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Old 02-20-2020, 08:12 PM   #1
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Question Dual Battery Questions

Good Evening Fellow RVers,

Just brought home our new Volante DB33, and while we have had a couple other larger travel trailers, this one has a few features we have no experience with.

This thread is regarding the dual 12V batteries that are serial-connected and have a main cable going into chasis as well as two small cables labeled "LINE" entering the side of the underbelly.

a) what is the purpose of the smaller set of cables?
b) how can a simple disconnect switch be installed (for storage)?
c) the 12V-only fridge has no off button (per manual and unit), any way to disconnect easily?

TY for your help.
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Old 02-22-2020, 05:10 AM   #2
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My 12V only fridge has no off switch either. It does however have its own breaker. I just flip the breaker off. I'm not sure what the smaller lines from the batteries are but I am surprised there is not a battery disconnect switch already there. Ours is kind of hidden. Inside the battery compartment up high on the wall.
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Old 02-22-2020, 09:13 AM   #3
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Not familiar with your particular RV, but I haven't seen/heard of a 12 volt only fridge in a lot of years & then they were only in smaller RVs such as pop ups.
With that said are, you sure it's 12 volt only? If it has a breaker as you've mentioned it's 120 volt not 12.
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Old 02-22-2020, 12:00 PM   #4
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Travelin texans, you are right. When I responded I was thinking that the fridge was strictly 110 volt but that the question was regarding running it on 12V from the batteries through the inverter. Maybe newer RV with residential fridge?
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Old 02-27-2020, 05:01 PM   #5
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Well, the fridge runs without the RV being plugged in, AND there is no dedicated breaker switch, it only turns off when MAIN is turned off in fuse panel.
There is a dedicated 20A fuse, the plastic plug in style for it.
Other than that I have been unable to figure out the power logic.
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Old 02-27-2020, 05:04 PM   #6
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Btw...I covered Q2 by installing a simple disconnect on each battery :-)
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Old 02-28-2020, 08:20 AM   #7
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If you have a 12 volt only fridge, that would be a new-to-me setup. I have never heard of such a thing. Hopefully one of the Techs in the forum will respond.
It would also be VERY unusual for you to have 2-12 volt batteries wired in series. That would give you 24 volts output, not generally done on an RV, unless you have some fancy invertor setup.
My guess is they are wired in parallel.
I also think that you have a typical 110/gas refrigerator, which automatically switches to gas when you disconnect shore power. It uses 12 volts to the control board to operate the unit. The controls and status lights are on the fridge control panel.
Most newer RVs have a battery disconnect somewhere, but it does not totally disconnect the battery, and leaves 'essential' power to the CO detector and radio. I added a battery disconnect directly to the battery cable.
As new, I think you should be going back to your dealer, you did not get a complete PDI.
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Old 02-28-2020, 09:10 AM   #8
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Regarding the extra smaller wires coming from the batteries, a modern RV has an option for a solar port, to connect solar panels to the unit. The port is usually found on the side of the RV, in various locations. If you have it, it will be a small port with a quarter-size cover, and when open has a two wire connector.
Most of the time, you'll find a sticker next to the port that says 'solar ready'.
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Old 02-28-2020, 09:43 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wingerdinger View Post
If you have a 12 volt only fridge, that would be a new-to-me setup. I have never heard of such a thing. Hopefully one of the Techs in the forum will respond.
It would also be VERY unusual for you to have 2-12 volt batteries wired in series. That would give you 24 volts output, not generally done on an RV, unless you have some fancy invertor setup.
My guess is they are wired in parallel.
I also think that you have a typical 110/gas refrigerator, which automatically switches to gas when you disconnect shore power. It uses 12 volts to the control board to operate the unit. The controls and status lights are on the fridge control panel.
Most newer RVs have a battery disconnect somewhere, but it does not totally disconnect the battery, and leaves 'essential' power to the CO detector and radio. I added a battery disconnect directly to the battery cable.
As new, I think you should be going back to your dealer, you did not get a complete PDI.
TY for the assistance wingerdinger.
* the batteries are connect pos-to-pos and neg-to-neg
* it is definitely not the typical RV fridge...no propane option, runs only on electricity (has no controls but coldness settings), no drain or access covers on outside, no accessible powercord that I can see); dealer PDI stated "12V fridge" ?
* disconnects I installed myself on neg poles on both batteries now
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Old 02-28-2020, 09:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wingerdinger View Post
Regarding the extra smaller wires coming from the batteries, a modern RV has an option for a solar port, to connect solar panels to the unit. The port is usually found on the side of the RV, in various locations. If you have it, it will be a small port with a quarter-size cover, and when open has a two wire connector.
Most of the time, you'll find a sticker next to the port that says 'solar ready'.
That might be it - there is a solar panel option on the front. So these lines would go IN to charge the batteries. TY !
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Old 02-28-2020, 12:23 PM   #11
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Yes, there appear to be 12V only fridges as a "new thing". I'm normally out camping in Tucson or Borrego Springs, CA this time of year but back surgery has delayed getting out for a few more months. Have had 3 surgeries since last Sept but I think they solved the problem with the last one in Nov. Now just the waiting game to heal the incision. Anyway, have had time to explore new models to kill the time during this 100 inch snowfall February here in Breckenridge and remember watching a Youtube walkthrough of I don't remember which mfr. but the guy touted a 12V only fridge which would operate on battery for approx. 40 hours dry camping and enable one to leave the fridge on while towing. And that's the extent of what I know about that.
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Old 02-28-2020, 01:48 PM   #12
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1) Pos-to-Pos W/ 12V BATTERIES is PARALLEL, this output is 12vdc; 2) would love to get your Brand/ Model # so I can look up this 12v unit? 3) iF YOU HAVE NO ONBOARD GEN (REQUIRING CCA STARTER HIGH AMPS), consider conversion to dual 6-volt in series when the 12v-fail (if you plan boondocking); otherwise stay w/ what you have.
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Old 02-28-2020, 01:59 PM   #13
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Old 03-11-2020, 04:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TerryH View Post
1) Pos-to-Pos W/ 12V BATTERIES is PARALLEL, this output is 12vdc; 2) would love to get your Brand/ Model # so I can look up this 12v unit? 3) iF YOU HAVE NO ONBOARD GEN (REQUIRING CCA STARTER HIGH AMPS), consider conversion to dual 6-volt in series when the 12v-fail (if you plan boondocking); otherwise stay w/ what you have.
1) understood, ty
2) It's a Crossroads Volante DB33, std equipment
3) no Gen as we typically don't boon dock
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Old 03-12-2020, 08:49 AM   #15
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The fridge itself is an Everchill 12V - 10.7cuft model.
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Old 03-12-2020, 09:00 AM   #16
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Cool

For those of us (yes, me too) that had doubts about the validity of a 12 volt only fridge, I did a little research, and sure enough. Some RVs are now coming with a 12 volt only, no gas, no 110v, fridge. On standard RVs with one battery, and no invertor, with your standard convertor/charge setup.
E-trailer sells one as a replacement or add-on.
I also found a discussion on another forum. That went kinda like this one, where most of us had never heard of it.
It sounds like it could be a viable option for someone who doesn't boondock. It uses somewhere between 5 and 12 amps per hour, depending on size, so it will kill a regular RV battery overnight. It also has less cooling effect than a 110 volt or gas fridge, so the recommendation is to get it going a day or two before you go camping.
They are becoming an option on a lot of new RVs, so expect to see more of them.
Boxy, I apologize for doubting you.
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Old 03-12-2020, 09:06 AM   #17
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NP wingerdinger :-)

We will see how well it performs/cools this weekend - first full trip.

Weird that it does not have an OFF switch - might have to remove some panels to figure out the wiring.
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Old 03-12-2020, 10:08 AM   #18
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Would it be safe to say the reason for the 12V only fridge is due to cost cutting measures only? From what I see, it don't sound like a first choice option at any time, as it don't give you much of a back-up option if anything fails.. At least when you have the propane option, and by chance you run out or something, there's a good chance you can switch to 12V while you head to the nearest propane filling station. Or vice versa, maybe a circuit board failure, they still usually work with the 2nd option. That happened with our water heater last fall, wouldn't work properly on gas, but worked with electric. Dinosaur electronics has since remedied that Chinese garbage problem.. But I suppose if that's all that is available, adding more DC amp hours and a little solar recharging could quickly accommodate for some R+R and quiet time, and every few years change out that DC element to as a precaution and you'd basically never have to worry about it. I know a friend that has installed a regular electric 110V fridge running off solar, pure sine inverter and a battery bank. He also says they seldom need to start the genny. Oh well, I guess at the very worst, you pack up and go home, or rough it with a cooler like the old days, for a few days, while you repair it, lol....
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Old 03-12-2020, 04:50 PM   #19
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I googled the 12V fridge and it's around $1k without install. Definitely nice and large at 10.7cuft...and after one night at home to cool and now at campsite it is nice and cold.
The 110V mini fridge in outdoor kitchen is rather warm inside. Tbc...
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Old 03-17-2020, 11:33 AM   #20
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12 volt fridge. Just another way to provide a mobile fridge.

At the present there is little in this area to choose from. Thus the old supply and demand thing. A 12 volt fridge costs more than a residential fridge because of supply and demand.

Should be cheaper. With 110 there is much more wiring and the inverter.

Same issue as with a residential fridge. Uses up to 10 amps dc max per hour.

Thus you need likely 2 or more batteries a day to run it. Or plug in.

Much as I dislike our gas electric 12 cu ft fridge, it will run for days without plugging in or a generator.
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