Driving with fridge on gas

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Driving with fridge on gas

Post by Nickji on Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:12 pm

Is there any reason to switch from gas to 12 volt while driving short distances?  Seems ok to me but I’m new to the autosleeper world. Any thoughts?”
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Re: Driving with fridge on gas

Post by bikeralw on Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:39 pm

Several reasons really.
Driving any distance with appliances running on gas is a fire risk if you're involved in an accident. You're really supposed to turn the gas off at the bottle (or tank if fitted), but in practice most folk just turn the valves off inside the van unless you're boarding a ferry. Secondly you're effectively running the fridge for free when on 12 volts, I know you don't get something for nothing, but running on gas will be more expensive than a slight reduction in MPG. Lastly, I would've thought that the draught produced when driving at any speed will most likely extinguish the gas flame.
Al.
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Re: Driving with fridge on gas

Post by Gromit on Wed Oct 04, 2017 1:15 pm

And last of all, very few vans will allow the fridge to work on gas when you are driving - and for a further 20 minutes after you stop. (The 20 minutes is to ensure you don't pull into a filling station with a naked flame near the petrol vapours!!  rolleyes)

I have to ask why you would bother about the fridge when driving only short distances. It takes literally hours for it to defrost to any extent, and 4 hour trips across the Channel present no problem . . . again with the gas turned off so the boat doesn't go up in flames if there's a petrol spillage on the vehicle deck!!!!

Don't get paranoid about it but gas takes no prisoners, so it's well worth becoming familiar with best safe practices before something nasty happens!  content up!

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Re: Driving with fridge on gas

Post by Paulmold on Wed Oct 04, 2017 1:59 pm

Gromit wrote:And last of all, very few vans will allow the fridge to work on gas when you are driving - and for a further 20 minutes after you stop. (The 20 minutes is to ensure you don't pull into a filling station with a naked flame near the petrol vapours!!  rolleyes)

Nickyji has a 1998 Duetto, so don't think there is anything to stop it running on gas whilst travelling except common sense. Pipes can fracture in an accident with horrific consequences. There certainly won't be the safety features you mention Dave.

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Re: Driving with fridge on gas

Post by boxerman on Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:30 pm

There are lots of reasons why you should not do this, but I've done it inadvertently several times. Same with the water heater.
I'm willing to bet that most folk have if they will admit it snigger

Wouldn't do it deliberately though.

Frank
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Re: Driving with fridge on gas

Post by Peter Brown on Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:34 pm

Most vans will let you run the fridge on gas while driving but the flame is open to the atmosphere so will ignite petrol vapour. Current vans will cut off the gas in an accident. For older vans turn off the gas bottles. Those in between.......

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Re: Driving with fridge on gas

Post by Gromit on Wed Oct 04, 2017 5:42 pm

Paulmold wrote:Nickyji has a 1998 Duetto, so don't think there is anything to stop it running on gas whilst travelling except common sense. Pipes can fracture in an accident with horrific consequences. There certainly won't be the safety features you mention Dave.
Ah yes - should have noticed that. Thanks Paul.

As Frank said, it does happen but best avoided if possible. I make a habit of switching our gas off before every journey (and I usually remember!  Whistle1) because we have the automatic Thetford fridge. Having wasted half a tank of gas when we first had the van (when the fridge switched itself to gas when we got home) I have an incentive!  up!

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Re: Driving with fridge on gas

Post by Nickji on Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:49 pm

Thanks everyone for the good advice. My fridge isn’t working on 12 volt but given the risks I’ll turn the gas off when driving.
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Re: Driving with fridge on gas

Post by rogerblack on Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:30 pm

Nickji wrote:Thanks everyone for the good advice. My fridge isn’t working on 12 volt but given the risks I’ll turn the gas off when driving.
Forgive me if I'm teaching egg-sucking but you mentioned you are new:

You said the Fridge isn't working on 12V - are you aware that the fridge will only work on 12V from the alternator whilst the engine is running, not from 12V leisure battery when stopped?

If it's not working when driving, assuming it's turned on at the fridge, usually a red switch, then the possible causes are the relay which controls the voltage from the alternator, or a fuse in that line.  Are you able to check those?

cheers
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Warwick xl

Post by Flaggy on Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:56 am

Slightly of topic but we have only just found out that when you turn the gas off at the tank underneath on our Warwick XL it takes five minutes to burn off the gas remaining in the pipes. That's a lot of gas still in the van, ferries, accidents etc. Thought this might be of interest. Steve.
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Re: Driving with fridge on gas

Post by bikeralw on Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:51 am

Flaggy wrote:Slightly of topic but we have only just found out that when you turn the gas off at the tank underneath on our Warwick XL it takes five minutes to burn off the gas remaining in the pipes. That's a lot of gas still in the van, ferries, accidents etc. Thought this might be of interest. Steve.
What appliance are you burning the gas off with? If I forget to open the main valve and turn on a gas ring it goes out in a few seconds. It must be different for each model of van I guess, differing lengths of piping, tank or bottle etc.
As far as I know there's no requirement to purge pipes before boarding a ferry. After all, the safety fuel cut off valves on vehicles still leaves fuel in the filters and injector pipes.
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Re: Driving with fridge on gas

Post by AutoSleepyDon on Thu Oct 05, 2017 1:10 pm

Flaggy wrote:Slightly of topic but we have only just found out that when you turn the gas off at the tank underneath on our Warwick XL

Do you mean the 3 red taps under the sink or have you found a valve on the actual tank?  confused3
Sounds like it may be the latter in which case well done, I couldn't find it.  up!
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Re: Driving with fridge on gas

Post by Nickji on Thu Oct 05, 2017 3:45 pm

I’m rogerblack wrote:
Nickji wrote:Thanks everyone for the good advice. 

If it's not working when driving, assuming it's turned on at the fridge, usually a red switch, then the possible causes are the relay which controls the voltage from the alternator, or a fuse in that line.  Are you able to check those?

cheers
Roger
When I plugged I an external electric supply the green switch lit up but 11 hours later there was no cooling, and while driving with the red 12 v switch on the fridge got warmer so neither are working. No idea what to do other than checking fuses which are all fine.
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Re: Driving with fridge on gas

Post by Flaggy on Thu Oct 05, 2017 4:59 pm

AutoSleepyDon wrote:
Flaggy wrote:Slightly of topic but we have only just found out that when you turn the gas off at the tank underneath on our Warwick XL

Do you mean the 3 red taps under the sink or have you found a valve on the actual tank?  confused3
Sounds like it may be the latter in which case well done, I couldn't find it.  up!
You have to crawl underneath remove the cover from the tank, black knob, and the valve is under the cover. there is also a small yellow tap on the regulator.
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Re: Driving with fridge on gas

Post by dbroada on Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:46 pm

Flaggy wrote:
AutoSleepyDon wrote:
Flaggy wrote:Slightly of topic but we have only just found out that when you turn the gas off at the tank underneath on our Warwick XL

Do you mean the 3 red taps under the sink or have you found a valve on the actual tank?  confused3
Sounds like it may be the latter in which case well done, I couldn't find it.  up!
You have to crawl underneath remove the cover from the tank, black knob, and the valve is under the cover. there is also a small yellow tap on the regulator.
While you may have the yellow tap the newer vans have a different regulator which doesn't have that tap.

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Re: Driving with fridge on gas

Post by biffobear on Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:12 pm

boxerman wrote:There are lots of reasons why you should not do this, but I've done it inadvertently several times. Same with the water heater.
I'm willing to bet that most folk have if they will admit it  snigger

Wouldn't do it deliberately though.

Frank
I'll come clean, It's a fair cop 'guv biggrin I do it all the time, only to stop up the road to switch over. I have had a 'van with a AES fridge and think in theory  they are a good idea, trouble is they are so much trouble and are forever going wrong I'll  stick with a manual fridge.
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Re: Driving with fridge on gas

Post by Bulletguy on Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:39 pm

I must admit i've never driven my van with the gas left on. Not sure why anyone would to be honest?!  scratch head

I even switch mine off during a ferry crossing as it's only a couple of hours and when i'm a few decks up from my van, i'd sooner everything is isolated to lessen any risks.
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