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Old 10-14-2014, 12:06 AM   #1
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Fridge on while towing

I know there are threads on this but does anyone who has the newer 160w panel tried towing with the fridge on battery? Anyone have a battery monitor to see what the fridge pulls, say one click down from full on - we have the smaller 4.3, 2014 model.
The specs on the 160w panel say 9amps max, I've never seen it input more than 5 in full sun.
Still not sure what is charging the batteries on the road, solar or alternator.
We've been turning off the fridge on the road, but we need the ice cream frozen!
Barry
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Old 10-14-2014, 01:04 AM   #2
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I have the Trimetric Battery Monitor and Solar Controller as opposed to the GoPower. The monitor shows the bigger 6.7 fridge pulls 14 Ah, the same as what the Dometic manual states. I'd think you should be able to look your model up and go by that if no one pipes in with their results.

Running on battery, the monitor shows I get 10 amps from the vehicle and the balance from the 160W panel when under way. When the truck is off I get 5.5 amps from the solar and the rest from the batteries. 8 hours on the road starting about 8am leaves me about 15-20 amps low by the time we disconnected for the day in sunny weather. Depending on the time of day we may or may not recover to 100%, gets pretty close though.

In general I see about 5.5 Ah coming from the solar panel at high noon on sunny days.
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Old 10-14-2014, 01:46 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by padlin View Post
I have the Trimetric Battery Monitor and Solar Controller as opposed to the GoPower. The monitor shows the bigger 6.7 fridge pulls 14 Ah, the same as what the Dometic manual states. I'd think you should be able to look your model up and go by that if no one pipes in with their results.

Running on battery, the monitor shows I get 10 amps from the vehicle and the balance from the 160W panel when under way. When the truck is off I get 5.5 amps from the solar and the rest from the batteries. 8 hours on the road starting about 8am leaves me about 15-20 amps low by the time we disconnected for the day in sunny weather. Depending on the time of day we may or may not recover to 100%, gets pretty close though.

In general I see about 5.5 Ah coming from the solar panel at high noon on sunny days.
Bob, did you retro fit the Trimetric Solar Controller, if so was it just a simple swap out? All ETI would do for me was run the wiring for the battery monitor, which I have yet to order.
I'm trying to decide whether swapping out the GoPower controller is worth it, but do need to get the monitor. We store our 19 offsite, so rely on the panels to keep the batteries healthy.
Barry
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Old 10-14-2014, 04:39 AM   #4
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I got mine prewired for solar as I wanted a panel bigger then the 95w. I also sent them a 4 wire phone cable with 4 wire rj11 plugs on it and an 8 wire lan cable long enough to run from the batteries to where I wanted to mount the monitor.

I could be wrong but to change from the GoPower to the Trimetric SC-2030 would not be a simple swap out. The SC is not really made to be seen, it's just a circuit board mounted on a plastic box. The GoPower looks to have an integral user panel that's mounted through a cutout somewhere int he cabinetry. The user panel for the SC is the Battery Monitor, the phone cord connects the two. I'd think if you wanted to swap out the GoPower you'd put the battery monitor in it's place, maybe have to make a bezel if the hole is too big, and install the controller under the dinette somewhere. I've never checked out the GoPower install.
To me swapping out the GoPower would not be worth it, either have the solar prewired and do it yourself, or just add the battery monitor and shunt. Installing the solar was a fairly involved job. Epoxying the panel to the roof was a little hairy.

Might be able to have ETI just install their solar panel and it's cables, leaving you to install your own controller, if you're up to the wiring. No idea if they'd do such.
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Old 10-14-2014, 07:13 AM   #5
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The last Trimetric meter I used was not a solar controller, but a complicated 12v battery system analyzer that tells you everything that is going on with your 12v system, but it does not control the solar panels, you will need both items.
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Old 10-14-2014, 09:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by padlin View Post
In general I see about 5.5 Ah coming from the solar panel at high noon on sunny days.
If its not sunny, then you're getting less amps to power your fridge, but then your fridge is probably not running as much either. Too many variables but maybe some genius out there will do the math. I'm guessing that the fridge power consumption increases at a greater rate than the solar panel production. Some law of diminishing returns probably comes into effect
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