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Thread: RV: How long can a dometic fridge run on 12 volt

  1. #1
    Will Sill
    Guest Will Sill's Avatar

    Default RV: How long can a dometic fridge run on 12 volt

    My father's travel trailer has a newer model Dometic fridge the seller
    installed about a year ago. The manual says it is tri-mode, runs on
    12 volt in addition to 110 and propane. My older travel trailer has a
    dual mode fridge (110 and propane) and I have no experience with a
    tri-mode unit.

    I'd love to know what real-world results are when running this unit on
    12v - when towing (I assume the 12v gets charged from the tow vehicle)
    and also when boondocking if the propane isn't turned on or runs out.
    I find it hard to imagine a fridge can run for very long before
    depleting the coach's 12v power. He currently has just 1 12v battery
    but is going to upgrade (replace the 1 with 2 new batteries) in the
    next week.
    You're correct - you can flatten a 12v battery quickly that way.

    Will

  2. #2
    Lone Haranguer
    Guest Lone Haranguer's Avatar

    Default RV: How long can a dometic fridge run on 12 volt

    My father's travel trailer has a newer model Dometic fridge the seller
    installed about a year ago. The manual says it is tri-mode, runs on
    12 volt in addition to 110 and propane. My older travel trailer has a
    dual mode fridge (110 and propane) and I have no experience with a
    tri-mode unit.

    I'd love to know what real-world results are when running this unit on
    12v - when towing (I assume the 12v gets charged from the tow vehicle)
    and also when boondocking if the propane isn't turned on or runs out.
    I find it hard to imagine a fridge can run for very long before
    depleting the coach's 12v power. He currently has just 1 12v battery
    but is going to upgrade (replace the 1 with 2 new batteries) in the
    next week.
    Don't plan on using the 12V mode at all. Even going down the road, I
    would expect the charging wire to get hot with that load on it. I had a
    similar model in the first few motorhomes I owned. Worked okay going
    down the road but even at fast idle, the alternator didn't keep up.
    LZ

  3. #3
    Nate
    Guest Nate's Avatar

    Default RV: How long can a dometic fridge run on 12 volt

    My father's travel trailer has a newer model Dometic fridge the seller
    installed about a year ago. The manual says it is tri-mode, runs on
    12 volt in addition to 110 and propane. My older travel trailer has a
    dual mode fridge (110 and propane) and I have no experience with a
    tri-mode unit.

    I'd love to know what real-world results are when running this unit on
    12v - when towing (I assume the 12v gets charged from the tow vehicle)
    and also when boondocking if the propane isn't turned on or runs out.
    I find it hard to imagine a fridge can run for very long before
    depleting the coach's 12v power. He currently has just 1 12v battery
    but is going to upgrade (replace the 1 with 2 new batteries) in the
    next week.
    The only time we ever run the fridge on 12 volts is while driving down the
    road. The wife thinks it will keep us from igniting the RV or a fuel pump
    when we pull in to a station. Once we get to the destination we switch to
    propane (unless we have shore power).

    Nate (who sometimes tells his bride the fridge is on 12 volt when it is not)

  4. #4
    Tom J
    Guest Tom  J's Avatar

    Default RV: How long can a dometic fridge run on 12 volt

    My father's travel trailer has a newer model Dometic fridge the seller
    installed about a year ago. The manual says it is tri-mode, runs on
    12 volt in addition to 110 and propane. My older travel trailer has a
    dual mode fridge (110 and propane) and I have no experience with a
    tri-mode unit.
    I had one in my slide-in camper and also in my 1974 Winnebago. It's hard to find a manufacturer who will install them.
    What is even stranger about this post is, saying a NEWER MODEL was
    installed about a year ago. I don't think that any 3 ways were made
    since around 1990 or before because of all the heart burn the
    customers and dealers had from all the complaints. When my 1986
    trailer was delivered with the 3 way, I had the dealer remove the
    wiring from the 12 volt side and replace the 9 way plug with the
    standard 7 way plug. I had already heard enough about people being
    stranded because they forgot that there was no way I was going to use
    the 12 volt side.

    BTW, I've had my frig off for as long as 14 hours on ferry trips and
    every thing was still frozen in the freezer and cold in the frig.
    Notice I said TRIPS! I did the 14 hour trip 2 times and several
    shorter. As long as the doors are not opened or sprung, they stay cold
    a long time.

    Tom J

  5. #5
    Calif Bill
    Guest Calif Bill's Avatar

    Default RV: How long can a dometic fridge run on 12 volt

    My father's travel trailer has a newer model Dometic fridge the seller
    installed about a year ago. The manual says it is tri-mode, runs on
    12 volt in addition to 110 and propane. My older travel trailer has a
    dual mode fridge (110 and propane) and I have no experience with a
    tri-mode unit.

    I'd love to know what real-world results are when running this unit on
    12v - when towing (I assume the 12v gets charged from the tow vehicle)
    and also when boondocking if the propane isn't turned on or runs out.
    I find it hard to imagine a fridge can run for very long before
    depleting the coach's 12v power. He currently has just 1 12v battery
    but is going to upgrade (replace the 1 with 2 new batteries) in the
    next week.
    The real world results are that it works just fine when it's drawing power from somewhere else, like your tow vehicle if it's properly wired; but, it will drain your battery/batteries too fast to be worth doing sitting still. The 12 volt element was never intended as a propane
    replacement.

    TB
    When I first got my truck camper, there was not a relay disconnect when the
    motor was not running. Forgot to swap the fridge to gas one night and had
    to wait for 3A for jump in the morning. Drained both the camper battery and
    the 2 batteries in the diesel truck.

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