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3-way refrigerator

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hammockmadness View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote hammockmadness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: 3-way refrigerator
    Posted: 09 Jul 2015 at 6:50pm
I'm picking up a new 2014 181-G from our local dealer this Saturday and had a question about the efficiency of the 3-way refrigerator in 12V mode.  Or previous TT (27' Salem) worked great on propane, but I always felt a little nervous driving down the highway that way.  Does it cool as well on 12V as it does on 115V or propane?
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CharlieM View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote CharlieM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 2015 at 8:27pm
The short answer is no. The Dometic is rated at 132 Watts (12V x 11A) on DC and 144 watts (120V x 1.2A) on AC. More watts means more cooling so DC is slightly less effective than AC. Propane is usually about equal to or somewhat better than AC. That's by the numbers, but experience has shown the DC operation is noticeably worse than on AC or propane. Not sure why, but I think some earlier Dometics were rated a bit lower on DC. That said, the fridge will really suck the battery and, depending on how well the TV is wired, may actually discharge the trailer battery while towing. At best you will only trickle charge the TT battery since most of the current is going to the fridge. Due to the design of the flow limiting safety valves on modern propane tanks there is little danger of operating the fridge on gas while towing. Larger fridges in RVs do not even have a 12V option. It's either propane or shore power and nobody thinks a thing about it. 
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hammockmadness View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote hammockmadness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 2015 at 9:36pm
Originally posted by CharlieM

The short answer is no. The Dometic is rated at 132 Watts (12V x 11A) on DC and 144 watts (120V x 1.2A) on AC. More watts means more cooling so DC is slightly less effective than AC. Propane is usually about equal to or somewhat better than AC. That's by the numbers, but experience has shown the DC operation is noticeably worse than on AC or propane. Not sure why, but I think some earlier Dometics were rated a bit lower on DC. That said, the fridge will really suck the battery and, depending on how well the TV is wired, may actually discharge the trailer battery while towing. At best you will only trickle charge the TT battery since most of the current is going to the fridge. Due to the design of the flow limiting safety valves on modern propane tanks there is little danger of operating the fridge on gas while towing. Larger fridges in RVs do not even have a 12V option. It's either propane or shore power and nobody thinks a thing about it. 


Thanks!  I'll have to do a little testing on the road.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote furpod Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2015 at 7:57am
Ours does fine on 12v. It's the mode we run in when towing, and at full hookups have just left it there on occasion, and no issue. The important thing to know is it WILL drain your battery in 3 hours or so if you leave it on 12v without being hooked up to shore power or a tow vehicle that is charging the pod.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote SNO4ME Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2015 at 3:31pm
Originally posted by furpod

Ours does fine on 12v. It's the mode we run in when towing, and at full hookups have just left it there on occasion, and no issue. The important thing to know is it WILL drain your battery in 3 hours or so if you leave it on 12v without being hooked up to shore power or a tow vehicle that is charging the pod.


We use the 12v when ever towing and have had no problems, (after the first time we used it). 
It was 95 above and I'm not so sure we cooled it down long enough and we over loaded it. Ouch
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Leo B Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2015 at 3:41pm
We tow with the 12v i Vermont and it works fine, we have towed with it on our trip to the Keys and it did not work well.


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Post Options Post Options   Quote techntrek Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jul 2015 at 11:07pm
Safest bet is to use propane mode, since most factory TV wiring, and most aftermarket installations use 12 gauge wire.  I ran the numbers here before and bottom line the fridge is such a large load you will discharge the battery as mentioned above.  You need minimum 10 gauge and much better 8 gauge wire.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote papabear Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2015 at 11:49am
I plug in the refrigerator to cool it down.I have found that it did not need to be set on the hightest setting to cool it to 38 degrees. When I tow i switch to 12v and set the cooling up higher. This has worked for three hour trips so far.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Don Halas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 2015 at 11:26am
Just curious.  Has anyone used a vessel near or about the size of the freezer and created an ice bank.  This could be done at home before leaving and maintained once AC is available again.
 
Even if it didn't replace the need for using propane or DC, wouldn't it supplement it to take some of the demand away.  I mean really, except for holding a couple of popsicles the freezer is really pretty useless anyway.  We actually laughed at the ice cube tray when we first saw it.
 
Personally we plan on continuing to travel with a cooler to transport and use the fridge only when we're on shore power but I was wondering if anyone has tried this approach.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote hammockmadness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 2015 at 12:06pm
Originally posted by Don Halas

Just curious.  Has anyone used a vessel near or about the size of the freezer and created an ice bank.  This could be done at home before leaving and maintained once AC is available again.
 
Even if it didn't replace the need for using propane or DC, wouldn't it supplement it to take some of the demand away.  I mean really, except for holding a couple of popsicles the freezer is really pretty useless anyway.  We actually laughed at the ice cube tray when we first saw it.
 
Personally we plan on continuing to travel with a cooler to transport and use the fridge only when we're on shore power but I was wondering if anyone has tried this approach.

If you're not using the freezer section, you can take it out.  On the bottom side of the freezer there are two latches that hold it in place.  After unlatching them, just open the door on the freezer and slide it out of the track.
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