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RE: Why consider 12v fridge for boondocking?

Be hard pressed to prove a household fridge, powered thru inverter, would be more efficient than same size running directly on 12 V. How long does the propane tank need to be in sun every day to replace fuel burned to power the fridge? what exactly are you talking about here? My understanding is the most normal way for RVs to store electricity is 12 VDC. A residential fridge operates on 120 VAC. So to power the fridge off battery, (Stored 12 VDC) power must run thru a inverter. Every time you change the form some of the power is lost. Hell, when the compressor cycles off, fridge is not taking any power, the inverter is using power just waiting for demand. The OP is talking about a fridge that uses power in the same form it is stored, so the changing is not needed. You ask "What did I lose"....And then say you are trying to figure out a way to fun the fridge off of a 1LB tank... When you had a system that you removed that would have done what you are trying to do now.... My question was, and still is... What did you Gain by removing the propane? Especially since you DO want to run the fridge off propane on occasion. 1 time, in the 4 years after I removed the tank, we spent a extra night at 1 CG, instead of moving on the same day wife had a class, because I did not have a way to power the fridge while she did her thing. For that 1 time, I for sure see no reason to have the extra 30 lbs (guesstimate) on the hitch ball. Then there is the issues that likely would develop with 20+ YO soft copper lines. (As a young man I worked a few trucks with copper air lines. I can't stand under why RV industry has not come up with something better)
JRscooby 01/23/22 02:45pm Travel Trailers
RE: Carhauler to RV

I have 40 gallons of grey tank under the floor of my Pace cargo trailer I converted. there IS room. I put the fresh tank (20 gallon) at the front behind the counter. I guess it would depend on the factory ground clearance and where you want to take the trailer. Guy I saw often on job sites had break and shear in cargo trailer. Had to grade a pretty good road for him to set up, compared to the trailers for white hats. I guess I should mention that if I was designing for me, I would want the drain to come out bottom of tank, then elbow to hose, instead of out the side of tank. you dont want an "cargo trailer" you want an "enclosed car hauler" you may be calling them the same thing but there is a difference. the cargo trailer will be built a loght lighter and have a lower GVWR , the enclose car hauler will have a better heavier build and will be able to carry more weight. I have seen a few of thease kinds of builds and if done right they can look pretty nice. Steve Not sure you can't a cargo trailer the same size as car hauler, with the same GVWR. The floor might be designed to support weight over a wide area, instead of just the area of tire tracks.
JRscooby 01/23/22 07:37am Travel Trailers
RE: Carhauler to RV

I have had some thoughts about this. 8 foot inside height cargo trailer will be less than 10 ft outside. IMHO, not much of a issue. OTOH, a cargo trailer does not have ground clearance for tanks under floor. But mount tanks on top of factory floor, put a floor above them. Forethought on location off tanks, pull-outs at doorways, and you have storage in a location great for hauling heavy things. And removeable floor sections would be great to access thing that you only need to see rarely, like batteries. If you have a water heater, I don't think a hand or foot pump would work. Swing rear doors, rear kitchen. Mount stove, sink and or counter to door with some way to slide up/down. Up, use inside. Nice weather, open door slide down, stand on ground. Dump waste water on the ground? Really? Give approval to that on RV site? Really? What is a better way to reduce the number of places to spend a night.
JRscooby 01/22/22 04:22pm Travel Trailers
RE: pocket knife

redcatcher, you're right on not carrying the p-38 in your pocket. I probably learned the same way you did-experience. And it only took 1 lesson Most of my 20s, and part of my 30s just open a can was a meal. P 38 lived on key ring. To make it safe for "pocket carry" we would put a slight bend in the hinge pin. This would mean you needed to hook pin on rim of can, use that to open the opener, before opening the can.
JRscooby 01/22/22 02:19pm Around the Campfire
RE: pocket knife

Those little P38s have stabbed me enough when they open by themselves. No more. A slight tap with punch can solve that problem. They are also too close to the lowest ranks in the service. I see this as a insult. Back to pocket knife; I started carrying one before I started school. And the only time I have not had 1 was when I had no control over the door. And about 12 YO I got my first Buck 110, that lived on my belt for most of 30 years.
JRscooby 01/22/22 06:24am Around the Campfire
RE: Why consider 12v fridge for boondocking?

I know a guy that bought a Lance cabover camper. When he and his wife were showing it to me, they proudly pointed out their "improvements" Which basically consisted of removing everything that that felt they would never use,,, The stove, microwave, fridge, furnace, water pump and plumbing, holding tanks,lights, battery, etc. They now use flashlights, a cooler, a coleman stove, water jugs, etc. It works for them I guess...But I never understood it. Why buy something like an RV just to turn it into a tin tent?.... More extreme than your propane tank... But still similar. I cannot see why removing the tank has any tangible benefit. It is not like you are physically carrying it.. It is part of the RV. You just removed some functionality. You seem to be under the impression I get started taking things out willy-nilly. First, DW demands access to 120V to camp, so if I take her, I take the trailer, stay where I can plug in. (Last 2 trips without her I set cot up next to pickup, didn't take a tent.) I bought a 7 YO camper, Thanksgiving weekend of '04. So how much "resale value" will I loose making changes? OTOH, I can make changes that make it better suit US. The camper did not come with WH or furnace, so the big user of propane was the 3 burner stove. From tent days, we had a 3 burner Coleman that worked better. Use or not, the factory stove had to be moved from floor to counter on setup, back to floor for take down. Because we rarely cook with gas, and more rarely cook inside, why haul it? That leaves the fridge as the only installed demand for propane. I have had no luck trusting it to stay lit while driving, but wired so it is the only demand on the charge line from TV, it cools on 12V while driving. Now I am working on a idea of feeding the fridge off 1 lb bottle, for times we want to spend some time stopped between CGs
JRscooby 01/22/22 05:57am Travel Trailers
RE: Why consider 12v fridge for boondocking?

Why would ya carry your perishables separately and not put them in the fridge until you get to your destination? :h Because he removed his propane tanks.... So now he does not have a fridge unless he is plugged into AC power.:h It is beyond me why he made it more difficult for himself. Not exactly. When traveling CG to CG, my fridge works just fine on 12 V, powered by what most use for charge line. I removed the propane because I filled a 20 lb tank, camped average 4 days a month for 3 years, and still had 15 lbs in the tank. Why in the world haul the tank? When going out in winter, I can load a tank or 3 in pickup with heater. Because 1, the fridge in popup is small enough we need a cooler anyway. And mostly I need to plug in to cool, mostly set up, pack fridge, then take camper back down. They sell food everywhere, so most times we only carry a couple of days.
JRscooby 01/21/22 05:31am Travel Trailers
RE: Why consider 12v fridge for boondocking?

If your looking for the least amount of energy used, a household fridge will win hands down. If you look at the volume or weight needed to store the energy (battery bank or propane tanks) absorption fridge wins hands down. Energy density of propane on a BTU/lb or BTU/ volume beats batteries by orders of magnitude. Be hard pressed to prove a household fridge, powered thru inverter, would be more efficient than same size running directly on 12 V. How long does the propane tank need to be in sun every day to replace fuel burned to power the fridge?
JRscooby 01/21/22 04:20am Travel Trailers
RE: Identify receiver hitch

Sounds like somebody bought a barging, hoping to re-sell at a profit. You understand most people that do that can do it because they know what they are buying?
JRscooby 01/20/22 04:07pm Towing
RE: Why consider 12v fridge for boondocking?

Why would ya carry your perishables separately and not put them in the fridge until you get to your destination? :h Because 1, the fridge in popup is small enough we need a cooler anyway. And mostly I need to plug in to cool, mostly set up, pack fridge, then take camper back down. They sell food everywhere, so most times we only carry a couple of days.
JRscooby 01/20/22 11:16am Travel Trailers
RE: Why consider 12v fridge for boondocking?

When 99% of RV fridges are absorption, it's not surprising if a similar number of issues are with absorption fridges. Trust me, having spent time in the boating world where 12v is the standard, they have their own issues. There is no doubt a machine with moving parts is more likely to have machinal problems than something without. But my experience with compressor cooling systems is if it works when you turn it off, a month later, turn it on, it works. Absorption, leave it sit dust and moisture in the air, or spiders can stop it between trips. And because the shape of air flow is so important to cooling, most users talk about how long it takes to cool their beer. My little fridge can be un-powered for weeks. When I hook up to TV, turn on the 12V heater in the fridge drive less than 2 1/2 hrs, remove the bag of charcoal and put food in when I plug into post. (I have removed propane from my camper. Working between my ears on hooking fridge to work on 1 lb bottle)
JRscooby 01/20/22 04:44am Travel Trailers
RE: The world of tow vehicles would be a better place if

How about a C-15/C-16 tucked under the hood of a F350..... LOL! By the time they beefed up to hold the weight, added the engine, you would likely be over the class 3 weight. Easier would be replace the cab on a class 8. But if you showed up at a CG towing a large camper some would get panties in a wad because the fender emblems where overloaded.
JRscooby 01/18/22 06:58am Tow Vehicles
RE: The world of tow vehicles would be a better place if

The oil embargo was 40-45yrs ago...not particularly relevant to today. Yes, the oil embargo was 45 years ago. As far as how it relates to the discussion, What would make Tow Vehicles Better, I think in a prefect world, or even one better than we have, somebody could buy a pickup powered by a used engine, as long as the technology of the engine was not to outdated. I mentioned the embargo as something that force a major change in diesel engine technology. (At the time I was driving a '67 Pete with 12V71 2-stroke. I had a driver in a '70 KW, with 1693 Cat. Both would run about 4 MPG. My '95 Pete, 3406E Cat would beat 6 unless I was doing doing something stupid. When you think that everything you buy, except the ground it sets on rode on a truck to get to you it is hard to believe anybody can think the oil embargo is not relevant. And the fact that much of the population does not want to loosen the oil companies' grip on the collective sack is evidence we are slow learners, or fast forgetters
JRscooby 01/18/22 04:39am Tow Vehicles
RE: The world of tow vehicles would be a better place if

As mentioned HDT are a different world and not relevant to your 3/4 & 1 ton pickups. I would expect your average trucking company has qualified mechanics performing work. Your average guy with a 20yr old truck that he's stringing along likely cuts a lot of corners...so your assumption that the engine transfer would be done professionally is sketchy at best. I'm sure individuals mostly could care less about the engine technology but that doesn't mean it must meet current regulations and that it must mate with the new technology on your new chassie. As far as keeping a truck going for 40yrs...if you dump $40-50k into the chassie, you can do a major overhaul making it like new at 20yrs (probably a good bit cheaper if you don't live in rust belt states)...giving you an additional 20yrs. If it's really that the engine will last 40yrs, you can keep the chassie going and it's much more straight forward. Back in the days before oil embargo/big changes in engines, the Pete dealer had a kit being built in shop most of time. Anther dealer sold mostly assembled kits. I think you and I have a different view about who would be the market for class 2 and 3 trucks set up for older model engines. Most people I know that use old vehicles are more likely to replace a wore out engine with a newer 1. Sure, we can replace all the parts, repair rust, and drive forever. (For years I made sure we had a spare car incase I did not get DWs fixed in time) Many people, including a large percentage of RVers, buy new to be "sure" they don't need to deal with minor repairs and can have new model with all the bells and whistles. Then another group "I won't take that big hit when I leave the lot" buys what first group trades in. The third owners, that buy what 2nd group trades in are looking for cheap work trucks. If power seat doesn't work, drive it from where the seat is at. Now, if a dealer had the option to offer first group that wants a new truck, but "I don't know about that redesigned, want buy after we know it is good" he could dismantle something that he would send to auction, price it little lower than new. Might even sell to the 2nd group. Then think about good engines in wrecked trucks.
JRscooby 01/17/22 05:07am Tow Vehicles
RE: Dumb mistake

Back in the day I would let truck set overnight, then drain about 5 gallons of fuel out of each tank every fall to be sure no ice in winter. I would use that fuel for parts cleaner, add to the oil I turned in for recycling.
JRscooby 01/17/22 04:17am Fifth-Wheels
RE: Why consider 12v fridge for boondocking?

For the 15+ years I have been reading the net about RVs there is rarely a week that somebody doesn't post something about their absorption fridge not working as well as expected. That's understandable, considering that probably 99+ percent of all RVs are still equipped with them. When you have a lot of something, you also tend to have a lot of reports about problems with it. That is true. And it is also true that they can work trouble free. (Just before I was born, ('49) Dad bought a used absorption fridge. In '58 it was put in basement of new house, because we got new fridge. That new fridge has been replaced several times. Sometime when I was in service, that absorption fridge was moved to a lake cabin that was past the end of power lines. By 2010, power was at the cabin, but that old fridge was on the porch, full of cold drinks. When they leave the cabin, any food not to be carried home is put in the old fridge incase power goes out.) But that does not mean the modern technology is not better. But camping I prefer to use old tech for many things. (Even at home, if I decide to bake something in the summer I will light some charcoal, grab a DO) But many people take modern tech RVing with them. Nobody is wrong, IMHO. Now with all the talk of how great solar is while camping, often by the same class of people that rant about asking people to use it at home kinda baffles me. And for home use, I have often wondered about concentrating the heat, use that to replace flame in a absorption operated AC unit for homes and businesses.
JRscooby 01/16/22 03:04pm Travel Trailers
RE: Why consider 12v fridge for boondocking?

But my question is. Why do people think it's the hot ticket for boon docking? I can see if you're regularly driving and covering ground. For the 15+ years I have been reading the net about RVs there is rarely a week that somebody doesn't post something about their absorption fridge not working as well as expected. For many, the "hot ticket" seems to be go with a 120V compressor fridge. If a RV stores electricity it is a safe bet it is not storing 120 volt AC, but 12 V DC is likely. When you consider that every time you convert some of the electrons escape, IMHO it makes more sense to use in the same form it is stored. YMMV
JRscooby 01/16/22 08:26am Travel Trailers
RE: Why consider 12v fridge for boondocking?

Compressor fridges have become almost standard on camper vans, because they rarely stay stationary for many days at a time. Even a short drive will restore much of the battery bank if you have something like a Transit with dual 250-amp alternators or a Sprinter with an aftermarket 2nd alternator. Trailers tend to be more little stationary when boondocking, because when you leave for the day, you only drive the TV. That's how I use mine. It just becomes "home-base". So absorption fridges still make the most sense, unless the trailer has enough solar and is only parked in sunny locations. Something I have thought about for people that leave trailer while touring with TV; Add a deep cycle battery large enough to handle overnight loads to the the TV. Leave a battery bank on trailer, but the total of the 2 banks could be smaller than needed for the total stay. After a day of driving return to site with full charge in 1 bank. Turn off the trailer, plug TV in. Next morning, the battery on TV will need charge, but the trailer bank ready to carry thru the day. In theroy, loads when nobody home should be limited.
JRscooby 01/15/22 04:06pm Travel Trailers
RE: Why consider 12v fridge for boondocking?

I have had very limited experience with 12 V fridge. A friend had 1 installed in 99 when he bought his new Pete. About '06 he had to grab a bird to get home. Truck sat in truckstop outside Dallas (Summer sun, no shade) for over 3 days before I got there. I worked on the truck knew he had only same starting batteries I did. I expected to jump start his truck. When it started, I parked mine, grabbed a trash bag to MT fridge. Stole a ice cream bar, and put it in the wind for home.
JRscooby 01/15/22 11:39am Travel Trailers
RE: The world of tow vehicles would be a better place if

The talk of picking engine to put in any brand off truck has been common in heavy trucks forever. IMHO, a great improvement in TV market would be for the manufacturers to sell glider kit or complete trucks without engines, so a guy that spent all the money to buy a truck with half million mile engine can use the engine for it's lifespan. And to give you a reason I think this is good idea, I bought a '76 Pete with a 1693 Cat. Records on the engine showed that was the 3rd truck. 1) No manufacturer is going to purposely cut out a big part of the cost of a truck...including the associated profits. I thought the OP was discussing a better world. But you are right, as long as people are willing to throw half the engine life away when they replace a pickup the manufacturer is happy to sell. 2) The days of simple mechanical diesels are long gone. Over 20yrs (typical life of a truck), the technology is likely to be wildly different and limiting the chassie so it can plug and play with a 20yr old engine would be a huge hassle and likely to run up against emissions and other regulatory issues. I have looked at heavy trucks for over 50 years, seen changes in patterns. I remember ads in industry magazines from early '70s International selling Glider Kits (Steering axle, frame and cab) set up for 427 GMC spark plug motor. (Last 427 I worked was in '71 Diamond Rio) Back then, if you took good care of engine and drive train, the numbers often worked to upgrade at parts counter than (GK) instead of show room. Then the oil embargo forced major changes in engines. (Friend replaced his 8V71 that needed overhaul with 6V92 in his old cabover IHC. Said by the time he changed oil 3rd time had saved enough fuel to pay the difference) At the same time, laws changed so GK stopped selling. But over the last 15 years, emission regulations change, some are buy GKs and running older engines, (3406E out of my last truck, '95 Pete, is in 2019 Western Star) And how many people on this site have bought new pickup, with all the whiz-bang tech, had problems and been told the best solution is to delete the emission control system? Nobody will admit that for a very large percentage of RVers a better available option would of been buy gasoline powered where the emission system problems have been worked out to the point we have both more power and better economy than pre emission standard levels. A perfect world, another option would be use the last half of the life of the engine out of the truck that has started to nickel/dime you. Then you have the PR issues when people take photos of the new 2022 Brand X truck broken down on the side of the road because someone mucked up the engine install. Sorry, but I assume most people/shops that would take on the job of building a truck out of a pickup glider kit would be able to do a quality job. And would that PR be that much worse than multi-thousand dollar engine repair right after warrantee ends? Honestly, if you are OK with outdated technology, you can keep chassie and engine going for 40yrs...but after a point, it doesn't make much sense. If I could prove it, I would bet that a very large percentage of people don't much care about tech of engine as long as it does a good job, compared to the number that demand all of what I call FREDs in the cab.
JRscooby 01/15/22 06:13am Tow Vehicles
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