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Old 02-03-2014, 04:03 PM   #1
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How do you run your refrigerator?

We have a Dometic RV fridge on our boat. We run it on propane at anchor and on 115v shore power at the dock. Under way we use the 2000w inverter to run the unit while the alternator charges the batteries. (we have a house bank of 4 a 6v golf cart batteries).
I've heard many conflicting methods of fridge operation on RVs from people I've met. Run the generator, run it on propane. But no one seems to run it on their inverter. Our new-to-us Winnebago Sightseer has a 1000w inverter, which seems light. I'm thinking of swapping the old one for a 2500w and adding another Grp 31 (or maybe two).
So my question is How do you operate your fridge while you are under way?
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Old 02-03-2014, 04:13 PM   #2
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If shore power is available, use it. If no shore power I use propane. My 2300w inverter is enough to run the refrigerator and wired to power the whole coach, however the refrigerator draw on the batteries is substantial. my refrigerator is Norcold 1200.

Residential (AC powered only) refrigerators are more efficient and those who have them must of course use inverter if no shore power.
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Old 02-03-2014, 04:25 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwp48 View Post
We have a Dometic RV fridge on our boat. We run it on propane at anchor and on 115v shore power at the dock. Under way we use the 2000w inverter to run the unit while the alternator charges the batteries. (we have a house bank of 4 a 6v golf cart batteries).
I've heard many conflicting methods of fridge operation on RVs from people I've met. Run the generator, run it on propane. But no one seems to run it on their inverter. Our new-to-us Winnebago Sightseer has a 1000w inverter, which seems light. I'm thinking of swapping the old one for a 2500w and adding another Grp 31 (or maybe two).
So my question is How do you operate your fridge while you are under way?
Depends ... assuming a non-residential reefer, I would probably run on 120vac from the diesel genset. Diesel/propane is about same cost to run but diesel is easier to refill. Running on the inverter has an efficiency loss built into the equation which basically converts to additional alternator load to recharge the batteries (assuming your setup can charge the House batteries from the alternator) ... so you are actually using diesel anyway.

Assuming residential reefer, I would run genset or maybe nothing ... depends on ambient temp and travel time. The residentials are very efficient and can keep food safe for about 4 hours if you don't open the doors often.

At start of trip (residential reefer), I routinely run the genset for a few hours to bring the reefer to 37 degrees F. and then shut it off. We seldom drive more than 4 hours. If it's really hot outside (say 90 -95 F.), we'll restart the genset if the reefer temp reaches 41 degrees F. and bring it back down to 37 ... freezer usually remains at about zero.


Sounds more difficult than actual ... we stop for lunch ... we look at reefer external thermometer sensors ... eezy peezy.
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Old 02-03-2014, 04:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwp48 View Post
We have a Dometic RV fridge on our boat. We run it on propane at anchor and on 115v shore power at the dock. Under way we use the 2000w inverter to run the unit while the alternator charges the batteries. (we have a house bank of 4 a 6v golf cart batteries).
I've heard many conflicting methods of fridge operation on RVs from people I've met. Run the generator, run it on propane. But no one seems to run it on their inverter. Our new-to-us Winnebago Sightseer has a 1000w inverter, which seems light. I'm thinking of swapping the old one for a 2500w and adding another Grp 31 (or maybe two).
So my question is How do you operate your fridge while you are under way?
rwp48
When traveling, boondocking, (and when rest area, Walmart or truck stop overnighting), I've never used the 2000 watt inverter to power the refrigerator.
I've only run the refrigerator on propane.


Because the refrigerator receptacle is not powered by the inverter, I would need to add an inverter powered receptacle at, (or run an extension cord to), the rear of my refrigerator.

BTW, my Norcold model 682 refrigerator has run 3-4 months, in 60-80 degree OS temps, on less than 5 gal of propane.

Mel
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Old 02-03-2014, 04:42 PM   #5
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rwp48


Since the refrigerator receptacle is not powered by the inverter, I would need to add an inverter powered receptacle at, (or run an extension cord to), the rear of my refrigerator.
Mel
'96 Safari

same in my 97' Endeavor ... wasn't an option. Reefer and 3 bedroom receptacles were not on inverter ... only on shore/genset.
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Old 02-03-2014, 04:46 PM   #6
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One more thing ... some/many reefers are not happy on modified sine wave inverters (MSW). In the even you are upgrading, I'd spend the extra $$ for pure sine (PSW). Your electronics will thank you... especially the microwave.
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Old 02-03-2014, 04:50 PM   #7
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We run the fridge on inverter while traveling, on shore power when at the CG, and on generator when stopped for a few hours or overnight at WalMart!
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Old 02-03-2014, 04:58 PM   #8
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I have a 2000w Magnum inverter and solar panels on the roof. While rolling down the road my Dometic refrigerator runs off 110v. When parked along side city elec, plugged in and on elec. When parked with no 110v avail, that is the only time my refrigerator operates on LPG. Been doing this for 6 years with no problems.
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Old 02-03-2014, 05:52 PM   #9
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Even thou ours is a Domatic the only time it gets run on propane is when it first starts up after being off. We then switch over to electric. Going down the road its on the inverter. Actually just about every switch in this coach is thru the inverter. Nothing gets run without the inverter being on. That's the way this coach was built.
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Old 02-03-2014, 06:23 PM   #10
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We have a residential fridge so the only options are genset, inverter or shore power. The fridge doesn't draw much power and we use the inverter while driving up to 12 hours a day. So far our longest boondock has been overnight and the 6 house batteries handled it easily.
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Old 02-03-2014, 06:29 PM   #11
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I asked Travel Supreme why my refrigerator was not wired to the inverter and their answer was, inverters and batteries are expensive to replace, propane is cheap and the RV refrig's use very little. They were correct, I filled the LP tank 3 time in 10 years and we travel 4 months at a time.
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Old 02-03-2014, 07:05 PM   #12
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We have a residential refrigerator. The inverter will power it with no problems. We have a 2000 watt nsw inverter. The inverter seems to be good for about 8 hours with our 4 6volt batteries. If we are driving down the road the alternator on the cummins diesel recharges the batteries so it will run with no problems while we are driving.
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Old 02-03-2014, 07:16 PM   #13
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My Samsung 197 runs great on my Magnum modified sine wave inverter. Very low amp draw. 12 hours on inverter is no issue for the 4. 6V GC 2 house batteries. I can set the Genset to start automatically at a certain preset voltage drop, but it rarely.needs to.
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Old 02-03-2014, 07:52 PM   #14
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I have s residential refrigerator. It runs off one of 2 2500W inverters when the generator is not running and we don't have commercial power. The longest I ran it off my MSW inverters was about 3 1/2 days without any problems.
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