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RE: How is this for a power system? Solar vs battery balance?

Compressor fridge? Yes plan to max out the roof with solar.Nope. I do fine with my existing solar and two 100AH batteries powering my Tundra compressor fridge.OK how many watts solar and what fridge model is it? I have 220W of solar and it's a Tundra T42 refrigerator. In use since about 2007. http://www.marinespecialists.com/Tundra/frige.html I owned a NovaKool 7500 fridge/freezer for 5 years dry camping almost exclusively without a generator on 330w solar, 4 6v AGM batteries. No problems. Check out the history on our blog. Dave
crosscheck 02/19/19 09:14am Truck Campers
RE: How is this for a power system? Solar vs battery balance?

We dry camped with a compressor fridge for 5 years. 7.5 cuft NovaKool, great unit but we found 200w solar, 200AH batteries just for the fridge was required for 100% dry camping. The rest of our electrical needs were minor. Good luck. Dave
crosscheck 02/17/19 07:39am Truck Campers
RE: AC/DC Compressor Refrigerators

"I know when I'm traveling, and have to stop at a Walmart while enroute, there is no substitute for a propane fridge." The OP wanted to hear from anyone who"has" a AC/DC compressor fridge. A number of previous posters who have or had DC compressor fridges have mentioned the benefits of this type of fridge in an RV situation while dry/boondock or any kind of camping. I do not understand why stopping at Walmart would require a propane fridge only. Dave
crosscheck 01/26/19 09:37am Tech Issues
RE: 2 -6 volts or 4?

Go with 4 6V batteries. The extra 130lbs is nothing. For boondocking, adequate battery AH is probably one of the most important must have items. It,s the gas tank for your electrical system. One of the biggest reasons we can dry camp for 2 months without a genny is our 4 batteries for our modest electrical needs. Dave
crosscheck 01/21/19 08:38am General RVing Issues
RE: Solar panel and fridge

Reflex 439, I agree with you completely. A generator is far more effective for your style of camping. Dave
crosscheck 01/16/19 09:49pm Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: Solar panel and fridge

All the above, but also keep in mind for the solar panels to work well you need to always park in the sun. That creates a very hot box in which to live unless you stay in cooler climates. If you park in the shade to keep cool, even partially putting the solar panels in shade can drop the solar output by 90% or more. Solar is great to augment other power sources, but is very inefficient as a standalone source. If used with a small generator an hour or so a day, and or driving daily, they are great at helping keeping things topped off. But if in the shade, cloudy day, and no other power source, it will deplete the batteries rather quickly and could take more than a couple days to recover and top off the batteries. Most RV's don't have the roof space to put enough panels to really run all the electrical systems within them. But the solar panels put in enough to reduce the generator or driving time needed to fully recharge. If only running low draw items (USB, LED lighting, CO monitors, low voltage circuits in propane refrigerators, etc, a 100AH battery and a 100W solar with MPPT controller is more than adequate. As one other reference, I have a 100AH (maybe 110AH, don't remember), a supplemental Dometic CFX28 Danfoss refrigerator (top open cooler style), the factory 3 way refrig I run on propane, and LED lights, 12v TV/DVD, USB chargers, and small 600W invert I use for my laptop. I can regularly get a couple days on the 12V battery and solar setup. But the Danfoss refrig uses about 3-4amps on a 50% duty cycle where the 3 Way uses nearly 11amp at a higher duty cycle. The 3-way refrig on 12v is awful at regulating temperature to the point that I have to adjust the temp setting multiple times a day. At night it would freeze, and in the day wouldn't cool well enough. So you have to ride the temp setting lowing it when the temps drop, and raising it when the sun and temps start to heat up. The Dometic CFX28 is a set and forget, and will keep everything within a few degrees regardless of the outside temps, all while using far less energy. I use the 3way for cold drinks, produce, and other non-critical foods. Anything critical goes in the CFX28. I love having both as it also doubles my refrigerator capacity. Hope this info helps. The OP question was How much solar do I need to run this fridge? Answers were everything from 200W-600W, 2 batteries to 6 batteries. The OP will decide on what will work for them and go from there. Reflex 439, you have stated that solar does not do a very good job as a stand alone for taking care of the electrical wants of the modern RVer. I understand that everyones electrical needs are different but your own solar wattage of 100W and battery storage of 100AH is very different than many on this forum who have replaced generators completely or at least cut down operating times due to their descent sized solar/battery upgrades. And with portable solar, you can be in the trees and still harvest solar with a long enough cord and a portable unit. Since 2011, our camping style is 98% dry/boondocking and we have almost 100% eliminated generator times with solar and battery storage. Never need A/C as we avoid very hot places and use high efficient 12V fans at night when it is hot. On our previous RV, had 330W solar and 4 AGM 6V batteries and ran a 12V, 7.5cuft compressor fridge freezer. Almost never ran the genny. Now we have 490W and 4 6V GC2,s and a 2000W inverter and Micro and we have power to spare. 2 simple ways of lower running times or eliminating genny run times are using less power(LED's, more efficient TV's etc,) and increasing solar and battery storage. If we had to dry/boondock on your modest solar/battery set up, the genny would come out of retirement real quick. Dave
crosscheck 01/15/19 10:26pm Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: Solar panel and fridge

All the above, but also keep in mind for the solar panels to work well you need to always park in the sun. That creates a very hot box in which to live unless you stay in cooler climates. If you park in the shade to keep cool, even partially putting the solar panels in shade can drop the solar output by 90% or more. Solar is great to augment other power sources, but is very inefficient as a standalone source. If used with a small generator an hour or so a day, and or driving daily, they are great at helping keeping things topped off. But if in the shade, cloudy day, and no other power source, it will deplete the batteries rather quickly and could take more than a couple days to recover and top off the batteries. Most RV's don't have the roof space to put enough panels to really run all the electrical systems within them. But the solar panels put in enough to reduce the generator or driving time needed to fully recharge. If only running low draw items (USB, LED lighting, CO monitors, low voltage circuits in propane refrigerators, etc, a 100AH battery and a 100W solar with MPPT controller is more than adequate. As one other reference, I have a 100AH (maybe 110AH, don't remember), a supplemental Dometic CFX28 Danfoss refrigerator (top open cooler style), the factory 3 way refrig I run on propane, and LED lights, 12v TV/DVD, USB chargers, and small 600W invert I use for my laptop. I can regularly get a couple days on the 12V battery and solar setup. But the Danfoss refrig uses about 3-4amps on a 50% duty cycle where the 3 Way uses nearly 11amp at a higher duty cycle. The 3-way refrig on 12v is awful at regulating temperature to the point that I have to adjust the temp setting multiple times a day. At night it would freeze, and in the day wouldn't cool well enough. So you have to ride the temp setting lowing it when the temps drop, and raising it when the sun and temps start to heat up. The Dometic CFX28 is a set and forget, and will keep everything within a few degrees regardless of the outside temps, all while using far less energy. I use the 3way for cold drinks, produce, and other non-critical foods. Anything critical goes in the CFX28. I love having both as it also doubles my refrigerator capacity. Hope this info helps. The OP question was How much solar do I need to run this fridge? Answers were everything from 200W-600W, 2 batteries to 6 batteries. The OP will decide on what will work for them and go from there. Reflex 439, you have stated that solar does not do a very good job as a stand alone for taking care of the electrical wants of the modern RVer. I understand that everyones electrical needs are different but your own solar wattage of 100W and battery storage of 100AH is very different than many on this forum who have replaced generators completely or at least cut down operating times due to their descent sized solar/battery upgrades. And with portable solar, you can be in the trees and still harvest solar with a long enough cord and a portable unit. Since 2011, our camping style is 98% dry/boondocking and we have almost 100% eliminated generator times with solar and battery storage. Never need A/C as we avoid very hot places and use high efficient 12V fans at night when it is hot. On our previous RV, had 330W solar and 4 AGM 6V batteries and ran a 12V, 7.5cuft compressor fridge freezer. Almost never ran the genny. Now we have 490W and 4 6V GC2,s and a 2000W inverter and Micro and we have power to spare. 2 simple ways of lower running times or eliminating genny run times are using less power(LED's, more efficient TV's etc,) or increasing solar and battery storage. If we had to dry/boondock on your modest solar/battery set up, the genny would come out of retirement real quick. Dave
crosscheck 01/15/19 10:18pm Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: Solar panel and fridge

Manual just says max 15 amp fuse I assume this fridge draws 10/12 amps at 12v near continuous. The minimum I see is 6 batteries and 600+ watts solar. Plan to have a small generator to use as needed. With a generator you can get by with less battery and solar until you see what works. This is why most use a propane fridge. Read the yachting forums. These 40 year old fridges are thrown overboard and replaced with modern Danfoss compressor, 12V DC fridge/Freezers that are much more reliable and use 1/3 the amps. 200W solar and 2 6V GC2,s are what you would need extra for a modern 12V compressor fridge. For what the OP has, at least 3 times that amount. My 5 years experience with a similar sized 12V fridge as the OP is that 50% cycling was the max for us depending on as many as 6 factors which adds up to around 65AH/day being the highest draw/day. Dave
crosscheck 01/13/19 07:10pm Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: AC/DC Compressor Refrigerators

From 2011 to 2016, we had a NovaKool 7500 fridge/freezer AC/DC unit in our TC. 95% of our camping was dry. Had a generator and used it maybe three times. Our RV electrical usage was moderate, had 330W solar and 4 6V AGM batteries. Pros and Cons as followed: Pros: 1) Can be out of level for indefinate amounts of time which suited our camping style(boondocking) 2)Used 1/3 less energy( not electricity), than absorption fridge which unless you are trying to save the world, not a big issue. 3) Outside measurements for a Compressor unit is 1/3 less for the same interior volume as an absorption unit. A 9cuft NovaKool will fit in the same spot as Our pressent 6 cuft Norcold propane fridge. 4) Freezer has frost forming on walls 20 minutes after start up. 5) More consistant inside temperatures especially in hotter weather. 6) Never heard of a compressor unit catching fire and there must be many 100,000,000 of units throughout the world. 7) Many of the places we camp in northern BC, do not have available propane fill ups and as we use propane for cooking, hot water, heat, BBQ, you do not want to run out of propane. 8) Our unit pulled 4.4A when cycling as per amp meter.(60W) Cons: 1) You can hear the compressor(quiet), while the absorbsion units are dead quiet. 2) 200W of solar and 2 batteries minimum alone for the fridge is required. We are satisfied with the 6cuft Norcold in our TT, but if it ever failed, I would replace it with a 9cuft NovaKool as we already have 490W solar and 4 6V GC2's. Dave
crosscheck 01/12/19 11:10am Tech Issues
RE: What kind of gas can do you carry, and where?

2 heavy duty, 5g, thin design plastic containers carrying diesel. Strapped with strong webbing anchored to rings bolted to the truck box panels between the tailgate and the wheel well both sides.Have truck cap. Did carry gas in small container for the genny but haven't used it in years so I carry the genny full in the pass through but no extra fuel on board. Dave
crosscheck 01/07/19 03:55pm Tech Issues
RE: Another question about Banff to Jasper

Dave, I follow your blog -- so I know for a fact that there is no way in heaven I would try to keep up with you and Pat!! A nice 12 percent grade suits me just fine. I'm just saying that all other things being equal (same distance, same grade), the hiking in Canada was more pleasant than in the Sierras or Colorado because there was more air to breathe at lower elevations. As a result, we could cover more ground, with more time to take pictures. We have done a lot of day hiking over the last 15 years, and I would have to say that the whole Banff/Jasper area is at the top of our "all-time greatest" list. Dan I still really appreciate following your trips and the inspiring photos that accommpany your blog. Keep your boots moving Dave
crosscheck 01/05/19 10:08am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Another question about Banff to Jasper

Acouple of differences between the 2 photos.#1) Dan is a much better photographer than I am.#2)We are in a similar area of the ridge going up to the peak, but we are a little higher up and The views get much better as you climb. So the hikes are easier in Canada than the Sierra's? Well,I have a bottle of single malt that says, if you can survive more than 1 day on some of these wilderness hikes I have in mind in BC,not some fancy well designed,12% NP trails,I will eat crow. When do you want to start? Make sure your insurance is up to date and bring a good pack. Dave
crosscheck 01/04/19 10:10pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Another question about Banff to Jasper

https://i.imgur.com/RZmF6Si.jpg width=700 Views from Mt. Wilcox above Icefields tourist centre. You would be camping in that little square spot on the lower left part of the photo. Can't add much more than what has been posted but trying to drive into Morraine Lake in July and August is almost impossible unless you get there before 6:00AM. Try the RV overflow overnight parking south of Lake Louise where the shuttle to Morraine Lake and Lake Louise are marshalled. No services and there are no reservations but a very convenient place that is centrally located. The Ice Fields Visitors Centre is a great place to stop overnight. Lots of room and the back drop of the ice covered mountains should not be missed, especially if you like photography and hiking. Mt. Edith Cavell road was closed last year for upgrading. Check online on its status before going there. Dave
crosscheck 01/04/19 12:00pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Banff/Jasper July 2019

Dogs MUST be on a leash in the National Park. And NOT allowed on trails. Leave it home? There are restrictions re dogs on some trails in the Canadian NP system but mostly they are allowed on the trails. Research where in the NP you are going to get up to date hiking info on which trails allow dogs.Contrary to what was quoted above by the former NP warden,most NP trails in Canada allow dogs if they are on a leash. Dave
crosscheck 01/01/19 09:04pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
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