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Old 05-09-2016, 08:56 PM   #121
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Naw, I don't think the inverter is the problem. Because when I've got my charger turned on the inverter has no problem running the fridge. Or when I add in my 3 chassis batteries it works fine too. And it works fine for 6-8 hours on the two 6 volt batteries. I've already bought 2 more 6 volt batteries. Hopefully I'll get some time this week to work on the battery rack for those. Then we'll see where we're at.
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Old 05-10-2016, 10:08 AM   #122
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Those that have the RV propane/elec frig and it works good, no problem to keep that. It seems there are certain models that work better than others.

Mine had a Norcold 1200 (Notcold is more appropriate.....what a POS) and it just did not work like it should. Even with fans and the internal fan blowing over the coils, it would struggle when ambient temps were above mid-80's. By converting to residential frig I have one that works as it should and increased capacity approx 50% at the same time.

I really need to get some pics of the finished install to put up here.
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Old 05-10-2016, 03:20 PM   #123
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I agree with 38Chevy454. I'm not trying to get anybody to make the switch. I actually had very good service from my Norcold unit. The biggest concern I had was fire. My fridge was 6 years old when I got the rig. And 10 years old when the ARP controller became widely available. I've read a bit about them and don't believe they eliminate the possibility of fires. Especially in an older fridge that may already have damage to the fluids/piping. I had a Norcold in my Allegro. It started leaking and luckily I smelled ammonia and shut it off, no fire. My son and I were working on his camper and the fridge caught fire so we got it out with the extinguisher before it burned anything besides the fridge. I just decided that 13 years old was as far as I wanted to push the Norcold in my rig. I had wrestled with the question of switching to residential or not. And I did wrestle with it for quite some time. I really liked the propane fridge for all the stated reasons. But, I also like a few aspects of the residential ones. Going from 8 cubic foot to 11.5 in the same opening is huge. It's very noticeable inside. We've taken two trips so far with the new fridge. Over 2500 miles. It's been flawless. I have no problem investing in more amps. I always thought my 2 house batteries were a little on the small side anyhow. And doing this project got me to change them out for the golf cart batteries. And it also got me to figure out how to add 4 more without any loss of current storage space. So that's a win too. Most of the newer rigs have 6 house batteries, or some equivalent, don't they? I support all the people with gas fridges and agree that they are great. But, I think this is going to work out for me and my food needs too.

I just got home from the steel supply. Got 20' of 1.5" x 1.5" x 3/16" angle. Tomorrow I'll start cutting and welding and fabbing up a rack to mount the extra batteries.
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Old 06-01-2016, 05:39 PM   #124
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Got a little more work done. Here's a shot of the frame behind the rear differential. Looks like a good place to hang a couple more house batteries.


So, I got some 1.5" x 3/16" angle. Did some cutting and welding. Came up with this design:



The forward upper end of the rack I have clamped to the lower section of the truck frame. There weren't any holes in the frame in that area and I really didn't want to drill any to do this. There are holes in the truck frame right above where the rear portion of my battery rack is so I used them to hang the back of the rack using threaded rod.

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Old 06-01-2016, 05:50 PM   #125
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Here's another shot showing the right side:



Showing the clamping setup. This is my least favorite part of the design. I used 1/2" bolts with nylock nuts. Two on each side. The angle is rather stout at 3/16". I mulled this over for awhile and just couldn't figure out anything better for my needs. I'm guessing somebody here will have a much better idea. But it's too late. I think this should hold. I'll certainly be travelling with plenty of tools to tighten it up if it comes loose.



Here's from down below:



Nobody around to help me lift the 68 pound batteries so the floor jack worked.

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Old 06-01-2016, 05:56 PM   #126
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I marked the location of the battery posts since I can't really get above them to look when I do the cable hookup. I didn't buy the 1/0 welding cable until I got the batteries into position so I could measure how much I need. Going to run the positive over into the battery compartment nearby and the negative is going to be bolted to the frame using the same hole that the right threaded rod is attached to. At the top of those threaded rods there is a piece of the 1.5" angle about 2" long. A hole in each side. The angle is bolted to the frame and then the rod comes through. I put nylock nuts on both ends. And I put regular nuts on the insides of both ends to lock it tight. I didn't want the rack to be able to slide on the rod in a bump. And I didn't want the rod to slide up in the top bracket on a large bump.

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Old 06-01-2016, 06:22 PM   #127
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I haven't finalized my plan for securing the batteries to the rack yet. I'm thinking nylon straps around them and the rack. The kind that normally have a ratchet. But the ones I'm thinking I'll use don't have the ratchet. I think the cambuckle type stay tight better. And less complicated than ratchets.

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Old 06-01-2016, 09:19 PM   #128
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The hooks on theses straps are a problem if you ask me, love the strap idea but, figure a way to mount the strap ends to your steel without the hooks. Huge tie wraps would Work too. if you use the straps pictured use little tie wraps as a safety wire on the hooks and the latch.

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[QUOTE=Bob86ZZ4;45775]I haven't finalized my plan for securing the batteries to the rack yet. I'm thinking nylon straps around them and the rack. The kind that normally have a ratchet. But the ones I'm thinking I'll use don't have the ratchet. I think the cambuckle type stay tight better. And less complicated than ratchets.


/QUOTE]
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Old 06-01-2016, 09:27 PM   #129
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i agree those straps are a problem - the acid gas will deteriorate the strap / webbing (too) quickly.
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Old 06-02-2016, 01:57 PM   #130
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Okay, I haven't bought any straps yet. I'm not set on it. Other idea is to cut a piece of the angle long enough to lay across the top rear edge of both batteries. And stick out past both left and right sides. Then use more threaded rod to hold it there. I could use a thinner diameter rod than the rod I used to hang the tray. And put it at an angle across the sides of the batteries attach near the bottom leading (front) edge of the batteries?
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Old 06-02-2016, 07:16 PM   #131
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I would use small angle iron to put over the edge of the battery and use 1/4" all thread angled towards the center of the battery you want to hold down. Another thing I would do is use Never Seize on the threads. That stuff can be a real life saver when it comes to unscrewing nuts or bolts. Those straps could only be as tight as you could pull them.
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Old 06-03-2016, 11:16 PM   #132
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Thanks guys. I followed your knowledgeable advice.



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Old 06-03-2016, 11:19 PM   #133
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I also got a picture showing how that threaded rod holding up the tray is attached to the side of my frame:



I used nylock nuts. I tried to get a stop nut up there too but it hit the other bolt so that's as far as it goes. Oh well. It'll still stop the tray from bouncing up. I'm pretty sure this thing won't be doing any bouncing. Maybe I'll clamp a GoPro down there and go for a drive and see how it rides?
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Old 06-08-2016, 11:05 PM   #134
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Better with the angle iron and threaded rod to hold the batteries in place. The straps would eventually fail. Not so good having the batteries get loose.

Just curious why you did not just put the front main cross-piece on top of the frame flange? Instead of under it like you have? Seems you could have put one side in and then with it angled, slide the other side until it is 90 degrees. Could still have the clamps, but the clamps would not be in tension holding the weight, just keeping it from moving. I do think yours will work, but more critical on the bolts not coming loose. I have done enough drilling through metal from underneath, not much fun having hot chips rain down on you. The extra thick frame rails on our trucks make that even worse, so I can sympathize with not wanting to drill the flange.
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Old 06-09-2016, 08:07 AM   #135
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Nice! Great job Bob
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Old 06-09-2016, 01:51 PM   #136
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38chevy, good thought. When I originally was planning it out I thought I would install the two batteries onto the frame and lift the whole thing up to the position and then bolt those plates across the top to hold it up there. Then when I started doing it I figured it would be too hard to get the whole thing up there. At that point I should have figured out to put the top rail across inside the frame like you said. But I'm not smart enough. I think it would be not too difficult to change it to the way you suggested. Just have to make a good support with a couple floor jacks and re-position it. If the carrier frame top rail is too long to fit crossways between the frame rails then I'll have to take it all down and trim off the ends a bit.

All of the drilling was done using my drill press before I welded it all together. I only had to drill those two for the I bolts to secure the threaded rod for the hold-downs.
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Old 06-23-2016, 09:41 PM   #137
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First time I was able to do some testing on it. I've had the fridge running solely on the 4 6volt batteries for 30 hours now. It's not been very hot here. But, I was camping so I used some 12 volt energy during this time. I never hook up to shore water. I always use my holding tank and 12 volt water pump. I took a shower, and used the toilet numerous times. I also ran plenty of water. I opened and closed the fantastic fans a couple times (motorized openers/closers). A bit of lighting use. Many times opening the fridge. It's still working the fridge fine. I'm very happy with that. I think I might switch on the Iota charger tonight though because I've got it parked in front of my house now with food in it so I don't want it to quit working during the night.
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Old 06-23-2016, 09:59 PM   #138
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Well, I needed milk. So I decided to go out and shut off the fridge and bring the food in. I had been camping overnight in it at a nearby campground. That's where I did this test. But came home this afternoon. I had it running on just those 4 batteries for 35 hours. I'm very happy with that.
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Old 06-24-2016, 08:53 AM   #139
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That's a pretty decent amount of time. How much solar do you figure it would take to keep the batteries up?
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Old 06-24-2016, 09:51 AM   #140
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I don't know hardly anything about solar. I would guess it shouldn't take a lot of watts to keep the batteries up. I'm really not wanting to drill holes in my roof so I don't think I'll ever put solar on. I did kind of think about maybe getting a portable solar panel that I could unfold and stand on the ground when parked. But then that's something else I'd have to cram into the storage bay.
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