I have a 2023 Sunseeker Class C. I plan to camp at a county park which allows generator use four hours in the morning and four hours in the evening. Will my fridge be able to be used or will that drain the batteries? —Robert, 2023 Sunseeker BH
The answer to your question depends on several factors. First, what type of battery or batteries do you have? From what I can tell on the website, the smaller units came with a single flooded lead acid (FLA) battery while others had an optional second FLA battery. The only floorplan I could find with a Bunk House (BH) was the large 32’ Classic model, which has two FLA batteries standard.
FLA batteries should only be drained down 50%, which is the next factor. What “Group” are they, which means, what amp hour capacity do they have? Most come standard with the smaller Group 24 batteries that only have about 85 amp hour capacity, which means 42.5 at 50%.
What will be drawing from the batteries?
The next factor is what components will draw from those batteries such as lights, roof vents, water pump, and the biggest draw will be the refrigerator. According to the website, all the models come with a 12-volt compressor-driven refrigerator. That will draw a substantial amount of power from the batteries versus an absorption refrigerator that would use propane when dry camping. However, it is a better option than a residential refrigerator that would go through an inverter, as that model drains the batteries almost three times faster.
You will need to calculate how many amp hours you will be using and what you have available from the battery or batteries you have. According to several articles posted here on RVtravel.com over the years, the average RVer uses 75-100 amp hours per day. But that is with an absorption refrigerator, and I have found there is no “average” RVer. Go Power! manufactures solar panels and solar systems and has a great calculator on their website here.
You can enter the type of unit, type of battery, number of batteries, and the amp hour rating. Then it will provide the common 12-volt components and help calculate what you will use and need. It’s not a perfect science since it’s hard to calculate how many hours you will be using your lights, or how often the refrigerator will cycle as it depends on the ambient temperature. But it does give you a fair ballpark of power needed.
My guess is that even with two FLA batteries you may not be able to keep up with the 12-volt demand—especially if you need to run the furnace at night—only being able to run the generator for 8 hours total, as FLA batteries take more than 8 hours to recharge.
I would suggest supplementing with solar panels and/or adding more batteries. You may want to look at lithium batteries, as they can be drained to 100% and can be recharged sometimes in less than 2 hours.
You might also enjoy this from Dave
How long can my RV’s residential fridge run before generator takes over to recharge?
I installed a residential fridge in my RV. I have a four 6-volt golf battery setup and 300-watt solar panels with a 3000-watt AIMS inverter. When fully charged, how long should it run before generator power should take over? —Jimmie, 1984 Vogue II
Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and the author of the “RV Handbook.”
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