2 way Refrig - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-26-2006, 11:24 PM   #1
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Hi Folks

I have a 1994 Scamp 13' that only has the factory installed Ice Box. I would consider the possibility of adding a 2 way refrig instead if there was such an item. By 2 way, I am refering to only an electric and/or battery operated refrig.

The typical 3 way would cost over $600 installed by the factory (when they are operational again). However that is more than I can afford plus I'd never see my self using the refrig on propane...hence I might be interested in just a 2 way refrig if there is such a unit.

Does any one know if such a unit exists? Where I might search for one? and an approximate cost for such a unit?.

Thanks for your help.

Jim Paskett
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Old 01-26-2006, 11:35 PM   #2
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i changed out mine with a reg 110v from walmart 139.00 for a 4.2 cu ft.. to operate on battery plug it into inverter...hope this helps
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Old 01-26-2006, 11:41 PM   #3
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A quick Google came up with many

heres one

Norcold
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Old 01-27-2006, 12:16 AM   #4
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btw, don't be so quick to dismiss the propane option. It is actually BETTER than either electric option, and it certainly is the only option when boondocking.

The 12v will kill even the healthiest batteries in no time.

I only use my 12v when towing and have a steady supply of juice from the tow vehicle.

110 is for when someone else is paying but personally, mine works BEST on propane.
The usage of 'pane is MUCH better than you would think. I can do a couple months on my tank when weekending.
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Old 01-27-2006, 09:02 AM   #5
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The one that came in my '89 IS a two way, but it's propane and 12V. I really, really like it and have no desire to have the 110; however, I don't think I'm going to be able to replace except with a three way. Seems all the two ways are either gas and AC or AC and DC. I can't seem to find one that's gas and 12V
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Old 01-27-2006, 09:20 AM   #6
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Dometic has a number of 2-way refers LP/120. Including a HUGE one.

Check it out: Dometic USA

And there's this one at Camping World: Dometic RM2193 Compact Refrigerator
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Old 01-27-2006, 01:45 PM   #7
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"Two-way" will usually lead people to think of gas/AC units, like the Dometics, which have become very common. Gas/AC appears to have replaced gas/AC/DC in larger units because they just take too much power to be reasonable at 12V DC. If the unit is small enough to be operable on 12V DC, then it's trivial for the manufacturer to throw in the AC heating element and make it a three-way, so a direct replacement for Suz's unit is unlikely.

I think the less-confusing term to use for Jim's proposal is "AC/DC", as used by Norcold (Gina's link) when describing an electric-only unit. Usually these are not absorption-cycle designs (like gas-fired units) but have a compressor (like the Norcold AC/DC units), just like a typical home refrigerator. If a unit is DC only, it can be run from AC by the trailer's converter (if there is enough current capacity).

I collected a few links to sources of mobile compressor-type refrigerators:
Waeco Australia
Norcold
Nova Kool
Tundra
Engel

I have not used any of these units: this is just from my research so far. I doubt any of them are cheap, but I believe that they are more appropriate for battery operation than an absorption-type refrigerator.

All of the above-linked units are intended for mobile use. As Dan mentioned, any small home refrigerator is an AC/DC unit if you use an inverter, but neither small home refrigerators nor inverters are known for efficiency, so it seems to me like a potentially good setup while towing, but not while camped without AC power (as Gina explained). Two friends of mine put in ordinary bar-sized home refrigerators and run them on AC only, finding that the food stays cold enough without power on the way from home to the serviced campsite; this would not work for me, but both of them generally camp locally.

A manufacturer of camper trailers has some information about using Waeco units: King Kampers
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Old 01-27-2006, 06:06 PM   #8
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I think the less-confusing term to use for Jim's proposal is "[b]AC/DC", as used by Norcold (Gina's link) when describing an electric-only unit. Usually these are not absorption-cycle designs (like gas-fired units) but have a compressor (like the Norcold AC/DC units), just like a typical home refrigerator. If a unit is DC only, it can be run from AC by the trailer's converter (if there is enough current capacity).
Brian's description is a good one actually.

Our Burro had a Norcold 2-way AC/DC evaporative unit that was obviously stuffed into the little mule after it was built. When we got it was horribly weak in output and since no ventilation panels had been put in to let the heat dissapate even if it had been working I don't imagine it would have been very efficient.

We got a 3-way Norcold of the same size off eBay (still $300.00 but was new and much less than retail) and installed it properly.

Someone pointed out that LP is more efficient with the evaporative units and I'd back that up. I use AC when it is available to save on LP and only use DC when it is pulling off the tow vehicle. DC off of battery is a great way to have a dead battery.

I'll also occasionally use LP if I want it to cool down fast, then switch to AC.

- Michael
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Old 01-27-2006, 07:16 PM   #9
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I replaced the Dometic RM2201 in my Burro with the current Dometic model, the RM2193. It was on sale at CW for $299; 120vAC, 12v DC, and LP. I used it frequently on LP. The larger Dometic I now have in my Scamp similar to the RM2454 is also a 3-way and worth every penny! What a nice sized fridge!

Roger
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Old 01-27-2006, 11:28 PM   #10
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"[b]Two-way" will usually lead people to think of gas/AC units, like the Dometics, which have become very common. Gas/AC appears to have replaced gas/AC/DC in larger units because they just take too much power to be reasonable at 12V DC. If the unit is small enough to be operable on 12V DC, then it's trivial for the manufacturer to throw in the AC heating element and make it a three-way, so a direct replacement for Suz's unit is unlikely.

I think the less-confusing term to use for Jim's proposal is "[b]AC/DC", as used by Norcold (Gina's link) when describing an electric-only unit. Usually these are not absorption-cycle designs (like gas-fired units) but have a compressor (like the Norcold AC/DC units), just like a typical home refrigerator. If a unit is DC only, it can be run from AC by the trailer's converter (if there is enough current capacity).

I collected a few links to sources of mobile compressor-type refrigerators:
Waeco Australia
Norcold
Nova Kool
Tundra
Engel

I have not used any of these units: this is just from my research so far. I doubt any of them are cheap, but I believe that they are more appropriate for battery operation than an absorption-type refrigerator.

All of the above-linked units are intended for [b]mobile use. As Dan mentioned, any small home refrigerator is an AC/DC unit if you use an inverter, but neither small home refrigerators nor inverters are known for efficiency, so it seems to me like a potentially good setup while towing, but not while camped without AC power (as Gina explained). Two friends of mine put in ordinary bar-sized home refrigerators and run them on AC only, finding that the food stays cold enough without power on the way from home to the serviced campsite; this would not work for me, but both of them generally camp locally.

A manufacturer of camper trailers has some information about using Waeco units: King Kampers
Hi Brian, Great research it looks like the first 4 use the Danfoss compressors 12v-24v-3 or 4 speed with piston displacement. The Engel with one moving part sounds like a scroll compressor very efficient .Solar panels come to mind.
Lloyd
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Old 01-28-2006, 07:10 AM   #11
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Recognize that most of the marine refrigerators have a much more robust alternative electrical system available for them to run on (when not on 120v shore power) Many yachts either have gensets now for lying at anchor, or use large generators on their diesels. At sea for sailboats, wind generators are becoming much more popular. LP/Ammonia aborption is still the most efficient and reliable "off-the-grid" source of refrigeration for RV use.

Roger
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Old 01-28-2006, 08:46 AM   #12
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Our 99 Scamp came with a 2-way Dometic AC/propane frige. Works wonderfully on propane BUT normally it's used on AC since we are whimps and camp mostly where there is 120V power. It is comforting to know that if there is no power tho we still have refrigeration since we live on the coast and power is turned off by the power company if there is anything over a category I storm approaching (how wonderful to sit on a downed tree in your front yard and sip a cold beer while you figure how to get it out of your driveway!).
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Old 01-29-2006, 12:35 PM   #13
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I bought a reconditioned AC/DC WAECO unit from www.waecousa.com for half the price of a new unit. I havent installed it yet - but it appears to be a quality unit.
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Old 01-29-2006, 04:58 PM   #14
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Thanks to all, great suggestions and info.

Jim Paskett
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