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TruckFridge TF49 Install
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Silverghost500
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 11:55 am    Post subject: TruckFridge TF49 Install Reply with quote

I pulled the original Dometic out to install the new Truckfridge TF49 AC/DC unit. No wonder I couldn't get the smell out of the van! I had to take the Dometic outside and leave it there it smelled so bad! Mask, gloves, shop vac, and a bottle of Clorox I finally got the area clean.

Got the TF49 wired up using the switch panel on the side of the cabinet, blade fuse. Decided to leave the bottom open for now to let it air out, and put the piece of aromatic cedar on the top to improve the smell.

I've had the fridge operating for less than an hour and it's already colder than the Dometic was when run on 110AC or propane.

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jimf909 Premium Member
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:14 pm    Post subject: Re: TruckFridge TF49 Install Reply with quote

You're going to love the TF. It'll hit 97 degrees today and we'll enjoy ice cream and manhattans stirred with cold 10 degree ice tonight. Park the fridge side of the van in the sun? Leave to door open for 30 seconds to take a silly photo? No problem. It's 34 degrees in the TF and it's coasting.

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The TF requires more infrastructure than drop-dead simple propane but I find that it's worth it.

Enjoy.
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kourt
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 1:41 pm    Post subject: Re: TruckFridge TF49 Install Reply with quote

I just finished a three-week, 4,500 mile road trip from Texas to CO WY UT ID MT ND SD OK.

Part of the trip was a six day backcountry hike to Gannett Peak, the high point of Wyoming.

When I parked the van at the trailhead, I put four beers in the fridge. There was also a bunch of food in the fridge.

Six days later, I emerged victorious from the summit trip. We opened my van and immediately enjoyed the cold beer. I made omelettes.

Granted, I have a big solar/aux battery system to make that happen. But the TF49 was at the core of it all.

kourt
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aidanp
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 3:32 pm    Post subject: Re: TruckFridge TF49 Install Reply with quote

Do you know the full dimensions of the space after removing the old fridge?

Thanks
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CMcKnight
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 4:01 pm    Post subject: Re: TruckFridge TF49 Install Reply with quote

jimf909 wrote:


The TF requires more infrastructure than drop-dead simple propane but I find that it's worth it.




Can you elaborate on more infrastructure? I've been thinking about getting a new fridge like this for mine as well

Thanks
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kourt
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:01 pm    Post subject: Re: TruckFridge TF49 Install Reply with quote

The Hodakaguy fridge install thread is what I used to guide my TF-49 install.

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=6646093#6646093

kourt
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mrshrimp
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:45 pm    Post subject: Re: TruckFridge TF49 Install Reply with quote

Would love the truckfridge but the battery and solar set up required to go with it seems to get expensive. We live in oregon and so the dometic works fine. We just did a week with the kids and lots of food packed in there and food was cold the whole time. I need to add an override switch to the fan on back. We dont get to have ice cream but we can live with that for now. We plug the dometic on 110v the night before to prime it then switch to propane. It doesnt cool stuff efficiently but keeps it colds. It was running on propane the whole time and maybe used like $3 of gas.
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jimf909 Premium Member
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 11:55 pm    Post subject: Re: TruckFridge TF49 Install Reply with quote

CMcKnight wrote:
jimf909 wrote:


The TF requires more infrastructure than drop-dead simple propane but I find that it's worth it.




Can you elaborate on more infrastructure? I've been thinking about getting a new fridge like this for mine as well

Thanks


The infrastructure required for multiple days out include either 120 volt AC power (plugged in at a campground, etc), batteries plus solar or running the van motor to charge the batteries.

We don't always camp near 120v AC and prefer to not run the motor to just charge the battery so batteries plus solar is what we use.

- 160 watts roof mounted solar panels
- 100 watt solar panels under the mattress to use as a remote aux. panel
- Victron Solar controller
- Wire to connect it all
- 150 ah of AGM batteries

That's roughly what we use as a starting point.
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Current: 1990 Westy Camper - Bostig RG4, 2wd, manual trans w/Peloquin, NAHT high-top, Flash Silver, seam rust, bondo, etc., etc.

Past: 1985 Westy Camper - 1.9 wbx, 2wd, manual trans, Merian Brown, (sold after 17 years to Northwesty who converted it to a Syncro).
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Silverghost500
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2020 2:34 pm    Post subject: Re: TruckFridge TF49 Install Reply with quote

I've already been improving my aux battery setup with a Renogy solar panel and charger. I'm upgrading to a higher amp hour battery in the next week. I wanted a fridge system that would stay cold consistently in transit and at rest.

My past bad experiences with other 3-way Dometic fridges in other RVs influenced my decision. Those units were a constant source of frustration and inconsistency, and the number one problem system on each RV. There wasn't a single camping trip that didn't have me spending intimate time with the fridge, only to get mediocre performance.

I've had the TF49 running on AC for the past few hours. It's 89 degrees ambient temperatures here, and the interior of the fridge is a cold 32 degrees. I've never had that happen with any of the other 3-way fridges I've owned!
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jimf909 Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2020 8:48 pm    Post subject: Re: TruckFridge TF49 Install Reply with quote

I recall testing the TF49 (I actually have a VF51...they're the same thing) by putting a glass of water on the bottom shelf over night with the t-stat on high and the glass of water was frozen solid in the morning.
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Current: 1990 Westy Camper - Bostig RG4, 2wd, manual trans w/Peloquin, NAHT high-top, Flash Silver, seam rust, bondo, etc., etc.

Past: 1985 Westy Camper - 1.9 wbx, 2wd, manual trans, Merian Brown, (sold after 17 years to Northwesty who converted it to a Syncro).
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Royb
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 5:48 pm    Post subject: Re: TruckFridge TF49 Install Reply with quote

what’s the minimum battery needed to run a Truckfridge? I have a little Odyssey 1200, with a 15 watt solar panel to top it off when camping, that I love, but would that 42 amp/hour battery be instantly depleted? I am finally ready to abandon the weak sauce Dometic 3-way, but am not excited about more batteries and solar.
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dobryan
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 6:13 pm    Post subject: Re: TruckFridge TF49 Install Reply with quote

Royb wrote:
what’s the minimum battery needed to run a Truckfridge? I have a little Odyssey 1200, with a 15 watt solar panel to top it off when camping, that I love, but would that 42 amp/hour battery be instantly depleted? I am finally ready to abandon the weak sauce Dometic 3-way, but am not excited about more batteries and solar.


You should get a day out of that battery. Solar is not expensive if you get the folding portable panels with built in charge controllers.
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Silverghost500
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 6:39 am    Post subject: Re: TruckFridge TF49 Install Reply with quote

I've not done a lot of testing with it since installation. It does work off my little 35aH AGM aux battery, and doesn't really seem to pull it down a lot. I intend to upgrade to a 50aH or higher battery that'll fit under the driver's seat to have a little more longevity battery life when using the fridge.

The TF49 will cut off when battery connection reaches 10.0 volts according to the user's manual, and will cut back on when 11 volts is detected.

Agree, getting solar upgraded to keep your battery topped up is fairly simple these days. I suggest thinking about what environments (full sun, part shade, full shade, etc) when thinking about a solar solution. You may want a panel that you can chase the sun with if you plan on shady camp spots. That's what I've done with my 100w Renogy panel.
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vwwestyman
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:15 am    Post subject: Re: TruckFridge TF49 Install Reply with quote

I don't have a TruckFridge, I've got an Engle cooler-style fridge. But I suspect the battery issues are similar.

I think the biggest consideration is how you camp/use your Van. If you typically road trip and move from day to day, or maybe only stay in one spot for like a long weekend, then I'm convinced you don't need much more than a second battery. That'll easily keep it going overnight, even if you've got a heater or something too. At least it has for me.

Last fall we went on a trip where the Bus did sit for 3 nights. I think I did start it up and let it idle for a while on Saturday but that was all that was needed.

And I don't even currently have a proper "house" battery setup. My current setup is simply a largish (in size, I don't know the actual CCA rating) marine battery that was borrowed from our ski boat. I wired up a male cigarette lighter plug and fed 12v into the Bus via a cigarette lighter plug.

That's how most of my camping/road trips typically go, so I haven't worried about lots of extra batteries or solar or anything like that.

Just food for thought for people who might be avoiding a fridge for fears of then having to invest a ton into batteries and solar. If you were going to leave it for several days (as described by the hiking trip story) that would be something else. But if you typically road trip or do short trips, it is certainly possible to easily get away with not much more than a second battery.
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nocreditnodebt
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 4:22 pm    Post subject: Re: TruckFridge TF49 Install Reply with quote

Carry a fully charged jumper battery, like the Ub12180 @ ~35$ delivered, and always be able to self jumpstart should one drain the main starter battery too low.
Have a good enough plug in charger to top off both batteries once one returns home, and its also pretty easy to rig a simple manual method up to alternator charge the Ub12180 albeit slowly, while underway too.

A separate house battery with all the accoutrements, is largely warm and fuzzies in my experience full timing for nearly 20 years. My warm and fuzzies now come from optimized recharging sources, read manual voltage control.

I once carried 345Ah total capacity, and then most recently got 6 years out of just 90AH of TPPL AGM group 27, and a better cycle per$ than previous larger capacity flooded banks, but now cycle a TPPl AGM group 31.

It has No issues starting my v8 engine depleted 78 of its 103AH, and it will gobble everything my 120amp alternator has leftover when depleted that low. Getting it to 85% charged can occur fairly quickly given steady engine rpm over 1200, but 85% to 100% is the time eater, even when held at 14.5ish volts, requiring no less than 3 more hours.

I have an extra insulated Vfc51is with optimized condenser/compressor ventilation, and it averages 0.42 Ah each hour as I use it in 70f average ambients. its not all that hard to make these more efficient.

The danfoss/secop bd35f compressor could power a much larger fridge easily, and laughs at 1.8 cubic feet of capacity, until ambient temp exceed 110f or one has a significant other who thinks it is 'just fine' to leave the door open for 5 minutes while they prep something to eat.
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zoti
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 4:56 pm    Post subject: Re: TruckFridge TF49 Install Reply with quote

kourt wrote:
I just finished a three-week, 4,500 mile road trip from Texas to CO WY UT ID MT ND SD OK.

Part of the trip was a six day backcountry hike to Gannett Peak, the high point of Wyoming.

When I parked the van at the trailhead, I put four beers in the fridge. There was also a bunch of food in the fridge.

Six days later, I emerged victorious from the summit trip. We opened my van and immediately enjoyed the cold beer. I made omelettes.

Granted, I have a big solar/aux battery system to make that happen. But the TF49 was at the core of it all.

kourt


mind sharing your solar setup? I'm trying to decide what to go with.
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