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Cptnvideo

Arizona - most of the time

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Joined: 11/05/2006

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Posted: 06/05/22 07:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

"Electric isn’t even needed except for water pump and furnace. Get priorities straight."

Your 3 way fridge won't run without electric (battery). Neither will lights. Without electric from either solar or generator, your batteries will eventually become useless and at that point, nothing will function in your RV.
I've got my priorities straight.


Bill & Linda
Arizona
2019 Dodge Laramie 3500 dually 4x4 diesel
Hensley Trailer Saver BD5 hitch
2022 Grand Design Solitude 378MBS
1600 watts solar, 3kw inverter/charger, 3 206AH LiFePo4 batteries

JimK-NY

NY

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Joined: 05/12/2010

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Posted: 06/06/22 05:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Cptnvideo wrote:

Why is it that I have not seen one person that regrets going from a propane fridge to a residential fridge?
Solar is extremely reliable but if ours should ever fail, we have a backup generator. Solar allows us to boondock practically indefinitely in peace and quiet. The only limitation is dumping and water. We can even go without propane if we don't mind waking up a little chilly.


If I could I would switch to propane in a heartbeat. My current RV does not have side or roof vents to permit that.

My small (4 cuft) refrigerator has a very efficient Danfoss compressor. Depending on ambient temps, my unit can easily pull well over 50 AH/day. The bigger unit I replaced pulled well over 100 AH and a residential refrigerator is likely to pull twice that amount. Fifty, 100, even a couple hundred AH/day does not sound like much if you have a large battery bank and a large solar array. That changes instantly if you camp in the forest because it is beautiful or too hot to camp in the sun or if you have some rainy days, or if you camp in the winter with the sun very low in the sky. Anyone who has depended on solar knows how poorly solar panels work with even just some partial shade. Personally I hate the need to run a generator for hours when a propane refrigerator can work for a month or months on a tank of propane.

BackOfThePack

Fort Worth

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Posted: 06/14/22 05:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Cptnvideo wrote:

"Electric isn’t even needed except for water pump and furnace. Get priorities straight."

Your 3 way fridge won't run without electric (battery). Neither will lights. Without electric from either solar or generator, your batteries will eventually become useless and at that point, nothing will function in your RV.
I've got my priorities straight.



Electric not needed for lighting.

Amp draw for 3-way ref/frz is minimal.

Only furnace fan & water pump (which could be manual) have enough demand to warrant battery use.

Have a look at 1950s trailers. The difference here from car-camping pre-war is the propane system built-in to service stove/oven, water heater, lighting, furnace, and refrigerator/freezer.

Need & Desire aren’t the same.

Priority is Propane System (and capacity) first, with Water System (and capacity) a very close second (as it could be re-filled from stream or well).

**What limits self-sufficiency over time (X-nights aboard) is the determinant.**

Solar is “nice”. That’s it.

Besides high expense (and limited life) it has too many points of potential failure.

No one stops you from having the additional system at its higher-cost, despite lower reliability and a shorter life if that’s the way you want to do it.

I’ve solar on mine. Keeps a pair of batteries charged. But won’t change the time factor in needing re-supply.

That said, I’m all in favor of maximizing each system. If I hadn’t shore power, then what? If I lost propane, then what? Lost even 12V, then what? A worthwhile exercise to avoid or delay having to abandon the RV for other lodgings (at the heart of why I’m no fan of motorhomes as the drivetrain/chassis — alone — does this regularly).

— An example of this is retro-fitting an electric furnace to utilize the existing fan & ducting (CheapHeat, by Rvcomfortsystems).

Solar has its place in the mix.

Separate gensets really don’t (bandaid). Ones TV might be so equipped, but that’s not the RV itself (as one can lose its services separately from the RV).

Propane gensets were once fitted to TTs (maybe still are), but their performance was lacking, to say the least. As a fallback it’s an expensive, limited-use component and likelier to shorten self-sufficiency even sooner.

.


2004 555 CTD QC LB NV-5600
1990 35’ Silver Streak

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