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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  Modifications and Accessories

 > Switching from 12 volt to 6 volt batteries

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crosscheck

Coldstream, BC

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Posted: 07/07/20 11:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bpounds wrote:

crosscheck wrote:

One of the main reasons I chose a Danfos compressor style 12V fridge /freezer was because the they are a favourite of the ultimate boondockers which are yachters....snip


Using 12VDC is by far the least efficient way to generate heat, out of the 3 utilities common on RVs.

That's not to say it isn't appropriate in some situations. You mentioned one.

If you've got enough solar and battery bank to support it, more power to you. I've noticed there isn't much shade over sailboats.

I have seen a 12vdc fridge run our truck battery down during a single overnight stop at a motel. GM truck, which did not isolate the trailer from the starting battery. So it depleted the trailer battery and the truck battery. I wasn't the owner, but I was a participant, and it was my AAA card that got us back on the road that morning.


"Compressor Refrigerators
They use a process that compresses refrigerant to draw hot air out of the food compartment and vent it out the back or top of the fridge. They are highly efficient compared to absorption refrigerators." These are not my words but taken from a technical article regarding RV's. Compressor fridges do not use heat to make cold like absorption fridges do, that is why they are more efficient in energy use. If you are set up for high efficient compressor fridges, they work much better than absorption fridges. Just read all of the posts by big rigs who are turfing their Norcold units for compressor fridges.

One last thought, as most modern houses/apartments/businesses have natural gas and could have absorbtion appliances for cooling/freezing, why is compressor technology used in fridge/ freezers in 100% of domestic and industrial applications throughout the modern world?

Check out our blog when we had our previous rv an Outfitter TC for 5 years. You will see our camping style is "dry" with very few times using genny or shore power and our compressor fridge was never a problem regarding running down the batteries.

Dave


2016 F350 Diesel 4X4 CC SRW SB,
2016 Creekside 23RKS, 490W solar, 2000W Xantrex Freedom 2012 inverter, 4 6V GC-2 (450AH)
2006 F350 CC 4X4 sold
2011 Outfitter 9.5' sold
Some Of Our Fun:http://daveincoldstream.blogspot.ca/

ajriding

st clair

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Posted: 07/07/20 04:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Some of you are not getting it...

Danfoss-style is the best.

Danfoss is the name brand most use, but there are other makes that are nearly identical.

A compressor fridge using Danfoss compressor is nothing like an absorbtion )propane) fridge. There is no heating element, there is no chemicals to heat. Go do a little research...

Those old, out-of-date, useless propane fridges ARE terrible when running on DC, those should never be run on DC power unless absolutely necessary. We are not talking about this old technology. We are not talking about that cheap Coleman DC powered cooler either, the one that will run down a battery overnight. Those are junk.

The new low-draw compressor fridges are the future, some of you jsut haven't realized this yet.
They are ideal for boondocking.
They do not need to be level, can run 30 degrees off level.
They will cool to the set temp no matter what.
They are superior.

thanks

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 07/07/20 04:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Here is some more detailed information on SiO2 batteries:

http://webstore.totalbattery.com/product-p/12efsl108.htm


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp hours of AGM in two battery banks 12 volt batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

bpounds

Sophmore Brain...

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Posted: 07/07/20 05:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

crosscheck wrote:


"Compressor Refrigerators
...


ajriding wrote:

Some of you are not getting it...
...


You're right, I was not aware of those. So I've learned today.

Pretty impressive specs. If there is any downside it might be that they are not silent, just like your home fridge isn't silent. Not a real issue there either. Rated at 1kw per day draw.

Specs for one example


2006 F250 Diesel
2011 Keystone Cougar 278RKSWE Fiver


Boon Docker

Mountain Foothills of Southern Alberta

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Posted: 07/07/20 05:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bpounds wrote:

crosscheck wrote:


"Compressor Refrigerators
...


ajriding wrote:

Some of you are not getting it...
...


You're right, I was not aware of those. So I've learned today.

Pretty impressive specs. If there is any downside it might be that they are not silent, just like your home fridge isn't silent. Not a real issue there either. Rated at 1kw per day draw.

Specs for one example


Not made for boondocking.
Not a hope would I ever use one of those while boondocking at 84 amp hours per day.

Vintage465

Prunedale CA.

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Posted: 07/07/20 08:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

crosscheck wrote:

bpounds wrote:

Couple things to add,

That 12v fridge is bad news for boondocking. They are very inefficient. Normally only find those in popup style rigs. But, I guess you're stuck with it. Get more battery.

I like the Vmax line of 6vdc. And with those AGM, you do not need to put them in a battery box. They are safe in any orientation. That might allow you to get even more than 2 of them, but you do need pairs. Unless you look at the Vmax 12vdc AGM. I don't have the 12v, but I would trust the name.

The cheap club store batteries will need to be in a box, and you'll likely end up replacing them sooner. Depending on how you maintain them. Might or might not be worth the savings to you.


One of the main reasons I chose a Danfos compressor style 12V fridge /freezer was because the they are a favourite of the ultimate boondockers which are yachters. They can't use propane fridges because propane is heavier than air and could sink to the lower decks if there was a leak and could cause an explosion.
Our camping style is 98% dry/boondock camping. For 5 years, we camped with a 7.5cuft NovaKool fridge/freezer which when cycling used 4.4A. They are more efficient than absorption fridges using 1/3 less energy. They cool much quicker, for the same outer dimensions, have 1/3 more volume, keep more consistant temperatures in hot ambient temperatures and are not a fire hazard. We almost never needed our 2000W genny as we had 4 6V AGM batteries and lots of solar.

People who use the term"12V fridges are bad news for boondocking" have never had this kind of fridge. They are becoming much more popular for so many reasons as long as you figure in more electrical capacity(batteries, solar) if you don't want to run your genny.

I have a 6 cuft absorption fridge in my TT which came with the new unit. If it gives up the ghost down the line, a 9 cuft NovaKool will fit exactly in the same opening and as I already have plenty of solar and 4 6V GC-2 batteries and more room for extra solar, this is the route I will go.

Dave


That does sound like an efficient 12v fridge. My concern as a boon docker is I hate.........did I say hate?.... Generators. I'll do most anything not to use a generator. And I like camping year round. That include weather that gets down in the teens. I'd need enough battery to run my furnace to heat the the belly of the coach to keep the tanks warm enough. I can keep up with my furnace pretty easily with my solar, but I think if you tagged another fairly high draw unit on the 4-6v's it'd get critical. Bottom line is you really have to prioritize your usage choice. I want a furnace, a C-pap, no genny and winter. Prolly nixes the 12v fridge...for my boon docking needs.


V-465
2013 GMC 2500HD Duramax Denali. 2015 CreekSide 20fq w/450 watts solar and 465 amp/hour of batteries. Retiring in 2021, then look-out road, here we come!

crosscheck

Coldstream, BC

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Posted: 07/07/20 09:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Vintage465 wrote:

crosscheck wrote:

bpounds wrote:

Couple things to add,

That 12v fridge is bad news for boondocking. They are very inefficient. Normally only find those in popup style rigs. But, I guess you're stuck with it. Get more battery.

I like the Vmax line of 6vdc. And with those AGM, you do not need to put them in a battery box. They are safe in any orientation. That might allow you to get even more than 2 of them, but you do need pairs. Unless you look at the Vmax 12vdc AGM. I don't have the 12v, but I would trust the name.

The cheap club store batteries will need to be in a box, and you'll likely end up replacing them sooner. Depending on how you maintain them. Might or might not be worth the savings to you.


One of the main reasons I chose a Danfos compressor style 12V fridge /freezer was because the they are a favourite of the ultimate boondockers which are yachters. They can't use propane fridges because propane is heavier than air and could sink to the lower decks if there was a leak and could cause an explosion.
Our camping style is 98% dry/boondock camping. For 5 years, we camped with a 7.5cuft NovaKool fridge/freezer which when cycling used 4.4A. They are more efficient than absorption fridges using 1/3 less energy. They cool much quicker, for the same outer dimensions, have 1/3 more volume, keep more consistant temperatures in hot ambient temperatures and are not a fire hazard. We almost never needed our 2000W genny as we had 4 6V AGM batteries and lots of solar.

People who use the term"12V fridges are bad news for boondocking" have never had this kind of fridge. They are becoming much more popular for so many reasons as long as you figure in more electrical capacity(batteries, solar) if you don't want to run your genny.

I have a 6 cuft absorption fridge in my TT which came with the new unit. If it gives up the ghost down the line, a 9 cuft NovaKool will fit exactly in the same opening and as I already have plenty of solar and 4 6V GC-2 batteries and more room for extra solar, this is the route I will go.

Dave


That does sound like an efficient 12v fridge. My concern as a boon docker is I hate.........did I say hate?.... Generators. I'll do most anything not to use a generator. And I like camping year round. That include weather that gets down in the teens. I'd need enough battery to run my furnace to heat the the belly of the coach to keep the tanks warm enough. I can keep up with my furnace pretty easily with my solar, but I think if you tagged another fairly high draw unit on the 4-6v's it'd get critical. Bottom line is you really have to prioritize your usage choice. I want a furnace, a C-pap, no genny and winter. Prolly nixes the 12v fridge...for my boon docking needs.


Howdy, to another Creekside owner. Another neat plus for compressor fridges is that they can be operational without problems out of level for long periods of time.( Again, think of yachts).
No question, the NovaKool was the largest single draw of battery power bar none.So if you had to choose, get rid of the OEM heater fan and put in a Cat heater. I have no experience with these but some say they work well.
My absorption fridge works fine but I would replace it in a heart beat if it quit.

Dave

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 07/07/20 10:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

crosscheck wrote:


My absorption fridge works fine but I would replace it in a heart beat if it quit.

Dave


Hi Dave,

There is a firm that will retrofit a compressor to your existing Fridge. That is what I will do when the end of days takes my absorption fridge down.

ajriding

st clair

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Posted: 07/08/20 08:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

No, no, no... This Furrion given in links above is not a Danfoss-style compressor, it is not efficient. It draws 15 amps, the real camping-style compressor fridges draw 3-5 amps max and do not need a spike of electricity to get the compressor started either. There would be no point to put that in an RV unless you are always plugged in.

I have one of these ICECO Compressor Fridgehttps://www.wayfair.com/appliances/pdp/iceco-211-cuft-frost-free-chest-freezer-ieco1002.html Though you will have to search another site to find specs...
I have 2 GC batts and could easily go 3 days without use of solar charging. With solar this will run indefinately

5 amps draw is the max any compressor DC powered fridge should pull, typically 3-4 is normal, and they run a few minutes only before shutting off, having reached the cold temp. As I said... 8-10 mins per hour total of run time seems normal. You can insulate the sides and top to make it more efficient, but I have not needed to do this yeat.
Also see ARB and Dometic for other more popular models.

GravelRider

Pennsylvania

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Posted: 07/08/20 09:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I picked up two GC2 batteries from Sam's Club yesterday. I'll install them over the weekend if the battery boxes come in in time.

I'm definitely going to go with a better battery monitor than the one that came with the trailer. I like the Victron, in that it appears to be very well made and has good reviews... But I like the Renogy display far and away better (IOW, it displays all the useful stats at once without having to cycle through buttons), but the reviews are so-so. The AiLi looks to be the exact same as the Renogy, but at a 20% discount. I believe this will be the way direction I'll go...

Anyone have experience with the Renogy/AiLi?

https://www.amazon.com/AiLi-Programmable-10V-120V-Compatible-Batteries/dp/B081SXH9TK/ref=psdc_14244451_t3_B07RP5B5P7

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