Ever since I upgraded to an Isotherm Compressor Refrigerator I have found my outside propane switch even more annoying.
I get that its good to have an outside switch – in case of a leak or fire, but couldn’t LTV have also installed one inside also?
Even when I had my absorption refrigerator, with hookups it worked on AC current, so I liked to turn the propane off at night. Its safer and keeping the propane solenoid continuously activated hastens its end of life.
Now of course, we run the propane even less. We turn it on to cook and to take our nightly showers. The last thing I want to do is to have to dress after a shower so I can turn off the propane!
This is a pretty simple project. I just need to get some wiring from the old switch to inside. The new switch will be wired in series, so both need to be on to activate the propane solenoid.
This keeps the outside safety switch fully functional.
Crawling under the RV is WAY easier with my creeper, its almost fun. I just needed to extend some 16 gauge wire encased in a plastic loom for extra durability. There is already an opening behind the wet bay for wires and plumbing so it was simple to join up with the existing switch and then route the new wire, using zip ties along the way to other wires.
A quirk of my install is that since I removed my factory stabilizers and installed equalizer leveling jacks I have some leftover wiring to take advantage of. If I didn’t have that, I would probably have just added the switch to the side of the galley where I have installed other gadgets. But since I already have some concealed wiring running to the overhead control panel I just borrowed that.
Likewise, I had some left over wire running down to where the stabilizers used to be outside. Otherwise, I would have had to drill a small hole in the floor near the inverter to get wiring inside.
For a bezel, I just used a piece of abs plastic. It looks OK, but someday I’ll have to 3D print some upgraded bezels.
The switch is my favorite Amazon lighted switch with the super bright led – will be easy to see that its on.
The final result looks like this:
This is WAY better now than running outside! As a bonus, the bright light will help remind me to turn off the Truma hot water at night.
I’ve listed some parts below.
The propane solenoid uses about an amp, and lots of people have installed a “buck converter” which dramatically lowers the current, and probably lengthens the life of the solenoid.
There is a guy on eBay selling a version which he tweaked and claimed to work ideally, so I initially installed that. Its a good thing I was monitoring the current and inside the RV as it blew up with a good “pop” after about 5 minutes and then melted itself permanently on.
So I removed that and just kept the plain switch. I will revisit the buck converter idea in the future (although certainly not that one!).
(I typically will only have propane on about an hour a day so any energy savings while boondocking are immaterial anyway.)
The new switch is pretty great! Sometimes the simplest things are big improvements.(Links are Paid)