24v or 12v if I want to run an electric fridge. - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV
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Old 10-29-2017, 10:34 PM   #21
Nik
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Indeed! Spent the last hour thinking what size panel can fit nicely into some convenient hiding place in the trailer. Placed in the right spot a 40 panel would do vastly more than a 100 in the shade.

A roaming system: the panel and controller united and connected to the 7-pin by a length or two of something like hardwired jumper cables.

That's a great way to start. Really. Run the power out to the sun. Good way to learn your needs. Hey, maybe a quick mount to the roof as well - in case you're driving all day in sun. But of course you've got the alt while driving. Your 6 volts are charged by the tow vehicle while driving, correct?

Thanks.
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Old 10-29-2017, 10:44 PM   #22
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I`m running 2 12 volt batteries. I looked at 6 volt batteries but the weight for the same capacity was too much. At this stage I am still experimenting. I'm thinking of mounting a third 100 watt panel on the roof to charge while towing during the day. I am concerned that the length of the charge wire from the tow vehicle may not get enough juice to the trailer battery.
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Old 10-29-2017, 11:10 PM   #23
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This next trip will determine how much driving charges the house battery.

I plan to get another SCS150 as well. I do believe two batteries will be plenty unless I go with an electric fridge. But first, I like the idea of a small portable set up. Maybe even the folding suitcase type. It's like going to the river for water - run the panels into the sun for power.

If you get another panel for the roof, would you need another controller? Or are you keeping everything modular and switchable?
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Old 10-30-2017, 06:18 AM   #24
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We have ONE 27F deep cycle battery , ONE 100 watt portable solar panel and ONE 20 lb propane tank. We have traveled all over the US and Canada without issue. If we get to a point where we need 6 AGM batteries , a 1000 watts of solar , a portable windmill , a 3/0 charge line from our TV to our trailer , and a whole array of electronic monitoring equipment , then we will just stay home because at that point you've turned camping into a job.
Why is it necessary to always take something that's simple & works and expand it until it becomes complicated , cumbersome and unworkable ?
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Old 10-30-2017, 09:13 AM   #25
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[QUOTE=Why is it necessary to always take something that's simple & works and expand it until it becomes complicated , cumbersome and unworkable ?[/QUOTE]

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Old 10-30-2017, 10:05 AM   #26
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Fridges

The propane fridge is quiet with no moving parts. The only time you can't run it is in a tunnel.
Hooking two batteries together in series to get 24vdc or in parallel to run at 12vdc does not mean the load is shared between the two batteries. Running at 24 vdc means you can't use your standard trailer hookup that comes with your truck and you will need a separate isolated circuit for your fridge. Manufacturers like to design products using 12 vdc because the regulatory hurdles are less and the auto industry uses 12 vdc so they are cheaper.
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Old 10-30-2017, 10:27 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by john hackert View Post
Manufacturers like to design products using 12 vdc because the regulatory hurdles are less and the auto industry uses 12 vdc so they are cheaper.
This does keep it simple and works for me.

Starting with one little mobile panel on a tether I'll get the hang of how much juice I need.

Thanks to all.
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Old 10-30-2017, 10:40 AM   #28
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Reduce......

To manage with smaller batteries, etc. reduce consumption. Examples I have done to get by easily with a single 74amp/hour battery and a 65watt solar panel.
The first thing I did was to replace the hungry incandescent lights (interior) with low current lighting (LED and CCFL).
Now the only thing that the battery runs is my lighting and the furnace blower.
The fridge runs on propane and works quite nicely.
Our current maximum in one place, not hooked up, is 40 nights. Recharged the battery with the solar panel about every 4th day.
I like simplicity when camping. The more systems there are the more problems there are. I camp to enjoy the out of doors not to be continually repairing something on my trailer. When I'm not camping I would rather do other things than fuss with the trailer systems.
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Old 10-30-2017, 10:53 AM   #29
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Byron, may I ask what brand of fridge you're happy with? The gas argument is a good one.
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Old 10-30-2017, 10:59 AM   #30
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We have the one panel, dual 6V batteries, and the trailer came with dual propane tanks. I see no need to ever expand these systems. Right now our limitations for boondocking are food and water - not fuel. Provided the food and water holds out, we can boondock almost indefinitely.

Maybe someday I'll go to the trouble of swapping out the absorption fridge for a compressor type, and adding more solar to power it. Current system works great so no need to fix it.
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Old 10-30-2017, 11:17 AM   #31
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Byron, may I ask what brand of fridge you're happy with? The gas argument is a good one.
The fridge is what Scamp installed "Dometic" I don't have to model number in front of me. Now I must explain my refrigeration use. It's minimal. We learned how to manage without a fridge of any kind when our main activity was backpacking. We added a little weight when we went with the trailer, but not a lot. We're trying to make our trailering experience more like our backpacking experience rather than like our home experience.
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Old 10-30-2017, 11:22 AM   #32
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Dometic is the big brand. There's one for $850 that slides right into my space. It might be the way to go. I also come from backpacking, but having the trailer means enjoying the luxuries.

I'd love to have frozen meat and fresh food and never think about ice again and only about gas once in a blue moon. The silent part is a big factor, too. The last thing I need is a motor humming in the trailer in the woods.
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Old 10-30-2017, 11:27 AM   #33
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Propane fridge

My Norcold propane fridge is over 25 years old and working fine. I can freeze stuff in the freezer . The thermostat is not working so I keep a thermometer in the fridge to tell me if its too cold. and adjust the flame accordingly. Most of the time I don't need electricity unless I am running the AC. There are no moving parts so they should last forever. Maintenance is cleaning the burner annually. The size of the flame determines the amount of cooling. They are more expensive than a 120vac fridge. But you can't use a 120vac fridge while you are driving
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Old 10-30-2017, 11:50 AM   #34
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Nik, if you use a bus bar to combine the output of the roof panel with the portable panels, you don't need more than one charge controller. My plan is to hardwire the roof panel and have the portable be plug in to a connector on the side of the trailer.

Everyone else, I am a special case(been told that many times). I fly electric RC airplanes and go to meets with no hookups. I prefer not to lug a generator, gas, etc and like quiet when I am camping. That being said, I do need to recharge batteries for the planes hence the need for multiple panels and large capacity battery bank. Also I have a healthy respect for flammable gas and prefer to keep the plumbing for it as simple as possible.
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Old 10-30-2017, 12:08 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Alex Adams View Post
I prefer not to lug a generator, gas, etc and like quiet when I am camping. .
You are obviously a smart and considerate individual !!
THANK YOU
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Old 10-31-2017, 06:27 AM   #36
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NIK

Absorption refrigerators get a bad reputation because of they way the trailer makers install them, quick, down and dirty. This is expecially true with rounded molded fiberglass ones.

Properly vented they work fantastic. My dometic 3 way's freezer stays below 5f even with temperatures in the 90's and the refer stays below 40f.

Joe
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Old 10-31-2017, 06:53 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Alex Adams View Post
I`m running 2 12 volt batteries. I looked at 6 volt batteries but the weight for the same capacity was too much.
Alex, could you explain this statement? I have always believed there is no free lunch with batteries. Lead = capacity if it is 6V or 12V did not matter.
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Old 10-31-2017, 07:07 AM   #38
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Ooops! I messed up. It wasn't the weight, it was the expense. Two 100 Ah 12 volt batteries are much cheaper than 2 6 volt 200 Ah batteries. The total weight of the 6 volt batteries would be around 5 pounds more.
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