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Old 06-08-2009, 12:56 AM   #15
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I really like the capacity of the residential and I haven't found it to be a problem when dry camping. Evenings find me using enough electrical to warrant the genset for an hour anyhow. Intially I was a bit apprehensive, but I've boondocked plenty and still like it better than my old combo.

I suppose if I boondocked even more, I might add another pair of batteries (now I have six + two), since I've heard they will largely wipeout my need to run the genset in the evenings.

I'd certainly order the residential in a new unit.
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Old 06-08-2009, 07:49 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swansnest View Post

If we don't have much in the freezer I always keep it full with water bottles (frozen ice keeps it from running often) and occasionally turn the freezer up (so it doesn't run so much esp if someone is sleeping in the living room) at night but you have to remember to turn it back down in the morning! ;>)
I must say that for us this refrigerator is overkill...We don't travel more than 1 week at a time, eat out frequently, and buy fresh food often, so a large cooler is usually sufficient for our needs. Often I use the frozen gallon jugs of water as block ice, in our "Amana Cooler"


We have found that the Amana has far too much capacity for our needs, and it is not worth the effort to operate it unless we are gone for 2 or more weeks. I really "stress out" over monitoring the battery capacity. With 4 batts it will run through the night with no issues and maintain -10 F, but I really don't like to have to worry about draining the batts....Like others, I also don't like to run the genset 4 hours a day.

Now hooked up to shore power or running down the road.....No issues at all, and I LOVE having the icemaker...
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Old 06-08-2009, 07:53 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by takepride View Post
.....I might add another pair of batteries (now I have six + two), since I've heard they will largely wipeout my need to run the genset in the evenings..
I must agree, with 6 or 8 house batts, I would have NO power issues...

First Q, where did you mount the extra 2 house batts? and where would you mount TWO MORE????

With the 4+2 arrangement stock, the compartment is already full, did you double deck?
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Old 06-08-2009, 10:18 PM   #18
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Mythplaced, check out Jeff_S' post of 01-29-2007 under the thread "Batt Compartment Project".

Jeff details alterations he made to the battery compartment which allowed him to add two additional batteries. He also included a schematic!!

Nice job, Jeff.
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:40 AM   #19
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Myth:

My 2003 FDTS came with 6 + 2. They all sit flat, in the tray. They run longways across the width of the coach. From left-to-right, there are three deep, three deep and two deep. All are AGM.

I've considered adding a tray extension on the right hand side, between the jack and the door, that will hold two additional batteries as described in Jeff's thread (with pictures) some many months back. The alteration is extremely simple.

That would give me 8 + 2 and eliminate the night time hour of genset charging. I could also eliminate it with another solar panel or two. I only have 100 watts, but haven't really felt deprived. Another two panels (268 watts or more) would likely make me nearly genset free.

I met a guy out at Quartzsite (two years running), who like me, camps within viewing distance of the ACA group. He has 470 watts and never uses his genset. He has some bigger batteries (taller), though fewer. He dry camps for 32 to 36 days without power, water or sewer, though he lives alone. He then goes to a dump station and goes back out again. He has a 2001 40FDTS(?). (And no, he doesn't smell bad, either!)
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Old 06-09-2009, 11:20 AM   #20
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Though these are a bit pricey at this time (I hope they come down) Both Norcold and Dometic make all-electric models... Now here are some facts:

Standard home Refrigerator will draw from 100 to around 300 watts running (Of the ones I've looked at) the 100 watt jobs are the small "office" type. Perhaps 10x that amount of power to start.

A standard RV unit is 300-400 watts when running on AC

These suckers.. 24-50 watts, That's right 24-50 watts, they are standard compressor type (Well, not exactly "Standard" compressor) and they work well. I have a chest freezer of this type and other than the price I am VERY happy, it sucks a great grand 36 watts. that's 3 amps. I've got light bulbs in the motor home bigger than that

Dometic low power fridge

DE-0061/EV-0061
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:04 PM   #21
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our 06 came from factory w/8 + 2, the 08 has the same tray but they only came w/6 + 2 plus the space to add 2 more.

Perhaps Amana will take a note from Dometic & Norcold & I can buy one of these newfangled low energy gizmos for my terrestrial digs.
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Old 06-09-2009, 01:01 PM   #22
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The answer to the inverter is to put a small dedicated one in for the refer. Tiffin did this on many 05 until they started to use a pure sine wave inverter. The refer is actually quite efficient drawing only 1.1 amps to rum the compressor. I have always planned to put a switch on the control board so I could shut the auto defrost off while dry camping The other thing you can do is shut the Ice maker off at night. It draws about 2 amps for 3 minutes just prior to dumping a load of ice.

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Old 06-09-2009, 01:13 PM   #23
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wa8yxm,

The only problem with those units is their size, 8.5 and 7 cu ft. The Alpine propane unit is 14 cu ft and the Amana is 22 cu ft, I don't think that many will want to down size so that they can go electric. GREAT idea otherwise.

I should have said more in my post #8. My issues with the Amana are not great and the size is very nice.

I don't think that just adding batteries will help much. My system:
1) 8 house batteries.
2) 3 100+ watt solar panels.
3) Solar controller with "boost."
4) 150 amp charger.

Dixie does have the TV on a fair amount, which is a fair load. (No surround sound, speakers in the TV.) I still need to run generator 1-2 hrs 2 times a day.

I also feel that the later year the coach, the higher the load on the batteries. One of the reasons that I installed the battery monitor is to see what all of the loads are. This is on my list of things to do.
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Old 06-09-2009, 03:13 PM   #24
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Our 2003, I believe, was among the first resid frig configs--with only four 6-volt bats. I added two more bats by building a cantilever shelf extension to the front of the existing bat holder. Since then, I have "upgraded" from the old Heart inverter to a Xantrex.
The resulting config seems to work well during our stays at Quartzsite but with two observations: 1) the daily defrost cycle on the Amana does draw extra amps [driven by mechanical timer at the bottom/front of the frig that can and does get stuck in defrost on occasion]; and 2) even in idle, the Xantrex inverter is pulling about 150 DC watts.
As noted in previous posts, using the load sensing feature on the Xantrex overnight will sharply reduce its draw during idle time but this function requires you to isolate the frig by turning off (at the breakers) all/most of the other electronics in the coach--Xantrex load sense function doesnt like the small parasitic draws from things like yr audio/visual equip. I am also pretty sure this function inhibits the defrost cycle on the Amana. Result--minimal bat draw by the resid frig overnight.
PS--my co-pilot wouldnt trade the resid frig for anything--so of course, I would't either.
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Old 06-09-2009, 08:13 PM   #25
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We love our big refer. If you are full timer or do extended trips, 3+ months, the big refer is great to have. I also like the idea of having an ice maker for my cocktails. Won't go back to the old style for any reason.

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Old 06-09-2009, 08:45 PM   #26
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Our side by side Dometic has no problem making ice and runs on three types of power. Can it get better than that?
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Old 06-09-2009, 09:14 PM   #27
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Agree, its hard to beat three power sources for making ice but at least one of the sources involves boiling ammonia with an open flame, and the other two sources boil it internally. Understand its a proven technology but I still prefer good old AC power and a little freon for icing my drinks--even if I have to sometimes "invert".
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Old 06-09-2009, 09:35 PM   #28
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The Dometic model NDA1402 in my coach provides automatic switching between AC power and propane power. It also provides automatic defrost and in-the-door ice and water with side-by-side doors. Hard to beat, since I never need to run the generator to charge the batteries to keep the refrigerator going.

Check it out at this link:
http://www.dometic.com/enus/Americas...ctdataid=74870

Oh, and I have 8 AGM coach batteries (880 Amp-Hours), which can be used for other purposes, without much worry of running them down.
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