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Old 06-15-2017, 11:08 AM   #1
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How to get fridge and freezer cold BEFORE you get to the destination?!

Hi -

We are new to the RVing world, so I was wondering if we are en-route to our weekend camping trip, (an hour drive or so), how do we get our fridge and freezer cold before we get to the campsite and plugged in? The RV is not hooked up to electrical or anything while it is parked.

If we are using the RV for the day and it is not plugged in (say a lacrosse tournament), how often do we run the generator, to keep the AC on and fridge cold?

We have a Coachmen Freelander, by the way.

TIA!
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Old 06-15-2017, 11:18 AM   #2
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Start the refer on gas 24 hours before you leave if you have a RV refer. If you have an all electric refer then you need an inverter and battery bank to power it, but it will cool down lots quicker too

To run the A/C you will have to run the generator all the time. As to how long you can go without running the gen, we really have no way of knowing without knowing how big your battery bank is, how you will use the electric appliances and what they draw.

My rig is stored beside the house and plugged in so I leave the home type refer on all the time. I can hide food there from the teenage step grandson!
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Old 06-15-2017, 11:19 AM   #3
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Run it on propane 24 to 48 hrs beforehand and the change to electric when you get to your destination.

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Old 06-15-2017, 11:19 AM   #4
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Old 06-15-2017, 11:23 AM   #5
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Or get an adapter so that you can plug your rv plug into a heavy duty extension chord and plug it into house current and then use propane while traveling to your destination.

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Old 06-15-2017, 11:25 AM   #6
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I freeze a gallon jug of drinking water and put that in the fridge section, and put a container of ice cubes in the freezer. Works like a charm and I have plenty of cubes for cold drinks at my destination. Double win. Be sure to leave room in the jug for expansion.
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Old 06-15-2017, 11:53 AM   #7
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We keep a couple small bottled waters in the freezer. We plug-in (or propane) a day or two before the trip to get the bottles to freeze.
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Old 06-15-2017, 12:32 PM   #8
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Norwane-

Welcome to iRV2!

You may not have read the owner's manual for your refrigerator yet. If the frig runs on propane it uses gravity to recirculate the coolant inside the coils- even when running on 120V electricity. If the frig is more than a few degrees out of level, recirculation will not occur as it should, with resulting danger of hot spots developing in the coils and potentially becoming a fire hazard. The manual will tell you what those level limits are.

The upshot is that if your coach has a propane refrigerator, and you use propane or electricity to pre-cool the frig before loading it, you need to make sure your coach is fairly level. On our coach, in our driveway, that means having the coach on its levelers (or blocks). Seems odd to do that at home, but it's the same thing I'd have to do in a campground to run the refrigerator safely.
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Old 06-15-2017, 12:39 PM   #9
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We have been trying out food services like "blue apron" ( best of them so far BTW ) and they come with ice packs that I pull from our freezer and put in the RV fridge and freezer.
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Old 06-15-2017, 01:06 PM   #10
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We frequent a campground in a hot climate Tahoe doesn't all generators from 11pm-6am. We did the frozen bottles in fridge and freezer over night and food to include dairy remaine cold in the ice box overnight. This is without a lot of opening and closing as well. I agree depending on temp and humidity I would plug it up 24-48 hrs before departure.
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Old 06-15-2017, 03:15 PM   #11
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I'm always surprised when i read some of the techniques used with this situation. Yes, an absorption frig is slower to cool down but in all my years of RVing, i've never had to resort to starting one up a day in advance or putting ice packs in one for cool down.

On our 2003 two door Norcold, i usually start it up a couple of hours before our scheduled take off. It's probably not as cold as it is going to get but it's definitely cold enough to pack up within that time. Our packing includes ice cream which we never leave home without!

Edited to add,, We're in southeast Texas where the temperatures get over 90į many times during the warmer months.
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Old 06-15-2017, 03:27 PM   #12
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Refer manufacturers recommend the 24 hour cool down on gas/electric units although on gas they USUALLY cool down quicker.
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Old 06-15-2017, 05:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ME for Maine View Post
I freeze a gallon jug of drinking water and put that in the fridge section, and put a container of ice cubes in the freezer. Works like a charm and I have plenty of cubes for cold drinks at my destination. Double win. Be sure to leave room in the jug for expansion.
I use a similar method (multiple frozen liter bottles) the night before I plan on packing the fridge and it works great. It's not necessary but it's what I do.
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Old 06-16-2017, 07:03 PM   #14
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I just get a 10 lb bag of ice for 2 bucks. Put half in the freezer and the rest in the cool section. Easy.

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