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Old 06-23-2019, 08:31 PM   #1
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Residential Fridge Inverter Question

Hello Fellow Tiffin Owners,

We are about to head out on our first long road trip in our 2018 Allegro RED. I guess Iím just looking for some reassurance about battery life running the inverter to power our residential refrigerator overnight? We are stopping to see some family for a day and will be using the inverter and house batteries to power the refrigerator for about 16-20 hours before getting back on the road. From what I have read we should be fine for up to 24 hours, but Iím still apprehensive. We have 4 house batteries and the refrigerator will already be running and cold for hours before we arrive. Also going to turn off the ice maker before leaving it.

Any advice or reassurance it greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

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Old 06-24-2019, 04:41 PM   #2
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We have a 32SA with the residential frig and find that generally, the batteries will keep the frig going for that period of time. When you get back, though, a look at the Spyder will probably show the batteries in a "red" low voltage condition, so obviously, fire your generator up unless you are leaving right away. About the longest we have gone on battery power has been about 12 - 13 hours before firing up the generator. Enjoy the trip!
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Old 06-24-2019, 07:21 PM   #3
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Why don't you do a test run while you have power available ?

Pull the plug, run the fridge and check the battery levels every 6 to 10 hours. That way you will have a better idea how long YOUR batteries will last, rather then someone else's.

By the way, its not off to the scrap yard, with the batteries, if you discharge them beyond the mythical 50% point.

You can, on occasion, draw them down to 10%. It shortens their life by about 1 day each time you do that.
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Old 06-24-2019, 09:59 PM   #4
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Make sure to turn off your electric hot water heater if you have one.
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Old 06-24-2019, 11:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighDesert View Post
We have a 32SA with the residential frig and find that generally, the batteries will keep the frig going for that period of time. When you get back, though, a look at the Spyder will probably show the batteries in a "red" low voltage condition, so obviously, fire your generator up unless you are leaving right away. About the longest we have gone on battery power has been about 12 - 13 hours before firing up the generator. Enjoy the trip!
Thank you. After continuing to do some more research I think we will be fine. But I will make sure to check and see how much power we drained for future reference also.
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Old 06-25-2019, 08:01 AM   #6
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Turning off the AV equipment helps alot to preserver battery power. HDMI splitters, bluray player, etc.
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Old 06-25-2019, 03:34 PM   #7
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You could also get a suitcase solar, like the Nature Power 120W from Home Depot to extend your batteries. (Is setting your AGS an option?)
I also leave extra water bottles in the freezer, and get my fridge extra cold before I know I'll be on just batteries and then turn the setting to a warmer temp to minimize the number of cycles and put half of the frozen bottles in the fridge (if necessary).
Use the power saving modes on all displays (microwave, central control display, etc.), and leave some windows and vents open and draw all shades to keep the inside from getting heat soaked.
You dont need yo do everything, but I always try to have a backup plan just in case, because every little bit helps.
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Old 06-26-2019, 12:17 PM   #8
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Think you'll probably be pretty close. Good advice to turn off TV/Entertainment circuit since you'll be close.

It may be too late now for your impending trip, but your battery rack will actually hold 6 batteries, if you rotate the orientation of the four installed batteries 90 degrees. Two more batteries will then fit in the rack. You'll need 2 batteries, and 3 short cables to add them in to your bank, and will get 50% improvement in your battery capacity for a couple hundred bucks.

Also good advice to do a dry run in your driveway. The refrig only draws about an amp when the compressor is running, but can be up to 8 amps when it shifts to defrost mode (it has an electric heat coil inside to melt the ice on the coils).

In case you do end up depleting the house batteries:
- start your coach engine first, which will start off the chassis batteries (and will be fully charged).
- the engine alternator will recharge the chassis batteries, which when the engine is running will trigger the charge solenoid to close and also start putting a charge on your house batteries. Keep the coach engine running on high idle (flip on the cruise control and it will idle up to 1K)
- you can try starting your genny, and you may or may not have problems depending how far down the batteries got. The genny starts using the house batteries.
- Once the genny is running and providing power to your Magnum (converter/inverter), check to make sure the converter is on and trying to charge. When you see this you can stop the coach engine.
- The reason the last step is important is that the Magnum has a low battery cut off, and if the battery gets too discharged so that it's below the LBCO, the battery charge function won't charge (to protect the battery). The engine alternator charging will bring that voltage up high enough that you shouldn't run into that issue.
- After about 5 mins, verify the Magnum is still actively charging.

Good luck.
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