Harbor Freight's 45 watt solar panel - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 08-07-2015, 03:16 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by David Tilston View Post
If you have a propane fridge, it may still use some 12 VDC for controls. Unless it is an older fridge. An RM211, RM36 or RM24 use no electrical power when running on propane.
David, this one is an RM2201. The manual was printed in (gulp), 1987. LilB is an 1988.

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Old 08-07-2015, 04:46 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Ellpea in CA View Post
David, this one is an RM2201. The manual was printed in (gulp), 1987. LilB is an 1988.
According to the service manual for your fridge, which can be found in our document center:
Fiberglass RV - Document Center - DometicReferMan_RM2201

It would seem that you don't need 12VDC when operating on propane.

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Old 08-07-2015, 05:54 PM   #31
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I would go +1 on Bob's post #27 he outlines a good way to properly test your refrigerators operation.

You also would want to know the outside temp during the test. Essentially "effectiveness" is best expressed as how much temperature difference there is between inside and outside.

It can really help to keep beverages and other items not bothered by water in a cooler over ice to avoid having to open the door every time one wants a cold beverage as a mixer for doing some more math.

And level matters a whole lot. I don't level my camper using a level on the frame I use a level on the fridge because that is what really needs to be level.
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Old 08-07-2015, 07:58 PM   #32
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David hinted at it but ...... I can tell you from embarrassing experience that running the fridge on 12v, while you stop overnight at a Walmart or Flying J parking lot, can completely drain a Group 27 battery. ☺️

Thank goodness I had the presence of mind to disconnect the umbilical to the tow vehicle before sleeping! I definitely don't plan on making that mistake again!

Also, a 65.7 mph wind, coming from the fridge vent side at 4AM, can blow out your propane flame. Learned that one on 7/18/2015. 😉


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Old 08-07-2015, 08:27 PM   #33
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Check Amazon for 100w Renogy panel and controller. Can be bought for little over $200

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Old 08-09-2015, 03:41 PM   #34
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We have an earlier version of the HF 45 watt system. It actually works well and we used it on a couple of trips. The downside is that it's not that easy to set up and only 45 watts. We now use it just to keep batteries topped up in the driveway and will add it to our RV shelter for lighting once we build a shelter.
Based on the success we had with the HF system, we ordered a 90 watt single panel which is easier to set up, and a larger controller to match for our camping.
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Old 08-11-2015, 02:30 PM   #35
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back to testing fridge, ordering solar

Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
Is the trailer level, that's very important for that kind of refrigerator.
Yes, leveling was the first thing I did. Remembering from my Kencraft days.

Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
Next, 6 hours isn't even a starting point for the first cool down after a long period on non-use. Take and freeze up about 6-10 1 liter bottles of of water and put those in the bottom of the refrigerator to help pre-cool it. Next put a glass of tap water on the top shelf and record it's temp. Then leave it on 120VAC for 24 hours and see how its doing. These refrigerators don't get cold inside like a home unit, they absorb heat out of what's in the refrigerator. Also there is a thermostat for 120 volt operation, be sure that's at maximum. Monitor the temp of the water in the glass. It should stay at least 30-40 degrees below outside temp.

As long as it works OK on electric the LP part can be fixed. We'll get to that next.
This is encouraging! I'll pack it full of frozen, and do the test you suggest. Like Dave suggests below, I'll give it 24 hours at least, and see what happens. (Very happy to hear about the LP being fixable)

Originally Posted by Borrego Dave View Post
LP, your refer on shore power will take a lot longer than 6 hrs to freeze. Most folks run them at least 24 hrs before a trip to get them to temp. Put a cup of water in the freezer to check it.
Does it cool more quickly on propane, or do all modes operate about the same? Just curious.

Now to plug in some ice, and order that panel!


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