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Old 03-22-2014, 08:10 PM   #1
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Using Residential Fridge in NP

OK, Reg. Fridge and boon docking is usually a heated topic. I'm far from being a electrical engineer. So, I'd like to get away from the tech. side and get some life experience.
I'm a single man with a cat that would like to go to the national parks (where you have to boon dock). How much trouble will I be in if I have a reg. fridge? Can I stay the 2 weeks without using up all my fuel to run the Fridge?
I'm thinking about solar, but I was told that what I can afford I will have to run the genie a couple hours a day anyway (so what's the point of spending all that money?) Besides, except for Death Valley, most of the NP have lots of shade and render solar useless right?
I'm adaptable, I can read by candle light if I have to.
Anyone out there that can give me life experience instead of tech talk?

Thanks
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Old 03-22-2014, 10:46 PM   #2
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well we just returned from Death Valley and at Furnace Creek Campground they have installed about 20 full hook up spots. While we were there a couple asked if we had a residential Fridge, we don't, but since they were not in a full hookup spot they were having to run their generator every day for several hour to keep the fridge cold. pay for diesel, pay for full hook up or spend a lot for solar and batteries. just can't win
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Old 03-23-2014, 12:18 AM   #3
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My fridge takes 300 watts to start, about 2 seconds and 87 watts to run so it runs a long time on four gc batts and a 750 watt inverter, I do not have it hooked into the 4000 watt inverterwhich was easy because the fridge is on its own breaker.
If you gonna boondock, you need a kill a watt meter.
This fridge is a ge apartment size, no defrost cycle separate door for freezer. I didn`t take the norcold out, just set this beside it.

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Old 03-23-2014, 12:58 AM   #4
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So many variables, it would be next to useless to give you an answer you can depend on.

Concur with other poster, that a meter to read your normal Amp Hour demands, would then allow you to calculate how long you would need to run the generator.

Then research options on conservation. Like LED's, small inverter, etc. Some also pick up smaller Honda 2000 gerators to charge batteries with less fuel then a full coach size generator.

Solar Panel prices per watt drop each quarter of the year. Shade is a factor, but many also carry smaller portable panels to set up in sun, when shade is a problem.

Keep researching, and see what combination works best for you.

Best,
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Old 03-23-2014, 01:35 PM   #5
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ice and a cooler seems to be the best solution we have a propane fridge but in the summer when its gonna be really hot we fill the bottom 2 crisper drawers with ice to keep the system from having to work extra hard to keep it cold, may be something to consider...
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Old 03-24-2014, 07:41 PM   #6
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If I were going to boon dock on a regular basis, I would buy a small 2000 watt generator that I could quietly run to recharge my batteries. I see that you have a 2014 Allegro, I'm guessing a gasser (would be nice if you told people what you have or have it in your Avatar when you ask questions). I would even buy the 1000 if my charging system didn't pull so much power. That way I could just let the more efficient Honda keep my batteries up.

"Smitty77" hit the nail on the head....so many options and they all cost money. You just have to identify what kind of camping you do and configure your unit that way. The longest we boon dock is for 5 days at Thanksgiving in Yosemite. I run my generator in the morning for two hours to catch up from running the heater all night and then in the evening while cooking dinner. If I was there for two weeks on a regular basis I would figure something else out, like using the Honda.
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Old 03-25-2014, 05:25 AM   #7
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I have tried many times to get a simple answer to this question hwyhermit. But I would assume no one knows for sure... Its like asking the guy that has bought the new car that hates it but keeps telling you he got such a good deal!
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Old 03-25-2014, 05:47 AM   #8
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A lot will depend on what NP you are in at what time of year. Death Vally in July you will run the generator constantly. Grand Tetons in December, probably every other day.
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Old 03-25-2014, 11:29 AM   #9
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Well, it just looks like I will have to experience this myself. Since it looks like no one really had any life experience's with a reg. fridge in a NP, yet.
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homeless View Post
I have tried many times to get a simple answer to this question hwyhermit. But I would assume no one knows for sure... Its like asking the guy that has bought the new car that hates it but keeps telling you he got such a good deal!
The truth is, there is no simple answer. It all depends on power comsumption. We boondock 90% of the time and have a residential refrigerator, fairly large solar array,battery bank and an AGS system. The restricting factor for us has been the need to dump and fill with fresh water.
There have been times when we have gone several days without having the genny start and times when we have had it run for three or more hours a day to recharge.
It all depends on what one wants to invest and what their expectations are.
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:43 AM   #11
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Look at it this way...........what you save on boon-docking you can pay for fuel to keep your batteries up. Life is expensive, deSanford
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Old 03-27-2014, 11:18 AM   #12
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I'm new at this and maybe I'm not being clear on my posts.
I'm asking for life experiences, not answers.

Example: I have a reg. fridge and I have a large solar system and still had to run the genie because it rained a lot in Rocky Mountain N.P. or I have a reg. fridge and don't have solar and ran out of gas in 3 days in Death Valley.
Stuff like that.

Thanks
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Old 03-27-2014, 11:54 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hwyhermit View Post
I'm new at this and maybe I'm not being clear on my posts.
I'm asking for life experiences, not answers.

Example: I have a reg. fridge and I have a large solar system and still had to run the genie because it rained a lot in Rocky Mountain N.P. or I have a reg. fridge and don't have solar and ran out of gas in 3 days in Death Valley.
Stuff like that.

Thanks
I have a large battery bank and solar system and there are still times when I need the genny. Read post #10.
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Old 03-27-2014, 03:45 PM   #14
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It has nothing to do with National Parks.

I have am 820 watt solar system, a 5500 watt LP genset, and 1020 amphours of battery.I have a residential refrigerator that averages -100Ah per 24 hours. I typically wake up with a deficit in the 150-200 Ah area. Mainly because I have an unreasonably high parasitic draw that I have done nothing about. On a sunny day I have zero recovery issues. But I STILL run my genset for half an hour or so (minimum) in the morning while I make coffee and to start off my bulk charge. That keeps from adding to the deficit, and exercises my genset a little, which is not a bad thing.
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