Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-21-2014, 08:17 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 16
Test Fridge Running Off Battery?

Hello everyone,

I am having an issue with my fridge running off my truck. Every time I run the fridge off the truck it thaws out and I end up with a lot of ruined food. This happened twice to me. The first time I thought I did something wrong, the second time I knew something else is wrong.

My question is how can I test this? Can I hook a charger to the battery and let the fridge run on 12v or will I damage something having the charger hooked up while running it? Is there anything specific I should be looking for?

It runs on 120v and propane without issue. But doesn't the 120v run through 12v converter?

I tested the truck power and it is fine there so I need to test the fridge itself somehow before I take it in for warranty.

Thanks for all your help
Steve A is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2014, 08:18 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Todouble's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 849
Mine runs on 120v shore power or while traveling down the road it runs on propane. Most are setup this way. Very few run on 12v dc
Todouble is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2014, 08:22 PM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Todouble View Post
Mine runs on 120v shore power or while traveling down the road it runs on propane. Most are setup this way. Very few run on 12v dc
I can also run it on propane while traveling but I would prefer to use the 12v system and being that the camper is only a few months old I can take it in for warranty repair but I want to make sure I covered all my bases before taking it in. Just in case I am overlooking something.
Steve A is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2014, 08:25 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Todouble's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 849
Test Fridge Running Off Battery?

What's the model of fridge? I don't think you have the 12v option. It uses 12v to light the flame and power the fridge but uses propane for the heat source to transfer the refrigerant around. Usually the 12v option to run the fridge is on motor homes with lots of batteries
Todouble is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2014, 08:30 PM   #5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Todouble View Post
What's the model of fridge? I don't think you have the 12v option. It uses 12v to light the flame and power the fridge but uses propane for the heat source to transfer the refrigerant around. Usually the 12v option to run the fridge is on motor homes with lots of batteries
It has the 12v for traveling.

So for the sake of the thread lets just say I do have a 12v system, what steps would I need to take to test it?
Steve A is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2014, 08:37 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Todouble's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 849
Test Fridge Running Off Battery?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve A View Post
It has the 12v for traveling.



So for the sake of the thread lets just say I do have a 12v system, what steps would I need to take to test it?

We all have a 12v for traveling but it's only uses the 12v to power the controls of the fridge. You must heat the ammonia refrigerant that's in it to work. Thus only being accomplished by a propane pilot flame or 120v shore power. The demand on a 12v batter as the heating element would drain it pretty darn fast. What's your model of the fridge or camper so I can give you a definite answer. But everything your describing tells me you don't have a 12v dc as a heating element. Only fridge controls
Todouble is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2014, 08:41 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Todouble's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 849
Does the top if your fridge have an on/off button and then another button next to it that says auto/ gas??
Todouble is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2014, 08:50 PM   #8
Site Team - Lou
 
Herk7769's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: South Eastern PA
Posts: 22,733
Dometic RV fridges require 12 volts to work the electronics, BUT you need a way to heat the ammonia too. This is accomplished two ways: propane OR a 120 volt AC heater.

When running on truck 12 volt DC you MUST have the propane on.
If the propane is turned off at the bottle; no workie...

You need 12 volt DC when running on shore power too. That is provided by the converter.

I always run in AUTO with the "GAS" button OFF. This way the fridge will cool with 120 volts (if available) and "auto" switch to DC and GAS if the shore power fails or you are disconnected and towing. ALWAYS leave the AUTO button on as it is really an ON/OFF button.

The GAS button is only used when you have shore power BUT the voltage is low (say) and you want it to run on gas ANYWAY even though shore power is available.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	913th 3rd Annual Picnic and Camper photos 033.jpg
Views:	82
Size:	45.0 KB
ID:	50643   Click image for larger version

Name:	Circuit diagram.jpg
Views:	74
Size:	82.1 KB
ID:	50644  
Attached Files
File Type: pdf DM 2652operation.pdf (193.7 KB, 18 views)
__________________
Lou, Laura, & Freya the wonder dog
2008 GMC Sierra 3000HD Crewcab SB Allison Duramax
2019 Flagstaff 8529FLS - Pullrite 3300
HAM CALLSIGN - KC3FFW
Herk7769 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2014, 08:59 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 1,101
I'm going to guess that steve has a popup as some of those have 3 way fridges. You have the switches on the outside the switch between gas, 120 and 12V. The 12V is only used while traveling so you are using the power from the TV. You could run the system from an external 12v source, ie battery charger. After 15 or 20 min you should feel the vent tube in the fridge compatment heat up. If it does not heat up you need to find the two wires going to the 12V heater and do a resistance measurment on it. If you get a high resistance than the heater is no good. If the resistance is low than you may have a bad switch.
__________________
Ontario

Vibe 6501
1 Prospector Canoe
2 Mtn. Bikes
4 Hiking Boots
Happy Vibe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2014, 09:05 PM   #10
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Vibe View Post
I'm going to guess that steve has a popup as some of those have 3 way fridges. You have the switches on the outside the switch between gas, 120 and 12V. The 12V is only used while traveling so you are using the power from the TV. You could run the system from an external 12v source, ie battery charger. After 15 or 20 min you should feel the vent tube in the fridge compatment heat up. If it does not heat up you need to find the two wires going to the 12V heater and do a resistance measurment on it. If you get a high resistance than the heater is no good. If the resistance is low than you may have a bad switch.
Great, thank you Happy Vibe. I will be pulling it out of storage this week so I will have more information on the fridge then but I just wanted to make sure that I wouldn't damage anything by having a battery charger connected while running the fridge. I know it should be the same as having the truck hooked up to it but I rather be safe than sorry. And I rather not take it in for warranty work if it is a easy fix.
Steve A is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2014, 09:15 PM   #11
Site Team - Lou
 
Herk7769's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: South Eastern PA
Posts: 22,733
So, is it a popup?

If so, is 12 volt power getting from the truck to the camper?

Check the reset-able current limiter near the metal pancake box that the tow cord goes into. press the little button on the side to make sure it is in.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	360426586.jpg
Views:	110
Size:	48.1 KB
ID:	50645  
Attached Images
 
__________________
Lou, Laura, & Freya the wonder dog
2008 GMC Sierra 3000HD Crewcab SB Allison Duramax
2019 Flagstaff 8529FLS - Pullrite 3300
HAM CALLSIGN - KC3FFW
Herk7769 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2014, 09:17 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
mlong's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Central PA
Posts: 199
Can you answer the question as to what type of camper you have? That could quickly resolve whether it is a 2-way or 3-way fridge. My pop up had the 3-way. I opted to remove the 12v wiring because it is no good to run the fridge. I preferred using propane. The 3-way fridges use very little propane. We camped without shore power for a week & did all of our cooking & ran the fridge off of the propane tank. Came home with more than half a tank left over. I used the 12v wiring to run a water pump to the sink rather tan hand pumping.

If you have a regular TT you should only have a 2-way fridge.
__________________
2012 Chevy Silverado Crew Cab Short bed 5.3L v8
2014 Prime Time Manufacturing Avenger ATI 27BBS
mlong is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2014, 11:45 AM   #13
Moderator Emeritus
 
Triguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Southeast Wisconsin
Posts: 6,949
Quote:
Originally Posted by mlong View Post
Can you answer the question as to what type of camper you have? That could quickly resolve whether it is a 2-way or 3-way fridge.
His previous posts from last year said it was a Flagstaff 206ltd popup.
__________________
Scott
DW, 3 Kids and our Goldens

2012 Shamrock 233S
2008 Toyota Sequoia 5.7L 4WD
Triguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2014, 11:52 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
SKnight's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 1,428
Silly question, but did they show you the 12V switch? From what I've seen they don't automatically swap out from 120 to 12 to LPG, you have to set the mode.
__________________
Now-2014 Sierra 346RETS 5er BUB
Then-2002 Keystone Springdale 286RLDS TT

Nights camped in 2014-28, 2015-127, 2016-10
SKnight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2014, 12:37 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
Brother Les's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: BoCoMo
Posts: 2,509
Quote:
Originally Posted by SKnight View Post
Silly question, but did they show you the 12V switch? From what I've seen they don't automatically swap out from 120 to 12 to LPG, you have to set the mode.

..... Silly question...no.

there is no such thing, when there is an unknown.
__________________
Brother Les

2013 Forest River Salem Hemisphere SBT312QBUD

2001 CrewCab F-250 7.3 PowerStroke Diesel
SuperChip, BTS transmission, 6.0 Trans Cooler
Brother Les is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2014, 08:19 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Georgetown, TX
Posts: 319
A Dometic frig on 12VDC for more than a very short period of time will drain the battery. It does take about 1.2 amps to power the circuit board but a huge amount of power to the ammonia heater - you are looking at at least 15/18 amps VDC. This continuous draw will deplete an automotive battery very quickly if it is in good shape to start with.

This feature is meant to be used only when the vehicle motor is running - Below is the statement from Dometic - I would guess that you need at least 8 gauge wire from the vehicle battery to the trailer and then hope the vehicle alternator will keep up.


IMPORTANT:
To prevent the refrigerator from being left on and
draining the battery when the vehicle’s engine is not
running and charging the battery.
It is recommended that an automatic cut-out relay
be installed between the battery and the refrigerator
toggle switch so that the refrigerator will not draw
current when the ignition of the vehicle is switched
off.
Alternatively, a suitable plug and receptacle should
be installed in the 12 Volt supply line, so that the
refrigerator can be disconnected from the supply,
as necessary.
cadman99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
battery, fridge

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:52 AM.