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Old 12-06-2015, 09:25 AM   #1
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Research, Research, and then do more Research

It cannot be stressed enough how thorough you have to be before you buy a new camper. I purchased a 2015 puma 295bhss, and absolutely love it. Everything worked out. Now my brother came out over the summer for a weekend and loved it. Two weeks later he began his search for one. I helped him come up with a list of things the new camper should have. He was also limited by weight, and needed a bunkhouse being he has 4 small kids.
He searched all over the internet, and then went to the Hershey RV show. Great show and found a camper he liked. He ordered a 2016 vibe 308bhs. It's a beautiful TT. We go to pick it up last week and do the PDI. We find out that it has a residential fridge. Never would I have thought that we had to make sure it had a LP/electric fridge. Plus the actual dealer was from troy, NY. He picked it up from the Camping World by Hershey. Even though the guy was nice, he did not know much about this model. We were told each camping world has there own regional brands and they don't see alot of vibes go through there.
So the problem is that 90% of the time we dry camp on the beach. Having a fridge that only works on shore power or battery isn't going to work. We can run a generator from 9-1 and 5-9. But that still isn't going to work.
I told him to email Forest River and the dealer and see if they can work with him. We still are not sure if the residential fridge is standard equipment or an unwanted upgrade. Anyone use a residential fridge and dry camp?
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Old 12-06-2015, 09:31 AM   #2
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That would really suck if it happened to me. I guess, these days, this is one of the things you have to find out about first. It seems more and more RVs are going with residential refrigerators. I would never want one.

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Old 12-06-2015, 11:07 AM   #3
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I would rather have two gas/ electric ones side by side if I needed more refrigerator space. I have seen that set up in travel trailers
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Old 12-06-2015, 11:35 AM   #4
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You might be able to go solar to keep bats up to run the fridge. Need to know how much draw and size/ storage cap. of bats to come up with how many/ out[it of panels.
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Old 12-06-2015, 01:40 PM   #5
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You might be able to go solar to keep bats up to run the fridge. Need to know how much draw and size/ storage cap. of bats to come up with how many/ out[it of panels.
He did mention looking into solar. He's trying to find a good solution to make this work. What we do is load up camper and fridge on tuesday. Wednesday pull camper onto the beach and setup. Then come back on Friday and stay for the weekend. They have a 4 night minimum, so we pay for 2 nights we don't use. Still well worth it. So the problem would be fridge running for about 48 hours off batteries unattened. We're going to look into AH of the 2 batteries, and the draw of the fridge. I know the camping world guy said it's wired to a factory installed inverter, but we don't know what the draw is. Have to research it a little. LP fridge would have been great. I'm hoping he didn't get charged for this upgrade he didn't want. I think the problem is when he said he liked the camper the salesman wrote it up exactly the way the one at the show was and didn't go over all the possible options. It's kind of a 2 sided mistake.
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Old 12-06-2015, 01:49 PM   #6
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Could hook up jumper cables to charge the battery and run a car or truck to help charge the battery till he gets a solution.


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Old 12-06-2015, 01:54 PM   #7
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When we were at FROG rally in Goshen I asked about the residential refrigerators being so common. I was told more and more of the 50amp rigs will come with them as standard. The propane/electric would be an option at a cost of up to $2000 (depending on size). I didn't like the need for a bank of batteries and their weight!
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Old 12-06-2015, 02:33 PM   #8
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The residential Whirlpool 10.7 cu ft. is an option. Dometic is standard. FYI...inverter is 1000 watts so Max amp draw is not more than 8 amps when the compressor is on. Of course it is likely on 1/4 to 1/2 the time depending on outside temps and amount of door opening.
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BTW...a kill o watt meter can be more precise about what the fridge actually draws in watts (/by 120 to get amps) http://www.amazon.com/P3-P4400-Elect.../dp/B00009MDBU
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Old 12-06-2015, 02:49 PM   #9
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The residential Whirlpool 10.7 cu ft. is an option. Dometic is standard. FYI...inverter is 1000 watts so Max amp draw is not more than 8 amps when the compressor is on. Of course it is likely on 1/4 to 1/2 the time depending on outside temps and amount of door opening.
Vibe Travel Trailers by Forest River RV

BTW...a kill o watt meter can be more precise about what the fridge actually draws in watts (/by 120 to get amps) http://www.amazon.com/P3-P4400-Elect.../dp/B00009MDBU
Thank you.That's the brochure I was looking for. So it was an upgrade. He just didn't catch it. It does seem possible to keep fridge running for 2 days straight before charging batteries. I thought the fridge would draw alot more. He will have to figure out the parasitic draw added to the fridge draw. Possibly swap out the 2 12 volt batteries for 4 6 volt.
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Old 12-06-2015, 03:34 PM   #10
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Yah...some tough choices but unless he can get a straight up swap out...I'm thinking upgrading the battery & charging system is what will be needed and that will be a lot cheaper than paying for a swap out.
Just back of the envelope without any hard numbers... but lets say that the fridge uses 7 amps & runs 12 hours a day...that is 84 amp hours a day 168 for the two days away.
Parasitic loads will be minor over that time so 2 pair of 6V's will give you 210 usable amp hours before needing a recharge. So that will work. Next thing will be to get them recharged with as little generator time as possible...which means a charger close to 80 amps. (20% of 400 amp hours). This would let you get back to 80% charged in roughly 2 hours...4 hours would be better. Then you can just monitor daily use of the fridge and your other 12V loads and recharge as needed.
Strongly suggest a Victron or Trimetric battery monitor instead of the watt meter so you can do all this without murdering the new batts. I'm guesssing around $7-800 bucks to make it boondock ready assuming the generator can handle the charging chores & house loads. I think a nice solar panel would be a great way to top up the batts to a full 100% after the weekend. Good luck
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