Starting the fridge on gas mode

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Starting the fridge on gas mode

Postby skater » Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:04 pm

To start the fridge on gas, here's what I do (if you have the same model fridge):

1. Open the gas valve all the way (don't try to use it halfway - all or nothing).
2. Light the stove to ensure gas is flowing through the lines. Turn off stove.
3. Turn the fridge to GAS, might as well turn the thermostat to MAX.
4. Press and hold the right button.
5. Repeatedly depress the left button. Repeat. Repeat.
6. Watch the little sight-glass - when you hit the flint button (the left button) you'll see a blue or yellow spark. Eventually, that will stay blue when the fridge actually lights. Release the right button. Watch it for a moment to see if it stays lit.
7. Close fridge door, wait 6 hours or so for cold.

Outside you'll hear the propane burning.

Note - it can take upwards of 10 minutes sometimes to get it started. Air gets in the propane lines and has to all be flushed before it'll light. It can be pretty frustrating, but hang in there, it'll light (unless there's something wrong).

Also, if the camper has been sitting a while, you may discover that spiders have made nests in the lines - they like propane (this is a common problem with gas grills). You shouldn't run into this problem, because the system should be sealed well enough that this isn't an issue, but be aware it can happen.

One other thing, for people not familiar with absorption-style refrigerators (what campers use): they aren't quick, and they aren't very good if you are in and out of the fridge all day. I start mine the night before I leave then load it up the following morning, and it has usually cooled down to a good temperature by that time. Try to stay out of the fridge as much as possible! (Your home fridge uses a compressor to cool down quickly, also making it more resistant to having the door opened a lot.)

Ideally, you have a level space at home and can plug in the camper and just leave the fridge run during the summer - that's what I'd do if I had a level spot. They don't take much electricity to run and having it ready to go is nice.

We use absorption fridges because (a) they can run on things other than 120 volt electricity and (b) they're VERY efficient - even our small tank of propane can probably run the fridge for several weeks, maybe even a couple months, without a problem.
1991 Airstream B190 - bought, 2005; sold, 2011; bought 2017
1995 Airstream Excella 30' trailer

WBCCI #13270, Washington, DC Unit
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skater
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Re: Starting the fridge on gas mode

Postby RobertL » Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:03 pm

Thanks-A note for users- The fridge also does not work well or nearly not at all when the outside temperature exceeds 100 degrees. In Nevada and Utah we try to keep the outside door open to encourage air flow over the venting system to help it lose heat. Some RVers out here install fans on the upper vent to help move the air along and pull air across the unit.

One other trick is to fill 1 gallon milk jugs and leave them in your home chest freezer and then take them with you. You give up space in the cooler but it does help keep them cold.
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Re: Starting the fridge on gas mode

Postby skater » Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:06 pm

RobertL wrote:Thanks-A note for users- The fridge also does not work well or nearly not at all when the outside temperature exceeds 100 degrees. In Nevada and Utah we try to keep the outside door open to encourage air flow over the venting system to help it lose heat. Some RVers out here install fans on the upper vent to help move the air along and pull air across the unit.

One other trick is to fill 1 gallon milk jugs and leave them in your home chest freezer and then take them with you. You give up space in the cooler but it does help keep them cold.


All good points. My B190 had a fan installed above the coils for just this purpose. I found that orienting the camper so that the sunlight didn't hit that side of the camper in the afternoon also helped.
1991 Airstream B190 - bought, 2005; sold, 2011; bought 2017
1995 Airstream Excella 30' trailer

WBCCI #13270, Washington, DC Unit
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skater
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Posts: 1860
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 1:00 am
Location: Annapolis, MD


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