1982 Burro Fridge Replacement Recommendations - Fiberglass RV
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Old 04-28-2021, 10:49 PM   #1
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Name: Perri
Trailer: Currently Shopping
New Hampshire
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1982 Burro Fridge Replacement Recommendations

Hi again,

I have a 1982 Burro with what looks like an original fridge. I'm looking into potentially replacing it and I figured that these forums would provide some helpful recommendations.

First things first, we're trying to boondock. I am planning on setting up a solar power system soon. And before I invest in that system I would like to update the things that would run off of that power, including a fridge. Just bear in mind, I am trying to keep my appliances very energy efficient.

Anyway..

As I've been researching energy efficient fridges, it seems like the best ones are all chest- style 12V compression fridges and that the 3- way absorption fridges are no longer recommended. My main concern is where to fit a chest fridge in the camper if I decide to go with that option (my initial thought is under the bed area or potentially even in my tow vehicle?) Does anybody make a 12v Compression fridge that has a front facing door?

What fridges are you using? What is your power source? Thoughts?

Thanks!
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Old 04-29-2021, 06:44 AM   #2
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
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If you go with a compressor fridge you need to have more batteries than otherwise. The fridge will use the majority of the power.
I suggest at least to lead acid 100 Ah batteries or go with LiFePO4.
I have a compressor fridge and while the 100 Ah battery I have will run over night it can be marginal sometimes, depending on how much shade and clouds you have.
I have 300 watts of solar on the roof (less efficient than reconfigurable portable panels, but much less hassle).
I plan to add LiFePO4 batteries in the near future. Probably after our trip this summer as the shipping from China is slow enough to arrive after we leave.
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Old 04-29-2021, 07:21 AM   #3
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Name: Alexander
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1300
New Hampshire
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Perri, I currently use a Dometic CRX series portable compressor fridge with the cover which adds insulation that draws 7.7 amps when running. I have a 100 amp hour AGM battery, 2 100 watt flexible solar panels running through a Renogy Adventurer charge controller. When I go camping at a site that is in the woods (mostly shaded all the time) I can run the fridge for at least 2 days before I have to use my vehicle to top off the battery. I run the car when fixing and eating breakfast(I don't get up before 9:00 AM) The fridge doesn't run all the time even when it is hot outside. If my panels get full sun access I can get the battery to full charge in under 4 hours. When at the shaded campsite, I only use the battery for the fridge. I have solar rechargeable portable lights to use instead of the trailer lights.

I am planning to eventually put one of these in my 13 foot boler:
https://www.novakool.com/r3000-1

It fits my cabinet and would only use about 2.5 amps when running. The key would be to make sure you have enough airflow to the back of the fridge and, if possible, add insulation to the area around the sides and top of the fridge.
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Old 04-29-2021, 10:01 AM   #4
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Name: Jim
Trailer: Burro
California
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Burro fridge

On Costco I recently bought the Massimo 12v fridge (CX-40) and Massimo 500W battery pack. With the battery hooked up to a 100W solar panel, and the fridge hooked up to the battery the fridge runs indefinitely. All works great.
They do make a smaller CX-30 fridge.

I keep the battery inside the Burro and the fridge outside, or in my car. To keep the fridge inside if desired, you could raise the back bed or bravely cut the fiberglass where the old fridge is and frame in a spot for the fridge.
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Old 04-29-2021, 10:33 AM   #5
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Trailer: 1982 Burro
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propane gas frig

Years ago I replaced the ice box in my burro with a small Dometric Electric propane frig. I had make a new frame for the frig that stuck three inches out from the cabinet.
Noel
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Old 05-01-2021, 03:02 PM   #6
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Trail Cruiser
Alberta
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I've used both types of fridges. The fridge in my first unit ran on propane only, cooled reasonably well but not as quickly as the compressor models. I'm currently using a Dometic compressor model (can't remember the model #) with a separate fridge and freezer compartment.
I have 200 watts of solar and a 140 amp/hour deep cycle battery. I can boondock for months at a time without needing to charge my battery from anything other than solar. We use LEDs, furnace, fridge, stereo, water pump and CO and gas detectors as much as we want. Battery has never dropped to lower than 75% full charge. By 10:00am the battery shows a full charge and stays fully charged all day.
Without solar, the same battery would last about 2 days before getting to 50% charge at which point I would switch to another battery.
If your solar is working properly and you have a good battery you should be able to boondock indefinitely as long as you have a reasonable amount of sunshine. If I winter camp I do take my generator and actually used it once.
If your battery dies after one night, it is either defective or you have excessive drain.
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