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Old 02-26-2012, 01:33 AM   #1
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Alpine Owners Club
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Location: Chatsworth CA
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Parasitic Refrigerator

My coach batteries go dead after a week or so parked with no power and the DC switches off. The parasitic draw exceeds the output of a small charger too. The fuse panel at the rear of the battery compartment is always powered and all the computers are connected there as is necessary. It does appear the radio is connected to the hot side of the coach power switch. But the refrigerator is also connected to this panel. Is this necessary? Why would the reefer need constant power? When it is turned off it forgets the time so what else does it need power for? I would like to connect the reefer to the switched DC. Can you think of a problem with that? How can I get that fuse panel apart to access the reefer feed?

Rick J Fisher, BW is Judy
2007 Alpine 34FDDS Limited SE
2003 Jeep Rubicon or a 1995 Toyota Tacoma
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Old 02-26-2012, 11:41 AM   #2
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Rick, do you have a residential frig or Dometic?

Gail, John & Mindy Stacy
2007 Alpine SE 40FDQS, 2011 Equinox
ACA & Alpine SoCal
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Old 02-26-2012, 12:51 PM   #3
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On my coach, I know one other thing that it feeds, because I pulled the fuse and my the power solenoid for my slide beds quit working. There are other things that have power on with the battery switches off. One is the hot lead to the starter is always on.
2007 Apex MDTS (425 hp) #75723
2007 Toyota 4-Runner
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Old 02-26-2012, 02:51 PM   #4
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Its the 12v feed to the Dometic. If my chassis switch is off there is no starter or front end power. I can not open my smart beds if the ignition is off.
Rick J Fisher, BW is Judy
2007 Alpine 34FDDS Limited SE
2003 Jeep Rubicon or a 1995 Toyota Tacoma
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Old 02-26-2012, 03:33 PM   #5
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As indicated earlier, there are a number of things that are connected directly to the bats Vs going thru the large chassis and house switches, eg, inverter[ie, make sure inverter is off], engine starter lead, HWH, radio, and the list goes on. Just because the switch that activates these items doesnt work with the large switches off doesnt mean they arent wired directly. Having said that, the only reason I can see for a direct wire to the Rv frig is so you could use the large switches to cut down on some of parasitic drain but still run your frig via the direct wire [eg extended dry camping, storage, etc]. As long as the inline fuse is left intact, either a direct or switched line should work fine--your call!
Old Scout
2003 40' MDTS
Garden Ridge, Texas
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:17 PM   #6
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FWIW - If you turn the master switch in my coach off, nothing works except the inverter, fridge (if inverter is on), microwave, and the light over the dining table. If I turn the inverter off, nothing would then work powered by 120V and all the 12VDC stuff is dead as well. It won’t start either, although I have not tried to start it with the switch off. I know it won't run, because, when I changed the alternator, I put it back the way the OEM one was wired, and the engine would not shut off with the key. Once I turned the MS off, the engine quit, and the genset won’t start either I don't think. See my post about the alternator change to read what wire was wrong.

I have the residential refer, and if the inverter is not on, no ac, no gen, but MS on, it won't work either, as it needs 120V.

RV refers need at least 10.5 VDC so the control board has the necessary power for the fridge "eyebrow" board which actually allows you to turn it off and on, set the cooling level, etc. It would be assumed, this is a switched circuit, but it appears not to be.

My suggestion is to purchase a battery disconnect switch (actually installs on the battery post) which then would kill the power to everything. As some have possibly suggested, removing the fuse would do the same thing, but then you might forget to put it back in. The battery disconnect would be a better solution. Keep in mind the arching potential when you install the BD switch, and make sure it won’t rub on anything when in the off mode so a potential fire hazard is not created.

FWIW#2 - However, it should be noted, that if you store the coach during the winter or summer that once a month, everything should be exercised for a couple of hours. If reading your manual for the genset, it says to run the GS for two hours a month at half load. The furnace manual, water heater, and all of them say some exercise of the components is necessary. This would include at least once cycle of the levelers and slides as well. This would be regardless of if they are hydraulic or electric.

Monty & Janet - 2007 Alpine APEX 40 MDTS
S/N - 75715 - Retired - Master Certified RV Tech
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