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Old 09-03-2020, 10:37 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by jimmoore13 View Post
Thoughts on your situation.


With this setup, you'll be totally independent, and that fridge will be the least of your worries.

Thanks for the detailed post!

I agree, my location is the biggest problem. My parents boondock with their RV with a 12V fridge all the time with only 190W of solar - but they are located in VERY sunny and VERY high elevation of New Mexico.

I do think portable or semi-portable panels would not be a bother at all considering the camper is "sitting" so much. I also think that with our normal battery consumption we could go a good, long while without too much of a concern. We have 2 batteries in our current rig that are "stock" batteries and we can go weeks between charges. We are very low use campers.

Thanks for the advice on the other things as well. We can go about a month of weekend camping plus weekday stops to hang out with our current measly tanks. We are so close to multiple state parks and a Camping World and home it really isn't a big deal to hook up, take it to a dump station, and then swing by home for a couple days to refill the freshwater tanks and restock the pantry.
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Old 09-03-2020, 02:03 PM   #22
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There's one other detail to consider.

I can't speak for your specific fridge, but I looked up several 12 volt compressor fridges. They claim to run on about 4 amps of power, and with any fridge the duty cycle is a major consideration.

If you're like most, you can assume about a 50% duty cycle...the fridge is running about 12 hours out of every 24 hours...especially if you like your beer. 🍻 So, 4 amps x 24 hours x 50% = 48 amp hours (AH). If you fill the fridge, get it down to temp, and leave the door shut, it will use less. But then there's the beer.

48 AH is quite a bit for a 190 watt solar system to provide in upstate NY. My rig, with 4 x 100 watt panels, can deliver 5 AH per panel in full sun...say for 3 hours a day around midday. I'm in sunny Colorado at 8300 feet...less air filtering the solar "signal." On a good day, I just might get 120 AH out of my setup...if conditions are perfect.

Assuming your array can deliver 10 AH per hour at peak sun = 30 AH, and over the rest of the day, it can deliver another 30 AH in ideal conditions during the summer, you can see why I recommended about 1000 watts of solar gathering to deal with upstate NY conditions during the "shoulder" seasons when, even in ideal conditions, your array will not come close to that output. But, with enough solar, and with a finite draw, anything's possible.

Factors:
1) solar hours per day
2) solar penetration of cloud cover, etc.
3) angle of incidence between panel and sun's azimuth, etc.
4) dirt on panels
5) fixed panel vs. tracking panel
and on and on. This will make your brain melt: https://sciencing.com/calculate-sola...n-8435082.html

The easiest and (after just a little bit of investigation) cheapest answer is to follow Christopher Walken's advice about cowbell. Add more cowbell and add more panel.

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Old 09-03-2020, 02:36 PM   #23
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like I said earlier if u get the 2 way refridge u don't have to worry about any of this.. sure wish I had the 2 way...
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Old 09-04-2020, 02:54 AM   #24
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Thank you so so much for that video! I have watched many of Josh's videos - I am surprised when I was doing my googley that I did not find that one.
If itís the video Iím thinking of Josh refers to the 12v fridgeS as pulling Only 2 amps when off grid. So does anyone know what the actual amps the magic chef pulls once itís fully cooled?
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Old 09-04-2020, 03:13 AM   #25
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Re 2021 Rockwood & Magic Chef 12v

I am sooo relived to find this forum. We just picked up our 2021 ROCKWOOD Ultralite 2706ws And was surprised that it had a magic chef 10cf 12v fridge, a 190 solar And an inverter. At first I was disappointed because the fridge did not include the beautiful wood panel I had expected, but I was told by my sales person that the 12v fridges are the way of the future with ROCKWOOD. In theory the point of the 12V is for efficiency. From day 1 in our driveway unplugged with only the 12 V fridge running, the battery drains every single day. Since these fridges are so new, no one at the service Dept even believed that we had a 12V fridge. This was their first. We had the batteries tested, no issue there. With my research Iíve read that these new 12v fridges After they are completely up to temperature, should only be pulling 1.5-3 amps. However I cannot find any actual specs re my magic chef 10.1 cub foot fridge. The service department actually called magic chef, who said they couldnít give info and that he needed to contact Forest River, who also said they didnít have info. Does anybody know the actual amps the magic chef pulls once itís cold? We are also having issues with our go power solar, which is supposed to draw from 6 to 8 V, but on average is only pulling around two. Regardless of the solar, in theory the 12 V fridges should be running for a long time with just the battery. Any info would be soooo appreciated. We have been stuck and not able to use our brand new ROCKWOOD, and it has been extremely disheartening to have forest river, and our dealership know so little about this new set up.
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Old 09-04-2020, 07:15 AM   #26
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I am sure individual fridges vary. The number in the other thread is 3.0 amps. That will, by itself, toast an 80ah battery in about a dayóif your battery is still capable for the 80 ah.

Over time, the fridge will consume more current as it ages, and the battery will produce even less. Something has to give. It will either require more battery or fridge that draws less. Continually charging batteries is an impractical option.

BTW, the 3.0 amps is an ideal number: New fridge, running only the fridge, already at temperature, never opening or closing the door. The industry is not saying what the draw is under real-world conditions. I hope some individual with a 12V-only tests this for us.

Our RV equipment and our RV habits are just not ready for this to be the most general option. (Some individuals, yes.) If someone is going to do this, they either need 120 VAC constantly available to convert to 12V DC, or they need batteries with wild ah ratings that can handle constantly discharging and recharging combined with lots of aimable solar. Right now, that would cost at least 3 grand.
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Old 09-07-2020, 07:25 PM   #27
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12 volt fridges are the new thing. There's nothing to do with 'covid shortages' of the old absorption fridges which are notoriously inefficient and are the #1 cause of most RV fires. If you insist on having one of the old junkers, you'll have to find a used unit or one that's still equipped with it sitting in the back corner of some dealer's lot. Improving your solar array with a portable unit WITH a charge controller built into it and dual deep cycle batteries should be able to cope with most situations.
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Old 09-07-2020, 07:51 PM   #28
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Mine has the furrion, and it will drain a new 105 AH battery in 12 hours even with the "juice pack" in full sun. Here's the bad part. Once the voltage drops to cut off, according to Furrion, that is 10.v volts, though I have found it to be more like 11.9v, it will not start cooling again when full power is back unless you turn it off and turn it back on.

As mentioned above, they suffer wild temp swings. We were at a ampground this weekend, on shore power all three days and this morning while packing up, found the ice cream bars that were sitting on the bottom of the freezer, not the rack, were soft and squishy, while a pack of hamburger on the rack above was frozen solid along with the stuff in the door. Prior to that everything was frozen solid.

My previous trailer had the LP/Lectric, and the only time we ever had issues was driving above 5000 ft elevation, the propane would go out. Only thing we gained with the new one is space.

Now the 12v fridge is identical in size to the LP fridge, height, width, depth, so the cabinet will fit the LP, and I also found the LP is plumbed in mine for the fridge, only thing missing are the vent openings, so it could be retrofitted back to the LP in mine. If the trailer previously is LP equipped, then all that will still be there, sans holes for vents.
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Old 09-07-2020, 08:59 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomkatb View Post
Learn the math. Specifications are difficult to read and understand. Written by and for engineers.

A 200 watt solar panel produces 50 amps of 12 volt on its best day. Likely less than half what a 12 volt fridge will need. Not much in the rain. Less installed flat on the roof. Trees are the enemy.

Study up.
You forgot a decimal point I think... My (2) 100 watt panels produce 11 amps or so on perfect, ideal conditions with them pointed directly at the sun. Mounted on a roof flat, would be 40 % of that at best.



Lithium is the ONLY way to go if you get a 12 volt fridge. 300AH min would be my guess. That's 3 grand in batteries, I DIY'd a 280 ah lithium for under $650, but that's not for everyone. I would say you want 600 watts on the roof, minimum, and 300ah of batteries, minimum.

I just spent a few days at Piseco Lake, with two 100 watt panels on the ground, and tilted at the sun, WHEN IT WAS available. I did it because it was fun, kept me occupied, but I had time. You are constantly being chased by shadows from trees, and getting good solar there was very problematic. If I had a 12 volt fridge, a small inverter generator would be mandatory. With my 280 ah battery, would go down about 8 to 10% (remember, no 12 volt fridge) running lights/ waterpump/ furnace, and recharge during the day with those 2 100 panels, but actively adjusting them every 30 minutes or LESS to keep them in direct sun during peak harvest times. I could get them back to close to 100 percent. I did very occasionally fire up the 2K inverter to use the microwave very briefly.



TLDR: 190 watts of solar mounted to your roof in upstate NY on a woody lot is not going to come close to powering your camper especially with a 12 volt fridge. Bring your 2K generator, and BIG lithium battery.
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Old 09-08-2020, 05:54 AM   #30
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I live in NM, and I wouldn't have a trailer with 12v fridge only. What a PITA! At a minimum, get two golf cart batteries wired in series. They are far superior to the Marine batteries that come with most trailers. On my ROO, i was able to move my propane tanks a bit forward and install a wedge shaped trailer box from Harbour Freight. It holds two batteries, and a few tools. Be aware that most trailers won't hold up to any serious snow load. My cousin had his roof collaspe duringa CO winter.
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Old 09-08-2020, 12:16 PM   #31
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12V Fridge - Two Bits

We have a 2020 Vibe 25RK and have done some Boondocking. For what itís worth, we upgraded to twin 6V golf cart batteries from the onset ($400-450). We can get by for 24 hours on the fridge and running the water pump before recharging. When we bought the trailer sales told me we'd get by 24 hours on one 12V however the tech manager ran the math and we found it would be more like 10-15 hours.

Iím a novice but tend to agree 12V is a cost cutting measure however I also suspect the manf. take into account a lot of people prefer elect. hook-ups. Our experience is the 12V gets good and cold, is also frost free and may even be a bit larger capacity than most electric/gas fridges.
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Old 09-08-2020, 08:18 PM   #32
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My 12 volt fridge

I had a similar situation. Dealer made us a great deal on a unit that they were receiving with a 12 volt fridge. I was very reluctant. Like you did a lot of research and ultimately went with it. 1st thing we did was ditch the dealer 12 volt crap battery and installed (2) titan Vmax 6 Volt AGM batteries. Made a HUGE difference!!! Next thing we did was get a Honda portable generator. The rig arrived, and we took off for the weekend to test it. We went from 6pm Friday nite to Sunday morning around 9 (with no supplemental power other than the batteries) before the batteries needed to be recharged. All of that was with NO SOLAR!
We used lites, phone chargers and water pump, power jacks, slides and awnings as well during this time. Now that said, we have a Norcold 12 volt fridge which happened to have much better reviews than the furion. During the day, it draws around 5 amps. It has a bite to w mode where it drops down to 3.6 amps.
We are getting a 400 watt solar set up to supplement when needed when we donít want to use the generator. We are beyond thrilled with this fridge.
Thatís been our experience. Good luck with yours.
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Old 09-24-2020, 10:33 PM   #33
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I had a similar situation. Dealer made us a great deal on a unit that they were receiving with a 12 volt fridge. I was very reluctant. Like you did a lot of research and ultimately went with it. 1st thing we did was ditch the dealer 12 volt crap battery and installed (2) titan Vmax 6 Volt AGM batteries. Made a HUGE difference!!! Next thing we did was get a Honda portable generator. The rig arrived, and we took off for the weekend to test it. We went from 6pm Friday nite to Sunday morning around 9 (with no supplemental power other than the batteries) before the batteries needed to be recharged. All of that was with NO SOLAR!
We used lites, phone chargers and water pump, power jacks, slides and awnings as well during this time. Now that said, we have a Norcold 12 volt fridge which happened to have much better reviews than the furion. During the day, it draws around 5 amps. It has a bite to w mode where it drops down to 3.6 amps.
We are getting a 400 watt solar set up to supplement when needed when we donít want to use the generator. We are beyond thrilled with this fridge.
Thatís been our experience. Good luck with yours.
Great info! We did end up having our batteries and 12v fridge tested at the service center and it was pulling only 2-3amps! That's the whole idea with the NEW 12v fridges. They are not like the old 12v. I have a 10 cf Magic Chef and so far it's ended up working great. We took it out for the first time last week and will again this week. it keeps things super cold in fridge and freezer.
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Old 11-24-2020, 07:40 PM   #34
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Am I understanding this right?????

So, is the 190w solar array the only thing that is powering the 12v fridge?

I was thinking this would be a mute point when plugged in to shore power?

Am I missing something?

Thanks.

PS I have a 2021 2109s with the 12v/solar panel "Upgrade" on order
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Old 11-24-2020, 08:34 PM   #35
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When plugged into shore power you likely have 40 amps or more going into the battery per hour. The solar panel is sort of irrelevant.

A 190 watt panel on its best day produces 40-50 amps per day on the roof. likely not enough for the day with a 12 volt fridge. Plus the other stuff in a modern rv.
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Old 11-24-2020, 09:27 PM   #36
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When plugged into shore power you likely have 40 amps or more going into the battery per hour. The solar panel is sort of irrelevant.

A 190 watt panel on its best day produces 40-50 amps per day on the roof. likely not enough for the day with a 12 volt fridge. Plus the other stuff in a modern rv.
Yup, donít think for a minute that the solar panel will power that fridge indefinitely, it wonít. What it could possibly do is recharge enough that you get an extra day. Maybe.
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Old 11-24-2020, 10:20 PM   #37
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Three panels plus 2 lithium batteries and a new converter. That would likely do it as long as the sun shines!
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Old 11-25-2020, 10:46 AM   #38
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If itís the video Iím thinking of Josh refers to the 12v fridgeS as pulling Only 2 amps when off grid. So does anyone know what the actual amps the magic chef pulls once itís fully cooled?
I have the EverChill 12 fridge (same as Magic Chef). When fully cooled it pulls 4.5-5 amps. Not sure what the temporary draw is at start up but i would say around 11-12 amps.
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Old 12-03-2020, 04:21 PM   #39
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We have ordered our 2513s with the 12v fridge, 190w solar and 2-6v batteries. Our consideration for 12v: we will camp 90% of the time in full hook-up campgrounds within 3 hours of home, and itís a larger refrigerator (11cf versus 8cf). The technology isnít really new, but newer to travel trailers. That doesnít concern me so much. Most of the research I could find (outside of Furrion experience) was positive. Quick cooling, stable temperature and fairly good experience with battery charge (with 2 batteries). Not sure what brand will be in our trailer, but dealer said it definitely wonít be a Furrion. Likely the Magic Chef. We plan to purchase a generator to supplement power needs when we do boondock.
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Old 12-04-2020, 09:58 AM   #40
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Pretty sure FR is DONE with Furrion. My Arctic Wolf is in for a bad slide seal and freezer complaints. They are waiting on the replacement fridge, an Everchill.
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