Uh Oh! Another One Goes to the Dark Side!

DiamondGirl

Adventures with KODI in AZ
Jul 2, 2016
1,335
AZ
@BikeNFish… Welcome to the Darkside. Glad you joined us. Sorry to hear about the little girl and your experience in bad weather. More than once, we spent a whole weekend cooped inside the Aliner with dust and winds up to 60-75 MPH. Everyone else with their PopUp’s, HTT and Class A were able to leave but us. We had to wait for winds to calm down enough to take down the Aliner. We were afraid to damage our roof panels. That was a game changer for DH. DH was motivated to find a better replacement. Plus having a full size indoor bathroom & shower was a must. He got tired of outdoor showers and having to set up a shower tent for privacy. LOL.

Anyways, can’t wait to hear about your new adventures and glad you’re staying on the portal with us. You’re always fun to follow.

Happy Camping…[put&hy]
 

BikeNFish

Super Active Member
Apr 24, 2017
4,360
Maplewood, MN
I'm also looking into lithium ion batteries but am balking at the cost right now...
Thanks for the info! I just found out some new information. The charge controller on my TT would need an upgrade if I want to go to lithium. The one that came stock with the camper will not fully charge a lithium battery. I may have no choice but to go with AGM for now.
 

theseus

Living the Darkside...
Silver Supporting Member
Feb 6, 2007
3,498
Centerville, OH
Glad you're sticking around. We need the wisdom of the elders here.

We move to a travel trailer because of setup. I have a bum shoulder and the wife a bad back. The TT made set up a piece of cake. The trade off is I have to dump the tanks.
 

BillyMc

Super Active Member
Mar 25, 2018
2,464
South Carolina
The charge controller on my TT would need an upgrade if I want to go to lithium.
I read somewhere about someone used the existing charge circuit to power a DC to DC charger for his lithium batteries. Can't seem to find that article now.
edit- After a little research I doubt he had success. The DC-DC chargers for lithium batteries I've looked at require more input power than many if not all chargers in rv power supplies can supply.
 
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Karey

Member
Apr 3, 2021
72
Colorado
Thank you!

Murphy beds help solve the closed in feeling of a small TT. They really open up the floor space. I like this model because the Murphy has a solid mattress (no bends in it). We looked at many models that had "bendy beds" where the mattresses had to be folded once or twice before it is stored.

Yes, the price was steep. It has Azdel and aluminum frame construction. That increases the price by about 33% compared to wood and aluminum construction. NO CHANCE OF ROT or delamination with Azdel! You would have to really neglect a camper for it to fail. The floor holds the only wood in the entire camper. It is 5/8" tongue and groove flooring.

This is our "retirement" camper. Retirement hopefully coming in a couple of years.
I passed on your Azdel link to our son. He is constructing his own travel trailer.

We experienced extreme winds once in a pup and did as you in supporting it. Made the grandkids go sleep in their parent's tent as we thought our walls might collapse. We moved on to a Chalet Aframe trailer. Haven't experienced having to spend a whole weekend in it as you did Diamond Girl. So who knows the future and if we'll graduate to another trailer.
 
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benfrench

Woodbridge, VA
Jun 19, 2008
1,230
King George, VA
Welcome to the Dark Side! We have a 12v Fridge and we find that it will kill our batteries overnight, they may be efficient, but I don't see it. I would much rather a 2 way fridge for boon docking. Requires us to run the genset a lot more than I would like for quiet, forest camping. Everything is a trade off though. We do love the space and how cold the 12v compressor fridge is compared to a 2 way absorption fridge.

Good luck with your new rig! Hope you make lots of happy memories in it.
 

BikeNFish

Super Active Member
Apr 24, 2017
4,360
Maplewood, MN
We have a 12v Fridge and we find that it will kill our batteries overnight, they may be efficient, but I don't see it.
Our 12volt fridge is the biggest question we have for our new rig. Until I bring the rig home (hopefully next week) I will have to rely on information from others to understand the overall power consumption and recharging abilities.

Do you have any solar to charge your batteries or are you only relying on a generator? If you have solar, how many watts are your panels. How many, what kind and what are the amp hours of the batteries are you running?

I have heard and read that two batteries and 190watts of solar should indefinitely keep up with the fridges power consumption (assuming mostly sunny skies). We have a 190watt solar panel and two batteries on the new rig.

We also have Jackerys, two additional 100watt solar panels and a 2000watt generator for multiple backup power sources. So if need be, we can whittle down other sources of power usage to let the fridge have all of the battery juice it needs.

Before we even use the new rig for camping, it will be a very interesting couple of weeks after we bring it home to test all of the systems and see how the solar keeps up with the charging.
 

theseus

Living the Darkside...
Silver Supporting Member
Feb 6, 2007
3,498
Centerville, OH
Welcome to the Dark Side! We have a 12v Fridge and we find that it will kill our batteries overnight, they may be efficient, but I don't see it. I would much rather a 2 way fridge for boon docking. Requires us to run the genset a lot more than I would like for quiet, forest camping. Everything is a trade off though. We do love the space and how cold the 12v compressor fridge is compared to a 2 way absorption fridge.

Good luck with your new rig! Hope you make lots of happy memories in it.
I found that my 12v compressor fridge if it is already cold, can run on my group 27 battery for 3 days with my 100w solar panel on the roof. It draws a lot more cooling down then it does when already cold.
 

neighbormike

Super Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
Oct 6, 2012
3,827
WI
I definitely find the 12v fridge subject interesting… last year, my friends thought I was nuts and poo poo’d my battery voltage chart (which I copied & saved from this site)… They ran their fridge, lights and all kinds of electronics Friday night and all day Saturday…. Sunday morning they were borrowing my jumper cables to close their slide and run the tongue jack [LOL]
 

neighbormike

Super Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
Oct 6, 2012
3,827
WI
That’s what this was… new fangled 12v compressor fridge… I will stick with my 2-way (for now at least).
 

BikeNFish

Super Active Member
Apr 24, 2017
4,360
Maplewood, MN
I definitely find the 12v fridge subject interesting… last year, my friends thought I was nuts and poo poo’d my battery voltage chart (which I copied & saved from this site)… They ran their fridge, lights and all kinds of electronics Friday night and all day Saturday…. Sunday morning they were borrowing my jumper cables to close their slide and run the tongue jack [LOL]
Yeah, just like cooler management, you need to follow good power management.
 

BikeNFish

Super Active Member
Apr 24, 2017
4,360
Maplewood, MN
I think the new ones are just 12 v, no 2 or 3 way, they are supost to work better.
Mine is strictly 12volt. From what I read, they are highly efficient. I have read that mine should run at around 1amp when cooling and less when maintaining the temp.
That’s what this was… new fangled 12v compressor fridge… I will stick with my 2-way (for now at least).
I would have preferred a two way (12volt/gas) but it appears that manufacturers are moving toward the 12volt only fridges. Partly because of shortages and partly because they are so efficient. An additional factor is most new campers come with solar.
 

theseus

Living the Darkside...
Silver Supporting Member
Feb 6, 2007
3,498
Centerville, OH
The amp draw numbers when maintaining an already cold unit are, at least for mine, a little bit under 2 amps. My lead acid battery is 120ah so in reality 60 ah. So 1 days with intense battery/power management if I have no other source of power. Most of the manufacturers started adding solar if you have a 12v compressor fridge for this reason.

I’m adding a second panel for an additional 100watts. In good sun light hopefully I can go much longer, with good management.
 

BillyMc

Super Active Member
Mar 25, 2018
2,464
South Carolina
I definitely find the 12v fridge subject interesting… last year, my friends thought I was nuts and poo poo’d my battery voltage chart (which I copied & saved from this site)… They ran their fridge, lights and all kinds of electronics Friday night and all day Saturday…. Sunday morning they were borrowing my jumper cables to close their slide and run the tongue jack [LOL]
Walked away from multiple campers because they had a 12 volt compressor fridge. Already had multiple people tell me I would need double my battery and add 100-200 watts extra solar.
 

benfrench

Woodbridge, VA
Jun 19, 2008
1,230
King George, VA
Our 12volt fridge is the biggest question we have for our new rig. Until I bring the rig home (hopefully next week) I will have to rely on information from others to understand the overall power consumption and recharging abilities.

Do you have any solar to charge your batteries or are you only relying on a generator? If you have solar, how many watts are your panels. How many, what kind and what are the amp hours of the batteries are you running?

I have heard and read that two batteries and 190watts of solar should indefinitely keep up with the fridges power consumption (assuming mostly sunny skies). We have a 190watt solar panel and two batteries on the new rig.

We also have Jackerys, two additional 100watt solar panels and a 2000watt generator for multiple backup power sources. So if need be, we can whittle down other sources of power usage to let the fridge have all of the battery juice it needs.

Before we even use the new rig for camping, it will be a very interesting couple of weeks after we bring it home to test all of the systems and see how the solar keeps up with the charging.
We don't have solar as of yet, our amount of dry camping doesn't make it overly cost effective for me as of yet. I had 300W of solar on my TT, but left them on there when I sold it. The MH is "Solar-Ready" so, I have a plug on the outside for a specific brand of Solar Suitcase type thing, which is also very expensive. I am concerned with putting holes in the roof to put roof mounted panels on, I ran the wiring on the TT down the vent for the fridge, and well, with only a 12V fridge, there is no vent.... so, lots of reasons I haven't done solar as of yet, but very interested in how solar works for you with the 12V Fridge.
 

BillyMc

Super Active Member
Mar 25, 2018
2,464
South Carolina
A test of battery longevity on a 12 volt refrigerator:

I don't know about him, but my refrigerator doesn't go 43 hours without being opened. I also don't allow my batteries to become nearly that discharged.
We don't have solar as of yet, our amount of dry camping doesn't make it overly cost effective for me as of yet. I had 300W of solar on my TT, but left them on there when I sold it. The MH is "Solar-Ready" so, I have a plug on the outside for a specific brand of Solar Suitcase type thing, which is also very expensive. I am concerned with putting holes in the roof to put roof mounted panels on, I ran the wiring on the TT down the vent for the fridge, and well, with only a 12V fridge, there is no vent.... so, lots of reasons I haven't done solar as of yet, but very interested in how solar works for you with the 12V Fridge.
I haven't personally had a 12 volt fridge. From people in my circle that have had both have had to do when transitioning to a 12 volt only fridge.
1) Double your battery bank.
2) Add 100-200 extra watts of solar over what you would need without the 12 volt fridge.
Here in the SE finding sun for the panels can sometimes be a challenge between trees and cloud cover, so those in sunnier areas may fair better with less.
 

theseus

Living the Darkside...
Silver Supporting Member
Feb 6, 2007
3,498
Centerville, OH
The video is put out by the major manufacturer of compressor fridges. So take it with a grain of salt.

When I went camping last month, I chilled my 12v compressor fridge using the battery and noted the time and amp draw.

It 1.5 hours to get fully cold. During that time it was drawing 6 amps. After that it was drawing about 2 amps. Driving to my campsite 2 hours away, burned off 10 percent of my battery because I didn't pre-chill and it was overcast and so my 100 watts of solar didn't keep up

This year trailer manufacturers are installing 190 watt panels and a basic charge controller standard now if the camper has a compressor fridge. To do indefinite camping on 12v alone, you will need 100 ah of usable power and at least 200 watts of solar. You'd also need to manage your power usage. The good news is that in the summer the biggest heavy draws like the furnace is not on and it's mainly just lights and entertainment still using 12 volts.

I like the compressor fridge for two reasons. 1. No vents needed, so one less place to worry about water intrusion. 2. No condensation inside it that has to be dried out after camping.

For me it is a win.
 
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Tonya Harding

Super Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
Jun 15, 2018
1,799
Virginia
I have offered to sell it with a family discount to any of our kids first, but my adult children are lukewarm to buying it because they want if for free, but that ain't gonna happen. They can afford it, but they like free better. So, you may see it for sale

Well done, I'd do the same...congrats, & slap some pics up when you get 'em set up...
 




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