12-volt marine fridges with the Danfoss compressor - Fiberglass RV

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 04-02-2008, 06:19 PM   #1
Senior Member
Trailer: 84 16 ft Scamp
Posts: 725
Bar none, I would not have installed a propane / evaporative refrigerator. When I removed the icebox, I installed a Dometic 2-way fridge, which required cutting large vents into the fiberglass shell. The vent covers never do fit well to the curved fiberglass body, and there is no way to install a 2 or 3 way fridge to comply with Dometic's specs.

Some time later, I discovered the high-efficiency 12-volt marine fridges with the Danfoss compressor, and switched out the fridge. It doesn't require anything significant for venting, and certainly not to the outside. It will run for days on a 12v battery and is virtually silent. With the optional power supply, it will also switch over to shore power whenever it is available, automatically. It also cools down much, much faster than the standard RV fridges.

This fridge eliminates any potential safety issues with towing on propane, and there is no pilot to light. Best upgrade I made! Unfortunately, I still had those big vents cut to the outside...

How large a fridge did you get?


Loren G. Hedahl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2008, 09:23 PM   #2
Senior Member
Trailer: 1970 Campster
Posts: 253
What brand frig do you end up getting? I find lots of 12v marine frigs listed but I don't see one that specifically states it has a Danfoss compressor. Also, where did you find this frig.? Thanks!

Lisa H. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2008, 11:07 AM   #3
Senior Member
Name: Mr
Trailer: small
Posts: 226
There are, as mentioned, several brands of these refrigerators available. I installed one from Tundra. Specs on some various models are available here.

I put in a TJ22AC, which is 2.2 cubic feet, and was an easy replacement for the size of my cabinet. Note that the current draw shown in the specifications is for running power consumption. My owners manual stated, and experience confirmed, that the compressor only runs about 20 minutes an hour once it has cooled down. So, you can divide that power consumption essentially by three for "real world" power consumption. You can begin to see how long it can run on a decent battery.

Somebody will hopefully correct me if I'm wrong, but if the fridge draws 3.2 amps while running, and runs 1/3 of the time, that would mean it needs about 1.1 amp\hours of battery power to keep it going. That is about 26.4 amp\hours per 24-hour day. Divide that into about 1/2 of the rated capacity of your deep-cycle battery, and you get approximate days of running on battery. I don't know if that is exactly correct, but my experience says it's not too far off. It also seems that, at this rate of discharge, it would be pretty easy to keep a battery sufficiently charged indefinitely with a solar cell.

I got my fridge from a local boat manufacturer, where a friend works. The link above takes you to one vendor of these units. I know nothing about them, so I can't endorse them, but there is some good information available on their site.

These refrigerators are not particularly cheap (neither are regular RV fridges, as far as that goes), but I would highly recommend them to anyone looking to purchase a fridge for their trailer.
Mr. W. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2008, 11:17 AM   #4
Senior Member
Sharon Herman's Avatar
Trailer: 1979 13 ft Trillium
Posts: 457
This sounds interesting. Would you mind sharing the price, the website requires you to call for price.

Sharon Herman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2008, 01:21 PM   #5
Senior Member
Name: Mr
Trailer: small
Posts: 226
Since I am blessed to have a friend with the appropriate connections, the price I paid is not in the least representative of what others would likely pay, nor is it something I'm probably at liberty to disclose. That said, however, here is a link to one website with prices. Gack! I don't know if these are representative of real market prices or not. This website also shows the Norcold line, which looks maybe less expensive.
Mr. W. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2008, 01:51 PM   #6
Senior Member
Trailer: 2007 Eggcamper
Posts: 155
Eggcamper has a Norcold 0040 refrigerator which draws only 2.7 amps (1.7 cu. ft.)
artspe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2008, 05:43 PM   #7
Senior Member
Trailer: Eggless at the moment
Posts: 444
What I got from the company today. DC only in two sizes and stainless steel.

Listed below is the pricing you requested. Shipping is extra from Fort
Lauderdale, FL.

TJ18 flush $777.80
TJ18S surface $741.25
TJ18SS flush $925.55 stainless
TJ18SSS surface $915.85 stainless
TJ22 flush $818.65
TJ22SS flush $960.55 stainless

Plotting my next adventures...
Bonnie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2008, 06:10 PM   #8
Trailer: 82 Burro 13 ft
Posts: 91
wow... i really like the TJ18AC & TJ22AC but why are they more expensive that a full-size home fridge...?
are all rv fridges as expensive...?
--- steven
steven jones is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2008, 06:34 PM   #9
Senior Member
Donna D.'s Avatar
Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Posts: 23,907
are all rv fridges as expensive...?
--- steven
In comparison, yes. The 3-way for my Scamp costs right at $900, and it's less than 5 cubic feet... my home refrigerator/freezer is 26 cubic feet and I paid somewhere around $1,300. But it only runs on 110volt.
Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
Donna D. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2008, 10:09 PM   #10
Senior Member
Palmer M's Avatar
Trailer: 2005 16 ft Casita Spirit Deluxe / 1996 Dakota 4x4 V6
Posts: 186
I saw these exhibited at an alternative energy expo in Asheville last year. The link takes you to a distributor; I believe he was from Chattanooga:


What I like about these is that they open from the top, so when you open the door, all your cold air doesn't whoosh out to the floor. I am thinking of taking out the Dometic fridge, and putting one of these on slider tracks in the same space. They don't seem to be as expensive as the RV-dedicated units y'all are talking about.

Palmer M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2008, 10:12 PM   #11
Senior Member
Palmer M's Avatar
Trailer: 2005 16 ft Casita Spirit Deluxe / 1996 Dakota 4x4 V6
Posts: 186
Correct that...I just looked at the prices and they are pretty expensive for a comparable model.
Palmer M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2008, 10:13 PM   #12
Senior Member
Greg A's Avatar
Name: Greg
Trailer: 2015 Escape 19
Posts: 1,821
Some great prices on sale at PPL on the Norcold Marine/RV fridges with Danfoss compressors.

Scamp Owners International
2005 Escape 17-B
Greg A is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2008, 10:44 PM   #13
Senior Member
Coach George Jessup's Avatar
Trailer: Scamp
Posts: 358
Send a message via MSN to Coach George Jessup
Last I looked; yet it was a good bit ago...., the three way fridges from the likes of say dometic were half the cost of Norcold type units. That is why RV builders use them. the 3 ways use Amonia in a heated system to produce cool. I know its confusing. Thats how Ice rinks are kept frozen too so I' ve been told.

Norcold etc. uses a freon type stuff and compressor just like a home fridge. A more complicated set up but more efficient.

Ild gamble your just got to search good to find the lower 3 way prices.

Coach George Jessup is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2008, 05:27 PM   #14
Senior Member
Pete Dumbleton's Avatar
Trailer: Scamp
Posts: 3,072
Send a message via Yahoo to Pete Dumbleton
I haven't looked in a long while, but RV fridges are expensive.

If I were mounting something like the top-opening Engel (Angel in German, BTW), I would try to mount it in the usual place under the counter, but set up to tip out before opening if dimensions permit.

Pete Dumbleton is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
12 volt air compressor william russell Care and Feeding of Molded Fiberglass Trailers 11 04-09-2008 06:13 PM
Two 6 volt vs. 12 volt deep cycle kevin242 Electrical | Charging, Systems, Solar and Generators 9 10-09-2007 08:35 PM
propane fridges Michel pouliot Care and Feeding of Molded Fiberglass Trailers 27 07-25-2007 10:26 AM
Old fridges Peggy Care and Feeding of Molded Fiberglass Trailers 25 07-03-2007 11:13 PM
norcold fridges FYI General Chat 0 12-31-1969 07:00 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:14 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.