Fridge question - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-12-2017, 10:48 AM   #1
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Name: Chickaboo
Trailer: Ventura 13ft
Manitoba
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Angry Fridge question

I purchased a 1979-ish Ventura ( which I love!) in June which is in pretty good condition overall, expect for the under-counter fridge. We made due with an electric cooler but I'd like to replace the fridge.

I am absolutely baffled by the high prices!
My home fridge did not cost as much!

Can someone help me understand why a small trailer fridge warrants a kings ransom?

Thanks.
Dorota
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Old 01-12-2017, 11:03 AM   #2
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First, because it has to be able to run on 2 or 3 different power sources, so greater complexity.

Second, because there is not nearly as large a market and only a couple of manufacturers, so less competition.

Third, because it says "RV." Only thing worse is anything that has "marine" in the product description.

The size fridge you are looking for is pretty common in tent trailers. With some looking, you should be able to find a used one that will fit at a reasonable price. You might see if there is an RV salvage business in your area. Otherwise, start scouring Craigslist.

Some people prefer a 12V compressor fridge. With solar and an upgraded battery array you can go off grid without propane. But wait until you see the price of those, plus the cost of the solar set-up!

Or just bite the bullet and buy a brand new 2- or 3-way RV fridge. Beware, though- some new ones require battery power for their electronics even when running on propane. A dead battery means no refrigeration, even if your propane tanks are full. Older ones only need the propane.
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Old 01-12-2017, 11:53 AM   #3
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Name: Gerry
Trailer: 1979 Boler 1300 / 1991 Casita Freedom Deluxe
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Dorota; The price of a small fridge is high for another reason, as Jon says it a 3 way meaning it can run on 120 AC 12v DC or Propane, and it is built for alittle rougher conditions then just sitting in your kitchen.

As far as newer fridges on the market, that will run with no power.
I baught and installed a Norcold model 323X - a 1.7 cu.in 3-way fridge in my Boler because when running on Propane, it does Not need power and uses a standing pilot.

My cost for this fridge was $575 + tax from a dealer I trade with.
If this fridge lasts as long as the original, an atwood, a remarkable 36 years...I will be very happy and the $600 price is worth it.
Gerry
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Old 01-12-2017, 04:58 PM   #4
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Jon, thank you. The pricing Makes sense explained this way. Bite the bullet and chew off an arm, then swallow hard and buy it. The fridge is a third the price of the whole trailer!

Gerry, I'm jealous about your cost! Do let me know how it functions when you get it. I found the same Norcold model online. Canadian exchange and shipping brings it over 1k! Over the long term, it is peanuts if it lasts a few decades, but a major bite out of my budget all at once.

I haven't priced installation yet either. Any tips on that?
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Old 01-12-2017, 05:29 PM   #5
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Trailer: 1979 Boler 1300 / 1991 Casita Freedom Deluxe
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Dorota; I installed it myself so there was no cost involved there but I am comfortable working on Gas and Electric.
As long as you know your elec. all works and gas lines are close it can be done. I had the old one out and the new one in, in about 3 hours. That was having to cut the top of my galley about a 1/2 inch higher.
The next day I then had to trim around the front as it was 1and half inches deeper then original fridge.
Been installed since last July and works just great. We still need to get use to the T-stat settings as on our last trip we were freezing the food and had to knock it down from 4 to 3 on the T-stat.
Norcold also makes a 2 way fridge which runs just on 120AC and Gas with is a bit cheaper. Again no power needed while on Propane.
I am sure my dealer gave me a rock bottom price on the fridge because I buy exclusivly from them even though there are 3 other dealers closer then them.
Setting up a good relationship with a reputable dealer is the best thing to have when looking for advice or striking a deal for big ticket items.
Keep shopping as the $1000 seems a bit high.
Good luck
Gerry
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Old 01-12-2017, 05:34 PM   #6
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Aw Gerry! You make that sound so simple! I'm envious of your skill set.

I'm going to keep looking and explore used ones from tent trailers.
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Old 01-12-2017, 05:39 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by chickaboo View Post
Aw Gerry! You make that sound so simple! I'm envious of your skill set.

I'm going to keep looking and explore used ones from tent trailers.
My dealer has a section in there store that sell used items so that may be an option too.
Good luck
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Old 02-13-2017, 06:40 PM   #8
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I had pretty good luck here in Edmonton with tent trailer fridges. Try to find one from the 70-80's as they will probably be the right ones for the space. I found 2 for under $40 each when I had my Ventura, First one had a bad door seal, worked but not quite well enough, second one was great.When buying one, look at the pipes on the back and stay away from any that are really rusty as all it takes is just one rust hole and they are done.
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Old 02-13-2017, 08:56 PM   #9
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I just stuck a dorm fridge in place of the icebox in our Uhaul. Cheap to start out with, cheap to replace. Has worked out great over the last 5 years, but of course it needs 110V to run on. If we camp where there is no shore power, we use a cooler.
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Old 02-14-2017, 03:20 PM   #10
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What kind of fridge are you replacing? Is it an RM24? If you keep looking, they can be found on kijiji. I never pay more the $100 for a fridge. RM211's are more common, and may fit.
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Old 02-14-2017, 04:01 PM   #11
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Absorption fridge works on a whole different principle. There is no compressor and no moving parts to fail. Not unusual for one to last 25-30 years, which is pretty cheap annual cost over the life of the product....
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Old 02-14-2017, 05:04 PM   #12
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The absorption fridge was co-invented by Albert Einstein.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Einstein_refrigerator

Took me a lot of effort to figure out how it works. Well.... I kinda have it figured out.
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Old 02-14-2017, 05:37 PM   #13
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I have master degree in physics/electronics. But I still don't understand how absorption fridge works. The only I can tell - it works silently :-)
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Old 02-14-2017, 05:49 PM   #14
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Hi I am new can someone help me as to where I go on this site to post a boler for sale
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