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Old 10-01-2020, 08:21 PM   #15
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Gary - how long do you stay out boondocking and how many hours do you run your generator.

I am thinking I would add some solar panals to help.
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Old 10-01-2020, 10:11 PM   #16
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I'm now sitting in my TT that I installed a 12v fridge in last week. My 1.5 year old Norrcold went belly up in that the cooling unit failed. It was never as good as my last Norcold in keeping the temp inside consistant.
Mine is a GE 9.9 cu.ft. It's tapped into the 12V side of the converter. I have been on elec the last 4 days with the charger turned off and the fridge only drawing power from my 4 GC 6V batteries and 400W of solar. Most days have been full sun but the TT has not been in the sun all day each day because of location in the trees/
I've been running the 12V TV more than normal so the exact draw on the the batteries from the fridge is tainted.
After 4 days my batteries are at 12.1. The fridge has kept a constant temp of 33-36* and the freezer has been -14 to -22*.
The fridge is pretty quiet but you cab hear the compressor a little when there's no other sounds in the TT.
Paid $904 with a 2 year warranty for it. Cheaper than a Re Pro, Furrion or Everchill. Got it at a local appliance store.
It fit in the Norcold 8cu.ft opening with a little trimming of the opening.
So far I think it's going to work out good. It definitely cools way way faster and holds the temp almost spot on all day. Ambient temps have been 33-35* at night and 77-88 during the day.
We boondock about 50% of the time so for us it will be fine. We don't boondock for more than 4-5 days straight because our tanks fill in that time frame. I plan on adding 200W more solar which should help get another day.
Without solar or 4 6V GC batteries I'm betting that the fridge would drain 2 batteries in a day or a little longer.
Fridge is made in China like the rest of them.

I would never own another absorption fridge. 12V is so much more simpler IMO.
Plus I got 2.4 more cu.ft in the same opening as the Norcold 8cu.ft (Really 7.4).
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Old 10-01-2020, 11:21 PM   #17
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Thanks for all the suggestions. A little background. I currently have a 5th wheel that doesn't work well to boon dock. It's 35 feet long and pretty heavy. Both my wife and i want to sell it and purchase a TT. One of my concerns is the unit we are looking at comes with a 10 cu 12 DC fridge. My 5th wheel was purchased in 2013. I've never had any issues with the fridge ... none. The few times we attempted to boon dock it ran just fine on propane. While I see the advantages of a DC fridge, I see more disadvantages without adding additional help via solar or more batteries. As mentioned in my initial post, I do have a generator, but some other forums say that if you travel very far by the time you get to where you're going the batteries are very low. Then the generator had to be used and was a maybe and maybe not solution.

I know my current fridge is probably not the norm, but I always knew that out in the "boonies" my propane was always a solution. The fact that the DC fridges have many good points is appealing. I'm just not sure it's for me.

Again, thanks to all who responded. I'm still on the fence.
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Old 10-02-2020, 09:53 AM   #18
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Gary - how long do you stay out boondocking and how many hours do you run your generator.

I am thinking I would add some solar panals to help.
The longest was 7 or 8 days. We have a 1000 watt inverter but don't use it for making coffee or running the microwave. So we start the big Onan 5500 for that. I'm not sure how long it takes to fully charge the batteries but usually leave it running in the AM for 2 to 4 hours. We also have a Honda 2000 that we use in the evening for computing and watching movies. I don't think the Honda does much for the batteries since between the converter, TV and computer we're probably taking out as many amps as we're putting in. We also have a 100 watt solar suitcase and get about 5.5 amps for maybe 4 or 5 hours.

As mentioned our 2 6V Interstate batteries for 4 years old. The are rated at 230 Ahs of power. However after 3 years use they likely have less. When I installed out Victron battery monitor, I used 200 Ahs of battery life since I figured the batteries had some degradation. As a result, it's hard to know exactly how much life I've got left in the batteries after being used for a day.
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Old 10-02-2020, 09:58 AM   #19
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If you have enough solar on the roof you will be charging the whole time your are traveling with the trailer. Solar is cheap if you have the skills to install it yourself.
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Old 10-03-2020, 11:17 AM   #20
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If you have enough solar on the roof you will be charging the whole time your are traveling with the trailer. Solar is cheap if you have the skills to install it yourself.
I've thought about doing it myself. If it wasn't for my age, I would have been up their already. I've done some simple projects, like adding a 1000 watt inverter and a Victron Battery Monitoring system. I've recently purchased two lithium batteries that I haven't installed. I'm trying to determine the best way to protect the alternator. Two of the dc-dc chargers I'm looking at include an MPPT charge controller. From what I've found on line, none of the solar install looks that challenging. What skills do you think are necessary to do a self install.
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Old 10-09-2020, 07:52 PM   #21
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Joe - my next camper is going to have a 12v refrigerator. Everyone I talk to say they cool a lot faster and better. They are also safer.
Most 12v RV refrigerators use R601a refrigerant (isobutane). It is classified as very flammable so NOT SAFER!
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Old 10-09-2020, 10:51 PM   #22
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I don't even like the battery draw of my absorption fridge running on propane, so I would really not like it running entirely on 12 volt. Propane isn't that expensive and two tanks last a long time. I don't even use the electric side of my water heater when plugged into 120 volt power.
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Old 10-10-2020, 10:21 AM   #23
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The real question now a days is a 12VDC fridge or 120VAC with inverter ! In both cases, solar power and battery bank type/sizing is open to debate.

Very few people boondock for ore than a couple of days. A 2000W generator can recharge your battery bank in a few hours so solar is NOT absolutely mandatory. Even if I had solar, I would still have a generator.
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Old 10-10-2020, 11:56 AM   #24
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The real question now a days is a 12VDC fridge or 120VAC with inverter ! In both cases, solar power and battery bank type/sizing is open to debate.

Very few people boondock for ore than a couple of days. A 2000W generator can recharge your battery bank in a few hours so solar is NOT absolutely mandatory. Even if I had solar, I would still have a generator.
I went 12V fridge so I'm not reliant on 120V. With 120V for a couple days you'd need to run the inverter 24/7. Thats an added expense on top of the fridge. You still need solar or a gen with either fridge to go more than 2 days.
When hooked up to 120V I'm charging the batteries on a 12V fridge so it's a wash for either fridge.
We boondock for usually no more than 4 days mainly because our grey tanks getting full. My 400W solar and 4GC batteries will keep the fridge going as long as I have good sunshine.
If I tended to 120V camp much more than dry camp I'd of gone the 120V fridge route.
Anyway you look at it all styles of fridges cost a little to run. Boondocking/dry camping is much more cheaper $ wise. It's more $$ to stay in 120V sites all the time. I can dry camp in Oregon for 50% off so an $18 site is $9. If I stay in state parks it's $33 a night. Thats a difference of $96. Do that 4 times and I've paid for my solar panels @&100 each X 4.
RV parks add even more $$$ to the costs.

Everyone has to look at their camping style and see what would work for them. If I liked RV parks or State parks where I'm always hooked to 120V I'd 100% have a residential fridge. But thats not our style all the time.
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Old 10-10-2020, 04:19 PM   #25
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I think anyone with a “decent solar and battery bank” would be alright in summer... this time of year or later in the year, generator would be required, at least up in the great white north.

I’m looking forward next month (Oct too busy 3 kids 3 birthdays) to get out and try the new battery bank. Be bringing generator “just in case” No 12v fridge involved.
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Old 10-10-2020, 04:38 PM   #26
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I had a Norcold 12v fridge in my boat. Would also work on 120v shore power. It cooled OK, but ice cream would always be soft. It was a PITA. Always having to manually defrost, and the Not-so-Cold quality was awful. It was rusted out after 9 years of use. So stay away from Norcold!
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Old 10-10-2020, 04:53 PM   #27
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Was your boat in salt water? If so, could be why it rusted.

I just used my 2013 Travel trailer for 3 weeks in cool temperatures. The Dometic electric/ propane refrigerator did work flawlessly as the conditions were perfect with low humidity and coolish outside temperatures.
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Old 10-10-2020, 05:24 PM   #28
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Quote below trimmed for brevity...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe-Camper View Post
...As mentioned in my initial post, I do have a generator, but some other forums say that if you travel very far by the time you get to where you're going the batteries are very low. Then the generator had to be used and was a maybe and maybe not solution.
The batteries in a RV should not be discharged simply by travel.

If that's the case then the battery charge line from the tow vehicle to the trailer/5th is undersized or may not be hooked up. I have read several comment threads on this web site about disconnected (or never connected) charge lines, undersized charge lines (too-small wire having too large a voltage drop, fixed by using larger wire i.e. a lower number wire gauge) and others about low charging voltage (fixed by adding a DC-to-DC charger). New MHs frequently are missing the fuse that connects +12v to the charge line in the trailer conenctor.

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