Refrigerator solution while on the road - Page 9 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-01-2016, 03:18 PM   #113
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You are right - I have a 12V Norcool that runs off my battery and solar setup. And to the best of my knowledge (and without tearing it apart to prove it) there is a 12V compressor and no 120V inverter. I do understand that they are much more expensive than the small 120V dorm fridges. Don't know how they compare to 3-way fridges $$.

Jason

Keep in mind when comparing costs of fridges you also need to look at the cost of the additional equipment - such as solar or generator that are required to run a any fridge on 12V vs simple running one on propane.
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Old 09-01-2016, 03:47 PM   #114
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I passed on a 12VDC compressor fridge in the wreckers. They only wanted $25 for it. Ah, regrets.

Depending on the fridge, 60W, or so, of solar is all you need. Plugging in would work too.

On a three way, the 12 VDC heater may consume around 150W, or more then 10A. Using a 100AH battery, that gives you less then 10hrs. But as long as you can get 10A from your tow vehicle to the the trailer, you should be fine on 12VDC. Your alternator will hardly notice it.
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Old 09-01-2016, 04:15 PM   #115
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Types of refrigerators
1 120 vac compressor "home or dorm type.
Rotary compressor uses household current. The small "dorm" type of refrigerators might be usable with an inverter, but the starting surge will require more than a 300 watt rating. While the running power is also around 40 watts like the Swing compressors they do have that surge to get the compressor turning.
2. 12 volt compressor runs of 12 volt dc this is probably a rotary compressor . It could run on 120 vac with a power supply either built in or separate.
3. 12 volt Peltier junction which used DC current to "move heat from one side of the junction to the other. These are those coolers that will heat or cool depending ont eh polarity of the current. These will build a temperature difference of 30 - 40 degrees F.
They often have a power supply for 120 vac as an option. They cool but in hot waether not very much.
4. Swing compressors do not rotate, but rather oscillate from one direction to the other compressing the refrigerant gas with pistons built into a solenoid. Most operate on about 22 volts alternating current.
The 12 volt DC is switched from one polarity to the other by a transistorized oscillator to generate the 22 volts at 60 Hz.
They may or may not have a tap on the oscillator transformer for 120 volt ac input from this source as well as from the 12 volt dc source.
The Norcold 704 DE and the Engle units are this type. These units have no starting surge and draw an=bout 40 watts running and the average is less.

Lastly there are the absorption tyoe that depend on heat to drive the compressor cycle. The only difference in the LP, 12 volt, and 120 volt or any combination is the source of the heat. The LP gas flame, the 12 or 120 volt current with a resistance element.
The amount of heat required i the same power level if it generate the same amount of cooling.
the current required from 12 volt DC is 10 times the current required on 120 volts AC. (roughly).
Then you could use ice in an ice box for a little cooling as well.
My Norcold 704DE keeps everything in it very cold or as cold as I turn the thermostat. My Norcold 1200LRIM keeps the food just cold enough for me to not yet toss it out.
I have added fans etc to improve the cooling and everything I can think of, but it is marginal.
Those are the choices
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Old 09-02-2016, 12:33 PM   #116
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Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
Keep in mind when comparing costs of fridges you also need to look at the cost of the additional equipment - such as solar or generator that are required to run a any fridge on 12V vs simple running one on propane.
Hmm, mine runs about 3 days on a fully charged group 24. I'd guess if I upgrade to group 27 or go to 6V Trojans that could be substantially longer. A <$100 solar panel keeps enough charge to run indefinitely.

For me the additional cost is propane - I don't have it. I would need the tank(s), brackets, covers, regulators, hoses, pipes, safety valves, etc. to be installed. I admit it's on the wish list, but not in the budget.

And how many days can you run a 3 way fridge on propane? A week? Month? I assume it depends on size of fridge and how often you open it.

I weighed the pros and cons for both before I purchased, and this option works for me. Only regret is not having a larger model.

Jason
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Old 09-02-2016, 02:13 PM   #117
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Originally Posted by SilverGhost View Post
Hmm, mine runs about 3 days on a fully charged group 24. I'd guess if I upgrade to group 27 or go to 6V Trojans that could be substantially longer. A <$100 solar panel keeps enough charge to run indefinitely.

For me the additional cost is propane - I don't have it. I would need the tank(s), brackets, covers, regulators, hoses, pipes, safety valves, etc. to be installed. I admit it's on the wish list, but not in the budget.

And how many days can you run a 3 way fridge on propane? A week? Month? I assume it depends on size of fridge and how often you open it.



Jason
I think you would be surprised as to just how many days you can run a fridge on a single 20lb propane tank.

In my experience running the fridge around the clock on propane its surprisingly efficient. I can't say for sure as to how long it might go only running the fridge around the clock as I have never simple run just the fridge on propane.

I also use propane to run the hot water tank daily, as will as the stove top a couple of times a day and occasion oven use (perhaps once every 6 days out), in addition to the furnace as needed. I have camped out for 45 days straight with about 70% of those days off the grid (even when on the grid I am still using propane for everything but the fridge) without needing to refill a 20lb tank - even then the tank was not completely empty.

As many people already have other appliances they use daily on propane they will already have the tanks so no added purchase cost there. So the only added operating cost is the propane being consumed by the fridge which I suspect based on my experience is a relatively small volume for most of the small fridges many of our trailers have.

In my experience camping with friends who have newer 12V only fridges they can get by for max of a couple of days assuming they are needing to use their lights and water pump and furnace etc before they need to set out a 100 watt or greater panel assuming there is sunshine. If no sunshine then they need to pull out the generator.... in these parts due to more often than not heavy tree coverage make the solar less than optima, the later happens frequently as it does in late fall or early spring camping when there is a shortage of sunshine ... all of which has a cost associated with it.

I also have solar BTW ;-) was simple pointing out that when doing price comparisons for various fridge power type chooses one needs to add up all the costs associated with each choose/system.
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