RV Trip Planning Discussions

Go Back   iRV2 Forums > THE OWNER'S CORNER FORUMS > Newmar Owner's Forum
Click Here to Login

Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 01-25-2017, 10:51 AM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 48
Is the residential refrigerator option a good choice?

Hello,

We will be buying our fist motor home and it looks to be a Bay Star, most likely a 3401, but maybe the 3208. We will be using it to go full time for up to two years traveling across the country. We plan on dry camping just as much as at campgrounds, maybe more. We would like a larger refrigerator than the 8cu ft propane, but the 10 cu ft residential Frigidaire is the only option.

We have done much research and see the advantages of the residential fridge, less maintenance, gets colder, last longer, more reliable. But how long will it run on the batteries? How often and how long will we have to run the generator? If we are not in a campground, then running the generator is not so bad, just an inconvenience, but if we are in a campground with no hookups, it could be a problem if the generator hours are restricted.


Also does the Bay Star comes with an auto start generator? If you are driving, and the two extra batteries for the refrigerator get too low, how will you know?

Finally, does anyone know approximately how much wattage would be required in solar panels to keep just the 10Cu ft Frigidaire running?

thank you

Don and Gina
Dallas,TX

(any other advice on what to order or not to order for a Bay Star would be appreciated)
__________________

dnhxx is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 01-25-2017, 11:09 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Sky_Boss's Avatar


 
Newmar Owners Club
Freightliner Owners Club
Spartan Chassis
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: ON THE ROAD...SOMEWHERE
Posts: 6,621
You will get a bazillion comments/opinions. The bottom line is...IT DEPENDS! LOL

Let's start with the easy answer...while driving your alternator will charge batteries that power the inverter providing AC to a residential refer. NOT A PROBLEM.

As to solar power needs while dry camping...I leave that up to experts.

Even if the Bay Star doesn't come with AGS, you can add it. Pretty simple.

Going back to batteries and solar power the weakest link is total battery storage. If you are pretty frugal with power usage and have AGS, you can probably get by with stock batteries as long as you have enough solar capability. Keep in mind that solar capability relies on proper panel usage and sufficient sunlight.

Regarding the residential refer features. Hands down it will be much more consistent in performance compared the an RV refer. However, as you know, you don't have a backup source to make it work. Power draw on residential refers is not huge but more than a refer on gas. For our full time needs we love our residential refer but many FTers also do well on an RV refer.

Personally, if I was putting a new coach together and was going solar I would look seriously into Lithium Ion batteries as part of a total solution. More usable power, smaller and lighter package and can be charged relatively quickly. Pros and cons on this too but IMHO, pros outweigh the cons.

So, it really does depend on your goals.
__________________

__________________
Don, Sandee & GSD Zeus. Guardian GSDs Gunny (7/11/15) & Thor (5/5/15)
2006 2015 DSDP 4320 4369, FL Chassis, 2013 CR-V, Blue Ox Avail, SMI AF1.
Sky_Boss is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2017, 11:12 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Stuart W's Avatar


 
Newmar Owners Club
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: LA CA
Posts: 5,684
In my opinion, and there will be many opinions on this: 50% dry camping = non residential. We have the side by side Norcold with ice maker and love it. Congratulations
__________________

2018 Dutch Star 4369 Spartan!
2017 Jeep Wrangler Smoky Mountain
2016 Canyon Star 3710 SOLD
Stuart W is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2017, 11:15 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
britcon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 646
I would choose the Residential refrigerator over the propane. Much more user friendly systems. Have a number of friends using Norcold fridges that have experienced major ( $$$ ) failures.
When you are staying at a commercial RV park, and even at many state parks, you will have at least 30Amp service available, so no issues with power.

Boondocking / dry camping becomes a function of battery capacity vs. use.
As a rule of thumb, you would probably need to run the generator for at least and hour in the morning and maybe a little longer at night.
If you need the AC or even Microwave when dry camping, generator will need to run.

Autostart on the Generator is a good option, particlarily if you are leaving pets inside while away ( in case of power failure at RV Park, AC still will work ).

Can't answer your solar question.
__________________
2014 Newmar Ventana 4037 / 4018
2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Ltd.
1940 Chevrolet Pickup
britcon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2017, 11:23 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Enjoying the Western States!
Posts: 8,504
We full-timed 16 years and used public parks (many with no electric) or boondocked 90% of our time. The propane refrigerator was very satisfactory with no repair issues. We used solar. We stayed where we didn't need AC and used a stovetop coffee pot, made toast in a frypan and had no need for the microwave. So this way can be done easily.
__________________
Full-timed for 16 Years . . .
Traveled 8 yr in a 2004 Newmar Dutch Star 40' Diesel
& 8 yr in a 33' Travel Supreme 5th wheel
twogypsies is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2017, 11:50 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Luv2go's Avatar
 
Newmar Owners Club
Nor'easters Club
Appalachian Campers
Ford Super Duty Owner
Coastal Campers
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 2,237
We dry camp 90% of the time. We switched from a Norcold 2 door (N810) to residential last year and would not switch back, even though our electric usage has increased about 75AH per day. On our 400AH LiFePO4 coach battery we can make it about 1 1/2 days with no sun now where before we could comfortably make 2+ days. We have about 600W of solar. When we ski using the coach we now run the generator once per day for about 2-3 hours now where before it was 1-2 hours per day.

We switched specifically because the fridge failed at both hot and cold extremes, the last straw was a failure when we were skiing in -10 degree F temps. Chances are you will never see that cold a temp so you would be mostly worried about failure at high temps. Ours started struggling at above 95 degrees F.

Newmar generally does not equip coaches for boondocking, you'll probably want to increase the size of your fridge battery bank.
__________________
Stewart, Brenda and kids
2008 Newmar Canyon Star 3410, now at a new home
2006 Roadtrek Versatile 210
Luv2go is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2017, 02:03 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Stuart W's Avatar


 
Newmar Owners Club
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: LA CA
Posts: 5,684
Curious question: has anyone thought about how you would get a residential fridge out of the motor home if it need to be replaced? I ask this because some of the ones we looked at seemed pretty large. I would imagine repair in place would be the best option. Not to say residential is not a good choice.
__________________

2018 Dutch Star 4369 Spartan!
2017 Jeep Wrangler Smoky Mountain
2016 Canyon Star 3710 SOLD
Stuart W is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2017, 02:38 PM   #8
Registered User
 
LJowdy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Ontario, California
Posts: 2,058
Unless you have a mid 2000's Country Coach with the huge entry door, the front windshield has to be removed to replace the refrigerator. Many refrigerator repair shops will not work on a household refrigerator unless you unbolt it and pull it out so it's accessible.
LJowdy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2017, 02:39 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Sky_Boss's Avatar


 
Newmar Owners Club
Freightliner Owners Club
Spartan Chassis
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: ON THE ROAD...SOMEWHERE
Posts: 6,621
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stuart W View Post
Curious question: has anyone thought about how you would get a residential fridge out of the motor home if it need to be replaced? ...
It all depends on size. My Norcold 1201LRM went out and my Samsung 197 went in the front door after their doors were removed. They even got it in without removing the passenger seat. In some cases they take out one of the big side windows and I've even heard taking out one side of a split windshield.
__________________
Don, Sandee & GSD Zeus. Guardian GSDs Gunny (7/11/15) & Thor (5/5/15)
2006 2015 DSDP 4320 4369, FL Chassis, 2013 CR-V, Blue Ox Avail, SMI AF1.
Sky_Boss is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2017, 09:20 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 183
We chose a residential fridge after experiencing a $1600 repair bill on a propane fridge in a previous RV. Much better performance and less likely to fail. Our residential fridge would drain our 6 X 232 Ah original equipment batteries to below 50% in 8 hours, requiring us to run the generator a minimum of 6 hours per day to keep up. That frequently was more time than the National Monument Ranger or Camp Host would allow. Their schedule allowed from 8 a.m. till 9:30 a.m., and from 5 p.m. till 7 p.m. Not enough hours to keep up with the fridge drain on the batteries overnight and during the day when the generator couldn't be run.

We put 1300 watts of solar on our roof, and now when parked out in the open in "Sunny Arizona" or California we no longer have to run the generator at all, as the solar has the batteries 100% charged by 3 p.m. No noise, and no fuel costs for most of the time when we are in the open. We can even avoid being billed for power when in full hook up RV parks.

Our coach is parked for the winter, but in the spring we will be replacing the factory supplied batteries which failed last summer after 2 years of use due to us not knowing how to maintain proper charge levels, and not knowing how fast unswitchable parasitic drains would discharge the batteries to damaging levels when the coach was stored without being connected to shore power.

Previous poster is right, coach builders don't build these for boondocking, either in terms of battery capacity, nor in terms of black and grey water capacity. Upgrade your electrical storage capacity where necessary, add some good solar, get a reliable way to move waste water to disposal, and enjoy the freedom to get away from the noise and the crowds in the "boonies".
__________________
2014 DS 4018, TST-TPMS, EMS-HW-50C, Auto-Former, 1300 watts Solar, Magnum PT-100 controller
2014 Jeep JKU Sahara, Blue Ox, AF1.
TinMan Trvlr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2017, 10:25 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
vsheetz's Avatar


 
Fleetwood Owners Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: SoCal
Posts: 14,221
We dry camp often. Have residential refrigerator. Don't find it to be a problem. With our coach the RR option included six rather than the standard four batteries.
__________________
Vince and Susan
2011 Tiffin Phaeton 40QTH (Cummins ISC/Freightliner)
Flat towing a modified 2005 Jeep (Rubicon Wrangler)
Previously a 2002 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 37A and a 1995 Safari Trek 2830.
vsheetz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2017, 08:43 AM   #12
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 85
Residential refrigerators are very efficient. There is not much difference in energy consumption between a gas/electric and residential refrigerator, at least in the range of choices available in our motorhome. We have the 10cf Frigidaire in our Canyon Star 3710 and it only uses 90 amps per day of 12 volt power thru the inverter. The standard Norcold uses about 20 amps of DC and the optional 12cf Norcold consumes 90 amps per day. We also dry camp a lot and have upsized from Group 24 to CG2 golf cart batteries - 4 total. The refrigerator will consume about 25% of the battery capacity in a 24 hour period absent any charging.

Without solar panels (planned in the future) we run the generator about an hour at breakfast and again at night for an hour. Run times can be longer in cold weather due to furnace usage. We previously had a coach with a large french door GE refrigerator, 6 batteries and 600 watts of solar and only ran the generator two hours a day (total) even while dry camping at Quartzite in January. The furnace ran quite a bit at night as that rig was larger and not as well insulated as our Newmar.
2Escapees is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2017, 10:01 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
Sky_Boss's Avatar


 
Newmar Owners Club
Freightliner Owners Club
Spartan Chassis
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: ON THE ROAD...SOMEWHERE
Posts: 6,621
Quote:
Originally Posted by LJowdy View Post
Unless you have a mid 2000's Country Coach with the huge entry door, the front windshield has to be removed to replace the refrigerator. Many refrigerator repair shops will not work on a household refrigerator unless you unbolt it and pull it out so it's accessible.
Sorry, not my experience at all with MY coach. Both my old and new refers went through the front door and I had work done by a Samsung certified tech with refer in place. Of course, if you have problems with the compressor that would be a different story.

Of course a different model refer and different model RVs will have different conditions to work with.
__________________
Don, Sandee & GSD Zeus. Guardian GSDs Gunny (7/11/15) & Thor (5/5/15)
2006 2015 DSDP 4320 4369, FL Chassis, 2013 CR-V, Blue Ox Avail, SMI AF1.
Sky_Boss is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2017, 10:22 AM   #14
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Escapees View Post
Residential refrigerators are very efficient. There is not much difference in energy consumption between a gas/electric and residential refrigerator, at least in the range of choices available in our motorhome. We have the 10cf Frigidaire in our Canyon Star 3710 and it only uses 90 amps per day of 12 volt power thru the inverter. The standard Norcold uses about 20 amps of DC and the optional 12cf Norcold consumes 90 amps per day. We also dry camp a lot and have upsized from Group 24 to CG2 golf cart batteries - 4 total. The refrigerator will consume about 25% of the battery capacity in a 24 hour period absent any charging.

Without solar panels (planned in the future) we run the generator about an hour at breakfast and again at night for an hour. Run times can be longer in cold weather due to furnace usage. We previously had a coach with a large french door GE refrigerator, 6 batteries and 600 watts of solar and only ran the generator two hours a day (total) even while dry camping at Quartzite in January. The furnace ran quite a bit at night as that rig was larger and not as well insulated as our Newmar.
What size of solar panels are you estimating you will need? Do you think 600 Watts will be enough with the 10 cu ft frigidaire to not run the generator for a couple of days?
__________________

dnhxx is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
refrigerator



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Residential Refrigerator option dharo Jayco Owner's Forum 9 06-28-2016 11:17 AM
Bay Star residential fridge option lnanne Class A Motorhome Discussions 7 05-14-2016 06:57 PM
Canyon Star Residential Fridge Option mricet1005 Newmar Owner's Forum 4 02-03-2014 08:51 PM
Is the diesel 'option' still an option? rough road iRV2.com General Discussion 9 03-26-2011 11:05 AM
Residential Refrigerator Compared to gas/Electrical Refrigerator seabee13 RV Systems & Appliances 5 05-13-2010 08:24 AM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:03 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.