Fridge on Battery while towing? - Page 8 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 06-20-2016, 08:20 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by ice-breaker View Post
We have never used the 12V option for powering our fridge. Majority of the time (probably >90%) we use propane, and the other 50% of the time we use 120V AC power.
Years ago my boss and his son hosted a foreign exchange student from Portugal. We took him hunting and someone pushed a skunk hiding in a fence row. The skunk runs out into a picked cornfield. Somebody yells "shoot him Rui." Rui shoots the skunk and later relates, " I never heard such a smell" . Rui, meet Yogi.
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Old 06-20-2016, 09:21 PM   #72
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Thanks for the advice (and opinions). As Jim pointed out, we'll have to experiment to determine what works best for us (and will have to buy a wireless indoor/outdoor thermometer so we have some idea of what's happening in the fridge. We're off on a trip to the Ruby Mountains (NV) this weekend, so will try 12V on the drive from Salt Lake to Elko (roughly 4--5 hours).
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Hope to see you in lamoile. Probably staying @ Thomas cg? One of my favs.
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Old 06-21-2016, 08:55 AM   #73
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Does the Robot Check only tell you about your car battery? What do you use for the trailer to check the trailer batteries?
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Old 06-21-2016, 09:51 AM   #74
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If I read your question right.

Most folks use a volt meter to monitor batteries. Something like these will work... https://www.amazon.com/Battery-Elect.../dp/B00AQAQIGO

If you look aroud on the web, you'll find voltage tables to convert the voltage to a % of charge. Shoot for not going below 12.0 volts, which is about 50% charge.
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Old 06-21-2016, 10:26 AM   #75
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Mucram:
You're right, we will be staying at Thomas Canyon (site #8) from Sunday (6/26) until Friday (7/01). It will be our first time camping in Lamoille Canyon, and hope to do several of the shorter hikes in the area. When are you going to be in the area and where will you be staying? Would be good to meet other Escape enthusiasts.
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Old 06-21-2016, 10:37 PM   #76
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We have a 19 with dual 6v batteries and 150W solar panel. Our tow vehicle is a Jeep Grand Cherokee with the battery and alternator in the TV connected through the 7 pin plug. We took a 3 week trip recently to southwest national parks, and ran the trailer refrigerator on 12v all the time while traveling. We had no problem with the battery draining. We had sun most of the time while traveling and the battery was always fully charged when we arrived. We usually stop every 2-3 hours for breaks or lunch and never disconnected the 7-pin. We always turn the propane off while traveling. When we stop for the night, as part of our unhooking, we turn on the propane and if we are dry camping, turn the refrigerator to propane, or if we have electric, turn it to 120v. It works so well, we see no reason to change. The power is basically free (sun and tow vehicle running anyway) and we don't use any propane while traveling.
This is the way we plan to do it. But here's a question. If my vehicle charge system puts out a higher voltage than my solar charge controller will the solar panels even be providing any energy into the battery when I'm towing? I think not. What say the electrical gurus out there?
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Old 06-21-2016, 10:48 PM   #77
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All I can say is that after about 7000 miles traveling with solar and car connected in parallel, I have had no issue with arriving without the batteries charged, so it works with my Jeep.
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Old 06-22-2016, 12:06 AM   #78
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I'm glad to hear that. I was just wondering if the charge was coming from the sun or the petroleum product. I suspect it's coming from whatever gives the highest voltage or push.
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Old 06-22-2016, 01:15 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by John David View Post
If my vehicle charge system puts out a higher voltage than my solar charge controller will the solar panels even be providing any energy into the battery when I'm towing?
The solar panels don't have a single fixed voltage output, even for a specific sun condition. If the tow vehicle's charge system imposes a higher voltage than would exist without the tow vehicle connected, and the panels are connected directly to the battery, they will just run at that higher voltage... and will produce less current (possibly none at all in poor sun brightness). The maximum voltage output of panels used with "12 volt" battery systems is much higher than a vehicle's charging system would ever produce.

The complication is the solar charge controller. If the tow vehicle drives the voltage seen by the controller higher than what the controller is programmed to provide, it will shut off the panel output.
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Old 07-02-2016, 03:24 PM   #80
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Running fridge on 12V

Folks:
We got back yesterday afternoon from our 6-day trip to the Ruby Mountains (NV).
We noted fridge temp. (and setting) and battery level while traveling. We used an "Acurite" wireless thermometer to measure temp. in the fridge. Our TV is a 2008 Toyota 4Runner (V6), our 2015 Escape 17B has the 4.3 cu. ft. fridge and we have a solar panel (150W) and dual 6V batteries. Data was collected at convenient stopping places, so the time intervals are not consistent. Results were:
Salt Lake to Thomas Cyn. CG (6/26)
Elapsed Time Fridge Setting Fridge Temp. Battery V
start 5 bars 40 degrees 13.7 V
1-35 4 bars 40 degrees 13.7 V
1-35 5 bars 40 degrees 13.1 V
1-20 5 bars 42 degrees 13.2 V
2-20 5 bars 43 degrees 12.8 V
The last measurement was after a lunch stop, the fridge was left on 12V (and connected to the TV) during this time. Outside temp. ranged from 72 to 85.

Thomas Cyn. CG to Salt Lake (7/01)
start 4 bars 38 degrees 14.4 V
2-45 4 bars 33 degrees 13.0 V
1-15 4 bars 38 degrees 13.2 V
3-37 4 bars 42 degrees 12.7 V
Outside temp. ranged from 68 to 88.
Conclusions:
1. Our system (4Runner, dual 6V batteries and solar panel would seem to allow driving at least 6-7 hours on 12V without depleting the batteries unduly (given the conditions we experienced). Our trip was in clear weather driving from Salt Lake to Elko, so probably optimum conditions for solar.
2. Having the fridge well cooled to start with is key--we plugged it in to 120V two days (5 bars) before the start of our trip and it was at 40 when we started. After running on propane for five days (4 bars), the fridge was cooler (38) and interestingly initially got even colder running on 12V (33).

I hope this information will be of interest to other forum members. Lamoille Canyon (and the Ruby Mtns. are spectacular and we enjoyed some great hiking!

Dave
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