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Author Topic: Refrigerators...  (Read 2080 times)
boogiethecat
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« on: January 10, 2007, 06:03:23 PM »

I've been thinkin that it might be an interesting project to buy a nice 2- or 3-way ammonia-cycle fridge, and install an external compressor driven cooling element in it also.
Reason?  Over the road I like to use 12 volt; most places I stop I then switch to propane, which is very handy for those week long campouts without AC power.
  But sometimes in the desert (specifically my two weeks at Burning Man), the ammonia-cycle fridge simply can't deal with the heat and
the insides become too warm for safety.  I have 120 volts avaliable where I camp there, so it'd be neat to just plug in a compressor based system and have a more efficient cooling capability.  So I'm looking for the best of all worlds, and thinking maybe I oughta brew my own.

Any comments, and... does anyone know of anything like this that's commercially avaliable?
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1962 Crown
San Diego, Ca
Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
1989, MCI 102C3, 8V92T, HT740, 06' conversion FMCA# F-27317-S "Wife- 1969 Italian/German Style"
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« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2007, 06:20:16 PM »

Hay Boogie,

You can always install 2 refrigerators.......

If there is such a beast, I'll bet it would out cost it's purpose. 

Hummm, I'll bet I can build one? ? ? ?

Good Luck
Nick-
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« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2007, 07:46:39 PM »

Look in marine catalogs for "cold plate" fridge gizmo.  These things are used to convert iceboxes, typically found in sailboats to self cooling status.  You can run the engine for an hour a day and the fridge stays cool for 24 hours if left alone.  It has a tiny compressor that drives off the engine.  You could use a small 120VAC motor to drive it. 
They may offer a 110VAC unit for land-locked boats...and buses.   Marine market has all sorts of fridge conversions for iceboxes. 
BurningMan ....love to do that before I go blind....that may cause blindness for folk my age! It'd be worth it!  Wink
JR
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JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
1989, MCI 102C3, 8V92T, HT740, 06' conversion FMCA# F-27317-S "Wife- 1969 Italian/German Style"
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« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2007, 07:55:25 PM »

JR,

I could build him a 1 row 14"x 8" stainless cold plate that operates off a 1/4 hp 115v compressor to install inside

his refrig. Good for zero degrees.  I just would have to know where he plans to disapate the condencer heat?

Nothing is impossible.....

Nick-
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boogiethecat
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« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2007, 09:16:21 PM »

Hmmm JR, intersting!!  Thanks to your cool idea (no pun) I found this... getting closer.... http://www.e-zkold.com/conversion.htm#ek12cpa
They use Danfoss 12v compressors, so it'd be a snap to get a 12 volt power supply for it.
ALTHOUGH check these prices out... you could by a stinking BUS for what they want for a silly refrigerator!!
http://www.technauticsinc.com/price.htm  EEEEK

Yup, Do go to Burning man while you can see... it's amazing in the eye candy department.. Smiley

Nick,- Well, I've got the entire underside of the bus for the compressor and condenser... nothing like a large, open, shady place for it...
The cold plates on the URL above are kinda thick but the rest of the kits seem pretty much what I'm looking for (except for the price...ouch).
The thought occured to me that maybe I should simply gut a little bar fridge for all the parts...
Anyway, in a week or two I'll be thinking about a new fridge for the Crown... maybe I'll take you up on some help with this, Nick !!
Gary
« Last Edit: January 10, 2007, 09:23:52 PM by boogiethecat » Logged

1962 Crown
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TomC
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« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2007, 11:47:03 PM »

Gary- I don't know if you remember my refrigerator, but it is a 6.3 cu ft Norcold marine refrigerator that works on 120vA/C or 12v D/C with a compressor.  You can here it run when it is very quiet, but never has bothered us.  I also have a Norcold 100# chest refrigerator/freezer for additional storage.  That is under my dinette seat.  Both have been zero problems.  If you look at either Tundra or Novacool refrigerators, they use the Danfoss compressor.  Freightliner uses the Tundra in the trucks now since it has proven to be the most rugged and trouble free of the refrigerators.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2007, 05:37:55 AM »

Hi Tom,
Yes I do remember that. Very nice fridge.  The problem is that quite a few of the places I go I absolutely need propane capability.  Well, I think I do... maybe I oughta totally rethink how I do things, and perhaps take the propane out of the equation.  Hmmm.  Bigger house batteries.... solar panels....run the genset more often....ugh decisions decisions...!!!

Hey tom, I heard you didn't keep the eyeballs ! hee hee sorry, I couldn't resist and neither could Don (he provided the sharpie Wink !)
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1962 Crown
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« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2007, 08:42:39 AM »

Gary- I ran into another guy that had an AMGeneral like mine, but did almost all dry camping.  Interestingly, he didn't have a generator, but invested his money on covering most the roof with solar panels.  I visited him at about 10 in the morning (we were at Laughlin, Nv for the '95 Bus get together) and his controller went to float for the batteries!  He had a Sun Frost refrigerator ($$$$).  The reefer I have pulls about the same amps as the Sun Frost (5.5 amps running, or about 3 amp hours total).  On my bus, I have 2-8D AGM batteries.  When dry camping, just run the gen in the morning for a couple of hours, and sometimes again around dinner.  I don't have solar panels, and probably won't-they are expensive.  But for Burning Man-maybe good?

When I get the bus back from Don, I will be taking the valve cover off and refining the sharpy theory!  I thought it was funny.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2007, 09:10:01 AM »

Gary,

A friend of mine hat has a bus has about 1100 watts of solar on his roof, 8 8D's and has not used his generator since he installed it.  He full times with his wife, and although his refrigerator is currently a large ice chest with  12v refrigeration, he does run his computer, lights, TV etc with no boost required from the genset.  800 watts are on the bus roof, and the other 300 are on the trailer roof.  He has a workshop and office in the trailer.  Solar can be expensive, but when properly set up for your needs, is quiet and trouble free.  I think it also helps make the batteries last longer - although only if you don't run them down too much at night.

Come by sometime when you are in east county,

Jim
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Jim Stewart
El Cajon, Ca.  (San Diego area)

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« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2007, 09:24:02 AM »

A standard RV fridge should be able to keep up out at Black Rock if installed properly.  My travel trailer initially had problems with the frdige at Black Rock, but I found the fridge was broken.  The first problem I found was a piece of fiberglass had fallen over the cooling coils.  The second problem was a bad thermistor in the fridge compartment.

Once my problems were fixed, my RV fridge worked just fine out at Black Rock.  Now, I go out there two weeks after Burning Man, but the temps don't drop that much in two weeks.  One key on RV fridges is to have the proper size vent.  Too large a vent and it won't draft properly.

My bus conversion has an apartment sized fridge fridge run off the inverter.  I didn't want to deal with a amoonia firdge again and the 12/24 volt compressor fridges are too spendy.

Brian
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boogiethecat
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« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2007, 03:48:16 PM »

Hmmm, I think, guys, that you've talked me into a 12 volt Tundra or like.  Partly because I think I could work out the power situation without solar, but that mentioned, I've got about a kilowat's worth of panels laying around that I bought years ago from an aerospace surplus store.  All I have to do is put glass over them to keep the environment out (they were originally destined for space I think) and the rest is no-brainer...plus they're free at this point.

So thanks for all the comments, and if any of you go to Black Rock this year, look me up.  I'll be right by my marker which is visible from anywhere in the city:
 
« Last Edit: January 11, 2007, 03:51:18 PM by boogiethecat » Logged

1962 Crown
San Diego, Ca
Chaz
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« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2007, 04:45:57 PM »

Hey Gary,
  I've heard about "Burning Man" from some friends of mine that went. When is it?? I'm just curious, but it sounds like something I'd like to check out.
   Thanx,
      Chaz
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boogiethecat
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« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2007, 07:59:21 PM »

August 27 to Sept 3
http://www.burningman.com/
more fun than anything I've ever done, as long as you can fit in with the mindset Smiley
G
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1962 Crown
San Diego, Ca
oregon4107
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« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2007, 10:29:00 PM »

There are some wild buss conversions..And some old ones..
Jason
Oh yea..Good luck with the fridge..I'll bring you some ice just incase..must save the beer
« Last Edit: January 11, 2007, 10:35:43 PM by oregon4107 » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2007, 06:31:24 AM »

Quote
as long as you can fit in with the mindset
I think I can. I'm not that old, and I'm an artist.  Smiley "Unique stuff" sometimes baffles me but I can always appreciate it. I understand there is some rather interesting creativity going on there.
  Thanx for the dates! Who knows..........?

   Sounds like a good "road trip",
               Chaz

p.s. Plus my birthday is Aug. 31st !!!! Good present, huh.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2007, 06:33:21 AM by Chaz » Logged

Pix of my bus here: http://s58.photobucket.com/albums/g279/Skulptor/Motor%20Coach/
What I create here:   www.amstudio.us
 
"Imagination is more important than knowledge". Albert Einstein
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