Have a 2.7 cu. ft. Black & Decker built in where the defunct Dometic was. Have a 3000watt pure sine wave inverter and healthy 1/0 cables to the battery
. Have a single group 27 and 80watt solar panel
. Also got a 40 yr. old Coleman upright ice chest. We don't have a strategy for making our cutesy trailer a post-apocalyptic survival pod but we do have a modus operandi for preserving perishable food on and off grid. Incidentally, I guess everyone here has noticed that the production of ice is absolutely grid-dependent unless you have access to a frozen pond and an ice plow?
If every town of 20,000+ had an ice house, I'd go with the ice box. That isn't the case any more and the melt rate of crushed and cube don't make for a high ratio of benefit to cost. I freeze large chunks in the bottom half of gallon milk bottles in our home freezer. Our Coleman ice bucket takes about six of these. In temperatures below 80F, we've had ice left after three or four days. So our strategy for going to a reserved site with no hookups is to take the ice chest with ice from home. If we're going initially to a reserved site with hookups, we precool the dorm fridge at home, add food, make ice in trays, and switch to inverter on battery
and vehicle alternator for the trip (for us most usually under 5 hrs.), and switch back to shore power at arrival. Estimate have used this scenario maybe six times in the last two yrs. and the compressor still runs and cools. I have found that the capability of our battery
storage/solar generation combo is not adequate to keep up with the wattage demands of this fridge for more than a 24hr. period starting from cold fridge and batt at full charge.
We have some variations on this belt and suspenders approach. We're going to the Copake NY rally
early next month (full hookup KOA) and will stop at North Lake in the Catskills (no hookups) for three nites previous to the rally
dates. We won't use the dorm fridge until Copake obviously. I've never made a point of allowing compressor oil to drain down before starting fridge. The fridge has survived the on the road operation. I don't know how frequently the compressor cycles in this situation but suspect not often.
The very worst situation for us is the impromptu approach to site booking which produces single nite stays a mixture of hooked in and dry. We don't do much of that "on the road" every day sightseeing which makes our way of doing things acceptable to us at least. Not for everyone. I guess you could call our system a variant of all-electric with backup. Anyone who remembers pre-REA home generation of electricity backstopped by gas engine pumps and kerosene lamps is old enuf to understand if not relish this way of doing things.
My observation is that the real drawback of absorption fridges is the limit of their ability to cool below ambient temp. If you have A/C and the will to use it, you can create an operating environment which allows the absorption process to produce a practically useful temperature for food preservation. Otherwise, over 90F, there's no joy.