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Old 07-10-2016, 06:31 AM   #1
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Propane consumption for refrig?

Hello fellow campers. Our 2013 Mac 246D pup has a 3 way refrigerator. My question is we're going to spend a night in a hotel with a stocked frig. and was wondering which would be the best thing run it on propane or 12v. The battery is factory and fully charged but I don't won't to run it dead. Also my propane tank is full(20#). I don't won't it empty either. Does anyone no the approx. consumption of the 2. It will be unattended for about 12hours. Also on the propane knob it has low, med. and high. Does low mean colder frig?
Thanks!


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Old 07-10-2016, 06:38 AM   #2
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Just run off propane refrig does not use that much. Later RJD
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Old 07-10-2016, 06:40 AM   #3
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Run the unit on Propane, switch to Elec. when at C/G! Your batt should last 12 Hr the propane should last for most Trips "UNLESS" you run the Furnace! Youroo!!
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Old 07-10-2016, 07:00 AM   #4
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That's what I was thinking. I ran it on propane and noticed that the flame is not much more than a pilot light type flame. Does low mean colder frig?
Thanks much!!


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Old 07-10-2016, 07:25 AM   #5
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Refrig will last at least twenty days on 20 lbs propane.
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Old 07-10-2016, 07:32 AM   #6
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Low med and high refer to the size of flame. So low would give you the least cooling. It all depends on the ambient temperature. If it is hot you will need to run it on med or high. You will need to experiment to see what setting works best for you. At the hotel at night and no one opening the fridge you should be able to leave it on low.
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Old 07-10-2016, 08:12 AM   #7
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A frig uses very little propane...........


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Old 07-10-2016, 08:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daverobenolt View Post
Hello fellow campers. Our 2013 Mac 246D pup has a 3 way refrigerator. My question is we're going to spend a night in a hotel with a stocked frig. and was wondering which would be the best thing run it on propane or 12v. The battery is factory and fully charged but I don't won't to run it dead. Also my propane tank is full(20#). I don't won't it empty either. Does anyone no the approx. consumption of the 2. It will be unattended for about 12hours. Also on the propane knob it has low, med. and high. Does low mean colder frig?
Thanks!


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I wasn't aware frig's ran on 12v alone? I thought the only thing 12v was used for was the sparker for the propane flame. Mine either uses A.C. which still is converted to 12v for the sparker or propane and 12v from the battery for the sparker. The frig will not run with the battery only and the propane tanks turned off.
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Old 07-10-2016, 08:58 AM   #9
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I wasn't aware frig's ran on 12v alone? I thought the only thing 12v was used for was the sparker for the propane flame. Mine either uses A.C. which still is converted to 12v for the sparker or propane and 12v from the battery for the sparker. The frig will not run with the battery only and the propane tanks turned off.


He has a three way fridge, pretty much only used in pop ups and some tent campers


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Old 07-10-2016, 08:59 AM   #10
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I wasn't aware frig's ran on 12v alone? I thought the only thing 12v was used for was the sparker for the propane flame. Mine either uses A.C. which still is converted to 12v for the sparker or propane and 12v from the battery for the sparker. The frig will not run with the battery only and the propane tanks turned off.
OP said he had a 3-way (not a 2-way). One of the 3 ways is 12v.
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Old 07-10-2016, 09:24 AM   #11
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OP said he had a 3-way (not a 2-way). One of the 3 ways is 12v.
Missed that! Thanks for pointing that out, I also wasn't aware there was a 3 way, only had 2 choices in every unit I have owned. It's Sunday and school is in, learned something new today...
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Old 07-10-2016, 10:24 AM   #12
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I'm thinking that's probably because of the size and the power consumption required to run the heating element to do more than maintain a smaller refrigerator. My popup had...I think a 1.9 cf. I ran 12V when driving and it always stayed cold. The longest trip was about 6 hrs. I do a few 2.5 hr trips boondocking a year and paid more attention to battery charge on those trips. I never noticed a real drop in voltage after the drive, but that may have been due to the refrigerator already being cold when I left and the increased air flow while driving (they don't vent very well and hot days make it work harder) so it may not have turned on but briefly during those trips. Just don't leave it on 12V if stopped for more than 1/2 hr or so. Run propane the rest of the time. I could go 9 months (probably 20 - 30 days use) on a bottle with occasional cooking and furnace use. Refrigerator uses very little.
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Old 07-11-2016, 08:20 AM   #13
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You might be surprised at how an RV fridge uses 12V power. As already mentioned, it's used for the control board and spark igniter but also provides power to other things.

If you have a spark igniter, you also have a gas valve that draws 12V power when the burner is lit. Your fridge may also have a door heating element to keep condensation from forming on the door seal. An interior light draws power when the door is open but its power consumption can be ignored because the door is open so little of the time.

If you're boondocking, it's always a wise thing to examine all of your appliances to determine exactly how much battery power they consume and what functions, if any, you can disable to conserve power.

My (larger) Dometic fridge draws around 300W for the AC electric heating element, around 2.5A at 110V. When I run the fridge using the inverter, it draws around 26A at 12V which limits that usage to times when an alternator can provide the 12V power or for an hour or so shopping excursion. The door heating element draws 1A all the time; 24A/day, a significant drain when boondocking so I unplug the heater/light at the control board when I'll be running on batteries for an extended period of time. My class A Georgetown also has a safety shutoff solenoid at the propane tank which draws power whenever the rig's propane is turned on. The original solenoid drew over 1A while the replacement that was installed after the first one melted its coil draws a bit less than that.

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Old 07-11-2016, 10:01 AM   #14
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Three way refrigerators generally have none of those things.
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Old 07-11-2016, 10:16 AM   #15
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Doubt very much if the battery could last 12 hours running the frig. Propane, no problem.
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Old 07-11-2016, 03:53 PM   #16
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A popup three way fridge does not use any 12v when it is running on propane. My first popup did not even have a battery.
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Old 07-11-2016, 05:27 PM   #17
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Missed that! Thanks for pointing that out, I also wasn't aware there was a 3 way, only had 2 choices in every unit I have owned. It's Sunday and school is in, learned something new today...
Campster, I know enough about them to point out they are not like 2-way refrigerators BUT not enough to give ANY suggestions about their operation.
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Old 07-11-2016, 05:43 PM   #18
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Low med and high refer to the size of flame. So low would give you the least cooling. It all depends on the ambient temperature. If it is hot you will need to run it on med or high. You will need to experiment to see what setting works best for you. At the hotel at night and no one opening the fridge you should be able to leave it on low.
This is my first TT. I did not even know there was an adjustment for the size of the flame. Have not looked but guessing it is behind one of the doors on the outside of the TT on the back side of the fridge?
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Old 07-11-2016, 06:41 PM   #19
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Propane consumption for refrig?

This only applies to 3 way (small) fridges used in popup's. In all the TT fridges I have seen you can't adjust the flame.
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