Finally finished (almost) and tested the kitchen cabinet, I just need to make the countertop now.. no big deal I just need some time... oops..
As you can see it follows the same theme as the driver side cabinet (see previous posts)..
Report from the week-end :
- having a fridge is soooo cool ! (pun intended), I basically took the food and ice creams from my home fridge, dropped it in the van, added a couple beers, GO !
- having a fridge (my fridge) drains the battery... I believe so ... : I left Friday after work, started the fridge while the van was still getting some sun (I know, I should have started in the morning.. I'm not that organized..) while I was packing the van. Saturday morning the solar controller was showing 12.6V on the battery. Oh please note that I don't have those fancy battery monitor YET... so battery SOC is guesstimated from battery voltage. 12.6V should reprensent +-80% SOC, that's fine ! A bit cloudy during the day but not that bad, the solar controller was showing some good charging activity. Sunday morning 12.4V.. hum.. that's weird I was hoping the solar panel would fully recharge the battery during the day so I was expecting 12.6V again the next morning, + I didn't really spent lots of time with the lighting ON, maximium 2 hours I'd say.. the Maxxair was running 1/3 speed all week-end though. sunday a bit cloudy in the afternoon but overall lots of sun, charging was good ! But this morning (monday) it was showing 12.3V when I woke up, that's a good drop.. no lighting yesterday night, and I turned the fan OFF in the middle of the night...
So yeah, after 3 days I felt like the solar panel (295W) was not enough to recharge the battery (230 AH) at 100%.. a bit disappointing and surprising at the same time.
What I noticed is the fridge doesn't cycle, it looks like it runs 100% of the time to maintain its temperature, I never heard it start or stop, always on. It's a 2nd hand fridge (Dometic/Waeco CR50) I got from a trucking company, might be 10 year old but the temperature test they gave me was OK.. it showed it could reach and keep its temperature, but it didn't show if the fridge was running full on to achieve that, which could explain the energy consumption..
Anyone with this kind of fridge can tell me if his fridge cycles on/off or if it's running all the time ?
Since for now I'm relying 100% on solar and winter will arrive soon (even less sun available), I need to address that.
First I know I have to buy a real battery monitor to accurately control the SOC and how the energy is used.
Then I have a 120V charger for the house battery, a good one (Samlex 1230UL) but I never installed it. I used it to keep the battery charged while I was building the first cabinets of the van. Since I already have that, I plan on sourcing a 12V/120V converter and plug those 2 back-to-back to recharge while driving. A battery-to-battery charger would have been my first choice since I don't know yet how I will prevent the "converter/120V charger" combo to drain my van battery if I forget to turn it off... but it's pretty expensive.
A simple isolator might do the trick for charging though, I know it's not the best way to charge since you never achieve the 100% SOC like a real multi-stage charger, but if it can help me "refill" the battery to let's say 90% then the solar takes care of the rest.. it might be enough.
Any thought ?
Also do I really need a pure sine inverter to plug the 120V charger ? I don't need 120V for anything but the charger... which will convert it back to 12V DC anyway..