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Old 04-02-2010, 05:22 AM   #1
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Dometic question

Does the refrigerator draw on the 12 volt system at all? Test ran it last couple of days and it killed the batterys.
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Old 04-02-2010, 05:42 AM   #2
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That depends on the age of the fridge. Older ones used no battery power, newer ones use some to run control circuits.
Some 3 way models will run on 12 volts as well as gas and 110 but the current draw will kill batteries in a few hours so the 3 way models are not common in travel trailers.
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Old 04-02-2010, 05:42 AM   #3
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Depends on the refrigerator - the constant heat of a small flame similar to a gas stove pilot light is the power a RV ammonia cycle unit runs best on. If your unit is a three-way (propane:120VAC:12VDC) to use 12V to make similar heat draws a good chunk of current 24/7 and will kill batteries fast.

The trickle of a 12V refrigerator controller logic should not flatten batteries.
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Old 04-02-2010, 06:52 AM   #4
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Thanks. It is a newer model 2-way. Ran for about a week. Went out to check it yesterday, and it was off. I finally realized I had no 12V power. Charged batteries and it turned on. Learn something new every day!
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Old 04-02-2010, 07:17 AM   #5
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The fridge draws about half an amp (about like a single dome light in your car), so over the course of a week or so it will drain the batteries.
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Old 04-02-2010, 07:36 AM   #6
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1/2 an amp could be easily made up with a simple solar panel.
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Old 04-02-2010, 07:38 AM   #7
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Thanks Terry. So would it be OK to keep the Univolt on when the reefer is on? Or woul I fry the batteries?
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Old 04-02-2010, 07:47 AM   #8
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1/2 an amp could be easily made up with a simple solar panel.
This is true however it would be much nicer if some one still made a fridge which did not require 12 amp hours a day to run. I think Norcold still had one a few years back , but don't know if they still do.

If I ever have to update the fridge (mine is old enough to not use any electric) I would have to find enough real estate on top to add one more panel just to maintain the effectiveness of the present solar system.
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Old 04-02-2010, 05:22 PM   #9
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Thanks Terry. So would it be OK to keep the Univolt on when the reefer is on? Or woul I fry the batteries?
The Univolt in your trailer is a later generation than the early "battery boilers", though given enough time plugged in, it will eventually do this. When you have an extra couple of hundred dollars, and upgrade to a 3 stage converter would be a good investment.
Short-term, you can leave it plugged in. Say, if you plug it in a few days before going on a trip to ensure the batteries are fully charged, and the fridge is cold, would be okay.
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Old 04-02-2010, 06:06 PM   #10
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Dometic draw

Had a problem in one refrig , and found the switch BETWEEN the two doors to turn OFF the dehumidifier around the chambers. Switched it off and not as much draw.
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Old 04-03-2010, 07:47 AM   #11
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Had a problem in one refrig , and found the switch BETWEEN the two doors to turn OFF the dehumidifier around the chambers. Switched it off and not as much draw.
Yes, that's a biggie. I would make sure it's off, unless you're plugged in to shore power.
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