Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 05-09-2015, 11:28 PM   #1
evy
Senior Member
 
evy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Terrebonne, Canada
Posts: 216
refrigerator wall vent vs vehicle gas inlet fumes

Hi guys!

I'm planning my DIY campervan project and someone told me that if I place the two refrigerator (3way) wall vents to close to the vehicle's gas inlet it could be very dangerous, the gas fumes could be ignited by the refrigerator?

Does that make sens?
__________________

__________________
DIY conversion build, extended 2010 Ford 5.4L E250 + high top, from Montreal Canada, new to all this so please be patient and clear with me (never built or camped in a van yet)
evy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2015, 12:20 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Viva's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 874
Re: refrigerator wall vent vs vehicle gas inlet fumes

Typically the installation instructions for an appliance with an outdoor vent or intake (furnace, water heater, etc.) will specify that the vents should be "X" distance away from a fuel fill, window, etc. So maybe the installation manual for your refrigerator will specify (?)

When the refrigerator is running there is a small flame near the lower vent (why they say not to run it on propane at a gas station), so I can see why they might not want that, say, right by the fuel filler neck.
__________________

Viva is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2015, 07:04 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Scalf77's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 1,216
Re: refrigerator wall vent vs vehicle gas inlet fumes

NFPA 1192 Standard on Recreational Vehicles 2008 Edition

5.11.8.10 Fuel-burning appliance intake and exhaust vents shall be located at least 3 ft (0.9 m)
from any point the fuel-dispensing hose nozzle valve outlet can reach.

http://inferno4.spffa.com/pdf/nfpacodes/nfpa_1192.pdf

-greg
__________________
2004 E350 EB V10 E/PH 2WD
Scalf77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2015, 09:22 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
86Scotty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: TN
Posts: 7,058
Re: refrigerator wall vent vs vehicle gas inlet fumes

There are lots of discussions about this, but if you are just planning at this stage you might want to look at the DC or AC/DC only fridges offered these days. They don't require cutting any holes in the body of the van and are pretty efficient. They also take up a little less space than propane models, but the biggest advantage is cost. They are much cheaper than propane ones.

__________________
2015 Transit MR T350 ecoBoost, Vanilla
98 Silver E350 V10 4x4 home build (sold)
Rusty the rusty '95 SMB (sold)
Tryptovan the blue CCV van, 2002 e350 (sold)
...My name is Eric and I have a van problem...
86Scotty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2015, 11:04 AM   #5
evy
Senior Member
 
evy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Terrebonne, Canada
Posts: 216
Re: refrigerator wall vent vs vehicle gas inlet fumes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Viva
Typically the installation instructions for an appliance with an outdoor vent or intake (furnace, water heater, etc.) will specify that the vents should be "X" distance away from a fuel fill, window, etc. So maybe the installation manual for your refrigerator will specify (?)

When the refrigerator is running there is a small flame near the lower vent (why they say not to run it on propane at a gas station), so I can see why they might not want that, say, right by the fuel filler neck.
That someone also told me that If I still want to install it right next to the vehicle gas inlet I would have to turn the refrigerator completely off when fueling because even 12v might ignite the fumes, do you guys agree?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 86Scotty
There are lots of discussions about this, but if you are just planning at this stage you might want to look at the DC or AC/DC only fridges offered these days. They don't require cutting any holes in the body of the van and are pretty efficient. They also take up a little less space than propane models, but the biggest advantage is cost. They are much cheaper than propane ones.

How would they fare when boondocking?
__________________
DIY conversion build, extended 2010 Ford 5.4L E250 + high top, from Montreal Canada, new to all this so please be patient and clear with me (never built or camped in a van yet)
evy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2015, 11:34 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Viva's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 874
Re: refrigerator wall vent vs vehicle gas inlet fumes

That's the other side of the coin when it comes to 12v/110v compressor refrigerators (vs. absorption, which run natively on propane). When boondocking, you need to have the right balance of batteries to store the power the compressor fridge will need, plus the means to replace the amps (into the batteries). For boondocking, this typically means solar or a generator (ugh, IMO, due to noise). Or, if your boondocking is only for a night or two, then possibly the alternator can do much of it, and just some solar to top off (because it charges in a more sophisticated way to get the batteries 100% charged).

I'm just in the process of changing over from an absorption refrigerator to a compressor style, and at the same time upgrading solar/batteries/system. The refrigerator is the main driving force vis-a-vis size of the system. That said, I will also use the power for many other things, so it's not JUST for the refrigerator.

That said, compressor refrigerators have some advantages to me, which is why I am changing. Namely:

1) No vents in body required - these are often hard to keep from leaking just due to the design requirements.

2) Can be run off-level. Actually, any amount of slant you would be comfortable with while camping would probably be fine for an absorption refrigerator, but I often find myself parking in slanted places (to go take a hike, etc.) and don't want to have to remember to turn off/on the fridge.

3) Cool down faster/perhaps cool a little better.

4) More inside capacity for a given outside capacity (i.e. smaller guts).

5) Less risk of fire.

6) No need to remember to shut off propane when entering/leaving gas station.

7) As a side bonus, much more efficient when plugged in (absorption refrigerators are very efficient on propane, but use vast amounts of power when plugged in, as that is not their native use).

Still, if I were wanting to boondock and only wanted a very small battery/re-charging system, I would stick with propane.

There is also the fact that propane (absorption) refrigerators are "silent operation" (although I find I can hear the burner lighting, but still quieter than a compressor).

Lastly, I think that most (all?) "advances" in engineering and function are pretty much concentrated on compressor refrigerators these days. I may be wrong, but I don't see much "advancement" in absorption models anymore. Not that that's a bad thing if things are working fine, so maybe not a big deal.

Just as an example, if you go for a middle sized compressor refrigerator that draws, say, 3.8 amps, and it has a 50% duty cycle (obviously this varies with insulation, ambient temps, etc.), then you are talking about 50 amp hours per 24 hour period. Since the "rule of thumb" is to not draw batteries down below 50%, you need 100 amp hours of battery to supply this. And then you need enough solar/generator/alternator (if you drive frequently) to replace this. The latter factor is why you can't just have, say, 500 amp hours of battery and one 100 watt solar panel. In most cases you would never be able to "put back" what you took out in such an unbalanced system. And lead-acid batteries like to get back to 100% as often as possible. Of course I'm sure there is a use case for the latter setup, but it's not the common one.
Viva is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2015, 02:59 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
dhally's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: SE Washington
Posts: 786
Garage
Re: refrigerator wall vent vs vehicle gas inlet fumes

We had our fuel filler relocated so the propane frig could go behind the driver seat. It was expensive but we wanted the ability to keep the frig cold for days.

I don't think it was any more expensive than big solar panels, which is another option.

We have the 12v wired so its only on when the motor is running, to prevent draining the battery.

One reason to follow safety codes is to make it safe for a future owner, or somebody who borrows the van, or even the owner on a bad day.
__________________
---------------------
2009 E250 RB 5.4L "SilVan"
dhally is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2015, 01:04 PM   #8
evy
Senior Member
 
evy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Terrebonne, Canada
Posts: 216
Re: refrigerator wall vent vs vehicle gas inlet fumes

Ok here's an idea I had...

You guys tell me if it sounds good or not.

If I go with the 3 way refrigerator option
2 solar exhaust fans
1 floor opening air intake
1 side access door

My ehaust fans would be more than 3ft from the vehicle's gas inlet, but not the floor air intake tho :/

Do gas fumes rise up or are they heavier than air and go down?

Take a look at this little sketch I drew up real quick

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Sunforce-...1300/203316606

__________________
DIY conversion build, extended 2010 Ford 5.4L E250 + high top, from Montreal Canada, new to all this so please be patient and clear with me (never built or camped in a van yet)
evy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2015, 02:24 PM   #9
evy
Senior Member
 
evy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Terrebonne, Canada
Posts: 216
Re: refrigerator wall vent vs vehicle gas inlet fumes

These ventilators pull around 11cubic feet per minute.

The space behind the fridge is around 5 cubic feet, so every 30 seconds all the air would be replaced by new air coming from under the van.

I could install only one and it would do the job.

Do I need a bigger access door? (12"x12")

I'm thinking of installing one in the bathroom/shower right next to it...
__________________
DIY conversion build, extended 2010 Ford 5.4L E250 + high top, from Montreal Canada, new to all this so please be patient and clear with me (never built or camped in a van yet)
evy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2015, 02:37 PM   #10
Site Team
 
BroncoHauler's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southern New Mexico
Posts: 8,110
Re: refrigerator wall vent vs vehicle gas inlet fumes

Quote:
Originally Posted by evy
These ventilators pull around 11cubic feet per minute.

The space behind the fridge is around 5 cubic feet, so every 30 seconds all the air would be replaced by new air coming from under the van.

I could install only one and it would do the job.

Do I need a bigger access door? (12"x12")

I'm thinking of installing one in the bathroom/shower right next to it...
The solar fan is interesting, but that means you'll only have active air movement during sunlight hours in good weather. Yes, that's the hottest part of the day, but how much passive air flow (or convection) will go through those fans when they are not running?


Herb

[EDIT: I do see a brief mention of power storage so maybe it has rechargeable batteries? Reviews of the fan seem to be hit or miss though]
__________________

__________________
SMB-less as of 02/04/2012. Our savings account is richer, but our adventures are poorer.
BroncoHauler is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:29 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.