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Thread: Operating Westy fridge on LP while driving.

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    57

    Default

    You don't say what year your van is, so it is difficult to help you. Also, as it appears you are in Portugal, your van may have features different from those in the North American market.

    Here, I believe all the campers from the Vanagon era (1980-91) had a three-way fridge: 110 volt AC (house current), 12 volt DC (supplied by the alternator when the engine is running), and LP (liquid propane gas). Some owners also add an auxiliary 12 volt battery to run the fridge for short periods of time -- up to 4 or 5 hours.

    Typically, one would use the LP overnight and while parked in one spot for several hours. If you are fortunate enough to be at a campsite or friend's house with a nearby electrical outlet, plug into AC house current. When departing in the morning, switch to 12 volts DC alternator power while driving.

    If you have added the auxiliary battery, this works well for lunch breaks, short hikes, etc.. When you are driving with 12 volt DC alternator power, and stop for such a short period, there is no need to switch anything when you stop: the auxiliary battery relay will automatically switch the aux. battery on and off for you.

    Hope this helps!

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  3. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Leiri,Leiria,Portugal
    Posts
    2

    Default

    thankīs cooper!

    my vanīs a 1974 westy. And i thaugt that the 12v batery would keep good for more time. My fridge has the 3 selectores to change, and i think I'm going to folow your recomendation. Here we also use a liquid propane gas bottle.

    thank for all the help

    Claudio Pinto
    Last edited by Capt. Mike; 02-08-2009 at 06:52 AM.

  4. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    17

    Default

    Another reason to NOT run the fridge on LP while driving...In my haste when we left the campsite I forgot to switch the fridge over to battery. After a long bumpy and hilly ride home I opened the fridge to discover a bottle of gatorade had spilled indside and somehow put out the pilot light on the fridge (yikes!) or it got put out somehow during the bumpy ride. Not only were the drinks warm, but the idea of LP leaking into the cabin was just a little scary.
    Howzbayou
    '87 Westy

  5. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Phoenix
    Posts
    15

    Default Driving with propane on

    Hi,

    I have a dilemma related to Capt. Mike's question, "Why?" drive with propane on.

    I live in the Southwest, and when I start my '84 Westie fridge on propane at home, it's generally pretty easy. But that's at around 2,000 feet elevation. The problem is that after driving with the DC on to various campsites--which are generally at altitudes ranging from 6,000 to 8,000 feet--I am simply unable to re-light the fridge.

    This seems to leave me little alternative but to light it at home and leave it on. I'm not entirely comfortable with that, for reasons stated by Capt. Mike. However, my RV repair guy--who is a Dometic specialist--says it's perfectly safe.

    TV

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