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Old 06-02-2019, 05:54 AM   #1
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2018 Refrigerator + Power

Hi - I have searched this with no luck (though there are a LOT of refrigerator questions). I have a 2018 Interstate. I am headed out on an extended trip. I have read a lot about the Yeti Goal zero. Specifically:

1) You can plug the refrigerator directly into a separate power source via standard 110v plug (in this case I would run an extension cord from goal zero to the fridge). --> I can't find a plug. I am wondering if this is now wired so there isn't a single plug since it switches from 12v to 110v?

2) If you plug the coach without turning on the power (near the door), it will still power 12V outlets AND the battery. --> I tried this and it does in fact power outlets and various things in the coach....but NOT the refrigerator. Any suggestions? Is this related to #1?

Thanks for any help!
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Old 06-02-2019, 06:51 AM   #2
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I'm the guy that posted about keeping the 12v power off at the switch by the sliding door. It works great and permits my Goal Zero Yeti to power the fridge and freezer without having to monkey with their power cords.

I'm currently driveway surfing in Portland, intentionally with no shore power so I can gather more data. The downside to having 12v off all night is no water pump so dry flushes only. Of course, I could turn on the 12v for a minute or so.

Question: Exactly how are you powering the coach from your Goal Zero? You say it charges your battery when the 12v is off? With my configuration, using a second transfer switch, I do not have house batteries getting charged, which is what I want, since the power conversion losses from 12v to 120v and back to 12v are a huge bummer.

My second transfer switch is made by Parallax Power, Model ATS 301, https://amzn.to/2Z7WWF7 and was installed by my local AS dealer. They did a pro job putting it in a black cloth wrapped enclosure that matches the rest of the fuzzy interior back there. They positioned it just rear of my hot water heater. I run power to it from one of the GZ 120v outlets when I need it (not all the time).

Bonus: I found out yesterday that this mode energizes the coffeemaker outlet without having my inverter on (uh... actually, without shore power or generator running, this circuit normally stays off thanks to the anemic 1000w inverter being incapable of handling the coffeemaker outlet demand). When boondocking in the past, I was powering the coffeemaker and hairdryer straight from the GZ, but now this presents another option.

I will post this info, with some data, soon on my original thread about my GZ setup. TEASER: It's 5:30am after my second night. the GZ is at 36% and my house batteries are at 88%.
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Old 06-02-2019, 05:45 PM   #3
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You are doing EXACTLY what I want to! The Goal Zero is en route to my house, so I have been testing what is powered when plugging into standard shore power with the power switch "off." Just as you said (thanks again for your great info!) some of the outlets and other things work, much to my surprise. Unfortunately, the fridge is not one of them. Do you think the way the transfer switch was wired into your coach was what allowed the fridge to work (sorry if that is a dumb question)?

I would love to stop the house batteries from charging and to keep the GZ inside (for my first trip, I'll unfortunately have to leave it outside). I need to find someone competent to install the transfer switch you have!
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Old 06-02-2019, 08:59 PM   #4
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Ok, now I understand better how you determined the outlet power scenario. It is interesting that the coffeemaker circuit goes live (I'm assuming) when a capable source of power is available... 15 amps or more coming in from either shore power or from the Onan generator. Those two power sources are wired to the two inputs on your OEM transfer switch. I have not tested this to see if shore power without the 12v turned on will power the coffeemaker circuit. Maybe someone else can beat me to this test... I'm busy dry camping for a few more days.

I'm no expert, but if I understand correctly, the other outlets get 110v from the inverter, which takes 12v from the batteries and steps it up to 110v. The inverter is also a charger, routing available power back to the batteries. Then there is the engine alternator which of course can feed power to the batteries too, routed through the BIM or, in my case, a replacement item from Blue Sea that many here have installed... the ML-ACR model for 12v with manual override switch - https://amzn.to/314L1JW

The way it was described to me is that the new transfer switch is installed "upstream" of the OEM switch. The generator and the 110v cord that I can plug into the Goal Zero are the two inputs. That txfr switch output then becomes one of the two inputs of the OEM switch and the shore power remains connected to the other input of the OEM switch.

So with the 12v off, the Goal Zero gets plugged in and the coffeemaker circuit goes live. Evidently it thinks you are providing shore power or generator power (which you are, from the "silent" generator of the Goal Zero). However, with no 12v turned on in the coach, there is no power going to the hot water heater (electric or propane) or to the Precision Circuits Power Control System, or to the microwave. I have however configured my microwave plug with a short extension that is reachable from my large drawer to the left and I can power it directly from the GZ. We just don't use the micro so it's food storage for us.

If I haven't explained something quite right hopefully someone reading this can set me straight.
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Old 06-03-2019, 05:07 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Tronadora View Post
.....The downside to having 12v off all night is no water pump so dry flushes only. Of course, I could turn on the 12v for a minute or so......
I keep a one-gallon jug of water tucked into the corner of our wet bath at all times. It's there in case of emergencies or other circumstances that may lead to a need to flush without power. Such as, we're on the road and my husband is pulling some part of the electrical system apart for some reason. Splash the commode with the water from the jug to clean it.

The older Interstates have a notch in the configuration of the wet bath which allows for a jug to be placed without becoming a tripping hazard. In this photo, you can just see the edge of it near the dog's neck as she sniffs Oscar the Grouch on my then-new custom triangular trash can (which was modified from a product created for a child's Sesame Street themed bedroom).

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Old 06-09-2019, 09:58 AM   #6
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1) You can plug the refrigerator directly into a separate power source via standard 110v plug (in this case I would run an extension cord from goal zero to the fridge). --> I can't find a plug. I am wondering if this is now wired so there isn't a single plug since it switches from 12v to 110v?

2) If you plug the coach without turning on the power (near the door), it will still power 12V outlets AND the battery. --> I tried this and it does in fact power outlets and various things in the coach....but NOT the refrigerator. Any suggestions? Is this related to #1?

Thanks for any help!

The fridge in my 2015 Ext has its 12v hard wired connection and a 110v cord plugged in to an outlet under the sink. I disconnected the 110v cord because when the inverter was on the fridge ran on inverted 110v which it then converted back to its native 12v. On my unit there is a separate plug under the sink that is 110v only (not powered by the inverter) that powers the microwave. You could use that for your fridge if the wiring is the same.



As a side note, why not just connect the Goal Zero to to the house 12v batteries and let it boost your total available 12v amp hours? Would that work and avoid all the losses of inverted to 110v ac and back>
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Old 06-09-2019, 02:42 PM   #7
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The Goal Zero puts out 110v, which is already converted once from the internal 12v battery. Putting that 110v into my 2nd transfer switch will power the fridge with 110v, but it also dumps energy into my house batteries, which I don't always want, because of the additional energy loss through that conversion.

I prefer to turn off the 12v switch at the sliding door and let the GZ power the fridge and freezer WITHOUT charging the batteries. This helps my GZ battery last the longest and isolates my house batteries from being used up while the 12v is off. The Goal Zero uses up 30% of its reserves to do this for ten hours. The fridge and freezer draw about 100W (8A).

Here's another thing I just found out last week about running from house batteries and not the Goal Zero:

Since I have the Blue Sea ML-ACR 9622, I can use its switch to override and manually connect or disconnect the house batteries from the chassis battery. If I manually connect them with that switch, I've increased the total Ah available. Now, my Victron BMV-712 battery monitor reveals that I'm drawing only 2/3 of what the fridge and freezer need from the house batteries and the chassis battery must be providing the rest. Just be careful not to let the total voltage get below 12v (like you normally do already) because now you are lowering your engine battery's reserves too.


I'll start a separate thread about this new approach.
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Old 08-06-2019, 08:17 PM   #8
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The Goal Zero puts out 110v, which is already converted once from the internal 12v battery. Putting that 110v into my 2nd transfer switch will power the fridge with 110v, but it also dumps energy into my house batteries, which I don't always want, because of the additional energy loss through that conversion. ...
Can you set the Charge Rate in the Magnum controller to 0% (or maybe 10%) and avoid dumping energy into the house batteries?
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Old 08-06-2019, 09:36 PM   #9
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I don't currently have a Goal Zero 1000, but it is on my shopping list if I manage to get on the next balloon rally our club is sponsoring.

Rather than have the Goal Zero convert to AC and then have the refrigerator convert back to 12V with the resulting losses, I intend to add a switch in the 12v feed to the refrigerator/freezer and use 12v off the Goal Zero directly. I figure the losses will be less and it is just as easy to switch the DC feed as the AC feed.

I'll place the Goal Zero between the rotated front chairs and feed it with a 12v charger from the 12v outlet under the driver's seat as several people have posted. Solar to coach battery through the Blue Sea BIM to the chassis battery to the refrigerator. Generator only if needed, but ABQ, at that time of year, typically has plenty of sun and I have the 300 watts of solar on the roof. My MPPT solar charger is sitting here on my desk ready to install.
Generator use is allowed at the rally, during the day.

Since my freezer is a completely separate compressor from the refrigerator, we probably will not use the freezer for the 5 days with no hookups, although the 10A of 12v from the Goal Zero will run both compressors simultaneously.

Loved our last balloon rally and I sure hope I make the cut for this one.
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Old 08-07-2019, 06:59 AM   #10
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Leigh & Bettie -

regarding setting the Charge Rate down so the Goal Zero does not charge the batteries... YES! In fact I just discovered that myself recently... I have the Magnum ME-RC which disabled the stock Magnum square control panel. I don't remember if the stock unit allowed control of the charge rate, but with the ME-RC it allows setting the Charge Rate in 10% increments, all the way down to zero. These past few days I've been running at 10% Charge Rate while plugged into a 15A circuit. This limits how much of the 15A gets used to charge the batteries and can still turn on the coffeemaker OR water heater and not trip the breaker.

In fact... last night I had been on shore power then disconnected when house batteries were at Full Charge state. I plugged the coach into the GZ to have lights and TV and run the fridge and the freezer. Since the house batteries were at 100%, they did not need any more energy so the GZ was only having to send out about 160W to power the coach plus inverter and TV. If the batteries had been calling for Bulk Charge at 100% Charge Rate the GZ would have needed to send out more like 1000W, descending gradually over time.
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Old 08-07-2019, 07:21 AM   #11
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Rather than have the Goal Zero convert to AC and then have the refrigerator convert back to 12V with the resulting losses, I intend to add a switch in the 12v feed to the refrigerator/freezer and use 12v off the Goal Zero directly. I figure the losses will be less and it is just as easy to switch the DC feed as the AC feed.

I'll place the Goal Zero between the rotated front chairs and feed it with a 12v charger from the 12v outlet under the driver's seat as several people have posted. Solar to coach battery through the Blue Sea BIM to the chassis battery to the refrigerator. Generator only if needed, but ABQ, at that time of year, typically has plenty of sun and I have the 300 watts of solar on the roof. My MPPT solar charger is sitting here on my desk ready to install.

John -
Have you tried my trick of manually locking the chassis and house batteries together with your Blue Sea BIM ? According to my BMV-712 display, this significantly reduces the energy needed from the house batteries to run the fridge and the freezer. About 70W instead of 105W, because the chassis battery has joined forces with the house batteries to create what is essentially a larger battery bank.

I'm thinking your 12V from chassis to feed your GZ would draw about 100W (I'm guessing) and I'm wondering how fast that will draw down your chassis battery (?). What about instead of using the GZ (at least at first) you combine your batteries using the Blue Sea BIM, which would result in about 35W from the chassis battery and about 70W from the house batteries getting used to power the fridge and the freezer. Use the GZ primarily for directly powering your 110V stuff like coffeemaker, toaster, microwave. And after the house/chassis batteries get down to 12V, disconnect them from each other and then activate your custom 12V connection from the GZ, assuming a GZ 1000 will still have a reserve after being used for the 110V stuff.

Why do I suggest this? - I've got the 3000 model which takes 3x longer to recharge than the 1000 model. Feeding it with the maximum of 288W of inverted 110V power while driving or when plugged into shore power can take 10 hours if I'm starting at less than 10% capacity. So I try to wait as long as possible before using the GZ to charge house batteries because of the huge energy conversion losses, which then take a long time to recover from. Hat tip to Leigh & Bettie for bringing up how you can set your Magnum charger/inverter to 0% Charge Rate so the GZ won't get depleted more/faster than necessary. You just need to remember to set the Magnum's Charge Rate higher when you travel or get shore power.

At least when running the coffeemaker from the Goal Zero directly it only requires ONE conversion to/from 12V/110V.
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Old 08-07-2019, 07:43 AM   #12
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Re Charge Rate: the stock Magnum (in the 2017 AI) does allow setting charge rate. I normally keep it at 100%, but reduce it when the batteries are low and I'm using the generator to run the microwave. Otherwise, all the generator power goes into the batteries and the microwave won't function.
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Old 08-07-2019, 07:51 AM   #13
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Turning off the freezer when boondocking

We have (2017 AI) a split refrigerator/freezer. We use the refrigerator for various foods we eat regularly, but the freezer is used mainly for holding ice and occasional frozen dinners.

So if we are going to be off shore power, we use up all our frozen dinners and then just turn off the freezer. We keep ice in a small thermal bag.

Eliminating the power consumption of the freezer makes a big difference. Our batteries (4 x 12v AGM) easily last overnight until we can start a recharge with generator, driving, or solar.

I'm attracted to the Goal Zero solution, but for now we get along with this conservation strategy.
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Old 08-10-2019, 10:49 AM   #14
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As a side note, why not just connect the Goal Zero to to the house 12v batteries and let it boost your total available 12v amp hours? Would that work and avoid all the losses of inverted to 110v ac and back>

That won't work. The GZ output is regulated and sits right on 12.0v. The AGM house batteries sit right around 12.7v - 13.0v when fully charged depending on what curves you believe, load, etc. If you tie the two together, your GZ will sit there at 12.0v and basically do nothing until your AGMs fall below that level. Well, AGMs going below 12.0v is BAD. At that point, they are below the magic 50% SOC (State of Charge), which means you're damaging them (at the very least you are shortening their useful service life by reducing the number of charge/recharge cycles they will endure before they no longer will hold a full charge....eventually they won't hold a charge at all).


The better way to integrate a GZ into your coach 12v electrical system is to add a manual disconnect between the GZ 12v output (APP connector) and the load side of your existing Main Disconnect switch (the toggle switch is by the sliding door, the actual switch is under the DS jump seat). This way when you want to run off the GZ, you turn off the Main Disconnect switch by the sliding door, which disconnects your AGMs from the house loads, and turn ON the new switch, which provides 10A of 12v to the house (this is the max output for the GZ).


To charge the GZ back up, you can add their new 12v charger ($40 but sold out nearly everywhere), or do what I did and add a connector to the house battery side of the main disconnect. I used APP connectors and plug that into my MPPT module on the GZ so regardless of charge source (solar, genset, or alternator), my GZ gets charged. There are other ways to do this, but given that I store my rig outside when not in use and I live in NorCal with lots of sun, my Renogy MPPT charge controller (I replaced the crappy Atkinson, aka SunExplorer) does a perfect job of keeping my house batteries, chassis battery, and my GZ topped up with the Main Disconnect off (so no parasitic loads). Over a year on this setup so far and working perfectly.
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Old 02-19-2020, 03:17 PM   #15
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I just read all of the response. I have a 2020 AI 19 4wd and a GZ1000 connected to a ATS. My refrigerator is a 12V and when I turn on the GZ1000, the fridge doesn't remain running via the GZ. I'm not a electrician but I thought since the control panel and the 12V fuses were in the same box, I would be good to go. My 2x Lifeline GPL-24T don't last more than 60 minutes before they hit the 12.2V or 50% mark.

Prior to turning on my GZ1000, I set my Magnum charge to standby in order to prevent the GZ from charging the house batteries.

Tronadora "I'm the guy that posted about keeping the 12v power off at the switch by the sliding door. It works great and permits my Goal Zero Yeti to power the fridge and freezer without having to monkey with their power cords". I'm going to try this when I get my rig back from Mercedes-Benz. Also mentioned was a second transfer switch in order to prevent the GZ from charging the house battery since the Magnum is no longer available to be used but this also includes the Truma and Czone panels and I need those for obvious reason so how would I get around that issue?
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Old 02-20-2020, 06:04 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by jhayesas View Post
I just read all of the response. I have a 2020 AI 19 4wd and a GZ1000 connected to a ATS. My refrigerator is a 12V and when I turn on the GZ1000, the fridge doesn't remain running via the GZ. I'm not a electrician but I thought since the control panel and the 12V fuses were in the same box, I would be good to go. My 2x Lifeline GPL-24T don't last more than 60 minutes before they hit the 12.2V or 50% mark.

Prior to turning on my GZ1000, I set my Magnum charge to standby in order to prevent the GZ from charging the house batteries.

Tronadora "I'm the guy that posted about keeping the 12v power off at the switch by the sliding door. It works great and permits my Goal Zero Yeti to power the fridge and freezer without having to monkey with their power cords". I'm going to try this when I get my rig back from Mercedes-Benz. Also mentioned was a second transfer switch in order to prevent the GZ from charging the house battery since the Magnum is no longer available to be used but this also includes the Truma and Czone panels and I need those for obvious reason so how would I get around that issue?

****
You say you have your GZ plugged into an ATS - Automatic Transfer Switch, but later you mention maybe using a second ATS, like I do. So I'm a little confused. I added a second ATS so that the GZ and Generator are the inputs to one ATS, and the output becomes one of the inputs to the other ATS along with shore power. I have not done as FlyFishnRVR has done (but I like his method).

To clarify, I don't rely on turning off the Magnum to keep the GZ from charging the house batteries, and I don't know if that even works. I set the Magnum Charge Rate to Zero to keep my GZ from "wasting" its energy on inefficient double-conversion house battery charging. Cheers!


Also, my threshold for panic on house battery voltage is 12.0 when "at rest". If I'm using juice, it pulls down the voltage while under load. Best to see where your batteries are when there is no load for at least a couple of minutes. Or maybe you already know that.
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Old 02-20-2020, 06:28 PM   #17
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****
You say you have your GZ plugged into an ATS - Automatic Transfer Switch, but later you mention maybe using a second ATS, like I do. So I'm a little confused. I added a second ATS so that the GZ and Generator are the inputs to one ATS, and the output becomes one of the inputs to the other ATS along with shore power. I have not done as FlyFishnRVR has done (but I like his method).

To clarify, I don't rely on turning off the Magnum to keep the GZ from charging the house batteries, and I don't know if that even works. I set the Magnum Charge Rate to Zero to keep my GZ from "wasting" its energy on inefficient double-conversion house battery charging. Cheers!


Also, my threshold for panic on house battery voltage is 12.0 when "at rest". If I'm using juice, it pulls down the voltage while under load. Best to see where your batteries are when there is no load for at least a couple of minutes. Or maybe you already know that.
I'm fishing and trying to figure out a solution to my problem. I too don't turn off my Magnum. My Magnum charge rate setting is 10/50/100%, so my 0% charge rate = setting it to charge standby mode. I've woken up in the morning and the lowest I've seen the battery is 11.8V.

The only thing I can think of that runs 12V when the ATS is active is the refrigerator and whatever draw that comes from the inverter being inactive (not powered off, just not turn on). What I don't understand because I'm not an electrician is shouldn't the power converter that is attached to the circuit breaker/DC fuse supply power to the DC devices?
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Old 02-20-2020, 08:51 PM   #18
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You have two energy losses. The Goal Zero inverter wastes a bit of power to produce 120v AC. The Magnum then has to convert that 120v AC to 12v DC. Unfortunately, down-conversion is a lot more wasteful than the up-conversion. If you get 80% efficiency, you are doing good.

The above is the reason that I am setting up to operate the Goal Zero in 12v mode only. I have the harness that allows me to pull as much as 45 amps of 12v power from the GZ. I'm running #8 wire from where the GZ will ride, back to the fuse panel. At the fuse panel, I will feed the GZ 12v backwards through a 30a fuse in an unused fuse location (#15)to the 12v bus. I'll turn off the master switch by the door so that I'm just supplying the interior 12v system. That way, I minimize conversion losses. If I briefly want some 120v AC, I can tap it directly off the GZ. What I want is to power some lights, the refrigerator (less the freezer), and the water pump.
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Old 02-20-2020, 09:29 PM   #19
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You have two energy losses. The Goal Zero inverter wastes a bit of power to produce 120v AC. The Magnum then has to convert that 120v AC to 12v DC. Unfortunately, down-conversion is a lot more wasteful than the up-conversion. If you get 80% efficiency, you are doing good.

The above is the reason that I am setting up to operate the Goal Zero in 12v mode only. I have the harness that allows me to pull as much as 45 amps of 12v power from the GZ. I'm running #8 wire from where the GZ will ride, back to the fuse panel. At the fuse panel, I will feed the GZ 12v backwards through a 30a fuse in an unused fuse location (#15)to the 12v bus. I'll turn off the master switch by the door so that I'm just supplying the interior 12v system. That way, I minimize conversion losses. If I briefly want some 120v AC, I can tap it directly off the GZ. What I want is to power some lights, the refrigerator (less the freezer), and the water pump.
If you you care to share your setup with pictures of your configuration, I would love to see your work. So if I'm understanding you correctly, you're saying is that I'm losing to much power due to conversion lose via the GZ > AC to generate enough power to operate the converter in order to supply both AC and DC current via the GZ? I was shooting for below. Thanks for your input.
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Old 02-20-2020, 09:44 PM   #20
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No photos at this point. I have the wire and connectors out at the AI, ready to start running wire tomorrow. I'm using 45 amp Powerpole connectors and #8 wire to run from under the desk behind the driver's seat (where the GZ will ride), back to the fuse box. The GZ will produce 45 amps, but I will fuse it at 30 amps.

I show about 4 to 6 watts inverter loss to produce 120v in the GZ. Not too bad. The down-conversion will waste more energy. This is not a fatal problem, but it is the reason I am choosing to stick with 12v.
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