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Old 04-11-2016, 08:12 AM   #1
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Boondocking Power

So my fridge is on it's way out and I'm trying to decide on weather or not to go Norcold (Round 3) or Residential. My only hang up now is how do I keep things cool when I am away from shore power? Is anyone running a reliable setup of batteries/inverter/generator for this application?
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Old 04-11-2016, 11:17 AM   #2
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What about the Amish unit, heard a lot of good things about it.
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Old 04-11-2016, 01:55 PM   #3
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Old 04-11-2016, 03:56 PM   #4
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I know that some use that type of system with success with solar to recharge the batteries. But my opinion is that you want a gas fridge for boondocking. I believe a residential fridge compressor draws from 1 to 3 amps while on, with a startup surge that is briefly higher than that. To provide that AC power via an inverter from a 12V system, you can guestimate that the DC amp draw would be AC amps x10. So 10 to 30 amps from the batteries with a startup surge of something like double that. Now there's duty cycle to consider since the compressor only operates as needed, but bottom line is that is no small amount of DC capacity you'll need to have to make sure your fridge keeps running. If you assume 50% duty cycle with the low end of amp draw, that's 12 hours x 10 amps for 120 Ah per day. Following the rule of thumb of avoiding drawing your batteries below 50% capacity, that means 240+ Ah capacity per day JUST for fridge. You'll need DC for other stuff, too, so that's even more battery capacity required. Unless you have a humongous battery bank, you'll need to fully recharge those batteries daily or you're out of power after 2 days.

A gas absorption fridge burns propane, I'm not sure how much but it isn't a lot, and has a continuous DC draw of about 1 amp to power the control panel. My opinion is that is the better option for boondocking refrigeration.
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Old 04-11-2016, 11:02 PM   #5
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Several options...

They make low draw fridges that are designed for use in solar homes. You can run a standard house fridge on an inverter if it and the battery bank are sized properly, just need to make sure you have enough solar/generator to get the battery bank charged back up in a reasonable time frame. SunFrost and SunDanzer are the two super efficient brands that come to mind.

Or figure out why your RV fridges keep failing. Maybe try a different brand?

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