HVAC, Appliances and Propane Systems Heating, Air Conditioning, Refrigerator, stove, propane systems and more.
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Old 09-17-2011, 07:27 PM   #1
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Default Traveling with refrig ON

i am a relatively new HiLo owner (2307C) and several times have forgotten and left the refrig in AUTO while traveling. I am assuming the refrig went to GAS mode and kept operating since we did not manually switch it to DC mode. Everything was kept cold and all the operating lights on the refrig were in their normal status. Seems like enough air was getting around the seals to supply the gas heater in the refrig cooling system.

So, why do we need to switch the refrig to DC mode (and risk draining the battery) while traveling? Why not just leave it on AUTO-GAS?

Darryl
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Old 09-17-2011, 08:13 PM   #2
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It's a safety factor, Traveling with an open gas valve isn't very safe. Many places while traveling ask if your propane tanks are turned off. If your tow vehicle is properly wired there is no risk of having a drained battery. This point has been argued a lot in this forum. I put mine on DC and never have drained batteries.
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Old 09-18-2011, 05:46 PM   #3
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I see, so it is a general safety concern, nothing special to the Hi-Lo because the top comes down. Thanks for the info.
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Old 09-18-2011, 06:37 PM   #4
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It is also special to the HI-LO because the propane burner is not properly vented when the top is down, the gases go inside the trailer. When the top is up the gases go out the vent on the side. Full size trailers have a flue pipe that goes up to the roof and vents the burner.
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Old 09-18-2011, 10:14 PM   #5
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Smile Refridge..

All that you have to do is run a larger gauge wire from your tow vehicle's battery through a resettable fuse to the charging pin that charges your hilo battery. This compensates for the larger amperage draw of the refridgerator when you have it running on 12 volts while traveling between campgrounds. I did this and have no problems.
When I first bought this Hilo, I had the same problem; the battery would be so dead, the top would not go up. I got angry and phoned Hilo; I talked with the owner of Hilo and he told me what to do.
I would suggest that you go to an auto electrical shop and have them do this for you. I also increased the gauge of the wire on the Hilo side of the 12 volt charging circuit, so that the wire gauges would be the same from the tow vehicle's battery to the Hilo battery.
Good luck; I know the frustration, but this does work and your food will be cold and your battery will be charged when you get to your destination.
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Old 09-20-2011, 07:22 PM   #6
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With the information provided by the experienced HiLo owners on this site, I checked the voltage that the TV delivered (no trailer battery). Measured at the trailer, it dropped from 14.2 (no load) down to 11.8 when the refrig was turned on with DC power. High enough to run the refrig, but it would drain the trailer battery if it were connected. I checked the trailer wiring at the refrig and it was 10 gauge. So your advice to beef up the wiring on the TV side is right on. Thanks again.
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Old 09-21-2011, 01:46 AM   #7
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CamperD,

you may want to check out this forum thread.

Using refrig on gas while traveling?
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Old 04-16-2012, 06:21 AM   #8
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Default Traveling with refrig ON

hi friend...................

I am relatively new to rv'ing and always travel with my RV refirg operating off the propane. A friend just informed me that he read this is not recommmended. Is this true? I believe he must have misinterpreted whatever he read.
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Old 04-16-2012, 06:50 AM   #9
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Have you read the posts in this forum about this? If it's a Hi-Lo it should be on DC while traveling. If it's a full height trailer it can operate on propane, as they are properly vented, a Hi-Lo is not properly vented when down per the manufactures manual.
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Old 04-16-2012, 07:16 AM   #10
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Summarizing some of the past posts on the subject, here are few pointers on the use of the refrigerator while traveling.

Operating the fridge in the propane mode while traveling is a potential safety hazard, especially when stopping to fuel up due to gas fumes that could be ignited from your or another fueling operation. Having gas turned on in the event of an accident is not a good idea either. Some tunnels prohibit propane operated devices as well. If you have a sufficiently rated charge line from your tow vehicle you can run the fridge in DC mode with no problems. I have done it many times with good results. Even if it does do some drain on the battery, when you plug in when you arrive at a campground the battery will charge back up. If you are going only a short distance to boondock turn the fridge off while traveling and back on in gas mode when you get there. You can have the fridge on while moving down the road because there is sufficient air circulation. It is recommended to not leave the fridge on more than an hour while the trailer is sitting and in the down position. Either turn it off completely or raise the top. If everything is cold inside you can leave it turned off for several hours with no problems.
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