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Old 04-14-2010, 11:01 AM   #1
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Running with Inverter

this may be a weak question, but when you are driving on the road, should I be running with the inverter switched on to run the frig, or inverter off, and run the frig on gas?

Thanks, Jcwhitty
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Old 04-14-2010, 11:32 AM   #2
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Most coaches equipped with non-residential fridges do not have the fridge's electric element wired through the inverter. It generally takes too much power when boondocking. Our last coach had a Norcold 1200 fridge and we ran it on propane when driving or boondocking. However, the ioce maker generally is plugged into a separate outlet that is controlled by the inverter. That way you can make ice while driving or boondocking, as long as the water pump is switched on.
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Old 04-14-2010, 11:42 AM   #3
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Thanks Mark...I believe our frig is wired through the inverter, but I will make sure. To save propane, I thought it would be better to run the frig on the inverter when on the road since the alternator is supplying power, but was concerned maybe the excessive use could be harmful to the inverter. It is a Norcold two door frig, two door freezer with ice maker in a 2003 Itasca Horizon motorhome.
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Old 04-14-2010, 11:44 AM   #4
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When I switch on the inverter, the frig swithches from LP to AC. Must be wired through the inverter
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Old 04-14-2010, 11:58 AM   #5
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You won't harm the inverter, if that's the way it is wired. You just have make sure to take it off the "auto" mode when boondocking, dry camping, or parked overnight without shore power to prevent the batteries from running down.

My present coach has a residential fridge and a 3,000 watt inverter and it runs when driving or dry camping. However, I have lots of batteries plus it's a residential fridge which consumes much less power than my previous Notsocold. But it won't harm your inverter any.
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Old 04-14-2010, 12:52 PM   #6
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Most RV w/ 110v capability fridges are simply plugged in to a 110v socket like anything else (all of mine have been, and I've had several)-- and whoever built the coach won't bother isolating THAT plug from any others. Also, most fridges give you a choice to use AC or propane.

FWIW, while driving your rig should be charging the batteries that the inverter is using, so... go for it.
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Old 04-14-2010, 12:55 PM   #7
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jcwhitty ...what make/model is your RV?

We often run our 4-door Norcold off the inverter while driving, but when we stop for lunch or any other reason for more than a few minutes, I make sure to switch the refrigerator to LP as our 4-door will bring the battery indicators into the yellow or orange warning range pretty fast.

Actually, the refrigerator won't use any noticeable amount of LP. We have run with on Lp quite a bit too. Using LP for refrigerator and hot water, I don't think we would have to refill the 37 gallon LP tank more than once every two-three years (if that) if we didn't use the furnaces. I like to run the refrigerator and water heater on LP at least once a month or so just to be sure no critters have nested in them ...spiders did plug up the water heater burner tube once when we didn't use it on LP for several months.
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Old 04-14-2010, 06:38 PM   #8
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I started running mine on inverter and almost never use propane anymore. I found that my frig runs a little colder on 110v than it does on LP. I also have the 4 door Norcold and my ext coach will definately have a house frig.
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Old 04-14-2010, 07:03 PM   #9
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If the inverter is an option then I would always keep the fridge running on inverter while driving. The alternator will charge your batteries faster than your fridge can drain them and you will save a bit of propane (the fridge does not use must propane).
When parked for short periods of time (an hour or 3) then I would still leave it on the inverter. If you are going to be parked for an extended period of time without the use of the generator, only then would I switch to propane.
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Old 04-14-2010, 07:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roboniko View Post
I started running mine on inverter and almost never use propane anymore. I found that my frig runs a little colder on 110v than it does on LP. I also have the 4 door Norcold and my ext coach will definately have a house frig.
thats how ours in wired as well, if i leave the inverter on it will run off it, but it will in short order drain the batteries when you shut down the engine
i have on my checklists to switch it over to propane and off we go
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:55 AM   #11
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Thanks all, invereter it shall be.
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Old 04-15-2010, 10:10 AM   #12
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Well.. On my rig I can put the fridge on the inverter, or not, depending. (The reason for this is the ice maker needs 120 vac to operate) Normally I let the fridge run on Gas when on the road.. If I power the Ice Makre I force gas mode on the fridge

WHY: Well, running that's about 35 amps load on the alternator

That's a big hunk of it's capacity. So I'd rather not put the load on the multi-hundred dollar alternator which is living in a very hostile enviorment and thus need not be abused.
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Old 04-15-2010, 09:15 PM   #13
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I agree with Wa8yxm. That's a significant and unnecessary load on the engine alternator that costs hundreds of dollars to replace.

That's also why try to use the convertor/invertor with either shore power or generator to charge the coach batteries if they are in deep discharge before starting the engine. That engine alternator will charge the coach batteries really fast at 160++ amps...but also at the risk of over.loading and over heating that very expensive alternator.
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