Refrigerators are great at prolonging the lifespan of foodstuffs making them essential commodities. By keeping food cold, fridges prevent rapid growth of bacteria which maintains the freshness of your food for longer. As such, every home needs a refrigerator regardless of the type. With the many models available in the market, finding a suitable one to fulfill a specific purpose isn’t tricky.
One of the commonly used refrigerators is the RV type which is ideal for traveling. These are made with the concept of recreational vehicles in mind. These are the types of trailers that are built to be “self-sufficient” to make them better for traveling and increase convenience. These vehicles usually have essential appliances that are used in homes including refrigerators. However, since other types of fridges can’t be installed in the vehicles, the conception of RV refrigerators came about which led to the design of fridges that can be fitted and used in moving vehicles.
Benefits of RV refrigerator
RV refrigerators are fridges that are built to overcome the difficulties associated with moving vehicles. Some of the challenges include the constant movement of the vehicle which involves the increase and reduction of speed together with the constant shaking and vibrations of the vehicle. Fridges that use electricity can barely withstand such challenges making the RV ones very convenient.
The RV fridges can be used anywhere including at home. Their popularity increased over their suitability for RV vehicles, but they were used in areas that didn’t have electricity when they were first designed. Unlike their electrical counterparts that need electricity to function, they can easily be powered anywhere making them convenient.
These refrigerators can also make your outdoor activities more enjoyable. One of the common challenges for those participating in outdoor functions is how to keep their food cold and fresh for longer. Such challenges make some people shy away from activities like camping or mountain climbing.
However, with the RV fridges, your weekend in the woods will be more comfortable. The whole family can, therefore, schedule some outdoor activities and enjoy spending quality time together.
The RV refrigerator is made with components such as:
This is the unit responsible for releasing pressure in the RV fridge. It consists of a fusible plug that prevents pressure from building up in the fridge especially when there’s fire.
This unit is responsible for cooling and maintaining the liquidity of the fuel. For the condenser to work correctly, the temperature around it must be low, and the gas must maintain the specified level. These two factors ensure that the gas remains in the liquid state and travels to the evaporator.
The evaporator plays a very crucial role in providing the cooling effect of the fridge since it ensures that the liquid fuel evaporates. Like other units, the evaporator may fail to function correctly if the proper level of the gas is not maintained or if it is not sealed correctly.
The RV fridges also have an absorber and a set of controls that help regulate each component’s functionality.
Propane is the commonly used gas for domestic and commercial purposes. It is a form of natural gas that can quickly change its transition from gas to a liquid under the right conditions. This gas that was discovered in the 1850s is usually harnessed from natural gas and petroleum gas. Its production involves the elimination of other natural gases such as butane, ethane, and propane leaving behind a high concentration of propane. Transportation of propane is usually done in its liquid form whereby the gas is filled in a bottle and taken where it’s needed.
The transformation of this gas into a liquid, therefore, is fundamental since it increased safety and prevents leakage of the gas. The process is done under low pressures after which it is stored in vessels of varying sizes depending on the intended use. The main reason why propane is preferred over other gases is that it has some combustible properties and doesn’t produce any harmful emissions when being used.
Propane has many advantages that make it the best choice of gas in homes and industrial institutions. These advantages together with the prospective availability in future show that this gas will continue to be the most used in years to come. Some of those advantages include:
Availability which translates to easy accessibility. Being that it is produced from natural gas means that it can found and processed anywhere and the ease with which it can be liquefied also makes the process easier.
The fact that it can be used to run several appliances makes it a multipurpose fuel. It can be used to run all appliances that use electricity at residential and commercial properties as well as vehicles. This makes it cost efficient especially when used in homes. The cost of each unit of propane is also cheaper compared to other forms of gases. This adds to its affordability since you can get high quantity at an affordable rate. The consumption rate of the gas is minimal which means that you use limited amounts for every use.
Easy transportation and storage of the gas also make it preferable when compared to other gases. Once liquefied, the gas can be put in containers that can then last for up to 40 years. The easy transportation also makes it ideal for constant movement. This, when coupled with the ease with which the propane containers can be maintained makes this gas a very convenient choice.
The safety of this gas is another advantage since it doesn’t just affect the immediate surrounding but the environment at large. The propane industry has made some rules that increase the safety of the propane use. It has also been labeled one of the green gases due to its ability to produce clean air. It doesn’t emit harmful hydrocarbons and cannot be spilled easily. The gas doesn’t leave residues which adds to its greatness to the environment.
Propane cylinders usually have a tube inserted for the gas to pass through. The reason behind that is that, when propane is placed in containers, little space is usually left at the top of the container to help regulate the temperature. When the gas is being used, the latent heat of vaporization created a cooling effect in the container. As heating goes on, some properties tend to heat faster than others creating some imbalance. This then causes a change in ignition properties usually seen as the gas continues to be used.
Propane gas has many uses, one of which is cooking. One of the properties that make it ideal for that use is the ease with which it turns into vapor. This is because it has a low boiling point which means that it turns into vapor as soon as it leaves the container. As such, it doesn’t use any other vaporizing compounds making it ideal for home use. It can be used to cook different types of food including barbeques. It can cool off just as quickly as it heats up.
The gas is an excellent replacement for electricity. It’s not only used in heating but also in running other home appliances such as laundry devices and other home appliances. It can also be used to power up furnaces and fireplaces making it a great commodity during cold seasons. With this gas, you don’t have to worry about what happens when the power goes out during winter. It is a more reliable source of energy that will keep all your home gadgets running regardless of whether there is electricity or not. It is ideal for heating the inside and outside. You can use propane to heat your pool, patio or even as fuel for your backup generator.
Propane can also be used to power up tractors which are useful in farming, and it can also be used in other forms of food production. Poultry farms, for example, can benefit a lot from propane due to its portability. It is also used in restaurants and other food production institutions dealing with both large-scale and small scale production.
Apart from food production, propane is also used in other industries such as health care institutions and constriction. The fact that it can be turned on when needed and turned off just as quickly make it great for construction sites.
Over the years there has been an increase in the number of vehicles being used across the globe. These vehicles need fuel to function and are usually a source of concern when it comes to how they impact the environment. Since propane has been cleared as a clean gas, it is more suitable for use in the transportation industry. It can be used in different types of vehicles ranging from small cars to lorries. When used in vehicles, propane provides better combustion. This is what makes it great for different types of vehicles including forklifts and water body machines like boats.
How propane works with fridge
Both propane and RV refrigerators are portable and convenient making their combination one of the best. As such, many people have adopted them and their use is showing signs of increasing.
The fridge works with the help of hydrogen, water, and ammonia which passes through a sealed pipe. Water and ammonia are usually mixed up then placed in a boiler. This boiler is then heated by the propane realizing ammonia and leaving the water.
During heating, the solution “bubbles up” and travels through a percolator pump, and since ammonia is lighter than water, its vapor rises through the pump leaving behind the water. The vapor then travels to the condenser which heats and then cools it returning it into the liquid state.
The new ammonia liquid finds its way into the evaporator which also contains hydrogen gas. The hydrogen’s purpose is to turn the liquid ammonia into its gaseous state. The formed gas is responsible for cooling the fridge by absorbing heat from the contents as well as the air in the fridge.
The remaining mixture of the two gases is taken to an absorber chamber. Here they mix with water and since ammonia can dissolve in water but hydrogen can’t, the hydrogen travels back to the evaporator leaving ammonia and water solution. This solution is taken back to the boiler where the process began. This initiates another process that results in cooling ensuring that the refrigerator stays cool throughout.
While the process involved in propane and RV fridges is simple, the common question remains how much propane does an RV refrigerator use. Many people often wonder about the rate of consumption involved since it plays a significant role in how much it will cost.
How much propane an RV fridge uses
Propane RV refrigerators were designed for use in places where electricity wasn’t accessible. As such, they had to overcome one of the significant challenges which are high consumption rates. Since they were mostly used in rural areas that had to conserve the fuel they had, the fridges were built to use little fuel specifically.
Since then there have been adjustments made to the fridges, but they all still maintain the low consumption rate. They had improved in that sector ensuring that the fridges consume half as much fuel as they did when they were first created.
However, it’s important to note that the bigger the fridge is, the more it will consume. This means that although the average rate of consumption is low, it still differs with each person. For instance, those using RV fridges that are 12 cubic feet will use approximately 1.5 lb of propane gas while those using four cubic feet will consume 1lb. With the 12 cubic feet fridge, you have approximately 13 days when you have 20 lb bottle of propane gas. Such bottles are usually readily available, and they contain 430000 BTU energy at their maximum capacity.
This shows that the bigger the propane bottle you have, the longer it will serve you regardless of the size of your fridge. You should, therefore, consider this before buying one.
How to reduce propane consumption
Although the determining factors of the rate of consumption may be seen static, there are some changes one can make to reduce consumption rate. These include:
All refrigerators including those using electricity operate best when placed on level ground. RV fridges are no different in that aspect. You should, therefore, keep your vehicle leveled at all times since that translates into a leveled fridge. This will ensure that the propane is used efficiently as well as reduce chances of parts of the fridge being spoilt.
Every product, electrical or not, needs proper maintenance to last longer and function properly. Maintenance methods usually range from regular cleaning to inspections and timely repairs. When it comes to RV refrigerators, ensuring all the components are functioning correctly is paramount. You have to perform routine inspections on your fridge, going by every part to see if they are all working well. You also have to clean them fridge regularly to prevent dirt and dust from the building. These will help you identify any faulty parts in time and make repairs. If left unnoticed, the faulty parts could end up consuming too much propane gas as they try to make up in their functionality. Regular cleaning also helps in ensuring that dust, rust, and other residue doesn’t affect the fridge’s performance.
Most of the time fridge owners are advised to understand how to use their fridges especially when it comes to food storage. You have to know what types of foods to keep in the fridge and what manner. Every fridge takes some time to cool down, usually between 4 to 6 hours. As such, it’s better to put in cold food in the fridge before putting warm ones. If the latter is placed first, the fridge will take longer try to cool down thereby consuming more gas.
Supplementing with batteries
One of the best ways to keep your fridge working efficiently is by ensuring that air is circulated correctly inside. Sime fridges come with inbuilt fans to make this happen, but others don’t. If your RV fridge doesn’t have a fan, it’s advisable to get one that runs on batteries to help with air circulation. The result will be a better displacement of fresh air which means that less propane will be consumed.
Most people usually concentrate on the temperature inside the fridge but ignore the outside temperature. However, this is a mistake that ends up being costly on the fuel. It’s advisable to adjust your Fridge’s temperature depending on how the outside temperature is. If it’s cold, reduce the temperature of the fridge and if it’s hot, increase it. This will help in reducing gas consumption since the fridge will only be using what’s necessary and conserving the rest.Checking for debris
One of the things that make a fridge work well is heat release through the back. Since RV fridges are used in moving objects, foreign objects can quickly get stuck on them especially on the heating vent. If this happens, the excess heat will not find its way out thereby inhibiting the fridge’s ability to work efficiently. Check the back of the fridge regularly to remove such items and maintain the ability of the fridge to keep working well.
RV refrigerators are still the best option for those who want energy-efficient fridges. However, you still need to apply the tips above to ensure maximum productivity and low gas consumption. It’s also important to consider the amount of fuel your fridge is likely to use before purchasing to plan for it.