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Old 05-24-2015, 08:31 AM   #1
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More newbie questions

These questions will be coming often and will be pretty basic and maybe even a little...unsmart.

This session will involve the refrigerator and how to use it (power options, etc). We are getting a Rockwood 8329ss, which is on order. We haven't rv'd in years so I am sure that things have changed somewhat, technology wise.

Do most of you load the frig prior to leaving? If so, what powers it originally, is it the TV battery? If you do an overnight quick stop at a rest area or someplace that is not a real campsite do you run off propane or TT battery?

What does one need to do to change over from battery to propane as far as running the frig goes? And what about when you go to shore power - do you have to do anything to the frig to change it from propane to electric?

Probably very rudimentary questions but I am clueless. And, as I said, there will be plenty more of these to come in the near future.

Thanks gang.
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Old 05-24-2015, 08:37 AM   #2
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Most of the fridges now run off of propane or shore power. Very few 3 ways around anymore except maybe in some pop ups.
When running off propane, it uses the TT battery to light, run the light in it etc..
I usually start my fridge a day before we are going to leave, then load her up before we leave, or we stop at the grocery store on the way out and load her up.
Most of the fridges now have a button for "automatic" which means when it detects you are plugged into 110, it will use that, if not, it will automatically go to propane.
Hope that helps.
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Old 05-24-2015, 08:56 AM   #3
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Mark is correct on the fridge operations but don't trust the "automatic" setting...make sure you check on it often. (Sometimes it will get confused and will just wait for input..and get very warm!!)

We like to get the trailer a day or two before heading out to prep it and I do turn on the propane while it's in the lot before even bringing it home to get it running because it does take quite a while to get the fridge and freezer down to operating temperatures. When I get to the house, I plug into a 110 and the fridge switches to that. But the gas comes back on while I'm driving to keep it cool. (Most of the cooling, while running on gas, comes from the propane, very little from your batteries.)

Sometimes I'll get the trailer after work in order to head out the next day. Having it plugged into my 110 at the house makes the fridge all ready to load in the morning before heading out. (And I always do my tire pressure checks and torque the lug nuts before pulling out.)
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Old 05-24-2015, 09:04 AM   #4
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My TT is not far from the house... So I do not bring it home prior to departure. The morning prior to heading out, I turn on the propane and fridge... I also add items to the fridge and freezer that I want cold, but will not go bad if warm (pop, juice, jelly, water, etc). Later that evening it should be cooled down and I'll add the other items. Doesn't drain the battery hardly at all. 1-1/2 days of just fridge drops my battery about 1/3.
I haven't seen a fridge that runs off battery since our RPod. It was a nice feature to have while in transit... But not when you forget about it and it drains your battery in the TT and TV.
I had a Rockwood before my current TT... You had two options... Shore power or "Auto"... Where if you weren't hooked to, or lost, shore power, it would automatically turn on the propane. Never have had an issue with it not functioning as designed (as a PP said).


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Old 05-24-2015, 09:07 AM   #5
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Old 06-13-2015, 05:29 PM   #6
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Our fridge is only electric, which we didn't realize was a bad thing. (Newbies to RVing). My husband is going to get a marine battery and install an inverter so we can use it for more than a glorified cooler when we are dry camping. We are also hoping I will be able to use my hair dryer. 😊


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Old 06-13-2015, 06:02 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by laurarice26 View Post
My husband is going to get a marine battery and install an inverter
I probably wouldn't recommend a marine battery in a dry camping situation like that. You might make it a day or so, but that would be drawing the battery completely down which isn't too healthy for your battery.

I would be looking at a true deep cycle battery. If you have enough room, I would go with 2 - 6v golf cart batteries. They can be had from most box stores (costco/sam's/etc) for around $80 each. It would give you around 220 amp hours (ah) capacity, however, to keep them healthy you really don't want to take them down below a 50% soc (state of charge).

A marine battery will generally only have 50-80ah's... 105ah is on the top end.

You would want to calculate your fridges power requirements along with any other electric loads.. as well as the inverters power needs, then size your battery bank accordingly.

Generally speaking.. running an electric fridge in a dry camping situation is pretty rough without an alternate charging source. Ie., generator or solar.
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Old 06-13-2015, 08:38 PM   #8
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My husband is going to get a marine battery and install an inverter so we can use it for more than a glorified cooler when we are dry camping. We are also hoping I will be able to use my hair dryer.
Not going to happen with one marine battery.

You're going to need a bank of 6c golf batteries and a big inverter, to power the fridge or run a hair dryer.
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Old 06-14-2015, 11:13 PM   #9
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What I learned.....

My fridge "defaults" to auto. I normally hook up shore power the day before departure and get the fridge cold electrically. Just before departure, I swap it to propane.

On our first outing, I discovered that every time I started the generator, the fridge swapped to electric, then back to propane when the generator was shut down. Maybe that is harmless, but it bothers me.....so I now make sure the controls are set to "gas" before disconnecting the shore power. I also verify that it is operating properly.
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Old 06-15-2015, 10:13 PM   #10
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When your fridge is warm and you start it on gas how can you tell if it's working besides waiting to see if it gets cold ? Does it make noise?
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