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Old 12-31-2018, 07:55 PM   #1
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Location: Fort Dodge
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381TH or 380TH

We are in the process of order our new 5th wheel. We always figured on ordering the 381TH since my wife wants the ice maker but have some concerns about traveling with food in the refrigerator or if we were to camp where there was not power available (we have been told the gas operated refrigerator does not have an ice maker). I am planning on ordering the camper "generator ready" should we decide to install the generator at a later date. For now the plan is to purchase two Honda generators and run them in parallel.

I was told by one of the dealers if we were to run the refrigerator on shore power until it is completely cooled down our truck should be able to maintain refrigerator temperature for a day or two of traveling since our truck has dual heavy duty alternators. He also said if we added a roof top solar panel that we could probably get by for several days.

Has anyone had experience with the residential refrigerator and how long it "keeps it cool"?

If we were to camp without power we would rely on the two Honda generators and possibly a solar panel bank to keep things cool.


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Old 12-31-2018, 08:14 PM   #2
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Totally depends on the individuals intended use. For us, a residential fridge was a deal killer. We dry camp very often. Actually walked away from several killer deals for the sole reason of the resi fridge.

The resi fridge will run off your batteries by using an inverter. This inverter will come included from the factory. They are an added load to your batteries and much more than we wanted to deal with. Our best camping buddies made the mistake of a resi fridge (dry camp often with us) and ended up trading a brand new camper off because of it.

You can overcome the added load by adding more batteries, solar or running your genny more often. Again, not something we were willing to do.
Many people love them but camp different than we do.
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Old 01-01-2019, 12:15 AM   #3
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Either will work. If you don't plan to boondock much the residential works well. Even if you boondock you can add solar and a larger battery bank. The RV model also works very well even if you don't boondock much.
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Old 01-01-2019, 02:07 PM   #4
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Okay DW and I go through a lot of ice. With RV fridge we got an icemaker. $89 at Sams I think. Now we have Res refer. Love the built in icemaker. With a single battery was able to drive 13 hours and TV kept battery charged. Now we have 2 batteries. have not boon docked to see how long it will last.

If we were to boondock I would look long and hard to see how I could make the res refer to work.
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Old 01-05-2019, 08:39 PM   #5
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We went with the 381. On our trips we have had no issues keeping everything cold and frozen. As long as your inverter is on and your TV is running there shouldn't be any issues. We have stopped off at Wally World to overnight for 8 hours and had no problem, just started up the truck first thing in the morning. Could start up the gen but we usually take right off first thing anyway.
On a side note, we thought about whether or not to get the gen and decided to get it with the RV for it made almost no difference in payments. Wait 'tll later and your just incurring another cost while still paying for the RV. I am looking at getting a second battery for those evenings when it gets cold and want to use the furnace also.
Hope this helps.

Also look further in here for How about a HC 380TH/381TH thread?
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