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Old 01-12-2022, 01:01 PM   #21
Kmikesell
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For those with the stock refrig, there are two ways to handle the issue. The first is easy - make sure the refrig is cold at the beginning of the day, and then turn it off as you travel. It is very well insulated, and will serve as a very good cooler while you are on the road. My wife and I do this every day, and after 8 hours of travel, everything inside is still cold / frozen.
We do a similar process but we have two 20 oz soda bottles filled with water and about 1/2 tblsp of salt in each with about 1/2 of head space. When frozen they are VERY cold and take a long time to thaw. We keep them in the freezer, then when we shut off the fridge for travel, we move them into the lower fridge. Keep everything nice and chilly! Then when we relight the fridge we place them back into the freezer for the next days travel. We adjust when freezer space is needed, but this system has worked for us for many years.
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Old 01-17-2022, 10:23 AM   #22
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Tymanthius -

You are right - the tow vehicle does send 12-volt power to the TM.



The second is a little more complex. One of our members has designed an ingenious electrical device that boosts the voltage sent from the tow vehicle to the TM, and then reduces it back to the proper value at the point of use. This overcomes the voltage drop in the LONG wire. Although it is kind of elaborate, it works well, and keeps the refrig running for as long as you need it.

The solution you do NOT want is to let the refrig totally exhaust the TM battery. This will harm the TM battery.

Bill
One other solution is to increase the size of the wire running from the TV battery to the TM connector (suggest 8G). Then you need to increase the size of the wire from the TM connector to the TM batteries. Be sure to fuse the charge wires at both ends. Be sure to increase the ground wire as well but you only need to go from the TV frame (through the connector) and to the TM frame.

The problem with using the vehicle's factory wiring is that the factory wiring is too small to send a full 14V from the TV to the TM batteries. There is a lot of voltage drop over long distances and if your TV alternator is putting out 14.8V, the voltage drop over that distance may result in 13V (or less) reaching the TM batteries. That's not enough to keep up the charge on the batteries.

I did this years ago on my 2009 Silverado and 2005 TM. It worked well and my TM batteries stayed charged on long hauls.

The other option is to install about 200W worth of solar panels on your TM. However, that limits you if you are in a cloudy or shaded area.
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Old 01-17-2022, 12:03 PM   #23
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Good point. In one of our earlier TMs, I ran new, uninterrupted lengths of #10 wire from the alternator to the truck's 7-pin Bargman connector, and then from the TM half of the Bargman directly to the TM battery post. As I recall, #8 wire would not fit into the truck's Bargman connector, but #10 could be squeezed in. It helped quite a bit, though it was not a perfect solution.

I'm not sure when the truck's alternator would be putting out 14.8 VDC for any length of time. The alternator output voltage will be determined by the voltage of the truck battery. When you start the engine, the alternator may go to some high voltage for a few seconds to replace the charge used by engine starting, but then will settle back to the truck's proper float voltage, which will be around 13.8 VDC

This lower voltage makes your big-wire solution even more important, or course.

Bill
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Old 01-17-2022, 02:24 PM   #24
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Good point. In one of our earlier TMs, I ran new, uninterrupted lengths of #10 wire from the alternator to the truck's 7-pin Bargman connector, and then from the TM half of the Bargman directly to the TM battery post. As I recall, #8 wire would not fit into the truck's Bargman connector, but #10 could be squeezed in. It helped quite a bit, though it was not a perfect solution.

I'm not sure when the truck's alternator would be putting out 14.8 VDC for any length of time. The alternator output voltage will be determined by the voltage of the truck battery. When you start the engine, the alternator may go to some high voltage for a few seconds to replace the charge used by engine starting, but then will settle back to the truck's proper float voltage, which will be around 13.8 VDC

This lower voltage makes your big-wire solution even more important, or course.

Bill
Correct on all points and more to the point...... yes, when the alternator is putting out 13.8V the voltage drop is 1.2V (I measured it before and after my mod). After I installed the larger wire the voltage drop was less than 0.2V

If one was to use the larger wire size, the alternator/regulator would pick up the 'Line voltage". It doesn't know where that voltage is coming from. If the TM batteries are in a constant discharge mode from the 12V fridge circuit, that would reduce the line voltage and increase the charge rate from the alternator enough to keep both batteries fully charged.

I know this because I've done it (before I added solar) and it was quite successful on a 10-hour drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco area. I arrived with a cold fridge and fully charged TM batteries.
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