Did some testing - but not enough - on our trip from Colorado Springs to Waco and Palo Duro State Park in Texas.
Departure day was cool (60s and 70s) until we got to Amarillo. Fridge was holding at 29 - 34 degrees on 12V, no fan. Fridge temp would climb during stops - I was turning it off to avoid freezing contents. The theory that the air flow at highway speeds will provide sufficient cooling is correct.
From Amarillo to Waco, temps were in the 90s. Again, while moving the fridge would hold 29-34 degrees, no fan. At one stop, turned fridge off and temp shot quickly up to 40. Started turning on fan during stops, and temps held steady at 36 or less.
In Waco at campground for 5 days, ran fridge on AC with fan on. Had to set dial at 3 to prevent freezing.
Departed Waco for Palo Duro Canyon State Park, temps in 90s. Ran fan during stops. Fridge held 33-36 entire time. Had a 1 hour check-in plus another half hour setting up. Propane/CO/low voltage alarm went off shortly after plugging in shore power (before I moved fridge to AC). Reset it twice, the third alarm reset itself. No more alarms after that.
From Palo Duro to Colorado Springs, tried to run fridge on propane. Flame blew out after a couple of hours. Measured voltages at home with TV attached - noted car voltage starts out at 14, quickly drops to 13.2. But RV has 13.2 at the battery even with fridge running on DC and running lights on.
- fan mod is critical to decent fridge performance. Without it, there just isn't enough air flow across the cooling coils when the camper is sitting there.
- While on the road, fan is not needed. But fan should be turned on during stops.
- Fan dramatically increases fridge efficiency. Both propane and AC can be dialed back to half power or less.
- Have to do more testing to be sure, but my TV will not do anything more than trickle charge camper batteries. During stops, the fridge will deplete batteries fairly quickly if left on DC (13.3A), and this charge will not be replaced while driving.
- I need to put a fan switch in the fridge compartment. The one inside the camper is pretty useless. I will be using the fan just about all the time when camping.
2014 Rockwood A122 A-frame
2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan