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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 3305 times)
oldmansax
Tom & Phyllis
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'82 Bluebird Wanderlodge PT40




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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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'82 BlueBird WanderLodge PT40 being rebuilt
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luvrbus
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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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bevans6
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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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1980 MCI MC-5C, 8V-71T from a M-110 self propelled howitzer
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Sean
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'85 Neoplan Spaceliner "Odyssey"


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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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Paso One
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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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Tom Caffrey PD4106-2576
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Ketchikan, Alaska
Iceni John
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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
« Last Edit: August 10, 2010, 09:40:04 PM by Iceni John » Logged

1990 Crown 2R-40N-552:  6V92TAC, DDEC II, HT740, Jake.      Hecho en Chino.     
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Tenor
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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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Glenn Williams
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it_mike
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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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BG6
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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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bobofthenorth
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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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R.J.(Bob) Evans
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Bill B /bus
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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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Bill & Lynn
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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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Le Mirage
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Le Mirage XL 1987




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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?
« Last Edit: August 14, 2010, 04:34:59 AM by Le Mirage » Logged

GaŽtan & Manon (french canadian)
Prevost, Le Mirage XL, 1987
Quebec, Canada

http://latchodromquebec.blogspot.com/2010/05/la-fin-du-voyage.html

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