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 > Will fridge run off tow vehicle on batts on TT?

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BarabooBob

Baraboo, WI

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Posted: 03/25/20 05:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When we had 4 at home kids, and a tight budget, we traveled with a popup with a 12/120 volt refrigerator. I wired a 12 volt line from the car to the refrigerator and ran the fridge while driving. As long as I unplugged it when we stopped, It worked well for 5 two week vacations. If I forgot to unplug when we stopped, the fridge would kill the car battery. I did not know about battery isolators at the time. I would check with a volt meter to see if the alternator can keep up with demand while running the engine and with the fridge running. My Caprice Classic had a high output alternator and it kept up.


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ScottG

Bothell Wa.

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Posted: 03/25/20 07:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BarabooBob wrote:

When we had 4 at home kids, and a tight budget, we traveled with a popup with a 12/120 volt refrigerator. I wired a 12 volt line from the car to the refrigerator and ran the fridge while driving. As long as I unplugged it when we stopped, It worked well for 5 two week vacations. If I forgot to unplug when we stopped, the fridge would kill the car battery. I did not know about battery isolators at the time. I would check with a volt meter to see if the alternator can keep up with demand while running the engine and with the fridge running. My Caprice Classic had a high output alternator and it kept up.


Good point, the OP's Ford disconnects the charge circuit/battery when the ign is off.


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arcsum68

Northern CA

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Posted: 03/25/20 08:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

wopachop wrote:

Curious what brand paint will you spray on the metal? Ive got some frame rust around my battery box that has needed attention.


Had not really thought that far in advance, I have a few cans of black laying around, thought I would use that. If it starts rusting I will spray it with a rust inhibiting paint, I tend to stay on top of those things. I call it attention to detail, my friends call it something else.


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wopachop

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Posted: 03/25/20 08:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks I got ya. Considering your fabrication skills I wondered if you knew of a better paint than isn't in box stores.

valhalla360

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Posted: 03/25/20 09:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

opnspaces wrote:

I find it hard to believe that the tow vehicle differentiates between the trailer battery and the truck battery. My guess is the two batteries wires are just tied together at some point and the computer sees the two as one big battery.

One easy way to find out. plug the 7 way umbilical into the truck and start the truck up. Then go into the trailer and see if the interior lights come on. If the lights come on then the refrigerator should work on gas.


It is connected in the way you imply but the truck battery is connected to the alternator with a short run of heavy gauge wire that can handle substantial amps.

The trailer wiring is a longer run of small gauge wire with typically poor connections, so sending the amps to the fridge becomes problematic.

PS: most fridges pull somewhere around 150-250watts...that's 13-22amps at 12v.


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ajriding

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Posted: 03/25/20 09:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You have answers you need (just pre cool, or use ice for that short trip) but im curious now...
Are you talking about running it off the battery to heat the element, or off the battery to run your circuit board while you run it off propane?
Older fridges do not need power to run off propane. Not sure what you have.
Newer ones need power to run propane which is regulated by the circuit board powered by DC, and yes, this circuit board should run off the TV's power through the trailer plug, it does not need much power.
Running a DC heater element off the TV is not a good idea, if it were able to pull enough amps through the long wire run from alternator back to trailer fridge, then it would either run your TV battery down or do some hefty damage to the alternator making it run more and run hot. I once burnt out a 130 amp alternator trying to run a fridge like this on a class-c. I learnd much since then.


* just in case someone reading is a very newbie... propane fridges, or 2-way or 3-way fridges heat the gases to make the fridge cool. sounds backwards, but is how it works, so a DC heating element makes the fridge cool, or when on propane, the hot flame makes it cool.
The 3rd way is a heating element that is AC household current, which if you run a generator this will work fine while driving. The DC and AC heating element probably are the same in one and run off either.

Driving with propane lines open is not legal always, but many have done this since the beginning of RVing. It has been discussed to death extensively with everyone's opinions and discussed more after that.
It is possible to run the fridge on propane and drive. Dont get caught. Dont tell us you did this.

Dusty R

Charlotte Michigan 48813

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Posted: 03/26/20 07:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There are some vehicles that the engine runs on propane.
Show the law that states that it is not legal to have propane on and in use while driving.

wolfe10

Texas

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Posted: 03/26/20 07:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ajriding wrote:


Driving with propane lines open is not legal always, but many have done this since the beginning of RVing.


Yes, with the exception of a few tunnels, etc, please provide a link to support this statement.


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arcsum68

Northern CA

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Posted: 03/26/20 07:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ajriding wrote:


Are you talking about running it off the battery to heat the element, or off the battery to run your circuit board while you run it off propane?


I was referring to powering the circuit board to run off of propane. *Keep in mind you asked for that answer but also asked for it to not be discussed.

2oldman

AZ

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Posted: 03/26/20 08:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ajriding wrote:

Are you talking about running it off the battery to heat the element, or off the battery to run your circuit board while you run it off propane?
Answered on page 1.

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