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Old 06-23-2016, 05:03 PM   #21
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Maybe this will help. Seems to be related to newer F150's:

https://www.heartlandowners.org/show...y-while-towing
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Old 06-23-2016, 05:32 PM   #22
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The original post for this thread has a Ranger, NOT an F150.
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Old 06-23-2016, 05:50 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by 05CrewDually View Post
The original post for this thread has a Ranger, NOT an F150.
Yeah, but fella10 has an F150 with a problem - see post #17. I feel obligated to help him out (we both have the same TT).
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Old 06-23-2016, 08:52 PM   #24
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As the original poster, I say help the guy out! I'll spend some time with a meter on mine this weekend.
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Old 06-23-2016, 11:20 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by rockfordroo View Post
Maybe this will help. Seems to be related to newer F150's:

https://www.heartlandowners.org/show...y-while-towing
thanks rock, I'll pursue this, may even print the first post on that link and take to my dealer...... again thanks
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Old 06-24-2016, 07:01 PM   #26
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Pooneil and others, thank you for your help. As an experiment on my way home, I ran my fridge on propane and monitored my voltage. I saw a good 13.5 with the TV running, so now I know I've got a good circuit. The wiring to the rear of the truck is done in either 10 or 12 guage wires so I'm guessing it's simply a matter of too much draw combined with voltage drop over the long distance.

So new question, but mostly out of curiosity, why does this fridge even have a 12v function? Seems useless at this point. I suppose if I had a huge solar array and dual 6v batteries, but....
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Old 06-24-2016, 10:03 PM   #27
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The 12 volts runs the "brains" of the fridge. The propane or the 120 VAC heating element make the heat that runs the ammonia cycle, depending on which one you've chosen.

If the brains ran on 120VAC, your fridge wouldn't run going down the road or in a campground with no 120VAC (boondocking).
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Old 06-24-2016, 10:34 PM   #28
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The 12 volts runs the "brains" of the fridge. The propane or the 120 VAC heating element make the heat that runs the ammonia cycle, depending on which one you've chosen.

If the brains ran on 120VAC, your fridge wouldn't run going down the road or in a campground with no 120VAC (boondocking).
There may be no "brains" to the fridge. The bigger RV fridges in the High Wall pop-up models have a DC control board, controls inside the camper, and thermostatic control that cycles the cooling unit. They have some brains.

Standard A-Frames and PUPs have smaller, continuous run fridges. There is NO DC control board. The controls are mounted in the exterior fridge access compartment. Most have a DC switch, an AC switch, and a knob (household dimmer) to adjust AC cooling. Behind the lower vent are the propane controls - propane on-off switch/valve, a knob/valve to regulate propane flow, and an ignitor button. The mode and amount of cooling is manually selected, and the propane flame has to be manually lit by holding down the propane on/off valve and pushing the ignitor button.

These fridges draw about 6 amps when running on DC (the weakest mode), which when combined with running lights on may overload the tow vehicle connection.

With the fridge on DC, and running lights on, you should see at least 13.2 volts across the camper battery with tow vehicle running above idle (ideally 13.6 to 13.7 volts, 13.2V is trickle charge). If less, the camper battery is supplying some of the power, and the tow vehicle is not recharging the camper battery due to voltage drops in the wiring. If I'm charging with the engine above idle, but only seeing about 12.6 to 12.8 volts at idle, that is probably acceptable.

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Old 06-25-2016, 06:37 AM   #29
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The 12V mode for cooling can be thought of as a "sustainer" mode while traveling in case the propane doesn't stay lit. Or more appropriately, "better than nothing" mode. For extended use, it should only be switched on when the house battery is disconnected and the TV has a relay to cut off the charge line when the motor is shut off. Otherwise dead batteries are a risk.

As to "why," I guess it's an aspirational feature like many other things about RV design.
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Old 06-25-2016, 09:00 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by pgandw View Post
There may be no "brains" to the fridge. The bigger RV fridges in the High Wall pop-up models have a DC control board, controls inside the camper, and thermostatic control that cycles the cooling unit. They have some brains.

Standard A-Frames and PUPs have smaller, continuous run fridges. There is NO DC control board. The controls are mounted in the exterior fridge access compartment. Most have a DC switch, an AC switch, and a knob (household dimmer) to adjust AC cooling. Behind the lower vent are the propane controls - propane on-off switch/valve, a knob/valve to regulate propane flow, and an ignitor button. The mode and amount of cooling is manually selected, and the propane flame has to be manually lit by holding down the propane on/off valve and pushing the ignitor button.

These fridges draw about 6 amps when running on DC (the weakest mode), which when combined with running lights on may overload the tow vehicle connection.

With the fridge on DC, and running lights on, you should see at least 13.2 volts across the camper battery with tow vehicle running above idle (ideally 13.6 to 13.7 volts, 13.2V is trickle charge). If less, the camper battery is supplying some of the power, and the tow vehicle is not recharging the camper battery due to voltage drops in the wiring. If I'm charging with the engine above idle, but only seeing about 12.6 to 12.8 volts at idle, that is probably acceptable.

Fred W
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2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan
Sorry, I didn't realize this was an A-frame - so you are correct - no brains to speak of. A-frame and PUP fridges are small enough that they can operate on 12VDC with just a thermostat turning the 12 volt heating element on and off.

I ran my Coleman fridge from my (3) Dodge Grand Caravans's 12VDC going down the road for 20 years, no problems. (I did add a green LED on the side of the fridge wired in ahead of the thermostat that told me when 12VDC was available to the fridge (my PUP had no battery so I knew it was from the TV), and a red one on the other side of the thermostat that told me when the thermostat had turned on the heating element.) I did this after I had some trouble with the 7-pin plug one time. I wasn't getting the TV 12VDC to the camper, even though the lights all worked.
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