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Old 05-12-2016, 02:13 AM   #1
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Default Refrigerator on 12v

My 3-way fridge runs equally well on propane and 12v. Is there a downside to running on 12v all the time? It doesn't require me to refill the small propane tank. Is it hard on the inverter?
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Old 05-12-2016, 02:25 AM   #2
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My 3-way fridge runs equally well on propane and 12v. Is there a downside to running on 12v all the time? It doesn't require me to refill the small propane tank. Is it hard on the inverter?
Nah. You only want propane when dry camping.
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Old 05-12-2016, 02:27 AM   #3
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My 3-way fridge runs equally well on propane and 12v. Is there a downside to running on 12v all the time? It doesn't require me to refill the small propane tank. Is it hard on the inverter?
Nah. You only want propane when dry camping. Saves battery.
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Old 05-12-2016, 02:48 AM   #4
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My 3-way fridge runs equally well on propane and 12v. Is there a downside to running on 12v all the time? It doesn't require me to refill the small propane tank. Is it hard on the inverter?
If you have a 3 way fridge, it can run it on propane, 12V DC or 120V AC.
If you're plugged into shore power, the best is 120V AC. It just avoids having your converter change the 120V AC of your shore power to 12v DC before using it.
If you're driving, you can use 12v DC from your house battery. It should be recharged as you drive by the engine alternator. Be aware that when you stop, the battery won't last too long when running the fridge.
You will have to use propane when parked for any length of time at a location without shore power.
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Old 05-12-2016, 03:08 AM   #5
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Default I do not dry camp.

Unless you consider a two hour layover for a meal dry camping. I was not specific enough in my question. Fridge and freezer get very cold on 12v & propane. On 110 the freezer freezes but the fridge only gets to 50 degrees. Given that I always have shore power when parked "Is there any reason I should not use 12v and save the propane?"
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Old 05-12-2016, 03:18 AM   #6
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Given that I always have shore power when parked "Is there any reason I should not use 12v and save the propane?"
Not really. Running on 120VAC is slightly more efficient, but who cares? Won't hurt your converter. That said, it is odd that your fridge doesn't work well on 120VAC.
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Old 05-12-2016, 03:25 AM   #7
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Not really. Running on 120VAC is slightly more efficient, but who cares? Won't hurt your converter. That said, it is odd that your fridge doesn't work well on 120VAC.
That's what I thought. I could be wrong but I would have thought that the same heating element is used for both AC and DC operation.
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Old 05-12-2016, 03:31 AM   #8
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Default Thank you for the feedback.

I appreciate the counsel.
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Old 05-12-2016, 03:42 AM   #9
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I would replace the AC heating element and see if things improve on AC. The AC and DC heating elements are separate parts.
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Old 05-12-2016, 11:33 AM   #10
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Default AC vs DC

If there is no harm in running on DC why bother?
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