Can a 2-way fridge become a 3-way fridge? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-03-2008, 04:26 PM   #1
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This could be a really dumb question but hey, I'll try it anyway.

I'm going to replace my existing ice box with a refrigerator. I've committed to buy a 2-way (LP and DC) Dometic RM2190 from someone on Craigslist. I understand now that 12V DC is a terrible way to run a fridge because it drains your battery very fast. Can I do something (inexpensive) in order to make the fridge run off of 110/120 when I'm plugged in? If not, does it drain a lot of gas to run a fridge only on propane? For say a 3 day camping trip would I go through a whole tank of gas? The gas also runs my stove and furnance. Should I try to scrap the idea of buying this fridge and keep looking for a fridge that runs on 3-way or 2-way with AC and LP?

Thanks again for everyone for all the great advice I've been getting since joining the club!


Rob
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Old 07-03-2008, 05:08 PM   #2
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You could run your fridge on 12v when using your converter when you have a 110 hook up available (If you have one) and have no worries about battery drain.

Propane. I can run close to two weeks on one 20lb tank with fridge at full speed.. that includes cooking and heating drain as well.

It's not a big worry.
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Old 07-03-2008, 05:09 PM   #3
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If your egg has a converter (The box that the AC voltage goes into and out pops AC voltage and DC voltage) then the fridge will work when you are attached to camp power because the converter is used to charge the battery also and the fridge is connected to the battery.

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Old 07-03-2008, 08:31 PM   #4
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Here's the response I got from Harry Young, a refrigerator repairman and FGRV owner, when I asked a simular question on the thread entitled "Gas Absorbtion Refrigerators":

"If my book is correct you can simply replace the 110v heater with a 12v and yes it would be a 12v, if the refrigeration module were sent in to be refurbished you can ask for a 12v/propane module back intead of an electric only, (12v/110v) But you would have to beg borrow or steal the rest of the hardware you would need (pilot assembly, ignitor ect) and that would be painfully tedious...To answer honestly... this is more than you probably want to do after you factor in all the "stuff" and the different bottom chasis these units came with when gas equiped.

If your unit is compressor driven then in the back there is a round black can looking thing about the size of a grapefruit...this means your unit is made by the other two guys Hadco uses...The black can will say embrako or danfoss according to my books or a stamp "made in Italy"

Since the topic in the forum header was listed as "absorbtion system" I approached the subject from that point of view...In hindsight I should have asked the S/N and then asked the millon dollar question about if this was a compressor driven 115v or an absorbtion 115v from the start like a good technician.

I got one of these to work on from a guy who had a Serro Scotty for a member of Tin Can Tourists in Az. and he wanted to stay exactly O.E.M. so I did regardless the cost and it was converted to gas/elec...If its not important to you to keep this exact fridge because it came with your camper then I would go the Norcold suggested earlier and your thinking much better than I am.

Even if yours is the 110v absorbtion unit and you put in the 12v heater the 12v amp draw would draw down the best deep cycle battery in about 6 hours...so the advantage of converting to 12v from 110v is minimal without gas to be the primary energy source when stoped and camping...I would not want a fridge that makes my battery go dead that fast...You really want the 12v/Propane refrigerator."

I hope this helps.


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Old 07-03-2008, 08:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
This could be a really dumb question but hey, I'll try it anyway.

I'm going to replace my existing ice box with a refrigerator. I've committed to buy a 2-way (LP and DC) Dometic RM2190 from someone on Craigslist. I understand now that 12V DC is a terrible way to run a fridge because it drains your battery very fast. Can I do something (inexpensive) in order to make the fridge run off of 110/120 when I'm plugged in? If not, does it drain a lot of gas to run a fridge only on propane? For say a 3 day camping trip would I go through a whole tank of gas? The gas also runs my stove and furnance. Should I try to scrap the idea of buying this fridge and keep looking for a fridge that runs on 3-way or 2-way with AC and LP?

Thanks again for everyone for all the great advice I've been getting since joining the club!


Rob
Hi Rob,
I don't have a battery and I find running the fridge on 110/120 does not keep it cool enough.I always run mine on propane.It keeps it super cool.I have found I can run my fridge,stove,and if needed furnace on my one bottle of propane for well over two weeks without a refill....Pat.
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Old 07-04-2008, 11:14 AM   #6
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I've had a number of fridges, 3-way and 2-way. The 2-way fridges were all 110v/LPG. I've never had a 12v/LPG 2-way, I didn't know they were made!

I used 110V at home to pre-cool the fridge at least 48 hours before departure. Stuff was moved to the RV fridge from the home fridge 24 hours before departure. I never had any trouble cooling on 110v.

When we travelled, we had the fridge on 12v only. We found that we had an acceptable temperature in the fridge after a long day of hauling in hot weather.

In the campsite, we immediately switched to LPG. Never had cooling problems, but had to wat the temperature setting more closly to avoid freezing, particularly anything right under the ice box. The fridges seemed to use very little LPG. Used much more for heating/cooking/bbq/lighting.

Occasionally we used full service campsites. Then we ran the fridge on 110v.

Vic
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Old 07-07-2008, 02:11 PM   #7
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Thanks for the great info.

It sounds like running the fridge on Propane is preferred over 110 even if you have the option of 110. I thought 110 would be preferred over propane and that you would only use propane when 110 wasn't available. The fridge I'm getting is a 2-way LP and DC only, no 110. I thought this might be a problem but is sounds like I shouldn't need to make any modifications to somehow make it run on 110. I do not have a converter/inverter. I'll run on the 12v battery while towing and switch to propane when we camp. I don't plan on using the camper for more than a week at a time so the propane tank should hold out for us.

I'll have more questions on installing this when I get to that point. My 13' Burro only has an ice box now so I'll need to cut a hole in the side for a vent as well as get a vent cover correct?

Rob

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Old 07-07-2008, 11:25 PM   #8
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Most Propane fridges I have had have an acess panel, say at least 12" x 18" immediately opposite the bottom of the fridge, and a vent panel either on the roof, or the top of the side. The intent is to both provide an air flow for cooling and for combustion.

It is important to note that these panels open the back of the fridge to the elements, and therefore must be water sealed. Follow the motto that every hole in a trailer shell will be a leak point if not addressed immediately at construction. Withthe fridge on propane, you are also generating products of combustion, carbon monoxide nd carbon dioxide, and it is critical to keep those out of your trailer as well! I usually fiberglass them in, with the draining from the bottom panel. See:

http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/25548...052473095OnPCVi

and the following shots. You will see I mounted a small, temperature-activated 12v fan that does a fantastic job of squeaking out extra cooling on really hot days.

Most fridge manuals have a section dealing with installation requirements. Read them and follow them carefully. Have a look on this site; unde Document Center - Appliances - Refrigerators. Each manual has such a section.

Vic
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Old 07-08-2008, 03:19 PM   #9
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In 1991 I bought a used Ventura 17 footer and the previous owner had taken the refrigerator out and put in a 110volt only under bar refrigerator. I tookthe take out unit into the garage and turned it upside down for about a week to unsettle the saline mix and then turned it rightside up. Applying propane gave me ice overnight and since I didn't have a good battery lying around, I used a battery charger and the 12 volt element was quite cold the next morning but no ice. When I arrived in central Illinois, at the local RV dealer I found a dual heating element 12 VDC and 110 AC. I installed it and had to do some monkeying around with the ground for the AC but it worked beautifully on all three from then on, but the DC consumption is considerable and I only used DC for when I was traveling. Supposedly the absorption type refrigerators will only work when they are dead level, but I had a flapper inside the door vents that I only opened it using propane that I closed while on the road and evidently it was level enough for enough time to keep everything cold until we stopped for the night. Unless you have an isolator relay on your charging circuit from the tow vehicle, don't stop for a leisurely lunch at a resturant with the refrigerator running on DC. Harold
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Old 06-22-2016, 04:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Victor Benz View Post
Most Propane fridges I have had have an acess panel, say at least 12" x 18" immediately opposite the bottom of the fridge, and a vent panel either on the roof, or the top of the side. The intent is to both provide an air flow for cooling and for combustion.
Q
It is important to note that these panels open the back of the fridge to the elements, and therefore must be water sealed. Follow the motto that every hole in a trailer shell will be a leak point if not addressed immediately at construction. Withthe fridge on propane, you are also generating products of combustion, carbon monoxide nd carbon dioxide, and it is critical to keep those out of your trailer as well! I usually fiberglass them in, with the draining from the bottom panel. See:

http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/25548...052473095OnPCVi

and the following shots. You will see I mounted a small, temperature-activated 12v fan that does a fantastic job of squeaking out extra cooling on really hot days.

Most fridge manuals have a section dealing with installation requirements. Read them and follow them carefully. Have a look on this site; unde Document Center - Appliances - Refrigerators. Each manual has such a section.

Vic
Vic, I would like to check out your photos, but the link redirects to a shot of the Maldives!
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Old 06-22-2016, 05:02 PM   #11
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Old post LP, but I believe Victor still posts from time to time so a PM might yield results.
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Old 06-22-2016, 05:39 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Ellpea in CA View Post
Vic, I would like to check out your photos, but the link redirects to a shot of the Maldives!
Yes, old post. Webshots now charges for website use, so I have not updated there. I still have all my photos, so I can put a custom list together for you using DropBox. Also, I have just replaced my old fridge. See:

Installing Dometic 2351 - Be Careful!

Vic
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Old 06-22-2016, 05:48 PM   #13
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About an hour. That's pretty good
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Old 06-24-2016, 11:54 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Victor Benz View Post
Yes, old post. Webshots now charges for website use, so I have not updated there. I still have all my photos, so I can put a custom list together for you using DropBox.
No charge to upload them here.

Though I have found that with the changes here over the years, internal links do get broken.
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