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Old 09-19-2019, 05:31 PM   #1
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Is there an advantage to adding an inverter

I have a 2014 Montana 3582RL It has a gas/electric fridge. I normally run the fridge on gas while on the road but would probable use 110 if I had an inverter that was wired so I could do that. Is there any advantage to adding an inverter or should I continue as I am?
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Old 09-19-2019, 05:52 PM   #2
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There is no advantage for the fridge. It will actually tax your batteries and charging system more on 120 volt inverter power.
The fridge will draw around 350 watts at 120 volts. That's 42 amps at 12 volts thru the inverter.
That's a lot of amps thru your charge line.
Inverters are great for TV, coffee makers, phone and computer charging and other short term or low draw thing while dry camping. Bigger inverters will get your microwave going but you may need more battery capacity.
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Old 09-19-2019, 07:57 PM   #3
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If all you want to run is your fridge, just use propane. The only time I would consider using an inverter is if I had a residential fridge that couldn't use propane.
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Old 09-19-2019, 10:34 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Itchytoe View Post
If all you want to run is your fridge, just use propane. The only time I would consider using an inverter is if I had a residential fridge that couldn't use propane.
Ditto
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Old 09-19-2019, 10:58 PM   #5
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I suggest continuing as you are. Inverters are expensive and can be problematic.
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Old 09-20-2019, 06:13 AM   #6
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The guy we bought our 5th wheel from kept having issues with the fridge spoiling his food before he got to his destination while using propane. He ended up putting in a 12v fridge. We'll see how that goes.
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Old 09-20-2019, 09:16 AM   #7
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We have a large and small inverters. The small inverter is wired separately from the house system.

The standby on the small is 0.75A so it is left on most of the time.

The element in our Norcold N821 is 300W. It draws 25A @ 12V.

We always start the fridge on propane. If there's enough solar when we are traveling or camping we run it on 110V. On solar it cost nothing to run.
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Old 09-20-2019, 09:49 AM   #8
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Inverters are for those who dont care for generators. Or dont like carrying the weight. Or they like solar. I see more and more 5vers with gen prep. Running the genny in transit to keep things cool like a MH in transit. just my opinion. There are some with both.
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Old 09-20-2019, 10:45 AM   #9
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I do not have an inverter and I never run down the road with the propane on. Put a fan in the fridge and leave it closed as much as possible. Plug back in at the next destination. The ice cream may be a bit softer that night but no big deal. I have been doing this for 10 years full time and never had a problem.



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Old 09-20-2019, 11:13 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
There is no advantage for the fridge. It will actually tax your batteries and charging system more on 120 volt inverter power.
The fridge will draw around 350 watts at 120 volts. That's 42 amps at 12 volts thru the inverter.
That's a lot of amps thru your charge line.
Inverters are great for TV, coffee makers, phone and computer charging and other short term or low draw thing while dry camping. Bigger inverters will get your microwave going but you may need more battery capacity.
This.
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Old 09-25-2019, 10:02 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Tonysoup View Post
I have a 2014 Montana 3582RL It has a gas/electric fridge. I normally run the fridge on gas while on the road but would probable use 110 if I had an inverter that was wired so I could do that. Is there any advantage to adding an inverter or should I continue as I am?
You will need more than just an inverter for this. In my opinion it would not benefit you doing this upgrade.
Our unit has an inverter dedicated to the residential fridge. In line between the inverter and plug is a transfer switch to allow you to supply power from the inverter using the same outlet.
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Old 09-25-2019, 05:11 PM   #12
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You didn't mention which fridge your Montana came with, but I think the PolarMax 18cf unit was starting to show up in a lot of them about then. The one in my bighorn draws a full 600 watts on AC power to run the dual 300 watt heating elements.


Unfortunately, the wiring in the truck and trailer generally aren't large enough to support running large loads off the truck alternator while towing, so with an inverter the refrigerator would be running primarily off the batteries while you're going down the road. With the efficiency loss of the inverter you'd most likely be pulling a load of 55 to 60ah off your batteries while running off the inverter if you have the bigger norcold unit.



All that said, I do often run my Refrigerator off of my inverter while driving, but only on sunny days when my batteries are already charged. I then figure the 1200 watts of solar panels I have on the roof should have something to keep them occupied.
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