How quiet is the Dometic RM2193 Compact Refrigerator - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-22-2008, 02:18 PM   #1
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Greetings everyone!

Camping world is having a sale on the Dometic RM2193 Compact Refrigerator and since Tish has been growing tired of chasing down block ice when we are camping, I was wondering how quiet this refrigerator is or isn't?

Does it cycle all the time or only when it is getting cold?

Has anyone had one of these installed at camping world and does the installation include the propane hose and electrical wire needed to install this refrig. since we only have an ice box in our burro now.

Would you think it would be better to just order the refrigerator and have our local rv place put it in or better to have Camping world do it? We don't live really close to one but we could travel to one.

All thoughts greatly appreciated!

Warmly,

Laurie
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Old 10-22-2008, 02:30 PM   #2
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I'm not familiar with that exact model, but normally refrigerators that can run on propane are silent because they do not have a compressor. Even when they're running on 12v or AC, they still use the ammonia/flame method to cool, which does not make noise.

One note: As I understand it, propane refrigerators are much less efficient when they are running on electricity than refrigerators that only run on electricity. This is related to what I menioned above, about how the refrigerator still uses the ammonia/flame to cool even when running on electricity instead of a compressor.

So I would think that if one planned to use the propane feature, great. But otherwise it might be better to buy a 12v/110v model.

(I don't remember the exact figures, but it was something like a propane model taking 8 amps to run on electric; whereas a dedicated electric might be more like 3 amps.)

Edited to add: I looked up the refrigerator you mention, and it says that on electrical power it "Uses only 9.4 amps in 12V mode." I love the "only." Hee. In comparison, a typical 1.7 cu. foot "dorm" type refrigerator uses 1.38 amps in 110v mode. I do really like three-way refrigerators, but then I'd probably use one on propane most of the time. What I'm not sure of is if there are refrigerators that are 12v/110v without being propane too.

PS: Also noticed that it is a refrigerator only, if that matters to you.

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Old 10-22-2008, 02:42 PM   #3
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I was wondering how quiet this refrigerator is or isn't?
Absorption refrigerators such as the RM2193 have no moving part and normally make no sound. They are slower to cool but can run on different sources if you like camping off the grid. Installing one isn't rocket science, but you do need to follow some general rules with respect to sealing out exhaust fumes, as well as proper venting at the back which makes a big difference in performance. But my understanding is that a lot of refers aren't installed the way they should, so be sure to pick someone who knows what they're doing.
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Old 10-22-2008, 03:18 PM   #4
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Absorption refrigerators such as the RM2193 have no moving part and normally make no sound. They are slower to cool but can run on different sources if you like camping off the grid. Installing one isn't rocket science, but you do need to follow some general rules with respect to sealing out exhaust fumes, as well as proper venting at the back which makes a big difference in performance. But my understanding is that a lot of refers aren't installed the way they should, so be sure to pick someone who knows what they're doing.
Thanks Daniel, I had forgotten about the need to exhaust the fumes which correct me if I'm wrong, means we need to cut a hole in the body of the burro? Ouch...I really don't know if I trust anyone to do that and personally would rather stick with ice. Is there any other way to exhaust the fumes without cutting a hole in the body of our camper?
Thanks,

Laurie
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Old 10-22-2008, 04:22 PM   #5
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I realize I'm not Robert, but both (ahem) of my current eggs have 3-way refrigerators, and they both have two vents on the side of the trailer for the refrigerator. One is about 16" x 16", and is just below the belly band. This one is removable because the controls for lighting the refrigerator, and for selecting the coldness and power method are in there.

Then, there is a ~ 5" x 16" vent just above the belly band (it's behind the "backsplash" of the kitchen counter). This vent is "permanently" attached to the camper.

The lower grille looks like it comes with the refrigerator (it has a Dometic part number on it). I believe the upper grilles are stock, but I'm not sure if they come with the refrigerator(s).

So yes, there are a couple of largish holes involved. And I've heard that you don't want to give up any of this venting. i.e. it's enough but not too much. (A couple of trailers I looked at had added electric fans to supplement the venting.) I think they're more for dissipating heat than fumes, but I suppose it's some of each.

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Old 10-22-2008, 04:35 PM   #6
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Might check here as it includes a free door panel and looks lower priced, but doesn't include shipping so may come out pretty close to CW.

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Old 10-22-2008, 04:58 PM   #7
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Our Scamp installed Dometic 120VAC / gas absorption refrigerator froze and burst 4 soda cans while on 120VAC so they will get cold on AC.

We pack the fridge a couple of days B4 the trip, and turn it on so it will cool everything down and that helps to keep things cold while we R traveling. We do not use the propane option B cause most camper fires are caused by the gas fridge. While it is OK for some it is not for us. One less thing to worry about.
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Old 10-22-2008, 05:33 PM   #8
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We do not use the propane option B cause most camper fires are caused by the gas fridge.
I'd like to know more about that. Do you have an info source?

Also, I just want to clarify that I wasn't saying the 3-way refrigerators wouldn't get cold on electricity; just that I had read they were much less efficient than "dedicated" electric models (i.e. they take more amps to get to the same temperature).

Of course I had to do a bit more reading about 3-way refrigerators, and in an earlier thread here I noted that the newer 3-way refrigerators may only have one vent (hole). So you'd still need to cut one hole, but at least not two. I wanted to post back here in case it was the second hole that was putting it over the top.

That was in this thread:

http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/index.ph...hl=Trillium+mod

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Old 10-22-2008, 05:42 PM   #9
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Edited to add: I looked up the refrigerator you mention, and it says that on electrical power it "Uses only 9.4 amps in 12V mode." I love the "only." Hee. In comparison, a typical 1.7 cu. foot "dorm" type refrigerator uses 1.38 amps in 110v mode. I do really like three-way refrigerators, but then I'd probably use one on propane most of the time. What I'm not sure of is if there are refrigerators that are 12v/110v without being propane too.
Power used (watts) is determined by the voltage times the amperage.

So 9.4 amps X 12 volts = 112.8 watts

whereas 1.38 amps X 110 volts X .74 = 112.3 watts

[.74 is a constant which must be used because of the alternating current is not at 110 volts all the time.

therefore the two modes are actually identical!
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Old 10-22-2008, 06:02 PM   #10
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Okay, so the 3-way refrigerators are equally inefficient on either 12v or 110v. I wasn't sure about that, so I didn't want to say it, but it makes sense. Thanks

The upshot of what I read was to go ahead nad get a 3-way if you planned to use the propane functionality; but if you plan to use the electric then you'd be using much less electricity if you had a dedicated electric refrigerator (with a compressor).
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Old 10-22-2008, 06:10 PM   #11
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Power used (watts) is determined by the voltage times the amperage.

So 9.4 amps X 12 volts = 112.8 watts

whereas 1.38 amps X 110 volts X .74 = 112.3 watts

[.74 is a constant which must be used because of the alternating current is not at 110 volts all the time.

therefore the two modes are actually identical!
Errr, not exactly. What you're saying would be true if our AC voltage peaked a 110volts, but that's not the case. Household AC current varies between zero and 150-160 volts yielding an output of 110-120 volts RMS. (RMS is short hand for root mean square, a fancy way of saying "average voltage output.") So the 110 volts we accept as the norm for household current already has your mulitplier built in. The true energy consumption, in watts, works out like this:

12V Fridge: 9.4 Amps * 12 Volts = 113 watts
110V Fridge: 1.38 amps * 12 volts RMS = 152 watts
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Old 10-22-2008, 10:30 PM   #12
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I think 2 vents on the outside are needed. First the lower one opens, as said by someone else, to access the controls. The upper vent is just that a vent. I don't think it is meant as an exhaust vent for fumes but rather a vent for excess heat to escape.

These little refrigerators do not work like household refrigerators which have compressors. They are far less efficient in hot weather and the removal of any heat generated from the coils is really needed. To assist my refrigerator in working better during hot weather I added a coil fan which is located below the coils and blows upward to help the hot air escape. I've been thinking about also adding an exhaust fan which would be located at the upper vent to pull the hot air out.

I'm not one to want to deal with ice. Where do you get the ice if you are out in the boonies. I'd add the refrigerator without hesitation.

If you are thinking about a 3 way, you need to know that the DC is generally not used by most because the refrigerator sucks the battery dry. Mine is a 3 way and I only use the Propane and Electric. I love my refrigerator.
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Old 10-23-2008, 06:49 AM   #13
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12V Fridge: 9.4 Amps * 12 Volts = 113 watts
110V Fridge: 1.38 amps * 12 volts RMS = 152 watts
So does this mean what I read was wrong? (It was in some sort of "choose your refrigerator wisely" type of entry on a website.)

To reiterate, what I had read was that any refrigerator that runs on propane (and therefore uses the ammonia/flame method to cool) would be much less efficient when in electrical mode than a dedicated electric refrigerator that used a (new, efficient) compressor.

I wonder if this is really true? It does make intuitive sense to me, but that doesn't always mean anything.

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Old 10-23-2008, 08:17 AM   #14
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Thanks Daniel, I had forgotten about the need to exhaust the fumes which correct me if I'm wrong, means we need to cut a hole in the body of the burro? Ouch...I really don't know if I trust anyone to do that and personally would rather stick with ice. Is there any other way to exhaust the fumes without cutting a hole in the body of our camper?
Vents are definitely a requirement for propane-powered refrigerators. Probably not as much for compressor models but they might still benefit from them. Remember cooling food means pulling heat out, and the heat has to go somewhere. Having vents added shouldn't be a big deal if done correctly, though. Some RVs have refrigerator venting going upwards through the roof like a chimney, and I read they might actually be the best in terms of convection for pulling heat out, but trailers usually have to be designed in such a way to begin with.

As Raya pointed out, compressor-based models take much less electricity and are less picky with venting, put propane models are more versatile and, best of all (in my opinion), completely quiet.
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Old 10-23-2008, 09:06 AM   #15
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Great info everyone. I appreciate it. Of course, I'm really concerned about finding someone skilled to do the installation since it requires ac, dc and propane hose connection not to mention the dreaded holes in our pristine camper body.

I really will have to chew on this before deciding.

I love that the dometic will be quiet even if it takes longer to get cold.

Has anyone installed a solar system with enough batteries to run their refrigeration off of 12 volt when boondocking or is that unrealistic?

Thanks,

Laurie
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Old 10-23-2008, 07:54 PM   #16
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So does this mean what I read was wrong? (It was in some sort of "choose your refrigerator wisely" type of entry on a website.)

To reiterate, what I had read was that any refrigerator that runs on propane (and therefore uses the ammonia/flame method to cool) would be much less efficient when in electrical mode than a dedicated electric refrigerator that used a (new, efficient) compressor.

I wonder if this is really true? It does make intuitive sense to me, but that doesn't always mean anything.
It means that a cheap dorm refrigerator pulls down 152 watts when the compressor motor is running, which is only part of the time. A propane/12v fridge, on the other hand, will pull down up to 113 watts all the time. Because the compressor motor only runs a small fraction of the time compressor refrigerators are more efficient.

The problem is, whether you're looking at 152 watts or 113 watts, that's a lot of electricity. That power draw will empty most deep cycle batteries in a few short hours. That makes using either of these two electric options a very poor choice for dry-camping.

One advantage propane powered refrigerators have is there's a lot of energy stored in a pound of propane, enough to keep a 'fridge cold for several days. That's why the refrigerators our trailers come with run on propane. If you plan on camping for a week at a time without re-stocking, a propane fridge is the way to go.

There's another source of cold that's also very efficient: ice. It takes a huge amount of heat to melt ice, which is why it can take days for the ice in an ice-box to melt. Buying or freezing a block of ice might be inconvenient, but it's cheap and dependable. By packing a combination of already-cold foods and frozen goods that you plan on using a few days into your camping trip, plus a couple of frozen one- or two-liter bottles of water and your ice-box can easily keep your food cold for three or four days.

There is one other option. There are 12v compressor refrigerators that consume an average of 1.5 amps (18 watts) or so of electricity per hour. That's still a big number, enough to empty most deep-cycle batteries in a day and a half, but it does mean that you can use a (noisy, smelly, heavy, expensive environmentally unfriendly, do you get the idea I don't like this suggestion) generator to charge your battery every morning and evening and keep your food cold.
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Old 10-23-2008, 09:07 PM   #17
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Some of the new camping coolers say they will keep stuff cold for 5 days. I purchased a large one at Costco that has a door in the lid so we can open the door to get out sodas and not have to open the whole lid. We freeze gallon milk bottles (Water) and put the cooler in the bed of the truck. We put other items in the cooler when there is not enough room in the fridge and move a frozen milk jug to the fridge if required.

As far as the fridge running all the time, our's has a thermostat so I have to suspect it just runs most of the time, not all the time.
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Old 10-23-2008, 11:18 PM   #18
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Your going to vent the refrigerator any way you go...Even conventional refrigerators need a place to put the surplus heat you are removing from inside the box...The venting even in a Burro is simple its the cabinet work which requires some basic skills that might shine through a little...The solar solution is viable daytime with sun when present and 2 100 watt panels...However you must produce enough daytime energy to store for night time use which requires multiple batteries, charge controllers, and the solar panels...Fear not the propane 2 way refrigerator. When we are traveling I use my 110v inverter to power the cold box on desert crossings of 5 hours or more, I always pre-cool a day before the trip and I let the tug keep the battery up while it purrs along down the road chilling its little heart out. The old boxes were a bit of a pain and legends of their problems still echo on the boards...The new boxes are far more tolerant of angles and forgiving of the blustery windy days, they are best described as steady, predictable and forgiving now. As a service person the Norcold brand is a bit better at running off level and the Dometic but that brand is a champ in the parts department.

The prior comment on the R.M.S. calculation is bang on...There is a difference and I would go gas/110v...For all my buds out there if you have a 110v and really want a 12v the elements usually switch out.

The new 12v compressor models starting to filter into the U.S.A. are good too, but there is that whole power situation again to deal with...I go into the rougher areas and stay weeks when I do go camping and the gas/110v is unbeatable...Mine nicely makes my ice cubes and keeps the wine perfect.

Just thought I would weigh in.

Harry

Quote:
Great info everyone. I appreciate it. Of course, I'm really concerned about finding someone skilled to do the installation since it requires ac, dc and propane hose connection not to mention the dreaded holes in our pristine camper body.

I really will have to chew on this before deciding.

I love that the dometic will be quiet even if it takes longer to get cold.

Has anyone installed a solar system with enough batteries to run their refrigeration off of 12 volt when boondocking or is that unrealistic?

Thanks,

Laurie
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Old 10-24-2008, 12:29 PM   #19
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Harry what brand refrigerator do you have and model?

And what would make a 12v compressor refrigerator smelly? I certainly don't want noisy and smelly would be even worse. Though the 1.8 amp an hour could be doable with a good solar system.

Ice is sounding better and better the more everyone shares.

Thanx everybody!!

Warmly,

Laurie
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Old 10-24-2008, 01:51 PM   #20
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I only run on gas... and usually load everything I can into the fridge cold or even frozen so it's not working too hard when I first start it up. I still use a cooler for the beer though.


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