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Author Topic: Fridge replacement?  (Read 256 times)

wijames2002

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Fridge replacement?
« on: October 08, 2017, 09:41:20 AM »
I've seen several mentions on this forum about replacing the 2 way fridge with a nice home model fridge. How does that work when on the road? I know food will only stay cold for around 4 hours when power is off, do they run the generator while moving?

Thanks

SeilerBird

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Re: Fridge replacement?
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2017, 10:06:43 AM »
Food always stayed cold in my refer for a lot longer than 4 hours. I always shut my propane off when driving and never had a problem.
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QZ

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Re: Fridge replacement?
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2017, 10:18:10 AM »
Residential frigs usually run off an inverter. The inverter changes 12 volts dc battery power into 120 volt ac power. If choosing a resi the first step that a person could take would be to cool it down at home and load it then unplug and keep it closed until reaching a campground a few hours away and plug back in. If a person is trying to cut costs and install a $300 resi vs a $1,500 propane that is an option and could work.

The next level of complexity is to use an inverter. The tow vehicle will pretty much supply enough energy to maintain the battery level while traveling since a lot of these 10 cu ft resis use about 6 to 8 amps. If you were not even charging while towing and just running off the battery you would use about 20  amp hours in a three hour travel time frame. A common regular battery is a group 27 which is about 100 amp hour rating with 30 or so of those amp hours available. Some people will discharge lower than that but many like to not use half of the capacity of a group battery vs those of us who often use about 50 % of our true deep cycle batteries such as GC2 golf cart batteries. The point is that you could last 3 or 4 hours easily to reach camp and plug in.

 If you want to start dry camping you will be in a completely different energy use category and many will often upgrade to 3 or 4 group batteries or go to true deep cycle GC2 and use four to six of those. Along with upgraded battery capacity you then need the ability to effectively charge all those batteries without running your generator all day and torqueing off all your neighbors. So at that point  you need effective charging equipment and possibly upgraded cables. If you are actually going to use that much energy most will also upgrade to a substantial solar bank but it all depends on your total use. Some can get by on a battery or two and small solar if they are very conservative. I have six GC2, Honda 3000 gen, upgraded PD4655 converter, upgraded 2 gauge cables, Xatrex Prowatt 2000 inverter, 1000 watts of solar, 10.7 cu ft resi, 40" LED television and an 19 inch led, led bulbs.

Edit: It is not to say that there is not someone out there doing just fine on one group battery with a small resi and a couple hundred watts of solar. Before you do extensive modifications such as a resi you want to do an energy audit. None of this stuff is one size fits all so you will get wildly varying opinions. Some of us love resi and some dont, it depends on how and where you camp. A person who is in the shade all the time and hates noise or cant run a genny would be crazy to install one. We sit in the desert with tilted panels and an abundance of sun so it is ideal.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2017, 10:28:22 AM by QZ »

Kevin Means

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Re: Fridge replacement?
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2017, 11:56:15 AM »
Yeah, residential refrigerators are, in my opinion, a much better way to go than the typical LP fridges that are found in most RVs. Res-fridges cool down faster, they hold more (if you've got the room for a large one) they're less of a fire hazard, there's no open flame and you can run them while parked on a slope without damaging them.

As QZ said, however, if you boondock a lot (like us) you're going to have to beef up your battery bank and install an inverter if you don't already have one, or you'll be running your generator quite a bit. Our res-fridge and inverter are, by far, our biggest power consumers. We had to install a fairly sizable solar array, and increase the size of our battery bank by about 30% to keep up with the draw while boondocking.

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wijames2002

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Re: Fridge replacement?
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2017, 12:38:23 PM »
Is it feasible to just stop for lunch and run the generator to re-cool the fridge if you're planning to drive longer than four hours? (our favorite destination is 6 hours away)

Rene T

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Re: Fridge replacement?
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2017, 01:25:28 PM »
Is it feasible to just stop for lunch and run the generator to re-cool the fridge if you're planning to drive longer than four hours? (our favorite destination is 6 hours away)

It's feasible but I think you'd need to run it for at least 1 hour or longer to get it real cold again. You may be OK with 6 hours of driving. Fill it as much as you can initially. It will stay cold longer that way.
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NY_Dutch

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Re: Fridge replacement?
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2017, 03:39:53 PM »
While underway, our residential fridge runs on an inverter, but when we start the generator to run one or both A/C's in hot weather, it automatically switches back to normal line power.
Dutch
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QZ

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Re: Fridge replacement?
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2017, 03:48:02 PM »
Is it feasible to just stop for lunch and run the generator to re-cool the fridge if you're planning to drive longer than four hours? (our favorite destination is 6 hours away)

Sure but could you put/mount/secure the generator in the truck bed and run it while driving?  I've done it with a TT and two FW. One issue was getting the power cord to the genny but the important issue is mounting or securing the genny so there is no fire danger. Mine is in front of my FW hitch with the exhaust to the drivers side and fuel cans to passengers side. On the FW I ran 10 gauge rubber coated cord from a transfer switch and under the overhang and out by the pin box with a twist lock plug for the genny.

At first I had also made a 12 gauge steel box with lockable lid over the genny. There was a 10 inch axial fan on one end that was plugged into the genny and a grill on the other end for exhaust.  It's a Honda 3000 so along with the box people wouldn't even know it was running. After burning tons of power at night people would ask how I was doing it and say they never heard a genny. DONT use a loud generator or people may hate you. It's not professional RV'er etiquette.  :)

 

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