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Old 05-01-2011, 10:42 PM   #21
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Default Refrigerator Keeping food cool while traveling.

We are the second owners of a 90 Classic HiLo and have owned it for 10 Yrs. When we got it had the original ref. in it with out a fan. We added a fan that is wired to the 12v dc. Accessed on the outside ref. door. It is thermastically controlled. Our new replacement ref. won't allow for a fan.Our HiLo dealer says we can't get one in the replacement ref. I freeze and pre chill food then Run the HiLo ref for one day in the up position. I never have it in propane mode while traveling. The food stays cold on a 2 hr.trip. Clarification outside door refers. to the slotted ref. cover door. On a very hot day you can prop the slotted ref. cover open to allow for more air circulation. I have a coleman cooler that has a thick amt of insulation in the cover and it really does keep food cool for five days. You can freeze water in small or gallon milk jugs. When the ice begins to thaw I have ice cold filtered water to drink. Ice packs of hard plastic can be refrozen in the freezer.
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Old 05-01-2011, 10:43 PM   #22
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Default Battery charge problem...

I had the same problem with the battery going dead while the refrigerator was on while driving. I was told by HiLo to run a larger gauge wire directly from my tow vehicle battery through a resettable fuse to the charging pin that goes to the HiLo battery. This worked!! I have not had a dead battery since; and my food stays cold. When I purchased my Dodge Ram, I made sure that I had the "tow" package, but Dodge doesn't use a heavier guage wire on the charging wire. What were those Engineers thinking?
Take your vehicle to a trailer shop or U-Haul and tell them what you need; they will fix your problem.
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Old 05-02-2011, 09:06 AM   #23
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The automobile manufacturers need to have travel trailer experienced employees on their design teams. Proper wiring would not be a big deal to include with tow packages. The electrical requirements of travel trailers are pretty much generic.

I think that telescoping towing side view mirrors should be offered on all SUVs and trucks as a part of the tow package. We know how much discussion there has been here on the Forum about mirrors. To me it only makes common sense. You can only get those on full size pickup trucks. They make good money on that option.
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Old 05-02-2011, 10:20 PM   #24
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Default Needs to be included with tow package

Why don't you put your suggestions in an e-mail to the manufacturer of your tow vehiclle?
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Old 05-02-2011, 10:24 PM   #25
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Why don't you put your suggestions in an e-mail to the manufacturer of your tow vehiclle?

I have made a couple suggestions to Toyota via an owners survey that I participate in. I'm sure they dropped everything they were working on to accommodate my wishes.
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Old 05-03-2011, 12:10 AM   #26
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I know four owners of Hi-Lo's beside myself that run their units on gas while traveling. Their frig is on opposite side of trailer from gas pumps. The frig does vent when the unit is in the down position. I asked when we purchased ours and was told to use gas when traveling and electric when parked. We were told by the dealer that DC just doesn't work to keep food cold enough when traveling a great distance. A friend just purchased a brand new trailer which is not a Hi-Lo and the frig in there only runs on gas or electric. When they questioned why there wasn't a 3 way frig they were told by the RV dealer that most manufactors are getting away from the 3 way frig thing and going with 2 way frig gas or electric in most units nowdays. So guess it's up to you what you want to do.
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Old 05-03-2011, 05:55 AM   #27
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If your tow vehicle is properly wired the fridge will work just as well on DC as it does on gas or 110. If you make sure that you have 12 plus volts DC at the fridge when the tow vehicle is connected and running then the fridge will will work on DC any less than 12 volts and it won't work properly. It is easy to check just remove the outside cover, use a volt meter, the DC terminals are exposed.

The trailers that run on gas while traveling have a vent pipe that goes to the roof and vents the burned gases into the air.
When a Hi-Lo is in the down position the upper wall covers the fridge vent, gases will go up and inside the trailer. If all the propane is not burned up because of improper air flow there is danger of a fire or explosion. To me this risk is not worth it, especially when the DC problem can be fixed.
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Old 05-04-2011, 05:45 PM   #28
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Default Solar panel and the frig.

I have a new to me 2000 290B, I haven't taken her out yet but will next week. So the question about sufficient power to run my Frig on DC is a big concern. I only have one battery but I am only traveling 4 hrs. away, but I do have the factory installed solar panel. Will the solar panel keep the battery charged enough to run the frig.?
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Old 05-04-2011, 06:57 PM   #29
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No, That solar panel has a low out put and is only intended to maintain the battery, it only has an output around 1 amp in full sun light. The fridge draws over 10 amps went it is in the cooling mode. Don't you have the tow vehicle DC power wired to the Trailer?
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Old 05-04-2011, 06:59 PM   #30
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Hi Lou,

No, the factory solar panel will not provide sufficient power to operate the reefer. That panel is a trickle charger and is really only ment to keep a fully charged battery charged up while the trailer is in storage. Given enough time, the panel will charge up a partially discharged battery (like if you raised and lowered the top while it was in storage).

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Old 05-04-2011, 07:02 PM   #31
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Lou,

Pop asks a great question. If you're not comfortable troubleshooting the electrical system, take the whole rig to an automotive electrical specialist. That will give you peace of mind, and a reefer that will work while you're underway!

Jim
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Old 05-04-2011, 08:05 PM   #32
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Big Lou,

If you have the refer and its contents cold before you leave home you could probably go most of the way with it turned off. Just don't forget to turn in on as soon as you get to your destination. We turn the refer on the day before we leave and transfer cold things from the house the night before or first thing in the morning. Just make sure everything is cold when you put it in, like soda and things that normally are stored without refrigeration. The refer does a good job of keeping cold things cold but not at cooling allot warm things. When the refer is full of cold stuff it stays cold a long time.

Assuming you have a 12 volt charge line from the tow vehicle you should be able to run the refer with no problem and still have lots of battery power. If you will be plugging into shore power when you get there your battery will charge back up.
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Old 05-04-2011, 08:06 PM   #33
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Pop, I believe all my wiring is correct I just wanted to see if the solar panel combined with the truck would keep the battery charged with frig. working.
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Old 05-05-2011, 08:51 AM   #34
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Default Battery & Refer

FWIW, I run on DC while driving (F350), and have 3 Sensi solar panels. The only problems I have had draining battery, even on long drives, was when the connector was not making contact at the truck. The original connector has too much insulation on the end (almost 1/8 in), and does not make good solid contact, can work loose even when latched properly. Replaced connector no problems since.

Other issue was a refer controller board. Sometimes while dry camping, refer set to run on propane, but controller board decided to ALSO activate DC, so was running on both DC and propane! Replaced the board with a Dinosaur board last fall. Seems to work now, but need the full summer to test for sure.
Dinosaur has better controls, even fine tune on temps. The temp fix I used for this issue on the original failing board was to pull the 30A fuse for the DC element while on propane, (in the refer lower compartment) then plug it back in when going on the road to use DC.

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Old 05-23-2011, 01:03 AM   #35
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Never tried DC on mine. Previous owner said it would drain battery. I plug into AC a day or two before and load up when it is cold. I did use a block of ice one time on a longer trip. But usually it will stay cold and I just hook back into AC at my destination. I'm a little timid yet at "dry camping".
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Old 05-23-2011, 01:56 AM   #36
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When you dry camp, you should run the refrigerator on propane. That won't affect the battery.

If you have a strong enough lead from the tow vehicle, it should charge the battery and not drain it. With our Tacoma, we had to upgrade the wiring to a larger size in order to charge the trailer batteries.
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Old 05-23-2011, 11:34 AM   #37
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Run a 10 gauge wire for the charging system and that is all you need.
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Old 07-30-2011, 11:43 PM   #38
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We just returned from a 4,000 mile trip in the western US and used the fridge on DC while driving (around 5-7 hours each day). Our food always stayed cold. One night we stayed in a hotel and I set the fridge to gas for the night. The top was down and it still worked fine. Probably won't do that again now that I know about the vent issue, but it did work. I have 10 gauge wire running to my charging circuit on the trailer with a 30 amp breaker. Also left the fridge on DC while away from the trailer during the day. Sometimes for several hours with no dead batteries. I think if you have adequate power to the trailer, DC should work well, even when it's hot outside.
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Old 08-01-2011, 03:07 PM   #39
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I use dry ice for long trips, I tried it for a short trip, and hell, it froze my beer! I dont stock the bottom, that is where I put the dry ice, and I put my beer in the cooler now, lol.
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Old 02-17-2012, 02:28 PM   #40
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Default Gas Refer Use

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Originally Posted by djbunce View Post
Manual says use on DC while traveling but it runs down my batteries even while truck is supposed to be charging them. Anyone use gas while traveling?
YES but set on # 1. When Parked FOR A WHILE & ESPECIALLY WHEN FILLING WITH LP GAS OR GASOLINE BE SURE TO TURN OFF THE TANKS & FRIDGE.

YOU MAY HAVE A FUSE BLOWN IN YOUR TRUCKS CHARGING CIRCUIT. FUSE PROB IN DIST BOX UNDER HOOD OR PU AT REAR IS WIRED WRONG.
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