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Old 07-07-2020, 10:32 AM   #1
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2021 GT Electric Refrigerator and Boondocking

We were hoping to purchase a new 27FB twin GT this fall/winter. We believe a large part of our camping will be state and national parks, with no hook ups. Is an all-electric refrigerator seriously going to limit our boondocking capabilities?

We had already planned on going solar (and now probably with lithium batteries) but I wondering what it's going to take to boondock with ease if the 2021 GTs don't have a propane option? How much solar is it going to take to run that refrigerator (maybe not the freezer) under goldilock conditions? All I know about the frig is it's 12V/110 and almost everything I know about solar and boondocking, I learned on these forums I really don't want to run a generator. Any suggestions about the amount of solar I would need would be much appreciated.

Is it possible to order the 2021 GT with the old refrigerator? Given I could even find a 2020 (plus I only want one air conditioner), does the new composite floor trump a three-way frig? Should I seriously look again at the International, which I believe still has the three-way?
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Old 07-07-2020, 02:37 PM   #2
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What have you got against propane? It’s quiet safe and cheap.
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Old 07-07-2020, 03:12 PM   #3
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According to what’s new in 2021 for the Globetrotters, “First debuted in the 30RB, the remaining Globetrotter line has also been updated with a new highly efficient compressor style electric (12v/110) refrigerators.”
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Old 07-07-2020, 04:43 PM   #4
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Here’s the low down. Fridge is going to pull average of 5.7 amps/hr on daytime mode and 3.7 on nighttime mode. That’s a max of 68.4 watts/hr while running. Let say for this comparison it’s HOT and the fridge runs in day time mode 100% on the time (thats a very high estimate). That’s 68.4 watts per hour. One 100W solar panel will cover this usage during sunlight hours and produce enough storable energy to carry you through the night. I’m adding (2)100W panels on the roof of my 30’GT that will be dedicated to the fridges needs.

I’m adding a total of 1000W to the roof.
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Old 07-07-2020, 06:02 PM   #5
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Since the all electric refrig uses an efficient compressor, It is not much affected by high ambient temperatures so the duty cycle hot or cool will hover around 50% with normal use. You could talk me into 60% if it is really warm. Thus I would knock the estimate down. I get about 900 Watts per day for the refrigerator.

So you'd need an an additional 120W or more of solar just for the refrigerator. GFML's 200W is a bit conservative but it is not a bad number.
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Old 07-07-2020, 07:04 PM   #6
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Kungaloosh, before you get too worried, consider the benefits of the new fridge vs. the old ammonia unit. It’s larger, more efficient and not susceptible to performance issues when the ambient temperature rises. Also, it doesn’t care if the trailer isn’t level.

I’d gladly swap the 3-way from our 2019 27’ FBT Globetrotter but you’d have to do a lot of mods for venting. Honestly, the new fridge is much better as long as you have some solar for boon docking plus you’ll get the new composite floor with a 2021 GT.

We also have two AC units which gets you 50A service which is very handy but your needs might be different. It costs a lot more to add later plus, it’s a good resale feature since the next owner might want to go to the southwest or other areas where you need 2 units. Bonus: You get dual heat pumps with two AC’s.

Congratulations on choosing a GT - we love ours!
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Old 07-07-2020, 08:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kungaloosh View Post
We were hoping to purchase a new 27FB twin GT this fall/winter. We believe a large part of our camping will be state and national parks, with no hook ups. Is an all-electric refrigerator seriously going to limit our boondocking capabilities?



We had already planned on going solar (and now probably with lithium batteries) but I wondering what it's going to take to boondock with ease if the 2021 GTs don't have a propane option? How much solar is it going to take to run that refrigerator (maybe not the freezer) under goldilock conditions? All I know about the frig is it's 12V/110 and almost everything I know about solar and boondocking, I learned on these forums I really don't want to run a generator. Any suggestions about the amount of solar I would need would be much appreciated.



Is it possible to order the 2021 GT with the old refrigerator? Given I could even find a 2020 (plus I only want one air conditioner), does the new composite floor trump a three-way frig? Should I seriously look again at the International, which I believe still has the three-way?


I would also trade the 3-way refrigerator in my 27FB GT 2019 for your all-electric fridge. I don’t boondock. Would also negotiate a credit towards the labor for the swap. I’m located in Park City, UT.
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Old 07-08-2020, 02:31 PM   #8
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Thanks for all your replies! At least now i have some numbers to work with.
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Old 07-08-2020, 03:24 PM   #9
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If the fridge is going to pull average of 5.7 amps/hr on daytime mode and it draws 12v = 68.4 watts per hour. (watts = amps x volts)
If the fridge is going to pull average of 3.7 amps/hr on nighttime mode and it draws 12v = 44.4 watts per hour
If you run it for 12 hours on daytime mode, you will consume 820.2 watt hours
If you run the other 12 hours on nitetime mode, you will consume 532.8 watt hours.
Your total daily consumption is 1353 watt hours.

100 watts of solar sound good in a perfect world - perfect angle of sun, perfect cloudless day, no shading, etc. You will probably not always get that but you can assume that you can get probably 50% so you might consider minimum 200 watts. To be honest, get as much as you can. You might opt for 24v panels as they have advantages. Remember 100 watt is 100 watts regardless of wheter it is 12v, 24v or 120v.

A battery is just a bucket of energy.
Your total daily consumption is 1353 watt hours based on a 12/12 split. More if you run it on daytime mode longer.
That is your daily bucket of energy that you have to fill just for your fridge.
A 100Ah lithium battery will provide 1380 watt hours of energy. That is enough to carry you through 24 hours of no input charge or 2 nights. The thing is that you should fill that bucket up as much as you can, when you can.
So if you are able to put in 100 watts for 12 hours (1200w), that is 820 watts that run the fridge and 380 watts back into the battery. That is a 152 watt hour deficit.

With lithium batteries, you can run them at a partially charged state (90%, 75%, 50%. 30% and lower) indefinitely without damage to the battery. Unlike lead acid/AGM they do not need to be fully charged - ever. So if you go a week, a month or a year without fully charging them - no big deal. Just make sure that you have enough charging capacity to make up for those days where the bucket drains faster than you can fill it. LiFePO4 are 12.8v nominal which means even drained 50%, you still see 12.8v.

Just as with solar, you might consider increasing your lithium battery bank. There are 200Ah, 300Ah and 400ah batteries available.

Lithium Battery suppliers to consider

AMPS Lithium
https://lithiummarinebattery.com

Battleborn
https://battlebornbatteries.com

LiFeBlue Battery
http://www.lifebluebattery.com

ReLion
https://relionbattery.com

Renogy
https://www.renogy.com

SmartBattery
https://www.lithiumion-batteries.com
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Old 07-08-2020, 03:26 PM   #10
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Correction, 100Ah lithium battery will provide 1280 watt hours of energy, not 1380wh.
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Old 07-08-2020, 06:44 PM   #11
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If it were me, I would definitely bring a generator when boon-docking.
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Old 07-17-2020, 03:06 PM   #12
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Since the all electric refrig uses an efficient compressor, It is not much affected by high ambient temperatures so the duty cycle hot or cool will hover around 50% with normal use. You could talk me into 60% if it is really warm. Thus I would knock the estimate down. I get about 900 Watts per day for the refrigerator.

So you'd need an an additional 120W or more of solar just for the refrigerator. GFML's 200W is a bit conservative but it is not a bad number.

Having lived with Danfoss 12 volt compressor type refrigerators for 15 years now on our boat (s), I’d worry that duty cycles of 50% are optimistic.
So much depends on insulation, ambient temperature and fridge use (how often it is opened).
I asked this question and someone suggested that I was overestimating the run time. They claim that the amps used were far less. Maybe the refrigerators are exceptionally well insulated?
Our 40’ tug has a Vitrifrigo refrigerator/freezer of about the same size that uses in the order of 100 amp hours a day when in warm climates. As we will apparently be getting a 12 volt/120 volt no propane compressor style in our 2021 Globetrotter, I will be experiencing the use first hand. I sure hope I am wrong!
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Old 07-20-2020, 07:28 PM   #13
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If it were me, I would definitely bring a generator when boon-docking.

I agree. I use three times solar panel wattage as an estimate for solar panel production on a fairly good day of solar. So IF the refrigerator uses 1300W per day as some have estimated, I would want 1300W divided by 3 or about 400W of panels just for the refrigerator. And then what happens on bad solar days? You'd need one 100A lithium battery for each bad day of solar production for the refrigerator alone. I have days where my 600W of solar panels only produce 300W all day! Better have a generator for those days when parked under a considerable canopy of shade trees or a large bank of lithium batteries. Sure I have days where my solar produces 5 times solar panel wattage too, but those are more rare than days where my solar panels produce 1/2 times solar panel wattage due to heavy tree canopy.

I am really not impressed with the three-way refrigerator in my 2018 Globetrotter. The DC option is fairly useless because it draws 14A and runs (almost?) continuously. I wouldn't want to be the first to try boondocking with the new two-way AC/DC compressor refrigerator. I can't wait to see the results of boondocking with solar and the new compressor refrigerator. I hope its as efficient as its specs, but I'm sure glad my refrigerator has the propane option. I still think the best refrigerator for boondocking is the two-way 120V/Propane refrigerator I had in my 2017 Flying Cloud.
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Old 07-24-2020, 10:47 AM   #14
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On the larger refrigerators like yours, the DC option is really intended to be used along with the vehicle alternator. Unfortunately most tow vehicles have relatively light gauge trailer wiring and mediocre post battery line voltage (13-13.5 V at the battery 12.5-13.2 at the trailer) so the while the refrig is on 12V, the trailer batteries are not likely to remain fully charged (85-90% max). For those with a large three way frig who want to use 12V while towing, you should consider a DC to DC converter to raise the voltage a bit. The old way of wiring directly to the alternator is more hassle so I don't recommend it.
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Old 07-24-2020, 04:46 PM   #15
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Nothing worse than the perfect campsite and your neighbor has to run a generator all day to operate the fridge.

If it is really hot you want to find shade, not direct sun to power the fridge.

If there is rain and short days, forget about solar.

I'll stick with the propane fridge that will operate for months, and only use the generator as a very last resort to charge depleted batteries which is rare because we usually run out of water first.
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