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Old 03-06-2017, 11:57 AM   #1
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Propane Fridge?

Good morning everyone! I have a quick question, I am considering moving the storage location of my camper to a lot near my house. If I were to go to my camper a few days before we left to turn the fridge on and let it cool down, will it run on propane without a Battery Charge? Where I store it now, I have access to power, but its about an hour away from my house, so its not very convenient to go and plug it in to cool it down.
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Old 03-06-2017, 12:06 PM   #2
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a few days would be a bit excess. I like 8-12 hours. Dont need shore power. Prob need just enough juice in battery to run igniter and electronics i would think. ( Ive never tried with a completely dead battery.) Use a battery disconnect while parked to avoid draws then turn on battery and light fridge a day before or morning before you leave.
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Old 03-06-2017, 12:08 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Kimber45 View Post
a few days would be a bit excess. I like 8-12 hours. Dont need shower power. Prob need just enough juice in battery to run igniter and electronics i would think. ( Ive never tried with a completely dead battery.) Use a battery disconnect while parked to avoid draws then turn on battery and light fridge a day before or morning before you leave.
I think you would be right. I can head over the night before to turn it on, that way when we set up on Friday, we are taking the food from the cooler into a cold fridge.
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Old 03-06-2017, 12:11 PM   #4
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It will run on propane, but it needs 12VDC for the "brains," so you'll need a fully charged battery. The battery should be able to run the fridge overnight with no problem.

Some fridges have a 12VDC heater around the door to prevent condensation. Older fridges had a switch to shut it off, but the newer ones don't. Disconnecting this heater will extend the time your battery will last. Also, if you do any boondocking, you'll want to disconnect the heater.

Here's a pic of the wiring diagram on my fridge. The heater is item "K" in parallel with the inside light. Look on your fridge for a similar diagram and see if you have the heater.

Click image for larger version

Name:	Fridge schematic 2.jpg
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ID:	131233

I've attached a document from another guy on how he disconnected the heater while keeping the inside light. If you don't need/want the inside light, you can just pull the wire off the J2 connection. OR you could install a switch in the wire on the J2 connection to more easily turn it on/off from the back of the switch.

I haven't disconnected mine, and the battery lasts just fine overnight. But if you really want to run it "a few days," I think you'll have to disconnect the heater.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Refer door heater switch mod.pdf (345.8 KB, 36 views)
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Old 03-06-2017, 12:12 PM   #5
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I do the same thing. hate to put cold food in a hot fridge. Ive had plenty of luck with 8-12 hour head start.
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Old 03-06-2017, 12:15 PM   #6
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Our Dometic does require 12 volts for the controller, the igniter, and to open a valve on the propane while the fridge is running. Not a lot of 12 volt power required - if my batteries are charged, turning on the 12 volt cutoff (propane detector, etc) plus the fridge will run several days before dropping the batteries below 50% (recharge point).
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Old 03-06-2017, 12:54 PM   #7
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I do the same thing. hate to put cold food in a hot fridge. Ive had plenty of luck with 8-12 hour head start.
X2.

My fridge cools down in a few hours and the freezer within a couple of hours.

As Rockfordroo said, you do need a charged battery to run the fridge on propane.
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Old 03-06-2017, 01:28 PM   #8
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put a frozen 2 liter or gallon milk jug (full of water) in the refrigerator or freezer to help it cool when you turn it on. Won't work as hard and may save battery juice and propane.
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Old 03-07-2017, 02:07 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by stevensmith2859 View Post
Good morning everyone! I have a quick question, I am considering moving the storage location of my camper to a lot near my house. If I were to go to my camper a few days before we left to turn the fridge on and let it cool down, will it run on propane without a Battery Charge? Where I store it now, I have access to power, but its about an hour away from my house, so its not very convenient to go and plug it in to cool it down.
Storing your camper doesn't mean storing your battery. Park your camper, take your battery home. Keep it on a battery minder or charge it the day before you leave. This serves two ideas. First is you have a fresh battery when you're ready to camp, it also extends your converter life by not constantly charging the battery when the coach is plugged in and stored.

Also, a dometic fridge can go from 70 degrees to 40 degrees in about two hours on electric or propane. So, if you have a charged battery and full tanks, chances are by the time you hook up, tow to site, park, and disconnect the fridge will be mostly cool from the propane, battery, and or charge wire while it was towed. If you want it cooler than that, throw a bag of ice in the fridge before you leave.
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Old 03-07-2017, 02:50 AM   #10
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I've stored my trailer for 4 months and no hookups.
Never removed the batteries, cause I have a disconnect switch.
After 4 months, they had only lost a 10% charge.
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Old 06-08-2017, 09:33 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by rockfordroo View Post
It will run on propane, but it needs 12VDC for the "brains," so you'll need a fully charged battery. The battery should be able to run the fridge overnight with no problem.

Some fridges have a 12VDC heater around the door to prevent condensation. Older fridges had a switch to shut it off, but the newer ones don't. Disconnecting this heater will extend the time your battery will last. Also, if you do any boondocking, you'll want to disconnect the heater.

Here's a pic of the wiring diagram on my fridge. The heater is item "K" in parallel with the inside light. Look on your fridge for a similar diagram and see if you have the heater.

Attachment 131233

I've attached a document from another guy on how he disconnected the heater while keeping the inside light. If you don't need/want the inside light, you can just pull the wire off the J2 connection. OR you could install a switch in the wire on the J2 connection to more easily turn it on/off from the back of the switch.

I haven't disconnected mine, and the battery lasts just fine overnight. But if you really want to run it "a few days," I think you'll have to disconnect the heater.
Do not cut this wire. It is only 3-4 inches long and is connected right behind the fixture. No reason to cut it. Disconnect it and pull it through after removing the fixture. Then put the fixture back in.

http://www.forestriverforums.com/for....php?p=1529051
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Old 06-08-2017, 10:51 PM   #12
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madmaxmutt: I think you're the first guy with the guts to try to remove the light fixture. I wouldn't have tried that on my own, but I may now.
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Old 06-08-2017, 10:54 PM   #13
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I did it out of necessity last year when I snapped the white part of the cover into 2 pieces with a glass bowl. It was easy to replace.

Warning: Do not do this with the fridge cold. Plastic should be warm.
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