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Old 04-22-2003, 09:20 PM   #15
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Refer on the road

Most modern refers are 2 way or 3 way operation. If the refer is a 120vac model the road time is an excellant way to make the refer and freezer very cold. The refer uses very little power when operated by ac power. Go to a competent RV, solar, or electrical shop and have a small inverter wired to to trailer battery. While traveling down the hiways, the inverter will not take any capacity from the battery and use only tow vehicle alternator power. The ac power is a gift, at no cost. Most refrigs use only 3-5 amps at 120vac. The trailer motion also improved the cooling process. There is no open flame so refrig does not need to be manipulated. Operating a refer on 12vdc is not a wise decision. Refers using 12vdc will use up any batteries quickly. I have changed many rv refers to use only 120vac as a apartment unit. The cost is just about 1/3 as rv refer. People with inverters have more fun.....
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Old 04-22-2003, 09:28 PM   #16
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Water pump start up

People who are not familar with rv water sytems should make a few changes to better check the system. It is of good value to use clear plastic hose for the connections in and out of the pump. When first filling a dry and drained water tank, a package of koolaid is added with the first half tank of fresh new water. The bright red cherry color helps to track the water and will reveal any leaks or problems. Any sign of red out of the piping indicates some attention is required...... Yep, ya can use blue or green too...... Koolaid koolaid, tastes great..
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Old 04-22-2003, 09:47 PM   #17
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On the topic of keeping things in the fridge cool while on the road:

Granted, the following will not work for everyone, but it will work for some -

Since campground water is always an unknown quantity, we like to start out with water from home (we have the good fortune of having good, filtered water). We do this by freezing one gallon jug and one half gallon jug of water. The gallon goes in the fridge and the half gallon in the freezer compartment. I have never had either thaw even half way in a full day of traveling. Everything stays plenty cold. And once it thaws, we have drinking water without the necessity of buying bottled water.

For the return home, we freeze the half gallon again, using tap water, and put it in the fridge. Normally, we have little to keep cold coming home. Since we are not going to drink it, we don't really care what it tastes like.

Mark
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Old 04-22-2003, 09:52 PM   #18
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My fridge on the 03 Bambi is a two way. 120v or LP gas. The solar thing sounds neat, but for me, I don't think I'm gonna reinvent the wheel when the LP feature seems to work real good. I don't have to have any water bottles or otherwise frozen to keep cool in transit. If you go on long trips that take a few days travel time that might not work. As for solar, it is an interesting thought.

The Koolaid thing is a neat trick, but again in the 03 Bambi, I have a meter panel that tells me how much water I have. I can also take a peek by lifing the cushion and looking at the tank directly. If there are leaks, the pump will activate to add pressure to the line. Granted if it's a small leak somewhere, the odds are that it is in a place you can't see anyway.

Regards,

Eric
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Old 04-22-2003, 10:04 PM   #19
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Eric ... Solar not required

My post mentioned a solar shop only because, that kind of shop would be very familar with inverters. I'm not sure if solar panels will stay focused inroute. Ya know heat and sun's wave lenghts etc.
The savings of propane costs and not having to change fuel sources at fuelup time is of some value. The inverter can continue operation as propane needs to be stopped.
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Old 04-22-2003, 10:08 PM   #20
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Good point. I see what you mean. I'll tell you, when I left last week, I bet if I had some good solar panels, I'd have had a good charge the whole way down to the Louisville area! Bright direct sun and 85 degrees. Now back to reality, cold and overcast back home!

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Old 04-22-2003, 10:34 PM   #21
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Please rethink that, Frank

Quote:
Go to a competent RV, solar, or electrical shop and have a small inverter wired to to trailer battery. While traveling down the hiways, the inverter will not take any capacity from the battery and use only tow vehicle alternator power. The ac power is a gift, at no cost. Most refrigs use only 3-5 amps at 120vac.
3 to 5 amps at 120v requires input to the inverter of more than 30 to 50 amps. Remember, P=EI. Inverters are not 100% efficient. Granted, the power comes from the tow vehicle alternator while underway, but stop for gas or a meal and there will be a truly great sucking sound out of the battery.

Quote:
Refers using 12vdc will use up any batteries quickly.
Not nearly as quickly as the same refrigerator operating on 120v. The 12v heater element is rated at a much lower wattage than the 120v element. The 12v element is meant to keep the box cool, not cool it down. The battery will go down a lot smore slowly than when running the 120v element through an inverter.

Just as the inverter will use tow vehicle alternator power, so will the 12v element.
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Old 04-22-2003, 10:55 PM   #22
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My posts support.

Thank you John for the voltage/resistence/amps reminder.
My life has been spent mostly as an electrical contractor.
I think you may take some of what I have posted too literally. I am not a degreed person, but have encountered many electrical challenges. Yep, I really like inverters.
Your challenges to my post.
The tow vehicle usually makes lots more amps than can possibly be used just driving down a freeway. The current draw of the refer is for a relatively short period of time. The draw is not 50 amps for many hours.
I believe the 12 volt dc connection will cool down a refer from scratch and is designed for this condition. Using this voltage would be the only good time to use 12 vdc.
All of the trailers that I have wired, are wired in such a fashion that when ignition is off, there is no connection to trailer from tow vehicle batteries. The inverter is not drawing any energy while tow vehicle is stopped with engine not operating. The ignition switch controls a relay that connects trailer to tow vehicle. The relay may also be on a seperate switch/control...
I love to exchange ideas.....
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Old 04-23-2003, 09:04 AM   #23
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12v operation

12v will not cool down a refrigerator in warm weather unless you have a week to wait. The120v element wattage is the highest, distantly followed by 12v wattage according to the manual in my Scamp which had a 6 cu ft 3-way Dometic refrigerator. When the AC element died in the Scamp, I tried cooling down the Scamp box on 12v and, believe me, it didn't do much good.

The 12v heating element is a low-wattage compromise meant only to maintain an already cold box while sparing the battery as much as possible. With an already cold box, 12v operation will maintain internal temperature in all but the hottest weather so long as the door is not opened a lot.

While your alternator has all the capacity you need (and more) to run the box on AC, it is not free. You pay in gas mileage for loads on the alternator. Probably cheaper thn buying propane, but not free. Alternator load does matter; one of the reasons auto makers went to halogen lights was to eke out the last bit of CAFE mileage by reducing the electrical load.

Granted, the 120v load is not continuous, but it can be very nearly so in mid summer in Texas. Even with tow vehicle battery isolation, stopping for any substantial period and forgetting to turn the refrigerator off 120v will suck down a trailer battery in a hurry.
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Old 04-23-2003, 09:46 AM   #24
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One more thing

I should have mentioned that the 12v heating element is not controlled by the thermostat. It is on continuously when the selector is turned to DC operation. One more indication that 12v operation is a sustaining mode, not a cooling mode.
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