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Old 06-01-2021, 09:42 AM   #1
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Prairie refrigerator questions

Just bought our 1979 36' Prairie trawler 4 wks ago. It has the original refrigerator. 2 questions. #1- We seem to only be able to run the fridge on battery power but we were told it would do both. When we put the boat on shore power it doesn't work. Are we not clicking a button correctly? Is there some sort of fuse that may have blown? #2- If we decide to buy a new fridge, is it opening pandora's box when they pull out the old one and go to install it?
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Old 06-01-2021, 11:22 AM   #2
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I suspect few if any fridges of that period were dual voltage.

You do have a battery charger, right? That should easily power the fridge and have enough left over to charge the batteries. Smallish DC fridges pull about 5 amps DC. If the charger is small, say 10A or smaller, it is relatively cheap to upgrade it to 20-40 amps.

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Old 06-01-2021, 12:10 PM   #3
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My 1981 trawler has the original 12/120V fridge. It has both a DC plug and a 120V plug. Both have circuit breakers on the panel. I think that if both are on, and shore power is on, it defaults to 12V. I think that our wiring might allow us to run our inverter to make 120V power, send that to the fridge, and then have the fridge convert the 120 back to 12V. Never tried it and no reason to.

Your outlets are probably right next to each other, but it may require pulling the fridge out inorder to see them. Our outlets are accessable in the back of an adjacent cabinet.
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Old 06-01-2021, 01:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidM View Post
I suspect few if any fridges of that period were dual voltage.

You do have a battery charger, right? That should easily power the fridge and have enough left over to charge the batteries. Smallish DC fridges pull about 5 amps DC. If the charger is small, say 10A or smaller, it is relatively cheap to upgrade it to 20-40 amps.

David
Thanks for your reply. We do have a charger. but I can't remember what size. Do you mean that the charger has a separate circuit directly to the fridge, and it can run the fridge at the same time that it is charging the batteries, or that the charger charges the batteries, and the fridge runs off of the batteries?
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Old 06-01-2021, 01:44 PM   #5
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No the charger will just go to the battery. The fridge runs off the battery and with shore power on the charger will recharge the battery as it is being used, if the charger is large enough. If it is a 10 or 15 amp charger it will struggle to keep up so a larger charger, and wiring, may be in order. But first determine what you have.
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Old 06-01-2021, 03:53 PM   #6
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Thanks for your reply. We do have a charger. but I can't remember what size. Do you mean that the charger has a separate circuit directly to the fridge, and it can run the fridge at the same time that it is charging the batteries, or that the charger charges the batteries, and the fridge runs off of the batteries?
The charger is connected to and charges the batteries but also supplies current to any loads connected to the batteries. There is no separate circuit from the charger to the fridge. I wouldn't quite say that the fridge runs off of the batteries when a charger is connected and powered up. Who knows were those electrons are going. Some are going to the battery, some to the charger and some to other stuff.

Most chargers have a very visible capacity label. Check it out.

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Old 06-01-2021, 04:40 PM   #7
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Will do.
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