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Author Topic: Fridge - propane or electric?  (Read 3041 times)
Airbag
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« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2009, 06:15:29 AM »

I have the three way fridge, I believe it is a Nor Cold. I love it it just takes care of it self. I valve on the propane and turn it on auto and it works great. I have never had a problem with it.

I could see the advantage of a full size fridge, ours gets stuffed with two boys on board but I would not trade the brain of this fridge for it.
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RickB
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« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2009, 06:59:44 AM »

Other than the drivetrain and braking systems, I have no more used and depended upon part of our bus on trips than our Dometic propane/electric fridge. It is so nice to turn that on propane for a long drive and only run the generator if we absolutely have to. It uses almost no propane and really cools well.
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« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2009, 08:01:07 AM »

I chose a household fridge over an absorption fridge because I was never happy with the performance of the one in my travel trailer.  I also wanted more space.  I have 6 AGM batteries and can run the fridge by itself for about two days.  In real life with everything else using power I might get a day before I have to charge the batteries.

I use hook latches on the sides of the doors to keep my fridge doors closed.  I bought two nice stainless steel latches from McMaster-Carr.  They have bases with screw holes.  I used short screws to screw them to the fridge body and the edge of the door.  Some of the screws had to be secured with JB Weld as the metal is so thin.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2009, 08:16:18 AM »

Guys, if you have the cash buy a Sun Frost 12/24 it will out preform any household fridge on the market for amps and run time runs off the battery bank no need for a inverter.  
And the Miller propane fridge is good preforming unit also and I have a Norcold 100# freezer 12v in the bay of my bus and it will run for week on a single 12 volt battery

good luck
« Last Edit: August 24, 2009, 08:34:30 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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cody
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« Reply #19 on: August 24, 2009, 09:01:01 AM »

Our fridge is a 16 cu ft model that my daughter found on the side of the road with a works/free sign on it, it was out at the end of a driveway by the road lol, she backed up to it and loaded it into the back of her subaru wagon and brought it to me. I figured, ya sure, lol but plugged it in anyway and it ran perfectly so I figured it would work temporarily and wrassled it into the bus, it's been in there 6 years now and still works perfectly.
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bobofthenorth
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« Reply #20 on: August 24, 2009, 09:14:06 AM »

I've never understood the aversion to propane that some people seem to have.  We have a Dometic 3-way fridge that has had all of the typical Dometic control board problems.  Last winter I installed a Dinosaur board and haven't had any problems since - yet.  Even with the Dometic problems I wouldn't want to be without propane.  It lets us run for extended periods on batteries.  We also have a propane cooktop and I would like to have some way to use propane for hot water but that is still a someday project.  More options is better as far as I am concerned.  If you are going to go electric only then look for the most efficient unit you can find.  Our Dometic would be somewhere on the other end of the efficiency spectrum which helps explain why I am so happy that we have the propane option.

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cody
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« Reply #21 on: August 24, 2009, 09:24:56 AM »

We have no aversion to propane, our revcon has a 12 cubic ft 3-way fridge and our bus has propane for the stove, but I did like the price on the fridge, free is always good lol.
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kyle4501
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« Reply #22 on: August 24, 2009, 10:05:16 AM »

I would think that a well insulated  fridge would keep cool for quite a while.
I have a 2 way (110V - LP) in my camper that works well. I haven't had any problems with it so far. We use it differently than our home unit. We pre-cool everything before we put it in for the trip.

If I have to replace it, I'll put the same back because I don't want the weight of the batteries that would be required in a camper trailer.

In our first camper, we put in a 3 way(12V 110V LP) & won't bother with that 12V option ever again because the 12V amp draw was enough to quickly drain the batteries if you ran out of LP. When that happened, we had no lights & couldn't even cook the meat before it spoiled (primitive park with no outside fires- we didn't take a grill because we had the LP stove & didn't have room).  Sad 



For my bus, I'll probably use a 110v fridge that is the 'old style' that isn't frost free & doesn't use a fan. (The defroster eats a lot of electricity.)
I'll minimize its electricity needs by :
- disabling the heat strips around the door. (they are there to minimize condensation collecting there.)
- getting one that had the condenser coils on the back - they can be spaced further away from the box & more insulation can be installed to keep that heat away from the fridge.
- adding more insulation to the sides & door so it keeps cool longer.
- ducting an efficient as possible draft behind the fridge around the condenser coils to increase the efficiency of the fridge.
- modifying the setpoints on the thermostat so the compressor runs longer & starts less frequently.
- following Gary's lead with the dedicated inverter.

All these modifications will be something I can do that will give me the performance of a super high efficiency unit for less $$$. Since I'm building the bus interior, this will be included in the plan.
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« Reply #23 on: August 24, 2009, 03:36:28 PM »

First liar doesn't stand a chance. Wink Cheesy  I have an ancient 74 Winnebago.  I replaced the fridge last year, not because it didn't cool, but because I messed up the door in the thing.  Stupid mistake on my part.  Getting cold was never the problem.  The problem was that it froze everything in the bottom, lettuce, milk. whatever.  They make a little fan that runs off of a single d cell that lasts months and that kept the inside even cold and the thermostat always did work.  Never a single problem except that I replaced the door gasket.  Ran on almost no propane at all after the new gasket.  I have heard many bad reports about Norcold thru the years.

A friend bought a RV in process that was powered by a Old's Toranado that was turned around and mounted in the rear as a pusher.  The guy that had started the project, RV from scratch, frame up had died years ago.  The current owner was 80, had been able to do little with it but had kept it in a barn.  My friend gave up too and parted it out.  I got a brand new Dometic gas two way and a roof air new in the original box.  Dometic refer had never had gas or ac run to it and all the packing cardboard was still inside.  I paid $100 each forthe refer and AC unit and $25 for the HW heater....all labeled "1974", new and unused. 

Beat that, Cowboy!

John
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« Reply #24 on: August 26, 2009, 03:17:17 PM »

Some info at:  http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=8110.msg80274;topicseen#msg80274
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« Reply #25 on: August 26, 2009, 05:47:37 PM »

Quote
I've never understood the aversion to propane that some people seem to have.

introduce a heavier than air highly inflammable gas to a vehicle which runs on nice safe diesel. not me.
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