In my opinion though, these propane fridges are really very solid. You just have to understand their limits and work within them. Turn them on a day before your trip, minimize opening the door (chase the kids out!), Keep a large block of ice in the freezer to help provide thermal mass and regulate temps. Expect that on a grocery run food is going to warm up the fridge for a few hours as the system works to cool it all back down.

The tradeoffs to these limits is a very efficient method to keep food cold that is simple and generally just works when it's used properly.


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