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Old 10-02-2019, 10:25 AM   #1
Calbrewguy
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Boondocking with residential frudge

Just bought my first fifth wheel. It's a Montana High Country 353RL. It has a residential fridge which only runs on electric through an inverter. I have solar panels which keep the batteries topped up pretty well. I need advice on what it will take equipment wise to boondock for periods up to a couple weeks at a time. This is also my first post. I've really enjoyed reading on this site. Thanks in advance for any help you all can give me. Hope I didn't buy the wrong coach.
Randy
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Old 10-02-2019, 10:34 AM   #2
mhs4771
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We'll need to know the size of your Battery Bank, amount of Solar you have, and if you have a small generator to recharge the batteries when lack of Sun Shine.
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Old 10-02-2019, 11:06 AM   #3
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Randy,

Welcome to the forum! This is a great place to learn and share.

For the electrical side of boondocking here are my recommendations:

-Determine how much electric power you want to use on a daily basis by building a power budget. There are several good sources to help with this. Here is a place to start .

-Start with your battery bank. I would not go smaller than the amp hours you decided you need for 24 hours. For lead acid or AGM batteries you never want to go below 50% of your capacity so if you plan to use 250 AH then you need a battery bank of at least 500 AH. You can also go with Lithium batteries at a much higher cost but allow you to use 80% or more of their capacity.

-Your solar should be able to recharge your battery bank with 5-6 hours of good sun.

-You will still want a generator for long periods of cloudy days or to run your a/c.

This explanation is a little oversimplified - take the time to read and study more before starting to buy or install things.
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Old 10-02-2019, 11:26 AM   #4
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If all you want to do is power the fridge for boondocking then you can getaway with a relatively small inverter and adequate batteries with an appropriately sized solar array or modest generator. If you want to power more items for convenience you should really determine what your loads needs will be so you can have a target to design around.
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Old 10-03-2019, 11:49 AM   #5
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Thank you all for your quick responses! I've got some home work to doso I'll be getting back with you all. Happy comping, Randy
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Old 10-28-2019, 01:39 PM   #6
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I have the Residential Samsung refrigerator in our 2017 3721 montana. I monitor around 16 to 18 amp hours per hours at night to maintain the refrigerator. This is using my 3012 Magnum Hybrid inverter. So it is powering the whole Rv at night and has some small ghost draws. So for my conservative calculations I use 20 amp hours per hour to run the refrigerator. Yes my ice make is on also.

I see an additional 10 Amp hours per hour watching TV and LED lights at night. Plus making coffee in the morning and 10 mins microwave. We live in this full time.

I used 20 amp hour x 24 hours of no power to calculate a bare minimum for 480 amp hours for just refrigerator. So I used 30 amp hours for 24 hours for total house living. That is 720 amp hours per hour. Since lithium batteries can be drawn down 80% 900 amp hour battery was what I put in. They weighted in at 250 pounds for the three 300 amp hour batteries.

Note lead acid batteries can only be drawn 45% to 50% without doing damage.


My five 265 watt solar panels can not fully charge my batteries each day so I have a pair of Honda 2000 generators that can top off 500 amp hours in about six hours through the magnum 3012 inverter. So every other to third day I have to top off.

I did keep the small dedicated inverter for the refrigerator and use it like the propane backup for RV refrigerator.

I hope this helps. Safe Travels.

John
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Old 10-29-2019, 10:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H. John Kohl View Post
I have the Residential Samsung refrigerator in our 2017 3721 montana. I monitor around 16 to 18 amp hours per hours at night to maintain the refrigerator. This is using my 3012 Magnum Hybrid inverter. So it is powering the whole Rv at night and has some small ghost draws. So for my conservative calculations I use 20 amp hours per hour to run the refrigerator. Yes my ice make is on also.

I see an additional 10 Amp hours per hour watching TV and LED lights at night. Plus making coffee in the morning and 10 mins microwave. We live in this full time.

I used 20 amp hour x 24 hours of no power to calculate a bare minimum for 480 amp hours for just refrigerator. So I used 30 amp hours for 24 hours for total house living. That is 720 amp hours per hour. Since lithium batteries can be drawn down 80% 900 amp hour battery was what I put in. They weighted in at 250 pounds for the three 300 amp hour batteries.

Note lead acid batteries can only be drawn 45% to 50% without doing damage.


My five 265 watt solar panels can not fully charge my batteries each day so I have a pair of Honda 2000 generators that can top off 500 amp hours in about six hours through the magnum 3012 inverter. So every other to third day I have to top off.

I did keep the small dedicated inverter for the refrigerator and use it like the propane backup for RV refrigerator.

I hope this helps. Safe Travels.

John
Great information there. Thank you very much.
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