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Refrigerator Power

Originally Published in Trailer Life Magazine

Q: We have a 2008 Gulfstream 21-foot travel trailer with a two-way refrigerator. I would like to run it when traveling, but I am not comfortable running the gas while driving. I tried to connect it to an inverter. This runs the refrigerator fine but runs my battery down in less than an hour even when driving. I have placed the inverter as close to the battery as possible. That helped a little but there’s still the problem. My question is, should I give up on this idea and run the LP-gas, or do I need a stronger charge line to the camper?
Mike Bonadonna, Inverness, Florida

A: You didn’t mention what size alternator your tow vehicle has, nor what the current draw of the refrigerator is. Running on 120 volts AC doesn’t workout for most folks because of the current draw. There is also a power loss when you convert 12 volts DC to 120 volts AC. You might be able to make it work with a higher-output alternator. Or just run the fridge on gas like many others. If you do, make sure you shut it off in gas stations and other places where it’s required.
— Ken Freund


Two men - Ken Freund and Jeff Johnston - standing near truck To send your questions to RV Clinic, write to 2575 Vista Del Mar, Ventura, Calif., 93001; or email [email protected]. Also, check out TrailerLife.TV for our expert RV how-to videos.

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