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cincybuckeye

Using Residential Fridge While Moving

15 posts in this topic

My new Winnebago Adventurer has a KitchenAid side-by-side residential fridge with lower pull-out freezer drawer. It's 110 electric operation only. During our dealer training session, the service rep told us not to run the fridge while moving. He suggested turning it on 24 hours in advance to cool down then shutting it down before hitting the road because it will stay cool for a while.

I've heard cautions about running propane/electric fridges while on the road but does this really apply to a residential fridge too? I would think running it on the road via the generator or inverter would be OK. The KitchenAid literature says nothing on the subject.

Big time Newbie here.

Thanks!

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We have a Samsung residential refrigerator and run it while we are traveling, but I do turn off the ice maker and use economy mode. Turning off the ice maker prevents water splashing out which will cause the cubes in the bin being all frozen together. Economy mode turns off the door heaters that reduces condensing moisture. When we are at a camp site, I then turn on the ice maker and turn off the economy mode.

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I have friends that have changed out there OEM refrigerators to the home style.

Some just run them when on shore power and things stay cold while traveling up to 8 to 10 hrs. They do not open them often and that works for them.

Others have pure sine wave inverters and run the refrigerators while on the road. The alternators keep the coach batteries charged so whenever the unit calls for cooling everything works fine.

Do you you know what type of inverter you have?

I 'm leaning towards to pure sine wave unit. The older inverters where modified sine wave units.

You might want to ask you rep. what his reasoning is regarding running the refrigerator.

You could list the model information for the group and then we could see what the power requirements are, and with the inverter information and size of your coach battery bank could offer our thoughts.

Rich.

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If you have a residential fridge, then you have an inverter and that will power the fridge while underway. I'm not aware of any reason to turn off the fridge while moving. I had not thought about the ice-maker situation mentioned above. That might be a good idea if you ever encounter any ice cubes frozen together.

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I have a Samsung house type fridge also. I shopped intensively for the lowest amperage possible, for inverter reasons. Only one with a lower amp draw was an LG, which I did not like some features. That is why I chose Samsung, not a plug for sales!!!! 3.9 amps maximum draw. Anyway I have used this fridge over 10,000 miles, and it is never shutdown for any reason. I dont know why rep didn't think it to be a good idea, but as mentioned in another post, I would ask that rep for reasoning, maybe Kitchenaid (also known as Whirlpool), might even void the warranty if it is used in motion. Otherwise, enjoy it. I would not like the hassel of turning it off and back on.

Happy trails,

Kay

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If your RV came from the factory with a residential refrigerator, it almost certainly has an inverter and batteries designed to run the refrigerator on inverter power while traveling. I do not turn mine off while traveling, no problems over 20,000 miles. I do turn off the ice maker.

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Some fridges are not compatible with the wave form of some inverters. The Samsung with esave described by another member is. We travel with it running all the time.

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We have a Whirlpool which was installed two years ago replacing the Norcold 1200. We have a 3000 W sine wave inverter. Our engine running does not charge the house batteries. We have the standard 4 x 6V house battery set-up. I do not turn off the ice maker. We have the refrigerator on 24/7 for months at a time and have not had a single problem.

It is entirely possible that your inverter, battery set-up, or engine charging capability while driving may be a factor in the recommendation to shut off your refrigerator while driving but it certainly isn't a rule for everyone. As Rich said, ask the rep why he feels it is necessary to turn your refrigerator off while driving.

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Tom,

I am very surprised by your comment that the alternator does not charge BOTH battery banks. Do you have a diode-based isolator or solenoid-based battery isolator?

Have you done any research on this issue?

Brett

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The manual for our coach does say that the alternator "also maintains a charge to the house batteries. The function of the alternator is an electrical system voltage maintainer, not a battery charger." There is no information about the nature of the maintainer as to diode or solenoid based. There is a solenoid shown in the diagram but I believe that is activated by the battery boost switch on the dash.

No I haven't done any research on this, only what the manual says. There is a battery maintainer which will shunt electric to the house batteries when their voltage drops below 13.5 Volts and will drop out if the voltage drops below 12.9 Volts.

I know that when we travel for a day without the generator the house batteries get a good charge when we plug in. The charging rate on shore power will initiate in the 60 to 70 amps DC when we first plug in following such a day. We always start with fully charged batteries in the morning. If we're dry camping we'll start the generator in the morning and then leave it on until the batteries are fully charged before we shut off the generator. Even then, the batteries will need a charge when we plug in for the evening.

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Tom,

Something you might want to look into. Suspect you have a 160 amp or more alternator. That will take care of a lot of functions when driving, particularly if starting with fully charged batteries.

And, even with the alternator working, a high charge rate (in bulk mode) when you first plug in is reasonable. But, it should rapidly drop off unless, indeed, the alternator is not charging the house as well as chassis batteries.

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Im not so sure the negative recommendation from an OEM is as much based on the sinewave v. modified sine inverter as it is that most household compressors are not designed to be run while being exposed to shock and vibration..

They are not quite the same internally as the typical refer compressor for a vehicle.

Curt

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I am a squeaky-new RT owner (2004 210 Popular) and just took a three day shakedown cruise. Well, I'm puzzled. I have a Dometic refrigerator, and installed two brand new deep cell batteries before the trip. What puzzles me is that I charged the system fully before driving off (the panel showed a full charge), running the refrigerator as I drove. By the end of the day the battery indicator showed "low." (The lowest red light.) Overnight I put it on shore power and it charged up again. On the way home I saw the same pattern. It lost power over the course of the day (9 hours) even though nearly all of that time was driving.

I was under the impression that the alternator would change the coach batteries while driving, while using the refrigerator. I'm missing something but not sure what.

I had a second puzzle on the trip. When I stopped the engine I expected the refrigerator to switch to propane instead of DC. Not so. It continued to run on DC even though I manually attempted to switch it over to propane. Doesn't auto do that?

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Luyben,

Welcome to the FMCA Forum.

Please tell us the model number of your refrigerator.

Yes, your alternator should recharge both chassis and house battery. I would start by checking voltage at the batteries-- with engine off and then with engine on.

If the house battery is not being charged first suspect is the battery combiner. Check with RT for its location.

Brett

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