RV, battery, frige, solar panel????
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 14 of 20

Thread:
RV, battery, frige, solar panel????

  1. #1
    sr member rddct98's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    central coast, ca
    Posts
    147

    Default RV, battery, frige, solar panel????

    Ok guys i need some help finding out some info on an rv fridge. How long can an rv fridge run on batterys and how big of a solar panel would i need to keep batterys charged while running the fridge at the same time.

    Here is the scenerio. Have a houseboat and we need a fridge. We want to be able to leave the fridge on between weekends, but we dont want to keep propane on while we are away. We were thinking to get a new three way fridge and leave it on the 12 volt switch and get a solar panel but we dont know how big of a solar panel it would take?

  2. Remove Advertisements
    PerformanceBoats.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Red Blooded American The Doctor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Peoria, AZ
    Posts
    14,640

    Default

    Lose your fears about the propane and those Dometic fridges will run like clockwork for a long time.
    The best things in life aren't things!

  4. #3
    Senior Member ICECREAMAN's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    2,315

    Default

    I'll do the usual "I'm no expert but,..." you'll need to line the top of your house boat with solar panels to get enough juice to run a refer solely on 12v power. RV solar panels are nice to keep a trickle charge on your battery set, but not really intended to be used as a stand alone power source. I agree with doc on running it on propane. Make sure your system is in good working order and use it.

  5. #4
    Senior Member CampbellCarl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Whittier, CA & Katherine Landing
    Posts
    2,858

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by The Doctor View Post
    Lose your fears about the propane and those Dometic fridges will run like clockwork for a long time.


    Agree. I don't think that I've turned off the main valve at the propane tank (except to fill the tank) in years.

    Do you turn off the natural gas to your house when you go to the houseboat for the weekend?

    CC
    Originally Posted by Rattle Can Lou
    Again, if I came across as a v-drive snob..I apologize,
    Mike

  6. #5
    Re-member Willie B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Lake Oroville Ca./N. Hollywood Ca.
    Posts
    3,580

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ICECREAMAN View Post
    I'll do the usual "I'm no expert but,..." you'll need to line the top of your house boat with solar panels to get enough juice to run a refer solely on 12v power. RV solar panels are nice to keep a trickle charge on your battery set, but not really intended to be used as a stand alone power source. I agree with doc on running it on propane. Make sure your system is in good working order and use it.
    ...You could calculate the draw of the refer,...use enough panels to power it... ...but it would shut down at night because of no sun unless u you had a very large bank of batteries to store needed nite time power... ...It could be done but you would need a very elaborate solar system... ...generator...many solar panels...battery bank...charge controller... ...Xpensive...

    ...I would go with propane just make sure the tanks are vented adequately to the atmosphere... ...Propane is a lowlying gas and can seep into places like the bilge of a boat... ...If it is a 2 story or has a hard roof,...mount the tanks up above and well vented... ...Also do not beach the houseboat... ...Propane refers need to be run level as the amonia in coils that is heated to make cold,...will crystalize in the coils and will not stay free flowing if it is run too much out of level... ...Put a bubble level in the freezer and mount the refer so that no more than 1/2 of the bubble is outside the center circle...

  7. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    307

    Default

    My experience has been they don't keep the temp as cold as 120v or propane do. That was towing so it was getting the full power my alternator could provide. It would keep food cool from point a to b, but not cold like the other power sources.

  8. #7
    sr member rddct98's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    central coast, ca
    Posts
    147

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by drhoback View Post
    My experience has been they don't keep the temp as cold as 120v or propane do. That was towing so it was getting the full power my alternator could provide. It would keep food cool from point a to b, but not cold like the other power sources.
    thats what i wanted to know. i see campers driving all over the country and the fridge is just running off of the alternator. I didnt realize they dont keep it as cold.

  9. #8
    The voice of reason Dragboatdad's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Mohave valley Az / Calif
    Posts
    126

    Default

    I have a small houseboat with a 12v / 120v fridge. I run it all the time on 12 v and it works great . It is a small one though. My son bought me some solar panels at Harbour Freight and they work really well. The panels come with a controller that won't let you overcharge ur battery . It has a digital display, USB charging port, couple of lights and 3,6,9 v adapters. it's the one with 3 panels, if you go on their website. They don't take up much room.
    I have a big ice chest for,all the drinks and use fridge for everything else, that way it doesn't get opened constantly.
    We just got the houseboat so haven't spent a night in it yet. Will know soon how it does overnight

  10. #9
    Re-member Willie B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Lake Oroville Ca./N. Hollywood Ca.
    Posts
    3,580

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rddct98 View Post
    thats what i wanted to know. i see campers driving all over the country and the fridge is just running off of the alternator. I didnt realize they dont keep it as cold.
    ...It doesn't make sense to me why it would not cool as well on 12v as is does on 110???... ...It's generally a tube shaped heating element in a sleeve that transfers heat to the ammonia fillied coils... ...I suppose if you were driving and way more air was circulating around the element,...it might not get as hot???...

  11. #10
    Senior Member Uncle Dave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,981

    Default

    Propane is absolutely the way to go. The net amount of propane being consumed is like a pilot light- its super efficient

    Deal is running 12V you have to make heat and making heat electrically kills amp hours fast.
    Its a waste of solar and amp hours when you can run it so efficiently on propane.

    I have a mortorhome and a toyhauler and both have dometic propane/12V units and both run cooler and cheaper on propane by a lot.

    Propane NEVER goes bad, and you can get it everywhere.

    Uncle Dave

  12. #11
    MLC - Mid Life Crisis probablecause's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    North Orange County (Brea)
    Posts
    1,125

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Dave View Post
    Propane is absolutely the way to go. The net amount of propane being consumed is like a pilot light- its super efficient

    Deal is running 12V you have to make heat and making heat electrically kills amp hours fast.
    Its a waste of solar and amp hours when you can run it so efficiently on propane.

    I have a mortorhome and a toyhauler and both have dometic propane/12V units and both run cooler and cheaper on propane by a lot.

    Propane NEVER goes bad, and you can get it everywhere.

    Uncle Dave
    I have to agree with several other posts and with Uncle Dave. You can find batteries to run the fridge but at about 40 amps DC per hour, you will have to have a lot of solar panels to charge the batteries caused by the power drain (and that is just during the day). Now, you will also have to have a larger battery bank for night time use and will have to actually double or triple the battery charging rate to make up for the non-solar usage on the batteries when the sun comes up. Take into consideration that solar panels only run at 70-80% efficiency and you are into an awful lot of money in solar panels.

    Just my opinion, but maybe it's time for the government to take down the bird feeder!


    Quote Originally Posted by Rexone;
    Try to ignore the haters, they are everywhere, just as in life.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pronstar;
    Liberalism: Logic's retarded cousin.


  13. #12
    The voice of reason Dragboatdad's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Mohave valley Az / Calif
    Posts
    126

    Default 3.5 amp draw 12v fridge

    Quote Originally Posted by rddct98 View Post
    Ok guys i need some help finding out some info on an rv fridge. How long can an rv fridge run on batterys and how big of a solar panel would i need to keep batterys charged while running the fridge at the same time.

    Here is the scenerio. Have a houseboat and we need a fridge. We want to be able to leave the fridge on between weekends, but we dont want to keep propane on while we are away. We were thinking to get a new three way fridge and leave it on the 12 volt switch and get a solar panel but we dont know how big of a solar panel it would take?
    OK I did some research for you.
    I'm posting a link to Westmarine so if I do this wrong and it doesn't work just go to westmarine
    and search 12v refrigerators. The cost isn't much more than a propane fridge
    I think with a couple of batteries and a small solar panel set up you wwould be good and not have to worry about propane. My inexpensive Harbour Freight 3 small panel solar package puts out 4 amps, so you might need 2 of these in parallel. I'm no expert but with 1 battery and the H F solar I can run my fridge, a Sony head unit with just 4 6x9 and a 700 watt inverter running a 24" flat screen and over the air digital tv antenna. I obviously don't run all this all Together and all night.
    I've had lots of different R V's, all of which had 120 v / propane fridges, this is my first fridge without propane and I'm really surprised how well it works.
    Look at the specs, they are very efficient.

    NORCOLD DE-0061 AC/DC Refrigerator/Freezer at West Marine


    Hope this helps, Tom
    Last edited by Dragboatdad; 07-24-2012 at 06:43 AM.

  14. #13
    sr member rddct98's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    central coast, ca
    Posts
    147

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragboatdad View Post
    OK I did some research for you.
    I'm posting a link to Westmarine so if I do this wrong and it doesn't work just go to westmarine
    and search 12v refrigerators. The cost isn't much more than a propane fridge
    I think with a couple of batteries and a small solar panel set up you wwould be good and not have to worry about propane. My inexpensive Harbour Freight 3 small panel solar package puts out 4 amps, so you might need 2 of these in parallel. I'm no expert but with 1 battery and the H F solar I can run my fridge, a Sony head unit with just 4 6x9 and a 700 watt inverter running a 24" flat screen and over the air digital tv antenna. I obviously don't run all this all Together and all night.
    I've had lots of different R V's, all of which had 120 v / propane fridges, this is my first fridge without propane and I'm really surprised how well it works.
    Look at the specs, they are very efficient.

    NORCOLD DE-0061 AC/DC Refrigerator/Freezer at West Marine


    Hope this helps, Tom
    Thanks for the help Tom. That is exactly what we are looking for. The boat already has 7 batteries and if we add some solar panels that would be perfect.

  15. #14
    Re-member Willie B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Lake Oroville Ca./N. Hollywood Ca.
    Posts
    3,580

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rddct98 View Post
    Thanks for the help Tom. That is exactly what we are looking for. The boat already has 7 batteries and if we add some solar panels that would be perfect.
    ...My motorhome has 10 golf cart batteries a 2500 watt inverter/charger,...a charge controller,...Five...70 watt solar panels and a 4000 watt generator... ...I haven't done the math but I'm not sure my system is big enough to run a fridge through the night... ...Do you have a generator and high amp charger to keep the batteries up if your batteries don't have enough storage capacity should you be running the fridge at night???...

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Quick Reply Quick Reply

Register Now

Please enter the name by which you would like to log-in and be known on this site.
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.

Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Tags for this Thread

Digg This Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may post new threads
  • You may post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91