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Old 12-12-2019, 11:04 AM   #1
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1 week of reefer madness ;-)

At the end of January we need to park our 2017 Sunseeker 2400W in the Ft. Lauderdale areas for a week while we take a break from trekking to enjoy a cruise. RV Parks want $100+/night to leave it plugged in but I can dry park for as little as $10/day at one location.
My questions is this: Will a full tank of propane and 1-year-old AGM house batteries be sufficient to keep the Dometic refrigerator on for a week? I am skeptical and certainly aware that a failure during the week could lead to a smelly outcome, but I would like to get some more inputs.
Would adding a solar panel make a difference?

Thanks,
Michael
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Old 12-12-2019, 11:08 AM   #2
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thinking you definitely need a way to keep battery charged, solar might do it. I think the propane will definitely hold out. especially if you have 2 tanks and automatic changeover.
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Old 12-12-2019, 11:09 AM   #3
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What is the LP tank size? 16.6 gallons? I think the Sunseeker MBS has a fairly large LP tank due to the LP generator.

Comparing to $100 a night camping, you could just toss out all the perishables and re-buy them after the cruise, and be money ahead.

Ft. Lauderdale sure does cash in on winter tourism. The hotels are overpriced and full, too.
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Old 12-12-2019, 11:17 AM   #4
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Have you questioned any of the campgrounds about a storage spot?
Some places have short term storage with a 15a plug in for $20-$25 per day.

Even at that, for the money, use what you can out of the refrigerator, turn it off and buy new.

Keep in mind, many/most refrigerators also have door heaters to keep the frost/moisture off the doors/frames. Unless you disable those and the other parasitic drains (CO detector/radio/etc.) you'll likely not make it a week on a battery.

Does your Sunseeker have any kind of AGS?
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Old 12-12-2019, 11:23 AM   #5
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Back in 2017, I had a 2013 Sabre fifth wheel. It was 42'. Just parasitic draws and fridge being on, I used 196 amp hours of battery power (about 1/2 of my lithium battery bank) leaving the truck + camper sit for 5 days in a parking lot while we vacationed at Disneyland.

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Old 12-12-2019, 11:31 AM   #6
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Not sure what AGS means (and I used to work on DoD projects). :-)
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Old 12-12-2019, 11:32 AM   #7
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Not sure what AGS means (and I used to work on DoD projects). :-)
Auto Generator Start

Many motorhomes with generators have AGS to monitor the battery voltage and start the generator to recharge the battery(ies) when voltage gets to a too low set point.
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Old 12-12-2019, 11:55 AM   #8
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No AGS. If I did have one, I wouldn't have killed the last set of batteries! LOL
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Old 12-12-2019, 11:57 AM   #9
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How many amp hours is your battery bank?
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Old 12-12-2019, 01:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Back in 2017, I had a 2013 Sabre fifth wheel. It was 42'. Just parasitic draws and fridge being on, I used 196 amp hours of battery power (about 1/2 of my lithium battery bank) leaving the truck + camper sit for 5 days in a parking lot while we vacationed at Disneyland.
So, about a 500 watt per day average? Was that with a propane fridge? Or residential fridge?
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Old 12-12-2019, 01:38 PM   #11
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I'm not sure I'm reading this right but if your running on propane for the refrig. why do you need the battery? Once lite the propane is going to continue to burn until you hook back up to electric. if your on auto, otherwise turn the refrig onto propane. Unless you have a residential refrig?
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Old 12-12-2019, 01:41 PM   #12
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I'm not sure I'm reading this right but if your running on propane for the refrig. why do you need the battery? Once lite the propane is going to continue to burn until you hook back up to electric. if your on auto, otherwise turn the refrig onto propane. Unless you have a residential refrig?
The propane refrigerator requires 12 volts for its control circuitry. Turning off battery power will shut down the propane refrigerator.
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Old 12-12-2019, 01:44 PM   #13
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Ok something I didn't know, but I don't boondock and anything like that. I'll remember that. Thanks
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Old 12-12-2019, 01:49 PM   #14
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So, about a 500 watt per day average? Was that with a propane fridge? Or residential fridge?
500w/day average seems about right.

Yes, propane fridge. Normal sized RV one (not super small but not the big behemoth my toy hauler now has).
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Old 12-12-2019, 02:07 PM   #15
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I would inspect the fridge and either turn off the door heater if you have one or disconnect it. Then I'd pull all the fuses except for the fridge. By doing that, the fridge should run for a week if you start with the battery fully charged.
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Old 12-12-2019, 02:09 PM   #16
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1 week of reefer

Personally, I would purge / consume / throw out everything that needs to be in the fridge. Leave the fridge empty while you are away and no need to worry about running out of propane, 12V power etc. Have you ever opened a fridge door after the power has been off for several days? Besides throwing out all the food, you may have to pull the fridge and discard it. Is it really worth taking that chance? IMHO
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Old 12-12-2019, 03:12 PM   #17
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Thanks all

Thanks for the comments. I've tried several nearby RV parks trying to find a cheap hookup for just power. They don't even want to talk to me.
So, given the uncertainties I'll probably just get rid of as many perishables as possible before parking.
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Old 12-12-2019, 04:35 PM   #18
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The propane will definitely last, the battery almost certainly won't. I've been boondocking for four years now and I just run the generator for an hour or so each day to keep the battery charged.

I'm sure others will chime in saying it's bad for the engine, but if the environment doesn't allow for a noisy generator, I just run my engine to charge the battery. But what I've found is that in an RV area with no power provided like you will be in, EVERYONE is periodically running their generator not only to charge, but to use the microwave, etc. Just be courteous and don't run it too late at night, etc.

At some point you might want to install a Battery Monitor System (BMS) like the Victron model BMV-700 that many of us on the forum have. It seems to be universally loved be those of us who have it. I don't have solar, just use it to see what's going on with the battery.
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Old 12-12-2019, 04:44 PM   #19
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You can test this before you go and it will cost a tank of propane at worst. You either try running for an entire week or run for half a week and do the math.
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Old 12-12-2019, 04:54 PM   #20
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You could always go old school and simply use an ice box. On long trips, we pre-cook too much food for the fridge and keep the overflow in an icebox until it's gone. You just need to buy ice every day or two.
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