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Old 07-08-2020, 02:23 AM   #1
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Furrion 12v fridge

We just had our 2020 wolf pup 16bhs out for the first time and I am trying to get the Furrion 12v fridge figured out.

When we picked it up from our dealer they had the trailer plugged in and fridge turned on for us so it was cold and ready to use.. when we got to our friends property we parked the trailer and left it for a bit before coming back to get it off the truck and noticed the fridge was not kicking on and starting to get warm inside. After doing some research I learned these absorption fridges have to be level. So after getting the trailer off the truck and level it was still not cooling and every minute or so sounded like it was trying to kick on but just turned right back off. So I just turned it off. Before we left the next day I turned the fridge back on for travel and off we went, by the time we got home it was definitely working and could tell it was running and cooling but within a few minutes of being in the driveway out of level It stopped working again.
I levelled the trailer and tried turning it on but still just tried to kick on the turned right off.

Is there a certain amount of time it will have to sit level after spending some time out of level for it to work again or will I have to take it for a drive every time this happens to have it bounce around to get it working again?

Any help on this is greatly appreciated as having a fridge not work for a trip is definitely frustrating.

Thanks so much!
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Old 07-08-2020, 05:19 AM   #2
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If you are running the refrigerator on 12 volts only, and you are not keeping the trailer plugged in to shore power, you are likely draining the battery - and also damaging the battery in the process. If the trailer is not plugged into an external source of power, such as shore power or a running tow vehicle, the refrigerator needs to be switched to propane, if you want to keep it running. Running the fridge off the trailer battery is fine for when switching from tow vehicle power over to either shore power or propane, but should not be run off the battery for any longer than that.

Also, don't assume the tow vehicle is supplying 12 volts auxiliary current - you need to test it. It happens to be the center post on the 7-pin trailer connector.

Also, make sure to bleed the propane lines in the trailer at least the first time using propane by making sure the cook stove will light and stay lit. That way you can be relatively sure there is actually propane getting to the refrigerator rather than just air in the lines.
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Old 07-08-2020, 05:32 AM   #3
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These are 12V ONLY,NO Propane! Just need lots of 12 Volt! Youroo!!
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Old 07-08-2020, 05:33 AM   #4
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Thank you for the clarification!
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Old 07-08-2020, 05:33 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by NavyLCDR View Post
If you are running the refrigerator on 12 volts only, and you are not keeping the trailer plugged in to shore power, you are likely draining the battery - and also damaging the battery in the process. If the trailer is not plugged into an external source of power, such as shore power or a running tow vehicle, the refrigerator needs to be switched to propane, if you want to keep it running. Running the fridge off the trailer battery is fine for when switching from tow vehicle power over to either shore power or propane, but should not be run off the battery for any longer than that.

Also, don't assume the tow vehicle is supplying 12 volts auxiliary current - you need to test it. It happens to be the center post on the 7-pin trailer connector.

Also, make sure to bleed the propane lines in the trailer at least the first time using propane by making sure the cook stove will light and stay lit. That way you can be relatively sure there is actually propane getting to the refrigerator rather than just air in the lines.
Assuming the refrigerator also runs on propane.

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Old 07-08-2020, 05:37 AM   #6
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When you say Furrion 12 volt refrigerator with no other specifics, I’m assuming this is a 12 volt only, compressor style refrigerator. It is not an absorption type and is not capable on running on propane. Maintaining level is not critical. Keeping the refrigerator running is entirely dependent on maintaining a 12 volt source, either from charged batteries, the tow vehicle, or the camper’s converter.

Can you eliminate some confusion by stating the model number of this refrigerator?
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Old 07-08-2020, 06:40 AM   #7
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So the Furrion website says the 10 cu. ft. Furrion Arctic™ 12 Volt Built-In Refrigerator pulls 1.08kWh / day. At 12.7 volts that's consuming 85 Ah. At 12 volts its 90 Ah. The trailer specs say it comes with a 6 cu. ft. fridge, but I could not find a 6 cu. ft. on Furrion's website.

The battery the dealer put in my trailer was a cheapo 120 Ah battery, so about 60 Ah available before damage. That would give me about 17 hours of refrigerator operation before damaging the battery. Accounting for the difference between 10 and 6 cu. ft., might be able to stretch that out to 1 day.

Just for general info.
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Old 07-08-2020, 07:19 AM   #8
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Be careful with specs.

I have read them for a living for like forever.

When they say a unit uses 1 kw a day that means in a large room carefully cooled to 70 degrees, fridge was precooled. Full of stuff. Not in a little trailer in south Texas trying to cool that case of warm beer.

TWs have a charge wire connected to the RV battery to help! However, the wire from the TV to the RV is so small the line loss causes the voltage to be so low it does little to charge your RV unless you modified it.

A 120 amp hour cheap battery? Cheap batteries are 75 amps. Typically dealer installed. Would not run the average 12 volt compressor fridge 5 hours. Have to consider parasitic loads And other items. A 120 amp battery is a whopper! A 31?

You have to figure out what you have in consumption. Battery available. Recharging ability. Boondocking is tough with a compressor fridge.

Plan ahead.
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Old 07-08-2020, 07:24 AM   #9
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I guess I was being extra generous in my estimate

Why in the world would they put a DC only refrigerator in a travel trailer meant for camping?!?

I can't remember the exact specs on the original battery, it got upgraded after the first season. But it was a Group 24 single 12 volt battery (replaced with 2 6v golf cart batteries). You are right, original probably closer to 75Ah like the $110 Duracell SLI24MDC.

Anyway, thank you for making my point even more clear - don't expect to run that 12 volt refrigerator for very long at all on batteries only.
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Old 07-08-2020, 07:44 AM   #10
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Money, money, money.

My gas/electric 12 cu ft fridge cost over $2500. A 12 volt 10 cu ft one cost a third as much. Cheaper installation. Two wires. No gas line. No outdoor vents or fans, just heat the trailer up.

Besides, most rvs are always plugged in , is the mantra.
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Old 07-08-2020, 07:45 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by NavyLCDR View Post
I guess I was being extra generous in my estimate

Why in the world would they put a DC only refrigerator in a travel trailer meant for camping?!?

I can't remember the exact specs on the original battery, it got upgraded after the first season. But it was a Group 24 single 12 volt battery (replaced with 2 6v golf cart batteries). You are right, original probably closer to 75Ah like the $110 Duracell SLI24MDC.

Anyway, thank you for making my point even more clear - don't expect to run that 12 volt refrigerator for very long at all on batteries only.
I learned years ago that Res Refers run on Batteries dont always work well either! A guy pulled into the campground with a Huge 5 wh and set up beside us,then came over and said "I would offer you a COLD BEER but our Refer is warm,so could I Borrow a COLD Beer from you,how can you Not give a fellow camper a Cold one! The next day he brought me a Cold one,and said it was his wifes idea to get the "RES Refer" not his! Youroo!!
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Old 07-08-2020, 08:01 AM   #12
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Cold beer huh?

When the dude bought into the residential fridge a one time payment of $2500 for lithium batteries would have given him cold beer for 24 hours or more.

I paid $1600 for the rv fridge that gives me 2 days without shore power. Cold ones always!
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Old 07-08-2020, 08:09 AM   #13
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I guess I was lucky to get the DC/AC/Propane fridge in my Geo Pro then. AC plugged into shore power, DC when towing, propane when boondocking. It's got a digital 5 step "thermostat" on the control panel, and on 5 some things in the refrigerator section will freeze.
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Old 07-08-2020, 08:32 AM   #14
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... DC when towing, ...
What is the amperage draw when operating exclusively on battery while towing? That should be listed on the name plate inside the refrigerator door.

It used to be common to find 3-way absorption refrigerators where the battery provided the heat source, but those are smaller and usually in pop-ups. Even those can't depend on the tow vehicle supplementing the trailer battery, because the stock wire from the tow vehicle is too small to be of use. The demand from the refrigerator heating element kills the trailer battery.

Larger refrigerator/freezers in travel trailers (the one in my Mini-Lite is 8 cf?) are 2-way, only, and use 12V only to operate the control panel and propane igniter.
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Old 07-08-2020, 08:35 AM   #15
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We just bought the Grey Wolf 20RDSE and it has the 12v fridge. I did not think it was cooling enough so I went and bought a thermometer for it and on the coldest setting, it was sitting in the 20s. The freezer was always good and cold. I have been plugged in and let it do its thing just checking it. I think the ambient temp was playing some into it as well as it has been in the 90s here.

We also have the small 50w solar panel on the top. I am not sure how much that actually does as I want to upgrade later on. First trip is this weekend so we will see how it does. GL with yours.
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Old 07-08-2020, 08:40 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by NavyLCDR View Post

Why in the world would they put a DC only refrigerator in a travel trailer meant for camping?!?
In the other recent 12v Furrion thread, contributors said they like the 12V fridges because they are roomier inside.
I'll take safe, reliable, decades old absorption technology over a bit more room any day.
As mentioned in the other thread, I think the move to 12V fridges has something to do with being "green" and using solar panels to keep the batteries charged up while boon docking with a 12V fridge.
No doubt there is some board room conspiracy between Furrion and solar panel executives. Follow the money.
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Old 07-08-2020, 08:51 AM   #17
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Post #10 explains the reasons for going to 12 volt refrigerators. Money. No roof penetration, no sidewall penetration, no propane line, no 120 volt line. One 12 volt connection gets made, and shove the refrigerator in the cabinet hole. Done. On some models they didn’t even bother to put in a switch to be able to turn off the refrigerator.
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Old 07-08-2020, 09:18 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by tomkatb View Post
Be careful with specs.

I have read them for a living for like forever.

When they say a unit uses 1 kw a day that means in a large room carefully cooled to 70 degrees, fridge was precooled. Full of stuff. Not in a little trailer in south Texas trying to cool that case of warm beer.

TWs have a charge wire connected to the RV battery to help! However, the wire from the TV to the RV is so small the line loss causes the voltage to be so low it does little to charge your RV unless you modified it.

A 120 amp hour cheap battery? Cheap batteries are 75 amps. Typically dealer installed. Would not run the average 12 volt compressor fridge 5 hours. Have to consider parasitic loads And other items. A 120 amp battery is a whopper! A 31?

You have to figure out what you have in consumption. Battery available. Recharging ability. Boondocking is tough with a compressor fridge.

Plan ahead.
LOL just like ice machine specs... 70 deg ambient and 50 deg water and then much praying
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Old 07-08-2020, 09:21 AM   #19
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I take it the OP's trailer didn't come with a Juice pack. If the TV is a modern day truck the 12v at the plug is disabled by battery management after about 15 minutes, so the trailer is running all on the battery. The Juice pack has a high capacity 50W panel, can be expanded to 100W, but it is a more efficient panel then the thin flexible panels so it can maintain the battery while providing the 12v for the compressor.

If no Juice pack is installed, you will need shore power to keep the battery up and the refer running.
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Old 07-08-2020, 09:37 AM   #20
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I take it the OP's trailer didn't come with a Juice pack. If the TV is a modern day truck the 12v at the plug is disabled by battery management after about 15 minutes, so the trailer is running all on the battery. The Juice pack has a high capacity 50W panel, can be expanded to 100W, but it is a more efficient panel then the thin flexible panels so it can maintain the battery while providing the 12v for the compressor.

If no Juice pack is installed, you will need shore power to keep the battery up and the refer running.
They say 55 hrs per battery with the juice pack. So it should get you through a weekend if not hooked up. I want to add another panel and battery to mine to extend my options.
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