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Old 12-23-2015, 11:15 PM   #1
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Residential refrigerators

Have heard from several members that their residential reefers operate on 120 volt ONLY. NO propane or 12 volt option. This leads to house batteries depleting rapidly. Any thoughts or comments from those who have them?
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Old 12-24-2015, 10:51 AM   #2
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Have heard from several members that their residential reefers operate on 120 volt ONLY. NO propane or 12 volt option. This leads to house batteries depleting rapidly. Any thoughts or comments from those who have them?
I'm not sure if you literally mean no 12 volt option. I can't imagine that. We have a residential refer that runs on 120, but when underway it has an inverter that runs it off of the house batteries. Since the alternator keeps the batteries charged it works fine. We seldom dry camp, but if we did the MH has a system that automatically turns on the genny whenever the house batteries drop to a certain level. I think it runs for an hour or so, shuts off, then repeats as needed.
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Old 12-24-2015, 05:46 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by sbleiweiss View Post
...We have a residential refer that runs on 120, but when underway it has an inverter that runs it off of the house batteries. Since the alternator keeps the batteries charged it works fine. We seldom dry camp, but if we did the MH has a system that automatically turns on the genny whenever the house batteries drop to a certain level. I think it runs for an hour or so, shuts off, then repeats as needed.
That is how we are set up. When we upgraded to the residential refer we did NOT add any batteries. Our 4 X 220 AH Lifeline AGMs provide us 440 AHs of use without going below 50% charge. We installed a Battery Monitor Kit (BMK) and Automatic Generator Starter (AGS) help us avoid depleted batteries. We don't do any serious boon docking and the times we do tend to be overnight parking lot camping when we are traveling.

Our AGS is set to start the generator when the batteries reach 60% State of Charge (SOC) and shut off at 90% SOC. With those settings we get at least 6 hours before the generator kicks in. However, we could get more if we conserved power but we are generally running the refer, 2 LCD TVs, a DirecTV Genie sat receiver with 5 hard drives, computers and chargers, lights and fantastic fans. Recharging the batteries with those setting takes about an hour or so.

All that being said, I think you will find a residential refer will not impact your battery usage that much if you don't need the LP for extended boon docking without solar or generator use.
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Old 12-25-2015, 05:55 AM   #4
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I run the gen all the whole time I am under way until I get to my campground even if I spend the night at a wallmart so it being 120v is not a issue for me
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Old 12-25-2015, 06:01 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by sbleiweiss View Post
I'm not sure if you literally mean no 12 volt option. I can't imagine that. We have a residential refer that runs on 120, but when underway it has an inverter that runs it off of the house batteries. Since the alternator keeps the batteries charged it works fine. We seldom dry camp, but if we did the MH has a system that automatically turns on the genny whenever the house batteries drop to a certain level. I think it runs for an hour or so, shuts off, then repeats as needed.
X2

The alternator should keep the batteries charged indefinitely when running down the road. We have two 6-volt batteries, and they will last 6 to 8 hours running the fridge only without reducing the batteries below 50% charge when not on the road and when not hooked up to shore power. A bigger battery bank will last longer.
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Old 12-25-2015, 06:46 AM   #6
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I run the gen all the whole time I am under way until I get to my campground even if I spend the night at a wallmart so it being 120v is not a issue for me
While the works, it isn't necessary to charge batteries when the engine is running.
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Old 12-25-2015, 06:48 AM   #7
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Residential fridge is just as the name implies. Identical to what you have in the homestead kitchen using 120VAC only. A residential fridge is very efficient, recovers quickly, a bit more interior space for the foot print, lower cost for repair or replacement and the potential to catch fire is quite a bit lower but not 0%. The down side is when you don't have 120VAC available you'll relying on installed battery capacity and an invertor. Normally works very well but an owner needs to be proactive concerning battery management when off the grid and best to keep the door closed as much as possible as when you loose electrical power at home.

The option can be looked at as which is better Coke or Pepsi? Some owner won't have anything but a residential while other can understand why you would. Both configurations have advantages over the other. How you use you coach and your preferred camping style are important factors that need to be considered.
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Old 12-25-2015, 07:10 AM   #8
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I run the gen all the whole time I am under way until I get to my campground even if I spend the night at a wallmart so it being 120v is not a issue for me
I'm betting you don't have an inverter. Without one, running the generator is your only option.

If you have an inverter, I belive it would be more cost effective to use the engine charging systems $400. alternator to keep the batteries up, rather then the $8,000 generator.

Of course, if you are running the air conditioner, its a wash.
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Old 12-25-2015, 07:13 AM   #9
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...We have a residential refer that runs on 120, but when underway it has an inverter that runs it off of the house batteries. Since the alternator keeps the batteries charged it works fine...
X3. Inverter does the work to provide 120vac to the residential refrigerator. Alternator and solar are relied upon to keep the batteries topped-off.

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Old 12-25-2015, 08:34 AM   #10
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Good morning. Residential refrigerators are definitely a step up from the typical RV job. However, you should have or install an inverter so you can use it ging down the road or when dry camping. Residential refrigerators don't draw a lot of power and 4 batteries will keep you going for a day with no generator or coach run time depending on other power usage. I would recommend putting 400 or 500 watts of solar on the roof which will offset the power used by the fridge. In bad weather you should have a back up plan to charge the batteries a couple hours per day. Generator, running coach motor etc. A properly installed residential including solar and inverter is a great way to go. We dry camp routinely and only run our genny during meal prep times, and we did that before we got our residential fridge so no change for us. We have a robust solar system.

Cheers and good luck.
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Old 12-25-2015, 06:37 PM   #11
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When we switched over to the residential fridge, we also doubled our house battery bank.

And we continued on. Nothing has changed.

Except our ice cream is hard. And we don't need to defrost the fridge.

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Old 12-25-2015, 07:27 PM   #12
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There are 12 volt compressor refrigerator options from Nova Kool, Norcold, Dometic, Vitrifrigo, Isotherm, etc. However they are not cheap, but they are dependable and last forever. My Nova Kool RFU6800 uses 60 to 80 AH a day depending on the outside temperature.
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Old 12-26-2015, 01:49 PM   #13
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I run my residential refer off of the main house 3000 watt inverter. I can start with a 97% SOC on the batteries and 10 hours later I will be at 72-74% SOC.

You do not need to have power to the refer for 100% of the time as it will keep things cold and frozen for any amount of time you will be on the road or even sitting in a WallyMart parking lot over night
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