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Old 12-02-2022, 02:13 PM   #1
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Anyone run a residential fridge on battery power?

I bought a keystone Sandpiper. Not really what I wanted but at a price I could not pass up. I really wanted the gas/electric fridge but this one has a residential fridge.

I already plan to upgrade to a real battery system but that fridge is going to require some calculating. Does anyone have experience running them on battery power? It has the built in inverter but I am more concerned with electric consumption.
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Old 12-02-2022, 03:16 PM   #2
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We run our residential fridge for about 12 hours while boondocking overnight. After 12 hours we are either driving to next destination, or running generator to recharge batteries.

If you have solar, you can run the refrigerator for as many days as you have sunshine, with a generator for backup.
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Old 12-02-2022, 03:20 PM   #3
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You could turn it on now and see how long it lasts unplugged from shore power. Make sure your batteries are fully charged first.

Then you'll know for sure.
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Old 12-02-2022, 03:31 PM   #4
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Get a Kill-a-watt monitor and you'll know how much it uses.

https://www.amazon.com/P3-P4400-Elec.../dp/B00009MDBU


Depending on other usage I can easily go over night, I have a Samsung RF18.

I have 325 watt of solar, not quite enough to keep up with the refrigerator but close. I have to run my generator ~1.5 hours a day to top off the batteries.

I think if I had 5-600 watt of solar it might be enough depending on sun/daylight hours.
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Old 12-02-2022, 03:59 PM   #5
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We really need DETAILS on exactly what refrigerator (most tell you amp draw). Yes, in cooler ambient temps, run time is reduced.


We need to know what inverter or inverter/charger you have-- important if it is pure or modified sine wave.


We need to know what battery bank you have and if you are contemplating an upgrade, to what?


Said another way, without specifics, we are likely of little value to you.
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Old 12-02-2022, 04:27 PM   #6
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Don't go by the the amp draw on the fridge label.
That's the max draw of every item that could possible power up at the same time. Lights, LEDs, defrost heater , compressor, ice maker heater and the ice crushing motor.
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Old 12-02-2022, 04:46 PM   #7
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What TB and wolfe said--I ran an Amana R/F for many years on bats--coach came with 4 six-volt bats but really needed 6 for boondocking [use some gas furnace too]. Needed 1.5 to 2 hours of genset time, twice daily to recharge. Eventually upgraded to 600 watts of solar -- reduced genset to 1.5 hrs per day. Like most appliances, you will need a pure syn-wave [perhaps 600-1000 watt] inverter to protect the fridge mother board. So, R/F on bats? Yup, it can work!
PS--I also turned off the ice maker and defrost cycle on the fridge.
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Old 12-02-2022, 06:09 PM   #8
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I don't have possession of the camper yet. I also do solar and electrical work professionally so well versed in batteries, solar, inverters, etc. I know I will have to check the power consumption, and I know it will move around with temperatures. What I don't know yet is the duty cycle, and I realize that will change as well, but I was just trying to get a baseline from people that are doing it. What I was not sure of was if RV OEMs were selecting certain reefers that were lower power, or better insulated? I sort of doubt it but....

If memory serves, I did testing on a few yrs ago at about 8A inrush, and 200w continuous, rolling back to about 150w near end of cycle.

I scoured the Inet months ago trying to find any gas consumption data for absorption reefers but nothing. But from experience, those things seem to run exceptionally well, though I have never run a double width one.

I am just hoping I did not make a huge mistake going this route. I know I will probably have to dedicate probably 2kwh just to keep the fridge happy....lol

As for testing, it appears it will be a real pain to get to the back to unplug and put a monitor on it. I do have some CTs and monitors I could use in the breaker panel if it has a dedicated circuit.
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Old 12-02-2022, 06:23 PM   #9
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My experience with my residential fridge was a 33% duty cycle . That was on a boat in summer and down in the lower section.
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Old 12-02-2022, 08:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
My experience with my residential fridge was a 33% duty cycle . That was on a boat in summer and down in the lower section.
That's about what I am thinking, but designing for 50%.

If I was smart, I would have tested a rezy fridge in an unconditioned garage for a good data point. One concern I have is when I leave the camper and leave AC off, which is super common. In those cases I do leave windows open but still will be a challenge as that fridge will both have a higher DC and be pulling more power.
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Old 12-02-2022, 10:36 PM   #11
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We run a Samsung on battery/solar in our 5th wheel. We have 1,200watts of solar and 600ah of Battle Borns to power the entire rig. If I had to guess Id say the fridge takes about 200ah of that on any given night.
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Old 12-03-2022, 06:26 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastline View Post
I bought a keystone Sandpiper. Not really what I wanted but at a price I could not pass up. I really wanted the gas/electric fridge but this one has a residential fridge.

I already plan to upgrade to a real battery system but that fridge is going to require some calculating. Does anyone have experience running them on battery power? It has the built in inverter but I am more concerned with electric consumption.
We bought a 2018 Road Warrior with a residential fridge in October 2017. No solar on the roof, year later the manufacturer started adding a panel for solar. Our batteries were 2 12-volt deep cycle AGM style. We used these for 5 years until we added a complete rig solar system on September 11, 2022.
We could travel for an 8-hour day, no issues. We could also park overnight without shore power and run the fridge on battery.
Since we had the whole rig solar installed, we went 4 days on solar and only had to run the generator on the afternoon of day four to help charge.
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Old 12-03-2022, 09:24 AM   #13
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Had a residential fridge in our Thor class c and loved it. Once it was filled and full of food it lasted days without needing to run generator or connect to shore power. Currently have a 12 volt fridge in our new 5th wheel. No more propane/electric fridge's for me.
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Old 12-03-2022, 10:34 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by hamm2018 View Post
We bought a 2018 Road Warrior with a residential fridge in October 2017. No solar on the roof, year later the manufacturer started adding a panel for solar. Our batteries were 2 12-volt deep cycle AGM style. We used these for 5 years until we added a complete rig solar system on September 11, 2022.
We could travel for an 8-hour day, no issues. We could also park overnight without shore power and run the fridge on battery.
Since we had the whole rig solar installed, we went 4 days on solar and only had to run the generator on the afternoon of day four to help charge.
When you say "2-12v deep cycle", do you know the group number on the batteries or overall capacity? At what state of charge do you run your batteries down to?

Was the fridge the only thing really pulling load during that time?


What I don't yet know but assume is this "1000w inverter" the rig comes with is a dedicated, selectable inverter so you can switch between shore power or that inverter which is basically battery power.
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