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Poll
Question: What type of refrigerator do (or will) you have in your bus?
"RV" absorption type (Propane, with or without electric option) - 33 (29.2%)
Household type (120-VAC only) - 65 (57.5%)
DC compressor type (RV/Marine) - 13 (11.5%)
Non-RV Absorption type (e.g. Danby, Crystal Cold) - 0 (0%)
Off-grid compressor type (e.g. Sun Frost) - 1 (0.9%)
I have no idea what makes my fridge work - 0 (0%)
Home made (please elaborate in your post) - 1 (0.9%)
Total Voters: 112

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Author Topic: What type of refrigerator do (will) you have in your bus?  (Read 3424 times)
Sean
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« on: August 10, 2010, 01:18:46 PM »

Following up on the thread started by TomC, and in response to a request there, I am starting this poll.  Please mark what type of fridge you have in your bus or plan to have in your bus.

I think the options are clear, and mostly complete.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
« Last Edit: August 10, 2010, 03:39:39 PM by Sean » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2010, 01:21:14 PM »

[superseded]
« Last Edit: August 10, 2010, 03:40:47 PM by Sean » Logged

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Ed Hackenbruch
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« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2010, 02:02:22 PM »

We have a Norcold  8 CF. gas/electric that was reconditioned and bought by the PO in April of 03. We bought the bus in late Sept. of 03 and have been fulltiming since late Jan. of 04. Most of the time we are plugged in so we have it on electric, but we did dry camp for almost 4 months one time and ran it on gas then. Have never had a problem so far but i do wonder how much longer it will last. Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2010, 02:09:09 PM »

Ed, if you use that fridge everyday like you are doing they last a long time I know of some that are over 30 years old and still kicking the problem is they clog up when not in use the one used 3 or 4 times a year give you the problem   sorry Sean
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« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2010, 02:25:01 PM »

Clifford, if i can get another 23 years out of mine i will be a happy camper! Grin
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« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2010, 02:28:10 PM »

Sean, I fixed the poll, just wanted to post it here as it will not allow me to post a reason why. Didn't want another Mod try to figure out what to fix! Grin

We had a Norcold RV type and used it on A/C for the time we had it. It quite working and I smelled amonia so we yanked it out and put in an apartment size Whirlpool.

If we were in a position to travel/boondock more we might have tried to fix it or buy a new unit. I think everyone knows why we went that route! Wink

Paul
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« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2010, 03:47:39 PM »

Sean, I fixed the poll, just wanted to post it here as it will not allow me to post a reason why. Didn't want another Mod try to figure out what to fix! Grin


Thanks, Paul.  I have re-edited my OP and deleted my follow-up since your fix supersedes them.

...  sorry Sean


Clifford, not sure I understand the "sorry" part...  I don't have a dog in this race.  I'm just the guy who started the poll.  For many folks, an LP absorption unit is the best choice, and it is certainly the most common factory-installed type.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2010, 04:00:27 PM »

LOL I see what you are talking about Sean the part about hi jacking your thread didn't show up I been having that problem the last few weeks 


good luck
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« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2010, 04:37:03 PM »

We have the 10cf apartment size Whirlpool .

I put it in on a raised platform, which makes the height perfect for adults with limited bending over. It has drawer underneath, side vents on both sides and one on top for shedding any heat.

As we are weekenders and one or two weeks here and there it works great.

I am not a fan of the RV units after several in other units, the house unit gets items cold, not just cool. as all my experience with RV type refrigerators has been.

YMMV

Cliff
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« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2010, 05:11:15 PM »

This is a timely post as I am currently shopping for a refrigerator for my 1981 Prevost Liberty conversion.  I recently purchased the bus and the refrigerator was not working (and very old).  I want to go with a household unit.  We only plan on a couple of trips a year that are less than one week in length.  The problem I am having is finding a unit with the right depth.  I can add to the heigh and to the width, but my configuration only allows for 23 1/2" in depth (I might could squeeze 24").  If anyone is familiar with a shallow refrigerator let me know.

Brian S.

Disregard this post.  I just saw the other thread here http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=17005.0
« Last Edit: August 10, 2010, 05:20:08 PM by Depewtee » Logged

Brian Shonk
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1981 Prevost LeMirage Liberty Coach
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« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2010, 06:15:03 PM »

Our refrigerator is a household type that Jamie found on the side of the road, it was at the end of a driveway and had a piece of paper taped to it that said 'works, free', Jamie tipped it onto it's side and pushed it into the back of her Subaru station wagon and ran it out to me, after much wrassling and pushing and more than a little sweat we managed to wiggle it into the bus and hooked it up, it works just fine, that was in 2002 and it still works great.
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« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2010, 06:20:04 PM »

There are nice Amish made propane fridges on the market like the Miller but they are pricey a 17cf cost about 2000 bucks and they use very little propane 1.5 lbs per day a friend has one in his Prevost he  removed his 18 cf Amana  ac unit last year and loves the Miller fridge also likes his Miller Lite cold lol
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« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2010, 06:28:22 PM »

We have one like this but not near as nice and not frost free

http://www.homeeverything.com/web/sitefiles/product.asp?sku=15492&ref=cNexTag


But if and when i might do over,  I would greatly consider something like this because i would be trying maximize battery charge life.

http://www.subzero.com/UndercounterRefrigeration/700BCDrawers
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« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2010, 06:29:29 PM »

Miller Lite is some nasty stuff no matter how cold it is!!  Wink I finally weeded out all my Miller Lite buddies! Sometimes you have to draw the line! Grin Grin
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« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2010, 06:30:13 PM »

I voted for  all electric marine type, dc/ac, since if I was buying one today that is what i would buy.  what I have is a propane dc/ac Norcold that works perfectly on propane in my drive way and reliably wakes me up at night on the road with a 'no fl' code that I can't stop...  That is my conundrum.  I just have a gut feel that compressor type fridges can be more reliable than ammonia type fridges, ove the long term.  I'm probably wrong...

Brian
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« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2010, 06:35:21 PM »

Our bus had a Dometic 2 door 3 way maybe 8CF  when we bought it. It kicked the bucket shortly after we started full-timing. I found a deal on a Norcold 1200 series 4 door 2 way (110V & gas) with an ice maker. I liked to killed myself getting it in the bus  but it is great! The only problem I have had is the big snow storms we had blew snow into the bottom & made it quit. I removed the vent panel & cleaned the snow out & it worked fine.

I am going to hate to lose it when we sell the bus.

TOM
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« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2010, 06:46:55 PM »

Brian, if that is the only reason for buying a new fridge it is a waste of money that is only a ground causing that problem I fought that for 6 months on a guys bus .



good luck
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« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2010, 06:59:32 PM »

What did you do with ground to correct the problem?  I have a dedicated 12vdc ground 10 gauge back to source ( I have a dc ground buss bar setup) and I have the ac ground as well, since it's always plugged into ac even if it's not running from ac. 
What more did you do with grounds?  I will say that both of the ground wires run at least 15 feet as they wend their way back to source.  Should I also have a local ground to chassis, or similar?  I have damn near rebuilt the fridge propane section, bar replacing all the cards...

Brian
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Sean
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« Reply #18 on: August 10, 2010, 07:46:23 PM »

Brian,

Replace the controller with a Dinosaur board.  The OEM boards are junk.  FWIW.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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« Reply #19 on: August 10, 2010, 07:52:43 PM »

I went with the Fridge, stove, and Kitchen sink all in one unit. Home depot sells them cannot remember the make.  30 inches wide and same height as my counter top.
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« Reply #20 on: August 10, 2010, 09:18:25 PM »

Brian, we found three dealers selling Dinosaur boards in Quartzsite in January. At least two of them did not sell any OEM. I second Sean's recommendation.

Good luck.

Tom Caffrey
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« Reply #21 on: August 10, 2010, 09:31:17 PM »

I plan on using a smallish (maybe about 6 cu.ft.) chest freezer with an external thermostat.   The advantages (VERY VERY low power consumption, excellent insulation, essentially zero cold loss when the door is opened, cheap, readily available) for me will far outweigh the slight inconvenience of having to arrange its contents in baskets.   Some folk doing this have still managed to keep things frozen in their fridgers, by making simple internal walls that keep the freezing-cold in one area and the less-cold in another area.   A friend of mine who lives in the SoCal high desert has a small chest freezer with a home-brewing external thermostat, and it works just fine.

By using this approach I should be easily able to run it off solar PV panels all year round.   A small cheapo inverter is all it will need, and to save even more power the external thermostat can switch the inverter on and off as needed, eliminating any power draw when the fridger is not running.   Some users report their fridgers actually run for only 90 seconds per hour!

This whole idea is nothing new, but I'm surprised it hasn't caught on more with mobile dwellers.   Here's an antipodean take on it:
http://www.mtbest.net/chest_fridge.html

John
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« Reply #22 on: August 11, 2010, 07:22:32 AM »

I've put in a Norcold (came from a 1995 travel trailer) and I've had no issues with it.  However, I kinda wish I had kept my Dometic (from 1973!) because it did not require a constant 12v power source.  The old mechanical sparker had broken, so you lit it by hand. 

Glenn
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« Reply #23 on: August 11, 2010, 08:52:57 AM »

After playing with design after design, I've decided to follow the same route I'd used on an old boat.   I'll build an icebox with a DC coldplate.
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« Reply #24 on: August 11, 2010, 09:01:28 AM »

I used one from Summit products. !@0vac, draws 1.2a according to the tag. I belive that is correct as I forgot to turn off the inverter and it was cold after 7 days LOL! Good ything is that it is only 21" dp. Very important in close quarters

www.summitappliance.com



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« Reply #25 on: August 11, 2010, 09:14:58 AM »

I did have a Whirlpool house fridge, until moving to a rural airport with no electricity. 

I took out the house fridge, and put in a Dometic 3-way, running on propane.

If I get back to a park somewhere, I also have a deep freeze that runs on shore power only (until I put in more solar panels).

When I get all the solar and batteries I want (the back half of the coach roof may be all panels, except for the hatch and where it goes when open), I may still keep the propane fridge.  My primary need is for freezing, so I don't need a lot of fridge if I have the deep freezer to use.

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« Reply #26 on: August 11, 2010, 10:27:46 AM »

What Sean and Tom said re Dinosaur boards.  We love the propane option for times when power is in short supply - like right now when we are on a 15 amp plug or in the winter at Quartzsite.  But until Tom told me about Dinosaur boards I had non-stop problems with the check light coming on when we were on propane.  Trying to stay OT, I think there are a few mission critical decisions that need to be made when building a conversion.  The ideal choice of fridge, range and hot water is a decision that depends very heavily on how you will actually use the coach.  If you go pedestal to pedestal then you've got lots of options that will all work.  If you plan to be off-grid a lot of the time then you have to think through what you are doing a lot more carefully.
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« Reply #27 on: August 11, 2010, 12:30:53 PM »

120VAC at 18.1 ft3. Had an RV fridge in the first bus, 8 ft3 I think. Several boards and then finally a Dinosaur board fixed the problem. Shopping was frequent because of the size. We go through a lot of fresh veggies.
Second bus we opted for the household type for size, cost and easy build. Size - no RV fridge at 18ft3 with an ice maker. Cost - about $700 or about half of the 8ft3 RV type, Easy build - No holes in the side and roof.
And yes I can change it out. Compressor failed under warranty. I pulled into the dealer's yard. Removed kitchen table and window trim. Removed screw for window. Pushed window out for dealer's crew to grab. Slid refrigerator out of cabinet. Laid it on its side with help from crew. They shoved it out the window onto fork truck. Then brought the replacement in and raised it to vertical. Total time with everything returned to normal was less than 45 minutes. It was December in Maine

Bill
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« Reply #28 on: August 13, 2010, 12:16:38 PM »

In the last 26 years of owning our bus we have gone through 3 RV type fridge.  I just put in a house hold type, don't know what the outcome will be yet.
Jack
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« Reply #29 on: August 14, 2010, 04:32:17 AM »

Good topic!

I have a house refrigerator "UNIQUE" gas only on my coach. I bought it last march. Actually, I come back a little trip. 3 weeks on the road for visiting Atlantic province of Canada.

http://www.uniqueoffgrid.com/en/Consumers/howpropanefridges.asp

The fridge has a problem now. During the trip, there has an odor on the coach. black fume on the celling. The section of fridge was not very cold. Many time I clean the cheminee with brush. Yesterday, on the road for come back house, the fridge didn't want to re-start.

I don't know the problem. In my first conversion, I had a house gas refrigerator and never had a problem. It's for that I bought the house refrigerator. No electronic card or gadget...

Monday, I will call my dealer. In the manual of fridge, I read "not use for the RV"...what do you think?
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