I have never boondocked, and don't plan to. But I've been all over the lower 48, and am on my 3rd set of tires in 7 years. Yes, as soon as we are leveled up and plugged in, I will plug the portable Refrig into the wall.
I think this will work, bpounds. Again, thanks for your input, and that of any others who have responded.
I see that Dometic just came out with a new Refrig that somewhat addresses my issues, with a section that runs on 12V. Had I known about it earlier, I might have been tempted. But despite the hassles and education process, I'm liking my solution better.
I have a freezer that works really well, a refrigerator section that works really poorly but provides somewhat cool storage space, and a refrigerator that has as much or more capacity as the built-in, which cools down to useful temps in a little over an hour, recovers from an open door in minutes, and it won't freeze my wife's lettuce and then go to 60 degrees in the same day. That's all we ever really wanted: a functional, dependable refrigerator.
Yeah, bpounds, that pretty much sums up my concerns, and well put.
But I can disconnect the refrigerator battery from the trailer at the end of the travel day, put it on a stand-alone 120V charger, and let the built-in inverter charge the remaining battery overnight. It's a retrofitted 3-stage charger & maintainer.
My hope is that the truck charger will be able to maintain sufficient charge to prevent the little refrigerator from running the 'dedicated' battery into the ground, to prevent damaging the battery from excessive discharge and leaving refrigerated goods to spoil. And hopefully, not damaging the trailer battery with overcharging.
I appreciate your input. My plan has been adjusting as you've been responding.
Yes, a separate dedicated battery.
Why? Because wire size and length seems to be so important at 12V DC. And I don't want to run down the battery that handles the brakes, the leveling equipment and slide outs. Just wanting to be safe and responsible.
Connect it together: that's what I am asking about, what with the battery right alongside the breaker box. There are heavy-duty 12V cables running from the built-in converter, which I assume are mostly for charging the battery in the front of the trailer. So if I connect to those, I'm thinking I have a pretty good connection forward to the front battery and the truck charging system, and to the converter for when connected to 120V at a campground.
Or are those heavy 12V cables for something else?
I just looked up in the owners manual, the trailer tow battery charge circuit is fused at 25 AMPS. That seems like sufficient power, if the voltage doesn't drop too much all the way back to the breaker box.
When I'm plugged into 120V at a campground, I should be able to top off the battery overnight. I think. If the regular battery doesn't interfere with charging my refrigerator battery. Or vice-versa. This 12V to 120V ends up being surprisingly complicated.
Guess when I travel, I'd better take along a 120V battery charger, just in case?
My refrigerator in my 2010 Mountaineer has always been a pain: alternately freezing or randomly going into the 60's. I've tried many fixes, none have worked. But my freezer works just fine. Anyway . . .
I recently put a "dorm room" sized refrigerator in my trailer, run while traveling with a battery and an 800 watt voltage inverter. I used it once so far on a 2-1/2 hour trip and it worked great! But what about longer trips?
According to my calculations, I can reasonably use this for about 5-7 hours before risking depleting the battery excessively. So I'm wondering if I couldn't tap into the 12V circuit and use the truck's power to keep the battery topped off while traveling all day.
The refrigerator draws about 11-12 amps at 12V, but of course not all the time, when the refrigerator is idle it draws very little current. The location of the battery when traveling is right by the breaker box, close to the door, where 12V should be readily available. I could add a cigarette lighter 12V receptacle for convenience. That should be a reasonable power draw on the charging circuit when driving, shouldn't it? Has anyone else done this?