Fridge question

I just picked up my new 5th wheel and was a little concerned about something the dealer told me about the fridge. I'm used to an older 3 way model which ran on 12v while we were travelling. The new 5th has a 2 way fridge and I asked what you do when you are travelling and he replied that you just leave it on propane. He said the new fridges are able and safe to leave burning on propane even while you're moving. That goes against everything I've ever heard.
Was he correct, or just giving a salesman's usual response (anything you want to hear)?

Gary B

Senior Member
Fridge question

HI Crusher, he's right it perfectly ok to travel with the fridge operateing on gas, we have been doing it for 25+ years, just remember to shut it down before refueling the tow vehicle. Welcome to the forum and congrats on the new rig. :) :cool: :bleh: :approve:


Senior Member
Fridge question

Some people say don't ever do it, and some say go ahead. I ran it on propane for a 5000 mile trip and didn't have any problems (except for the pilot light going out in a high wind area). I just checked the light through the window at each stop, and if it was out, restarted it. In my opinion, it should be reasonably safe as long as you are not around flamable fumes.

Since then, I've heard that you should shut off the flame before pulling in to fuel, which makes sense (flamable fumes). This could be obnoxious, so the next trip, I think I will try shutting off the fridge while moving and turning it back on when stopped (away from fuel island). As long as the door is not opened, it should be good for 4 or 5 hours at a time, I'm hoping. If that doesn't work, I guess I'll just have to stop prior to the fuel island and shut it down, then pull away before restarting it.

Someone in another forum suggested having a remote switch for the 12v to the refridgerator control board, claiming that shutting down the power would cause the flame to go out and restoring power would cause it to restart. I don't know if that would work, but certainly bears investigation.
Fridge question

Thanks for the info. After I posted my question, I did a search for previous comments on running with the fridge burning and found a whole pile of opinions. Some are adamantly opposed to it, others say "No problem". I also emailed Dometic, and they responded that the RV fridges they manufacture are designed to be perfectly safe to leave burning while travelling.
With all that, I think I will do a little of both.....short runs or cool days will be with the fridge off, and long runs or on hot days I think I'll leave the propane burning.


New Member
Fridge question

Guess I just have to ask of those that do turn their propane off IF they hand push their vehicles out a substantial ways from the fuel islands prior to starting their engines. I can't think of anything more dangerous than low rolling flamable fumes around an unsealed starter acting like a sparkler on the 4th of July...Along the same lines, has anyone ever heard of a pilot light or propane being turned on during refueling causing a problem. No, I haven't either...I have heard several folks claim they once knew someone who said they had a cousin that at one time heard of a problem. Propane systems used in RV's for the past 50 years have been designed to be used, not turned off.
Fridge question

It isn't OK and isn't safe and the salesman can't make the decision for you; however, I do it. This is one of those things that you just have to be comfortable with, otherwise, I recommend you don't do it. I think the chances of having a problem leaving the propane on is probably less than the chances of getting hit by a car if you're crossing the street, but I can't prove that. YOU have to decide the risks you're willing to take in life.

I challenge anyone to provide a comprehensive and proven list of accidents/incidents where leaving the propane on while traveling was the principal reason someone was injured or killed. If someone can, I suspect the chances of getting injured or killed by something else greatly outweigh propane incidents. Remember, this is not gospel, just my opinion, for what it's worth.