Towing With Fridge on 12V DC - Escape Trailer Owners Community

Go Back   Escape Trailer Owners Community > Escape Tech > Escape Systems | Water, Waste, Charging & Propane
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-22-2017, 07:13 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Jim Bennett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Trailer: 2017 Escape 5.0 TA
Posts: 14,158
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 22C. 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 2C and the freezer at -14C, 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 8C, the freezer up to -4C. 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 4C in the fridge, and -12C 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.
__________________

__________________
2017 Escape 5.0 TA
2015 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5L EcoBoost
2009 Escape 19 (previous)
Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. Abraham Lincoln
Jim Bennett is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2017, 07:19 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
thoer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Galesville, Wisconsin
Trailer: 2017 21 "Blue II" & 2017 Highlander XLE (previously 2010 17B "Blue" & 2008 Tacoma)
Posts: 4,207
Thanks for the report Jim.
__________________

__________________
Eric (and Mary who is in no way responsible for anything stupid I post)

"Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance." George Bernard Shaw
thoer is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2017, 07:47 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Naples, Florida
Trailer: New 21 Escape (not classic)10/16 Sold Lil Snoozy 7/16
Posts: 391
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
jennykatz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2017, 07:56 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Jim Bennett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Trailer: 2017 Escape 5.0 TA
Posts: 14,158
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 4C (40F). While I am not as fussy, Lisa would never want this to happen or would be looking at throwing out some good stuff.
__________________
2017 Escape 5.0 TA
2015 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5L EcoBoost
2009 Escape 19 (previous)
Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. Abraham Lincoln
Jim Bennett is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2017, 09:57 AM   #5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Rochester, Minnesota
Trailer: 2017 Escape 21
Posts: 10
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.

Vlad
volk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2017, 10:37 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Jim Bennett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Trailer: 2017 Escape 5.0 TA
Posts: 14,158
To clarify, I have the standard two-door Dometic Fridge. I do not have a compressor fridge.
__________________
2017 Escape 5.0 TA
2015 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5L EcoBoost
2009 Escape 19 (previous)
Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. Abraham Lincoln
Jim Bennett is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2017, 12:39 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Chapitre's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Trailer: 2014 5TA/ *012 17B (previous)
Posts: 442
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.
__________________
Min D
Chapi II
--------------------
'Have No Regrets'
Chapitre is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2017, 01:09 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
MyronL's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Edgewood, New Mexico
Trailer: 2013 Esc19/'14 Silvrado
Posts: 2,885
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 32F and 13.65 volts in the battery.
Switch to battery, 4 dots.
At 12:45 PM fridge is 31F/12.58v.
At 3 PM fridge is 31F /12.81V.
At 6 PM fridge is 32F/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 32F and 12.31 volts in the battery.
__________________
Myron
"A billion here, a billion there...add it all up and before you know it you're talking real money." Everett Dirkson
MyronL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2017, 03:48 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Greg A's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Trailer: 2015 Escape 19 "Seventy Degrees"
Posts: 2,812
Myron,
You're running straight TV charge correct? I don't recall you had roof solar.
Greg A is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2017, 05:46 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
MyronL's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Edgewood, New Mexico
Trailer: 2013 Esc19/'14 Silvrado
Posts: 2,885
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.
__________________
Myron
"A billion here, a billion there...add it all up and before you know it you're talking real money." Everett Dirkson
MyronL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2017, 06:07 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
ReagentGrade's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Houston, Texas
Trailer: '87 Bigfoot 20DLX 5er (sold) - 2017 Escape 5.0 TA: Sep-17
Posts: 507
Myron,

Battery voltage declined all morning and again from 3 PM to 6 PM. Why do you think voltage went from 12.58V at 12:45 PM to 12.81V at 3 PM? Was that a typo?

Rich
ReagentGrade is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2017, 06:12 PM   #12
Site Team
 
cpaharley2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Chilliwack, British Columbia
Trailer: Escape#4, 2019 Escape21 DejaView pulled by 2014 Ram Hemi/8sp
Posts: 19,445
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyronL View Post
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.
Yes, beer always tastes better cold at night time....
__________________
Jim
It is not the years in your life but the life in your years Lincoln
cpaharley2008 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2017, 08:47 PM   #13
Commercial Member
 
tractors1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Hillsboro, Oregon
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21 - "Felicity"
Posts: 2,622
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
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.
Same results and conclusions here after my 12V attempt
__________________
Charlie Y

Need custom storage to your design? Don't drill holes!
www.RVWidgetWorks.com
tractors1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2017, 08:54 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
fudge_brownie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Janesville, WI, Wisconsin
Trailer: Escape 19 (sold) Escape 21 2014
Posts: 1,449
Same results as Jim and Charlie when running refrigerator on 12 volt. Battery strength remains good but the refrigerator warms up about 2 degrees every hour of driving. Now, the same thing happens when on propane so my test results may be a little suspect.
__________________
Paul and Janet Braun
2003 Toyota 4Runner V8 now 2012 Toyota Sequoia V8
Escape 19' 2010 now 2014 Escape 21'
fudge_brownie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2017, 09:07 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
Jim Bennett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Trailer: 2017 Escape 5.0 TA
Posts: 14,158
Quote:
Originally Posted by fudge_brownie View Post
Now, the same thing happens when on propane so my test results may be a little suspect.
We have not had an issue with it on propane, generally holding its temperature, but it would not hurt to look into it and make better records. Not a big deal to do as my co-pilot needs a task to do anyway.

As mentioned before, I do suspect the 12V element is just not powerful enough. Maybe they keep them small on purpose so as to not delete the battery power too much.
__________________
2017 Escape 5.0 TA
2015 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5L EcoBoost
2009 Escape 19 (previous)
Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. Abraham Lincoln
Jim Bennett is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2017, 09:07 PM   #16
Commercial Member
 
tractors1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Hillsboro, Oregon
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21 - "Felicity"
Posts: 2,622
Quote:
Originally Posted by fudge_brownie View Post
Same results as Jim and Charlie when running refrigerator on 12 volt. Battery strength remains good but the refrigerator warms up about 2 degrees every hour of driving. Now, the same thing happens when on propane so my test results may be a little suspect.
When on propane (4 hour trip x 2) my temps also rose - with the flex flue fix and added insulation - but stayed safe - 17F/38F for freezer/fridge. Dropped back down when stationary.

Interesting behavior over my 5-day eclipse campout was that the freezer and fridge would both be warmer in the morning (although night ambient was 48F) than during the day (ambient 90-95F.) 12-14F freezer at daybreak went down to 4F in the hot afternoon when the fridge was actively fridging. Biggest swing was the freezer (3-19F) while the fridge ran 32-39F. Maybe due to thermal mass being much larger in the bottom box stabilizing the temp?
__________________
Charlie Y

Need custom storage to your design? Don't drill holes!
www.RVWidgetWorks.com
tractors1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2017, 09:12 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
MyronL's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Edgewood, New Mexico
Trailer: 2013 Esc19/'14 Silvrado
Posts: 2,885
No typo. Those numbers are what they are. Rich battery voltage I think would naturally decline, even surge, when the fridge was calling upon more power from it to maintain a temperature. My concern was only how much of a decline, and would the tow vehicle be able to replace most if not all of the DC loss.

Obviously my tow cannot do both: keeping the fridge below 33F and simultaneously, battery at the highest levels. But I think it did good doing what I hoped would happen, which is not allow the trailer battery to drop to a critically low level despite the DC load. Not dropping below 12 volts and the fridge not rising close to 40 degrees F, after 2-3 hours at 4 dots? Pretty damn healthy all around, I think.
__________________
Myron
"A billion here, a billion there...add it all up and before you know it you're talking real money." Everett Dirkson
MyronL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2017, 09:24 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
ReagentGrade's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Houston, Texas
Trailer: '87 Bigfoot 20DLX 5er (sold) - 2017 Escape 5.0 TA: Sep-17
Posts: 507
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyronL View Post
No typo. Those numbers are what they are. Rich battery voltage I think would naturally decline, even surge, when the fridge was calling upon more power from it to maintain a temperature.

Duhh! Of course you're correct, I shoulda thought of that. The voltages will go down while the heater is on and then recovers a bit when it goes off.

The ideal would be a graph of the voltage much like the Sensor Push gives for the temperature. When the SP was in my house you could see when the A/C went on and for how long.
ReagentGrade is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2017, 12:20 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
MyronL's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Edgewood, New Mexico
Trailer: 2013 Esc19/'14 Silvrado
Posts: 2,885
Just returned from 6 days on the road, to Cedar City, UT and some 90+ degree weather along the way. Good news. For the drive to and from Cedar City my RM8551 was set to propane, 4 dots. The fridge was pre-trip primed and at 31F when we left.

It remained in the low 30’s, F, on 4 dots driving up and back.

Given previous failure to cool on propane when towing my last three trips, what has changed? What did I do? Well, nothing much, really. Insulation, narrow Ron-type baffles are all the same as before. Exhaust stack was extended, yes, and orifice had been blown clean, and I added a windbreaker in front of the pilot light. That’s it. You can knock me over with a feather.

Here’s something I discovered before we made this trip. I keep a Walmart Accurite digital thermometer with remote in the fridge and, had lost confidence in its performance so I bought another one at Walmart. This time I am reading the instructions carefully. That’s when I notice the warning that if on the main display there are no bars indicating a signal detection from the remote, there’s no fridge temp info being sent. That’s what I had. So I changed all the batteries. But the display results remained the same.

I stomp out of the trailer for some air, come back in an hour later and what do I see? I had kept the older Accurite in play (because I like its bigger display window) and I now, got 4 bars of signal detection and the fridge temp has gone down. Next morning it was 31F.

Fridge remained on propane the entire 6 days and never stopped proper cooling. Go figure. I am clueless.

Oh and the trailer batteries, never used on this trip to power the RM8551, rose to 13.04 volts when towing, and a low of 12.46 volts. Total towing miles, 1,252.
__________________
Myron
"A billion here, a billion there...add it all up and before you know it you're talking real money." Everett Dirkson
MyronL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2017, 01:41 PM   #20
Site Team
 
cpaharley2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Chilliwack, British Columbia
Trailer: Escape#4, 2019 Escape21 DejaView pulled by 2014 Ram Hemi/8sp
Posts: 19,445
Sometimes the messenger is too blame.....
__________________

__________________
Jim
It is not the years in your life but the life in your years Lincoln
cpaharley2008 is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off






» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Escape Trailer Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:47 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.
×