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Old 06-12-2019, 09:28 AM   #21
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I have always driven with the propane on and turn it off on ferries or driving through tunnels that require it off. Yeas ago when we had this debate here I took it upon myself to check with every provincial and the federal highways groups about the legality of it, and every one said it is legal to do.

I installed 240W of solar on my roof which quickly charges the batteries almost every day, so thought I would give the DC a go on a long highway trip in the sun. We kept the fridge temperature reader with us in the truck to monitor the temperatures, and slowly watched it rise during the day to the point of being too high. I went and turned the fridge back to propane and read the batteries voltage, I can't remember exactly what it was, but it had been drawn down a lot. I am guessing that given the weather conditions the 12V was incapable of maintaining the fridge temperature and the solar could not keep up the battery charge level. I was going to try this again but still haven't, as propane always seems to work great, even in higher temperatures.
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:37 PM   #22
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Wink

Thanks for all the info/opinions, especially from people who have used the d/c setting with solar. Certainly sound less than satisfactory although i'm surprised the car battery doesn't kick in and keep the trailer batteries charged. You can likely tell i don't understand the electric system. Anyway, ongoing debate in our house about the propane while travelling. We agreed to abide by the opinion of Sean and Kristy, our favourite youtube RV people. Will probably just leave the fridge off unless we have icecream in the freezer. We would never remember to turn it off at the gas station for sure. Will definately leave it off on the 7 hour ferry trip to Haida Gwaii!

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Old 06-12-2019, 10:47 PM   #23
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the reason the car alternator can't keep the trailer battery charged when the fridge is running on DC is that the fridge is drawing 12 amps or so, and the wiring from the car alternator to the trailer connector to the trailer battery has about a 2 volt drop(*) at that current because its not heavy enough gauge... so the car alternator will keep the fridge running, but it won't also keep the trailer battery charged as that requires at least 13.6V.

if you could replace the whole run in the vehicle and the trailer with 8 AWG wiring, it would probably work.


(*) like everything else electrical, this is driven by Ohm's Law. voltage = amps*resistance. there's probably 30+ feet of wire one way between the vehicle alternator and your trailer battery, assuming its in the back like in an Escape or Casita.... and then another 30+ feet for the ground return path back to the alternator. at 12 amps current draw by the fridge, if that wire combined is even 0.1 ohms, it will drop 0.1 * 12 == 1.2 volts... 13.8V at teh alternator - 1.2 == 12.6, which is not enough to charge the trailer battery. if the resistance is any higher, then the trailer battery will discharge rather than charge.
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Old 06-13-2019, 06:53 AM   #24
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I have seen some motor configurations with dual alternators, one specifically for the tow vehicle and one for the trailer....
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Old 06-13-2019, 07:33 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
I have seen some motor configurations with dual alternators, one specifically for the tow vehicle and one for the trailer....
I wish this would get more focus from auto makers, maybe even make it part of a tow package.
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Old 06-13-2019, 08:54 AM   #26
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Because you never know, no trip to the sticks should be taken without bringing along your own food. When propane failure becomes the problem, in my personal world experience here's the perfect back-up plan.
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Old 06-13-2019, 09:06 AM   #27
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Because you never know, no trip to the sticks should be taken without bringing along your own food. When propane failure becomes the problem, in my personal world experience here's the perfect back-up plan.
Also keep in mind whiskey requires no refrigeration. You have to wash down the chunks with something.
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Old 06-13-2019, 09:16 AM   #28
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Spam is my backup....but Myron's option looks better
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Old 06-13-2019, 09:45 AM   #29
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Quote:
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Also keep in mind whiskey requires no refrigeration. You have to wash down the chunks with something.


And can be used as a disinfectant (and anaesthetic), so does double duty as part of a comprehensive first aid kit!
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Old 06-13-2019, 10:04 AM   #30
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If the propane should have a problem, we just cook on a fire, something I have done many hundreds of times before.

I used to bring a single burner white gas backpacking stove, but it just never got used, so now it stays at home awaiting the next canoeing trip.
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