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Old 08-13-2020, 02:41 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by GravelRider View Post
The only way I can see that off-grid mode would decrease power usage is to increase fridge temps. Has anyone measured temps in off-grid mode vs full cold? I keep mine at the coldest setting and temp is about perfect. I tried off-grid my first time out and it just wasn't cold enough to support keeping meat in the fridge long term. I didn't do any temp measurements though.

That chart doesn't make sense to me. Unless I'm reading it wrong, they're saying that as the ambient temperature increases, run time decreases? I think they've got that completely backwards.
Run time is their measure of how long the battery lasts. The higher the ambient temps, the more the compressor runs, the shorter the battery life. There is also a chart in that PDF that shows the internal temps at the given dial settings, including off grid.

Just for awareness, this information of strictly out of the manual, not personal use. I let it run on battery and juice pack and have the same conclusions, hot box by morning. The only thing I have noted is the Juice Pack will fully charge the unused battery in less than a day. Mine went from 11.8 to 12.9 in one day of direct sun. I doubt it will keep the battery levels up high enough to get a full night out of the battery even with the dial set to off grid. Then again, my use case doesn't require off grid, I don't boondock.
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Old 08-13-2020, 02:42 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by GravelRider View Post
The only way I can see that off-grid mode would decrease power usage is to increase fridge temps. Has anyone measured temps in off-grid mode vs full cold? I keep mine at the coldest setting and temp is about perfect. I tried off-grid my first time out and it just wasn't cold enough to support keeping meat in the fridge long term. I didn't do any temp measurements though.

That chart doesn't make sense to me. Unless I'm reading it wrong, they're saying that as the ambient temperature increases, run time decreases? I think they've got that completely backwards.



Yes it dramatically increases temperature. Which may be fine depending on what you have in your fridge (it's spoil temp/risk) and the length of time you'll be dry-camping, keeping it there will decrease power consumption by increasing temperature. IIRC I was getting around 8-10c on that side of the dial (keep my thermometer on the middle shelf). Middle dial setting for me is ~5 which is idea temp for fridge and and food generally not to spoil (bacteria starts growing above 5 generally). Coldest setting will be sub 0 for me, assuming the food is already cold or I'm not opening the fridge a lot. Before fixing my fridge door seals I had to crank it up to the coldest setting to maintain a 5ish temp, but it would still fluctuate hotter often and would have condensation issues.
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Old 08-13-2020, 02:46 PM   #103
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Yes it dramatically increases temperature. Which may be fine depending on what you have in your fridge (it's spoil temp/risk) and the length of time you'll be dry-camping, keeping it there will decrease power consumption by increasing temperature. IIRC I was getting around 8-10c on that side of the dial (keep my thermometer on the middle shelf). Middle dial setting for me is ~5 which is idea temp for fridge and and food generally not to spoil (bacteria starts growing above 5 generally). Coldest setting will be sub 0 for me, assuming the food is already cold or I'm not opening the fridge a lot. Before fixing my fridge door seals I had to crank it up to the coldest setting to maintain a 5ish temp, but it would still fluctuate hotter often and would have condensation issues.
That manual I linked to above does state to keep meat and dairy on the middle shelf at the rear and surround it with beverage cans.
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Old 08-13-2020, 02:47 PM   #104
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Our Dometic absorption fridge died about a month ago. I did a lot of research on a replacement as I didn't really want to replace it with another absorption fridge because the original was always pretty finicky. Ended up buying a Everchill 12v unit as we usually camp with hook ups. So far it has been great. Freezer temps at around -10 to -15F fridge temps around freezing on coldest setting. In fact on our first trip using it my wife found that it had frozen our eggs in the fridge.
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Old 08-13-2020, 02:48 PM   #105
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Yeah I know, I think the highest I measured min my inline meter was 20ish AH (don't recall specifically - I got rid of it pretty quickly). I was trying to use absolute absurd 'best case' scenarios to prove how ridiculous the dealers claim was. I'm not sure why FR includes 50w panels with these fridges, it doesn't help nearly enough to be worth it for anyone. My dealer said it and the battery would last me 'about a weekend'. He was at least closer. I didn't really listen to him about much because I had already run the numbers and knew I wanted to build a better solar setup day 1.
The 50 watt panel is good for keeping the battery trickle charged while stored if no plug in is available. And last time I dropped my trailer off for storage it was at 60% (215 Ah battery bank). When I checked back on it in a week, the battery was at 100%. So, not entirely worthless... But worthless for actually using it. Lol.

FWIW, I'll be removing the 50 watt panel on mine next weekend and installing an 800 watt system and doubling my battery bank.
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Old 08-13-2020, 02:52 PM   #106
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Originally Posted by Bhrava View Post
Run time is their measure of how long the battery lasts. The higher the ambient temps, the more the compressor runs, the shorter the battery life. There is also a chart in that PDF that shows the internal temps at the given dial settings, including off grid.

Just for awareness, this information of strictly out of the manual, not personal use. I let it run on battery and juice pack and have the same conclusions, hot box by morning. The only thing I have noted is the Juice Pack will fully charge the unused battery in less than a day. Mine went from 11.8 to 12.9 in one day of direct sun. I doubt it will keep the battery levels up high enough to get a full night out of the battery even with the dial set to off grid. Then again, my use case doesn't require off grid, I don't boondock.
The hotter it is, the more the compressor runs. That's why I think their chart is dead backwards.

"68F(20C) 100%
77F(25C) 80%
90F(32.2C) 55%
110F(43C) 25%"

If ambient temp is 68 F, it runs 100% of the time, but only 25% of the time when it is 110 F??
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Old 08-13-2020, 02:53 PM   #107
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That manual I linked to above does state to keep meat and dairy on the middle shelf at the rear and surround it with beverage cans.

Yeah the back wall, pretty much on any shelf, will be freezing-ish temps depending on dial setting. I've had meat freeze stuffed against it. Or at least a couple inches of it. If you only have a little bit of food that might spoil, placing it in zones might work. I don't drink dairy milk much, but I hate it when its partially frozen. I've had chunky/partially frozen drinks that I shoved against the back wall. It's definitely worth thinking about the cooling zones of the fridge, like the door shelves are the warmest, and I think the right side? But if you only have a little bit of food and turning temps up high works by stuffing everything against the back wall - then why do we have this 'massive fridge' lol. Honestly it's too big for my needs.
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Old 08-13-2020, 02:53 PM   #108
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Yes it dramatically increases temperature. Which may be fine depending on what you have in your fridge (it's spoil temp/risk) and the length of time you'll be dry-camping, keeping it there will decrease power consumption by increasing temperature. IIRC I was getting around 8-10c on that side of the dial (keep my thermometer on the middle shelf). Middle dial setting for me is ~5 which is idea temp for fridge and and food generally not to spoil (bacteria starts growing above 5 generally). Coldest setting will be sub 0 for me, assuming the food is already cold or I'm not opening the fridge a lot. Before fixing my fridge door seals I had to crank it up to the coldest setting to maintain a 5ish temp, but it would still fluctuate hotter often and would have condensation issues.
Thanks for the firsthand account of temps. Now if only you'd use our backwards archaic temperature scale I'd know what the hell you were talking about.


J/K
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Old 08-13-2020, 03:03 PM   #109
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Thanks for the firsthand account of temps. Now if only you'd use our backwards archaic temperature scale I'd know what the hell you were talking about.


J/K

lol sorry it's a habit. I drive my wife crazy sometimes, after 12 years she still can't convent to/from metric.
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Old 08-13-2020, 03:31 PM   #110
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The 50 watt panel is good for keeping the battery trickle charged while stored if no plug in is available. And last time I dropped my trailer off for storage it was at 60% (215 Ah battery bank). When I checked back on it in a week, the battery was at 100%. So, not entirely worthless... But worthless for actually using it. Lol.

FWIW, I'll be removing the 50 watt panel on mine next weekend and installing an 800 watt system and doubling my battery bank.

Yeah if it's in perfect sun, its almost okay as a trickle charger.



800w should be pretty sufficient. With my 400w system, even parked under a cedar tree on a rolling cloudy day I get 500+whr daily output. Enough to give me my 3-4-ish days off-the-grid (90+% of consumption is from the fridge). If I ever wanted to do more (or wanted to run my AC for more then 1hr), and solved my small water tank limitation, I'd probably get a 200-400w remote panel and a 50ft cord for it and an additional battery.
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Old 08-13-2020, 08:00 PM   #111
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Forest River does not nor any RV manufacturer supply batteries on towables. ...
I've heard that Rockwood is considering offering lithium batteries as an option. They're exploring the resistance, if any, they might get from dealers. Personally, I doubt dealers care much about batteries. They typically provide the cheapest crap they can get away with.
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Old 08-13-2020, 08:04 PM   #112
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That manual I linked to above does state to keep meat and dairy on the middle shelf at the rear and surround it with beverage cans.
Any refrigerator that requires that is unsafe for food storage.
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Old 08-13-2020, 08:42 PM   #113
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lol sorry it's a habit. I drive my wife crazy sometimes, after 12 years she still can't convent to/from metric.
No apologies necessary. I was definitely joking!!!
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Old 08-13-2020, 08:45 PM   #114
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Yeah if it's in perfect sun, its almost okay as a trickle charger.



800w should be pretty sufficient. With my 400w system, even parked under a cedar tree on a rolling cloudy day I get 500+whr daily output. Enough to give me my 3-4-ish days off-the-grid (90+% of consumption is from the fridge). If I ever wanted to do more (or wanted to run my AC for more then 1hr), and solved my small water tank limitation, I'd probably get a 200-400w remote panel and a 50ft cord for it and an additional battery.
That's good to hear. I just picked up the panels today (two 48 V 400 W panels), and they're huge and heavy. I'll have quite a time of getting them up and mounted! They damn well better work! Lol
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Old 08-14-2020, 07:07 AM   #115
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Did you set it to off grid mode, or left it at shore power setting?
It doesn't have an "off grid" setting that I can see. Just one control for temp. no humidity setting either and it drips water from the control area.
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Old 08-14-2020, 07:13 AM   #116
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FWIW a fully charged battery is typically around 12.7v. Any voltage you see higher then that is because it is currently charging from some source which is providing a higher voltage, or you just disconnected from a charging source and it hasn't settled down. Reading state of charge from just voltage isn't the most accurate, and you can really only tell when you don't have something drawing current from the battery at that moment. However at 12.4 you're probably around 75% battery capacity. 11.8 you're probably <25% battery capacity. Again though, it's dependent on if the voltage has settled, no current being applied/consumed at the time, battery type, and temperature. You generally don't want to take batteries below 25% often as it shortens their lifespans dramatically.



If your salesman said a 50w panel can run that fridge for a week you should talk to his boss. Even at peak efficiency and perfect sunlight you won't get more then 4ah from that thing, and if you're in perfect sunlight somehow for 8 hours a day, that's 32ah of charge it can provide per day. My tests with the OEM Furrion panel and charge controller got far less then this. Furrion states the fridge draws around 100ah/day IIRC, my tests show dependent on temperature and what I have in the fridge 50-125ah. So mathematically, there's no way that panel can power the fridge for 7 days unless it happened to include a very large battery bank (missing 70ah/day * 7 days).... Or it's near fridge temperatures inside the RV and it doesn't actually have to run.... I imagine your RV came with a single <100ah 12v battery though. Which means in perfect sunlight and minimal other 12v appliances on you'll get just around a day running the fridge, in pretty good sunlight situations. I tend to end up in trees or there's clouds, so I got really poor performance out of just that small 50w panel in real-testing.



With the old-unbranded battery they included and the 50w panel in great sunlight, I got just under 1 day before I had <25% battery life left. I upgraded with 4x100w panels and 2x 100ah 12v batteries. I'm not sure if I could go 7 days on that system unless I had great sunlight (or charged on the road driving every few days between sites), but my RV's limitation is my water tanks, so I was only shooting for ~3-4 days dry-camping in most partially-shaded areas that I might actually want to stay.



You can extend the runtime of your system some by cooling everything before you leave, opening the fridge as few of times as possible, keeping the interior of the RV as cool as possible, putting in some large ice bags (that you can drain/drink the water from as it melts - dual use), and making sure your panel gets direct sunlight (partial shading on a panel that size will drop actual output extremely). You may also want to test your battery, make sure it's in good condition, I was really disappointed by the POS they threw in my RV. Apart from that I would also check your fridge door seals. Mine were not sealed properly and was causing difficulties on really hot days maintaining temperature and humidity. I fixed my door seals with a heat gun and made a new latch because the latch that came with mine was poorly machined. Since then at the middle upright temperature setting my fridge stays exactly 4-5c (measured at the same spot in the fridge - different parts of the fridge will be slightly different temps) with little-no upper condensation (more stable humidity levels), regardless of exterior temps. Been running 24/7 even when I'm not camping - parked in my driveway - as a second fridge. The cheapest upgrade option to extend your systems runtime without redoing it all may be adding in a remote panel (useful especially if you park in shaded areas), you probably have an external hookup for it already - although it's probably limited to 10a or your charge controller, so it may still not be enough for your needs.
I have the same issues including water. My tank lasted a day in a half. They are looking at that now. I drained over 10 gallons after I got home that the pump couldn't get to. Did you just warm the seal with a heat gun and pull on it? A dollar bill just falls on the hinge side!
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Old 08-14-2020, 07:21 AM   #117
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Originally Posted by GravelRider View Post
The hotter it is, the more the compressor runs. That's why I think their chart is dead backwards.

"68F(20C) 100%
77F(25C) 80%
90F(32.2C) 55%
110F(43C) 25%"

If ambient temp is 68 F, it runs 100% of the time, but only 25% of the time when it is 110 F??
Not to mention the fridge blows hot air into the camper raising the ambient temp. My salesman now says he never said 7 days and is now saying 60 hours, both are BS. He knew I only dry camp and should have sold me something with an absorption fridge. Unfortunately I didn't realize it didn't have propane also.
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Old 08-14-2020, 07:26 AM   #118
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One thing I find is the temp range. It shuts off at about 35 F, doesn't come back on until 43 F. That seems to be high to me and a lot longer to cool everything back down again. The freezer gets down to -17 F at that setting, which is just below all the way on the dial. If I have the off grid switch, where is it?
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Old 08-14-2020, 01:58 PM   #119
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I have the same issues including water. My tank lasted a day in a half. They are looking at that now. I drained over 10 gallons after I got home that the pump couldn't get to. Did you just warm the seal with a heat gun and pull on it? A dollar bill just falls on the hinge side!
Oh I just mean I have a pretty small water tank. On my 16BHS I have a 32/23/23. So grey and fresh run out after 3-4 conservative days generally lol. But that's fine I'm not really interested in expanding that ATM, I can usually only get away for a few days at a time anyways.

Yeah if you can fit a dollar bill anywhere around the seal and pull on it and not feel good resistance, then its probably too loose. You can also put a bright light in the fridge to try to see where it leaks if it's dark in the camper.

You can use a hair dryer or heat gun, but you want to be careful with the heat gun and use it on a lower setting/further away. You basically just slowly heat up the side of the seal that needs expanded (over a few minutes constantly sweeping the gun so you dont overheat). close the fridge door tightly, and then pull out on the door slightly (enough to create a suction that pulls the seal outwards and holds it there as it cools/reforms its shape for a few minutes). You have to do the same thing when you replace old fridge door seals sometimes. There's probably some good YT videos on it I'd recommend watching first. I've heard of people using hot water and other stuff successfully too, same idea. Some people also just seal the gap with vaseline - but I'm not a fan of that lol. My gap was on my non-hinge side and was part the seal and part the door catch wasn't pulling it tight enough.



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Originally Posted by Stevemal View Post
One thing I find is the temp range. It shuts off at about 35 F, doesn't come back on until 43 F. That seems to be high to me and a lot longer to cool everything back down again. The freezer gets down to -17 F at that setting, which is just below all the way on the dial. If I have the off grid switch, where is it?

Pretty sure the off-grid mode is just a temperature dial setting. They're referring to setting the dial just to the left (warmer) then the center upright tick. 35-43 seems like a pretty large variance if your thermometer is always in the same place and you look at it right after opening the door. I keep mine in the front of the middle shelf, it's range is about 39-42F. That and your humidity comment could both be coming from your door seal leaking that you noticed.
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Old 08-15-2020, 07:39 AM   #120
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Oh I just mean I have a pretty small water tank. On my 16BHS I have a 32/23/23. So grey and fresh run out after 3-4 conservative days generally lol. But that's fine I'm not really interested in expanding that ATM, I can usually only get away for a few days at a time anyways.

Yeah if you can fit a dollar bill anywhere around the seal and pull on it and not feel good resistance, then its probably too loose. You can also put a bright light in the fridge to try to see where it leaks if it's dark in the camper.

You can use a hair dryer or heat gun, but you want to be careful with the heat gun and use it on a lower setting/further away. You basically just slowly heat up the side of the seal that needs expanded (over a few minutes constantly sweeping the gun so you dont overheat). close the fridge door tightly, and then pull out on the door slightly (enough to create a suction that pulls the seal outwards and holds it there as it cools/reforms its shape for a few minutes). You have to do the same thing when you replace old fridge door seals sometimes. There's probably some good YT videos on it I'd recommend watching first. I've heard of people using hot water and other stuff successfully too, same idea. Some people also just seal the gap with vaseline - but I'm not a fan of that lol. My gap was on my non-hinge side and was part the seal and part the door catch wasn't pulling it tight enough.






Pretty sure the off-grid mode is just a temperature dial setting. They're referring to setting the dial just to the left (warmer) then the center upright tick. 35-43 seems like a pretty large variance if your thermometer is always in the same place and you look at it right after opening the door. I keep mine in the front of the middle shelf, it's range is about 39-42F. That and your humidity comment could both be coming from your door seal leaking that you noticed.
I've checked the temp initially by opening the door at shut-off and turn-on. Now I have thermometers that show the high & low temp. Didn't open the door all night and the high was 45 and the low was 34.
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