Towing with refrigerator on - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-06-2003, 07:39 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
Towing with refrigerator on

Do most of you use your refrigerator on 12 volts when on the road? :steer I have had two people tell me that when they do, their battery in the trailer is discharged.(one almost dead) :cry Both had the large one in Casita's. Another person with a large one in a Scamp said they used gas on the road( no 12v installed), I thought this sounded kind of dangerous.:splat



__________________

Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2003, 07:46 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
Hi
Up to last summer I towed with propane on running fridge.Last summer i used 12 volt because i knew that i would be at full hook ups.If boondocking i will go with propane.Remember to turn of if gassing up and going into restricted zones IE ferrys:wave



__________________

Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2003, 07:51 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
Battery

Chester, Is your battery low when you arrive?



Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2003, 08:20 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
Hi------I run with two batteries.One for my tv,radio the other for lites, fridge. I have never had a problem.At present time I have two deep cycle batteries but normally run with old caterpillar batteries.I can get them at the Coal Mine for 5 or 10 bucks depending on there mood.All my friends run on this system. I have also used 2nd hand car batteries with no serious problems.I also have a third battery which is charged but never had to use it.(just old junk battery).Hope this sheds some lite on the subject.



Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2003, 08:46 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
Battery

Chester,

I'm not sure of your setup. But if you are charging the battery that is hooked to to your refrigerator when driving, then you would be like ours. From what I am being told you would notice the difference.



Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2003, 08:56 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
Hi
Yes i know where your coming from.Like i said, i only run with battery WHEN i know that i will have power at destination point.At this point in time i have never tested battery,i just hooked up and forgot about it.But you make a good point.Next time i do go to hook ups i will test battery and check.I mostly go boondocking except for last season.:)



Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2003, 10:07 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
Hi
I have just learned that the new modles of rv fridges use a lot less power than the older modles.I am not sure of the teck details.I have only once had a new rv and that was in 1978.Since then i have had only used units.I really don't know what the difference is.:o



Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2003, 06:23 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
Am I missing something?

OK, maybe I'm wrong but I thought that in transit the trailer battery was hooked up to the vehicles battery with an isolater between them. When the vehicle battery isn't being charged the isolater switches it to charging the trailer battery. The isolator also prevents the trailer from draining the vehicles battery. Both batteries should remain charged.

This is basically how it was explained to us when we considered hooking the trailer to the van to be charged.

Charles, am I right? or close.
Nancy



Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2003, 06:29 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
Nancy
You are right.Your info is dead on the money.I used that system for years.I think what is happening is that the motor battery is always the first one to get charged. If running fridge it does pull the RV battery down.I have never checked my battery when I have gone straight to a power site,But next time I will.:wave



Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2003, 07:16 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
In my experience, if you have a smaller fridge, and run in cooler weather, you'll probably be fine. But, if you have a large fridge, run at night with lights or in hot weather with air and accessories running, you may deplete the trailer battery. Since the car battery gets priority from the isolator, and since newer vehicles (unless upgraded) have the smallest alternator the manufacturer can get away with (saves weight, cost and fuel), the alternator doesn't have enough reserve capacity to run the fridge along with all the vehicle accessories. If you want to run the fridge on 12v, the simple fix is to install an oversized, or better yet, a "hot-shot" alternator, which has higher capacity.

I have only a 2-way fridge (120v/LP), and I run on gas while driving. It is recommended to shut it off while fueling, as mentioned, and in blast zones. I also always pull up to the first pump, not the last, leaving the trailer sticking out as far from the pumps as possible. If you don't shut the fridge off, or forget, that way you are keeping the pilot light in clear air. The risk of igniting a fuel pump with a fridge are EXTREMELY slim, but are well known due to a very few well-publicized (and sensationalized, more than likely) cases. However, it is a small price to pay for the safety. Shut it off while fueling.



Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2003, 07:25 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
We do it

We almost always tow with our refrigerator running on DC power. One time the battery was, indeed, DOA when we got to our destination. But it turned out the battery was bad.

Usually we are aware that running the fridge on DC will have pulled the battery down a bit, so we are extra careful about power consumption until the solar panel has had an afternoon or so to bring it back up.

And, yes, Nancy. I think you have it right.

:sunny



Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2003, 07:54 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
Frig

Originally we towed using the 12v system. However, we discovered that the 12v is much less efficient and the fridge is much more prone to temperature fluctuations, especially in hot weather. So changed our method to primarily using propane (except when parked where 120v is available.) If you use the 12v system be sure to switch to propane if you're going to stop for an extended period, say a half hour or more. The 12v heater will quickly deplete the reserve in your battery.

I know it's been recommended elsewhere, but get a good wireless remote thermometer for your refrig. (Oregon Scientific makes a good one.) That way you can monitor the temp in the fridge, even take the base unit up to the cabin in the tow vehicle when you're moving. You'll be surprised at the crazy things those little fridges do--like freezing your lettuce or melting your ice cream--if you don't know the accurate temperature inside the box.



Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2003, 08:01 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
12v when not towing

I guess I could have added, we do shut the DC off when we stop. For a half hour or so, I'd not bother to light the propane; just let it sit and don't open the door - it'll be okay. (We don't carry ice cream, however.)

I find that no matter what, the fridge will freeze lettuce - except in very hot weather I pretty much carry our produce in a separate, soft-side cooler, with a couple of blue ice blocks in it. I keep a couple more in the freezer, and switch them out every morning.

I also have pretty much given up on trying to travel with eggs - between the breakage and the freezing. I buy them when I get near my destination, and eat them before we pull out. If possible.

I love the fridge in our Casita (with freezer large enough to bring home some fish!) but it is, as George points out, much trickier to use than the fridge at home.

:sunny



Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2003, 08:22 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
>>with an isolator between them

Nancy, I make no claim to being an expert in anything except being an expert in being a happy camper.

Having said that, yes, that's the way I understand it too, provided the tow vehicle has an isolator installed.

To be honest with you, I have no idea whether my Suburban has an isolator or not. I know it does have some sort of "run down" feature where it will automatically disconnect the vehicle battery if it drops to a "just barely enough to start" level.

Like Mary and others, I always make sure I either turn off all DC appliances or disconnect the trailer pigtail if we're going to be stopped for any length of time.

>>frig on dc or gas

Over the years, we've done both. I've also run down the road with the refrigerator on AC 110 setting. (Hey, it wasn't my job to switch the little do-dad as we were breaking camp!).

Now, please understand one thing. Pam and I head for the mountains or Canada for most of the summer ... and have for years. I don't like hot weather and will drive thousands of miles to get away from it.

So, particularly in mild temperatures, a lot of time we'll just turn the refrigerator OFF in the morning and run with it OFF, particularly if we aren't going very far.

But then again, please remember. I summer in cool climates. For example, last summer, between the maritimes and Colorado, most mornings we ran our furnace.

Running 300 miles in the cool, crisp Colorado mountains is much easier than running 300 miles across central Texas or Arizona under the hot blistering sun.



Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2003, 08:27 AM   #15
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
Another thing

Another thing ....

Having a run down battery on your trailer or on your tow vehicle is bound to happen, at some point.

Which is why I think it's very important that everyone travel with at least one of these brief-case-sized Jump-It batteries.

If you don't have one, go out today and buy one. It will cost you up to US$70.

But if you use it once, it will pay for itself.

And if you happen to end up pulling into a campground with a dead trailer battery, you can easily splice the JUMP-IT into the trailer wiring to run your DC appliances for a day or two (practicing conservation).



Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2003, 08:55 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
run or not to run -- on DC

run or not to run -- on DC
There is a swarm of good information here.
Stressing what Charles said, I just learned my little tow vehicle had to have the fans changed because they pulled more then the alternator could produce. so in hot weather I would run the battery down just driving the car. never happened, but there would be no way I could have also run a ref. on DC at the same time.

That lettuce trick is a great idea. with 12 years of turning the frig down at night and up again in the day, no matter if it was 60 or 110, so the lettuce wouldn't freeze, I NEVER thought to just put the lettuce some where else. but I will now. Thanks Mary.

every where I turn lately there are these power jumper thingies on sale. I did notice some also pump up your tires, and some don't. so check around. :)



Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2003, 09:10 AM   #17
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
Well Jana

Well Jana, funny you should mention the Jump-It thingies with built-in air compressors.

Even though I already own three Jump-Its, I just purchased my fourth ... with the built-in air compressor.

I figured it would be handy to have in case of a flat tire.

But more importantly, I bought it because it seems Pam and I are always pushing the season ... and I've had to winterize the trailer "on-the-fly" due to an unexpected below-freezing snap high on a mountain top.

I figured with the new Jump-it with built in compressor, I could blow out my water lines no matter where I am.

I will warn folks about this, however. The built-in compressor doesn't have the battery power capacity of other models ... at least mine doesn't.



Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2003, 11:38 AM   #18
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
for DC power

So if I'm wanting it just for power, I shoudn't get the one with the tire pump? so if I don't use the tired pump, it will be the same, power wise? maybe I need two.. one with and one without. I think I'm confusing myself. :o



Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2003, 12:26 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
Refrigerator on 12v

In my research I found in thread #4856 on the Casita Club site that Will was able to improve the performance. He ran an additional #10 gage ground from the refrigerator under the carpet directly to the plug on the front of the trailer. By keeping the additional lead short it lowers the voltage drop to the unit. The higher voltage lowers the amperage required to do the same job. This will give the tow vehicle more amperage to run everything.

He also had an additional ideal which makes a lot of sense. Disconnect the 12v from the trailer and run a #10 gage through an in line fuse straight to the plug also. This would improve voltage drop even more and performance under tow. And by adding a diode in the battery charge lead, between the plug and trailer battery, would prevent the refrigerator from using the trailer battery. This diode would prevent the refrigerator from discharging the battery if it was left in dc mode.

But it can still run the tow vehicle down when stopped.



Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2003, 10:16 AM   #20
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
Ground Side of Wiring

Don't forget to improve the ground side of the wiring also. An undersized ground conductor can cause just as much of a voltage drop as an undersized hot wire.

-- Dan Meyer



__________________

Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
refrigerator


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
2 way refrigerator? joelh General Chat 14 10-16-2010 06:32 PM
Refrigerator Dorothy Reihart Classified Archives 0 06-15-2009 07:04 PM
Two-way Refrigerator Christi V. Care and Feeding of Molded Fiberglass Trailers 15 03-20-2006 01:16 PM
Refrigerator on 12v Legacy Posts Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 11 06-30-2003 07:31 PM
refrigerator Legacy Posts Care and Feeding of Molded Fiberglass Trailers 30 04-09-2003 10:33 AM

» Trailer Showcase

Yeti

RV Doctor

Bigfoot

jordo
» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:52 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
×