Fridge 12V Operation - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-30-2012, 02:22 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
I have the original true 3-way fridge in my trailer...each power source is independent of the other two.

I guess I missed that your fridge also had LP capability, while reading the above posts...

So-called "two-way" fridges that are 12v/110 should in my opinion be instead referred to as "all-electric" so as to differentiate them from a true 2-way, which is electric/propane.

You are correct - that they should perhaps be referred to as 'all electric'; however, the MAJOR difference is the TYPE of cooling process used. For example, my Norcold was 'all electric' (120v/12v), but since it had a compressor rather than ammonia - it was able to efficiently run on either 120v or 12v. '

That's the setup I recommend to folks, and as far as I know, there's no such fridge available with a compressor. In my experience, all propane-fired refrigerators are absorption units...but I don't pretend to be up on the latest technology and hope someone will correct me if I'm wrong.

Again, I agree that 'all propane refrigerators are absorption units', however, this thread got a bit clouded with repeated references to 'this type' of fridge without clearly describing *what* that type was. Further, there are compressor fridges widely used in marine environments - and some campers, which are *compressor* type rather than absorption type and run with low draw via 120v or 12v.

Francesca
Not attempting to be argumentative - simply trying to be clear for those on the forum who are running their compressor type fridge on 12v in the boondocks - it's OK to do so. Just don't try it with an absorption type...

Peace

Bill
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:36 PM   #16
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Just to add a bit more to the confusion:

A Typical absorbtion type refrigerator running on the 12 VDC heating element will pull about 8-10 amps. The bad news is that it can be difficult to get that much current flow from the TV's alternator, through the trailer connector and 25+ feet of wire, to the refrigerator. As a result, it's not uncommon for the refrigerator to hog necessary current from the coach battery as well. As a result you can arrive at your destination with a low or dead coach battery. The lesson is to measure current flow through the charging line and be sure there is enough to charge the coach battery as well as run the refrigerator.
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:56 PM   #17
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I think the original post was referring to a 3 way absorption fridge and someone along the way confused it with a Danfoss compressor type. Raz
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:41 PM   #18
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[QUOTE=Francesca Knowles;347974..but I emphasize again that it's only more recent three-way fridges that use any electricity at all when on propane. I don't know when that became true..[/QUOTE]

Recent is a relative term My 20 year old Dometic 3 way absorption fridge a model that is no longer make does use of a *tiny* bit of power when on propane.
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:45 PM   #19
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I remember the discussion we had about that...but I emphasize again that it's only more recent three-way fridges that use any electricity at all when on propane. I don't know when that became true...but it certainly wasn't true in the '70's, when many of our older trailers were built and equipped.

Francesca
Right. The only electricity that mine uses running on LP is what the thermocouple generates.
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:15 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
Just to add a bit more to the confusion:

A Typical absorbtion type refrigerator running on the 12 VDC heating element will pull about 8-10 amps. The bad news is that it can be difficult to get that much current flow from the TV's alternator, through the trailer connector and 25+ feet of wire, to the refrigerator. As a result, it's not uncommon for the refrigerator to hog necessary current from the coach battery as well. As a result you can arrive at your destination with a low or dead coach battery. The lesson is to measure current flow through the charging line and be sure there is enough to charge the coach battery as well as run the refrigerator.
Part of that is the alternator in the tow vehicle. Wiring to get enough current is fairly easy, even if you had to add another charge wire. The biggest problem is the alternator and the current drawn by the tow vehicle. I have one that doesn't put out enough to charge the battery and run the fridge, one that does. (1998 Blazer with towing wiring add, 2005 Dakota with heavy duty tow package)

Even with the Dakota I usually don't run the fridge on 12V, I've found that the fridge stays cool enough without running while moving from one place to another.
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Old 12-01-2012, 07:51 AM   #21
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Recent is a relative term My 20 year old Dometic 3 way absorption fridge a model that is no longer make does use of a *tiny* bit of power when on propane.
As much as 1/2 amp to power the control board. Rather significant if you are boondocking. I bought the Dometic 2193 because, like Tom's, it uses no DC power when using propane. Raz
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:06 AM   #22
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As much as 1/2 amp to power the control board. Rather significant if you are boondocking. I bought the Dometic 2193 because, like Tom's, it uses no DC power when using propane. Raz
I've gotta believe that a toggle switch placed judicially would end the power drain problem, while boondocking.
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:33 AM   #23
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As much as 1/2 amp to power the control board. Rather significant if you are boondocking. I bought the Dometic 2193 because, like Tom's, it uses no DC power when using propane. Raz
Sorry I cant recall how much it draws but I know it cant be a lot - will have to look at it with a meter the next time I put it on. Funny enough in the first year I had the trailer - prior to getting a battery meter (so had no idea what was really happening ) and a solar panel - I did boon docked with it a fair bit. I could get by for 4 days without a problem - it never drained the battery right down to nothing, although I now know it drained it more than it should have as I only got 3 years of use from the first battery. But in addition to fridge I was only used the water pump and occasional interior lights (use head lamp for reading at night) as needed & I had wrongly assumed it was those items only draining the battery. Running the furnace for any amount of time is a much bigger drain.

Since obtaining a battery meter and a 35 watt solar & LED interior lights I only plug in every 2-3 days - it takes care of the fridge drain and everything else as well and its never taken the battery below 50%. Now that one can get a 100 watt solar panel for the same price I paid for the 35 watt a number of years ago it would be nice if Santa were to bring me a bigger panel for when camping on the wet coast & the sun forgets to show up.

HINT TO SANTA: A 60 to 80 watt would do the trick!
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:55 AM   #24
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I've gotta believe that a toggle switch placed judicially would end the power drain problem, while boondocking.
Thermocouples produce such small voltages (<50 mV) that wire and contact resistance becomes a problem with larger units with controls in the trailer. One of the circuits found on the control board senses the thermocouple and controls the safety valve. Without a DC supply, nothing works. Raz
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:01 PM   #25
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Thermocouples produce such small voltages (<50 mV) that wire and contact resistance becomes a problem with larger units with controls in the trailer. One of the circuits found on the control board senses the thermocouple and controls the safety valve. Without a DC supply, nothing works. Raz
Interesting - but it seems needlessly inefficient.
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:03 PM   #26
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Right. The only electricity that mine uses running on LP is what the thermocouple generates.
And mine uses none at all.

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Old 12-01-2012, 12:06 PM   #27
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And mine uses none at all.

Francesca
Yours doesn't have a thermocouple?
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:27 PM   #28
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Yours doesn't have a thermocouple?
When operating on propane, my fridge requires neither 12v nor 110v power. It's original equipment on a trailer that as a matter of fact came from the factory with no battery installed anywhere in the system. It did come wired for 12v operation if being towed, but I've never used that feature, and disconnecting the tow from the tug had no effect on propane operation. I've since installed a battery for drycamping, but it needn't be present for the fridge to work on propane as it did for the preceding thirty years.

If that means "no thermocouple", then I guess the answer is "that's correct"!

It's not an unusual arrangement on older, true 3-way fridges.


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