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Old 08-22-2017, 07:13 AM   #1
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Towing With Fridge on 12V DC

I thought that I would give towing with the fridge on 12V DC yesterday. We were on our way home after a 6 day trip to a music festival and had little food left that could spoil anyway. A sunny day with temps that barely got above 22°C. We have a thermometer with sensors in both the freezer and fridge. I switched over just before leaving Salmon Arm yesterday, and the fridge was a 2°C and the freezer at -14°C, near perfect.

As we drove we saw the temps slowly creeping up, and after about 4 hours the fridge alarm went off, set quite high at 8°C, the freezer up to -4°C. I stopped for fuel, checked that my voltage was okay, and it was at 12.6 volts, so there was definitely no issue with the 240W of solar and truck charging keeping the batteries charged, which I thought would be okay.

I switched it back to propane at this time, and within 90 minutes was back to 4°C in the fridge, and -12°C in the freezer.

So, while there was no issue with depleting batteries while driving with the fridge on 12V DC, it seems that the 12V heater is not enough to adequately cool the fridge, at least while on the move.

It looks like we will continue to use propane when driving, though I will still give it a go with 12V again, just to see if the situation replicates itself.
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Old 08-22-2017, 07:19 AM   #2
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Thanks for the report Jim.
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Old 08-22-2017, 07:47 AM   #3
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fridge

We don't have the fridge monitor but our Ice cream stayed hard enough and beer was still cold on 12 volt for over 8 hrs on our drive home ? Try it again 12 volt works on the 21 . Jim
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Old 08-22-2017, 07:56 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennykatz View Post
We don't have the fridge monitor but our Ice cream stayed hard enough and beer was still cold on 12 volt for over 8 hrs on our drive home ? Try it again 12 volt works on the 21 . Jim
While this was more or less our case too, any foods that require refrigeration would suffer at the temps I got, especially on long hauls. It is recommended the fridge temperature be no higher than 4°C (40°F). While I am not as fussy, Lisa would never want this to happen or would be looking at throwing out some good stuff.
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Old 08-22-2017, 09:57 AM   #5
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CRX1110 Fridge

We took delivery of our Escape 21 this past August 10th. One of the options that we asked ETI to install was a compressor fridge instead of the standard absorption type. The fridge is the Dometic CRX1110. It is a smaller fridge to be sure (3.7 cubic feet instead of 6) and it does finally drain the battery when dry camping (solar would probably keep it going under "normal" circumstances). When I picked up the trailer in Sumas I bought a quart of blackberry ice cream (from the shop across from Bob's Burgers - thanks, Mike!) and stuck it into the freezer. I took 4-1/2 days to come back home to MN driving through 90 degree temps (and smoke) across WA and the plains. When I got home the ice cream was as frozen as when I had started out. The fridge is ultra-quiet and has a variable speed compressor to conserve energy. So far we are very pleased with it.

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Old 08-22-2017, 10:37 AM   #6
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To clarify, I have the standard two-door Dometic Fridge. I do not have a compressor fridge.
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Old 08-22-2017, 12:39 PM   #7
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Whenever I use the 12v I also place ice packs in the bottom and in the middle and the freezer seems to help - becomes more like a large cooler.
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Old 08-22-2017, 01:09 PM   #8
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I too have just done a test trip with my RM8551 set to battery power. My results are also very good. The freezer compartment is removed, a digital sensor hangs from an interior shelf. Since my troubles are limited to cooling on propane when driving it looks like switching to the battery to power it is my best move.

Fridge was prepped the night before 4 dots, shore power.
• Depart 11AM, fridge is 32°F and 13.65 volts in the battery.
• Switch to battery, 4 dots.
• At 12:45 PM fridge is 31°F/12.58v.
• At 3 PM fridge is 31°F /12.81V.
• At 6 PM fridge is 32°F/12.56v.

Switched back to propane while at the campground. No problem. Had mostly identical settings on the return trip home, when we ended up with the fridge at 32°F and 12.31 volts in the battery.
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Old 08-22-2017, 03:48 PM   #9
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Myron,
You're running straight TV charge correct? I don't recall you had roof solar.
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Old 08-22-2017, 05:46 PM   #10
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Right. My 100 watts of solar is strictly portable, no solar involved with this test. There were only 4 water bottles on the shelves plus beer on the door. Was amazed that night how good it tasted.
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