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Old 10-08-2019, 05:39 AM   #61
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So most of us are driving around in RV's with 150 yr. old technology. Absorption fridges and lead-acid batteries. My hat is off to the great run this ancient technology has had, and is still having.

I personally have neither after my lithium battery upgrade. Wait, come to think of it, my engine battery is still lead-acid.
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Old 10-08-2019, 07:12 AM   #62
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So most of us are driving around in RV's with 150 yr. old technology. Absorption fridges and lead-acid batteries. My hat is off to the great run this ancient technology has had, and is still having.

I personally have neither after my lithium battery upgrade. Wait, come to think of it, my engine battery is still lead-acid.
Congratulation, I like my compressor fridge, but found AGM still sufficient for my needs. Absorption fridges will stay prominent in camping trailers for years along other LPG appliances, as far I can tell it is the best combo for TTs.

RV business is an oxymoronic mixed bag of old and new stuff. For example, your compressor fridge is likely using ancient electromechanical capillary thermostat not allowing the compressor running at variable speed, just a bang – bang control. I changed it on mine due to noise.

How about wooden cabinetry technology, imported directly from house building, it is heavy and there are better technologies for moving vehicles regarding safety, weight, or cost.

How about safety, how many RVs are tested for flying goodies in case of accident. In my Bigfoot camper I found drawers on the floor until I placed decent latches.

In my view deployment of modern manufacturing technology to improve quality, reduce weight and cost would benefit NA RV market more than $X-XXK lithium technology, but this is my perspective.
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Old 10-09-2019, 05:28 AM   #63
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It is interesting seeing the different perspectives in this forum. For me (and this is just for me) my RV travels are closely akin to earlier years camping. I always go to park campgrounds in national or state forests. And I remember when I camped in my pre-RV years that meant a tent, a cooler a camp stove and a lantern. Much better in a RV with a fridge (even though it's absorption) a propane cooktop, hot water and..........a bathroom (good in the evenings for someone who's just turned 70). Did I mention a bed that's not an air mattress that is deflated by morning? But for me, it's still camping because of the locations I visit and the evening campfires.

If I were to go to, say, New Orleans, I would fly there and stay in a nice B&B, go to the cafe for coffee in the morning and hit the bars for jazz at night.

But that's just me and is not meant to be a comment on anyone who does otherwise. I completely understand those who utilize their RV in a different manner may wish to have different configurations and more current amenities. It's all good.
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Old 10-09-2019, 08:11 PM   #64
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most of us are driving around in RV's with 150 yr. old technology.
Hopefully people aren't driving around with their propane pressurized. If you are in an accident and your propane tank, stove, refrigerator, hot water heater and furnace don't all remain rigidly attached to a common anchor you are likely to have propane pouring out somewhere - until it finds an ignition source, like that refrigerator.

RV absorption refrigerators require electricity to be safely used, unless you don't mind not having refrigeration when moving.
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Old 10-09-2019, 11:41 PM   #65
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Hopefully people aren't driving around with their propane pressurized.
So this is your third post in this thread hoping people don’t drive with their propane left on. For safety I think maybe you should not be on the with the all of the RVs that ride with pressurized lines. It’s why people worry about shutting of their propane when the come to a tunnel or fueling. My previous DP, a Country Coach, only had gas or AC, so no option when driving in warm weather. I never gave it a thought until needed.

It’s great you have escaped the need for propane and the OP has a compressor fridge, but the reality is most have not. Given the concerns of cold weather charging of Lithium batteries I’m okay with my propane for now.
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Old 10-10-2019, 01:09 AM   #66
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I keep repeating it because people keep posting things that indicate its acceptable to drive with your propane pressurized, it isn't. People drive drunk because they have no other way to get home. Its the same kind of argument. If you can't run your refrigerator on electricity while traveling, then you should buy blocks of ice to go in it or do without refrigeration.

There are plenty of tunnels where propane is banned period. If you have a tank you are supposed to use an alternate route.
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Old 10-10-2019, 01:36 AM   #67
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There are plenty of tunnels where propane is banned period. If you have a tank you are supposed to use an alternate route.
No, there aren't. There are four in the US: Two under the Manhattan river tunnels, the Boston Harbor tunnel, and the Baltimore Harbor tunnels. They reason is that tunnels under water have low points, and there is concern over the accumulation of propane, which is heavier than air. Nothing to do with your rolling bomb theory, which is grossly overstated. The risks of propane use while driving, while not zero, are no greater than many of other risks, such as the high-pressure gasoline circulating in every direct-injection car on the road. It is generally considered acceptable, although I would not criticize anyone who chooses to be conservative in this matter.
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Old 10-10-2019, 08:59 AM   #68
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LPG refrigerators will continue to be used in majority of RVs worldwide for many reasons for many years. There are 3 safety devices: one during filling, one on high pressure section and one on low pressure side.

1. OPD valves (Overfill Preventing Device) preventing tank overfill
2. Excess flow (leak) sensing valve closing spring loaded valve shutting gas flow from the tank
3. Temperature sensor thermocouple keeping gas flow to the burner as long flame is present, no flame no flow.

So, the likelihood of fire is low. Certainly, open flame on any gas station is not a good idea and fridge should be either switched to either DC, AC/Inverter or off.

LPG is often used in Europe instead of gas or diesel and is not considered as risky. Some underground parkings without active ventilations have signs prohibiting LPG cars for the same reason Avanti mentioned earlier.

Folks raising alarms about LPG fire risks remind me this scene from the movie Red.

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Old 10-12-2019, 03:41 PM   #69
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I keep repeating it because people keep posting things that indicate its acceptable to drive with your propane pressurized, it isn't. People drive drunk because they have no other way to get home. Its the same kind of argument. If you can't run your refrigerator on electricity while traveling, then you should buy blocks of ice to go in it or do without refrigeration.

There are plenty of tunnels where propane is banned period. If you have a tank you are supposed to use an alternate route.
So, I have a question...until I can get someone to remove the propane tank, can someone tell me if I can empty it myself? Safely? If I can’t do it myself, are there alternatives to an RV Dealer to take it to?
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Old 10-12-2019, 03:47 PM   #70
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So, I have a question...until I can get someone to remove the propane tank, can someone tell me if I can empty it myself? Safely? If I can’t do it myself, are there alternatives to an RV Dealer to take it to?

When I needed to empty ours, I used the 15' barbecue grill hose on it laid the hose downwind. That hose is 10psi on a Roadtrek, so I could open the valve a small amount and let it run until empty with propane coming out 15' from the van.


I think most people drain them with spit valve on the tank open just a little.
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Old 10-13-2019, 02:35 AM   #71
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So most of us are driving around in RV's with 150 yr. old technology. Absorption fridges and lead-acid batteries. My hat is off to the great run this ancient technology has had, and is still having.

I personally have neither after my lithium battery upgrade. Wait, come to think of it, my engine battery is still lead-acid.


Even if you have lithium, you’re going to need propane for heat if you intend to boondock during the winter.
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Old 10-13-2019, 02:47 AM   #72
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Even if you have lithium, you’re going to need propane for heat if you intend to boondock during the winter.
Not so. I have no propane and camp in the winter with fresh water (not winterized) as low as -15 deg. F. with heat and hot water via glycol diesel-fired Espar heat exchanger system. I've gone a week straight boondocking in below freezing 24/7.
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Old 10-13-2019, 02:49 AM   #73
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Not so. I have no propane and camp in the winter with fresh water (not winterized) as low as -15 deg. F. with heat and hot water via glycol diesel-fired Espar heat exchanger system. I've gone a week straight boondocking in below freezing 24/7.


Well, yes — my point is that electric won’t cut it in the winter for heat.
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Old 10-13-2019, 03:36 AM   #74
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Well, yes — my point is that electric won’t cut it in the winter for heat.
True. And I love my little Suburban furnace buy the way. Quick to heat up, and so far, the most reliable appliance on my rv.

The click and fan noise of it cycling on is a small price to pay for the comfort and warmth. Sips the propane too!

I know there has to be a master override off-switch for the propane tank solenoid at the outside tank fill location. I just wish there was another one inside for convenience. I've had to step outside on a few ocassions to flip it on in the dead of night. Burrrr!
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Old 10-13-2019, 01:04 PM   #75
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True. And I love my little Suburban furnace buy the way. Quick to heat up, and so far, the most reliable appliance on my rv.

The click and fan noise of it cycling on is a small price to pay for the comfort and warmth. Sips the propane too!

I know there has to be a master override off-switch for the propane tank solenoid at the outside tank fill location. I just wish there was another one inside for convenience. I've had to step outside on a few ocassions to flip it on in the dead of night. Burrrr!

Beware the Suburban ours died on our last trip of the year


That said, we also think the Suburban is fine. Fast to heat up and simple. I replaced our original a number of years ago with the quieter (somewhat) version and it had been very reliable until now. I have a new control board coming next week. Looks to be a quite common failure point, but easy to change.


Interesting pricing on the boards, though. $80 online or $140 at RV dealer. Plus a dealer would likely charge 2 hours labor at $150/hr when it is about a 20 minute job on our van.
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Old 10-13-2019, 05:58 PM   #76
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I've gone a week straight boondocking in below freezing 24/7.
I assume this is in a 4 season unit ... those are rare for class b. Which is an important consideration not only for preventing the pipes from freezing, but for limiting the diesel fuel required to keep the unit warm. I don't think we could run the furnace in our Roadtrek for a week in cold weather even on a full tank of diesel.
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Old 10-13-2019, 06:33 PM   #77
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Beware the Suburban ours died on our last trip of the year


That said, we also think the Suburban is fine. Fast to heat up and simple. I replaced our original a number of years ago with the quieter (somewhat) version and it had been very reliable until now. I have a new control board coming next week. Looks to be a quite common failure point, but easy to change.


Interesting pricing on the boards, though. $80 online or $140 at RV dealer. Plus a dealer would likely charge 2 hours labor at $150/hr when it is about a 20 minute job on our van.
Are getting a Suburban or Dinosoar board?
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Old 10-13-2019, 06:48 PM   #78
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Are getting a Suburban or Dinosoar board?

I looked at them and couldn't find our model number in their conversion lists or I might have done that. I really didn't have the time to dig into it right now.



If you know if they would work, it would be interesting to try, I think.


I wanted to get it all back together quickly and move on to other stuff I need to do around here, so just ordered a quick delivery one from Amazon that is the one size fits all Suburban board. I hope I can repair the old on to with a $2 relay replacement.
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Old 10-13-2019, 07:33 PM   #79
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Well, yes — my point is that electric won’t cut it in the winter for heat.
No you said you would need propane. You said nothing about electric. But for that matter, if plugged into shore power as I was in Tahquamenon Falls, MI UP I did heat our van with electric heat both from the Comfort Zone as part of the glycol exchange coupled with a 1500W heater I did heat our van overnight when it got down to -15F without diesel. Your point is out of date.
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Old 10-13-2019, 07:58 PM   #80
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I assume this is in a 4 season unit ... those are rare for class b. Which is an important consideration not only for preventing the pipes from freezing, but for limiting the diesel fuel required to keep the unit warm. I don't think we could run the furnace in our Roadtrek for a week in cold weather even on a full tank of diesel.
Pretty much full season. I didn’t have tank heaters installed for the black and grey but the fresh water tank is heated from the diesel-fired Espar system. ARV has the best insulation and the diesel-fired Espar sips a cup per hour of diesel fuel for heating if you need it. Keep in mind, if you go a week you have to refuel daily. Just fill up before retiring for the night. The week trip was from Cleveland to Minneapolis to Gallup, NM that got down to 0F before entering Arizona the next day finally above freezing. Last year I had a similar experience for three days keeping ahead of the polar vortex all the way to Oklahoma. Campgrounds are not open yet so you have to rely on boondocking at Walmarts and Cracker Barrel’s.

Our next van will have the tank heating pads for B & G. The lithium batteries will be inside and water lines will be completely inside. My lithium batteries self-heated with 10 amps per hour which is a drop in the bucket when you have 800ah of batteries and you don’t need the heating pads above the mid 20s as the batteries in use are above freezing at that point. I could also turn on the underfloor electric heating system in the morning for comfort.
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