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Electrical Discussion of preventative/corrective maintenance and other technical issues regarding your coach's electrical system.

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  #1  
Old 01-03-2012
George Roberts George Roberts is offline
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Default Refrigerator, Generator, Inverter, Battery Question

I have an Amana Hose Refrigerator in my 94 WLWB. I also have a modified sine wave inverter. I understand the previous owner had to replace the control board in the Amana when he ran too long off the inverters once due to them being modified sine wave.

I really don't want to spend the money to upgrade to a pure sine wave but plan to go to Quartszite.

1) How long and how often would I need to fire up the generator for refrigerator purposes only? Could you run it for an hour every four hours or 2 hours every 8 hours...etc?

I can't seem to find how long a refrigerator will stay cold without electric. The owners manual says 4 hours, but I feel they are being conservative with that amount of time.

2) Am I just delaying the inevitable? Should I bite the bullet and replace the inverter?

Any other ideas?
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  #2  
Old 01-03-2012
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Crit Bliss Crit Bliss is offline
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Diesel is way cheaper than inverters
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  #3  
Old 01-03-2012
fxdwg fxdwg is offline
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George,

Too many variables to really answer your question. Is the reefer on the side in the sun? How often and for how long does Kelli leave it open? What kind of food are you trying to preserve (frozen, cold or just cool)? What you should do is put a thermometer in it, turn it off and use it. See what happens with your inside temps and figure out for your specific coach what it needs to have. Of course, you could install an inverter just for the reefer or upgrade one of your existing ones.

While diesel is cheaper than replacing an inverter, consider your future needs. Will you be upgrading other electronics that will need pure sine? What if your current reefer fails, what will you replace it with? It might make sense to upgrade the inverter(s).
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Last edited by fxdwg; 01-03-2012 at 03:40 PM. Reason: Adding info
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  #4  
Old 01-03-2012
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Ernest Ekberg Ernest Ekberg is offline
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George, 2 years ago at Q, I dry camped for 12 days. I would run generator an hour in am and during the noon hour and then before I went to bed. Everything in house type refer was as cold as if it had been plugged in all the time. It is cool at nite there and you should be fine.
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  #5  
Old 01-03-2012
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G_man G_man is offline
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As a permanent fix, why not add a dedicated pure sine wave inverter just for the refrigerator? Buying a 1000 or 1200 watt PSW sure would cost less than replacing the main inverter.
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  #6  
Old 01-03-2012
George Roberts George Roberts is offline
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John, I think I will get some thermometers and test mine to see when how long etc.

Ernie, That is exactly what I was looking for, sounds like I am not totally nuts.

Rich, I originally thought this would be the way to go. I have read where with a frige you have to get a much bigger inverter due to the surge from the compressor. I may upgrade but I may not. I am leaning toward the may not right now. Then one day find that $2500 part for $250. Then I will upgrade.
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  #7  
Old 01-03-2012
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peteaeonix peteaeonix is offline
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I had the blessing/curse of an all electric 'bird. Nice never having to deal with LP gas. Not so nice was the fast draw down of the house batteries due to the 22 cu ft Amana side by side refrigerator.

I eventually realized that I could turn off the Refer when I shut off the evening run of the generator.... and then wait until after "quiet time" in the morning to turn it back on (along with the genny) to refresh the batteries after the night time draw down. That went a LONG way to making the "all electric" part of the coach work OK.

I didn't have any trouble with the Amana in my coach running on inverter power -- it ran on inverter power anytime we were on the road without the ACs (and genny) running. Probably about 25% of our travel time.

On my plans were to upgrade the refrigerator to a new, much more energy efficient model (the Amana was a real power hog) and to upgrade the dual 2500 watt inverters to true sine wave. However, events intervened and I sold my coach before making the upgrades.
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  #8  
Old 01-22-2012
George Roberts George Roberts is offline
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OK...here we go and what I have learned.

1) You can't turn off your refrigerator at the breaker. It still runs on the inverter.
2) You can only turn off inside where you set the thermostat or turn off the inverter and the breaker (if still on 120).
3) My batteries when to marginal running the fridge all night. I think I have some battery issues. I will get into all that next week.
4) My door control panel made it through all the inverter powered stuff and ran a day or two on 120 again and died. I thought I would be reporting that was no longer a concern of mine. Actually it isn't because I am not going to worry about it. The ice maker still makes ice and we use it very seldom anyway. The door will no longer dispense the ice so not the end of the world. Fridge and Freezer seem to be just fine.

The fridge went from 35 degrees to 41 degrees in just a couple of hours in the desert at about 70 degrees outside.

I will start a separate thread on my genny issues and why we had to leave Quartzsite.
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  #9  
Old 01-22-2012
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Randy Dupree Randy Dupree is offline
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Those old Amana's suck power like mad.
I had the same setup for 10 years,and yes,the fridge would kill the batteries overnight.
I went to L-16 batteires and 300amps of charging power to get it under control.
Buying a new fridge will be cheaper!
The new fridges work for peanuts compared to the old ones.
Peter Hagen has all kinds of info on the new fridges.
Maybe Peter will join in.
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  #10  
Old 01-22-2012
al perna al perna is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George Roberts View Post
OK...here we go and what I have learned.

1) You can't turn off your refrigerator at the breaker. It still runs on the inverter.
2) You can only turn off inside where you set the thermostat or turn off the inverter and the breaker (if still on 120).
3) My batteries when to marginal running the fridge all night. I think I have some battery issues. I will get into all that next week.
4) My door control panel made it through all the inverter powered stuff and ran a day or two on 120 again and died. I thought I would be reporting that was no longer a concern of mine. Actually it isn't because I am not going to worry about it. The ice maker still makes ice and we use it very seldom anyway. The door will no longer dispense the ice so not the end of the world. Fridge and Freezer seem to be just fine.

The fridge went from 35 degrees to 41 degrees in just a couple of hours in the desert at about 70 degrees outside.

I will start a separate thread on my genny issues and why we had to leave Quartzsite.
George ,we are sorry to hear you had to leave we also have the power hog AMANA and were looking forward to working out the issue . be safe and we will be looking fr your new thread . i case your still hear we will look for you at the camp fire tonight
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