Refrigerator solution while on the road - Page 4 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-14-2016, 10:20 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by redbarron55 View Post
Personally I have a compressor type Norcold 704DE that does not challenge the wiring at all.

I use the above monitors for the power for both AC and DC ant they let me see what is going on quite well.
Nice! I can't see the make/brand on your monitors.
Currently have a monitor that provides less than adequate info as to whats actually happening. About to toss it and the not so old converter that is also less than steller out and start again.
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Old 08-14-2016, 10:44 AM   #44
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I used this unit for the DC:
https://www.amazon.com/bayite-6-5-10...6MJPVE1548A3QP
I put the shunt in the ground circuit from the battery/converter so that it would measure current from any source in the trailer.
All of the consumers are bonded to ground where the low side of the shunt is wired.

The AC power monitor is here:
https://www.amazon.com/bayite-BAYITE...3C6XCF99JJBCAZ
I put the CT (current transformer) in the incoming line from the AC power plug on the side of the Scamp so that all incoming AC power is metered if from the power pole or the generator.
The power used by the converter is measured on the AC side and the DC side as well.
These power monitors are mounted in a small wooden panel under the kitchen overhead cabinet.
They have lighting that can be switched on or off and they can be reset to measure power from zero again.
You can tell the condition and power draw at a glance.
I can look at the DC power coming from the car when hooked up as well.
I used the power metr to measure the power consumed by the compressor refrigerator (average 20 watts+-) and the AC power used by the air conditioner.(~ 9 amps running the compressor)
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Old 08-14-2016, 10:56 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Darwin Maring View Post
If you travel to the Outter banks from north to south you are required to stop for an inspection to insure your tanks are off prior to going through a tunnel. I guess that says something about the safety of propane while towing.
Actually it says something about the safety of tunnels, but tunnel safety is another thread for another day.
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Old 08-14-2016, 11:12 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by redbarron55 View Post
Thanks! Also for the detailed explanation as to the set up.
Got the new battery set up all done and the solar playing well with it this spring. My winter project is to sort out the not so great converter and monitoring system.

Also plan to dip into my feminine side and sew some new curtains as well
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Old 08-14-2016, 11:22 AM   #47
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The way I hooked up my PD4045 I used it's buss for all 12 volt distribution and the charging line from the TV is on one of the high current spots and when I install the Solar (if I do) will be the same way. If the shunt is in the ground lead for all sources then it will measure all current used no mater the source, solar, converter, or TV.
If you measure the battery voltage from the connection to the buss then the voltage should be very close to what is present for use.
Power measurements should be close enough for our purposes.
As to the refrigerator I was curious what the draw for the Norcold was over time so I measured the power for several days and came to the opinion that it was about 20 watt hours average. (I have a little extra insulation worked into the mounting, but not much). While running the current is about 3.8 amps, but it is not continuous.
this the average power of 20 watts (actually closer to 17, but who is looking?)
The biggest drawback is the 60 cycle vibration and noise of the unit, but you get used to it.
I bought this Norcold 704DE well used and it cooled well on 120 vac, but not as good on 12 vdc. I found that the 12 oscillator had shifted frequency low and I retuned it back to putting out 60 Hz and it works as good on 12 as 120. So far it has served us pretty well and we leave it on all of the time.
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Old 08-14-2016, 11:27 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
You don't cook??
Hot meals in the summer time that make you even hotter fixing them? It is called living to suit the season and it keeps us in tune with nature.
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Old 08-14-2016, 12:16 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by k corbin View Post
Hot meals in the summer time that make you even hotter fixing them? It is called living to suit the season and it keeps us in tune with nature.
Thats the best line I have heard used for a reason for not cooking yet! Might have to borrow it!
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Old 08-14-2016, 12:59 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by redbarron55 View Post
The way I hooked up my PD4045 I used it's buss for all 12 volt distribution and the charging line from the TV is on one of the high current spots and when I install the Solar (if I do) will be the same way. If the shunt is in the ground lead for all sources then it will measure all current used no mater the source, solar, converter, or TV.
If you measure the battery voltage from the connection to the buss then the voltage should be very close to what is present for use.
Power measurements should be close enough for our purposes.
As to the refrigerator I was curious what the draw for the Norcold was over time so I measured the power for several days and came to the opinion that it was about 20 watt hours average. (I have a little extra insulation worked into the mounting, but not much). While running the current is about 3.8 amps, but it is not continuous.
.
My homework is leading me towards PD converter as well, they make a one thats designed to be a good retro fit with my trailers main power centre without a great deal of rewiring.

My new to me trailer came with a new fridge that was less than 3 weeks old at the time and it runs well on propane but due to it electronics, it does use up a bit of 12V power that the old Scamp fridge did not when on propane. I found though the first time I took it out dry camping that it was drawing more power than what it should. Or I thought it was the fridge that was drawing the power as it was the only item I had running. Discovered that although the fridge was new the fan mounted in the outside vent was not. It was original to the trailer and it was actually the fan that was eating up the power more than the fridge itself. I discovered this when on hunch I purposely pulled the fan wires out to stop it from running while trying to figure out what was actually pulling power & how much.

Changed the fan out to a newer one that draws less power. The new fan helped but soon realized the fan was rarely turning off - even when temps dropped down during the night. Turned out the point where the fan connects to the fins at the back of the fridge there is a small disc it plugs into (sorry do not know the technical name for it) that auto controls the temperature the fan turns on and off. There is no way of manually adjusting it... I did locate and order a new one as I suspect the old one is malfunctioning.

But in the meantime I simple fast fix was to installed an inline on/off switch for the fan. By turning it off at night there is a power savings. Not a lot but every little bit helps when camped in areas with a lot of tree coverage preventing the solar from performing at its best. May not even install the automatic fan controller when it arrives as its nice to be able to shut the fan off when power supply is starting to be of concern.
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Old 08-14-2016, 01:04 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by Mark in Portland View Post
Many thanks for your advice. I didn't realize that it is possible to run LP on the road with electronic ignition. But I can see there are some safety considerations with doing that. For most of my trips the ice trick should work. It's only the long hot days with many miles that might require running on LP.

Mark
If the ice trick is not adequate on long, hot days with many miles, dry ice can help. There are only three drawbacks:

1. It can freeze everything in your fridge too solid to thaw for dinner.
2. The more open space surrounding it, the more quickly it sublimates.
3. It seems pretty danged expensive.

I solved this on my last trip by "customizing" one of those cheapish, small, styrofoam coolers designed to use a few times and then pollute the environment by throwing away or burning.

It was too tall to fit inside my ice chest, so I sliced off about the bottom 4". Then I took that and slid it down INSIDE the remaining chest. It could be secured or duct-taped together, but this wasn't necessary for my purposes. I could then fill this little item with dry ice and put the lid on.

There's enough air leakage to keep it safe (you can't seal this in an air-tight container or it causes a tear in the space-time continuum), but it's in a small enough space that it doesn't immediately dissipate away.

This setup kept the larger ice chest safely cold, but did not freeze the food inside, and you could probably do something similar inside your refer for the day.

You can also leave it loose in a small chest and keep things frozen, or actually make ice or re-freeze water to keep other things cold.

Don't ever handle it with bare hands.

I love using dry ice... It's just so danged expensive. Because of that I've figured that for the price of dry-icing about 4 trips, I could own one of those portable 12 volt fridge things. But, then, you know, we're back to the battery/alternator/wire/charging issue!
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Old 08-14-2016, 02:23 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Ellpea in CA View Post
If the ice trick is not adequate on long, hot days with many miles, dry ice can help. There are only three drawbacks:

1. It can freeze everything in your fridge too solid to thaw for dinner.
2. The more open space surrounding it, the more quickly it sublimates.
3. It seems pretty danged expensive.

I solved this on my last trip by "customizing" one of those cheapish, small, styrofoam coolers designed to use a few times and then pollute the environment by throwing away or burning.

It was too tall to fit inside my ice chest, so I sliced off about the bottom 4". Then I took that and slid it down INSIDE the remaining chest. It could be secured or duct-taped together, but this wasn't necessary for my purposes. I could then fill this little item with dry ice and put the lid on.

There's enough air leakage to keep it safe (you can't seal this in an air-tight container or it causes a tear in the space-time continuum), but it's in a small enough space that it doesn't immediately dissipate away.

This setup kept the larger ice chest safely cold, but did not freeze the food inside, and you could probably do something similar inside your refer for the day.

You can also leave it loose in a small chest and keep things frozen, or actually make ice or re-freeze water to keep other things cold.

Don't ever handle it with bare hands.

I love using dry ice... It's just so danged expensive. Because of that I've figured that for the price of dry-icing about 4 trips, I could own one of those portable 12 volt fridge things. But, then, you know, we're back to the battery/alternator/wire/charging issue!
Having worked with dry ice for a number of theatrical effects, one word (well, actually a few words) of caution - be careful of small enclosed spaces (such as a sealed automobile or fiberglass trailer). As long as there is adequate ventilation, it is safe, however a buildup of CO2 is dangerous. If you find yourself panting, or a burning candle goes out, get out & ventilate! Don't ask me how I know...
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Old 08-14-2016, 09:04 PM   #53
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Second thoughts on propane ?

We've camped over the past 48 summers and/or winters (since 1968), with 9 various RV rigs (3 truck slide-in campers, 4 conventional stickies and our present '73 Boler, and a fifth-wheel, throughout Canada and most of the USA, for an estimated 30,000 miles. All, but three of our RV rigs, had propane reefers. Later ones were propane/120 combos; but, none had the 12volt reefer option.
We had always traveled with the fridge on propane, and only turned the propane off when advised to, usually aboard ferries large enough to have enclosed parking decks (Cabot straits, TobermoryManitoulin and Vancouver Island); and while passing through the Chesapeake Bay tunnel).
After reading through this thread today, I'm wondering how we survived ?
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Old 08-14-2016, 10:07 PM   #54
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Should you run propane while on the road?

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Old 08-14-2016, 10:28 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Jon Vermilye View Post
Having worked with dry ice for a number of theatrical effects, one word (well, actually a few words) of caution - be careful of small enclosed spaces (such as a sealed automobile or fiberglass trailer). As long as there is adequate ventilation, it is safe, however a buildup of CO2 is dangerous. If you find yourself panting, or a burning candle goes out, get out & ventilate! Don't ask me how I know...
Well, I've never found myself panting, but... You share what I mean when I spoke of the "space/time continuum"! The dry ice stays outside when we arrive. It stays in the trailer when we travel, along with vented Windows.

I have the dry ice safety info laminated inside my travel/food binder and review it every time before we leave. Some people tend to make fun of my safety "obsession."

I pay no attention!
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Old 08-14-2016, 10:44 PM   #56
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I don't run the fridge when travelling. I use frozen water (ice) in 2 litre containers. I put them on the top shelf and then tuck in everything with a thick layer of newspaper. The newspaper is an excellent insulator.

Anything extra that won't spoil, canned or Tetra
packs or sodas etc are kept in a marine cooler in my tow vehicle. Kept cool with the ice and newspapers as above. That cooler is covered in an old quilt.

Meat etc is already frozen and all other foodstuff are bought and refridgerated the day before.
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