Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-29-2020, 06:20 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 5
Juice pack and boondocks camping

We went on our first outing with our 2021 Cherokee 274DBH, boondocks camping with the juice pack and 12v fridge were suspect at best. Thank goodness for a generator, without it we would have been home in a day. Battery goes from a full charge to beeping at you almost dead by morning. Going to need some bigger better batteries and an auxiliary solar panel.
GPerhach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2020, 09:03 PM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by GPerhach View Post
We went on our first outing with our 2021 Cherokee 274DBH, boondocks camping with the juice pack and 12v fridge were suspect at best. Thank goodness for a generator, without it we would have been home in a day. Battery goes from a full charge to beeping at you almost dead by morning. Going to need some bigger better batteries and an auxiliary solar panel.
Hmmm, what's a juice pack? Any chance you can run the fridge on propane? Running it on 12v is definitely going to take a sizable battery pack (Ah wise).
Mikec557 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2020, 09:05 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: California
Posts: 7,616
A Juicepack is a big joke. It's a 50W or 100W solar panel which doesn't have a chance charging a battery that is running a 12V only fridge.
babock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2020, 09:12 PM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 32
Thats good to know. Any recommendations for battery and solar panel? I have a greywolf 22mkse with the same set up. Does the extra solar plug In connect to the battery directly or go through the display?
GregBarre is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2020, 09:16 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: California
Posts: 7,616
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregBarre View Post
Thats good to know. Any recommendations for battery and solar panel? I have a greywolf 22mkse with the same set up. Does the extra solar plug In connect to the battery directly or go through the display?
Plan on 100AH per day for a 12V fridge. That means you need an extra 100AH of usable battery and around 400W of solar. This assumes sunny days so you will need a generator as a back up.
babock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2020, 09:20 PM   #6
Site Team
 
bikendan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Camano Island, Washington
Posts: 23,090
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikec557 View Post
Hmmm, what's a juice pack? Any chance you can run the fridge on propane? Running it on 12v is definitely going to take a sizable battery pack (Ah wise).
The OP stated that they have a 12v only fridge. This is becoming the current trend in the RV Industry because they are cheaper and bigger than most 2-way RV fridges.
__________________
Dan-Retired California Firefighter/EMT
Shawn-Musician/Entrepreneur/Wine Expert
and Zoe the Wonder Dog(R.I.P.)
2016 PrimeTime TracerAIR 255, pushing a 2014 Ford F150 SCREW XTR 4x4 3.5 Ecoboost w/Max Tow Package
4pt Equal-i-zer WDH and 1828lbs of payload capacity
bikendan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2020, 09:22 PM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by bikendan View Post
The OP stated that they have a 12v only fridge. This is becoming the current trend in the RV Industry because they are cheaper and bigger than most 2-way RV fridges.
Thanks, I guess I didn't read it that way, I mean as 12v only.

Edit, I just googled the RV model. Is it really about 31ft and comes with a fridge powered only by 12v? How many cubic foot is the fridge?
Mikec557 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2020, 07:08 AM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by GPerhach View Post
We went on our first outing with our 2021 Cherokee 274DBH, boondocks camping with the juice pack and 12v fridge were suspect at best. Thank goodness for a generator, without it we would have been home in a day. Battery goes from a full charge to beeping at you almost dead by morning. Going to need some bigger better batteries and an auxiliary solar panel.
Did you set the fridge to 'off-grid' setting. What else are you running besides the ref just on juice pack/battery?
Just drove home from OBX to NJ with dinner stop(1.5 hrs) at Ocean City in cloudy afternoon(2pm) to midnight;TT in driveway for 8hrs now and volt reading on wall still at 12.7, freezer still frozen - no issues.
I've camped at Assateague recently and had no shore power but used generator intermittently but not during 10p-8a quiet time and had no ref/battery issues either.
My experiences only, others like yours maybe different but I suspect the ref setting is one of the key.
21wolfpupfq is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2020, 02:34 PM   #9
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Poconos
Posts: 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikec557 View Post
Thanks, I guess I didn't read it that way, I mean as 12v only.

Edit, I just googled the RV model. Is it really about 31ft and comes with a fridge powered only by 12v? How many cubic foot is the fridge?
I just bought the 274RK and the ref is 10 cu ft.
__________________
2021 Cherokee 274RK towed by:
2020 GMC 2500HD AT4 w/Duramax 6.6 Diesel
Fastway e2 Equalizer Hitch
dwilli1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2020, 02:35 PM   #10
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Poconos
Posts: 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by 21wolfpupfq View Post
Did you set the fridge to 'off-grid' setting. What else are you running besides the ref just on juice pack/battery?
Just drove home from OBX to NJ with dinner stop(1.5 hrs) at Ocean City in cloudy afternoon(2pm) to midnight;TT in driveway for 8hrs now and volt reading on wall still at 12.7, freezer still frozen - no issues.
I've camped at Assateague recently and had no shore power but used generator intermittently but not during 10p-8a quiet time and had no ref/battery issues either.
My experiences only, others like yours maybe different but I suspect the ref setting is one of the key.
What is the "off-grid" setting and where do you access it? Never heard of it but I'd def use it for dry camping.
__________________
2021 Cherokee 274RK towed by:
2020 GMC 2500HD AT4 w/Duramax 6.6 Diesel
Fastway e2 Equalizer Hitch
dwilli1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2020, 02:41 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: California
Posts: 7,616
Pretty sure it raises the temp in the fridge to a temp that's not safe. Something I would never turn on.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwilli1 View Post
What is the "off-grid" setting and where do you access it? Never heard of it but I'd def use it for dry camping.
babock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2020, 03:43 PM   #12
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 5
Juice pack

The fridge is a GE dc only 12v model, the juice pack is an oversized battery, ha, and a 50 watt solar panel on board. Thanks for all the advise and suggestions! Going to get another dc27 battery and several hundred watts of solar to try to keep up. I donít mind running the generator periodically but donít want to run it for hours on end.
GPerhach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2020, 04:38 PM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwilli1 View Post
I just bought the 274RK and the ref is 10 cu ft.
Wow. I just hadn't heard of a refrigerator that big that was 12vdc only. Do you have a model number of the fridge? I'd like to research that. You learn something new every day. But that beats sittin' around watching TV, LOL
Mikec557 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2020, 05:00 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: North of Seattle, WA
Posts: 9,423
Quote:
Originally Posted by GPerhach View Post
The fridge is a GE dc only 12v model, the juice pack is an oversized battery, ha, and a 50 watt solar panel on board. Thanks for all the advise and suggestions! Going to get another dc27 battery and several hundred watts of solar to try to keep up. I donít mind running the generator periodically but donít want to run it for hours on end.
This might be a good time to re-asses your current 12 v system. Rather than just approaching it patchwork, adding a battery or solar panel, first do a complete inventory of your power needs.

Then decide how often you want t charge batteries. Then address it ONCE.

It may be more batteries, or even different batteries that hold more usable power and charge quicker. Added solar too.

Point is a "patchwork" approach may well cost you more overall than just doing a proper "rebuild" up front.

I would do my "power needs inventory" as if I was going to camp on a cool fall/winter night with a furnace running along with all the rest of the 12 volt power users.

BTW, if you don't have one already, I'd strongly consider a Battery Monitor like the Victron units, shunt type only or the full meal deal with meter and it's added features. Regardless of what path you take, knowing (accurately) where your batteries stand is essential since you have a residential type refrigerator.
__________________
"A wise man can change his mind. A fool never will."

"You only grow old when you run out of new things to do"

2018 Flagstaff Micro Lite 25BDS
2004 Nissan Titan
TitanMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2020, 05:13 PM   #15
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by TitanMike View Post
... knowing (accurately) where your batteries stand is essential since you have a residential type refrigerator..
Ut oh.. Maybe my light bulb is just starting to go on. Did I read the original post "too literally"?

Is the fridge really a residential that runs on 120vac thru an inverter, rather than truly running on 12vdc?

Last true 12vdc fridge I had was about 1.5 cubic foot in a Coleman popup tent trailer (circa 2000). I couldn't believe they'd put something that small in a 31ft trailer. And I just couldn't imagine they'd make an 8-10cf fridge (appropriate for that size trailer) that would run on 12vdc only.
Mikec557 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2020, 05:26 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
rsdata's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Northern KY
Posts: 4,059
Quote:
I couldn't believe they'd put something that small in a 31ft trailer. And I just couldn't imagine they'd make an 8-10cf fridge (appropriate for that size trailer) that would run on 12vdc only.
12 VDC ONLY fridges in campers ( compressor type) similar to a residential fridge ( not absorption) are common these days. NO propane, no 120 VAC, just 12 VDC, running off converter IF on shore power, or battery bank if boondocking. These are large 10 C Ft. models and larger. EXAMPLE below
https://www.geappliances.com/applian...tor-GPV10FSNSB
__________________
"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. " - Ronald Reagan
ďToo much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.Ē Ė Mark Twain

2014 Shamrock 183
2014 RAM 1500 Bighorn Crew Cab, HEMI, 3.21 gears, 8 Spd, 4X4 TST TPMS
rsdata is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2020, 06:15 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: North of Seattle, WA
Posts: 9,423
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikec557 View Post
Ut oh.. Maybe my light bulb is just starting to go on. Did I read the original post "too literally"?

Is the fridge really a residential that runs on 120vac thru an inverter, rather than truly running on 12vdc?

Last true 12vdc fridge I had was about 1.5 cubic foot in a Coleman popup tent trailer (circa 2000). I couldn't believe they'd put something that small in a 31ft trailer. And I just couldn't imagine they'd make an 8-10cf fridge (appropriate for that size trailer) that would run on 12vdc only.
Actually that was my bad. Forgor the 12v only part.

Remembering my old physics lessons like everything that uses energy, refrigeration uses it's share. A residential refrigerator on 120 Vac, cooling a given space,will consume x amount of energy. The same residential refrigerator running on an inverter will consume around 10% more energy due to inverter inefficiencies. A 12 volt only refrigerator, cooling the same space will cut out the inefficiencies of an inverter but still require the same energy to move heat from the inside to the outside.

Absorption type refrigerators get most of their energy from the propane they burn when off grid so less electrical (battery) power is needed. When on grid the boiler is heated with an electric element consuming around 300 watts which would translate to around 25 amps if the power was coming from an inverter.

The inverter is the " fly in the ointment" and with 12v only refers it's taken out of the equation. The energy needed still remains and you need enough battery capacity to provide it.

The good news is that you need 10% less.
__________________
"A wise man can change his mind. A fool never will."

"You only grow old when you run out of new things to do"

2018 Flagstaff Micro Lite 25BDS
2004 Nissan Titan
TitanMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2020, 06:35 PM   #18
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 67
Thanks for the link to the GE fridge, that and Titan Mike's explanation cleared it up. That's pretty cool. No pun intended. I don't think I could ever put enough batteries in my TT, but might have been able to when we had a 5th wheel. I miss that front bay and the size of the pass through... but I don't really miss the 5th wheel. ;-)
Mikec557 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2020, 06:54 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: North of Seattle, WA
Posts: 9,423
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikec557 View Post
Thanks for the link to the GE fridge, that and Titan Mike's explanation cleared it up. That's pretty cool. No pun intended. I don't think I could ever put enough batteries in my TT, but might have been able to when we had a 5th wheel. I miss that front bay and the size of the pass through... but I don't really miss the 5th wheel. ;-)
You might be surprised at "how much batteries" you could fit in your TT.

Not lead/acid though.

"Lithium" batteries:

Can deliver twice the energy with the same footprint;

Weigh half as much;

Charge in half the time or less from a deep discharge;

Can be mounted anywhere and in any position, even upside down if necessary.

My MicroLite 25 BDS has a small compartment that's just big enough for two group 27 batteries and enough space for an inverter, solar controller, and DC-DC Charger (for charging from Tow Vehicle).

I have close to 200 amp hours of "energy" available which is almost the same as a battery bank of 4 GC-2 Golf Cart batteries.

My Lithium batteries weigh 66 lbs. 4 GC-2's weigh ~265 lbs.

Got some space under a bed? Bottom of a closet (popular location for boaters)? Far corner of a storage compartment that's too hard to reach and could be "donated" to battery storage?


Yes, there is a cost to them but they also last 10 times (or more) as long based on number of cycles.


Just an FYI.
__________________
"A wise man can change his mind. A fool never will."

"You only grow old when you run out of new things to do"

2018 Flagstaff Micro Lite 25BDS
2004 Nissan Titan
TitanMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2020, 08:42 PM   #20
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 32
Thank you
GregBarre is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
camping

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 05:24 AM.