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Author Topic: travel trailer refrigerator  (Read 1000 times)

mpaulw13

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travel trailer refrigerator
« on: January 10, 2018, 10:01:17 PM »
Our travel trailer has a norcold refrigerator and the information plate says that on 120v ac it is using 300 watts and 2.5 amps. With 2 batteries on the trailer will a 600 watt power inverter run the refrigerator while driving.  My plan is to plug into shore power when stopped just need to keep fridge cold while driving for 6-8 hours during the day in July.   I am pulling the trailer with a 2016 f-150 that charges the trailer batteries while driving.

ysidive

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Re: travel trailer refrigerator
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2018, 05:34:28 AM »
Should not be a problem, but I would make sure that you don't forget to unplug your trailer from the vehicle if you make an extended stop... I towed a cruiser with a household refrigerator 120AC only with an inverter and never had a problem...Things stayed very cold and frozen with my refrigerator..Good luck and happy camping...

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: travel trailer refrigerator
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2018, 10:37:49 AM »
Yes it works, but follow ysidive's advice religiously.  300W via the inverter will be drawing a continuous 28-30 amps from the batteries and it is unlikely your truck can deliver that much to the trailer.  The truck--> trailer 12v line is probably fused for either 20A or 30A on the truck end, and the trailer wiring is probably sized for less, maybe only 10A-15A.  If you start out with fully charged batteries the truck assist should keep them going OK, but the batteries can run down quickly if you make a lunch stop.

Most people run  the fridge on LP gas while traveling, but others feel an inverter is safer.
Gary
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BruceinFL

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Re: travel trailer refrigerator
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2018, 11:17:50 AM »
Is this a household type fridge or a regular rv reefer? If a reefer, why not just run it on propane? Isn't going to get any colder on 120 ac and what little 12v is used will easily be covered by the towing electrical connection.
Bruce A.
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Lou Schneider

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Re: travel trailer refrigerator
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2018, 12:58:41 PM »
The limited amount of power Gary mentioned is why 3 way refrigerators (gas, 120 volts, 12 volts) went out of favor.

It's just too hard to generate and transport enough 12 volt power to run a heating element reliably.  Doesn't matter if it's a 12 volt heating element connected directly to the battery or a 120 volt heating element fed through an inverter, the amount of power required to create the heat is more than a 12 volt system can comfortably supply.

mpaulw13

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Re: travel trailer refrigerator
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2018, 01:10:21 PM »
Thank you for all the replies.  We have a few months to do some testing.

John From Detroit

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Re: travel trailer refrigerator
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2018, 05:26:18 PM »
Will an inverter power the 'friidger ehilre friveing with two batteries.. NO, it will not, unless it is a very short drive. or the batteries are very large 8D or better even then I'd say NO.  (And yes I tried it that's how I know).

One exception. Norcold has one model that is all electric, draws like 36-40 watts (1 1/10th the power yours draws) that one no problem but you already said you don't have it.
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maddog348

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Re: travel trailer refrigerator
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2018, 09:41:14 PM »
"........ inverter power the 'friidger ehilre friveing with two batteries ........"  Can't remember the lat time I went friveing :o
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ysidive

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Re: travel trailer refrigerator
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2018, 06:59:30 AM »
Thank you for all the replies.  We have a few months to do some testing.
As I said in my original response that I had an inverter and an apartment size refrigerator.. My Refer was an LG with the new smart inverter compressor.. Google inverter refrigerator compressor... They are the newer technology being used in Refrigerators...More efficient than the old style compresor... I traveled 8-10 hours on the road powered by my vehicle charging the battery while I drove, and the refrigerator was on the onboard 1200 watt inverter... Stuff in the refrigerator was cold and frozen stuff stayed frozen...Check out the new technology refrigerator compressors......

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: travel trailer refrigerator
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2018, 09:38:52 AM »
Some people seem to think that "digital inverter compressor" means the fridge & compressor were designed to operate on an inverter, e.g. in an RV.  That is NOT at all what the term means, but a fall-out of the digital inverter compressor technology is improved energy efficiency and that is a help for RV use. However, most any newer fridge with an Energy Star rating will do well as far as power consumption, so you don't need an inverter compressor just to be adequate.

Nor does having a fridge with an "inverter compressor" mean that it is automatically compatible with modified sine inverters.  Inverter compressors provide a soft start-up and variable speed/power control, but compatibility with an external inverter as the power source depends on the design of the compressor control circuit board.  Hopefully the engineers considered the possibility of a modified sine power instead of pure sine.

Some brief info on how an"inverter compressor" differs from the traditional type can be viewed at   https://www.quora.com/What-is-a-digital-inverter-compressor-in-a-refrigerator
« Last Edit: January 15, 2018, 09:41:00 AM by Gary RV_Wizard »
Gary
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ALLOY

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Re: travel trailer refrigerator
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2018, 11:14:00 PM »
Our travel trailer has a norcold refrigerator and the information plate says that on 120v ac it is using 300 watts and 2.5 amps. With 2 batteries on the trailer will a 600 watt power inverter run the refrigerator while driving.  My plan is to plug into shore power when stopped just need to keep fridge cold while driving for 6-8 hours during the day in July.   I am pulling the trailer with a 2016 f-150 that charges the trailer batteries while driving.


If you load the fridge up with food turn it on and start driving it will be drawing full power for 3-4 hours. You may arrive at the campsite with low batteries....unless it is freezing out and you leave the trailer windows open : )

If you load the fridge up the night before, run it overnight on shore power (or propane if the trailer is level) and then start driving it will draw less power. 









35' 5th

Rene T

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Re: travel trailer refrigerator
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2018, 07:38:58 AM »

If you load the fridge up with food turn it on and start driving it will be drawing full power for 3-4 hours. You may arrive at the campsite with low batteries....unless it is freezing out and you leave the trailer windows open : )

If you load the fridge up the night before, run it overnight on shore power (or propane if the trailer is level) and then start driving it will draw less power.

Always load it up with food that has been chilled or frozen.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: travel trailer refrigerator
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2018, 10:56:57 AM »
That inverter needs about 25-28 amps @ 12v to produce the 2.5A @ 120v that the fridge uses. Yes, it will probably run pretty much non-stop as you drive, even though the food and interior were thoroughly chilled when you start out.   The charge line from your truck probably can't supply a continuous 25+ amps - typically the wiring isn't sufficient for that. However, it should be enough to assist. 6 hours of inverter time is maybe ok, but 8 hours sounds marginal to me.

You might think about upgrading the wiring on truck and trailer to see if a higher amp rate can be achieved.  You would want 10 gauge wire for the total length on the path for the +12v line to the trailer plug and from that plug to the battery(s).  You might also check the truck's power source - it may be fused/breakered at just 20A.

An easier alternative is to get larger capacity batteries.  Yet another alternative is to run the fridge on LP.
Gary
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Frank B

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Re: travel trailer refrigerator
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2018, 03:48:41 PM »
Yes, like BruceinFL mentioned, if it is a standard RV fridge, just run the fridge on propane. You avoid the whole issue.
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