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Old 06-23-2021, 12:36 PM   #1
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How to Boondock

I own 2019 Jamboree 30f… want to boon dock over night. What do I need to do to prevent drawing down truck battery without running generator? Please note, Rv has factory installed residential fridge which I would like to know how to unplug it. Factory rep didn’t know where the plug is.
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Old 06-23-2021, 01:41 PM   #2
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I'm assuming if it has a residential fridge, you must have some form of a house battery set up? Do you have solar on the roof to recharge those batteries and maybe some form of monitoring the capacity etc (Battery monitor?). If you are talking just using your engine battery you need to be ultra careful of drawing down rapidly with fridge and lights. Can't see you could even keep a fridge going off one battery, as it's usually recommended 600ah+ (this is debatable) when a residential fridge in place.

As for unplugging the fridge, typically there is an access from the outside, usually directly behind where the fridge is located and it should be plugged in there. You should be able to see where the cable for the fridge is and follow it to the plug outlet. If not try underneath the fridge or above, maybe a panel that comes off or is it fed through to a side cabinet inside.

We boondock extensively and for up to 3 weeks with a residential fridge, only limited by our tank capacities. However, we do have a large solar and battery bank array, never having to run the generator unless wishing to use the microwave, air conditioning or rarely ever washing machine.

PS: As a side point, if you unplug your fridge/freezer be sure to allow ventilation (doors open!) to avoid stinking it up. We open both doors when we unplug for storage and leave them like that and our fridge/freezer has been awesome for many years.
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Old 06-23-2021, 02:10 PM   #3
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Your 2019 likely came with the residential fridge, so there may not be an access panel on the outside of your rig. There is likely a breaker that you can turn off. The inverter that powers the fridge is connected to house batteries that will likely last overnight. Turning off the inverter will turn off the fridge, so long as you don’t need the inverter for anything else.
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Old 06-24-2021, 07:43 AM   #4
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I never understood the benefit in having a residential fridge in a motorhome because boondocking becomes impractical. You have to run your generator too often to maintain the fridge and/or batteries which wouldn't work for us.

My apologies to snshatz for my reply....not addressing the question at all.
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Old 06-25-2021, 12:33 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snshatz View Post
I own 2019 Jamboree 30f… want to boon dock over night. What do I need to do to prevent drawing down truck battery without running generator? Please note, Rv has factory installed residential fridge which I would like to know how to unplug it. Factory rep didn’t know where the plug is.
The installed residential refrigerator should only draw down the coach battery(ies) - not the truck engine battery.

Continueing on a journey in the morning should recharge - paritally or fully (depending upon how long you drive) - the coach battery(ies) that the refrigerator drew down during the night.

For camping more than one day without hookups and with a residential refrigerator - and without having to run the generator every day - you just have to add more coach battery capacity.

By the way, a good way to top up your coach batteries that may be faster and quieter than using a generator, is to idle the engine a bit and let the alternator top up the coach battery(ies).
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Old 06-25-2021, 06:28 AM   #6
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To answer the first question your fridge should not be attached to your truck battery. If you leave the fridge doors closed there shouldn’t be much temperature difference overnight. Buy some Refreezable packs and move two or three from the freezer after frozen to the refrigerator and that should be plenty for overnight to keep the temperatures down.
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Old 06-25-2021, 07:07 AM   #7
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With the residential fridge, you have an inverter. You should have a control to turn the inverter off rather than unplugging the fridge. BUT if just over night, don't open it and things should stay cold. Or as suggested, keep several freezer packs in freezer section and put in fridge section when you get to your location. Second option, get a good true deep cycle house battery bank. A GP24 dual purpose marine battery is NOT a good boon docking battery.
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Old 06-25-2021, 07:46 AM   #8
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You used the term "residential fridge", but unless you have a big Class A, recently builders have started to install DC compressor fridges on Class Cs which are more efficient than true residential fridges but still use lots more DC than absorption (LPG) fridges.

I have been reading DC compressor fridge power consumption reports here and elsewhere for about a year. They vary from 30 amp hours to 75 amp hours daily. My guess is 50 amp hours. Added to that is your routine DC needs for lights, device charging, etc. which makes a total amp hour daily requirement of about 70 amp hours. If you power your TV from an inverter and watch it for long, the amp hours will go up another 20 Ahs.

So all of that will quickly run down the typical pair of Group 27 batteries that are installed on most new RVs. These have a typical capacity of 150 Ahs and shouldn't routinely be discharged below 50% for best life, which might give you one overnight but no more.

What to do? Add battery capacity, either standard or Lithiums. And add charging capability, a bigger converter charger and/or a lithium capable charger to minimize generator running time, but that of course means running the generator which you said you do not want to do.

The only other solution is to install solar panels on top, preferably 400 watts of capacity. But those only work in sunny campsites and many want to camp in the shade.

So those are your options, none of them great and all rather expensive. Next time buy an RV with an absorption fridge if you want to boondock without running the generator. I can get by with 25 amp hours daily with our absorption fridge and no TV watching. That gives me four no generator boondocking nights before our 200 Ah battery bank gets down to 50%. I have never stayed at a campsite that long and driving home or to another campsite will usually recharge the batteries.

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Old 06-25-2021, 11:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snshatz View Post
I own 2019 Jamboree 30f… want to boon dock over night. What do I need to do to prevent drawing down truck battery without running generator? Please note, Rv has factory installed residential fridge which I would like to know how to unplug it. Factory rep didn’t know where the plug is.
Good advice above!

Unplug the trailer from the truck to protect the truck battery charge.

There may be multiple ways to turn the refer "off".
There may be a switch on the refer.
Unplug from socket behind refer.
Turn refer inverter "off".
Switch main panel branch circuit breaker "off".

Refer may work fine all night. It depends on the refer and the RV power system design. Some can last days. Some not so much. What power management equipment do you have?
Battery bank size?
Inverter size?
Solar power?
Generator?
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