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Old 08-30-2011, 07:47 PM   #1
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Refrigerator Power

Good evening all. We just got our first camper. it's a FR Flagstaff MAC Model 205. We've had it out one weekend so far, and what a blast.

I understand the frig can be powered by 12v from the battery, which gets recharged when the car is running. Or it can be powered from propane anytime, or if connected to shore power, it can be powered by 110v. Which will give me the coolest temp? I know, probably a silly question.

Anyway, I think this is going to be fun!

Cumming, GA

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Old 08-30-2011, 07:53 PM   #2
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Jack, I moved this thread to the tent camper forum.

My Trailmanor 3 way fridge seemed to cool the best while on propane.


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Old 08-30-2011, 08:30 PM   #3
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I would use propane or 120v it will drain your battery in no time if on 12v.
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:54 PM   #4
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Just returned from a 17 day trip and had no shore power. The battery will actually last quite a while running your fridge. The fridge only needs a quick spark to light the propane to cool when needed. Like a BBQ push button ignitor and also the light when you open the door. In my 17 day trip I brought 2 batteries and charged one at the office when it drained. I only had to change over the battery 3 times in the 17 days. That's running fridge, lights, kids charging iPads, water pump etc...

We just put drinks in a cooler so the kids wouldn't be in and out of the trailer getting drinks. But that was to save on propane not battery.

It was the first time we camped with no shore power and it was fine. Missed the AC though
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Old 08-31-2011, 07:13 AM   #5
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Propane generally seems to cool better than any kind of electric in my experience.

Like Corey, to help keep things cool, we put "frequent access items" (beverages) in a cooler of ice, so the fridge doesn't lose its cool every time the door gets opened.

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Old 08-31-2011, 07:24 AM   #6
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HI Jack welcome to the FR forums!!

These guys have it covered pretty well but I want to stress one thing--
If your fridge is 3 way power (most are only 2 way now days)-
you're correct.
You can cool with 12v only or 12v with LP gas or 120v shore power.
I say 12v with LP gas because the fridge has a 12v control board and must
have 12v to operate even in LP mode.
Of course in LP mode the battery drain is minimal and you can go several days
on LP without draining your battery.

Caution-- 12v battery mode is only for when you are connected to a vehicle
and the engine is running. It can drain a battery in mere hours if the tow vehicle
is not running.
In fact my 1st trailer would partially drain the trailer battery while on the road
in 12v only mode!
Once I discovered that I never used it again on 12v only mode.
I used LP or shore power modes only.
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Old 09-05-2011, 07:40 PM   #7
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Ours has the three options as well and advises right on the unit to only use one source at a time.

We find the propane cools much better than 120v and have never used the 12v. I'm afraid of killing my tow vehicle battery if i forget it when we stop, and with a 4 year old running around, I will.
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Old 09-07-2011, 11:56 AM   #8
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From the reading I have done already in you can run the fridge on 12 volt only when you are driving and what is required is heavy gauge cable (+ & _) connection from Aux car battery(Need fuse here) of vehicle to rear mounted Anderson plug. Then same cable to the house battery in the van(Need fuse here). Also heavy cable run to the 12 V fridge supply. The heavy cable is to supply the correct voltage required for 12V running of fridge and the long run of cable in light cable will result in a voltage drop causing the 12 V running of fridge to be poor. I am talking heavy cable size 3 AWG or 25mm2 for me in metricbeing required for this purpose. LPG will work well when stopped at unpowered sites and mains power when available.
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Old 09-07-2011, 11:58 AM   #9
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You can get a fridge switch that will stop 12V supply to fridge when tow vehicle is stopped which is handy to prevent flattening vehicle battery as 3 way fridge chews battery power when stopped.
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Old 09-07-2011, 01:51 PM   #10
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Why go to all that extra trouble and expen$e just to run the fridge on 12v??
Run it on LP and forget it on the road.
Run it on 120 v if available at the camp ground.

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