2 way compressor fridge vs 3 way propane - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-19-2011, 02:39 PM   #1
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2 way compressor fridge vs 3 way propane

Hi, all,
Has anyone out there replaced their 3 way propane refrigerator with an all electric 12v/120v compressor type?

Apparently the new 2 way NovaKools, etc. are very efficient... but I wondered if anyone has actually gone that route and has had good luck with it.

Thanks!

Aimee L.
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Old 05-19-2011, 03:17 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by aimeelightsey View Post
Hi, all,
Has anyone out there replaced their 3 way propane refrigerator with an all electric 12v/120v compressor type?

Apparently the new 2 way NovaKools, etc. are very efficient... but I wondered if anyone has actually gone that route and has had good luck with it.

Thanks!

Aimee L.
Hi, Aimee

Traditionally, a 2-way fridge means gas and electric.
The Nova-Kool is electric only, and its utility might be best evaluated by a person's intended camping use.
I wouldn't trade the flexibility of the propane/electric combination because I do most of my camping without electric hookups.
I can go for almost a week in cold weather on twenty pounds of propane (5 gal. cylinder/40lb.total) supplying my cooking, refrigeration, and heating requirements.
I don't like to speculate as to how many pounds of battery I'd have to carry to do the same!
I also don't want to put up with the bother, expense, and especially the noise of a portable generator, which I think one would have to use for electricity generation in remote settings.
But-
If you anticipate mostly using recreation sites with electric hookups, the Nova-Kool looks like a good unit.

Francesca
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Old 05-19-2011, 03:22 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
Hi, Aimee

Traditionally, a 2-way fridge means gas and electric.
The Nova-Cool is electric only, and its utility might be best evaluated by a person's intended camping use.
I wouldn't trade the flexibility of the propane/electric combination because I do most of my camping without electric hookups.
I can go for almost a week in cold weather on twenty pounds of propane (5 gal. cylinder) supplying my cooking, refrigeration, and heating requirements.
I don't like to speculate as to how many pounds of battery I'd have to carry to do the same!
I also don't want to put up with the bother, expense, and especially the noise of a portable generator, which I think one would have to use for electricity generation in remote settings.
But-
If you anticipate mostly using recreation sites with electric hookups, the Nova-Cold looks like a good unit.

Francesca
Thanks for the reply, Francesca.
My experienced camper friends are planning to rip out their 3 ways and put in the 2 way (12v/120v) compressor types. I am also seeing more and more fiberglass rv and conversion van people offering the new 2 way and some even offer the electric exclusively -- no 3 ways are installed by them by default.
This is because the new ones are very, very low energy draw, unlike 3 ways. People are running them them entirely on solar.
My question is to folks who are trying it out and seeing how this works for them in actual practice. I know people are doing it, but haven't been able to talk to anyone about it.

--A L
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:45 PM   #4
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Hi Aimee:

Wish I had some actual results as we've yet to install it, but just wanted to chip in that we chose a Nova-Kool AC/DC fridge precisely because we might eventually be able to use it off the grid. We're going propane-free in our rebuild, and while we'll probably end up at electric sites for our first few trips, the efficient 12V option was worth the upcharge from a little dorm fridge.

-- Jess
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Old 05-19-2011, 11:28 PM   #5
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Old 05-20-2011, 05:43 AM   #6
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Most EggCampers come with the Norcold all electric fridge. We only camp at established campgrounds and here in the South that just about always means electricity is available, so I don't have any experience with how long it will run on just battery power. I must say the compressor is a little loud and it took a little getting used to at first - now we don't even notice it as it cycles on and off.
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Old 05-20-2011, 06:02 AM   #7
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Ray, Aimee,
I've camped for a weekend (2+ days) in our EggCamper with our Norcold and didn't re-charge the battery. I find it to be very efficient. I'm in the process of putting solar on my rig and expect to be able to camp completely off-grid. However, I'm also adding a small propane furnace. It gets cold at night up here in the early spring and later in the fall .

The Norcold is 12v only. It's small but very efficient. It is a compressor type and draws 2 amps when running. I haven't timed it, but it cycles on 4 or 5 times an hour for periods of about 5 minutes. However, I haven't camped where temperatures require running the AC, so I expect that the fridge would cycle more often and use more power. I also suspect that if the fridge were better insulated, the efficiency would improve.

Frederick,
Interesting thread. I wonder how much venting would be required in hotter climates.

Ron
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Old 05-20-2011, 04:50 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by aimeelightsey View Post
Hi, all,
Has anyone out there replaced their 3 way propane refrigerator with an all electric 12v/120v compressor type?

Apparently the new 2 way NovaKools, etc. are very efficient... but I wondered if anyone has actually gone that route and has had good luck with it.

Thanks!

Aimee L.
"SUNFROST", and I'm sure others, makes a very well insulated, super efficient 12 volt DC fridge.

Many people are using them in "Solar Only" installations.

Sun Frost Energy Star Refrigerators
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Old 05-20-2011, 05:03 PM   #9
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Holy sticker shock batman!
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Old 05-20-2011, 06:56 PM   #10
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Holy sticker shock batman!
You can say that again, Boy Wonder!
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