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Author Topic: Using a residential fridge anybody?  (Read 1889 times)
Mex-Busnut
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« on: June 22, 2013, 07:39:41 AM »

Dear Friends:

We ended up getting a residential fridge. It is a 9 cubic foot LG model, and uses about 105 watts when running.

I am paying close attention to the clearances stated in the manual. (3 centimeters --1.18 inches-- clearance on each side and top, and six cm --2.36 inches-- clearance to the rear. Manual is in Spanish, so all measurements in it are metric.)

The fridge will be firmly fastened to the floor, and also have a strong cross brace holding it in place at the top. Hope to post some pix in a little while.

I am wondering if perhaps we might need to add some external ventilation. I am thinking of a parked bus on a hot day. What do you experts think?

Thanks in advance!
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Dr. Steve, San Juan del Río, Querétaro, Mexico, North America, Planet Earth, Milky Way.
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« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2013, 07:52:19 AM »

We replaced our Norcold when it died a horrible death, with a Whirlpool 10.0 cu ft household/apartment fridge. Fortunately the roof vent was already in place, so I wasn't worried. It says to leave a 3" space above the fridge, we have a lot more than that.

I would think as long as it gets some circulation you will OK. We full-time in ours so when it gets hot inside the coach, the A/C is used.

If yours is parked and not used for extended periods, might be a different story.

It's been happily running for over 3 years.
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« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2013, 07:52:47 AM »

not an expert by any definition but I do have a residential refrigerator in my coach and it is 10 years in service.
I do have a dryer vent hose brush that I use to aid in vacuum cleaning the condenser coil 2-3 times a year, maybe more.
I suspect the unit will go another 10 years.
hope this helps.
ps no additional outside vent/cooling....no holes were cut, the Eagle was not wounded during this install.... Grin
and no propane in my bus.... Grin
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lorna
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« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2013, 08:29:15 AM »

We installed a dorm size fridge and an undercounter freezer in an old Class C in2006. It's still going strong. In that case we simply reused the original RV vents. We did have to add a small fan when temps got real high to move the air for the freezer unit. The wall vent was level with the fridge compressor but the freezer was sitting on the bottom. The was only 2" max airspace on sides.

In the skoolie, we have two dorm sized (4.2 cf each) units stacked and also an upright 12cf freezer. We bumped the side clearances up a little. We have a single vent about waist high. No vent out the roof. Only problem we have found is that I had to lay in a paper air conditioner filter to keep the dust from blowing in during one of our daily dust storms. This is our second summer like this in central New Mexico and it does get very hot here (triple digits). Units work just fine. Air conditioning was install just in the past few weeks.

Picture of our vents on the freezer and the refrigerators...
 
view from inside...I made a little screen to keep bugs out.

 
view of side. The vent was painted the same colour as the body. The vent for the two refrigerators is located in the first panel past the single window in front of the rear tires.

The vent panels we used are about the same size as the vented access panel that was on the Class C but has more louvered area.

This is what is working for us. We live fulltime in our bus.

 
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Lee Bradley
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« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2013, 02:16:35 PM »

Just got a Summit into my Neoplan. I think it is pretty similar to the LG. I'm not adding any more venting than having the kitchen fan come on if the temperature gets to high.

 
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Cary and Don
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« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2013, 05:59:48 PM »

We have had both.  Like the apartment sized fridge.  When the norcold dies,  it will be replaced with another apartment fridge.  You get a lot more actual space in the same foot print. 

Don and Cary
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« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2013, 06:56:38 PM »

I just replaced the norcold that died last month with a 10 cu ft apartment fridge. Been in about a month now. I mostly boondock so I installed a couple more batteries and a few more solar panels. All said and done I am still several hundred dollars less than a new rv type fridge, and I have upgraded the 12 volt system to boot. Money well spent in my opinion.

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« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2013, 07:21:49 PM »

I insalled a house type in the MC7 conversion, had ice maker and defrost, loved it over 15 years and never an issue.  So when I purchased my present coach, a Foretravel, it had the lp gas  unit, never liked it, so had a Samsung 24 cuft, it was the right size to fit the hole, yes it is big, I now use part of it for storing my dry goods, not cans but ceral boxs etc, Biggie issue also I have no need for the LP Gas tank, so removed it and installed two additional 8D Gel Cell bats, total 5 of em now, that works great too.
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« Last Edit: June 22, 2013, 07:23:41 PM by wg4t50 » Logged

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Seayfam
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« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2013, 07:25:51 PM »

I just replaced the norcold that died last month with a 10 cu ft apartment fridge. Been in about a month now. I mostly boondock so I installed a couple more batteries and a few more solar panels. All said and done I am still several hundred dollars less than a new rv type fridge, and I have upgraded the 12 volt system to boot. Money well spent in my opinion.

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How big is your battery bank now that you have upgraded it? I'm a boondocker myself and I really love LP for that reason, but I'm now having some problems with my Dometic. It's working good on the freezer side but not the refrigerator side when on LP, but it works great when on electric. I've thought about switching also, but just not sure if it will work for boondocking.
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Gary Seay (location Alaska)
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« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2013, 07:44:52 PM »

We have a guy in Chino Valley Az that sells the Amish built fridges he charged me 15 bucks to do a little work on our Norcold in the motor home it works with the best house type on the market now in 115 degree heat if you turn it down to low it will freeze the milk  

I didn't have the choice to go with 5- 8D batteries not enough space and I was not going to spend the big bucks to upgrade the inverter we never stay in RV parks a space along the rivers in Idaho works for us so does the Norcold



 I hate going to rallies and people running the generator to charge the batteries from the fridge draw over night now who is the first to say we only run ours once a week to keep it charged lol

 I look at the bus with 8-8D lifeLine Glass mats 2 stacked 4000 watts S/W inverters and say gee if this is bad I looking at probably 12 grand
« Last Edit: June 22, 2013, 07:54:40 PM by luvrbus » Logged

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Seayfam
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« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2013, 07:56:59 PM »

I'm with you Clifford, I'd rather be parked along some river in Idaho listening to the water and birds instead of a generator. I guess you'd be a great neighbor! I think LP is the only way to go when it comes to boondocking. I think if I was sitting on a pole all the time, I'd go all electric. The problem is... Ain't no poles where I like to get away Lol
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Gary Seay (location Alaska)
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« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2013, 08:01:33 PM »

Yep those current(Currant) bushes don't produce much power and Steel Head and trout hate generators  Roll Eyes call the guy in Chino Valley

1-928-636-1955 he will walk you through the testing and if by chance the cooling unit is bad he will ship and tell you how to install it  

He reads this board but he never posts
« Last Edit: June 22, 2013, 08:21:49 PM by luvrbus » Logged

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Seayfam
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« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2013, 08:46:25 PM »

Thanks Clifford! I'll give him a call on Monday. Maybe it'll be a ten dollar part? It would sure be nice if I can get it working again, it's been a really good refrigerator.
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Gary Seay (location Alaska)
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« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2013, 05:50:57 AM »

I replaced my LP fridge with a 8.8 ft. Summit.  Sealed it on sides, top and bottom.  Left original outside vents open.  My thinking is that since my little bit of camping is in warmer weather, I would rather have the heat from the fridge go outside.  Also didn't have any other choice as fridge is a tight fit in original hole.

Luvurbus,
I take it that you have never camped beside your friend, Sonny.  At BK's rally he ran his gen around the clock, if I recall correctly.  It wasn't too loud.  I actually can sleep better with some white noise.
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« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2013, 06:07:29 AM »

26 cubit footer in ours. The biggest Samsung made at the time. Huge. Ginormous. Yes, food is high on our priority list.  Cool
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Scott & Heather
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« Reply #15 on: June 23, 2013, 06:13:14 AM »

I have parked next to Sonnie there was a reason he ran his generator and he always made a habit out of parking away from others when all possible   
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Mex-Busnut
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« Reply #16 on: June 23, 2013, 06:30:10 AM »

I wonder how many of you dear friends running gas fridges turn them OFF (as the law requires) every time you enter a diesel fuel station? Just curious.
 Grin
We had a large Dometic in our 32-foot fifth wheel, and it gave a lot of problems on the gas side. Always worked fine on AC, though.
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Dr. Steve, San Juan del Río, Querétaro, Mexico, North America, Planet Earth, Milky Way.
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« Reply #17 on: June 23, 2013, 06:38:55 AM »

I used an apartment sized fridge and was very happy with it.  On the install I carefully adhered to dimensions recommended.

 Several years go buy and the fridge needs service, so at a couple hundred dollars for a new one, I decide to replace it instead.  I uninstall it and put it to the curb where it is picked up by scrappers. I go buy a new one about the same size, well I tried and tried to buy a new one the same size, no such animal, whats the term unobtainium?

 I suggest being very generous with space around the fridge, maybe build for the next size up.  My problem was height, and the curvature of the ceiling, put the new fridge out a couple more inches than I liked.  Every new one was taller than the one I purchased!

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« Reply #18 on: June 23, 2013, 06:42:53 AM »

No one turns one off for diesel fueling Propane filling I turn it off I never heard of a law like that safety precautions post on the pump I do see 
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« Reply #19 on: June 23, 2013, 08:43:14 AM »

I have had both types of frig.  I like the cost and low maintenance of the compressor type and the flexibility offered by the absorption.  Things always involve compromises.  Ultimately, for the camping we do, absorption is better.
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« Reply #20 on: June 23, 2013, 11:04:38 AM »

We have a norcold 3 way .The propane works better then the a/c but we use both not so much d/c . When I installed it I put a extra access vent same as org.  up top on the side of the coach for extra cooling and to make it easy to clean out the chimney  works great 7 years later and yes hardly ever use the gene .                          dave
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« Reply #21 on: June 23, 2013, 05:38:11 PM »

How big is your battery bank now that you have upgraded it? I'm a boondocker myself and I really love LP for that reason, but I'm now having some problems with my Dometic. It's working good on the freezer side but not the refrigerator side when on LP, but it works great when on electric. I've thought about switching also, but just not sure if it will work for boondocking.

My bank is 750 amp hours. I was having to run the Genny every other day to recharge the batteries so I added 2 more batteries for more storage capacity, and another 290 watts of solar for more charging capability. Now I don't run the Genny at all unless there is a few days of no sunshine, (doesn't happen very often in Arizona) or if there's a lot of TV watching. (Which also doesn't happen very often in my home)

Sent from my PantechP9070 using Tapatalk 2
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« Reply #22 on: June 23, 2013, 09:02:41 PM »

I had a Norcold 6.3 A/C-D/C compressor type marine refrigerator in the bus that lasted 18 years (the compressor froze up-was not feasible to repair-parts not made). Replaced it with a 9cu/ft Novakool A/C-D/C using a Danfoss compressor. Way better-it cools very quickly, is quiet and only needs venting in the front-can have zero clearance on all sides and back. But is expensive (about $1,500). Takes only 5amps 12vdc to run. Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #23 on: June 24, 2013, 08:52:12 PM »

Add me to the residential list. Just bought and installed a 10.3 cu ft yesterday. Ran it today for just a little while and it got nice and cold...quick. My bus is all electric so the apartment fridge makes sense for us.  Smiley
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« Reply #24 on: June 25, 2013, 06:04:45 AM »

All depends on how one uses their bus that is why we have options I have friends that have the SunFrost you get the best there 12/24/110 v but it comes with a nice price tag  it's so heavily insulated it won't run 5 minutes a day it seems
« Last Edit: June 25, 2013, 06:28:46 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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« Reply #25 on: June 25, 2013, 01:49:49 PM »

We have had an apartment size in the bus for 6 months and 3 trips so far, on the road I run it off a 500 watt invertor! and get to camp site and just unplug it, and plug back into wall

We started with a larger (taller) fridge and ran into an issue!!! Shocked

We didn't measure diagonally and we couldn't stand it up in the bus Cheesy

so the guys pulled it back out and back into the store to trade our "new" fridge in for a smaller unit, this fits better with slope of roof
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« Reply #26 on: June 25, 2013, 06:09:34 PM »

Have a huge double door installed in our coach a couple years back, The boys at Texas Custom Coach (Pipe Creek Tx.) put that puppy in. Little sawing and wood work. Matched it perfect. Said they had to take the passenger window out and slide it though there. Man , if I would have known that , I might have went with a smaller one. 
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« Reply #27 on: June 26, 2013, 10:10:20 AM »

YES,
http://singinglandcruiser.blogspot.com/search/label/refrigerator
Also StormCloud, BOTN and I spliced a toggle switch to the auto-defroster so it wouldn't drain the batts when on the inverter. When on shore power we had it on. M&C Grin
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« Reply #28 on: June 26, 2013, 05:23:06 PM »

 Steve, we installed a Danby 10 cuber, very light weight and works like a charm. It has ample room inside for our needs. I am going to install a second unit right next to it, with the doors swinging from the center out just like a regular double door fridge.
  Ours is built in, mounted 4 inch's off the floor with a grill to let cool in and now has a similar vent right above to let the heat out. Uses very little power, and cheap enough to replace if 1 goes down and readily available.
Hiya Michael!! Wink Grin
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« Last Edit: June 26, 2013, 05:25:24 PM by Van » Logged

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