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Old 01-26-2016, 09:27 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by mnoland30 View Post
On our houseboat, we use a Honda 2000 at the end of a 100 ft. 10 ga. extension cord to run our freezer (frige is gas). Nice and quiet. We run it about 6 mehours a day and that is enough even at 100 degrees. Google HandyBob's Blog and it will tell you everything you need to know about solar. I use solar on my trailer, and it runs everything but the AC and microwave on a 100 watt panel and two batteries. The Trimetric battery monitor is the right answer, even if you don't go solar.
Very Cool, Thank You!!

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Old 01-26-2016, 09:30 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by ttanous View Post
I have the whirlpool refrigerator. It is the 20 cubic foot. I have traveled 10 hours with no problems with inverter. I have installed a meter in the basement by taping off the hot side of the light in the water closet. I am comfortable based on my experience going 15 hours without any issues. Hope this helps using the inverter supplied by CC. This is with 4 - 6 volt batteries.

Thank You!! That is great info!

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Old 01-26-2016, 10:58 AM   #23
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I would invest in solar to keep the 4 6V batteries charging in daylight. That would extend the time you don't need to run the gen. We boondock 90% of the time and I've wrestled with the idea of a res fridge. Not sure if there's enough pros vs cons. I think if I ever do I'd go a little overkill. We spend weeks boon docking. Not necessarily in a row. But sometimes we're out for 5-7 days in a row. Having to run the gen everyday can be a hassle depending on what CG we're in.
That's why I'd go overkill and get plenty of solar. My truck should be plenty to keep the fridge running while traveling so that's a non issue. I see no reason to turn off the fridge while traveling.
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Old 01-26-2016, 11:01 AM   #24
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My 2015 Dynamax DX3-37RB came with a 23 cubic foot, three door residential refrigerator installed. Sadly, Dynamax only installed TWO 12VDC house batteries. The dealer I purchased from, told me I should get two days on those two 12VDC batteries. The dealer (TerryTown RV in Grand Rapids, MI) GREATLY exaggerated or, outright lied. I got about 12 HOURS out of those two 12VDC house batteries when they started with a full charge. My Super C has VERY poor instrumentation. I have NO idea as to what my amperage draw is at any given moment. The four "idiot lights" on the control panel leave MUCH to be desired. I expect that later this year, I'll add solar power and will, at that time, have GOOD instrumentation installed. I have upgraded to six 6VDC wet cell batteries and find, that I get just past 48 hours with the increased capacity. I'm hoping that once I've added some solar power, I'd be able to boondock for at least 3 ~ 4 days without needing to run the generator. I'll look into that Trimetric 2030RV system monitor Explorer1016 mentioned.

PS: Dynamax AND Forest River are TERRIBLE about providing GOOD and USEFUL information regarding WINTERIZING a RESIDENTIAL refrigerator. They told me numerous times to check their website but I find NOTHING about winterizing residential refrigerators. My fridge has two ice makers and water on the door so, my unit is especially hard to winterize.
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Old 01-26-2016, 04:59 PM   #25
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Dave one thing everyone is missing (the inverter pulls power also!) so you need to look up your model fridge, and your inverter and see what "each one pulls" to even come close to figuring out what you need and how long in may last.
Also people need to realize that the battery's do not pull down on a flat line, as the charge drops the amount of charge drops at a higher rate, so it really is a slide scale to come up with any real numbers (and math is not my best suit)
Hope this helps and good luck and Happy Camping
2010 Cedar Creek Silverback 35ts
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Old 01-26-2016, 05:44 PM   #26
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Wow! What an adventure!

Some background that I left out of my original "Simple" Question. My wife and I are transitioning to a full-time RV life. We have looked at literally hundreds of different fifth wheel trailers and have narrowed it down to two. One is, of course, the Cedar Creek F34RE (New this year) and the other is a Montana 3735MK (Now out of production). The Montana may require a new truck. Something we don't want to invest in at this time. I am 64 and she is...... Uh hem ...... a bit younger.

A post here kind of put the period on the one question not asked and that was "How long do you plan to boondock?" The wife uses a CPAP machine. That was a Slap the Forehead (Doh!) moment for me. So ......... being off the grid would only be for a two or three days at most or a night in a freeway rest stop. Not a winter worth of time off the grid like the BLM Campgrounds in Quartzsite AZ.

Now then, the true take aways from this adventure are:

1. The need to put in a Battery monitor.
2. Look at need and decide if a Residential fridge is needed or if a nice 2-way will work.
3. Generators are a Good Thing if using to top off the batteries
4. Determine the Size of the batteries. I know from other discussions that the bank of 4 - 6volt batteries is the preferred system.
5. Need to do more research on "Wet Cell", Gel, Deep Cycle, RV vs Marine, Etc .........
6. Learn Math and get some Log Log paper for plotting the downturn in battery discharge. That comment Really helped!! I never thought about the "How" it discharged ....... It just Did ...... Right??
6. The biggest take Away?? What fantastic people there are here on this forum! Thank You!!

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Old 01-27-2016, 03:18 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Gpa-Dave View Post
We have been kicking that around too. The Montana's have all pretty much gone to the dual fridge. We will need to ask about having that put in the 34RE when we go that direction. Thanks!!!
I have an early 2016 price sheet from Forest River and the dealer when we purchased our 34RL Cedar Creek in April. My DW wanted the side by side raised Wood fronts- propane/electric fridge instead of the residential fridge that was standard. She does not like stainless steel as this leaves finger prints and streaks; per her.
I told her we were going with the standard residential fridge (one of the few decisions I have ever won). Why I would not pay the $2,023 up charge over the residential fridge for the absorption unit.
Jim W.
2016 34RL CC; 2008 Ram Mega Cab 2500HD, 6.7L, 68RFE 6 speed, 4X4, Smarty S67, TDR 112K+miles
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Old 01-27-2016, 09:24 PM   #28
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We bought the 34RL in Feb 15. We have a 18 c.f. whirlpool residential fridge and have 1000w inverter with 4 6v batteries. I have a CPAP that I use and we are full timers. I run the 1 2000 watt honda gen during the day and shut it down at night and the batteries and fridge are fine. While traveling I forgot to turn on the the inverter and 12 hrs later fidge was still 40 deg and freezer was 20 deg. You got the generators to charge up so have fun.
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Old 01-28-2016, 05:34 AM   #29
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Now that I have installed a Trimetric in my coach I am beginning to see other things that are important with a residential reefer, inverter and boondocking. Sure I always ran the genny when the idiot lights got low, but now I can see what is happening more clearly. If you are running a generator to charge up after a discharge cycle, make sure that your converter is giving you a good bang for the buck. One of the reasons I installed my second inverter is that it makes no sense to run a 4000 or 5000 watt generator in order to power a 200 watt television or a couple of cell phone chargers!

My 70 amp converter rarely stays in boost mode very long and drops quickly to 13.3 volts resulting in less than 20 amps charge current or so. Strangely, when I am on the road, the alternator maintains a solid 14.4 volts. Fortunately I have a Progressive Dynamics converter and forgot to get the Charge Wizard pendant which allows me to FORCE it into boost mode manually. The converter is designed to drop out of boost automatically to avoid electrolyte evaporation but I am driving for hours with 14.4 volts applied to all of my batteries so why not a few hours a day on the generator.

When boondocking, force your converter to charge as fast as possible to get the most out of your generator time. I can tell you that at normal mode it takes at least 3 days to fully charge a battery bank while at boost mode it would be done in 11 hours. Now this is for a totally discharged 125 AH battery and none of us do that, but that means a 50% SOC battery would take around 6 hours or more and at normal mode it would take more than a day.

Before anyone else jumps in, I now believe that the nice, long, low current SOC topping off would be best done with some sort of solar. Even 200 watts result in a long and quiet SOC top off. I am considering adding just that.

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Old 01-28-2016, 09:22 AM   #30
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X2... Battery monitors make you smarter!

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