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

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

​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?

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?

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.

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Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 6 comments
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.

Laurence Lambert - January 29, 2022

If you are traveling long distance put milk jugs full of water in the house freezer a couple of days before leaving, only buy things you can freeze solid, nothing that can spoil. Buy most of what you need that can spoil near your destination. Even on a hot day the milk jugs will not thaw in 5 hrs and the frozen food will also stay frozen. You can also pack a large cooler the same way and keep even non frozen items cold but not damaged.

Popeye - January 29, 2022

I travel with the fridge on all the time. Stopping at a gas station with it on is no danger as the fridge is nowhere near a gas pump when fueling the truck. The propane tanks have an excess flow valve installed. This valve shuts off the flow of propane when excessive flow is detected, such as catastrophic hose failure. So the propane shuts off in case the hose is compromised with a tire blowout or accident. Plus if the tire blow out rips the hose open, the pilot would go out because of the loss of propane flow.

    Erik Mora - March 25, 2022

    16% of the 20 thousand RV fires were due to refrigerator cracks that released the sealed Hydrogen. The cracks were produced by the flame burning at an angle that was driven by the wind while driving. An excess flow valve won’t prevent the hydrogen from igniting.

      Rene Agredano - March 28, 2022

      Interesting statistic Erik, can you let us know where it came from? It’s good for us to know. Thanks!

Bryan G - January 29, 2022

Seen too many horror pictures of RV fires from running the refrig on propane while towing. We had nothing but problems with the refrigerator on propane in our old 2012 Big Horn, thankfully we ran it off electric most of the time. Our new 2020 Cedar Creek has a residential electric refrigerator which we love as we’re able to run off the inverter while driving.


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