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Thread: Pros and Cons of Residential Fridge Option for non-fulltimers?

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    Pros and Cons of Residential Fridge Option for non-fulltimers?

    Trying to figure out when this option makes best sense and the various tradeoffs... Beyond more space, what utility does the Residential Fridge option over the typical 4 door LP/DC/AC fridge in Hearland's higher end 5vers?

    Money aside, when would you choose it and when should you stick with the conventional RV fridge?

    Thanks for any help offered.

  2. Print this Post   #2
    Moderator danemayer's Avatar
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    Re: Pros and Cons of Residential Fridge Option for non-fulltimers?

    Hi kdubinwa,

    The technology in conventional RV LP/Electric refrigerators provides you with the flexibility of operating for relatively long periods without being hooked up to shore power. The compromise is that they don't cool as well as residential refrigerators such as we use in our homes.

    If you block air flow inside your RV refrigerator it may not cool your food properly. If the heat and humidity in your trailer is high, it may not cool your food properly. If temperature outside is above 90 degrees F, it may have a hard time cooling your food properly. If you leave the frig doors open for more than 30 seconds, the temperature inside will climb sharply and take many hours to recover.

    Residential refrigerators with compressors do a better job of maintaining temperature. But of course, you need a power source all the time. They come with an extra 12V battery hooked to an inverter so you can run the refrigerator on battery power during an 8 hour travel day.

    We don't boondock and on the next trailer will definitely go with the residential option.


    Dan and Ann Mayer & fur baby Callie the Rally Dog
    2011 Landmark Rushmore
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  3. Print this Post   #3
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    Re: Pros and Cons of Residential Fridge Option for non-fulltimers?

    Thanks, that answers my first question but brings up the second; Does the power converter constantly convert 12V to 110 once you get to your destination and plug in? Is there a switch once you get to your destination? This could be hard work for the converter if you are living it year round?

    Thanks in advance
    D&R

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    Moderator danemayer's Avatar
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    Re: Pros and Cons of Residential Fridge Option for non-fulltimers?

    Quote Originally Posted by mtlgoodguys View Post
    Thanks, that answers my first question but brings up the second; Does the power converter constantly convert 12V to 110 once you get to your destination and plug in? Is there a switch once you get to your destination? This could be hard work for the converter if you are living it year round?

    Thanks in advance
    D&R
    There is an automatic transfer switch that switches to shore power when available, and to inverter power from the battery when not on shore power (or generator).

    Btw, the Power Converter changes 110V AC (from shore power) to 12V DC to run 12V appliances and lights, and to charge the battery. The Inverter (and transfer switch) is part of the residential refrigerator option and converts 12V DC from the battery into 110V AC that the refrigerator can use.


    Dan and Ann Mayer & fur baby Callie the Rally Dog
    2011 Landmark Rushmore
    • MorRyde 8K Independent Suspension
    • 8K Kodiak Disc Brakes
    • Goodyear G114 17.5" tires
    • RV Comfort Systems Cheap Heat
    • MorRyde 33x90 Sliding Cargo Tray
    • Torklift Glowstep Revolution Aluminum Steps & Dirt Destroyer

    2014 RAM 3500 Laramie
    • Cummins 6.7 Diesel, AISIN Transmission
    • 4x4, Long box, Crew Cab, DRW 3.73
    • Sailun Terramax A/T 4S, 235/80R -17. 5 Tires
    • Hensley BD3 TrailerSaver Hitch
    • Garmin RV760 GPS


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  5. Print this Post   #5
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    Re: Pros and Cons of Residential Fridge Option for non-fulltimers?

    That helps. A few more questions...

    Is 8 hours the expected runtime off a 12v battery? Is that battery in a different location than the 2 battery compartment?

    I don't do any boon docking but on occasion I may be stuck in overflow at a state park for one evening w/o power and I'm wondering what the copng strategy would be with the Residential Fridge...

    I'm guessing the batteries will charging somewhat off the truck electrical system when driving and then I may need to use a portable generator overnight or the next morning in the parking lot to keep things cold? Note: given the extra weight I don't expect to purchase an onboard LP ten on the 5ver.




    Quote Originally Posted by danemayer View Post
    Hi kdubinwa,

    The technology in conventional RV LP/Electric refrigerators provides you with the flexibility of operating for relatively long periods without being hooked up to shore power. The compromise is that they don't cool as well as residential refrigerators such as we use in our homes.

    If you block air flow inside your RV refrigerator it may not cool your food properly. If the heat and humidity in your trailer is high, it may not cool your food properly. If temperature outside is above 90 degrees F, it may have a hard time cooling your food properly. If you leave the frig doors open for more than 30 seconds, the temperature inside will climb sharply and take many hours to recover.

    Residential refrigerators with compressors do a better job of maintaining temperature. But of course, you need a power source all the time. They come with an extra 12V battery hooked to an inverter so you can run the refrigerator on battery power during an 8 hour travel day.

    We don't boondock and on the next trailer will definitely go with the residential option.

  6. Print this Post   #6
    Moderator danemayer's Avatar
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    Re: Pros and Cons of Residential Fridge Option for non-fulltimers?

    The residential refrigerator option is fairly new on Heartland RVs and we haven't heard too much from owners about battery life.

    If you keep the doors closed on a residential frig, it'll hold temperature pretty well in a power outage. So I would think the bigger problem might be that it's not a good idea to run the battery down too far. To keep the battery charged, I'd plan on running your generator from the time you arrive until quiet time rules require you to shut it off. That may keep enough charge on the battery to keep it healthy and perhaps enough power to get through the night. Then run the generator again for as long as possible in the morning before hitting the road again.


    Dan and Ann Mayer & fur baby Callie the Rally Dog
    2011 Landmark Rushmore
    • MorRyde 8K Independent Suspension
    • 8K Kodiak Disc Brakes
    • Goodyear G114 17.5" tires
    • RV Comfort Systems Cheap Heat
    • MorRyde 33x90 Sliding Cargo Tray
    • Torklift Glowstep Revolution Aluminum Steps & Dirt Destroyer

    2014 RAM 3500 Laramie
    • Cummins 6.7 Diesel, AISIN Transmission
    • 4x4, Long box, Crew Cab, DRW 3.73
    • Sailun Terramax A/T 4S, 235/80R -17. 5 Tires
    • Hensley BD3 TrailerSaver Hitch
    • Garmin RV760 GPS


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  7. Print this Post   #7
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    Re: Pros and Cons of Residential Fridge Option for non-fulltimers?

    I have changed the R.V. fridge for a residential in ours. I have 2 12v batteries in parallel and a manual switch for shore power or inverter but let it run on inverter continually. Reasons for changing was all the reasons Dan listed as disadvantage, loss of food due to temp change. I have had it run on inverter for over 14hrs with no shore power w/no problem. Truck will keep up charge while towing with no problem. We are in camper 4-6 months a year plus several long weekend in summer. Don,t know if this helps but was a good change for us.
    Dave&Eileen 2017 F450 6.7 2011 Landmark Grand Canyon

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    Re: Pros and Cons of Residential Fridge Option for non-fulltimers?

    Thanks Dave. Are the two batteries dedicated to the new fridge? Given I'm looking at a Grand Canyon can also you tell me where you installed them?

    Kurt

    Quote Originally Posted by bdb2047 View Post
    I have changed the R.V. fridge for a residential in ours. I have 2 12v batteries in parallel and a manual switch for shore power or inverter but let it run on inverter continually. Reasons for changing was all the reasons Dan listed as disadvantage, loss of food due to temp change. I have had it run on inverter for over 14hrs with no shore power w/no problem. Truck will keep up charge while towing with no problem. We are in camper 4-6 months a year plus several long weekend in summer. Don,t know if this helps but was a good change for us.

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    Director of Owners Interests, Heartland RVs jbeletti's Avatar
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    Re: Pros and Cons of Residential Fridge Option for non-fulltimers?

    Kurt,

    I can't answer for Dave but in the case of Heartland's OEM installation of the residential refer, there are two 12 volt batteries in parallel and they are NOT dedicated to the inverter. As Dan indicated, Heartland does not have a long enough timeline of usage of this configuration, so real world runtimes are not yet known. It's encouraging to hear from Dave though that on his retro-fit of a smaller residential refer, he's run 14 hours on inverted battery power.

    If my camping style had me boondocking for a day or 2 max, a few times a year, I'd strongly consider a single 100 to 150 watt solar panel mounted on the roof and a solar charger/controller ($500-$1000 for the kit) - all to keep the batteries topped off or as much as is possible given solar conditions.

    A good question too would be, what's the average rate of discharge of the batteries when they are inverting power for the refer and how much power can a truck charge line really put back into the battery bank? I have no idea on this. If the rate of discharge is significantly higher than the rate of charge from the truck's charge line, then a solar panel could also be really useful during travel, especially enroute to a boondock destination. Be nice to arrive all charged up
    Jim Beletti


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  10. Print this Post   #10
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    Re: Pros and Cons of Residential Fridge Option for non-fulltimers?

    The batteries are installed in the factory compartment and are not dedicated for fridge. Fridge is samsung 18 cu/ft According to factory highest draw is 430w. After day of traveling,6-7 hrs, batteries are at 13+v. When it was on batteries for 14 hrs voltage was just over 12v, I had not turned off defrost cycle which added some load.
    Dave&Eileen 2017 F450 6.7 2011 Landmark Grand Canyon

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