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Old 07-18-2019, 12:43 AM   #1
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THOR #13710
Boondocking

We have a 2018 Hurricane 35M and we have a residential refrigerator which somewhat limits our ability to boondock. I'm trying to find out what others with residential refrigerators do in this situation. In our past we had coaches with RV refrigerators and being without shore power wasn't a big deal.
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Old 07-18-2019, 01:54 AM   #2
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what the 'big deal'... don't you have an inverter to handle that?

Don't you 'enjoy' the 'much more room' in the fridge?
Don't you 'enjoy' the 'much colder' temps in the fridge?

it's all good.... but, seriously, tell us 'what' issues you are having...
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Old 07-18-2019, 01:58 AM   #3
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THOR #4735
we've had three RVs, and all had 'residential' fridges, just like in our home, and we haven't skipped a beat having them in our RVs... we like um...

we got a camper for our son, to use away at school, and immediately removed the 'rv fridge' and installed a much larger, more usable, and colder 120v 'residential' apartment type fridge.... works very nicely.

Yes, your inverter is there to power your fridge, when you are not on shore power, or have the generator running....make sure the battery stay above the 12.0 volt range and you'll be fine. Run the generator to recharge the House batteries when they fall below that range.... that's what the generator is there for. You may even have a AGS(auto generator starter), which is a nice option to take care of the recharging of the batteries without much thought, or worry.
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Old 07-18-2019, 02:10 AM   #4
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THOR #13710
Quote:
Originally Posted by TurnerFam View Post
what the 'big deal'... don't you have an inverter to handle that?

Don't you 'enjoy' the 'much more room' in the fridge?
Don't you 'enjoy' the 'much colder' temps in the fridge?

it's all good.... but, seriously, tell us 'what' issues you are having...
Yes we have an inverter in the coach and it may last overnight. My question is how do others handle the longer stay? I don't mind running my generator as needed but I'd like to need it less.
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Old 07-18-2019, 02:16 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by TurnerFam View Post
we've had three RVs, and all had 'residential' fridges, just like in our home, and we haven't skipped a beat having them in our RVs... we like um...

we got a camper for our son, to use away at school, and immediately removed the 'rv fridge' and installed a much larger, more usable, and colder 120v 'residential' apartment type fridge.... works very nicely.

Yes, your inverter is there to power your fridge, when you are not on shore power, or have the generator running....make sure the battery stay above the 12.0 volt range and you'll be fine. Run the generator to recharge the House batteries when they fall below that range.... that's what the generator is there for. You may even have a AGS(auto generator starter), which is a nice option to take care of the recharging of the batteries without much thought, or worry.
We have an AGS system that I've never used. Guess it's time to learn.
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Old 07-18-2019, 02:24 AM   #6
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THOR #4735
yes, the AGS is a wonderful tool in making the 'off grid' experience pleasant and without much worry or concern about battery levels...once you get used to it, how it works, and the best use during your 'off grid' times, you'll find it indispensable....

as for 120v power, for the fridge, and any and all outlets that are powered by the inverter while you are 'off grid', there are only three ways to continue providing power:
Batteries(via the Inverter)
Generator
or Solar(to charge the batteries and extend the Inverter's power range)

...in your case, running the generator an hour in the morning, and an hour in the evening, to bring the batteries back close to full charge, is the easiest, even though it's the normal 'concern' of most RVrs not have to run the generator more than needed.
Another option is more batteries - giving you more 'silent' time before needing the Gen.
and of course, there's Solar power, and while many RVrs deploy these systems while camping, the upfront expense is rather high, and being subject to sunlight for only several hours a day doesn't really help you during the 'overnight' hours as much as you might imagine, or hope.
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Old 07-18-2019, 02:32 AM   #7
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- set the AGS to 'Enable'(telling the AGS to be alert to start the Gen when needed)

- set the AGS 'Volts' setting to 12.0(after two continuous minutes below these volts the AGS will start the Gen)

- set the AGS 'RUN TIME' to 1 hour(which the amount of time the Gen will then run, before the AGS automatically shuts it off) You may find that you can get by with 30 mins Run Time, or you may feel better with 2 Hours of Run Time, it's up to you and how 'much' you want each run to charge your battery bank.

- set your LBCO(Low Battery Cut Out) to 11.5 volts.(the level at which your Inverter will automatically shut down to preserve your battery bank, in the event the AGS cannot start the Gen, due to low fuel, etc., or in the case it fails to start the Gen, otherwise.)

- set your SHORE button, the SHORE MAX setting, to a high number, such as 40, so that the battery CHARGER has the most amps to use while charging the batteries when the Gen is running.
If you set this too low, the battery charger will not be able to effectively charge the battery bank fully, though sometimes you want this because you also want to use both air conditioners and the microwave while the generator is running, in order to minimize Tripping/overloading the Generator breaker. Customize this the way that is best for your off-grid situation, which can even change from day-to-day, or even hour-to-hour.
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Old 07-18-2019, 03:50 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurnerFam View Post
- set the AGS to 'Enable'(telling the AGS to be alert to start the Gen when needed)

- set the AGS 'Volts' setting to 12.0(after two continuous minutes below these volts the AGS will start the Gen)

- set the AGS 'RUN TIME' to 1 hour(which the amount of time the Gen will then run, before the AGS automatically shuts it off) You may find that you can get by with 30 mins Run Time, or you may feel better with 2 Hours of Run Time, it's up to you and how 'much' you want each run to charge your battery bank.

- set your LBCO(Low Battery Cut Out) to 11.5 volts.(the level at which your Inverter will automatically shut down to preserve your battery bank, in the event the AGS cannot start the Gen, due to low fuel, etc., or in the case it fails to start the Gen, otherwise.)

- set your SHORE button, the SHORE MAX setting, to a high number, such as 40, so that the battery CHARGER has the most amps to use while charging the batteries when the Gen is running.
If you set this too low, the battery charger will not be able to effectively charge the battery bank fully, though sometimes you want this because you also want to use both air conditioners and the microwave while the generator is running, in order to minimize Tripping/overloading the Generator breaker. Customize this the way that is best for your off-grid situation, which can even change from day-to-day, or even hour-to-hour.
Thank you for that tutorial, now all I have to do is put it in practice. Probably going to have to up my battery capacity too. Again thank you.
Paul
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Old 07-18-2019, 06:27 AM   #9
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THOR #13058
Quote:
Originally Posted by TurnerFam View Post
- set the AGS to 'Enable'(telling the AGS to be alert to start the Gen when needed)

- set the AGS 'Volts' setting to 12.0(after two continuous minutes below these volts the AGS will start the Gen)

- set the AGS 'RUN TIME' to 1 hour(which the amount of time the Gen will then run, before the AGS automatically shuts it off) You may find that you can get by with 30 mins Run Time, or you may feel better with 2 Hours of Run Time, it's up to you and how 'much' you want each run to charge your battery bank.

- set your LBCO(Low Battery Cut Out) to 11.5 volts.(the level at which your Inverter will automatically shut down to preserve your battery bank, in the event the AGS cannot start the Gen, due to low fuel, etc., or in the case it fails to start the Gen, otherwise.)

- set your SHORE button, the SHORE MAX setting, to a high number, such as 40, so that the battery CHARGER has the most amps to use while charging the batteries when the Gen is running.
If you set this too low, the battery charger will not be able to effectively charge the battery bank fully, though sometimes you want this because you also want to use both air conditioners and the microwave while the generator is running, in order to minimize Tripping/overloading the Generator breaker. Customize this the way that is best for your off-grid situation, which can even change from day-to-day, or even hour-to-hour.
I guess I will have to publicly thank you for this information as this site apparently will not allow one to thank some twice without thanking someone else first?

Imagine a police officer that flags us down in a pouring rain and warns us about hazardous road condition ahead, and then a few weeks later, a police officer apprehends a would be burglar in our backyard, but we can't thank him because we hadn't thanked another police officer yet?

At any rate, I am building my own cheat sheet of things to do and not to do and this is going under my AGS section. Thanks
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Old 07-18-2019, 01:05 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by pmorris92223 View Post
We have a 2018 Hurricane 35M and we have a residential refrigerator which somewhat limits our ability to boondock. I'm trying to find out what others with residential refrigerators do in this situation. In our past we had coaches with RV refrigerators and being without shore power wasn't a big deal.
A couple more ideas. We turn the refrigerator off at night. If holds proper temp until morning since we aren’t using it. I keep freezer full using frozen water jugs to take up space. Sometimes we put one in the fridge for overnight to help maintain temp. Also put in an external wireless thermometer system that has an alarm setting. The alarm also comes in handy if someone fails to latch doors and they become ajar and the temperature rises.
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Old 07-18-2019, 02:07 PM   #11
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THOR #13710
Quote:
Originally Posted by TurnerFam View Post
what the 'big deal'... don't you have an inverter to handle that?

Don't you 'enjoy' the 'much more room' in the fridge?
Don't you 'enjoy' the 'much colder' temps in the fridge?

it's all good.... but, seriously, tell us 'what' issues you are having...
We love the residential fridge, gets cold faster, more interior space. DW has no interest in dealing with a RV fridge going forward.
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Old 07-19-2019, 02:17 AM   #12
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THOR #12839
I added a Victron BMV 712 Smart battery monitor system which has really helped knowing exactly how much battery power I have, I am using, have used, and how long before they need to be recharged if I keep consuming power at that rate.
You can set up audible warnings and tie it to an AGS. No more surprised waking to dead batteries!
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Old 07-19-2019, 02:23 AM   #13
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A couple more ideas. We turn the refrigerator off at night. If holds proper temp until morning since we arenít using it.
Well if that was really the case the compressor would cycle overnight so turning it off has no effect.
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Old 07-19-2019, 03:08 AM   #14
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We also turn OFF our fridge at night. 35į when we shut it off, ~40į by the time we open it sometime the next morning and conservation of a lot of power overnight. At a bare minimum we turn off the ice maker when dry camping (just make a bunch ahead of time, also helps keeping the temperature down overnight without melting ice or anything else)
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Old 07-19-2019, 12:15 PM   #15
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Well if that was really the case the compressor would cycle overnight so turning it off has no effect.

The compressor on my refrigerator does not cycle when it is turned OFF. The temperature stays in the safe range overnight. I also turn the ice maker off like HaRVey advised. On some trips I have removed the ice maker assembly so there is more room for food. We donít use much ice. I donít care for it in my scotch. The wireless thermometer I use also keeps track of high and low temps. It works for me.
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Old 07-20-2019, 05:26 AM   #16
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Well, once again this site has given us valuable information. We're usually campground or casino campers (we like PECHANGA in Temecula, California) but we do occasionally boondock (DW doesn't much like it). So thanks again.
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Old 07-20-2019, 01:11 PM   #17
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A simple solution is purchase a small inverter generator like a Honda EU 2000 or a Champion 3100. They are quiet, use very little gas and you can use them for hair dryer, microwave or any other single device at one time. The Champion 3100 will also run one A/C. They will run for hours on end with just a gallon of gas. Lots of threads on this subject. Search "portable generators" and "boondocking".
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Old 07-27-2019, 08:19 PM   #18
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So I may not be doing it the right way but if we are boondocking for an extended period we bring a Pelican cooler for all the perishable foods. It keeps ice for a week. I also have a counter top ice maker I keep in the outdoor kitchen. I use that when the generator is running to keep my small drink cooler and my afternoon beverage filled with ice.
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Old 07-27-2019, 11:10 PM   #19
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[QUOTE=The Gritz Carlton;193783]A simple solution is purchase a small inverter generator like a Honda EU 2000 or a Champion 3100. They are quiet, use very little gas and you can use them for hair dryer, microwave or any other single device at one time. The Champion 3100 will also run one A/C. They will run for hours on end with just a gallon of gas. Lots of threads on this subject. Search "portable generators" and "boondocking".[/

Thoughts on getting rid of the onan on board and just using the Honda? Save a lot of weight for the little bit a generator is needed. Not a good resale pitch but donít plan on selling anytime soon.
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Old 07-28-2019, 01:18 PM   #20
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I use the onboard often...pre-cooling before we leave for a venture...I run it for a few hours during the hottest part of the day, for an hour or so when we do "camper cocktails" at the house, at race tracks when I need both A/C's going...at rest areas for quick stops or breaks. I only use the portables when extended boondocking for a 2 or more days. Removing the house unit would make the unit worthless when you go to resell. Plus...my biggest issue is the house unit is diesel an the portables are gas.
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