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Old 08-25-2015, 12:24 PM   #21
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Wink used vs new fridge

Well i have to tell you that I asked a similar question this time last year. I took my Trillium with original fridge to Peterborough RV and left it with them this Spring....lo and behold it wasn't the fridge it was the gas lines.
They put new ones in and replaced the regulator and voila! the fridge is working like a charm

just something to consider

C
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Old 08-25-2015, 12:47 PM   #22
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I've been trying it on AC only... Haven't actually tasted the propane in the trailer yet...
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Old 08-25-2015, 01:10 PM   #23
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Byron, I think I get you now… sounded like you were saying a propane fridge is no better than an ice chest without ice!!

As far as 3-way versus DC+solar… my feeling based on reading others' comments is that it's often more a philosophical choice than a practical or financial one. The latter has a pretty high cost of admission, but some people value the freedom from fossil fuels and/or the clean exterior appearance without ventilation grilles. The cost differential is less if you are starting from ground zero (i.e., without existing wiring, LP plumbing, and ventilation for a 3-way).

Personally I'd have no objection to a used fridge. Now a used porta-potty- that's another matter!
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Old 08-25-2015, 01:11 PM   #24
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I've been trying it on AC only... Haven't actually tasted the propane in the trailer yet...
Please, don't!! LOL...
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Old 08-25-2015, 01:28 PM   #25
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Please, don't!! LOL...
But why NOT?
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Old 08-25-2015, 02:34 PM   #26
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Mmmmmmm..... Propane
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Old 08-25-2015, 05:09 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
The latter(DC compressor fridge) has a pretty high cost of admission, but some people value the freedom from fossil fuels and/or the clean exterior appearance without ventilation grilles.
Jon, you bring to mind a question. With no vents, where does the heat from a dc compressor refrigerator get dumped?

Regardless of whether the cooling is done via an absorption unit or via a compressor, the condenser coils still need to dump that heat somewhere.

Unlike the old home refrigerators with the condenser coils on the back, the newer home units have the condenser built into the walls, but they are still there. Feel the sides of your fridge at home. That's why installation instructions specify a minimum clearance around the unit

I don't know how the new dc units are made, but the point is that heat removed from inside the fridge has got to be dissipated somewhere. With no vents, that's into the trailer. Now, if you have shore power available and the trailer is air conditioned, there is probably little to worry about, the AC will just work a little harder. Here though, we are talking about boondocking. That extra heat in warm weather might not be too welcome.

Those of you who have invested in DC compressor fridges; where do they dump the heat? How does it affect the internal temp of the trailer? Is any kind of venting recommended?
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Old 08-25-2015, 05:29 PM   #28
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Mmmmmmm..... Propane
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Old 08-25-2015, 05:35 PM   #29
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Jon, you bring to mind a question. With no vents, where does the heat from a dc compressor refrigerator get dumped?

Those of you who have invested in DC compressor fridges; where do they dump the heat? How does it affect the internal temp of the trailer? Is any kind of venting recommended?
Well, since you asked. The Truckfridge (TF130) I bought has the compressor on the upper right rear. The compressor/coil/fan unit is really small, and an amazing piece of kit. But I digress. Yes, it does give off significant heat when operating. This is why it is important to maintain the required installation clearances. It is intended that the air flow under, behind, and over the top exiting the front. And this works well due to the fan and the natural flow of cool-warm air.

I choose a different way due to where I wanted the fridge and its' size (to big for the original location). I have the fridge mounted right under a side window with a filter/grill in the counter top right over the compressor. With the window open and our Fantastic Breeze fan circulating air I have not noticed the refrigerator's heat being an issue.
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Old 08-26-2015, 11:11 AM   #30
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I just found a picture of the compressor unit on a TF130. Impressively compact. The coils are about what I would expect. I think I would find a way of venting it directly to the outside.
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Old 08-26-2015, 11:20 AM   #31
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There is another option worth considering if your fridge is in good shape other that it doesn't work. The Amish built a replacement cooling unit for most RV refrigerators. Their replacement units are much more efficient and build to a much higher standard than the originals. Even if you bought a new fridge it would not be built to the standard of the Amish cooler replacement. The Amish are experts in cooling with propane as that's what they use in their homes.
I also understand that even if you successfully "burp" your fridge you are living on borrowed time.

Dometic Cooling Units (Amish Built Brand-new) - RV Cooling Unit Warehouse
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Old 08-26-2015, 11:35 AM   #32
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There is another option worth considering if your fridge is in good shape other that it doesn't work. The Amish built a replacement cooling unit for most RV refrigerators. Their replacement units are much more efficient and build to a much higher standard than the originals. Even if you bought a new fridge it would not be built to the standard of the Amish cooler replacement. The Amish are experts in cooling with propane as that's what they use in their homes.
I also understand that even if you successfully "burp" your fridge you are living on borrowed time.

Dometic Cooling Units (Amish Built Brand-new) - RV Cooling Unit Warehouse
Interesting. Note, their price is about 6 times the cost of a used fridge. They don't seem to have cooling units for small, older fridges such as RM24, RM211, or RM36. So may not be the answer for the OP.
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Old 08-26-2015, 11:55 AM   #33
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Interesting. Note, their price is about 6 times the cost of a used fridge. They don't seem to have cooling units for small, older fridges such as RM24, RM211, or RM36. So may not be the answer for the OP.
Maybe, maybe not, it's just information. You didn't mention what they cost compared to buying a new fridge. Not everyone is into buying a used fridge.
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Old 08-26-2015, 12:09 PM   #34
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No offence was intended.
I have no idea what a new replacement fridge would cost. I almost never buy new, anything. I have obtained exact replacement models for my trailers, (RM211, and RM36) from free, to $100.
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Old 08-26-2015, 12:17 PM   #35
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I would agree with Tim. A good 12 VDC compressor fridge, with sufficient solar power would be my ideal boondocking fridge.
While that may be ideal set up based on the locations you camp, it may not work for others who camp in different locations & weather conditions.

Here in BC for example it is not common to find power sites in a Provincial park and the sites normally have lots of tree coverage where solar panels are of little use. So having a fridge that is capable of only running on 12V would after a couple of trips be something the purchaser may well regret.

I know I have two camping buddies with pretty new trailers both with what are considered to be 12 V efficient compressor fridges and both struggle to keep the fridge running if camping for more than 2 days on a dark and wet BC camping trip when they need to use a lot of lights and the furnace as well. Yes one of them has gone to a two battery system in an attempt to fix the problem but is still limited to days out before having to find another means such as a generator to power up. Both parties would love to have the ability to run the fridge on propane to avoid the headache of worry about hearing the fridge alarm go off in the middle of the night due to lack of power.

On the other hand if one does most of their camping out in the open skies of the Alberta prairies or in Arizona they would probable be very happy with a new 12V only compressor fridge & a solar power to keep it juiced up.
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Old 08-30-2015, 02:33 PM   #36
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We had a Waeco 35 litre compressor 12 volt fridge in our 37 foot sailboat, which we cruised in for 2 years in Mexico. The heat produced by it was very little and certainly didn't affect our comfort. I would swap the 3 way fridge in our Boler in a heartbeat for an equivalent compressor 12 volt fridge.
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Old 08-30-2015, 02:45 PM   #37
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A propane fridge uses very little propane, no battery.
Unless, of course, it uses 12V for the control circuit.
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Old 08-31-2015, 02:35 PM   #38
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Jennifer.

For boon docking you just can't beat older manual propane refrigerator.

A electrical compressor is going to use a fair amount of power period.

You don't have your year listed in the profile so the following may or may not apply to you.
Older 3 way refrigerators are "manual" and require only propane but newer automatic ones also require 12 volts for the "board" and without 12 volts it will not operate even on propane.

Another option is to get a rebuilt refrigeration part of your current refer if the rest of the refrigerator is in good condition.

But from your post it sounds as if your shopping and the owner is making no promises one way of the other.

So bargain as if it does not work then get it home, clean the gas jet and let it run overnight and see if it works.

If not then do the "burping" routine.

Joe
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Old 08-31-2015, 02:54 PM   #39
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Jennifer.

For boon docking you just can't beat older manual propane refrigerator.

A electrical compressor is going to use a fair amount of power period.

You don't have your year listed in the profile so the following may or may not apply to you.
Older 3 way refrigerators are "manual" and require only propane but newer automatic ones also require 12 volts for the "board" and without 12 volts it will not operate even on propane.

Another option is to get a rebuilt refrigeration part of your current refer if the rest of the refrigerator is in good condition.

But from your post it sounds as if your shopping and the owner is making no promises one way of the other.

So bargain as if it does not work then get it home, clean the gas jet and let it run overnight and see if it works.

If not then do the "burping" routine.

Joe
It's a 1979, and it looks to be orignal or within 5-10 years of being built. It is a 3 way.

Bought it at a price commiserate with a broken fridge, so it's added bonus if it works. I haven't had a chance to burp it.

I tried it on110; any reason to try it on propane instead?

It looks to be in great condition, how would I tell if it was a fix such as a rebuilt refrigeration unit?
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Old 08-31-2015, 03:11 PM   #40
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Sounds like a lightly used camper.
I've read if they set for a long time a sediment builds up and clogs the system. that's the reason for the burping, to break up the clog.
they are alsy sensative to being level both operating or not.

120 volts AC would be ok for testing if you can detect the electrical element heating up. They are more efficient running on propane.

Good luck "burping the baby".
Joe
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