Is propane NEEDED? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-21-2013, 06:35 PM   #15
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Don't get me wrong I love propane and couldn't do without it. I just happened to accidentally come across a highly efficient 12v fridge and was overwhelmed. A mid sized solar system will run one and you never need propane not to mention having to level it.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:14 PM   #16
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It's the 'natural gas' I could do without...
Back of the beer and chili then, silly.....
*I assume you were referring to your own source of NG, that that of 'others'*
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:38 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Steve Hammel View Post
Don't get me wrong I love propane and couldn't do without it. I just happened to accidentally come across a highly efficient 12v fridge and was overwhelmed. A mid sized solar system will run one and you never need propane not to mention having to level it.
If I lived where you are I would probably do the same thing. Propane fridges start to struggle, even with fans, at ambient temperatures above 90*. Here we get lots of cloudy days and nowhere near the heat during the camping season, so the propane fridge is a good choice. For those adventurous souls that camp out of season, nature keeps the beer cold Raz
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Old 01-22-2013, 01:59 PM   #18
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To answer your question specifically...NO!!!

You know solar only keeps the house battery charged so you'll just be using things that it can keep up with. You can't use high capacity a/c appliances. Solar in a large RV might do it as they are likely to have a lot more or larger solar panels than most of our little trailers can handle.

Propane comes in handy when simply stopping at a rest area and cook lunch. It's also good if you are boondocking for a one night stay somewhere. If your trailer is already setup with propane why not keep it, you might find out you like having it. If it's the tongue weight simply get rid of the 20 lb tank and get a smaller one.
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:43 PM   #19
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Our Bigfoot has a panel-friendly roof with 320 watts that produce 18 amps at noon on a sunny summer day in central California. They produce 3-6 amps at noon on a cloudy summer day in coastal Alaska. Sometimes less. And those cloudy Alaska days can number more than 10 in a row. I'd love to get rid of the propane fridge in favor of a compressor fridge, but that would leave me no options during cloudy periods.
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:17 PM   #20
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Highly efficient 12v fridges use less than 3 amps while running. At 75-80 degree Fahrenheit it will run approx 30% of the time to stay ice cold. The equivalent of 1 amp for 24 hrs. With dual 6v golf cart batteries you can go several days without any sun. I had a single worn out deep cycle with no solar and went 2 days often.
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:53 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Steve Hammel View Post
Highly efficient 12v fridges use less than 3 amps while running. At 75-80 degree Fahrenheit it will run approx 30% of the time to stay ice cold. Approx 24 amps a day. With dual 6v golf cart batteries you can go several days without any sun. I had a single worn out deep cycle with no solar and went 2 days often.
Sorry to be the grammar police, but I think you mean 24 A hrs. Or the equivalent of 1 amp for 24 hrs.
Now that it is corrected, this looks kinda silly.
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:27 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Steve Hammel View Post
Highly efficient 12v fridges use less than 3 amps while running. At 75-80 degree Fahrenheit it will run approx 30% of the time to stay ice cold. Approx 24 amps a day. With dual 6v golf cart batteries you can go several days without any sun. I had a single worn out deep cycle with no solar and went 2 days often.
Steve, do you have the chest type fridge or the front door type? What company made it?

Mon
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:36 PM   #23
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Low amp draw 12v fridges usually use a Danfoss compressor. I think Waeco is one brand you could look at.
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:57 PM   #24
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Thanks David, DUUHHH! What was I thinking?

They are all open front like a regular fridge. My first 12v was a Norcold 2.7 cu ft. Loved it and it fit perfectly into the fridge space in my Trillium 4500. Next and current is a Waeco 1.7 cu ft. It is obviously very solidly built and works wonderful but I want something a bit larger. I am about to purchase a Norcold 3.2 cu ft. By the way they all run off the same size Danfoss compressor.

Here is an interesting link comparing the Danfoss compressor with the Japanese compressor used in the Engel fridges. The Danfoss is far superior.

Interesting article comparing fridges
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:01 PM   #25
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Is it possible to live without propane. Yes, certainly depending on your camping style, particularly duration.

Long range campers will eventually find that propane is nice to have. It's inevitable that if you're on the road for a while that the sun won't shine and charge that battery. If you don't have propane the need for a generator becomes important for long term travel.

If you're a weekend or vacation camper you can get by without propane. However, it's a safe reliable source of energy. A single tank can keep you going for a few months if it's not the dead of winter providing convenience and permit access to some of the best camping spots.

It's a similar reason that no matter how many windmills one builds or solar panels one installs, traditional power plants are still needed, at least in the near future. Solar panels at best work 50% of the time and wind on average even less.

Propane permits independence and a source of energy difficult to replace without a 110 VAC plug.
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:19 PM   #26
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You know what's funny?

Practically nothing we ordinarily keep in our fridges requires refrigeration for preservation purposes, especially for the short times most of us go camping. The exceptions are raw meat and fresh dairy products. Even eggs will keep for a week or more if kept "cool", and in their original shells.

And I think we all know how useless the typical RV fridge is for produce...I'm sure that many of you have come to the same conclusion I have that the good old wet-towel/cardboard box is more efficient for vegetables than sticking them in a fridge with no air circulation...

Sometimes I question the necessity to fire up the cooling unit on my trailer fridge at all, once we've been out long enough to go through whatever meat and milk we brought with us!

Francesca
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:52 PM   #27
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Francesca. Our fridge is always full. Primarily with milk, half and half, eggs, butter, and bacon. We usually have one meat entree and one leftover. We sometimes carry a bag salad and always have fresh fruit but external to the fridge.

Propane is very important for the fridge, hot water, and cooking.

We usually shop every other 2-3 days.

I think it provides a level of normalcy, somehow that seems strange to write, during our long trips.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:07 PM   #28
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I'm a teacher and live in my camper 3 months at a time during the summer. I love my propane and have had several propane fridges. They are okay for what they are, nothing more. To discount the latest 12v refrigeration technology out of hand without even trying it borders on plain stubbornness. 12v is an excellent long term as well as short term camping option. It is not a cheap 110v dorm fridge hooked up to an inverter. If you already have a propane fridge I would definitely not change it for the sake of changing it, but if you need a change 12v is an excellent option. If you need more convincing check out Robert Johans latest couple of custom builds. He uses 12v fridges.
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