Tug Can'k keep up with DC fridge requirements? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 03-27-2017, 03:53 PM   #21
Raz
Senior Member
 
Raz's Avatar
 
Name: Raz
Trailer: Trillium 2010
Vermont
Posts: 4,772
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
Should a propane line rupture, there is valve in the propane tank that instantly shuts off flow. Your tow vehicle has a tank full of highly flammable gas and no shutoff valve.

Prior to refueling you should shut off the fridge.
Every once in a while I trigger a safety valve by opening the grill valves before the cylinder valve. It never shuts off the propane completely but rather reduces the pressure. As a result, my grill will only get to about 300 degrees F. To reset the valve I shut everything down and disconnect the gas. Is there a second safety valve I don't know about?
Raz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2017, 05:45 PM   #22
Senior Member
 
Name: Michael
Trailer: Li'l Hauley
Oklahoma
Posts: 5,892
You might consider adding a 100W solar panel to the roof. This plus the tug's charge line would keep the battery much happier.
Mike Magee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2017, 05:54 PM   #23
Senior Member
 
Name: Ed
Trailer: Casita 17 ft SD
Colorado
Posts: 125
Low Battery Voltage While running Frig

Even if the battery is old which yours is, I have never had a battery last 7 years. The wiring on you vehicle from the battery to the plug has to be 10 gage in order to get enough voltage and amps to the trailer to run the frig. Many times a 14 gage wire is installed and that is not large enough to carry the amps the frig needs to operate on DC.
ehoepner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2017, 06:17 PM   #24
Senior Member
 
Name: Harvey
Trailer: '84 Scamp 13' & 2001 Casita 17' Spirit Deluxe
Arkansas
Posts: 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZachO View Post
As Darral and others mentioned, people are a little split on this. For some people it works, for others it doesn't. For me, I don't get nearly enough charge from my alternator to keep the battery charged. So I never run the fridge on 12V.

Tillie and Tyler mention the "off level" concern, but I've always heard (even from fridge manufacturers) that it's not a problem when traveling. The off-level on-level issue, in case you don't already know all this, is because of the ammonia in the coils behind the fridge. The coils are built so that it drains back down towards the burner, is heated, rises, drains back down.

If you're off-level it won't circulate the way it should. If it doesn't circulate well, crystals can form and cause blockages. Those blockages keep the fridge from working properly even when you are level.

When you're driving, the rocking movement of the trailer is enough to keep the ammonia moving around and not stagnating somewhere, causing a clog. That's what I've read anyways.
That's been my understanding of the way 'absorption' type fridges work for the more'n 50yrs we've been using RVs of one kind or another. In 1993 we drove the Alaska Highway in a 1985 Ford diesel engine truck, hauling what was at that time the largest cabover truck camper available, a 12.5' Real Lite with side entry door & most all amenities including a dry bath with shower. My truck had dual batteries (common to most diesel engine trucks) but I used the propane feature of my fridge while traveling each day. I later sold that camper & bought a 1986 Skamper pop-up type truck camper that had I believe a Dometic 2183 or 93 fridge. In any case it was a small 3-way fridge with the 12VDC feature. I hauled that camper for probably 10yrs & never used anything but the 12VDC while driving (always pre-cooled overnight on 120VAC if available). If we were going to be stopped more'n briefly I always switched to propane even tho I had a battery isolator installed on the truck. I'd wired the truck using 8gauge wire from the truck batteries to the fridge in the camper & during all those years I never had a problem with the truck batteries. I also used that camper as my hunting camp, often leaving it parked for a couple of months at a time. I always set the fridge on propane while parked, & used the 12VDC lights (LED) pretty indiscriminately & never ran down the truck batteries. Of course I did start & run the truck for an hour or two each week when it was parked in camp. My Skamper truck camper did NOT have a 'house' battery so I was dependent solely on the truck batteries for 12VDC power. I'm a believer in propane appliances for 'off grid' camping, & 12VDC fridge operation when your rig is prepped properly...
Harvey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2017, 06:47 PM   #25
Senior Member
 
ShelbyM's Avatar
 
Name: Shelby
Trailer: Casita SD
Tennessee
Posts: 510
FWIW, I've never needed to have the fridge turned on while traveling. We usually keep ice cubes in the freezer and they don't melt during a day on the road. I plug the trailer in and let the fridge cool for a day or so before we leave, then use AC or gas when we get to camp. I know this is straying from the question but might be an option for those who don't want to use gas or DC while traveling. Depends on how well the fridge is insulated, of course.
ShelbyM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2017, 08:33 PM   #26
Senior Member
 
Name: Dick
Trailer: '15 17' LD Casita and '17 Tahoe LT
Texas
Posts: 274
Since we have downsized our trailer to a Casita, I like the idea of the ice cubes or frozen containers in the freezer while traveling. Carrying the 2 Hondas was never a problem when we had a pickup, but will be towing with a Tahoe this time around and am concerned on how I am going to transport them and fuel cans. I have a flat plastic 6.5 gallon fuel container that I think I can tie down flat on the luggage rack and wait until I get to where ever, to fill the fuel container and carry the Hondas in the trailer. I am a little leary of putting a basket on the rear because of the shift in weight, etc. May have to give in but as of yet, we have not even had the trailer out since purchasing it about 3 weeks ago. This downsizing will be a big adjustment for us. Not sure how this short fat boy can adapt to the small wet bath.
dmad1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2017, 03:19 AM   #27
Member
 
Sunrisetrucker's Avatar
 
Name: Paul
Trailer: Escape
British Columbia
Posts: 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tillie and Tyler View Post
Propane and caution:
Please please please, to everyone out there...DO NOT run anything on propane while driving. Propane tank valves should be CLOSED while en route. If your propane tank is feeding propane into the trailer, and a valve opens (think stove or furnace) while you are en route, if you are lucky, the worst thing might be that you end up with a trailer full of propane gas. (Let's hope you are not a smoker or emitting a static charge when you open the trailer door.) If you are not lucky, you may end up with an explosion in the trailer while driving...all the propane needs is a pilot light or a spark to ignite the excess gas escaping into the trailer cabin.
Please Please Please learn the facts about propane before you write an uninformed comment like that. Do some research on the properties of propane and the safety features built into today's systems. When and if you do, you will discover that the gasoline in your tow vehicle is more dangerous than the propane in your camper.
Sunrisetrucker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2017, 04:57 AM   #28
Raz
Senior Member
 
Raz's Avatar
 
Name: Raz
Trailer: Trillium 2010
Vermont
Posts: 4,772
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunrisetrucker View Post
Please Please Please learn the facts about propane before you write an uninformed comment like that. Do some research on the properties of propane and the safety features built into today's systems. When and if you do, you will discover that the gasoline in your tow vehicle is more dangerous than the propane in your camper.
The bigger concern to me is a break in the refrigerator tubing and the release of hydrogen gas near an open flame.
Raz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2017, 05:15 AM   #29
Senior Member
 
mmeyer's Avatar
 
Name: Michael J
Trailer: U-Haul VT
Indiana
Posts: 505
Registry
Technically ammonia gas will also burn , so depending where the break occurs in the system you could have a double whammy
mmeyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2017, 05:52 AM   #30
Raz
Senior Member
 
Raz's Avatar
 
Name: Raz
Trailer: Trillium 2010
Vermont
Posts: 4,772
In college I took an early morning Chemistry class with about 600 other lost souls. One morning there were two balloons floating above the front desk. Using a long stick, the professor touched each with a lit match. The one filled with hydrogen made a lasting impression, the one with the helium not so much.
Raz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2017, 07:09 AM   #31
Senior Member
 
Name: Dick
Trailer: '15 17' LD Casita and '17 Tahoe LT
Texas
Posts: 274
As many know, when the thermostat comes on in an RV, the fan comes on first for a short time before the heater ignites. Used to bug me that on start up it would blow cold air and then heat. But they are made to do that to clear out the vents before the heater ignites. Then I figured it out before disaster struck. For a couple of mornings in a camp ground, when the fan came on, I would get a mild whiff of propane. Being the dummy I am, I just blew it off because it would clear out in a short time and then the heater would come on. I couldn't find any reason for leaks around the bottles, etc. but continued to get the whiff when the fan would come on. Finally took it to a mobile repair person and as they were taking the unit out, it was discovered that a fitting on the unit was not tight. Line had not split or anything, just was not tight. Truth be known, it may have saved us from serious injury or worse.

That also reminds me of some acquaintances in Quartzite, AZ a few years ago, who left for a day of shopping and about 30 minutes after they left, their trailer blew up and burnt. They think they had left the hot water heater on and had a propane leak ignite.
dmad1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2017, 07:26 AM   #32
Senior Member
 
Kip in Ga.'s Avatar
 
Name: Kip
Trailer: 2003 Casita 17' SD Deluxe, Towed by '09 Honda Ridgeline.
Georgia
Posts: 562
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tillie and Tyler View Post
On initial cooling of fridge:
Not sure i have this right, but you wrote: "We cool the fridge on DC over night before leaving the house, and upon leaving the freezer is at 0 degrees and the fridge in the high 30s."

If you are using DC to cool the fridge the night before, that might explain the subsequent power issue.

Not sure if your fridge is two-way or three-way. I have a Dometic 3-way. I plug the trailer into house power (110V AC) and start running the fridge the night before departure. That way, when i plug into the tow vehicle, i can switch to 12V DC to keep the fridge going while driving. The fridge is cold, so it isn't putting too much load on the fully charged trailer battery or tow vehicle battery.

I do the same thing when leaving a serviced campground...when 110 VAC is available, the fridge is already cooled down before hitting the road, and the trailer battery is fully charged.

.
Good catch. That WAS kind of confusing.
When cooling the fridge the night before, the camper is plugged into 120AC.
I have the fridge set for DC so I don't forget to do so when we start the trip.

The camper PS seems to keep the battery at 13.5 even with the fridge set for DC.

Thanks,
k
Kip in Ga. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2017, 07:43 AM   #33
Raz
Senior Member
 
Raz's Avatar
 
Name: Raz
Trailer: Trillium 2010
Vermont
Posts: 4,772
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kip in Ga. View Post
Good catch. That WAS kind of confusing.
When cooling the fridge the night before, the camper is plugged into 120AC.
I have the fridge set for DC so I don't forget to do so when we start the trip.

The camper PS seems to keep the battery at 13.5 even with the fridge set for DC.

Thanks,
k
The converter will provide enough power to run the fridge on DC but this is risky. Should the AC fail, tripped breaker, unplugged, etc. your fridge will continue to run off your house battery. This could destroy the battery if it goes on too long.
Raz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2017, 08:29 AM   #34
Senior Member
 
Name: Steve
Trailer: Currently Shopping
NW Wisconsin
Posts: 4,191
After reading this whole thread , I have come to the conclusion that we should abandon our refrigerators and use a cooler or camp only when it's between 34 to 40 deg F.
( Remember that ice is slippery and is a fall hazard.)

Propane should not be used when traveling because it can leak or start a fire or explode but it's ok when parked , evidently propane can tell the difference and behaves itself when it feels at home.
How then do propane /CNG powered vehicles work with the Gas shut off.

Then , you shouldn't run your refrigerator on 120 VAC cause there is a possible shock hazard , good thing your refrigerator at home doesn't know that . Of course we all know that campgrounds electricity is different than standard electricity.


Millions & millions of people have natural gas / propane furnaces in theIr homes . The people in those homes go to bed every night
without worry , counting on that furnace to keep them warm & safe all night. Yet the same style furnace in our trailer is a disaster waiting to happen so we need to shut the furnace down at night to avoid imminent death . Well you still could freeze to death.

Does anyone believe in this day and age , where every third person is a unemployed lawyer , that the manufacturers of RV appliances
don't look at product liability and product safety.

These threads often spread unnecessary paranoia IMHO
If the OP runs their refrigerator on DC and their trailer battery gets damaged , then they need to buy a new battery and change what their doing . It's not the end of the world as we know it !

Best Wishes
steve dunham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2017, 08:46 AM   #35
Senior Member
 
Kip in Ga.'s Avatar
 
Name: Kip
Trailer: 2003 Casita 17' SD Deluxe, Towed by '09 Honda Ridgeline.
Georgia
Posts: 562
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raz View Post
The converter will provide enough power to run the fridge on DC but this is risky. Should the AC fail, tripped breaker, unplugged, etc. your fridge will continue to run off your house battery. This could destroy the battery if it goes on too long.
Good grief RAZ,

You keep coming up with stuff that makes sense.

And you are right!

I gotta rethink this thing!

Thanks,
k
Kip in Ga. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2017, 08:54 AM   #36
Raz
Senior Member
 
Raz's Avatar
 
Name: Raz
Trailer: Trillium 2010
Vermont
Posts: 4,772
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kip in Ga. View Post
Good grief RAZ,

You keep coming up with stuff that makes sense.

And you are right!

I gotta rethink this thing!

Thanks,
k
The voice of experience. I lost a battery that way. The DC switch got turned on for two days. I blamed it on the dog.
Raz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2017, 08:55 AM   #37
Senior Member
 
Kip in Ga.'s Avatar
 
Name: Kip
Trailer: 2003 Casita 17' SD Deluxe, Towed by '09 Honda Ridgeline.
Georgia
Posts: 562
dmad1,

I sent you a Private message concerning Downsizing.
k


Quote:
Originally Posted by dmad1 View Post
Since we have downsized our trailer to a Casita, I like the idea of the ice cubes or frozen containers in the freezer while traveling. Carrying the 2 Hondas was never a problem when we had a pickup, but will be towing with a Tahoe this time around and am concerned on how I am going to transport them and fuel cans. I have a flat plastic 6.5 gallon fuel container that I think I can tie down flat on the luggage rack and wait until I get to where ever, to fill the fuel container and carry the Hondas in the trailer. I am a little leary of putting a basket on the rear because of the shift in weight, etc. May have to give in but as of yet, we have not even had the trailer out since purchasing it about 3 weeks ago. This downsizing will be a big adjustment for us. Not sure how this short fat boy can adapt to the small wet bath.
Kip in Ga. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2017, 09:18 AM   #38
Senior Member
 
Name: Darral
Trailer: Scamp Standard 13' 2010
Tennessee
Posts: 1,692
I've NEVER ran my fridge on DC when I'm on AC. That's what the AC switch is for on the fridge!!! I have a digital thermometer that I place in the fridge and monitor it usually 24 hours before leaving the house. I ONLY flip to DC after the last thing I do which is unplug the AC cord before pulling out. I also make sure EVERY item in that fridge is COLD before placing it in there.

And again, in 7 yrs (same Scamp battery) I've never had a problem with the Scamp or tug.

Here's another iron to throw in the fire. On this SAME battery, I've forgotten to turn off the fridge when I arrived home from a trip. Yes, it's pulled that battery down twice! Finally, I put me a light on the cabinet burning RED when it's on 12V. I've never had it to happen again. Yes, if I was boondocking, I'd need a new battery with more capacity. But this one does fine.

Off the topic a bit, I also keep a Battery Tender on my battery(ies) 24/7 when it's not in use. I advise EVERYONE to do this with any battery (Lawnmower, vehicle, RV, etc) when not in use for long periods of time.
Darral T. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2017, 09:31 AM   #39
Senior Member
 
Kip in Ga.'s Avatar
 
Name: Kip
Trailer: 2003 Casita 17' SD Deluxe, Towed by '09 Honda Ridgeline.
Georgia
Posts: 562
Here is an interesting thread!

Might be good to read all of it.
k

http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...oad-71587.html
Kip in Ga. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2017, 10:03 AM   #40
Senior Member
 
Kip in Ga.'s Avatar
 
Name: Kip
Trailer: 2003 Casita 17' SD Deluxe, Towed by '09 Honda Ridgeline.
Georgia
Posts: 562
Well yeah, it's easy for you to say run it on Ac then switch to DC before hitting the road. You still have a working memory. Sheesh!!!

Agreed on keeping batteries topped off 24/7. I use "Battery Minder" brand which keeps the battery at full charge as well as de-sulfates them.

Lawnmower batteries are going on 7 years old for one and 5 years the other, and still work great.
Golf car Batteries went 14 years before replacement. The other golf car batteries are pushing 11 years and still going strong. Trolling motor batteries 6-7 years. And although the 8 yr old (Walmart Brand) Casita battery may be the cause of my problems with the fridge it is sitting there holding a 12.8V charge after being charged a week ago.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Darral T. View Post
I've NEVER ran my fridge on DC when I'm on AC. That's what the AC switch is for on the fridge!!! I have a digital thermometer that I place in the fridge and monitor it usually 24 hours before leaving the house. I ONLY flip to DC after the last thing I do which is unplug the AC cord before pulling out. I also make sure EVERY item in that fridge is COLD before placing it in there.

And again, in 7 yrs (same Scamp battery) I've never had a problem with the Scamp or tug.

Here's another iron to throw in the fire. On this SAME battery, I've forgotten to turn off the fridge when I arrived home from a trip. Yes, it's pulled that battery down twice! Finally, I put me a light on the cabinet burning RED when it's on 12V. I've never had it to happen again. Yes, if I was boondocking, I'd need a new battery with more capacity. But this one does fine.

Off the topic a bit, I also keep a Battery Tender on my battery(ies) 24/7 when it's not in use. I advise EVERYONE to do this with any battery (Lawnmower, vehicle, RV, etc) when not in use for long periods of time.
Kip in Ga. is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
fridge


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
Can a 2-way fridge become a 3-way fridge? Rob Carmody Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 13 06-24-2016 10:54 AM
Can't keep RM2193 running on propane when going down the road scamp Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 33 09-15-2015 09:46 AM
Where to keep gas can & generator Mary Ann in MN General Chat 5 01-13-2014 11:10 PM
Maybe we can help, in your travels, keep your eyes peeled Mike Montville General Chat 0 03-24-2008 04:03 PM

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

Reviews provided by


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:02 AM.


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