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Old 04-07-2012, 05:22 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blkmagikca View Post
Scott


As for wanting an LP gas only refer, the rationale that it is a "phantom load" on the 12-volt system inhibiting boondocking is like killing a mosquito with a cannonball. Firstly, the electronic ignition is far superior to the old manual gas-only refer with a pilot light (which often blew out, causing the stuff in the freezer compartment to thaw). If you really intend to boondock, you should look into using solar panels and/or a wind generator to keep your batteries charged. You do intend to use your fresh water system and toilet, I would assume, and the water system runs off an electric pump.

.
The real question is how much current does the igniter board really use.
I think Dometic claims .5 amp. If this is a constant draw this is a serious "Phantom " load amounting to 12 amp hours a day.
I suspect that the reality of the situation is the load is much less than this except when the igniter is firing. Does anyone out there know from actual measurements? Asking Dometic has not been much help.
I have never had a blowout problem with the older style fridge. We just completed a 2 month trip, entirely on gas with out a blow out.
The electric heater failed right before we left.
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Old 04-07-2012, 10:16 AM   #16
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I had had a 1976 Shasta that was equipped with a gas only refer. Ever time a truck passed me on the highway the pilot in the refer blew out. When I had a 1974 Land Yacht diesel pusher, the PC boards for the refer were flaky and needed to be changed; after which they performed well. My 1987 Excella had the refer changed by the previous owner - it too works well.

I prefer boondocking, so I have equipped my campers accordingly. To the LY moho I added a 123-watt solar panel, and it never let me down, even after being parked in the Sonora desert for a month. My Excella came equipped for boondocking, and it's been a real pleasure. I have 3 x 75-watt solar panels, 4 AGM batteries, a Xantrex charger-inverter and (now) a blueflame propane heater. With the added Wilson amplifier and external antenna, I can maintain contact with my friends and family no matter where I am camping as long as there is a glimmer of Verizon service.

I believe that boondocking should not mean hardship. At my age (72) I don't look at tenting as an attractive way to camp. With the setup in my '87 Excella I have all my creature comforts.
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Old 04-07-2012, 12:18 PM   #17
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We use 200W of solar with all LED lights. The Trimetic battery monitor reports perhaps .2 amps of phantom load from the refrigerator and small fan on the composting toilet. We have two group 27 batteries and this is never an issue.

Boondocking time is theoretically limited by either food, fresh water or gray water disposal depending on surroundings and infrastructure; the practical limits are vacation time.

- Bart
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Old 04-07-2012, 01:19 PM   #18
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Two years ago I purchased a Dometic RM 2510 refrigerator which is the "old school" kind with a two speed flame, and does not use electronic ignition. It is still available, just found it on line for $723 at Big Discount RV.

Now, it does use 12 volts but ONLY for the initial lighting and if the flame goes out while traveling. Only then, does the sparking circuit operate. The sparking circuit takes very very little power, there used to be one made for after market uses which had a 9 volt battery for power. It does not have an electronic gas valve, or circuit board that most all of the new ones have. It would work just fine for a long long time on a set of D batteries wired for 12 volts. I think it could be lit by hand too, but mine is located in such a way that I cannot get at the flame area, so I am not positive on that.

So, check that out RM 2510. An RV dealer could order it of course, but the cost would be higher than the price I found a few minutes ago.
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Old 04-07-2012, 02:49 PM   #19
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Two years ago I purchased a Dometic RM 2510 refrigerator which is the "old school" kind with a two speed flame, and does not use electronic ignition. It is still available, just found it on line for $723 at Big Discount RV.

Now, it does use 12 volts but ONLY for the initial lighting and if the flame goes out while traveling. Only then, does the sparking circuit operate. The sparking circuit takes very very little power, there used to be one made for after market uses which had a 9 volt battery for power. It does not have an electronic gas valve, or circuit board that most all of the new ones have. It would work just fine for a long long time on a set of D batteries wired for 12 volts. I think it could be lit by hand too, but mine is located in such a way that I cannot get at the flame area, so I am not positive on that.

So, check that out RM 2510. An RV dealer could order it of course, but the cost would be higher than the price I found a few minutes ago.
The RM 2510 would be our best choice for a replacement based on size.
Thanks to both you and Bart for the info on current draw.
So obviously the fridge current would not be a concern with our present solar setup. We boon dock most of the time.
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Old 04-07-2012, 10:57 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blkmagikca View Post

As for wanting an LP gas only refer, the rationale that it is a "phantom load" on the 12-volt system inhibiting boondocking is like killing a mosquito with a cannonball. Firstly, the electronic ignition is far superior to the old manual gas-only refer with a pilot light (which often blew out, causing the stuff in the freezer compartment to thaw). If you really intend to boondock, you should look into using solar panels and/or a wind generator to keep your batteries charged. You do intend to use your fresh water system and toilet, I would assume, and the water system runs off an electric pump.
Most people walking down the OP's road are not concerned about the phantom load from the fridge.

They are, instead, usually concerned that the batteries may be exhausted while they away from the trailer. That may happen due to the inherent internal discharge of the batteries combined with the total phantom load of the trailer. It also may occur if a 12v load is inadvertently left on.

This sort of thing usually comes up with trailers parked in extremely remote locations (islands, e.g.) where there is no possibility of shore power and where it is desirable to arrive at the site to a cold fridge even if nothing perishable is left behind. Even with a fridge full of soda pop, if the doors are closed, quite a moldy mess can ensue if cooling is lost.
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:03 AM   #21
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Thanks guys!

This is Scott, the OP. I wanted to thank all of you for your fantastic input and suggestions. This has been very educational for me. You guy sure know your stuff, and I appreciate you taking the time to share with an electrical ignoramus like myself.

It sounds like looking into the Dometic RM 2510 could be a good way to go. To able to get a new one that requires very little draw could be the answer to our needs.

Thanks again, and Happy Easter.

Scott
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