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Running Samsung RF18 while boondocking


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My question is regarding proper use of Samsung RF18 and generator while boon-docking. We are currently full timers, with a new to us, 06 Monaco Camelot. So far (3 months) have been alternating between full hookup campgrounds and some boon-docking. Without shore power, I have been running the generator intermittently and everything seems to be working fine. Yesterday I ran the generator for about 24 hours straight. 
How long can I run the gen before resting it? Can I run the generator while driving to keep the Dometic AC on? How long can I run the frig without generator or shore power? I appreciate the advice and experience. 
Ted C. 

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Posted (edited)

You can run the generator until you run out of fuel. These generators are built to run continuously in some applications. But generally, in an RV application we seldom run a generator more than what's is typically needed.

Yes, you can run the generator while driving in order to use your rooftop AC's. I do it frequently when traveling in the hot southeast area of the country until I get into cooler weather up north.

Your fridge should be plugged into the Ice Maker duplex outlet in the rear. That outlet is powered by your Inverter. However, you have to have your Inverter turned ON to provide power to the outlets while not hooked to shore or generator power.

You should also have your Inverter Remote setup for AGS, Automatic Generator Start. If you are not on shore or generator power and your fridge is powered by the Inverter along with other stuff you are draining the house batteries. Once your House Batteries get to 12.1 or 12 .2 VDC your generator will start up to charge the House Batteries back to Float SOC. Thereby preventing you from draining the House Batteries beyond the 50% SOC level. If that happens too frequently you will reduce the lifespan of the House Batteries and will be changing them more often than necessary.

Edited by Dr4Film
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I am also a full-timer - and I boondock a lot of the time. For Christmas I got a residential fridge ( Fisker & Paykel).  In my rig I have a 500ah of lithium batteries(self-built).

 I use about 30% of my battery overnight. 
 

The single best item in my rig for knowing what’s going on electrically is a Victron Smartshunt or BMV712. Once setup you can know exactly what the state of your batteries are( 80%). Also, how long at current electric load your batteries will last. (I often look at that just as I get into bed with all the lights off- it gives me peace of mind knowing my batteries will last through the night- often 1day 6 hours).

The other tool I really like is on my Victron Solar Charge Controller it records the daily high voltage and low voltage and it keeps that for the last 30 days. So I can watch the daily low voltage. (That is really good when solar doesn’t completely fill the batteries each day).

with the right tools you can only run the generator when you need to. 
 

Good Luck!

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4 minutes ago, Rocketman3 said:

The other tool I really like is on my Victron Solar Charge Controller it records the daily high voltage and low voltage and it keeps that for the last 30 days. So I can watch the daily low voltage. (That is really good when solar doesn’t completely fill the batteries each day).

With the right tools you can only run the generator when you need to. 

Good Luck!

How much Solar do you have on your roof or are you using portable ones that you place outside?

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I do have a fair amount of solar…

2arrays (done at different times).

I first installed four 200w panels in a 2s2p array going into a Victron SmartMPPT 100/50. 
 

Then when I installed the lithium battery I added two more 210w panels and a Victron MPPT 100/30 (and removed the factory 80w panel and controller- used those wires for this job).  One reason I installed the extra solar was so I could include the lithium battery in the IRS solar credit and because I was planning on a residential fridge install in a couple of months. 
 

So I have 1220 watts of solar. One thing it does is reduces the generator time. In the last 2-1/2 years (1-year full time), I have put 90 hours on the generator. 

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Ted, I think Richard answered your questions well.  If you have the standard four 6v GC2 house batteries and they are in good condition you can run the Samsung RF18 and a few other minor things overnight without running the generator.

Best of luck with your new coach!

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If your charging system charges the house batteries while driving you shouldn't have to run the generator just for the refrigerator.  Your alternator can easily keep up. 

I installed a Samsung RF18 in 2019 but didn't get to give it a good test until this last summer.  I boon docked most of the time.  I do have 325 watt of solar but when I could I parked under shade so it didn't help all the time, in full sunlight it can help.  I also had to have new batteries, I bought a set of 4 from Sam's.  

I found that after driving my batteries would be at 100% and depending on time of evening when I stopped I did not have to run the generator at all.  If I was parked for several days I found that if I ran the generator at night just before bed to bring the batteries to +90% and in the morning I would normally still have +75% of battery. 

So if everything is working as it should you can easily run your fridge overnight as long as you aren't using a bunch of other stuff. 

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Not to hijack this post but since you brought it up, Rocketman3, what are the specifics for qualifying for the IRS SOLAR CREDIT on a MH? I ask as I am planing to replace my "nevercold" with a residential  fridge and at that time add another 400 amps of LiFePO4 to my existing 200 AMps. I was delaying adding Solar but if the IRS credit can be applied to all if done together then it might make sense to do it all now.

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The solar credit must be used on a “home” - (must have someplace to sleep, kitchen, and bathroom- MotorHome’s qualify).

Anything needed for the solar project is covered. The battery holds to solar energy- so it’s covered. The fridge will not be covered. (In a house if the roof needs upgraded to handle the solar - it’s covered).

The solar credit is a non-refundable credit, so you must be paying federal taxes to use it. It is 26% in 2022 and 22% in 2023.

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3 hours ago, Rocketman3 said:

Nope - it qualifies as a second home. Currently second homes qualify. 
 

but like anything tax related… things can change. 

Yes, a MH qualifies as a “home”….just like vacation or second home.  My DW was an expert professional tax preparer….as in she did taxes for folks that had 7 figure “toys” like Prevosts and yachts and such.  We took the solar credit for our Camelot “solar system in 2009.  But….be advised.  The “energy tax credit” is a lifetime benefit.  So, if you listed a “HVAC update based on the SEER” on a previous tax return or high E window installation or whatever, there are rules on the lifetime tax credit….and the percentages change so, you have to know what the current percentages are.  
 

Solar has been reduced to 26% of the costs of a “system”.  It appears that the lifetime $1000 maximum for “other energy reduction systems do not apply to solar.

Read this and talk to your qualified tax preparer….  This comes from a Dept of Energy.Gov publication…..but my iPad will not post the link, so I copied the tax credit info.  And YES…..a “Home” can be another other place that you spend (live) time in….I guess a yacht might also qualify….but MH’s do…

What is the federal solar
tax credit?
• The federal residential solar energy credit is a tax credit that can be claimed on federal income taxes for a percentage of the cost of a solar photovoltaic (PV) system.2 (Other types of renewable energy are also eligible for similar credits but are beyond the scope of this guidance.)
• The system must be placed in service during the tax year and generate electricity for a home located in the United States. There is no bright-line test from the IRS on what constitutes “placed in service,” but the IRS has equated it with completed installation.3
• In December 2020, Congress passed an extension of the ITC, which provides a 26% tax credit for systems installed in 2020-2022, and 22% for systems installed in 2023.4 The tax credit expires starting in 2024 unless Congress renews it.
• There is no maximum amount that can be claimed.

 

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