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 > Residential vs Gas/Electric Fridge?

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FootSoldier

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Posted: 05/24/22 10:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

After a set back in our plans, we're back on the trail looking at fifth wheels. I think my last question comes down to which type fridge? We'll have some solar no matter, but since we're looking at a 35' trailer and we'll be doing National Parks and Forest Service Campgrounds, I am thinking we could do a residential fridge.

What I am trying to figure out is whether we could run a residential fridge on an inverter and a couple 100ah deep cycle lithium batteries for a week or so?

Combined with some solar charging and a small portable generator to help keep the batteries charged up.

Any thoughts on which type of fridge you'd recommend?

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Posted: 05/24/22 10:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You'll probably want a 3000+ watt generator, to run the AC anyway, so why not go that route? A 35' trailer might be 50A with 2 AC's, so, with a 3000W generator, you will only be able to run one AC unit at a time.

Lwiddis

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Posted: 05/24/22 11:12am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

200 Lithium amps isn't enough to run a fridge for a week or so IMO and you'll have other draws. And, again IMO, "planning" to use both solar and a generator is planning to fail. Plan to recharge the batteries with solar by itself with a generator as a backup or for A/C.


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joelc

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Posted: 05/24/22 01:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My fridge went in my 2012 5er and I just replaced it with a new fridge. Just to let you know, they do now have a 3rd choice: a 12V compressor fridge that works like a home fridge except on 12V instead of 120. Both Dometic and Norcold make one. I purchased the 10CU Dometic. My old fridge was a propane/120V Norcold ammonia type.

valhalla360

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Posted: 05/24/22 02:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

200amp-hr at 12v is around 2000w-hr of usable power (even with lithium, you can't use 100% of the rating).

With no recharge, you are limited to about 12w average consumption to get a week out of those batteries (not going to happen).

So shady sites are a non-starter as the solar will do nothing. Running the generator at least a couple hours a day is the only way to go a week.

But with a good solar set up (and a site with a clear view of the sun!!!!!), it's certainly possible.

Look at the fridges in question and find the wattage rating (alternatively, they might give amp rating and you multiply by the voltage to get watts...ie: 4 amps @ 120v is 480w).
- Then you need an estimated duty cycle (ie: what percentage of the time is the compressor actually running).
- Multiply the wattage times 24 hours times the duty cycle...that will give you an estimate of the watt-hr you need to replace each day.

For the solar panels, figure around 4 times the rated wattage in watt-hours (ie: 200w of panels will generate around 800watt-hr each day).

Sounds more complicated than it is...just follow thru step by step.

PS: also check for other items that you will be running off battery power (lights, water pump, fans, etc...)


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Retired JSO

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Posted: 05/24/22 03:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Our LG 22 cf fridge draws 7 amps. It doesn’t run all the time so I have no idea what’s the total consumption. While we keep ours plugged in 24/7 at home, on the road we have been making ice at least 48 hours with 2 12 volt trolling type batteries. I would imagine with a good solar setup, you could do at least a week without any problem.





FootSoldier

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Posted: 05/24/22 04:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Retired JSO wrote:

Our LG 22 cf fridge draws 7 amps. It doesn’t run all the time so I have no idea what’s the total consumption. While we keep ours plugged in 24/7 at home, on the road we have been making ice at least 48 hours with 2 12 volt trolling type batteries. I would imagine with a good solar setup, you could do at least a week without any problem.


My main question; is why choose a residential fridge in an RV? It seems like we see more and more residential type, rather than the propane option?

The thought behind trying to get a week on batteries is that I figure we'll be in a hook-up by then. We could go from hookup to another hookup with at least a week in between, I think we could go anywhere we wanted.

Veebyes

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Posted: 05/24/22 05:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

At 35' you are bordering on the large size for NP, BLMs & Forest Service CGs. That is not to say that it cannot be done. It will take some research to find places that you will have access to.

We are a 34' 5er & always up to a challenge but always aware of what we can & cannot do. Getting towed out of places that we should not go is not cheap.

On the fridge choice, we have had to replace our two way RV fridge once already. Very expensive.Should we ever have to do it again we are leaning towards a residential fridge. The residential fridge is much cheaper for a start but will need a pure sinewave inverter, not cheap. It will also need a robust battery bank if there are plans to do any more than a couple days of dry camping.

Solar is nice, expensive to set up something decent, & only effective when the sun hits it. JMO, but a generator is much more effective. Best to get an inverter generator which is not running at full RPM all the time. Good on gas but not cheap to buy.

Research & decisions.


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Posted: 05/24/22 06:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

new residential Whirlpool in my RV...pretty efficient. Inverter shows only 200 watts while cooling.

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theoldwizard1

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Posted: 05/25/22 03:11am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lwiddis wrote:

200 Lithium amps isn't enough to run a fridge for a week or so IMO and you'll have other draws. And, again IMO, "planning" to use both solar and a generator is planning to fail. Plan to recharge the batteries with solar by itself with a generator as a backup or for A/C.

200 Ah of lithium MAY be enough, depending on how big your solar array is and how much sun you get.

I'm sure someone, somewhere has a way to calculate the amount of solar power and battery is required.

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