Installing a 12v DC refrigerator in a Lil Snoozy - Page 4 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-24-2014, 05:22 PM   #43
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Installing a 12v DC refrigerator in a Lil Snoozy

I thought I'd add a picture showing how I moved the fridge 3/4" out so air could circulate behind the fridge and cool the compressor.

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Old 02-24-2014, 05:43 PM   #44
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Mad skills, Denny! Thanks.
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Old 02-26-2014, 11:13 AM   #45
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Another data point: 24 hours, 65F at night, 80 during the day, no shade. A couple of hours of lights, four hours of the inverter charging cell phones. 47 ah used.

Update: that data point was with the trailer pointing south so the sun shown on the fridge side all afternoon. I noticed that the warm air wafting over the top of the fridge was quite a bit warmer in the afternoon than in the morning when the sun was on the other side of the trailer.

I just did another 24 hour measurement. This time we are actually dry camping but the trailer points north so the sun was on the other side of the trailer all afternoon and I rigged a sun shade (the picnic table cloth) to keep the fridge side cooler this morning. Energy consumption over 24 hrs was 15% less. Just 40 ah instead of 47. Doesn't sound like much but it is.

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Old 02-27-2014, 09:04 PM   #46
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Installing a 12v DC refrigerator in a Lil Snoozy

"Beginner" posed a very reasonable question above. Why spend so much money instead of just replacing the dorm fridge?

I just wrote a post on our travel blog www.wanderingourway.wordpress.com explaining my thought process is detail and cranking through some of the math on energy storage and consumption. We just finished two days of boondocking and the results of that are there too.

Hopefully my wife will be proved wrong and someone actually will want to read "all that technical crap".
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:13 PM   #47
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Ha! I'd already read "all that technical crap". Got me rethinking the equipment I'll need for solar, since I want to boondock more than park.
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Old 02-27-2014, 10:54 PM   #48
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I read it also with great interest, as we are ordering a Lil Snoozy and seeing if they will install the very 12 volt Refer in ours, and also it helped me figure out how much solar to order.
Thank you very very much.
Dave & Paula
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Old 02-27-2014, 11:14 PM   #49
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Ha! I'd already read "all that technical crap". Got me rethinking the equipment I'll need for solar, since I want to boondock more than park.
If you want to "boondock more than park", the as-designed Snoozy is probably not the trailer for you. It's really only designed for hookup-stays, 12v add-ons being provided for those brief intervals when hookups aren't available.

All-electric rigs are not for boondocking, except perhaps for those rare folks who are content to do so without longterm efficient modes of cooking/heating best portably provided by propane appliances.
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Old 02-28-2014, 06:19 AM   #50
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Francesca, I've seriously checked out the Snoozy with all electric, and with solar, it can be done. The only energy gobbler I use will be the water heater. I don't have an electric oven or stove or microwave, but a butane burner for inside and a propane grill for outside. The large solar bank that will refresh the two golf cart batteries should keep me powered pretty well. And I plan to carry a generator, just in case.

I also use this pot. Just heat it to a boil over the butane flame, and let it sit. Not a lot of energy used for a great slow cooker.
http://www.amazon.com/Tiger-NFH-G450...BEVJXQWRX4D7NN
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Old 02-28-2014, 08:53 AM   #51
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If you want to "boondock more than park", the as-designed Snoozy is probably not the trailer for you. It's really only designed for hookup-stays, 12v add-ons being provided for those brief intervals when hookups aren't available.



All-electric rigs are not for boondocking, except perhaps for those rare folks who are content to do so without longterm efficient modes of cooking/heating best portably provided by propane appliances.

Francesca, I agree, there is no practical way to get heat or hot water without propane.

But if you are camping where it is warm (for us that means low > 55F, high > 65F) so don't need heat the need for hot water is eliminated as well because the warm weather will warm your fresh water supply too. You won't get a hot shower but it's tolerable. Cooking with a butane burner is convenient, you can get the gas canisters sent out UPS. That works just as well as the electric hot plate and in fact has 3x the cooking power of any 1500w electric device. We used ours for the first year even though we were plugged in.

Adding propane to a Snoozy could certainly be done and Propex makes a little furnace that mounts outside under the floor that would be perfect. We may go that route later but for now solving the fridge issue really opened up the boondocking possibilities.

Just starting to think about what a portable solar panel could do...
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Old 02-28-2014, 08:54 AM   #52
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I consider heat a necessity, and propane is the simplest/least cumbersome means of providing that. But I'm a year 'round boondocker...as Denny points out above, heat may not be a consideration for folks that only do so in the warmer months of the year.

T'other thing is, I go out in the boonies for the peace and quiet...the last thing I want to listen to is a generator- even if it's mine. And solar seems like a lot of bother/expense. Simplicity is key for me, so I keep my electric needs to the barest minimum by using propane where possible and foregoing electric add-ons altogether.

Different strokes, eh?
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:39 AM   #53
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Different strokes, eh?
Our honorary Canadian eh?
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:43 AM   #54
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Ha! I'd already read "all that technical crap". Got me rethinking the equipment I'll need for solar, since I want to boondock more than park.
I don't want to take away from the great info that has been provided in this thread but if I was you I would be seriously considering having them put propane on the trailer at least to accommodate a heater. Do a search of this site - I am pretty sure someone mentioned the manufacture has recognized that all electrical does not work out all that well for boondockers and arrangements can be made with them to have the propane option added.

In the past couple of years more than one person here has purchased this brand of trailer set up as fully electric and realized after the fact that all electrical no matter how efficient the appliances are does not work out so well if you do a great deal of travel into different regions and doondock. As a result the trailer is sold after a short time or they take it someplace to have the propane added after the fact.

As someone who also boondocks and has solar I know that how much energy I am able to capture or not depends a great deal the location I am camping and the weather. Heavy fog cover in the summer in the Pacific Northwest can be an issue, as is camping in a heavy forested area as does camping through a rainy week. Even while doondocking in Southern Arizona in the winter I have to be very careful with my usage of my propane heater due to the amount of energy the fan on it consumes.... even though my fridge isn't consuming any battery power and running on propane. When doondocking I don't use any electrical appliances such as a TV, microwave or coffee maker. On the other hand in the middle of summer while camping out in the full sun petty well anywhere I have no problem staying out for days without any power concerns and use all the lights I want/need and even use the MP3 player and watch the occasional movie on the lap top without worries.

Generators are an option but the use of them has in recent years become a bit of a sour point for many as there are alternatives to their use and often cheaper in the long run. There are an ever increasing number of places that have either out and out disallowed the use of generators (even on public doondocking areas) or heavily restricted their use.

Laying awake all night worrying that your heater is going to drain the battery down and your fridge will also stop working in the middle of the night as a result and you can't start the generator up to resolve the issue for another 8 to 10 hours isn't my idea of a fun camping trip.

At the end of the day its up to you to decide as only you know where and when you will be camping. But I would try and do a lot of research in regards to what my actual power consumption will be even if its only using a highly efficient 12v fridge and an electric heater and what I can reasonable expect my solar panel to keep up with under various operating conditions.
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:45 AM   #55
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Yep - as I said, the generator is for "just in case".

I like redundant systems - the alternator from the car, solar and a battery charger will be capable of charging the batteries, so I don't think I'll ever need the generator. But it's another redundancy. Computer and cell phone will be charged in the car when I'm driving, so they won't draw from the trailer batteries. As a car camper, I've found little need for a heater, even if the weather is bitter. A great sleeping bag is enough for me.

And there is the option to find a place to plug in for a night or two. I don't think I'll be off the grid entirely.

And I agree that an all electric trailer might not be the best idea for going off the grid, but I have time to design it well, and if it gets too scary, I have time to add the propane before the build. Just don't think it'll be necessary.

Different strokes make the world more interesting;-)
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Old 02-28-2014, 11:24 AM   #56
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As a car camper, I've found little need for a heater, even if the weather is bitter. A great sleeping bag is enough for me.
Yup good backcountry winter sleeping bags are indeed an option & I have been known to use those myself to keep the use of the heater down to a min. to just dry out wet clothing as needed but it still does not resolve the issue of keeping the trailer warm in order to keep the plumbing from freezing or the power consumption of having only an electric water heater to have a warm shower with.

Yup we all have different ways of camping and lots to consider in regards to power consumption based on the how, where and when we camp.
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