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Is It Safe to Leave Your RV Refrigerator On While Driving?

Published on May 27th, 2020
This post was updated on June 22nd, 2022

​Every RV owner is faced with the same question. Is it safe to leave a propane RV refrigerator on while driving? The answer is not black and while. Operating a propane RV refrigerator on the road always causes a lively discussion around the campfire.

Do You Run Your RV Refrigerator on the Move?

RV refrigerator on while driving
On or off? That is the question RVers ask.

The truth is, most RV refrigerators operate effectively on propane while you are rolling down the road. RV refrigerators left on when driving should not have problems with the flame blowing out.​

The constant motion keeps everything flowing smoothly in the cooling system. But just because you can leave the RV refrigerator on, should you?

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The Danger of Leaving a Propane RV Refrigerator on While Driving

RV Refrigerator On While Driving
Propane RV refrigerators need an open flame to operate.

The key issues with running a propane RV refrigerator when driving are safety-related.​

Every propane RV refrigerator has an open flame. Propane flowing through RV lines can be hazardous during an accident or an RV tire blowout.​

Sudden jarring movements to your RV can damage propane lines. A tire blowout, or a trailer sway rollover can create a hole, crack or leak in the RV propane supply piping. Now you have an instant fire/explosion hazard just waiting for a spark.

Don’t chance it. Be safe and shut the refrigerator off when you start moving.

In fact, do it before you approach a fuel station or propane fill station. For ultimate safety while driving with a propane RV refrigerator, water heater, and other appliances, turn them off.

Do you care about the safety of you and your passengers? Just don’t drive with your RV refrigerator running.

Off propane RV refrigerators keep cold for hours

ice packs for propane RV refrigerator
Ice packs help keep food cold

How many hours do you drive your RV to get to your destination? Probably no more than five or six, right? It’s just too exhausting to do otherwise. In that case, you’re in luck. For the average RV trip length, the refrigerator maintains a cold enough internal temperature to keep food cold.​

How to Keep the RV Refrigerator Cold

Still worried about spoiled food? Buy blue ice instead of driving with your RV refrigerator on. Freeze several ice packs the night before departure day. Put them in the refrigerator to keep everything cold while traveling.

This post may contain affiliate links or mention our own products, please check out our disclosure policy here.

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