proper switching of AC to DC to propane with interior controls

Discussion in 'Refrigerators and Coolers' started by Dingit, Jun 15, 2019.

  1. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    The controls for my popup's fridge are on the inside. (Great for most RVs, not-so-great for popups.) This means we have to select our power source before we close up the popup.

    We want to prechill on AC, tow on DC, and use propane at the campsite. (I don't mind towing with the gas on, but the spouse prefers DC.)

    We're leaving tomorrow morning, so tonight we packed up the trailer and switched the fridge to DC. The trailer is still plugged in to shore power and we are monitoring the battery remotely. It seems to be holding up.

    We've done this before and it appeared to work okay. Am I going to kill my battery doing this?

    (Also, is it a really bad idea to do this without a remote thermometer? I expect to have frozen food or warm food. Can anyone recommend a good thermometer? I've been through so many, and they never work for me!)
     
  2. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    Get a remote thermometer. Put the remote transponder in the fridge and keep the display with you.
     
  3. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    Maybe I have bad luck but I've never had one work. Any model recommendations would be lovely. :)
     
  4. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    I use an Accurite brand. It is 12 years old.
     
  5. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

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    Our Fridge controls are accessible from the outside just inside the lower fridge outside vent...
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    Roy's image

    We usually put a couple of frozen milk jugs filled with water inside the fridge... Then when on travel mode will switch to Battery about a couple hours out from our destination... Small fridge is good to go then when we arrive... The thawed out milk cartons is a source for cold drinking water at the camp site...

    We carry all of our drinks in a large Coleman 5-day Ice Chest in the back of the truck. All of our meats etc are in a small plastic box with lid laying on top of the ice in the ice chest... We really live out of the Ice Chest and only have soft drinks etc in the small fridge in the POPUP... Our Fridge does not have the freezer compartment... I cut out some of the shelving out in the Fridge on the bottom roll to allow for taller bottles/cartons etc...

    Our truck has the folding hard bed panels and this shades the ice chest pretty good all of the time...

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    Roy's image

    We usually run out of ice at the end of the second day and have to go find some ice somewhere... Always check out where the closet ICE Machine is before coming into the camping spot...

    Need to get more supplies every two or three days anyway so leaving the site is not a big deal for us...

    Thought about picking up one of those ICE CUBEs Machines from WALMART but every one says the ice is not a really hard freeze unit and doesn't last very so that probably wouldn't work out too good trying to use to make ice for ICE CHEST...

    Roy Ken
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  6. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

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    Since your Arcadia is a high wall that means the fridge isn't blocked by a galley lowered for travel as is often the case in a conventional popup. This being the case can you not just crawl into the camper to reach the fridge controls? [?:~{]
     
  7. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    hahaha...crawling in....you know, I tried that. But either I am just too claustrophobic or I truly don't fit but I can't do it. I could if not for the slide maybe.

    Roy, I think I have the same cooler. It's an excellent performer but we mostly use it for tent camping now and carry a smaller one to supplement the popup fridge. It's just so unwieldy once it's filled. :)
     
  8. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

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    Running the fridge in 12V on shore power puts a lot of stress on your converter. There's a reason they offer both 12V and 120V modes.
     
  9. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    How long is your drive to the campground?

    Add some frozen containers in the fridge the night before. Leave it on shore power and plugged in until you are ready to leave. When you are ready to leave, just unplug and go. When you reach the campground, switch it to propane.

    Should be no problem for under a four hour drive. Four to six hours will work if it holds the cold well. I can go six to eight hours with my clipper fridge - even though it's 45 years old, it has very good ventilation around it and a top vent. The FnR fridge doesn't do as well. I will be testing it to see if it can handle up to six hours in the next month one I get some re-wiring done.
     
  10. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    Our drive this time was about 7 hours. Nothing melted so I think it kept the temperature on DC. (Still plan to get a decent thermometer with remote readout.) On the return trip, we took out perishable items, left a frozen bottle of ice in the freezer, and turned it off. It was up to 60 by the time we got it open about 9 hours later, but of course it wasn't loaded properly and likely lost most of its chill when we emptied it.

    Is running DC on AC really that hard on the converter? Would it be better to put the battery on a good charger instead of plugging in the converter?

    Sure wish I had a second set of controls on the outside...
     
  11. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

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    The OP has already explained that with the roof down he can't crawl far enough into his camper to reach the fridge. ;)
     
  12. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    Doesn't the fridge have an order of operation, ie if no propane is switches to AC or DC or if no AC it switches to DC (automatically)?
     
  13. mstrbill

    mstrbill Active Member

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    No, the fridges used by Fleetwood in the HW PUPs are not auto-switching.

    I can reach the fridge controls with the slide in and the roof slightly raised.

    You don't want to leave the fridge on 12VDC when you close up the camper. You may forget that it running on 12V and plug the camper in some time with the camper not level and cook your fridge.
     

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