Go Back   iRV2 Forums > CAMPING, TRAVEL and TRIP PLANNING > Boondocking
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 06-02-2016, 08:17 PM   #57
Senior Member
 
JFNM's Avatar
 
Newmar Owners Club
Solo Rvers Club
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Mountain West
Posts: 1,060
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheJuggler View Post
At the risk of being accused of thread hijacking, what's been your experience with your Norcold re: it's ability to do the job in various conditions?
Hi Bob, I have a Norcold 1200 (the four door style) and it works very well on electric or LP. I've been in temps from 20 to 95 degrees and have no issues at settings of 5-7. Everything in the freezer stays frozen. I can only guess that what has already been said is correct - the installation is very important and maybe some manufacturers are not doing it as well as others.

My refrigerator/freezer uses so little propane that I haven't been able to calculate it. This past summer, I put about 20 gallons in every three months and that was for cooking, hot water, and refrigerator.
__________________

__________________
JD & Buddy (the ferocious feline) - Full timer out west
2005 Newmar Dutch Star 4023 | 2010 Wrangler (daJeep) | 650 Watts Solar
My Adventures
JFNM is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 06-02-2016, 10:32 PM   #58
Member
 
TheJuggler's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by oatmeal View Post
The thing about getting a 2-way refrigerator to give yourself more flexibility is that you actually won't be gaining flexibility because you will be tied to using it on propane when boondocking because the electric use is so high.

...>whaco<...

My conclusion after trying to decide what to replace my broken refrigerator with was that there's no really good solution for people who like to boondock. I'm sticking with propane because there's a place I go where I simply will not use my generator, period. Everybody's packed in there real tight, and it's perfect for solar, and I'm just not going to be that guy running a generator.
OK, maybe I'm missing something here... according to the specs on this page: 1210 Ultraline | Products | Thetford the unit I've been looking at uses only 1.9 amps on 110v AC... this doesn't seem to be a huge draw to me but I'm still learning. If I invest in the panels and batteries I don't see this as a serious problem unless I get a week of clouds... with 1600 usable Ah to work with I would hope I could survive for awhile :P

And I don't want to be "that guy" either, but if I have to be for some reason, I intend on lining the compartment the Onan will be in with Dynamat (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00020CB2S/...I1ADM60IIDLQ4K) to help things even more...
__________________

__________________
Bob Maier, Competitive Juggler (http://www.thewjf.com) and
Dixie the Wonder Dog
Working on building our new home...
TheJuggler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2016, 07:03 AM   #59
Senior Member
 
JFNM's Avatar
 
Newmar Owners Club
Solo Rvers Club
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Mountain West
Posts: 1,060
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheJuggler View Post
... the unit I've been looking at uses only 1.9 amps on 110v AC...
If being powered by the inverter/battery, this is about 18 amps DC (1.9 x 120 volts = 228 watts / 12.5 volts (battery) = 18.24 amps.)

Given the large battery capacity that you are shooting for, this isn't a huge deal but it definitely adds up fast.
__________________
JD & Buddy (the ferocious feline) - Full timer out west
2005 Newmar Dutch Star 4023 | 2010 Wrangler (daJeep) | 650 Watts Solar
My Adventures
JFNM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2016, 02:31 PM   #60
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 521
Quote:
Originally Posted by JFNM View Post
My refrigerator/freezer uses so little propane that I haven't been able to calculate it. This past summer, I put about 20 gallons in every three months and that was for cooking, hot water, and refrigerator.
Were you boondocking for the entire 3 months? And are you using the same 4-door Norcold refrigerator I'm giving numbers for?

I came up with my 1/2 gallon per day when I boondocked for 55 days out of 59 days and filled up with propane at the beginning and end of that 59-day period, and happened to use very little propane for anything other than the refrigerator.

I posted the details here:
Electrical Costs

If you read further down the thread, you'll see where I did the calculations during a subsequent boondocking stay, and came up with 1/2 gallon per day again.

And...when re-reading that thread, I saw that I said my new Amish cooling unit was using 5.6 kwh/day, so I have measured it. It's less than the 7 kwh/day I measured on the old cooling unit, but the new measurements were in mild weather in Denver, and that probably makes a difference. I definitely wouldn't install an Amish cooling unit solely to bring electric usage down, although it might cool better and it's supposed to vastly reduce the risk of fire (which I don't know if Norcold has properly addressed in newer units, but that's definitely for another thread).


Quote:
Originally Posted by TheJuggler View Post
OK, maybe I'm missing something here... according to the specs on this page: 1210 Ultraline | Products | Thetford the unit I've been looking at uses only 1.9 amps on 110v AC... this doesn't seem to be a huge draw to me but I'm still learning.
As JFNM pointed out, it adds up. But more important, I think the 1.9 amps is wrong, even though it's on the official website.

They say that number is for a 1200 and a 1200IM, but "IM" means icemaker and those always have a bigger draw, so the number shouldn't be the same for both of these models. The site has a different number (3.5 amps) for a 1200SS and 1200IMSS, but the "SS" means stainless steel doors, and there's no way having stainless steel doors doubles the power consumption. And you have the issue of having the same amp rating on a unit that does have an icemaker and one that doesn't.

On the pages for their other units, the regular and stainless steel models have the same amp draws--the difference is if there's an icemaker. I think the numbers for the unit you're looking at are messed up.

On my 1200, the tag says 5.5 amps. Mine has an icemaker. I've measured it on a kill-a-watt without the icemaker on, and it was something like 440 watts, which is about 3.7 amps. It is likely that the 3.5 amps they say is for a stainless steel 1200 whether it has an icemaker or not is actually for a 1200 with any kind of door finish, without an icemaker.

Hard to say for sure what's going on, but I wouldn't trust that 1.9 amps without somehow verifying it.

And this sort of thing does happen. About thirty years ago I noticed that Mrs. Baird's Bread was using the wrong nutrition information panel on their white bread--the numbers were double what they should be. I cut out the panel and sent it to them, and they replied that I has sent the panel for Texas toast, not regular white bread.

I sent a letter saying I was using it to make cinnamon toast, and that's why I noticed it in the first place--I was reading the bag while waiting for it to cook. I said I know I don't use extra thick bread (a/k/a Texas toast) to make cinnamon toast.

Then a couple of days later I was at the store and found an identical bag and sent the whole thing.

Right after that I got a person-to-person long distance call, which was odd since I lived alone. It was Vernon Baird himself--he'd tracked me down in the phone book and called to tell me I was right, and they were wrong--they were somehow printing the nutrition information for Texas toast on bags of regular white bread.

I said thanks for calling, that I had gotten kind of frustrated and wondered if maybe I just needed to report it to the FDA. He said oh no, let's not bring the FDA into it. Then he asked what I did for a living, and I said I was in law school. He laughed and said that was a good place for me. (And he sounded exactly like he did on the TV commercials he was on for years.)

Then right after that I got a letter from them that had evidently been mailed after they got my reply where I said I was sure it wasn't Texas toast. In their letter, they were more or less telling me to bug off, and I imagine they were horrified when they then got the entire bag and realized I was right, and they really regretted sending that last letter. Hence the phone call.

Suffice to say I learned that even if it's "official," it may not be right.
__________________
oatmeal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2016, 02:56 PM   #61
Senior Member
 
JFNM's Avatar
 
Newmar Owners Club
Solo Rvers Club
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Mountain West
Posts: 1,060
Mine is a Norcold 1200LRIMD. I hope I am not coming across as if I am arguing - I am not. I believe your LP use numbers.

I'm a fulltimer and boondock nearly all the time. I typically grab a full-hook up site one night every two-three weeks (for dump/fill, laundry, etc.). However; there are always exceptions/variations. Due to these variations as well as LP use by the stove and hot water heater, I really have no idea how much LP the refrigerator is using. This is complicated further during the winter months as the furnace consumes LP as well. What I do know is that I don't seem to use much. It would be really wonderful to have an inexpensive LP flow meter so I could see exactly how much a particular component is consuming (like can be done with electricity).

The only really good LP use number I have is that my entire rig (refrigerator, stove, hot water heater, and furnace) consumed half a gallon of LP per day during the cold streak that hit Arizona this past December (three weeks - all boondocking). To be fair, I am always in conservation mode so don't run the thermostat up to 80 degrees at night and I don't run the hot water heater all the time. I do a good bit of my cooking on the stove (including a couple pots of coffee per day when chilly) but also some on the BBQ.
__________________
JD & Buddy (the ferocious feline) - Full timer out west
2005 Newmar Dutch Star 4023 | 2010 Wrangler (daJeep) | 650 Watts Solar
My Adventures
JFNM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2016, 03:04 PM   #62
Senior Member
 
JFNM's Avatar
 
Newmar Owners Club
Solo Rvers Club
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Mountain West
Posts: 1,060
Bob, I'm not sure if you've seen the energy audit that I have done for my coach (I can't keep track of who I have told anymore). It is at the following URL and they are real-world numbers. Not sure if it will help as you are looking at some very different equipment but who knows....

Dutch Star Energy Audit - JdFinley.com
__________________
JD & Buddy (the ferocious feline) - Full timer out west
2005 Newmar Dutch Star 4023 | 2010 Wrangler (daJeep) | 650 Watts Solar
My Adventures
JFNM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2016, 05:15 PM   #63
Member
 
TheJuggler's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by JFNM View Post
Mine is a Norcold 1200LRIMD.

...
The only really good LP use number I have is that my entire rig (refrigerator, stove, hot water heater, and furnace) consumed half a gallon of LP per day during the cold streak that hit Arizona this past December (three weeks - all boondocking). To be fair, I am always in conservation mode so don't run the thermostat up to 80 degrees at night and I don't run the hot water heater all the time. I do a good bit of my cooking on the stove (including a couple pots of coffee per day when chilly) but also some on the BBQ.
I read your audit and, given that you turn down your heat at night to 45 degrees, don't turn on your water heater for 3 days at a time and use a stove top percolator for coffee... I'm pretty sure the "average" goof like me is going to use a lot more :P But, thanks for all the great information... not having a camper to run tests in makes this pretty tough... any kind of audit I would do would be based on manufacturers numbers and as we can see in oatmeal's comments, those numbers can well be published wrong :/
__________________
Bob Maier, Competitive Juggler (http://www.thewjf.com) and
Dixie the Wonder Dog
Working on building our new home...
TheJuggler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2016, 07:39 PM   #64
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 521
Quote:
Originally Posted by JFNM View Post
Due to these variations as well as LP use by the stove and hot water heater, I really have no idea how much LP the refrigerator is using. This is complicated further during the winter months as the furnace consumes LP as well. What I do know is that I don't seem to use much. It would be really wonderful to have an inexpensive LP flow meter so I could see exactly how much a particular component is consuming (like can be done with electricity).
That's why I was so happy when I realized I had some propane fills that were associated with almost all refrigerator use. It's still an estimate, but I can't see how it could be too far off.

I'd love it if they made a flow meter for propane. (I adore my kill-a-watt.) We have an onboard propane tank and getting it filled is always an annoyance, and when I'm running the furnace I always wonder if that's going to advance my timeline for figuring out where to get propane.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TheJuggler View Post
... not having a camper to run tests in makes this pretty tough... any kind of audit I would do would be based on manufacturers numbers and as we can see in oatmeal's comments, those numbers can well be published wrong :/
So you think I'm on to something with the fishy looking numbers?

But even if the published numbers are right, that's the maximum draw, and not what should be used to estimate power consumption over time.

Some appliances use more power on startup and drop down when running. Or in the case of my refrigerator, it's rated at 660 watts, but that happens only when the the heating elements AND the ice maker are running concurrently, which happens only rarely. I figured that out only because I put a kill-a-watt on it; I'd bet the vast majority of people would just use the 660 as how much electricity it uses. And that's not even addressing the duty cycle.

I did the same thing with my washer/dryer combo. Someone was saying you can calculate the cost of electricity for a load of laundry by multiplying the amp rating by the 2 hours it takes to wash and dry a load. But the actual draw is waaaay lower during the wash cycle than the dry cycle. And even during the dry cycle, it's lower than the max rating if it's during the periods when the pump doesn't run.

That's why it's going to be tough for you to get an accurate picture of your usage if you're using only published numbers. The published rating will give you only the maximum, the duty cycle varies even on appliances that draw consistently (and is out of your control on something like a refrigerator), and you haven't lived in the RV to find out how your actual usage is going to develop.

When we originally installed solar about ten years ago, after living in the RV for a year or so, we did a detailed energy audit and went with 700 watts, and that would actually be sufficient for our needs. But I wasn't comfortable with just being sufficient, so a year later we got 350 more watts, and that's plenty (no residential refrigerator). So you need to add another variable to the list: personality. If it were Mr. Oatmeal, he would have been fine with the 700 watts, but that's just not how I roll.

One thing we did do was draw up a plan for the panels on the roof, leaving designated spaces in case we did in fact decide to add more, so adding two more panels on just meant slotting them in. That turned out to be really smart.
__________________
oatmeal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2016, 06:09 AM   #65
Member
 
TheJuggler's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by oatmeal View Post
...>snip<...

So you think I'm on to something with the fishy looking numbers?
Without question you're right... and knowledge of how the world works in general tells us that manufacturers will cook the numbers if they think it's in their favor... just ask HandyBob

Quote:
Originally Posted by oatmeal View Post
But even if the published numbers are right, that's the maximum draw, and not what should be used to estimate power consumption over time.

.....>whacko<...

That's why it's going to be tough for you to get an accurate picture of your usage if you're using only published numbers. The published rating will give you only the maximum, the duty cycle varies even on appliances that draw consistently (and is out of your control on something like a refrigerator), and you haven't lived in the RV to find out how your actual usage is going to develop.
So what it sounds like is that I can't get an accurate audit done before having the equipment in place, being used as normal. Sooo.... buy everything by guess and by golly, cuss a lot after it fails, make accurate measurements and buy all the right stuff.... No, even though I don't really care what things cost, that's just not going to work for me.... I think I have the actual solution below....

Quote:
Originally Posted by oatmeal View Post
When we originally installed solar about ten years ago, after living in the RV for a year or so, we did a detailed energy audit and went with 700 watts, and that would actually be sufficient for our needs. But I wasn't comfortable with just being sufficient, so a year later we got 350 more watts, and that's plenty (no residential refrigerator). So you need to add another variable to the list: personality. If it were Mr. Oatmeal, he would have been fine with the 700 watts, but that's just not how I roll.

One thing we did do was draw up a plan for the panels on the roof, leaving designated spaces in case we did in fact decide to add more, so adding two more panels on just meant slotting them in. That turned out to be really smart.
I want to first thank you for being someone who communicates fully and completely. I also appreciate EVERYone's patience as I stick myself into various threads looking for info or talking up lithium.

I am NOT going to become a solar/lithium engineer in order to do this. I know for some folks not knowing every detail about the in's and out's of something they're going to rely on daily is unthinkable. But after reading HandyBob and a couple others, it's more than I'm willing to burn brain cells on. What I CAN do is work in generalities by understanding the basic concepts and reviewing the experiences of others so that I can come up with a theoretically workable outline of what I want done, then let a real professional do the detail work of making it happen. Of course, if you ask HandyBob that's exactly the wrong thing to do since apparently (according to him) component manufacturers, RV builders and solar experts are all full of crap. Since he's retired and I'm not going to educate myself to his level, I guess I'm screwed no matter what I do.... but I'll deal with that when the time comes.

My solution (not for the "thrifty" among you): Once the rig is designed and I know about the space I'll have to work with, I'll just fill every (usable) inch of the roof with high voltage panels. Then I'll take every "extra" pound of carrying capacity the trailer has (which will go up after I get it because I CAN demolish things and I have no interest whatsoever in all the stuff they put in them to make it "pretty") and fill it with lithium batteries in a high voltage configuration (48v I'm thinking) and spend whatever I have to to get all the converters, inverters, left-handed muffler bearings and whatnot.

At that point results won't really matter anyway because I will have made maximum use of the available space/weight given the trailer I buy and if that won't do what I want, tough cookies I guess.

This is not "camping" for me... well, maybe sometimes Dixie the Wonder Dog and I will load up the dually with a tent and cooler and do REAL camping, but this will be my home... where I'm going to live until I die. And if I can't live reasonably then to hell with it, I'll just die.
__________________
Bob Maier, Competitive Juggler (http://www.thewjf.com) and
Dixie the Wonder Dog
Working on building our new home...
TheJuggler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2016, 10:00 AM   #66
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 521
I used the CONTACT US form on the Thetford website to alert them that their numbers are wrong. It took 2-1/2 weeks, but I got a reply that they're passing the information on to the proper department.

Maybe they'll fix it. I'd hate to see someone install one of those based on that information.
__________________

__________________
oatmeal is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
boondocking, fridge, solar



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
In-slide Norcold/Dometic fridge vs residential fridge abi2001 5th Wheel Discussion 13 05-22-2016 07:53 PM
Boondocking vs. 'Boondocking' MonkeyClaw Boondocking 73 05-15-2015 08:25 AM
Boondocking with a Residential Refrigerator jrpend Winnebago Industries Owner's Forum 4 01-24-2015 08:44 AM
Residential fridge & boondocking bluegrassrv RV Systems & Appliances 22 01-09-2014 09:38 AM
boondocking with residential refrigerator az bound iRV2.com General Discussion 16 10-07-2013 03:09 PM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:55 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.