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Old 08-14-2014, 12:55 PM   #11
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We haven't had any problems. DW and I like our stuff cold - just short of freezing is fine. It takes a few days to get a unit to freezing stuff. I usually set around 7 (on 1-8 scale) and back off to 5 if nights get quite cold or 3rd dayof running or evidence of freezing stuff. It's really not all that sensitive - the manufacturers have sized the burners and elements pretty well.

Fred W
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Old 08-14-2014, 01:15 PM   #12
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Ok, well, I'm out of this conversation then. I'm hearing conflicting information on how these fridges work, and having no practical experience with them, I'm getting lost.

But, back to the problem at hand. How does the OP run on DC without killing his batteries?

I still stick by what I put in my original post. Either don't run it, and trust the fridge to keep it cold. Or do run it.

If you do run it, and it turns out the tow vehicle doesn't supply enough power, supplement the difference by adding solar.
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Old 08-14-2014, 01:57 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KyDan View Post
When a fridge is on LP gas mode it still requires a small amount
of 12v power because the control board needs it to function.
It does NOT run (cool) all the time. Once the interior temp is cold enough
the LP will shut off.
If it's running (cooling) on AC 120v the board still needs 12v DC to operate.
Same as LP- it will shut off the AC heater once the inside temp is cold
enough to satisfy the "thermister" that sends signal to the control board
that it's cold enough.
There's where the confusion is. The small 3 ways don't have a control board. It's entirely mechanical. LP ignition is manual and temp is controlled by a mechanical thermostat (from what I can gather) and not electronically. Everything is manually switched on the outside of the unit. I ran my old one with no power connected at all on LP to cool it off before a trip once while I was messing with the battery mounts. Chilled down fine with no power at all.

I also had no issues driving with DC mode. I ran two batteries and usually made 2 - 4 hour drives and normally stopped for 30 min to an hour to eat so the thing sat there and pulled battery for that long with no charging. I usually check battery voltage when I boondock about an hour after I get there and the batteries have almost always been nearly full.
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Old 08-14-2014, 02:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KyDan View Post
When a fridge is on LP gas mode it still requires a small amount
of 12v power because the control board needs it to function.
It does NOT run (cool) all the time. Once the interior temp is cold enough
the LP will shut off.
If it's running (cooling) on AC 120v the board still needs 12v DC to operate.
Same as LP- it will shut off the AC heater once the inside temp is cold
enough to satisfy the "thermister" that sends signal to the control board
that it's cold enough.
No.

Perhaps the high wall PUP models have a fridge big enough for the control boards and thermistors - the regular PUP and A-frame fridges DO run continuously. Therefore NO control board or thermistor is needed. The LP is regulated manually by a valve in the gas line. AC, when it has any regulation, has a manually operated SCR similar to incandescent light dimmers. All 3 phases (DC, AC, LP) in these small fridges run continuously, which makes for easy trouble-shooting. If the chimney is hot, heat is being supplied.

If you want to see for yourself, you are welcome to pay me a visit and check out my A122. I defy you to find a DC control board or a thermistor on the fridge.

Furnace and hot water heater (newer versions) do have some DC components. My old water heater had a pilot light for ignition. There is also a switch to turn these appliances off to prevent parasitic battery drains.

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Old 08-14-2014, 02:29 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pgandw View Post
For the OP: I run on DC while towing. I switch to AC or LP as soon as I disconnect the tow vehicle. DC will only hold my fridge, it does not get colder. I usually reconnect the batteries (to charge them), plug the camper in, and run the fridge on AC (max cool) for 12-36 hours before a trip to pre-cool. That seems to work pretty well.
I have always done the same thing. I precool from AC the day before we are to leave. When driving I use the DC setting to maintain temperature and then cut back to AC or propane at the campsite. I've never had any issues with the TT battery not maintaining a full charge while my TV is running.

I have what I consider a small fridge in my TT. It still requires 12V when running on propane. The power draw is minimal as it is just to run the electronics and igniter.
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Old 08-14-2014, 03:27 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaadk View Post
I'll admit I don't have one of the smaller fridges, but I don't see how that's possible. A control system requires electricity from somewhere.
Yes it uses a thermocouple. Just like pilot lit gas home and RV water heaters have been using for decades. But that just operates the valve to shut off the gas.

The fridge has no thermostat and does require manual adjustment. It is a pain when temperatures change and everything inside freezes.
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Old 08-14-2014, 04:25 PM   #17
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We need make and model of your unit to answer positively but thermocouple are few and far between nowadays. Most refers, water heaters and furnaces use flame rectification to sense flame presence. I also believe your fridge has a thermister to help control temperature but we're guessing without model numbers!
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Old 08-14-2014, 06:54 PM   #18
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In many if the a-frames it's a Dometic RM4223 and indeed uses a thermocouple.


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Old 08-14-2014, 06:56 PM   #19
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The sticky post at the top of this forum has PDF manuals for most everything in the early model A-frames. Might be a bit out of date on the most recent model years.


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Old 08-20-2014, 08:47 AM   #20
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I will third the vote that it does have a thermocouple.

when towing i use dc only, as my fridge "blows out" when on the road .. never had any issues with DC what so ever, as i check my batteries as soon as i get to the campsite, and after i leave to see how well they are retaining their charge.

d-mo
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