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Old 01-13-2014, 07:49 PM   #1
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Residential refrigerators in the excel

Hi All

I have been looking at the new Excels for full timing. We would like to get the residential fridge, but have been reading a lot of numerous comments about needing larger batteries and a larger wire to keep the power high enough for what it needs. Can anybody comment on this.
We currently have an old Jayco Eagle and have come to the conclusion that we want to begin full timing as soon as we unload our home.

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Old 01-13-2014, 08:10 PM   #2
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We don't have a residential fridge - yet, but will have one when we get our full-time rig (most likely an Excel). I have read on another forum that the residential fridges are efficient enough that you should be fine with 2 batteries - unless you boondock a lot. Then you will possibly have to recharge the batteries daily.

As for the truck 12VDC wire going to the 5er - yes, it isn't heavy enough to keep your batteries charged - IF your fridge was cooling continuously - and it shouldn't unless something was wrong with it. The truck alternator will be charging your batteries continuously at a somewhat low rate at all times while the engine is running. This means it will be charging your batteries when the fridge is in cooling mode and when it isn't.

Think about this - there are many people who travel with their fridge off and their fridge & freezer holds fine - they usually are on the road only 4 - 5 hours, so if you spend 12 hours on the road you probably want to have it on.

Bottom line - with 2 good batteries you shouldn't have any problems running your fridge while your traveling - as long as your not an all-day traveler

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Old 01-13-2014, 09:38 PM   #3
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We have a residential fridge in our Excel. Would not, could not go back to an RV fridge. Power consumption is surprisingly low. I have 2 group 27 batteries. I can drive all day and the voltage barely drops. I do turn off the ice maker while towing. It's my wife's favorite upgrade.
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Old 01-14-2014, 06:18 AM   #4
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If you plan on staying at WM when traveling or maybe dry camping any I would stay away from the residential fridge.

We are currently in a casino parking lot in Tucson overnighting. I have solar and 4-6v batteries and would not be able to do this with a residential fridge.

I would say it depends entirely on your plans and everyone is different. Me I don't like paying $30. or so to overnight for 8 hours in an rv park.
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Old 01-14-2014, 06:38 AM   #5
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If you plan on staying at WM when traveling or maybe dry camping any I would stay away from the residential fridge.

We are currently in a casino parking lot in Tucson overnighting. I have solar and 4-6v batteries and would not be able to do this with a residential fridge.

I would say it depends entirely on your plans and everyone is different. Me I don't like paying $30. or so to overnight for 8 hours in an rv park.
I would say you have a problem somewhere. Either your solar is in-adequate, batteries are bad, or you are using more power than the system can supply.
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Old 01-14-2014, 06:50 AM   #6
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A residential fridge only uses after startup about 100-130 amp hrs a day I've been told.

So your batteries can handle it, run the genny in the morning for about 90 minutes as needed.

Adding solar makes it a slam dunk
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:11 AM   #7
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I would say you have a problem somewhere. Either your solar is in-adequate, batteries are bad, or you are using more power than the system can supply.
Ok let's see if my math is ok. I have 440 amp/hrs of storage or about 250ish amp hrs available. Overnight using tv, charging stuff, hair dryer, coffee pot, lights, other dc loads, heater fan, etc. I will be down around 130-150 amp hours. Add another 80 amp/hrs or so for the refer ovenight and I'm down 210 amp/hrs. I can put in 25 amp per hour (3 135w panels) with peek sun out here. That's say 5 hours times 25 equals 125 plus say plus 60 more for the rest of the day say putting back in 200 amp/hrs. during the day. At the same time I am drawing refer amps say 100ish during the day along with other loads. Generator time.
The only thing I am not accounting for as best I can tell are hours when my batteries are full and turning amps back, which. I don't believe will happen in this scenario.
You are correct. I am using more than my system can supply.
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Old 01-14-2014, 05:13 PM   #8
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Ok let's see if my math is ok. I have 440 amp/hrs of storage or about 250ish amp hrs available. Overnight using tv, charging stuff, hair dryer, coffee pot, lights, other dc loads, heater fan, etc. I will be down around 130-150 amp hours. Add another 80 amp/hrs or so for the refer ovenight and I'm down 210 amp/hrs. I can put in 25 amp per hour (3 135w panels) with peek sun out here. That's say 5 hours times 25 equals 125 plus say plus 60 more for the rest of the day say putting back in 200 amp/hrs. during the day. At the same time I am drawing refer amps say 100ish during the day along with other loads. Generator time.
The only thing I am not accounting for as best I can tell are hours when my batteries are full and turning amps back, which. I don't believe will happen in this scenario.
You are correct. I am using more than my system can supply.
Good information - thanks! It really supports the position that if one plans to dry camp at all with a residential unit, banks of 6V golf cart batteries and / or a generator are needed.
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Old 01-14-2014, 06:52 PM   #9
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So you don't want a huge residential fridge that only draws a few amps but it's OK to use a hair drier and an electric coffee pot off your battery bank?
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Old 01-14-2014, 07:23 PM   #10
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I'm just amazed that on the late model Excels, that have the below-the-basement-floor bat boxes, that you guys don't have 4 batts onboard? They do hold 4 batts don't they? Just wonderin' rockin'
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Old 01-14-2014, 07:35 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by jcolgan View Post
Hi All

I have been looking at the new Excels for full timing. We would like to get the residential fridge, but have been reading a lot of numerous comments about needing larger batteries and a larger wire to keep the power high enough for what it needs. Can anybody comment on this.
We currently have an old Jayco Eagle and have come to the conclusion that we want to begin full timing as soon as we unload our home.

Thanks
J
endlessRVacation.com
Well, if you are going fulltime and going to be on shore power all the time I'd say go for it. If you are doing a lot of boondocking then cut your power needs as much as possible. The propane fridge will run a long time on 40 lbs of propane. I have 705 watts of solar and 680 ah of storage with 6-6volt batteries and because we do dry camp a lot will stay with the two way RV fridge to reduce power needs. We do dry camp like we have shore power and use a lot during a typical day usually with no issues.
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:32 PM   #12
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I'm still new to all this but here is my opinion. If your going full time I would go all electric. How often, and for how long, do you think you will actually boondock? Two or three days a month, a week every couple of months? Chances are you'll spend 95% of your time with at least electrical if not full hookups. For those times you do boondock the newer coaches have sufficient battery power to run everything for at least 24 hours or more without needing the generator (except the induction cook top). Then it's about a two hour run to bring the batteries back up. With all electric there is no trying to find propane, heating and hot water are supplied via AquaHot or HydroHot using diesel. The residential fridge will keep your ice cream solid even when the outside temps reach 100*.
I know many full timers are using absorption fridges but that is changing as nearly all manufactures are now offering all electric on there larger coaches. Tiffin's Phaeton's are all electric standard, propane is now an option and will cost you an additional $2200. With LED lights and energy efficient TVs the energy draw has been reduced a lot and the additional two batteries included on the all electric models pretty much makes it a wash.
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Old 01-15-2014, 07:19 AM   #13
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Tom, I'm pretty sure my box will hold 4 batteries but as long as I am married to my beautiful wife there will not be any of that boondocking stuff so 2 batteries are good.

We run our Samsung off the two 6 volt batteries and have not had any issues. We have spent a number of days with 10 to 12 hours on the road and still have over 12 volts left on the batteries at the end of the day. The Samsung RF197 that PI uses is one of the most efficient out there. When we compared the cost of upgrading to the Samsung and adding in the inverter to the 12cf absorption fridge there was not a lot of difference. There was some extra cost because the Samsung option requires an upgrade to the stainless steel package for the microwave and stove.

Ours came with a 1500 watt modified sine wave inverter which I changed out to a 1000w pure sine wave and larger (1 gauge) wiring with a shorter, direct run to the batteries. I also added a cut off switch as there is is some residual battery usage even when the inverter is off. Samsung says their fridge will run fine on a modified sine wave but I just felt more comfortable with the psw which provides the same type of current as you have at home. Plus, I wanted the ability to run other things like my small compressor off the inverter if need be.
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Old 01-15-2014, 07:52 AM   #14
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So you don't want a huge residential fridge that only draws a few amps but it's OK to use a hair drier and an electric coffee pot off your battery bank?
I'll give you Jo's number and you can discuss that with her. I'm sure she would be interested in your views.
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