Refrigerator on 12v - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-29-2003, 10:45 PM   #1
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Refrigerator on 12v

On the return trip home from the national rally I had trouble when I put the refrigerator on DC while on the road. It got up to 58 degrees. I checked the voltage at the connection and it was 12.5 with it on and 13.78 with it off. I haven't had a chance to check all of the connections yet.

My vehicle is wired with #10 and it looks like Casita wired #12 to the refrigerator. Unless I find a loose connection, I guess I will run new wires from the plug directly to the refrigerator.

I know the temperature was around 90 degrees outside during the return trip from the rally but it should do better than this. Did anyone else have trouble during the return trip home?
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Old 06-29-2003, 10:57 PM   #2
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Hi, Ron. My '99 Casita fridge is wired with AWG 14. I'm going to try to get it upgraded before we head out to Colorado in early August. That summertime drive across west Texas is brutal!

Since yours already has heavier wire, you might want to investigate installing a little fan to help exhaust the heat out the louvered panel on the back. I know several other Casita owners have done so, using computer fans (they run on 12v and are inexpensive, use only a little juice).

I think I need to replace my wiring before I go the computer fan route... but yes, getting these refrigerators to run on DC (especially in hot weather) is an issue!!

:sunny
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Old 06-29-2003, 11:03 PM   #3
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Oops, I see you already did!

Ron, while searching to provide links to previous discussions of this matter (fridge on 12v DC), I came across a couple of posts where you indicated you have, indeed, already installed the computer fan(s) into the fridge vent area.

:shg So, I'm stumped... unles AWG 12 isn't heavy enough (I believe the installation manual for the fridge that I have recommends AWG 8 and AWG 10, depending on the distance from the tow vehicle alternator).
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Old 06-29-2003, 11:22 PM   #4
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After having about the same results as you are having with 12v on the road, I started using propane. Of course you have to turn it off when you refuel. It does keep the refrigerator colder.
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Old 06-30-2003, 06:22 AM   #5
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I think Ron has the right idea. Run AWG 10 wire from the pigtail directly to the refrigerator. I think the pigtail itself has #10 wire for the charge line and I know Ford uses #10 for the charge line.

Go in to the wiring harness under the closet (from the outside bottom vent if you have front air) and tie in #10 wires to the charge line and to ground. Run the wires underneath to the refrigerator compartment. That gives you the shortest possible run from alternator to refrigerator.

Always be sure to turn off the refrigerator if you stop for more than a few minutes. Otherwise it will suck the life out of the trailer battery in short order.

The fans are great for overcoming the inadequate venting, but I don't think they'd help while driving.
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Old 06-30-2003, 06:34 AM   #6
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Dometic on d/c

Ron, you're going to find that the d/c setting will, at best, maintain a cool, not cold, box. Remember that this is resistance heating that is being used, and the dc just doesn't supply enough muscle to do much. We've all but eliminated the use of that setting on our unit. Gas and a/c work fine---you may have to change the temperature dial when you toggle back and forth between gas and a/c.

One of our favorite add-ons is a wireless remote thermometer. We can even take the base unit into the tow vehicle while we're on the road, and monitor the temp of the refrigerator and the temp inside the trailer. No more melted ice cream, frozen lettuce syndrome since we got that piece of equipment!
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Old 06-30-2003, 06:50 AM   #7
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Mary,

The thermostat I'd recommend for your refrigerator vent fans is:

http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/productde...emId=1611632212

I used an adjustable thermostat because I had no idea what the temperature setting should be. I found the 130*F setting to be ideal. The one above closes at 130*F on rise and opens at 115*F.

Mount the thermostat right on the fan.

I also used two small 12V muffin fans instead of a larger one. Two are much quieter than one to move the same volume of air. I used a total of about 100cfm.
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Old 06-30-2003, 07:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Orginally posted by George Cathcart

* * * * * * Ron, you're going to find that the d/c setting will, at best, maintain a cool, not cold, box. Remember that this is resistance heating that is being used, and the dc just doesn't supply enough muscle to do much. We've all but eliminated the use of that setting on our unit. Gas and a/c work fine---you may have to change the temperature dial when you toggle back and forth between gas and a/c.

One of our favorite add-ons is a wireless remote thermometer. We can even take the base unit into the tow vehicle while we're on the road, and monitor the temp of the refrigerator and the temp inside the trailer. No more melted ice cream, frozen lettuce syndrome since we got that piece of equipment!
George, (acknowledged as the) world's oldest living Casita owner,

We had the same problem with the temperature setting until I installed exhaust fans and adjusted the propane regulator. After that, the refrigerator would track perfectly no matter which fuel we selected. No more fiddling with the thermostat.

When I installed the larger 12V wires (AWG 10), the refrigerator worked well on DC while driving.
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Old 06-30-2003, 08:52 AM   #9
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Refrigerator on 12v

Morgan,

I had a fan running in the refrigerator and one in the back compartment. I also have a remote thermometer that I carry in the tow vehicle. That is what alerted me to the problem. I stopped and changed to gas and it stayed on a while and went out. I have used it before on gas on the road without any trouble. When I used it before on gas, it was on rather smooth roads in Florida. Route 23, 26, and I-95 from Virgina, Tennessee, and the Carolinas was rough.
I don't know if this was enough to effect the gas or not.

I will have to make another test run on gas to determine what is happening with it. But the DC problem has me a little confused because it had kept it under 50 degrees before. Of course our trips was always less than 5 hours and we always pre-cooled to 38 degrees.

I will probably re-wire with heaver wire.
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Old 06-30-2003, 11:26 AM   #10
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Ron

I had problems with the pilot light blowing out on the road too.

Fabricated a windscreen to protect the pilot light from the wind while traveling. It lays flat under the carpet in the Casita door way when not in use.:lol :lol
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Old 06-30-2003, 02:54 PM   #11
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is mine strange?

My old domestic works best on 12v when travleing down the road ,
i have to adjust the thermostat to keep it from freezeing everything inside. iam not sure if its the extra air flow or the bounceing over expansion joints that does it .
110 works ok
Gas seems to work whenever it feels like it .ie works at home but does not when iam 25 miles in the woods.

one thing i did do was i found a high resistance connection in the fuse holder when i first got the trailer i replaced the inline fuse holder whit a new automotive type fuse holder and fuse. amop draw droped by almost 4 amps wires no longer got hot by the fuse. and i froze a 6 pack that was in the refigerator section .
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Old 06-30-2003, 08:31 PM   #12
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Fridge

Not a 12v thing, but fridge related.

I fought the pilot lighting routine and ran across this 're-ignitor'. It's absolutely wonderful especially if you've got the small fridge. It was $40 from Cranes RV Refridgerator 1-707-552-0337.

Just turn on the propane and flip a switch, it's great! :)
<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3f00e4551c239Casita fridge ignitor 2.jpg/>
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