Need Refrig Info - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-14-2003, 06:21 AM   #1
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Need Refrig Info

When I was tent camping, I didn't have to worry about such luxuries as a refrigerator, and have little experience with them.
My question is this. When travelling on the interstate, do you run the refrig on LP gas, or 12 Volt? If it's 12 Volt, does the trailer battery charge while driving? Going to St. George Island in Florida next month from St. Louis and would appreciate any help you all can give this dummy.
All the Best,
Pat
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Old 03-14-2003, 06:32 AM   #2
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Hi Pat
When I go camping and I know I will be at a power site I will run with 12volt.If I am going boondocking I will go with propane.Yes your Batteries will recharge.I don't know the tecnical side of just how much the batteries will recharge.Some one else will jump in here with there knowledge.:wave
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Old 03-14-2003, 07:00 AM   #3
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Pat, truth is, folks do it both ways.

Some run powering their refrigerator with DC. Some with GAS. Many of the larger refrigerators in Class C's and A's only have GAS and electric mode, so they are all running with the gas lite (some run with the refrig on OFF.)

Obviously you are safer running with DC. But many feel as long as you remember to turn off the propane at fuel stops, you'll be ok.

Like Ches says ... if you know you are headed out for an extended period of dry camping ... you might try to conserve all your battery power for the campout.

Sometimes, we even run with the refrigerator in the OFF position! Here's how...

Usually, the first day traveling for us is the longest. Several days before leaving, I purchase a jug of orange juice, drink a glass and then freeze the rest. Also make up and freeze a two-litre of lemonade.

In the morning before we leave, I pull out the frozen juice and lemonade, put in in the food compartment, along with a couple of pre-frozen meals (breakfast casserole and maybe a pasta dish) and then we'll run like crazy all day often into the night ... with the refrigerator on OFF!

The multitude of pre-frozen articles keeps the refrigerator cold for several days! The juice doesn't thaw for atleast 36 hours ... keeping things plenty cold.

Remember, however, that we rarely, if ever, run in the extreme heat.

For years, we've headed for the mountains or Canada at the first sign of heat.

I imagine if you are planning a lengthwise run down Texas in the summer, you'd have to run the refrigerator while you travel.
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Old 03-14-2003, 07:13 AM   #4
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When we leave for Florida the middle of next month, we will run the first day with the refrigerator OFF (with the frozen stuff detailed above) ... drive late into the night.

Stop at a Flying J ... for a four hour nap ... running the refrigerator in the GAS mode while we're stopped. The battery will be fully charged (no chance of discharge by running in DC mode) in case we have to run the furnace a few cycles during the night.

Then we'll get up and run the rest of the way to Florida ... depending on the outside temps, we'll either run with the refrigerator off or on DC.
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Old 03-14-2003, 07:41 AM   #5
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AC DC

It is my job to ready the inside of the Casita. When we depart, I put the reefer on DC (Departing Casita) when we arrive I put the reefer on AC (Arriving Casita). That's the only way I can remember, I'm very old, you know.
Darline:wave :)
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Old 03-14-2003, 08:13 AM   #6
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DC/AC how smart. I like those little helpful memory things. thanks.

now as far as charging the TT batery. only if you have it hooked up that way. mine does not charge the battery when going down the road. I'm not real sure if it gets charged plug into house current. but maybe as I have a converter. but that road feature would be a VERY good idea. plus I need to buy a battery. :) that spot is empty right now.
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Old 03-14-2003, 11:49 AM   #7
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Refrigerator on the road

Hi Pat,

Come on down the weather is great.

When we are on the road I always have the refrigerator on either DC or Gas. I like everything in it real cold. I have a remote thermometer in the refrigerator and the base in the tow vehicle to keep track of it. That way I don't get any surprises when I get to the next stop. If it is running on gas it can blow out and then you need to know about it as soon as possible.

If the battery is fully charged and the refrigerator is cold I us DC on the road. If I stop anywhere for over 30 minutes I change it to Gas.

If I am using Gas I have to turn it off before I make a gasoline service stop. And then relight it after I clear the pump area.

If I have AC I use it.

I know some people that have arrived at their next stopover with a dead battery when they used DC on the road. I suspect that they started with a low battery or maybe a bad one. I have never had a low battery problem with the system that I use.
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Old 03-15-2003, 08:02 AM   #8
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travelling witha 3 way fridge

on DC:

1. Pre-cool your fridge by turning it on 110vac 24 hrs before you leave.

2. Pre-cool your food by putting 'everything' in your house fridge beforehand.

3. Run on DC, but only while the car motor is running. Stop for lunch, etc, turn the fridge off.

4. If you stop overnight and have plugins, switch to 110vac, if not, switch to propane.

5. Don't open the fridge door any more than absolutely necessary.

6. Be sure the fridge door is latched for travelling.

.....If you drive at night,
.....with the car AC on,
.....don't have a large capacity alternator on your tow vehicle,
.....don't have a solar panel, extra battery, or generator,
.....have a low cell in the trailer battery or an old battery,

.....It'd be a good idea to spend $50 for a 12v 'Jump-it'.

=========

on Propane:

I was used to travelling with the fridge on propane in previous motorhome(s).

Turning the fridge off and relighting (the Casita's little manual fridge) got to be a nuisance. Altho a NECESSARY safety precaution when refueling!!!

The egg trailers take more bouncing and vibration. And the propane lines are (more) exposed in the storage areas to things that might bump against them. I've only heard of 2 stories of propane lines damaged or leaking while travelling, but that's enough.

.....and then a real smart person convinced me I shouldn't travel with propane on.

=========

'OFF'.........the 'forgetter' kicks in. Doesn't work for me. One experience with spoiled food is enough. :o

=========

Either way, Pat, you're moving out of the ice-age. Have a good trip!
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Old 03-15-2003, 04:03 PM   #9
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fridge newbie

Hi All,

This thread has been an a awsome forum for the likes of me. One of my recent Burro projects was to remove the icebox and install a three way fridge in the egg. I was reading the comments about which way to run the fridge in transit. If I had my druthers I would druther not leave the propane tank valve open in transit.

On the other hand, I fear that running the fridge on 12V is also a problem for me because the new fridge uses 10.5 amps of current and my solar panel at best can only provide 6.4 amps. My group 24 battery is rated for 95 amp hours (which seems like a little fibbing or possibly a little creative specmanship by the battery manufacturer). Assuming a brand new and completely charged battery this current draw would drain my battery to 50% charge in about 4.5 hours (probably less) at night or less than 13 hours during bright daylight (assuming you can get 13 hours of sun!)

Now the clincher.... the fridge manual says that the 12 volt fridge heater does not have a thermostat. The gas mode and the 120 VAC mode have seperate thermostats but the DC mode does not and I assume that the 12 volt heater runs continiously. Could that cause unwanted freezing? Poor temperature regulation? My first thought is to crank up the inverter and run on the thermostatically controlled 120 vac. Any body else had experience with this setup? Are the sparks created when the 120 vac thermostat makes and breaks any worse than the pilot flame in regards to setting off a potential gas station fire? Is this why the DC mode has no (sparking) thermostat?

Are there any rv fridge gurus out there that have a better understanding?

Experience is the best teacher but I will still try to cheat the school of hard knocks and glean the wisdom of those that have truely ''been there done that''. Lets hear it from the lips (keyboards?) of those hard knocks graduates.
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Old 03-22-2003, 11:50 AM   #10
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Thank you all for the help. I believe I'll be able to do the right thing when traveling. I wish I could store my Casita at the house where I could get a head start by hooking up to shore power prior to the trips, but cant do that where I live.
Again, Many Thanks!
Pat
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