Question on Battery use of fridge when towing

Discussion in 'Power - Site Power/Batteries/Generators/Solar' started by jonkquil, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. jonkquil

    jonkquil Active Member

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    Hi-d-hi Campers

    when travelling to my campground, I always chill my fridge on 110 electric at home, fill it with food, switch to 12v whilst travelling, then switch back to 110 electric at the campground, so my fridge & food are good to go. This weekend however I'm headed to a campground with no hook-ups so I plan on doing the same except running the fridge on gas once I get there.

    Question - Whilst in travel/tow and the fridge is running on 12v, will my battery be drained of any juice by the time I get there (4 hour trip) or will my car be able to keep it fully charged as well as run the fridge?

    I hoping my battery will get me thru 4 nights - led lights, water pump, possible a little furnace action to take the chill off the morning

    Thanks in advance for any replies
     
  2. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    I worry that the TV battery could go dead while traveling on the road. If you try get a jumper battery pack just in case. The TV will have to have a good charge line and have enough output to run the refrigerator 12 volt heater and keep the battery charged fully. I like to test things first.
    Just to add, we are going on a 1,000 mile 2-3 day travel time trip. I precooled the fridge, and will turn the propane on for the trip. I only have water, etc in the fridge for this first time test .... going to see how it goes. Our food for the travel time will be in an iced cooler.
    Last time out I tried something different .... a water test.... I don't like to travel with water in the tank, but DW needs the bathroom a lot on the road. If I have water in the tank she usually forgets to turn the pump back off, (I don't like to leave it on when not IN the camper). so we bought a pack of small water bottles and used them for the toilet flush ........ really worked great ....... and didn't use that much.
     
  3. jonkquil

    jonkquil Active Member

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    Thanks for the reply, maybe I'll skip the running on 12v part then. I think if I put some ice packs in the already chilled fridge it should be insulated enough to stay cold, until I can switch to gas.
    Using water bottles to flush the toilet is a good tip, I may have to do that if I run out of battery juice.

    That sounds like an epic trip you have planned [:D]
     
  4. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    Depends on a lot of things. .
    Tow vehicle, does it have a factory tow package, size of charge wire, condition of plug connections. ..
     
  5. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    As long as you pre-cool, the fridge will stay cold for the 4 hour drive.

    You can run it on 12v while driving. If your house battery gets low during your stay, simply start the TV and charge the battery. With that, the lights and water pump should be fine for the long weekend - they don't use much power at all. The furnace could run down the battery depending on how long you run it and what battery you have, so I'd suggest limiting it unless really necessary.
     
  6. mattlreese

    mattlreese Active Member

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    Why not run it on gas while you tow? I found the 12V on mine does not keep the fridge cold enough.

    To answer your question you could unhook the 7 way from the car when you are stopped. While driving you should have enough power.
     
    kcsa75 likes this.
  7. TheBlurb

    TheBlurb Member

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    I have used battery power for the fridge during transport with success - but I haven’t actually measured the battery power before and after. I will next time. I only get two days of power from my battery (new this year), however. My newly-ordered LED lights should help.
     
  8. jonkquil

    jonkquil Active Member

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    Well I'm back from my trip and I'm happy to say my battery got me thru 4 nights (almost) I pre-cooled my fridge, filled it with food & ice packs, left it off for the 4 hour drive, (I'm really nervous about driving with an open flame & an open gas tank!!) then ran it on gas for the 4 nights, which works fantastic, nice and cold.
    I used lights (all LED's) and the water pump as much as needed and used the furnace on 2 mornings for 15/20 minutes. However, on the 4th evening whenever the pump came on the CO detector red fault/low wattage light came on, so we decided to turn the water pump off for the last night. This was a big learning curve for me on battery use as we always mostly go with hook-ups. I have a group 24 battery and it's about 2 years old.
    I have had my p-up for 10 years now and take it out about 6/8 times a year. I still find it amazing what this 'box on wheels' can do [A]
     
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  9. TheBlurb

    TheBlurb Member

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    Nice! I find propane cools the fridge quicker, and it’s more powerful than AC or DC. I have to turn the cool setting to nearly its lowest mark to avoid frozen food!
     
  10. jonkquil

    jonkquil Active Member

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    I couldn't believe how well it worked! I learned the hard way (frozen eggs [LOL]) to not have the setting on high
     
  11. crackerJack

    crackerJack Well-Known Member

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    I pulled with fridge on 12v. Battery disconnect switch was off so no chance of drain from camper batteries. I shut off the fridge if we were stopped for more than 30 minutes en route, to prevent the auto battery from discharging.
     
  12. tdiller

    tdiller Active Member

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    Why not just run the fridge on propane while you are driving to your destination.
     
  13. Annunzi

    Annunzi Member

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    Like the OP said "I'm really nervous about driving with an open flame & an open gas tank!!"
    I completely agree with that statement, I won't travel with the fridge running on propane, and it's actually illegal in BC to do so.
    I know there's the "I've been running my fridge on propane for years and never had an issue" crowd, but to me it's like saying "I've never been in a car accident so I don't need to wear a seat belt".
    To me, it's not worth the risk, and pre-cooling the fridge and then adding ice packs during the trip works great, and zero risk of a massive gas explosion! :)
     
  14. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

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    My POPUP trailer fridge is small with no freezer... It is just used to keep some drinks cool etc... I set a couple of frozen milk containers filled with water in the fridge before our trip and use it for cold water after it thaws out... Sometimes we may switch the fridge to 12VDC when we are about a couple of hours or out from the camp site...

    We use our 5-day COLEMAN ICE CHEST sitting in the covered and secured truck bed area. Fill with ice and have a see thru plastic container sitting on top of the ice with our meats and things...

    [​IMG]
    Roy's image

    ICE is the first thing that goes away after about three days. Head back to a camp store and get more ice for the ice chest...

    Roy Ken
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    Then you were not charging the trailer battery either. . Nor would the brake away switch work (if equipped ).

    You have a B.C Gov. Link to that?
     
  16. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

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    I can understand the concern of traveling with an open flame. But who in their right mind would travel with an open gas tank. Flame or no flame you are asking for an accident.
     
  17. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

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    Fless likes this.
  18. Spridle

    Spridle Active Member

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    I've traveled for thousands of miles on propane. I usually shut it off at the gas station, but that's about it.
     
  19. Annunzi

    Annunzi Member

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  20. Spridle

    Spridle Active Member

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    I'll take the 2016 list over an article from 2008. I'm not suggesting anyone do something they aren't comfortable with. However, it is not illegal to do so and in this crazy litigious world that tells me a lot.
     

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