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Old 05-14-2019, 11:37 PM   #1
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Battery life without running generator, and how much time do extra batteries add?

We were hoping to buy a Force 34KD or 37BH (with loveseat, not entertainment center option) with 2-way refrigerator to use this summer.

We dry camp about 75% of the time, and would prefer the extra battery life you get by running the refrigerator and heat with propane. We also park overnight at family's house sometimes, and don't want to fire up the generator in a residential neighborhood if the batteries are low.

Unfortunately, there is little to nothing available with a 2-way refrigerator, so we are considering buying a Force, or DX3 with cabover bunk, with residential refrigerator, or possibly a DX3 with cabover bunk with all electric.

Can you please tell me approximately how much time you can expect to run on batteries without firing up the generator: 1) on a propane coach with residential refrigerator; or 2) on an all electric coach? Assume light TV use, light cooking, light lights, and moderate temperatures so moderate heating needs.

Since there is so much OCCC on these rigs, could you add 2 or 4 or 6 additional batteries, and will that significantly affect how long you can power things before needing to fire up the generator?

Thank you.
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Old 05-15-2019, 06:17 AM   #2
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Adding more batts , or spending big bucks on Lithium batts that can be more deeply discharges only solves the problem a bit.And require longer charge tines.

Any way you could install a proper RV 2 way fridge?

Batts are harmed by a "too deep" discharge , so I suggest a SOC meter as first purchase.

SOC = State of Charge.These will need a shunt installed (no big deal, comes with most SOC meters).

An RV unit will run about $150 , the marine versions are over $200.

But compare that with replacing the house batt bank often .
TriMetric Battery Monitor - - Bogart Engineering

www.bogartengineering.com/products/trimetrics.html
○Measures battery % full, based on amp hour measurements for accurate information on state of charge (SOC). This method is more accurate than monitors ...


You need to understand the electric you now use to be able to extend boondock time.
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Old 05-15-2019, 06:25 AM   #3
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Stock my 37RB is good for about 24 hours give or or take (no scientific Ah calculations there, just past experience)

My recommendation, and what I'm in the process of doing, is to look at a properly sized solar system if you dont want to run the gen.

Battery upgrades, especially lithium, are nice and will stretch it out but they all need to be charged. Solar coupled with batteries would allow you to be self sufficient as long as the sun is out
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Old 05-15-2019, 07:01 AM   #4
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Got to learn the math.

P=I*V.

Unfortunately the big problem is batteries. Batteries do not hold a lot of juice. You have to learn to manage your power. More batteries the longer you can go. Remember the 50% discharge rule for wet batteries.

Rvís with all electric appliances are not designed to boondock without the generator being used often.

Inverters are 80-90% efficient, another issue.

For example running a microwave or convection oven can wipe out a 100 amp battery in 25 minutes. A cpap machine will wipe one out in a night. A residental fridge could do it in 4-6 hours (worst cases, south Texas in the summer). A furnace would wipe one out in a night.

Our fiver has four six volt batteries. With that and an rv fridge best case we can go 3 days without ac power, generator. Does not include the furnace.

So the answer to your question depends.

If you have 8 solar panels and $6,000 worth of batteries then, you can change the numbers, if the sun shines a lot.
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Old 05-15-2019, 07:16 AM   #5
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You state "running the refrigerator and heat with propane."


Running a fridge on propane can significantly extend battery life, but the furnace uses both propane ( heat) and 12VDC ( fan) to operate and the fan consumes a considerable amount of power so there are not choices here. Based on your comments you are going to need some method of charging the batteries almost daily. Also keep in mind that high capacity deep cycle batteries do not charge quickly.
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Old 05-15-2019, 07:29 AM   #6
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Just to keep the conversation on track here the OP is looking at models that come stock with 440 Ah of AGM batteries. Not a nominal amount, but as I stated the residential fridge will draw them down.
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Old 05-15-2019, 08:46 AM   #7
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Thank you for the replies and insight above.

I probably should have stated the question this way:

Without running the generator, roughly how much more operating time can you get with a 2-way refrigerator compared to: 1) residential refrigerator and propane system; or 2) all electric?

If the answer is 2-3 hours, I don't know that there is a big advantage to the 2-way refrigerator.

If the answer is more like 24-48 hours, it seems like the 2-way refrigerator would be a high priority for us.
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Old 05-15-2019, 09:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by content View Post
Thank you for the replies and insight above.

I probably should have stated the question this way:

Without running the generator, roughly how much more operating time can you get with a 2-way refrigerator compared to: 1) residential refrigerator; or 2) all electric?

If the answer is 2-3 hours, I don't know that there is a big advantage to the 2-way refrigerator.

If the answer is more like 24-48 hours, it seems like the 2-way refrigerator would be a high priority for us.
My two cents, the frig will run for months on propane. Lots of factors, tank size, ambient temp, cooling fans behind frig, frig contents, ...
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Old 05-15-2019, 09:42 AM   #9
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75% boondock = fridge that will run on propane IMO. Using Gas power wherever possible is much more desired; conserve battery.

I think a generator is also pretty essential when BDing. I dont use super batteries but find I need to charge daily, even though I do use gas whenever possible.
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Old 05-15-2019, 10:27 AM   #10
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And to frame the question one more way...

The 2-way refrigerator is a $3,000 (retail) option. If you get an all-electric unit (i.e. no 2-way refrigerator), could you get the same amount of operating time (without running the generator) as the 2-way refrigerator/propane unit if you spend that $3,000 on aftermarket power system upgrades/more battery storage?

Appreciate your patience. Power systems are not my area of knowledge (yet!)
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