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Old 06-17-2019, 04:23 PM   #1
rsaylor3
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Thinking about solar to keep res fridge working on the road?

So we just bought a 2020 HC 331rl. Took our first trip and it was a 8 hour drive. I have a wireless temperature gauge and noticed we lost power at about 4-5 hours into the trip. Guessing the two house batteries are not enough. I'm still going to check the truck to make sure it's sending power to the batteries while towing, but I'm almost positive it was and I know it's a small trickle charger at best.

My question to you, is what are my options for keeping the fridge running for 8 hours while towing? We are in Florida so 90+ temps means the fridge for up to 60 degrees by the time we got to the site.

Solar? Another battery? Can I wire the truck to send more power to th batteries while towing?

Looking for the least expensive safe fix. Appreciate your advice and ideas!
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Old 06-17-2019, 04:36 PM   #2
PNW Fireguy
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If you are just looking to run the fridge between stops and you currently have the stock two 12v batteries installed the simplest solution in my opinion would be to change out the two 12v batteries for four 6v deep cycle batteries. The resultant amp hour capacity will be increased significantly. If your budget can support it go with AGM vs lead acid. Simple replacement and relatively straitght forward. You could conversely install a small solar charger and one or two panels on the roof. Financially you may be at about the same dollars if you do your homework and don't spend on the high marketing options. But the labor to install will consume more of your time and if you don't have the DIY ability the labor cost can be as much as the equipment.
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Old 06-17-2019, 04:56 PM   #3
jeffba
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I have driven 13 hours on one battery with it being charged from the truck (no mods) and the battery stayed up and the res refer was fine.

I would think you have some other issue going on.
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Old 06-17-2019, 05:05 PM   #4
rsaylor3
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Thanks guys, I posted before a d thought I would be fine driving. I will double check that I am getting charging from the truck.
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Old 06-17-2019, 06:05 PM   #5
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With your truck not running check your battery voltage and then check it with it running. If it is charging you will see an increase in voltage when the truck is running. An easy way to get battery voltage is to use your level up panel. Turn it on, press enter and scroll through settings with the up button. (Works on the hydraulic units, assume it works the same on a HC).

Also make sure you don't have something other than the reefer running off your inverter.
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Old 06-17-2019, 06:59 PM   #6
rsaylor3
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AZ Traveler, now that is what I call working smarter not harder! Never thought about using the level up panel! I will be doing that tomorrow when I hook up to leave!

This is why we all come to the forums! Multiple minds are just so much smarter than one
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Old 06-17-2019, 07:42 PM   #7
DQDick
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Assuming your truck is charging, more/better batteries is your best option. You won't believe the number of pannels you'll need to run the frig.
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:26 PM   #8
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When we got our current Rig with the Res Fridge and two OEM 12V Batteries, I did a test and let the Fridge run without shore power and after 36 hours it was still running and Batteries were still at 12.6V. So either you have some other high current draw in the Monty or your OEM batteries are toast or maybe only one of them is bad.
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Old 06-17-2019, 11:43 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by mhs4771 View Post
When we got our current Rig with the Res Fridge and two OEM 12V Batteries, I did a test and let the Fridge run without shore power and after 36 hours it was still running and Batteries were still at 12.6V. So either you have some other high current draw in the Monty or your OEM batteries are toast or maybe only one of them is bad.
36 hrs is fantastic. I get 10 hrs on my 2 12V lithium batteries with heater running for about 5 hrs of that. Iím happy with 10 because it gives me time to wake up and start generator for little over hr to have full charge again. Going to get 2 more lithium while my other 2 are still new and have only been used a couple times.
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Old 06-18-2019, 09:03 AM   #10
Arkware
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We have experienced the same type of issue with the Res. fridge and inverter running on the 2 - 12 v. batteries from the dealer.
First, make sure your ice maker is turned OFF! It draws a lot of power.
We also found that the inverter would shut off. Possibly from starting and stopping while traveling... don't know, but were able to turn it back on for the next leg of the day.
Lastly, we have upgraded to 4 - 6 v. GC batteries. They more than doubled the amp-hours available. This has solve all our issues with traveling with the res fridge.
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Old 06-18-2019, 06:20 PM   #11
rsaylor3
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I checked using AZ Traveler's idea above. I am not getting anything from the truck, So I will be checking fuses when I get home this weekend!

Thanks guys, appreciate all the information and glad to find it's probably only going to cost me a new fuse to fix this issue!!
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Old 06-18-2019, 06:55 PM   #12
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What truck do you have?
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Old 06-18-2019, 09:37 PM   #13
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Old 06-20-2019, 10:00 AM   #14
rsaylor3
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It was the 30 amp fuse for the trailer battery charging on the truck! $5 later and I'm all good! Thanks again for everyone that helped!!
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Old 06-23-2019, 02:18 PM   #15
Joe Hollars
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Really good information from all!
Thank you. This is why I love this group!!!
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Old 06-23-2019, 02:49 PM   #16
N1282X
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Call me, i have the solution.
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Old 06-23-2019, 10:02 PM   #17
gjennings
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Call me, i have the solution.
Jeff 425.359.1111
Why donít you just put your solution on here so we all can see?? Isnít that what this is all about?
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Old 06-23-2019, 10:47 PM   #18
N1282X
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Well i will !
I have a residential samsung in my Montana. I have a source for AGM group 27 for $50 and 180 watt panels for $120. I have 8 panels on my roof running through a Victron controller.
My fridge never quits and my out lay is minimal. Now will anyone really care?
Jeff
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Old 06-23-2019, 11:25 PM   #19
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Well i will !
I have a residential samsung in my Montana. I have a source for AGM group 27 for $50 and 180 watt panels for $120. I have 8 panels on my roof running through a Victron controller.
My fridge never quits and my out lay is minimal. Now will anyone really care?
Jeff
Of course we all are. Thatís a fantastic price for AGMís but I got 295W panels for 98.00 each.
How many batteries are you using?
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Old 06-23-2019, 11:35 PM   #20
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I have 4 AGMs that i will use till lithium drops to less than $400, which i dont think it too far away
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