Fridge on battery while towing - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 04-02-2015, 08:22 PM   #1
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Fridge on battery while towing

Correction:
I mentioned in a thread not long ago that when I had the tow vehicle running and hooked up to the trailer the solar controller did NOT output anything leaving a deficit when traveling with the fridge on battery, I was incorrect.

Apr 2 at noon, clear skies.
Bogart TM-2035-RV Battery Monitor
Flat roof mounted Grape 160 watt solar

8555 Fridge on battery. 13.8 - 14.1 amp deficit, varied a bit over time.

Fridge on battery, F150 connected and idling, no solar. 1.6 amp deficit per meter. Tow/Haul made no change.

Fridge on battery, F150 connected and idling, 160w solar producing, 3.4 amp surplus. Batteries that were at about 90% charge, surplus charging batteries

Fridge on battery, solar only, 7.8 amp deficit.

The 2 times I tried it, after an 8 or 9 hour days travel last Oct I had a 20 amp deficit with the single 160 watt panel with the fridge on battery.
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Old 04-02-2015, 08:28 PM   #2
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What would you predict if using the smaller 95 watt panel? also do you have dual 6ers? I need to add another panel and I'm thinking a 50 watt unit should be adequate to bring it to 145 watts. What do you think?
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Old 04-02-2015, 09:01 PM   #3
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One other variable Bob, turn on your lights as in night time towing and see what the output is from the F150 to the trailer. And with the trailer lights on, is there still a surplus without solar?
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Old 04-02-2015, 09:03 PM   #4
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I have the dual 6v batteries.

As far as how much solar is needed to run on batteries when traveling. It's hard to say, there are variables. Trucks output, time of day you travel, weather, stops, and so forth.

In my case the 160 was not enough for the long days travel at the time of year the days are short, which is when we prefer to travel. Plus we make a lot of stops, lunch, gas, way too many bathroom stops. I'd need to provide another 20 amps a day, roughly another 100 watt panel. Or run off the propane for the last couple hours.

I'd guess the 50 watt panel will not be enough, but it's nothing but a guess. Be nice to know the output of your Ram. If you have room I'd go bigger.
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Old 04-02-2015, 09:14 PM   #5
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I'm going to Tennessee in 2 weeks at night, so I'm going to test it then since I now have the Zamp set up with dual 6ers I can watch on my smartphone what is going on.
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Old 04-03-2015, 11:01 AM   #6
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"Fridge on battery, F150 connected and idling, no solar. 1.6 amp deficit per meter. Tow/Haul made no change."

So if I understand correctly, this says the 8555 will not run on 12V while towing without a net loss in battery charge without some pretty significant help from solar? At least for your tow vehicle? I'm assuming large gauge wiring in the charge and ground lines and all the other things we know that we need. I generally tow with the fridge on propane, but have been toying with the idea of running on 12V in case some sort of draft problem is causing the rather poor cooling while towing, even in mild weather.
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Old 04-03-2015, 12:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parker View Post
"Fridge on battery, F150 connected and idling, no solar. 1.6 amp deficit per meter. Tow/Haul made no change."

So if I understand correctly, this says the 8555 will not run on 12V while towing without a net loss in battery charge without some pretty significant help from solar? At least for your tow vehicle? I'm assuming large gauge wiring in the charge and ground lines and all the other things we know that we need. I generally tow with the fridge on propane, but have been toying with the idea of running on 12V in case some sort of draft problem is causing the rather poor cooling while towing, even in mild weather.
Correct, even with the 160 W solar we lost about 20A a day for an 8-9 hour drive roughly 7am-3pm through the midwest.

All pertinent cables were replaced with 6 awg before the trip. Now mostly 1/0 and 2 awg. Existing solar should be able to keep up if you only traveled during the high sun hours and limit stops.

FYI, running on 12v made no difference in the poor cooling of the fridge, that's why I tried it. Propane and 12v both failed to cool well at about 85 degrees.
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Old 04-03-2015, 12:54 PM   #8
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Needed to know if the tow vehicle adequately recharged trailer battery if the fridge were running off battery power while on the road. Here are my results from a recent trip, 1,121 total miles.

Dometic RM8551 fridge performance set to battery power, 3 dots, while towing with Silverado 1500 in “tow mode”. Mean outside temperatures low sixties. A digital thermometer remote sensor was monitoring inside fridge. My two 6 volt trailer batteries never dropped below 12.53 volts and the fridge never went higher than 42 degrees F.

Conclusion: In tow mode truck alternator kicked it up a notch, produced sufficient voltage to recharge/replace lost energy when fridge power source set to battery. Using [propane] while driving therefore not necessary to keep fridge cold.
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Old 04-03-2015, 01:17 PM   #9
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I bet we're seeing the difference in current requirements for the two sizes of fridge. I'm disappointed that the 8555 needs more current than I can probably get from tow vehicle, but I'm not surprised that the cooling is no better. Nothing new there. In talking with Kountry Kamper, I get the impression that he does better on 12V than propane while towing, but again, he has the smaller fridge.
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Old 04-03-2015, 01:19 PM   #10
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In addition I think the replacement RMD 8555 model draws even more 12v power. Anyone know?
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