bjpeck

Running Rerigerator When Dry Docking

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bjpeck   

We're new to dry docking. How do you keep the fridge operating without electricity (or do you recharge with the generator once in awhile?) We tried running it with LP but it ran the batteries down very fast. Suggestions?

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wolfe10   

bjpeck,

Welcome to the FMCA Forum.

You do not say what refrigerator you have, but will give answers to the two types it could be:

If two way (LP or 120 VAC): Operating on LP takes VERY little 12 VDC. Just enough for the PC board, gas valve solenoid and igniter.

If three way (LP or 120 VAC or 12 VDC): Absolutely, you will need to make sure it IS on LP, not 12 VDC.

Your real issue may be deeper and include condition of the batteries, total amp-hour capacity of the battery bank, converter/charger or inverter-charger, amp-hours of power used and generator run time/solar.

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ObedB   

We had a Dometic three way refrigerator in our first class A. We never used the 12 volt heat source. I heard that even while underway the current draw could put a strain on house batteries. If you accidentally chose that mode while dry camping, I am sure you would be out of juice quickly. We used the propane mode while underway or dry camping, and the 120vac when in an RV park.

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The ice maker can draw more current than you want. Also, check to see if the climate switch is set turn on the door heaters to reduce condensation. I have operated our whole coach for 4 to 5 days on 4-6 volt deep cycle batteries. We conserve lights at night, make coffee in the morning, and watch TV for 2 to 3 hours late evening. No furnace heating during this time. I would then start the engine for about 1 hour which will charge coach batteries faster than the 120 volt generator. Following that I would get 4 more days before needing charge.

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ObedB   

Our Dometic has a Low Amnient Temperature switch. If not used, does that use 12vdc to warm the door jams? I thought that it might be hot gas circulating. Bet using 12volts would tire batteries out quickly. We do have an Icemaker in ours.

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On 5/25/2015 at 9:13 AM, bjpeck said:

We're new to dry docking. How do you keep the fridge operating without electricity (or do you recharge with the generator once in awhile?) We tried running it with LP but it ran the batteries down very fast. Suggestions?

First, if your reefer is operating correctly, operating in LP mode should not burn too much juice. Ice makers burn the bulk of current not for cooling the ice tray, but heating the ice to release it prior to dump. You might want to turn it off.  We are in the habit of running our generator for about a hour each day during breakfast preparation to keep the DW happy and charge the batteries.

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