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Is It Safe to Run Your Propane RV Refrigerator While Driving?

​Operating the refrigerator on propane while traveling is one of those controversial issues that will always stimulate a lively discussion around the campfire.

Most RV refrigerators will operate quite effectively on propane while you are rolling down the road and will not have problems with the flame blowing out.​

The constant motion keeps everything flowing smoothly in the cooling system, so, technically, it is no problem to run them.

The key issues are safety-related.​

Safety concerns of running your refrigerator while driving

There is an open flame in the refrigerator compartment, so it is absolutely critical to shut the refrigerator off before you approach any kind of fuel dispensing facility.

In fact, before you approach a fuel station or propane fill station, all appliances that are capable of producing a flame or a spark must be turned off.

Also, the fact that the propane must be turned on at the tank in order to operate the refrigerator may create a hazard in the case of an accident or in the event of a tire failure.​

If anything happens that creates a hole, crack or leak in the propane supply piping in the RV, you have an instant fire/explosion hazard just waiting for a spark.

It really is safer to drive with the propane supply turned off at the tank.​

Most folks find that, for the average trip, the refrigerator will maintain a low enough internal temperature to keep your food fresh.​

It is also possible to freeze some blue ice packs the night before and use them in the refrigerator compartment to help keep everything cold while traveling.

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Gregg R - July 13, 2020

I totally agree with this. I think if you are that worried about your food spoiling that you must have the frig. on you should use an alternative source of power (solar with inverter) or a residential frig.

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