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Posted: 6/15/2021 12:33:50 PM EDT
I'll be buying a new travel trailer soon and have option of either. Experiences with 120ac/lp vs 12vdc?
Link Posted: 6/15/2021 12:41:46 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/15/2021 12:43:19 PM EDT by Rat_Patrol]
Link Posted: 6/15/2021 12:49:26 PM EDT
Do you leave your propane open driving down the road?

I would think this is not very safe, but I just got my RV, so we didn't transport the food in the refrigerator, we took it all out and put the perishables in an ice chest.

My fridge has a 12V DC control panel that can choose between propane or 120V AC if present to make coldness.
Link Posted: 6/15/2021 1:30:20 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/15/2021 2:27:39 PM EDT
We turn our propane off when going down the road.  BIL says to leave it on.  I don't feel as safe with it on as when it's off, so it's off for us.  The ice box stays cold for a long time once it's cold.  We tend to stop often, old people and old dog, so we turn the refer gas on when we stop to "top off" the cold.

Our system is propane or 120V.  I'd like the idea of 12V instead.
Link Posted: 6/15/2021 2:34:52 PM EDT
I recently bought a dometic cfx3 55im. It was novel but I found it to be pretty impractical overall. Ended up returning it. The app indicated that the fridge was using about 3 amps on 120v power, and 1 amp on 12v. Icemaker usage increased energy expenditure by about 10%. It took about 3 hours to freeze a couple small silicon trays of ice. I was hoping it would be enough ice to keep a yeti cooler topped off, but it was just too much work compared to getting ice at the gas station or grocery store every few days.
Link Posted: 6/15/2021 2:36:08 PM EDT
A remote temperature gauge is an excellent way to keep an eye on your fridge when boondocking.
Link Posted: 6/15/2021 5:06:32 PM EDT
Propane / 12v will pull about 10 amps on DC when not running in propane..  Be prepared for current drain.
Link Posted: 6/15/2021 11:01:24 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Rat_Patrol:

ETA: If the fridge is 120v AC with propane, I would go 12v DC 87,000%. There are no advantages that I can see being 120v AC dual fuel fridge, and you loose the ability to run on battery power.
View Quote

Wait...what? No, it doesn't work like that. RV fridges that are 120vac/LP are one or the other when operating. When connected to shore power they run on 120 vac, when not connected to shore power you flip a switch and they run on LP.
Link Posted: 6/15/2021 11:37:15 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/15/2021 11:43:22 PM EDT
They list the options as RV 6cf (I believe this to be the 120v/lp) or 12v 7cf
Link Posted: 6/16/2021 12:22:27 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/16/2021 9:23:18 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Rat_Patrol:
Maybe I'm misunderstanding what op is referring to, but I took it as the option was a duel fuel traditional RV fridge vs a compressor fridge.
View Quote

All the dual fuel RV fridges I've seen are 120/LP. You run on 120 when on shore power, LP when not on shore power.

I'm less familiar with 12V fridges because they aren't common. But my understanding is that they're only 12V, no LP power.
Link Posted: 6/18/2021 4:02:12 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/19/2021 11:42:11 AM EDT by maypo59]
There are 3/way fridges, that can cool on 12v/120v/propane. If it's 12v side is resistance, then it will be a power hog. Dual G24 battery setups will be able to power it for about 8 hours, if no other 12v loads.

Most 6-7cf fridges, running on propane, will run at LEAST 3 weeks on a 20 pound tank. We did 5 once. With dual GC2's and good weather, we could eek out 10 days of usable 12v before needing to recharge to keep the brain on line..

A 12v Danfoss compressor fridge will about triple the time it can run on 12v, vs resistance.

ALL RV fridges use 12v to run their brains. So when running on propane, you still have to watch 12v consumption, and have a plan to top off.. solar, jumper cables, generator, etc.
Link Posted: 6/18/2021 4:46:12 PM EDT
We went to finish the paperwork yesterday on the trailer with the 12v fridge. I didn't get the model number but saw that it was a Norcold. So I'm guessing it's similar to the model below. The trailer is also wired for solar so I have that option.

Attachment Attached File
Link Posted: 6/19/2021 11:48:14 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/19/2021 1:08:20 PM EDT by maypo59]
I would take their numbers with a grain of salt, but even at that, if it draws 5Ah, that's 5 amps an hour from your batteries. The "standard" battery set up on new campers is still a single G24. That means you have about 10-12 hours of usable battery life, to run the fridge.. all the other 12v stuff cuts into that. Water pump, heater fan, lights, radio/tv, slide outs, tongue jack, etc etc... Make sure you are getting as much battery as you can..

Of course, if you intend to camp with hook ups, then it's no problem..
Link Posted: 6/19/2021 12:13:39 PM EDT
If given a choice there's no way I'd choose a 12vdc fridge over 120vac/propane model.  


Link Posted: 6/19/2021 1:24:41 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By maypo59:
I would take their numbers with a grain of salt, but even at that, if it draws 5Ah, that's 5 amps an hour from your batteries. The "standard" battery set up on new campers is still a single G24. That means you have about 10-12 hours of usable battery life, to run the fridge.. all the other 12v stuff cuts into that. Water pump, heater fan, lights, radio/tv, slide outs, tongue jack, etc etc... Make sure you are getting as much battery as you can..

Of course, if you intend to camp with hook ups, then it's no problem..
View Quote

From a solar standpoint, I get about 5 [email protected] 12v off a 100w suitcase panel. Depending where the OP is located and their solar conditions/energy needs, it is totally possible to operate a 12v fridge (and more) off the grid. Most people just don't bother to learn how to maximize their energy storage and usage. Lithium batteries are quite expensive, but effectively double the capability of lead acid batteries due to the ability to deplete near-empty without sustaining permanent damage.
Link Posted: 6/20/2021 7:21:06 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/21/2021 10:50:19 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/21/2021 10:51:26 AM EDT by DeanQ]
Originally Posted By Ballistic_Tip:
I'll be buying a new travel trailer soon and have option of either. Experiences with 120ac/lp vs 12vdc?
View Quote
RV's use ammonia absorption refrigeration. It requires a heat source as the motive force to run the system. LP gas supplies a small flame to run the system when off-grid. It's not uncommon to travel with the refrigerator on while moving. There are issues if you have to travel thru any tunnels on your route. Travel through any tunnel requires all propane tanks be isolated; hence the 12vdc option. It has a small 12vdc resistance heating element to replace the LP gas flame. As for 120vac; when you're hooked up to shore power, your converter supplies all of your 12vdc loads, including your refrigerator. Good luck with your purchase!
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