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What Options Are There For Operating A Refrigerator In RV While Driving?

Question:

I have a 2020 fifth wheel are refrigerators run off 110 volt only. I want to install a 2000 watt inverter to cool the refrigerators while traveling. Will I need two batterie? Or will the tow vehicle supply enough Powe for the inverter?

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Expert Reply:

We do have a few options of 12 Volt DC refrigerators, see the link below. If you want something with a freezer included, I suggest the Everchill RV Refrigerator w/ Freezer Drawer, # WAY44FR. This is a 12V, 17 cubic foot stainless steel refrigerator with French doors and the freezer on the bottom, very similar to many contemporary residential models. This will operate directly from the fuly charge battery bank in your 5th wheel and then operate from shore power when plugged through the converter.

If you currently have an 110 AC unit in your 5th Wheel and want the option to power it while in route then an inverter such as the Go Power Industrial Pure Sine Wave Inverter, # 34278156, is a great option. With this you can operate the 110AC model refrigerator from a battery bank while in motion, providing that battery bank is large enough and fully charged prior to starting your route. It is less about the quantity of batteries and more the available amp hours within what ever battery bank you have and what duration of time will the refrigerator be operating from stored power. But generally speaking, if you have at 2 batteries that are at least 200 amp hours each and fully charged, you should be able to operate the refrigerator for a full days drive before needing shore power.

I always wire my tow vehicles to provide a maintenance/trickle charge to the battery bank while connected. I have attached an FAQ on this with a wiring diagram on how to do this. It is accomplished with the 12 volt accessory circuit of the 7-way. The 1:00 position of your 7-way carries this circuit. You would just need to run a length of 10 gauge wire like part # 10-1-1 (sold by the foot), from this pin to the positive terminal of the battery. This will not provide enough to run the refrigerator on its own, but will assist the fully charged battery bank at the start to provide a longer duration. The only way to get enough power from the tow vehicle itself is to modify the alternator to provide a greater charge capability.

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Michael R

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