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Old 03-31-2015, 10:28 AM   #1
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Question Refrigerator on battery

I have a Sierra 377FLIK with a house hold refrigerator,and a 1000 watt inverter just for the refrigerator. How long can I expect the battery to last while towing? This is the first non-propane refrigerator I have had.
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Old 03-31-2015, 12:23 PM   #2
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I don't know the tow set up in the F350, but on the F150 with the tow package I have a relay (located in my glovebox in a baggie, guess Ford doesn't install them) that I installed in the fuse compartment. When towing my 5th wheel the truck charges the house battery.

As for how long the battery will last running the refrigerator, I couldn't say. I had mine on the house battery for about 6 hours and it wasn't dead.
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Old 04-05-2015, 07:12 PM   #3
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I am almost ready to pull the trigger on a 377flik with the residential fridge and inverter but I don't completely understand how this works. since you have one can you explain about how the inverter set up kicks in? I don't need an explanation on what an inverter is or anything, just wondering if this is 'on' all the time or if it can be cut off. Also, do these have just one 12v batt or does this inverter set up have a bigger battery bank? I assume this will kill the truck batt if one was to park overnight and not disconnect the 7-pin to the truck (my ram 12v i live all the time on the trailer plug). Any explanation of the workings on this would be appreciated.
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Old 04-05-2015, 07:54 PM   #4
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I have no idea also about the inverter etc. But in the F150 forums that I found this answer to, the RV battery only charges when the truck is running, when the power is off, the RV battery is not being charged by the alternator, thus it is running off the RV battery.


Sorry for jumping in, I dont have a 377flik, I was just chiming in on the charging that the 2014 F150 does. (my model F150)
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Old 04-06-2015, 05:43 AM   #5
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There is a switch to change from the inverter to normal power when on shore power or you can run it of the inverter all the time it is you choice. As to the running down of your battery most trucks stop sending power to the trailer when the key is off or at the most after 20 min, just like your radio will go off after about 20 min.
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Old 04-06-2015, 05:59 AM   #6
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I have a Sierra 377FLIK with a house hold refrigerator,and a 1000 watt inverter just for the refrigerator. How long can I expect the battery to last while towing? This is the first non-propane refrigerator I have had.
Well it will depend on how often you open the doors and let the cold air out. If you get down to temp and it stays closed you shouldn't pull that much power. If you open and close it, like at every stop you make your going to use a lot more 12 volt power for that inverter. If I had a residential refer, I would put in a second battery. If you boondock a lot go with 6 volt if you stayed plugged in mostly go with 12 volt. Remember that if a 12 volt go's out you still have one. If a 6 volt go's out you have nothing.
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Old 04-07-2015, 07:09 AM   #7
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I recently bought a used RV and the condition of the batteries were completely unknown. While I was home, I ran things off a fully charged battery to see how long they would really last. A DC voltmeter will give you a good idea of what is left in the battery while you're conducting the test. I have installed a volt/amp meter permanently and now after a couple weekends out (connections are not available for us), I feel like I now know my batteries and I can judge how long they will run things.

You could also use math, but there is nothing like a real world test IMO.
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Old 04-07-2015, 07:34 AM   #8
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I think you will find you need a lot more battery bank than the one it came with to supply your inverter to run a residential refer very long. Probably some solar also to help keep those batteries charged during the day while boon docking unless you will be hooking up to shore power. JMO
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Old 04-07-2015, 10:11 AM   #9
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Some trucks send power to the trailer only when running (like my 2011 F350) but others send power to the trailer whenever they are connected. Some trucks, perhaps most, have a simple way to change the way they deliver power to the trailer by moving a wire so you can pick the way you like. I prefer power only when the truck is running so I don't have to worry about unplugging the trailer when the vehicle is turned off for an extended amount of time.
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Old 04-07-2015, 03:37 PM   #10
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...Some trucks, perhaps most, have a simple way to change the way they deliver power to the trailer by moving a wire so you can pick the way you like.
Where might I find that?



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Old 04-07-2015, 03:49 PM   #11
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I have no idea also about the inverter etc. But in the F150 forums that I found this answer to, the RV battery only charges when the truck is running, when the power is off, the RV battery is not being charged by the alternator, thus it is running off the RV battery.


Sorry for jumping in, I dont have a 377flik, I was just chiming in on the charging that the 2014 F150 does. (my model F150)
if you tested the charging wire from the pigtail, i think you'd be surprised how little juice is provided.
most tow vehicles only provide a trickle charge to the trailer battery, while traveling. also, using an idling vehicle to recharge the trailer battery, is the most inefficient and wasteful way to do it. should only be done in an emergency.

some trucks, especially the bigger ones, have thicker wire or a second alternator that will provide a much better charging source.
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Old 04-12-2015, 06:37 AM   #12
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I tried running my refrigerator of the inverter for the first time, yesterday, but noticed that the light inside did not come on when the door is opened. does this mean that the refrigerator is not running. I know on regular household refrigerators this would indicate no power. The inverter light was on.
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Old 04-12-2015, 07:14 AM   #13
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I have a Sierra 377FLIK with a house hold refrigerator,and a 1000 watt inverter just for the refrigerator. How long can I expect the battery to last while towing? This is the first non-propane refrigerator I have had.
I have a Columbus 365RL with a residential frig. I only have one battery that came with the trailer. As long as the TV is running it's charging the battery and you won't have an issue. Now the other question I wanted to know was how long the battery would last on it's own running the frig. I tested this and found that it was only about three hours. I hope that helps
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Old 04-12-2015, 07:41 AM   #14
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I tried running my refrigerator of the inverter for the first time, yesterday, but noticed that the light inside did not come on when the door is opened. does this mean that the refrigerator is not running. I know on regular household refrigerators this would indicate no power. The inverter light was on.
That's tough to answer, if you have a multimeter check to make sure you have power to the bulb first. If you have power, bad bulb. If you do not have power then you going to have to start to trace 12v from the inverter forward. Is that the only outlet on the inverter? If not you can try an outlet and see if you have power there to make sure it's working if your inverter ties more in. Did you check your breakers and fuses? It's probably something simple, but you going to need a meter to tell. Hope that gives you some idea's to try. Good Luck
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Old 04-12-2015, 09:36 PM   #15
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Suggest that a dedicated PAIR of batteries just for the refrigerator is needed for a DAYS use in most cases. (Obviously dependent on outside temps and how often the door is opened. Figure 200 amp hours of deep cycle batterypower...which gives you 100amp hours of USABLE battery power before needing a recharge. Figure your inverter will EAT about 10% of the power available at a minimum so that leaves 90 amp hours to run the fridge.
The key for you is to figure out how many watts your fridge uses during the course of a day. May I suggest you get one of these for $20 bucks and then you will know what you use in a typical day and how much battery power you will need to create those watts. Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Meter P4400
I would not count on your truck for much other than keeping your other house batteries topped up.
Good luck.
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Old 04-25-2015, 11:48 AM   #16
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I have the residential fridge and 1000 watt inverter. Rather than run my battery down while on the road I freeze water bottles in the freezer. When we are ready to leave I put some in the fridge and leave some in the freezer. The ice keeps the fridge cold all day. The ones in the freezer never even thaw out.

If you have something that needs to be kept extra cold put it in a plastic bag along with the frozen water bottles. The bag will keep the cold next to the food.

I have quite a bit of experience with sailboats. They install 'cold plate' refrigerators in yachts - basically the compressor freezes a cold plate that is filled with liquid and the frozen plates hold the temps in the fridge for 24 hours in tropical heat. Same concept freezing water bottles in my residential fridge.

If you want to run the inverter off the truck consider using one of your upfitter switches to power an extra line to the trailer battery via a charge controller. My F250 has 2 25 amp upfitter positions.

There is a guy on youtube who mainly boondocks and runs everything off electric. He's got some big batteries and he started out by carrying some portable solar panels that he set up by his rv worked great and he could max them by pointing towards the sun during the day. Later he went to panels on the roof but if you want to keep from having a huge battery bank add enough solar to run the fridge during the day and you'll only need a night's worth of battery. Forgive the over the top cute of the video Portable Power – Solar more connected than Kevin Bacon
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