Casita refrigerator needs 12 volts - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-29-2012, 07:03 PM   #1
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Casita refrigerator needs 12 volts

How long will the battery last with an automatic refer? I understand it takes 12 volts even when operating on propane. My old manual refer needed no electricity when operating on propane. This one does.
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:18 PM   #2
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your refer manual should tell you the amount of 12v draw, which should be minimal
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:27 PM   #3
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It uses no electricity when on operating on propane.
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:31 PM   #4
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Hi Jim. I hope it is minimal. I have moved from an older scamp to a newer casita. My scamp never had any battery issues and hoping I didn't make a mistake. I may miss the simplicity.
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:33 PM   #5
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Hi John. As I understand automatic refers have a solenoid which must be held open with 12 volts. This is my concern.
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:34 PM   #6
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Some 3 way refrigerators ,with automatic fuel selection and/or LP igniters, require 12 VDC to operate on LP gas. Unless we select OFF, the 2 door Norcold in our 2013 Coleman pulls about 1.3 amps all of the time, more when the door is open and the light is on.



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Old 11-29-2012, 07:40 PM   #7
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Hi Bob. How does this affect your battery life? I'm concern about boondocking with this type of refer. Was never an issue with the manual type.
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:43 PM   #8
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Most of the new fridges require 12v to operate the control board. If you boondock a lot you may have to install solar to keep up. I also think this is bs but it the price we pay for automatic controls. It used to be a Norcold issue but after shopping for new fridges I noticed that Dometic started doing this also.
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:48 PM   #9
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Thanks Steve. Yeah, I'd rather have the old manual one. Now I'm bummed.
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:52 PM   #10
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So, what does 1.3 amps mean for battery life? Can I boondock for a week? With LEDs and conserving it was possible with the scamp.
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:53 PM   #11
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About 1 amp is 24 amp/hours a day, about 1/5th of the batteries available charge. But, if you have a smaller fridge it might be less and/or it may have an over ride We just bought this one for the grandkids to use and have only been out in in one time. It will mostly be used with hook-ups anyway. But let me tell you that is one heck of a fridge/freezer. It starts getting real cold in about 30 minutes and will keep 2.5 gallons of ice cream frozen on elect. or gas.



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Old 11-29-2012, 08:02 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone for your help. I'll let you know how this works.
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:18 PM   #13
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I was advised by a solar dealer that my fridge control in my 2007 Casita uses approximately .5 amp per hour or 12 amps in 24 hours.

For my typical usage, this is the biggest drain on my batteries when boondocking. Furnace and water pump when in use, use more amps but don't run 24 hours a day.

Replacement of exisiting lights with LED lights is a must for serious boondocking.

If you have the standard Group 24 battery you probably have around an 85 amp hour battery.

Add up your estimated amp hour usage of your systems and you can get a rough idea on how long you can boondock.

You should target not using up more than 50% of your battery's capacity. Using more than that over a prolonged period will seriously reduce your battery's life.

Consider the use of solar and or a generator to recharge your battery each day.
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:59 PM   #14
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Thanks Rob.

Sounds like I need a second battery. Anyone done this on a 17 sd casita?
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:13 PM   #15
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Hard to believe that in such a short span of years a perfectly adequate technology like the real 3-way fridge has been "improved" to the point that it will no longer operate on propane without electric input.

This is why I always advise folks looking at new fridges to avoid newer so-called "3-ways" like the plague. They won't go for long on strictly 12 volt, and most won't operate at all on propane without it!

And for that, a premium of several hundred dollars is charged over a simple propane/110v fridge.

Go figure!

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Old 11-29-2012, 10:22 PM   #16
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Just get a solar panel, a 30 watt panel should take care of that small draw each 24 hour period.
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:36 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charliej View Post
Thanks Rob.

Sounds like I need a second battery. Anyone done this on a 17 sd casita?
Charlie, I run two 6 volt golf cart batteries in series which gives my Casita about 220 amp hours.

My strategy is usually charge during the day either from tow vehicle when traveling or use solar or generator if stationary.

At night I like to keep things quiet and use the inverter to provide power for editing pictures, watching DVDs or satellite TV.

As CPAHarley mentioned, a small solar panel will take care of a Casita's basic needs.
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:08 PM   #18
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I vote for the small solar panel - Charlie your in California! Land of endless power via solar.:-) Even a small panel in the 50 watt range will more than take care of the fridge power usage. It may cost only a little more than a good battery but will not need to be replaced ever 4 years.
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:05 PM   #19
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I'm curious as to why these gas refrigerators consume that much electricity. I understand that they have some kind of circuit to automatically switch to the available power source, but the power consumption seems excessive.
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:07 PM   #20
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Again, unless the manual is used as a guideline, we are guessing. It should specify the draw on propane, it should be minimal, might just be the igniter? But the manual is the first place to look for that answer.
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