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Old 06-27-2022, 09:35 AM   #21
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Interesting, so you are saying the that 12v fridges require twice as much power than their specifications would otherwise indicate? For me, that is reason enough not to have one. Thanks, ~CA
That's just what I've seen on a consistent basis across all the forums and FB groups I'm a member of.

I will likely end up with a Nova Kool RFU9000 12VDC refrigerator someday if our 2-way ever goes out, it's a very efficient unit with a rated average draw of 5.2A, which I fully believe. I seriously question some of these "specified" power draws as not being real-life conditions. Sure, throw it in a garage, unloaded, out of the sun, turn it on while never opening a door and claim some low "average" power draw....

I've yet to see somebody average under 5A and would be very interested in the operating conditions if they did so.
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Old 06-27-2022, 09:44 AM   #22
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That's just what I've seen on a consistent basis across all the forums and FB groups I'm a member of.

I will likely end up with a Nova Kool RFU9000 12VDC refrigerator someday if our 2-way ever goes out, it's a very efficient unit with a rated average draw of 5.2A, which I fully believe. I seriously question some of these "specified" power draws as not being real-life conditions. Sure, throw it in a garage, unloaded, out of the sun, turn it on while never opening a door and claim some low "average" power draw....

I've yet to see somebody average under 5A and would be very interested in the operating conditions if they did so.

I suspect what you have seen is accurate. I have been RV'ing for about 35 years now and have been very fortunate to never have my fridge go out on me with any RV I have owned and if it did go out, I would likely just purchase another cooling unit for it. I know others report issues, but with mine, -5 freezer and ~34 fridge temps are common even with outside temps as high as 105.

For me, running the fridge on propane when I don't have shore power is the way to go for sure, especially when boondocking. ~CA
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Old 06-27-2022, 09:51 AM   #23
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Many of the 12v fridges have a boondocking setting on the thermostat to limit amp draw, and of course limit cooling. You might want to try that if you are predominately boondocking.
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Old 06-27-2022, 10:25 AM   #24
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Many of the 12v fridges have a boondocking setting on the thermostat to limit amp draw, and of course limit cooling. You might want to try that if you are predominately boondocking.
where would I find that? I have a temp setting for fridge and you can raise or lower it and one for the freezer,. A power switch and something called Night Mode which might be what you are referring to. The manual doesn't say what the mysterious Night Mode does.
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Old 06-27-2022, 12:54 PM   #25
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where would I find that? I have a temp setting for fridge and you can raise or lower it and one for the freezer,. A power switch and something called Night Mode which might be what you are referring to. The manual doesn't say what the mysterious Night Mode does.
I'm pretty sure the night mode is what they're referring to.

If I were using that during the day I'd have a good thermometer inside to monitor internal temperature.

I use this Bluetooth thermometer, not inexpensive, but very reliable and accurate.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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Old 06-27-2022, 02:39 PM   #26
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Night mode sounds right. My Furion 12v fridge the settings is below Mid and is ďOff GridĒ right on the main temperature dial.
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Old 06-30-2022, 08:02 PM   #27
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Hate to say it, because it will hit your pocket book hard, but Lithium batteries is your best bet for dry camping.. Also, there are some nice 200 Watt panels out there that match nearly the size of the 100 Watts panels.
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Old 08-02-2022, 09:02 PM   #28
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Thanks Don, but for my purposes, a propane fridge is superior. I can run it for many days on a 20 lb tank. But my dual 75 ah AGMs are only good for about 12 hours. Thatís a big problem for my camping styleó half the time, no shore power. Gonna have to buy a generator. And solar panels. And bigger batteries. AndÖ.

This thread was mostly intended to find out if others are having the same poor fridge performance leading to these other unexpected headaches and expense.
The combination of a 12v fridge and any battery other than a lithium ion phosphate battery is a bad combination. Our house is off grid and we struggled with lead acid batteries for 13 years. Now that we changed over to LiFePO4 batteries, we are finally living the off grid "dream". Lead acid batteries and AGMs are meant for started batteries for ICE engines and that's just about the end of their value in my opinion. They are worthless as energy storage due to their high resistance to charge, limited storage volume, fast discharge, and high maintenance. LiFePO4 charge in half the time, hold up their SoC 50% longer, can be discharged much lower and don't have to be charged to absorption every day without any lost of life. In fact, leaving lithium batteries in partial state of charge is preferred. If you don't fully charge a lead acid or AGM battery and they ever get below 50% SoC, you've lost forever a percentage of the stated storage. Having said all that, your 12v fridge is likely running ok, but your batteries are probably operating at less than 50% of the stated output.
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Old 08-03-2022, 05:59 AM   #29
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Fridge replaced

Thanks jag, it all sounds reasonable to me. I didnít know enough about how much juice this fridge was going to use and just jumped in by getting the dual 75 ah AGMís. Kinda too late now unless I want to junk that investment.

My dealer replaced the fridge under warranty since it ran full time and had other issues too. But I still canít keep it running on just 200 watt of solar for more than a day. I think the earlier post regarding real world electricity use as upward of 80 ah per day is real. Iím going to have to buy a generator.

As I said earlier, they should come with a warning label that if you donít plug in youíll need a generator too!
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Old 08-03-2022, 06:57 AM   #30
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Try turning off the frig at night and see if it holds the temp overnight with opening the door excessively. The start ups draw higher power from the batteries.
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Old 08-03-2022, 07:36 AM   #31
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Thanks jag, it all sounds reasonable to me. I didnít know enough about how much juice this fridge was going to use and just jumped in by getting the dual 75 ah AGMís. Kinda too late now unless I want to junk that investment.

My dealer replaced the fridge under warranty since it ran full time and had other issues too. But I still canít keep it running on just 200 watt of solar for more than a day. I think the earlier post regarding real world electricity use as upward of 80 ah per day is real. Iím going to have to buy a generator.

As I said earlier, they should come with a warning label that if you donít plug in youíll need a generator too!
I feel bad for you and others as the expectations were never properly set. I've experienced that myself regarding off grid living. Assuming the fridge uses 80ah, and if your two AGM batteries were brand new, you would have a total of 150 ah of batteries, but that is NOT 150 ah of usable storage as only 50% of that is usable since these batteries cannot discharge below 50% or else you run the risk of permanently damaging them. It's highly likely your actual storage is far less than 80ah. Converting over to lithium batteries or buying a generator or replacing your 12v back to a gas/electric seems to be the choices. All of them require an investment of some amount....bummer.
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Old 08-03-2022, 07:59 AM   #32
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Theres no 'one size fits all'. I live in western NY and if all my camping was in the NE I would have an absorbsion fridge; cooler temps, more shaded campsites, fewer sunny days. Most of my camping though is out west (MT, WY etc) with more sun and heat. We chose a 12v fridge this time and are quite happy. There is a learning curve! But we also invested heavily in that decision: two 100amp lithium batteries, 380watts solar on roof and 200 amp suitcase. With your current setup you are way undergunned. My experience also is that dealers in the east have not become familar with solar to properly advise customers on what they really need to operate properly.
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Old 08-03-2022, 08:08 AM   #33
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12v would be perfect for us. We normally are plugged either to the truck or shore power at all times, except when setting up camp for a few minutes. If I got a 12 v, I would also get a small, quiet, propane generator just for the fridge, for the rare cases when we stop at a rest area (once in 3.5 years) or when there's a power failure.
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Old 08-04-2022, 08:05 PM   #34
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Somethingís sounds a bit off, we have a 12v fridge 100watts of solar and 2 golf cart batteries. We boondocked 3 days and only ran generator for AC before bed one of the days. Batteries stayed at 12.5 with microwave use, fridge use, sound machine and fans at night.
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Old 08-05-2022, 07:56 AM   #35
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Are your solar panels clean?
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Old 08-05-2022, 11:51 AM   #36
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Just an update: temp in 80s last four days, good sun. Batteries up to 100% by noon. Dip to 96-97% over night.
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Old 08-05-2022, 12:00 PM   #37
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Mine. with 2 100AH batteries, were dropping to 85% overnight. I have the 12V fridge set to just one step below max cold, and we were camping in cool enough weather that the heater ran multiple times during the night. Still back to 100% in 3 hours after the sun came out at 11. Between dawn and then there was enough sun/fog power to hold the 85%.
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