Gulp...might get in trouble for this! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-14-2012, 08:42 AM   #1
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Name: Maggie
Trailer: 1978 Boler 13'
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Gulp...might get in trouble for this!

Hey guys!

Sooo...I sold my boler last year, I needed something a tad bit bigger, and found a deal on a 97 Aerolite, 21ft. Anyways, I'm sooo lost of certain things about travel trailers (my boler did't have the fridge or sink, or stove). I posted on other forums, and didn't quite get the answers I needed. Then I remembered how nice everyone is over on this forum, mind if I ask you guys my newbie questions?
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Old 05-14-2012, 09:24 AM   #2
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What kind of questions do you need help with? Most rv's have generic hvac systems.
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Old 05-14-2012, 09:55 AM   #3
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Question #1: I'd like to run the fridge off of the vehicle battery while driving (6 hour trip tops), how do I make sure that it doesn't drain my vehicle battery?

#2: Is it true that a portable generator can charge the trailer battery? (we are using the trailer for riding our sportbikes on the race track, so generators are loud and buzzing all day) We want to be able to have battery power for at least 3 days.

#3. There currently is NO battery on the travel trailer, just the hook up...where on earth do I even start with what to purchase? I know deep cycle, but there seem to be SO many.

Thanks all
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Old 05-14-2012, 10:15 AM   #4
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Check the amp draw inside the refer is a label. Depending on size of your battery you get will determine how long you can run the refer on 12v. Most people operate on propane for that reason. You must have a battery for your emergency trailer brakes to operate, any rv place or on line can give you price, even Wallyworld, good group 27 battery maybe $85.
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Old 05-14-2012, 04:14 PM   #5
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When we had fridges that could run on propane & 12 v, we found that the battery ran down rapidly. Those fridges require heat to operate and the 12v has to supply heat. Anything electrical that produces heat will run the battery down. You can run on 12v while driving and then switch to propane. The fridge in our Egg Camper is 12v but it's a compressor fridge so it doesn't have to have heat to run AND it doesn't have to be level. You can also connect two batteries to extend use. I'm going to add another to our E.C.
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Old 05-14-2012, 04:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yamaha_gurl View Post
Question #1: I'd like to run the fridge off of the vehicle battery while driving (6 hour trip tops), how do I make sure that it doesn't drain my vehicle battery?
Always start with a COLD fridge. Our routine is to start the 3-way fridge on 110v house power at least 36 hours before we leave. Get the temperature right on. Take your refrigerated stuff out of the house refer and put them in the correct temperature trailer refer the night before. Check on it a few hours later to make sure the temperature is OK (use a grocery store bought refer temp gauge.)

That way you can make a day run without draining the vehicle battery. You wil NEVER be able to cool the fridge on battery, At best, it can sorta hold temperature once it has been pre-cooled.

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Originally Posted by Yamaha_gurl View Post
#2: Is it true that a portable generator can charge the trailer battery? (we are using the trailer for riding our sportbikes on the race track, so generators are loud and buzzing all day) We want to be able to have battery power for at least 3 days.
Generators can work, but many places limit their use. Solar power panels may be an option.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yamaha_gurl View Post
#3. There currently is NO battery on the travel trailer, just the hook up...where on earth do I even start with what to purchase? I know deep cycle, but there seem to be SO many.
Since you don't have a battery right now, what do you have? You sould have a converter at least which allows the use of 110v house current to power the trailewr stuff. If you don't, get one with smart charging that does not overcharge your battery.

First decision is where will you mount the battery. If on the trailer toungue, then get the biggest battery box you can, and the biggest battery that fits that box. Run at least 6 gauge cable from the converter to the battery and back to a terminal block setup to distribute battery power in the trailer. Use a set of lengthy jumper cables, that's what i have. If inside (which is O.K.), I would make sure to use a sealed box that is vented to the outside.

There are many posts and discussions on this website on such topics.

Vic
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Old 05-14-2012, 04:36 PM   #7
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When we had fridges that could run on propane & 12 v, we found that the battery ran down rapidly. Those fridges require heat to operate and the 12v has to supply heat. <snip>
The heat doesn't come from electricity (the battery). The heat comes from the combustion of propane. Bob and Ray have an excellent explanation of this including why you should never throw an ice cube out the window.
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Old 05-14-2012, 04:43 PM   #8
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On 12v, the fridge does have to have heat. There is a heating element. The battery supplies juice to the heating element when the propane is off. The heat is needed to circulate the coolant since there's no compressor. It's circulated by convection. That's why it needs to be level so there's no chance of lack of circulation.
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Old 05-14-2012, 04:54 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by rgrugg View Post
On 12v, the fridge does have to have heat. There is a heating element. The battery supplies juice to the heating element when the propane is off. The heat is needed to circulate the coolant since there's no compressor. It's circulated by convection. That's why it needs to be level so there's no chance of lack of circulation.
That's the whole thing... it's not really working as a propane refrigerator if the PROPANE IS OFF. Then it's an electric powered unit. The battery is not going to run down as long as the propane flame is on. It makes sense to run off 12V if you are plugged into an external power source. If not... you have to run the propane.
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Old 05-14-2012, 05:39 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Yamaha_gurl View Post
Question #1: I'd like to run the fridge off of the vehicle battery while driving (6 hour trip tops), how do I make sure that it doesn't drain my vehicle battery?.........
You can run a 12 volt refrigerator off your car alternator, but you need to wire in a relay to automatically disconnect the refrigerator from your tow vehicle when the engine is not running. You also need to use very heavy wiring from your tow vehicle to the trailer, especially if you want to charge the trailer battery as you drive.
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