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Old 04-26-2015, 10:28 PM   #1
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How much battery power should a refrigerator draw?

We were in Glacier National Park for 4 days without electricity. We had the refrig set to propane, but it was still drawing power from the battery. The 2nd day we had not power to the refrig. The pilot went out when the battery died. Is this a common problem? Our dealer said the computer needs the battery power to keep the pilot lit. This does not sound right. We have a Windjammer 2102w. We were able to run our tent trailer refrig on propane for weeks without draining the battery.
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Old 04-26-2015, 10:45 PM   #2
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Yes. Your reefer does require 12v for the control board and to ignite the pilot when a cooling cycle begins.

However! There is no way your reefer alone (on propane) could drain a half way decently charged battery over a single day. Even a crudy automotive 12v battery.

There has to be some other factor at play. I would be looking at my charging system/practices and possibly having the battery load tested. From there I would be checking typical "heavy" loads (awnings, slides, breakaway, steps, etc) I require and sizing my battery bank accordingly. Some other considerations might be if I am running an inverter or not.

A lot of factors can play into battery drain, but if your reefer and a few lights were the only load, then yes... you have a problem.
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Old 04-26-2015, 10:54 PM   #3
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Well, you'd be surprised how quick a battery can deplete. LP and smoke detector, lights and furnace can sure drain a battery in a very short time.
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Old 04-26-2015, 11:03 PM   #4
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We traveled from Msp to Glacier with no charging from truck, (did not know the fuse was not in) without stopping. Battery was full when we left home. Only turned on water pump when needed to flush. All other power was flash light and head lamps. I think we may have a problem. Do not know where to begin? Any ideas!!
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Old 04-26-2015, 11:16 PM   #5
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begin by checking the battery how old is it ?and even a battery less then a yr old can go bad , then the charging from the tv , .once you know battery is good take a voltage test to see what the draw is for each appliance . then you can start to see your power usage and what you can expect from a battery . adding an extra battery or 2 or 3 wouldn't hurt either . maybe a inverter generator to help out
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Old 04-26-2015, 11:19 PM   #6
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First, I would completely charge the battery on a stand alone charger and then load test it to make sure it's in good condition.
Second, with all systems turned off (incl. the fridge) connect an Amp. meter to the battery and check what the parasitic draw is, it shouldn't be more than 1 - 2 Amps.
Lets say your battery has a 100 Amp/h capacity that gives you roughly 50 Amp/h usage before it's depleted, depending on your setup it could last anywhere from 2 days to 1 week. There could be lots possibilities here but this is a start.
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Old 04-26-2015, 11:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hockey11 View Post
I think we may have a problem. Do not know where to begin? Any ideas!!
So one issue resolved (fuse in)... what is the type and size of your battery? How old is it? Has it ever been fully discharged before? Before leaving home, what did you use to charge it and how did you know it was fully charged?

The more specific you can be with the type and method of equipment your using will help to provide the best information.
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Old 04-27-2015, 04:09 AM   #8
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Your mistake is dry camping without setting your rig up for that type of camping.
You need two deep cycle batteries, preferably 6v golf cart batteries.
Then a inverter generator or solar system for recharging the batteries.
All RVS have parasitic power drains.
A single 12v battery will be lucky to last 1 nite, if you run the furnace all nite.
Tent Trailers have way less power drains than a rig like yours.
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Old 04-27-2015, 07:00 AM   #9
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I had a similar situation recently. Found the plug pulled out from the breakaway switch while camping. Does that mean the brakes were applied and power pulled from the batteries?
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Old 04-27-2015, 07:26 AM   #10
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Do you have a switch for the condensation heater in the fridge? That heater WILL kill the battery in a day or so, depending on the battery. The older fridges like mine have a switch on the door.
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