Help I need to buy a 12v portable fridge for my burro before the sale ends today! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-18-2012, 02:09 PM   #1
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Help I need to buy a 12v portable fridge for my burro before the sale ends today!


Greetings friends,

I am now fulltiming in my 17ft burro which only has an ice box and the chase for ice to keep food from spoiling has really become frustrating so I need to decide on which one of these portable fridges to buy because the sale ends today!

I am open to all suggestions and tips on other alternatives as well to most efficiently keep food cold in the burro.


Because I feel it's too expensive and difficult to replace my ice box with a 3 way or even a 2 way fridge after market, I felt I could go with a portable fridge/freezer of high quality and low amp draw.


So it's down to The dometic here:

http://www.bensdiscountsupply.com/Dometic-cool-freeze-cdf-18-portable-cooler-refrigerator-freezer.aspx


or the Whytner here:

http://www.kmart.com/shc/s/p_10151_10104_011V001898799000P?keyword=whynter+fm-45g&keywordSearch=false&sLevel=0&redirectType=SKIP _LEVEL&prop17=whynter%20fm-45g



The Whytner is on a great sale and I have two coupons so with tax and shipping and everything it would only cost $430 a mere one hundred more than the tiny 18 Q dometic and one of my friends has it and it cycles about 10 percent of the time at 45 w and pulls 4 amps when he measured it.


Yet it is huge and it's 50 or more pounds making it a bit troublesome to get out of the rig alone. But more importantly it requires me finding a new place for a big rubbermaid storage container and the porta potti which at times seems difficult to figure where to put all that stuff.


I was all ready to go with the dometic because I need to order today because both items are on sale and the whytner ends today.


I figured I could use the dometic just to freeze water in a gallon jug, 2 jugs would keep my fridge cold for 2 days and then make one gallon at a time to switch them out and there would be a bit of room to keep a pint of ice cream cold.

So because it's so much smaller, I could keep it anywhere and it would fit under the table with proper air flow. And if it had some kind of compressor sound that I couldn't stand I could rig it up in the car to freeze the ice without needing to 'lose sleep' if it had some kind of strange sound to it.


I was all set to pull the trigger when I got an email from someone that surmised that at times the 35w dometic could draw 30 amps when it's cycling yet I can't figure how it does that if it is rated for 3.5 amps and only to cycle 10 or 15 percent of the time depending on how hot it is outside.


If it does, I can't imagine that my one battery could support a load of 30 amps?


So if someone could verify if that is true or not that would be the pivotal point that would determine my decision.


I can't believe the whytner is onsale for $398 with my two coupons so it's hard not to be tempted by the better bang for the buck YET it really is so large I don't want it to effect my quality of life in having to rework my entire rig to fit it in there.

I would certainly be happy to get the smaller dometic because I just need to make ice for the ice box yet that 30 amps thing is really scaring me!


Also I'm wondering if someone would know how long something like the dometic which has the danfoss compressor would take to freeze a gallon of water...how many hours?


I need to make an informed decision today so all help is greatly appreciated!!


Thank you soooooooo much!


Laurie
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Old 03-18-2012, 02:47 PM   #2
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RE: 12 VDC Refrigerator
I suggest not buying either one of them. The Dometic RM2193 is less than $500 at PPL Motorhomes in TX and it is a 3 way box that will work and should fit where your ice box is currently located. And... it is silent and can run on LP, saving your battery for more fun things And about freezing a gallon of water??? My 20 y.o. dometic will freeze a 1/2 gallon of milk overnight and the 40 y.o. Dometic in my recently aquired Hunter can still get down to 33 degrees in about 4 -6 hours.
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Old 03-18-2012, 02:54 PM   #3
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I make ice cubes in my 24 year old 3-way Dometic all the time while camping... and that's usually while plugged in, not on propane. These things take a licking and keep on ticking (if maintained). It doesn't answer the OPs original question, but I like the built in rather than portable. It's always in it's "place" and out of the way. YMMV
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Old 03-18-2012, 03:34 PM   #4
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The Dometic RM2193 uses 9.3 amps in 12V mode. That is not the efficiency Laurie is looking for.
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Old 03-18-2012, 03:44 PM   #5
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RE: Power Consumption
While it does use 9+ amps on 12 VDC, it uses "0" amps on LP gas and, while pulling, the vehicles alternator will be happy to provide the 12VDC and, of course, there is no battery or converter load at all when plugged in. But this does make the case to have a solenoid type battery isolator on your charging line.
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Old 03-18-2012, 04:02 PM   #6
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My feeling is that the 18 liter is very small. It would be too small to be of any use to me, but maybe your situation is different.

I have never heard of Whytner before, but it's about 2.5 times the size of the Dometic, so that's good. Considering its weight (and it will weigh more when loaded with food), it would be best if you can find a spot where it will stay all the time, and leave it there!

I will mention this site TruckFridge: Model TF55 - Great for traveling, camping and all outdoor activities as a source of portables, maybe it's worth comparing them, although theirs are priced higher.
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Old 03-18-2012, 05:43 PM   #7
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another 3 way
Dometic DRC4000 3 Way Portable Refrigerator Propane, AC/DC Discontinued - Sold Out
less than $400
Historically 3 way's 12v have larger draw than 2 way refers, but on propane there is no draw. I have had one of these and once you get it cold plugged in to 120v it will stay cold all day. It has wheels and easily moved, 6 a/h is the 12v draw
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Old 03-18-2012, 06:10 PM   #8
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Hi Everybody,

I appreciate the ideas, I really, really do. I primarily boondock so I need something with high efficiancy that works on 12v. I do not trust anyone to put the holes in the side of my burro which would be required to use a propane fridge for ventilation and the complexity of running the propane hose and that's why I wish the original owner had chosen a fridge instead of an icebox.

I do realize 18 quarts is mega small yet it would allow me to freeze a gallon of water to replenish my ice box with ice which I could live with and was going to pull the trigger except I had a friend just over who is into getting in touch with answers by using a pendulum! Yeah, I know but unfortunately I believe in that intuition stuff.

So when I asked about the dometic it said it wouldn't be the best choice and said the larger, more heavier and destroy the way my rig looks whytner would be a better choice.

So I tore my rig apart again to try to 'act as is' to see where would I put the porta potti, all the things in the 40 lb rubbermaid container, my full sized guitar and it just made my heart sad the way it would all look when said and done.

Yet all the reviews rave about the whytner and the price is right, yet I'm depressed because the streamlined look of my casbah is ruined. Here is a link to a video that shows my rig as I demonstrate how to make a $19 portable shower:

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Old 03-18-2012, 06:32 PM   #9
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Just a thought, I bought a used refrigerator off Craigslist. I've found that when the top rots off popup campers, they are frequently sold as parts, including the little refrigerator.

I got a Norcold 323 3 way for $50. I'm not crazy about cutting in the vents, but I bought good quality Dometic vents that look rounded and sturdy.
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Old 03-18-2012, 11:59 PM   #10
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Maybe you can keep the portable fridge in the tow vehicle. I know it's not fun to go outside to get your food/drink items, but at least the trailer's feng shui remains undisturbed.
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Old 03-19-2012, 01:13 AM   #11
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Great idea Mike and thanks for understanding what has been driving me. I had a friend who is an electrician write me and told me he thought it would take about 24 hours for the little 18 q dometic to freeze a gallon of water cycling 100 percent of the time.

So that was the pivot point for me. I realized I couldn't have it cycling the entire time in my rig since I'm use to an entirely silent camper.

I read in the glowing reviews of the whytner that it can freeze 24 bottles of water in 8 hours much more reasonable and if by chance it makes a sound I don't like, I can just use it to make ice and shut it off though the reports say it's quiet.

My heart is feeling good about the decision because I discovered a way to rearrange 'my stuff' to allow for me to keep that flowing table cloth on top of things to keep everything looking streamlined as shown in the shower video.

I ordered the whytner for $398.00 at kmart on a sale that ends tonight and it totals $422 out the door when Home Depot sells it for $580 out the door. So I figure I can easily sell it if it doesn't work out.

Best part is one of my friends just gave me two 50 watt panels to run it and now I just need to purchase another deep cycle and FIND a place for the battery that doesn't exceed my tongue weight.

So now I go to bed truly understanding what it means to be "a happy camper".

Celebrate life!

Laurie
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Old 03-19-2012, 01:20 AM   #12
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Thanks Thomas, I love craigslist. I personally don't feel skilled enough to cut holes in the rig and though I could have gone with a 2 way which wouldn't have required that. I'm getting more bang for the buck with the whytner in space and efficiency.

I would have preferred to go with a built in but the cost was prohibitive and what really held me back was the concern that the compresser or fan would drive me nuts since I heard complaints about noise on different models like the norcold.

I love your idea though and would jump at the chance to buy a two way if a great deal came along and I would sell the whytner.

I felt motivated to buy today because of the sale and that I will be leaving soon with the Quest for community Caravan and have a friend here who is letting me ship to her address.

Now I'm just wondering if Kmart requires a signature for items over $400? Any one know?
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:34 AM   #13
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Hey Laurie, I have an 85 qt. Whynter in my 13' Trillium.
Yes, it's too big.
Yes, I'll probably buy a smaller one in the future (same one you have).
Yes, it's very quiet!
Yes, I'll keep it even when I get another (power outages don't scare me now!)
Yes, I run mine with one 64 watt Unisolar panel.
Yes, they are very efficient power-wise.
Enjoy!
Now, the bad.
Made in China.
I had a 45 qt. Engel but let it go with my VW Westy when I sold it (mistake). Engel is the best and the MOSTEST expensive.
All in all, I think you'll be very happy with the Whynter.
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Old 03-19-2012, 12:18 PM   #14
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Mike!!!

What a grr-eat validation to wake up to in your message. Thank you for writing it!. I like the engels as well and almost went with an engel 14q on ebay yet I think the whytner will be more versatile.

The only thing I don't like about the whytner is that I heard when you are running it on 110 that the fan always remains on. Is that true of yours when you run it on ac?

I'm very happy about the turn of events and even though I felt a bit foolish being influenced by a 'pendulum' it turns out that the physics supported my decision and not wanting to run the dometic for 24 hours cycling 100 percent of the time just to freeze a gallon of water.

With the whytner, I will not have to keep the unit on at night for a silent nights sleep. Our little eggs are so small that every sound is noticeable.

For any one else looking for a fridge/freezer alternative the Edgestar brand is a rebadged whytner I believe and can sometimes be found less expensively. I believe compact appliance was having a sale on them this week.

I chose to buy from kmart for the 90 day return policy not to get stuck with costly return shipping from other vendors.

Thank you so much for reinforcing my decision by posting this and to everyone who helped me navigate this decision!

Celebrate life!

Laurie
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