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Old 08-12-2017, 03:12 PM   #1
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Default Fridge DC power Requirements

Our 2001 260TFB has a three way fridge.
Is is necessary to have the fridge connected to a battery to run properly?

I ask because our previous trailer (a 2005) had a 110/ propane fridge that required a battery be attached to it to run when on propane ( according to the manual even if the battery was "dead"). I think this was because the unit had a microprocessor to control the propane.

My thinking is that this 2001 which has the stock/ original fridge does not need the battery while on propane. It is from pre- computer times.

Can someone confirm this?
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Old 08-12-2017, 05:31 PM   #2
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I can only talk about the fridge in my trailer, a 2007 model. It has to have DC power to the control panel to run, on any of the cooling power sources (AC, DC and Propane). If yours does not use electrical power to turn on, I suppose it's possible it would not need the battery. However, I'm having trouble figuring out how it would be controlled this way. My guess is, it needs some kind of electrical power.

- Jack
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Old 08-13-2017, 09:59 PM   #3
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I'm playing the "just supposing" here Jack, I don't think anything made in the last 40;years or so works this way, "but"...

A purely mechanical ammonia fridge could work by using a typical bi-metal spring thermostat controlling a simple mechanical gas valve. This would require a pilot light of course.

Just throwing it out there as a thought experiment. I doubt any ammonia systems have been made this way since the early 70's or so.
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Old 08-13-2017, 11:32 PM   #4
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I think your "thought experiment" is a good one, Knotty. So, it could be turned on using a simple ON/OFF gas valve too.

My guess though, as you implied, is that it's electrically controlled. Sometimes I'm really grateful for progress!

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Old 08-14-2017, 06:10 AM   #5
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If your fridge has a manual push button pilot light on the control panel there is probably no electric control module requiring 12 volt power. The flame stays lit all the time, whereas the electrically controlled units have an igniter to light the flame as needed.
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Old 08-14-2017, 10:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichR View Post
If your fridge has a manual push button pilot light on the control panel there is probably no electric control module requiring 12 volt power. The flame stays lit all the time, whereas the electrically controlled units have an igniter to light the flame as needed.
But Rich, what about when it operates on electricity? Wouldn't there be some kind of electrical temperature control then? (The thermostat). I can't imagine there'd be a different one for propane cooling.

And, if the flame stays lit all the time, wouldn't the refrigerator get TOO cold?

I'm not being argumentative - just trying to understand how such a device could work.

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Old 08-14-2017, 01:29 PM   #7
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Our 1705T had the push button spark lighter for the flame and it stayed on all the time. I think the height of the flame was the only thing that regulated it. The 12volt and 110 volt modes probably were electrically controlled in some manner.
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Old 08-14-2017, 01:59 PM   #8
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I think when Jack said "the flame stays on", he was referring to the pilot light. When the thermostat says "It's getting warm in here", the pilot ignites the burner section and starts the cooling cycle. How's that sound?
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Old 08-14-2017, 02:43 PM   #9
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I'm not really sure WHAT I'm talking about here.

In my trailer, the propane flame is very small for the refrigerator. I've actually never seen it (although now that I think of it I've never taken the panel off to look for it while it's operating). I just know the "burner section", seems to be very small.

Still, SOMETHING controls the internal temperature in the refrigerator. It COULD be a bi-metal strip like Knotty suggested that somehow opens and closes a valve, but that seems pretty crude. I really think it's electrical, and that implies a likely DC power source. This gets back to Bravada's original question - "Does it need to be connected to a battery to operate?" I still think the answer is "yes".

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Old 08-14-2017, 05:50 PM   #10
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I can buy LP gas refrigerators at Lehman's Hardware in Kidron, OH that do not require electric. Amish and off griders buy them. They are thermostatically controlled. They aren't far from where the Hi-Lo factory was.
https://www.lehmans.com/product/diam...refrigerators/
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