Electrical - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-24-2006, 09:50 AM   #1
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I have a 30 amp converter, a 400 watt inverter, a fridge at 160 watts.
What would the problems be if I hooked up the inverter and pluged in the scamp in the inverter. The tug charges the battery when running.
Would the tug charge quick enough?
Would I need to disconnect the tug at night?
Would the battery last 10 hours? how long?
Thanks for any replys. Can PM to bdiscount@yahoo.com
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Old 06-24-2006, 10:16 AM   #2
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Are you trying to convert a 2-way fridge into a 3-way?
I seem to remember a discussion like this that was lost in the hack...
Back then I was interested in the same sort of thing (I have a 2-way fridge and a 300 watt inverter.) If memory serves, and lately sometimes it doesn't, my conclusion was that I would need to get a larger inverter... more like 700 to 1000 watts... and accept power conversion losses due to the inefficiency of the process.
I don't remember involving the converter... Just plugging the refrigerator itself directly into the inverter when going down the road...

I wound up not acting on my impulse.
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Old 06-24-2006, 08:25 PM   #3
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I presume you are trying to run the reefer on 120VAC thru your inverter -- Likely, the charge wire from your tow vehicle is not going to deliver a full replacement of the energy used, so you may have to be prepared to supplement with shore power or generator to keep egg battery charged.

Here's a pertinent post on the subject from another RV group:

QUOTE
From: Neon John (johngdDONTYOUDARE@bellsouth.net)
Subject: Re: refrigerators while traveling (non-absorption) - A followup
View: Complete Thread (2 articles)
Original Format
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Date: 2003-07-28 22:38:52 PST


This last weekend I conducted an impromptu test of my inverter/Sam's Club/GE
dorm refrigerator that I installed in my RV to replace the absorption unit. I
ran the unit on battery power all weekend and logged the E-meter readings.
This is a good baseline test, as there were no door openings.

Outside ambient was in the mid 90s, 93-96. Very high, almost saturated
humidity. 70s at night with high humidity. In the shade so no direct
sunlight. The setup used 90 amp-hours a day. Average current - about 11
amps, varying from about 9 amps at night to 12+ during the heat of the day.
The best part of all - the cabinet temperature held to exactly the 33 deg
setpoint, something the absorption 'fridge would not do in weather like that.

This test was with my central 1000 watt vector inverter powering only the
refrigerator. I will next test with the 400 watt inverter to see if there is
a significant difference. I will also have a duty cycle data logger hooked up
to monitor how much the compressor runs. I also plan to monitor the outside
temperature of the box and to see if a fan will help anything. This
refrigerator is the type that has the condenser coils embedded under the skin
rather than a stand-alone coil in the rear.

This answered two central questions. first, I now know for sure that I can
get a long weekend out of a single charge of my battery. Two, the cooling and
draft in the refrigerator compartment is adequate without any modifications.
My rig uses the standard side intake, roof exhaust ventilation system for the
refrigerator compartment.
---
John De Armond
johngdDONTYOUDARE@bellsouth.net
http://bellsouthpwp.net/j/o/johngd/
Cleveland, Occupied TN
Message 2 in thread
From: Lou Schneider (lschnei77@earthlink.net)
Subject: Re: refrigerators while traveling (non-absorption) - A followup


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Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Date: 2003-07-29 09:24:40 PST


I think I have the same setup as you. I replaced my absorption
refrigerator with a Sam's Club G.E. in April. I can't find the model
number offhand, but it's about 60" tall and exactly 29" wide.
Slipped right into the hole left by the old absorption fridge.

One thing to watch for is the cooling stops if the temperature drops
too low around the cooling fins. I heard the refrigerant isn't
designed to work much below an ambient temperature of 50 degrees (what
you'd find in a cool kitchen) but I don't know this as fact.

However, when I first got it the nighttime temperatures got down to
the high 40s and although the compressor ran almost constantly, the
freezer didn't. I wound up closing off the side intake vent at night
to trap enough heat in the rear to let the fridge work normally.

Now that summer is here the fridge works beautifully. And has about
twice the interior and freezer space as my old absorption fridge.

Lou Schneider
QUOTE
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Old 06-25-2006, 10:40 AM   #4
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[quote]
I presume you are trying to run the reefer on 120VAC thru your inverter -- Likely, the charge wire from your tow vehicle is not going to deliver a full replacement of the energy used, so you may have to be prepared to supplement with shore power or generator to keep egg battery charged.

Kinda puts a damper on my idea, I would like to use the inverter so I won't have to have gas on while on the road. As my trips take 8 to 10 hours on the road etc. Thanks for the reply.
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Old 06-25-2006, 06:58 PM   #5
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I run an old,(1974), absorption fridge with a 400 watt inverter when on the road and plug into 110V in the campgrounds and have had no problem in the last 4 years....all works fine.....I always disconnect the tow vehicle at night....if I left the fridge on the inverter it would be good for about 2-3 hours at best on the trailer battery too......of course my battery is getting old, four years old.... I believe the question was using the inverter primarily only under tow.......Benny
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Old 06-26-2006, 06:35 PM   #6
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To give you an idea..

my fridge IS set up for 12v and when I have it on 12v and connected to the tow, I bare keep up. The car charge line keeps the fridge running, but does not really charge my battery. Maybe 1/4 volt or more in several hours.. the rest is sucked up by the fridge.

I have a small fridge too!
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Old 06-27-2006, 09:21 PM   #7
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Trailer: 2000 Bigfoot 17 ft (15B17CB)
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I have a 30 amp converter, a 400 watt inverter, a fridge at 160 watts.
What would the problems be if I hooked up the inverter and pluged in the scamp in the inverter. The tug charges the battery when running.
Would the tug charge quick enough?
Would I need to disconnect the tug at night?
Would the battery last 10 hours? how long?
Thanks for any replys. Can PM to bdiscount@yahoo.com
If your fridge draws 160 watts at 110VAC you will use about 16 amps of 12V to supply your inverter. Will the tug deliver this? It depends on the wiring from the tug battery back to the trailer. If it is at least 10 gauge, the tug should supply the inverter with no problem. There will be little excess current capability to charge the trailer battery if it is low, usually one will only be able to draw 20-25 amps out of these standard long trailer wiring hookups before the voltage drop incurred limits battery charging ability.

Just be sure to shut off the inverter when the tug is not running - a 16 amp draw will draw a typical group 27 RV 100AH battery down to 50% (the recommended lowest discharge level for maximum deep cycle battery life) in only about 3 hours and completely deplete it in 6 hours or less. If you leave the tug connected and it doesn't have a relay (or an isolator) to disconnect the trailer charge wire while the ignition is off, you will flatten the tug battery as well. Left overnight, it would be likely that both the trailer and the tug battery would be very low or dead.

On a recent trip, I ran my 300 watt 110VAC fridge off my 600 watt inverter - a 30 amp draw at 12v according to my Xantrex Link 10 battery monitor. The wimpy (12 gauge?) factory tow package harness in my tug was able to provide about 20 amps, and the solar panels on the trailer roof provided another 5-6 amps for a net loss of about 5amps which had to be made up by the trailer battery. Sure enough, the battery monitor displayed a 5 Amp Hour discharge after about an hours run. Since most of my travels are 3 hours or less, this is of little concern as the solar panels will recharge the trailer battery in a few hours if camping in sunny conditions.

So, while running try using the inverter to power the fridge - switch to propane while camping without hook-ups.
Steve.
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