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Old 07-25-2021, 05:35 AM   #1
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Boondocking With a Verona 40VRB

So I just paid down on a Verona 40VRB.

My previous unit (Jayco Seneca) had propane. The refrigerator and the hot water heater both would run off propane if we were boonedocking. The only draw on the house batteries were the controllers for the refrigerator, hot water heater, water pump and lights if we used them. I could go for several days out in the boonies without needing to fire up the Genny. (If I had solar, I wouldn't need to do it at all I guess)

The Verona 40VRB has no propane, a residential refrigerator and a aqua-hot 250D. I did get the 3 solar panel option.

Can any of you with a similar configuration tell me what to expect when boonedocking with this motorhome? Specifically, how long can the refrigerator run off the house batteries? Also, will I need to switch on an inverter to run the refrigerator or is this hardwired in already and automatic?

Thanks in advance!
Alan in TN
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Old 07-25-2021, 08:53 AM   #2
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We have an older & shorter Renegade Explorer w/ propane and we really love it. Renegade builds quality coaches. Your 40 VRB is a work of art. Dunno about the battery capacity but hopefully it will get you thru a night with that residential fridge.
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Old 07-25-2021, 09:58 AM   #3
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Ive had my 2014 Classic for about a year now. I have propane for the stove and heater, but my residential fridge is all electric. When purchased, rig had 3 wet cell house batteries for a total of 300 AH (less than 150 AH usable) and 380 watts of solar. We love to boondock so I had many of your same concerns. I could barely last through the night before draining my house batteries below a comfortable level. I needed to run the genny before bed and first thing in the morning to recharge batteries. Before our month long summer trip, I replaced the wet cell batteries with 3 100 AH lithium batteries and added more solar for a total of 760 watts. Now I comfortably make it through the night and once the sun kicks in, the batteries charge quickly, without running the genny. My batteries are topped off all day, regardless of reasonable energy usage. I plan to add 1-2 more lithium batteries. My control panel does allow me to turn the inverter on or off, but I just keep it on and its kicks in automatically when disconnected to shore power. I believe you would need to have your inverted switched to run the fridge, electrical outlets and most other electrical applications. Good luck and happy boondocking.
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Old 07-25-2021, 10:31 AM   #4
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The expectation for units with a residential fridge is that the inverter stays on all the time to provide power for the fridge.

I don't have a Verona but my experience is similar to KFed's. Prior to lithium batteries we had to run the genny 2x per day for at least 2 hours each time.
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Old 07-25-2021, 11:08 AM   #5
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If your coach has 3 Group 27 AGM batteries, it will not be enough for boondocking. Since I do not have a residential fridge, I chose not upgrade to lithium due to large cost & more complex equipment changes. It's a whole other animal to understand regarding charging, discharging and combining with starting batteries. Even without a residential fridge, just running TVs, Sat receivers, Sat antenna, occasional microwave, water pump, with the inverter on and occasional the furnace blower, it's enough load to draw down three Group 27s to just under 50% capacity overnight. Group 27s are typically rated at less than 100aH each. That is less than 300aH total but only ~150Ah usable before depth of discharge gets into the range where you are shortening the life of the batteries.

What I ended up doing was replacing 3 Group 27s with 4 VMAX SLR155 AGMs. These batteries are taller, and heavier than Group 31s but are the same dimensions at the base as Group 31s. They are 155aH each. That is 4 x 155 = 620aH or 310aH usable in my case. I don't even worry about it now.

But in your case, since you are purchasing a brand spanking new coach, you might want to have it built with a lithium solution.
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Old 07-27-2021, 03:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KFed 90-10 View Post
Ive had my 2014 Classic for about a year now. I have propane for the stove and heater, but my residential fridge is all electric. When purchased, rig had 3 wet cell house batteries for a total of 300 AH (less than 150 AH usable) and 380 watts of solar. We love to boondock so I had many of your same concerns. I could barely last through the night before draining my house batteries below a comfortable level. I needed to run the genny before bed and first thing in the morning to recharge batteries. Before our month long summer trip, I replaced the wet cell batteries with 3 100 AH lithium batteries and added more solar for a total of 760 watts. Now I comfortably make it through the night and once the sun kicks in, the batteries charge quickly, without running the genny. My batteries are topped off all day, regardless of reasonable energy usage. I plan to add 1-2 more lithium batteries. My control panel does allow me to turn the inverter on or off, but I just keep it on and its kicks in automatically when disconnected to shore power. I believe you would need to have your inverted switched to run the fridge, electrical outlets and most other electrical applications. Good luck and happy boondocking.
The Classic I am buying has Qty-3 8AGM Batteries that are 250ah each and it has 3 solar panels (I am not sure their output)
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Old 08-01-2021, 11:40 AM   #7
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I"ve always wondered whether turning off the fridge just before bed, to remain off until early morning, is an option. We are vegetarians so our fridge holds no meat and limited dairy. Limited dairy would include no milk, and some cheese. Rarely, if ever, eggs. In the freezer we might have a tray or 2 of cubes, and occasionally a frozen pizza. Seems like temp would hold sufficiently during nighttime hours if the doors remained closed. Anyone do this? Thoughts?
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Old 08-01-2021, 12:45 PM   #8
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In your situation it would probably work. I would recommend keeping several of the large re-freezable ice pack things in the freezer, for increased thermal mass.

On the other hand, typically cooler temperatures at night and no opening the door mean the fridge runs at its most efficient during that time. You might save about 30-35 amp hours by turning off the fridge for 10 hours per day. That'd save about 30 minutes of generator time. Is that worth it to you?
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Old 08-01-2021, 01:04 PM   #9
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30 min of generator at the end of the day before quiet time ... yeah I wouldn't mind avoiding that. I mean it's not THAT big of a deal but sometimes...especially depending on what kind of boondocking situation and who else is around to deal w/ the noise.
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Old 08-05-2021, 04:26 PM   #10
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We have a 2021 Verona LE 38LDG with 600 Ah of Lithium. Same concerns with boondocking. We have seen about 250 ah depletion in 24 - 36 hours (longest time on battery). We haven't yet tested, but we should be able to get a couple of days+ with maximum energy conservation (all AC breakers off but refers) before needing the generator.

It came with a Jaboni solar charger and 525 W of solar (3 X 175), But, the charger doesn't work, replacements are out of stock, and the model is discontinued---seriously. Woody @ Renegade doesn't know when they can send me a replacement. Ergo, can't comment on solar charging. I just replaced it with a Victron so I'm curious to see the performance. Upside is Victron (IMHO) makes a better product, downside, it doesn't integrate with Firefly....but neither does the Magnum inverter or Victron BMV 712 that come stock in the coach???
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Old 08-05-2021, 04:44 PM   #11
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For reference... we just got back from a long trip which included a 14 day stretch at the beach. The weather was on and off overcast/scattered clouds and sun.

Our 37' CLass A DP has 1600W of Solar and 800Ah of Lithium batteries running our Residential fridge, built-in wine cooler, satellite receiver (DVR) and we use the Keurig for coffee in the morning.

14 days of boondocking with zero minutes on the generator

Hope this helps a little.
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