Adding 12v heating element to RM2510 Fridge - Page 2 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 06-27-2020, 12:54 PM   #21
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Yep. It doesn't "make" new power, just converts one voltage to another. Essentially a DC transformer. Quite likely the best way to run DC appliances while getting the power from the tow vehicle and can charge the trailer batteries at the same time. A tempting upgrade...
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Old 06-27-2020, 12:55 PM   #22
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Doug,

Interesting
What’s the cost to add this? Both in terms of dollars and labor/time.
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Old 06-27-2020, 01:21 PM   #23
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Doug,

Interesting
Whatís the cost to add this? Both in terms of dollars and labor/time.
For the fridge side of things, it was about $50CAD for the element and maybe another $10-15 in wiring. Took me about 4-5 hours for the install.

The DCDC charger was $550CAD. But it is a higher end unit. You can get them for a lot less. Renogy makes one that I believe is $150USD. But the unit I bought has an excellent reputation for durability, and also doubles as an mppt solar controller. I probably spend about $150 on wiring to complete this. But this also included some upgrades to the existing trailer wiring. To install this took me a few hours on the trailer side, and a few hours on the truck side. Probably 6 hours total. (A lot longer than I thought it would)

So total, I spent close on $800 and about 10 hours install time. Not cheap. But for long drives on hot days, I think it is about the only way to go if you donít like running the fridge on propane while driving. Also, even without the fridge issue, the DCDC charger installed cost less than a quality generator., and will charge the batteries faster than a generator and the standard WACO converter will. (And frees up space that a generator takes up). Living in BC We rarely use AC, also, a lot of campsites are very shady, so solar charging isnít always reliable. So the DCDC eliminates the need for a generator for us. And of course there is the added benefit that when driving you are charging batteries much much faster and more completely than the 7pin trailer plug ever will.
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Old 06-27-2020, 08:31 PM   #24
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The DCDC charger was $550CAD. But it is a higher end unit. You can get them for a lot less. Renogy makes one that I believe is $150USD. But the unit I bought has an excellent reputation for durability, and also doubles as an mppt solar controller.
For those that don’t know Redarc makes some serious equipment. The unit that Doug used is the same one Santiago chose to support his Nova Kool 12V compressor fridge. https://redarcelectronics.com/produc...attery-charger

https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=...&v=4m7qItYBdbw
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Old 06-28-2020, 07:32 AM   #25
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I have often wondered what happened with Santiago, I remember all the extraordinary changes he had made to his 2016 Escape and then selling it for a motorized rv? Did these changes work?
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Old 06-28-2020, 08:21 AM   #26
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In order!!!

Hi: DougG... In the grand scheme of things a 3 way fridge in order of cooling/ heating effect Propane is #1, 120V is # 2, and 12V is #3. Even with a 160W solar panel the 12V can't match the propane performance while towing. Our automatic 3 way RML 8551 is rated in that selection order. Seems a bunch o work to go through. Alf
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Old 06-28-2020, 08:23 AM   #27
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Living in BC We rarely use AC, also, a lot of campsites are very shady, so solar charging isn’t always reliable. So the DCDC eliminates the need for a generator for us. And of course there is the added benefit that when driving you are charging batteries much much faster and more completely than the 7pin trailer plug ever will.
If the intention is to use the DCDC to charge the batteries in camp when solar is not an option will you be able to charge with the truck at idle?

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Old 06-29-2020, 06:45 PM   #28
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Hi: DougG... In the grand scheme of things a 3 way fridge in order of cooling/ heating effect Propane is #1, 120V is # 2, and 12V is #3. Even with a 160W solar panel the 12V can't match the propane performance while towing. Our automatic 3 way RML 8551 is rated in that selection order. Seems a bunch o work to go through. Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
I would agree that for those who’s risk tolerance makes them comfortable with running on propane while going down the road, and otherwise are not interested in a good alternative means for battery charging, this is a lot of work with little benefit. However for me, as I mentioned in my original post, driving down the road with the propane on simply isn’t best practice, and should be avoided if possible. This mod makes that possible. When I stop for the day, I switch over to propane or 120v

Also, a 160w solar panel simply isn’t adequate for keeping up with a 175w fridge element. Whereas the redarc BCDC1240d I have installed it capable of putting out 600w, keeping up with the fridge no problem, with lots of juice left over to charge batteries.
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Old 06-29-2020, 06:50 PM   #29
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If the intention is to use the DCDC to charge the batteries in camp when solar is not an option will you be able to charge with the truck at idle?

Graham
Good question.... in the limited testing I have done in my driveway, it seems to keep up at idle. But I will keep you posted once I have used it for a good long charge. The DCDC charger will shut off automatically if the alternator isnít keeping up, so no risk of draining the truck battery if it isnít getting quite enough power.

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Old 06-29-2020, 08:27 PM   #30
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Doug. Not sure if I missed this, what is your tow vehicle and what is the amp rating of the alternator?

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Old 06-29-2020, 10:19 PM   #31
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Doug. Not sure if I missed this, what is your tow vehicle and what is the amp rating of the alternator?

Graham
2015 Toyota Tacoma, 130amp alternator. I havenít been able to find anything definitive in terms of output from this alternator at idle, but the antidotal information available seems to suggests 80amps or so is available at idle.
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Old 07-05-2020, 01:34 AM   #32
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If the intention is to use the DCDC to charge the batteries in camp when solar is not an option will you be able to charge with the truck at idle?

Graham
I gave this a wirl today after I had run the batteries down a bit. Ran the truck for about 30 minutes at idle running the DCDC charger, and the voltage at the truck battery never dropped below 13.3, with 35-40 amps going into the trailer batteries the whole time. So it would seem that it will be no problem charging the batteries while the truck idles.

I am really happy with how this little project turned out
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Old 07-05-2020, 07:15 AM   #33
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Not quite halfway to running the air conditioner?? But this is a great way to take the worry out of leaving the generator at home. What about changing the alternator to a higher output model? Or adding a second alternator?

Graham
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Old 07-05-2020, 01:13 PM   #34
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Not quite halfway to running the air conditioner?? But this is a great way to take the worry out of leaving the generator at home. What about changing the alternator to a higher output model? Or adding a second alternator?

Graham
Hmmm, I suppose it would be possible to run an AC unit this way.
Sterling now makes a 120amp DCDC charger https://www.sterling-power-usa.com/B...r12vto12v.aspx
With a high output alternator such as this to keep up. https://sdhqoffroad.com/products/05-...put-alternator
Combined with a large inverter it could be done I would think. Would be a fun experiment if I had $3500 laying around for experiments.....
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