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Old 03-13-2016, 09:04 PM   #21
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Not sure of the size of the fridge in our Georgetown, but it is big and runs off electric only. The first time out, I forgot to turn on the inverter, and with the fridge and freezer full, everything was perfect after 6-7 hours of traveling. So even after no power at all, our fridge held up. I wouldn't go back to a gas/electric model.

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Old 03-13-2016, 10:17 PM   #22
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There are many links about the battery options (6 volt vs 12 volt) that can drive you to analysis paralysis. I have one 12v battery and have run for over 10 hours while towing with no problems.

I posted this some time back on another thread about residential vs gas/DC...

My observations..

1) heavier, probably but so are 5th wheels
2) can use on 120v or 12v (via a "good inverter")
3) have used one battery with no issues ( i do not typically dry camp)
4) always use while traveling, not sure why I would not? TV charging battery. Also no question about operating fridge with gas while traveling or going thru some tunnels with my fridge on.
5) more capacity than gas/120v unit
6) gets cold fast, do not have to worry about turning on way ahead of use and then making sure all the food I put in is already cold or frozen.
7) does not ice up or constantly drain water outside
8) I can stand in front of the open door and wonder what I want without worrying about letting all the cold out :
9) I can have my vanilla ice cream that is actually frozen

I think the biggest trade off is how you camp. If you do a lot of dry camping then a residential is probably not your best choice but if not, you will love the residential unit imho...

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Old 03-14-2016, 10:35 AM   #23
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You need to watch your batteries, if just riding from campground to campground and never do any dry camping then your vehicles alternator will keep your batteries topped off. But if you let your batteries drop 70% or 60% or maybe even 50% then there is no way your vehicles alternator will bring your batteries back to 100%.

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Old 03-14-2016, 07:15 PM   #24
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We have the 20 cu ft Whirlpool side by side refrigerator, pull out freezer. It is powered by a WFCO WF 5100 Inverter, 1,000 watts. When that goes I'll replace it with a Xantrex 1,800 watt inverter. I never had problems with Xantrex products on the boat.
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Old 03-14-2016, 07:37 PM   #25
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I would like the gas for boondocking. My 3500 watt Generator works hard to run the AC and Refrigerator. My next one will have gas or a big generator.
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Old 03-14-2016, 07:53 PM   #26
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I have a electric refrigerator and I have four six volt batteries to power the frig with and the rest of camper. I am going to buy four six volt Trojans Wednesday to make a extra bank of batteries with a 3,000 watt inverter. I like the electric refrigerator, you don't have to worry about being level when setting up plus the electric refrigerator gets food colder, we have a ice maker too.

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Old 03-14-2016, 08:03 PM   #27
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I too vote for the residential refrigerator. There is so much more capacity, ice maker, faster recovery and reduced replacement cost. An absorption camper type refer will cost $3000.00 to replace. My 18 Cu Ft. residential refer will cost about $900.00 to replace. Of course the batteries will double that cost, but you don't usually end up replacing refer and batteries at the same time. The batteries are a Dealer supplied item. Regardless of what people say about the type and number of batteries they have, make sure you get what you are supposed to get. If the camper is supposed to have four 6 volt batteries, the dealer may try to pull a fast one and stick in a single 12 volt battery. That's a big difference in money.

Anyway, since I don't boon dock, I'll never go back to a camper style refer.

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Old 03-14-2016, 11:36 PM   #28
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2 Trojan T106 wired in series will run the fridge and other ghost loads for over 24 hours while keeping within 50%+ charge.

The trickle on the truck while running the inverter helps but the batteries will still draw down. The limiting factor is likely the wire size and run length - DC power drops voltage really quickly unless you have really thick wire and/or short distances. Your batteries will still pull down because their voltage will exceed what is getting to you from the truck. Eventually they will reach equilibrium. With a single 12 volt marine deep cycle that was around 12.3 volts for me and that meant the battery was over discharged.

I considered running a separate line for the batteries off of one of the aux switches in the truck but it got complicated. My next upgrade would be solar panels on the roof so that charging happens underway, parked, etc. with a decent solar array and extra batteries boon docking for a day or two is feasible with a residential fridge. I think I figured I needed about 100-125 amp hours per day just to run the inverter and fridge. in hot weather I'd add a generator to drag out when you run low or it clouds up.

The res fridge is really nice to have, never any shortage of ice, DW packs up the fridge with frozen entrees for when we have had a long day on the road and there is no energy to cook, clean or go out to eat. Pull in, reset the clock on the microwave, pop in a frozen dinner and go watch the sunset with a cold one while dinner cooks itself.
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Old 03-15-2016, 06:08 AM   #29
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I have read numerous posts regarding residential refrigerators and have one in my 2015 335DS. In the past I have had adsorption RV units and I was at first concerned about the heavy battery loads from the 2000 watt inverter.

First: This is a class A with 4-12 volt group 27 deep cycle batteries from the factory, a Ford chassis with a 175 amp alternator, a 70 amp converter a 2000 Watt Xantrex pure sine wave inverter for the reefer, a 1000 watt Xantrex pure sine wave for my computers, all televisions and a CPAP machine, a 5000 watt generator and a Frigidaire 22 cu/ft residential reefer.

I installed a Trimetric since the 4 red LEDs on the power panel are really useless since they don't tell you what you need to know and don't tell you anything at all once any charging source (alternator, solar or converter) is running. You have to wait at least 24 hours with no load and no charging for any real data and voltage is not a good indicator of state of charge (SOC) with flooded cell, lead acid batteries. I don't think anyone with a residential reefer should be without a Trimetric unless they stay connected to shore power all the time when not driving.

In my experience (using the Trimetric) driving is no problem since when I get to my destination I am generally at 100% SOC since the alternator can keep the reefer running indefinitely and top off the batteries as I run. I don't however, drive forever!

When operating without any shore power, I can easily go overnight with no problem, even when running my furnace to a decent temperature, running one or two TVs, LED lighting, water pump...and my CPAP (humidity turned off.) In the morning, when I start the generator to make coffee, I generally have about 75 to 85% SOC left in the bank. Now that I have a residential reefer, I am not nearly as stingy about running the genny since I can watch it put power back in the battery bank in real time on the Trimetric. I did add the $12 Wizard pendant to my PD converter so that I can force it into boost mode to maximize the benefit of generator time.

I have not yet done the actual test, but I suspect that I could go nearly 24 hours before I hit 50% SOC. By my calculations, I could replace almost all of the lost SOC from 24 hours with about 3 or 4 hours or generator time in boost charge mode. I will rewire my converter to battery bank since it is a 22 foot run with #6 cable from the factory...and that costs me about half a volt at reasonable charging amperages and I want to get the most out of my generator powered coffee breaks!

That is my current are my matching calculations. The reefer has an Energy Star rating of 539 KWH per year, which translates to about 62 watts per hour (at 90 degrees ambient temperature!) and my 4 batteries should last for 22 hours if I go to 50% or 35 hours if I go to 20% SOC, which pretty much matches my empirical data.

Now add 600 watts of solar, stay in a reasonable climate, and get steady state with enough battery capacity to last through a really bad rainy day!

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Old 03-15-2016, 09:42 AM   #30
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I plan to add solar when I can see how someone else has ran the wires. I am a little nervous about putting the panels on top of camper.

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