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Here is Don's experience with a residential refrigerator:

I boondock about 4 1/2 months in the winter. I run a small standard compressor refrigerator/freezer (~3.5 cu.ft.) in addition to the gas absorption refer in my coach.

It draws about 3.5 amps at 12 volts DC thru the inverter. It's duty cycle is about 40%. So, 3.5 x 24 x .4 = about 33.6 amp hours a day.

Figure out how much your residential refrigerator draws running, and then determine the duty cycle (boring) and you can calculate how much solar and battery capacity you need for your refer.

Then you can add in the other uses of power and determine your total solar needs.

I rarely use my generator for charging, but I do use it for heavy loads, such microwave, etc. (Running the gene for 15 or 20 minutes to save my batteries for a total evening of tv, computing and lights, etc. seems like a good trade-off.)

Also, FWIF, the compressor ran very hot until I switched to a pure sine wave inverter, and now it hardly gets warm. I ususally harvest about 200-300 amp hours a day and I have about 800 amp hours of battery capacity, so I never get below 50% depth of charge.

Ray's experience with a generator:

I've been using a pair of 2000w Champions inverter type going on three years now, working well, they have an econo mode where they run nice and quiet in if there are no big power demands. Get about 8 hours from a gallon of gas. I have two so I can parallel them togethter and run the AC if need be. I went with the Champions because at the time they were 1/3 the cost of the Hondas in Canada.



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