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Old 02-28-2019, 01:30 PM   #1
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Residential refrigerators

I've seen several class As for sale recently listed as "upgraded" to residential refrigerators. I assume these can't be run on propane, which seems like you would be limited to plugging in or running the genset. I think that takes away a lot of the flexibility to come and go and boondock.

Can anyone speak to this?
Thanks
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Old 02-28-2019, 01:34 PM   #2
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Your understanding of the situation is right on the money!
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Old 02-28-2019, 01:42 PM   #3
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You could also run the residential fridge on the inverter, assuming you have enough power available.
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Old 02-28-2019, 02:02 PM   #4
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We all think that until we own a coach with a residential fridge. When our Norcold first went out I spent over $3500 having it replaced. A few years later it failed again and was another $3500!

First, did you see these pictures?
Camey's Last Ride.....
The Norcold totaled the coach! They are lucky they were not in the coach. And this is one of thousands.

I turn on our residential fridge 1 hour before loading it and everything is ready to go. Our Norcold used to take 2 days to cool down.
I don't have to worry about parking level as the residential fridge will still work.
Our ice cream is always frozen. With the Norcold it would thaw during the afternoon and refreeze at night ruining the ice cream.
Our inverter runs the fridge and the batteries are charged by the alternator when the engine is running or anytime we are plugged in.
If you dry camp a lot, then yes you have to run the generator for about an hour each morning to recharge the batteries.
Most folks don't understand how efficient a modern refrigerator is. The residential fridge in our Windsor only used .8 amps with the ice maker off and our current residential fridge only uses 1 amp.
There are lots more great things about it but I think you will have to try it to fully understand.
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Old 02-28-2019, 02:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vito.a View Post
We all think that until we own a coach with a residential fridge. When our Norcold first went out I spent over $3500 having it replaced. A few years later it failed again and was another $3500!

First, did you see these pictures?
Camey's Last Ride.....
The Norcold totaled the coach! They are lucky they were not in the coach. And this is one of thousands.

I turn on our residential fridge 1 hour before loading it and everything is ready to go. Our Norcold used to take 2 days to cool down.
I don't have to worry about parking level as the residential fridge will still work.
Our ice cream is always frozen. With the Norcold it would thaw during the afternoon and refreeze at night ruining the ice cream.
Our inverter runs the fridge and the batteries are charged by the alternator when the engine is running or anytime we are plugged in.
If you dry camp a lot, then yes you have to run the generator for about an hour each morning to recharge the batteries.
Most folks don't understand how efficient a modern refrigerator is. The residential fridge in our Windsor only used .8 amps with the ice maker off and our current residential fridge only uses 1 amp.
There are lots more great things about it but I think you will have to try it to fully understand.
That's very good to know. I used to run my generator about an hour a day anyway. When traveling I never use RV parks, stopping instead at truck stops and the like.
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Old 02-28-2019, 04:31 PM   #6
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Every new Berkshire comes with a residential fridge, a 2800W pure sine inverter and a 400Ah house bank. Mine (a 2017, was one of the last with a 2000W modified sine, to be replaced with a pure sine this week).

When driving the engine keeps it all charged up, fridge works like a charm.

You can do the math as to how long it will run, together with your other loads when boon docking.

Then you do the solar or the generator thing.

I love ours..... it's large, simple and cheap(er) to replace if it ever craps out.
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Old 02-28-2019, 04:57 PM   #7
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There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Fortunately we are free to choose which one best suits your needs.

For my needs my 10 cu ft residential was an big improvement over the 6 cu ft absorbution it replaced. I'm pretty much a pavement camper (campgrounds, public and private) but if necessary I can, and have, boondock only needing an hour or two each morning and evening of generator time to recharge the battery bank.

To fix the failed 11 year old absorption fridge would have potentially cost $1000. The residential fridge cost $350 plus another $100 for the electrical mods and and other incidental. Already had the inverter for other needs. If the residential ever quits I can replace it in 30 minutes in the parking lot of a big box store with basic tools I normally carry.
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Old 03-01-2019, 06:55 AM   #8
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Upgrading an older Southwind to residential.

This was a stock 1999. It had two group 24 coach batteries (12 volt in parallel) and a single stage converter/charger set at about 13.2 volts.


Last summer, I installed a 10 cu ft residential and a 1200 watt psw inverter to support the frig and other 110 AC loads. (One of the best mods I've performed)

We spent several weeks out in BLM and NPS sites with no hookups. I was having trouble getting 12 hours out of each charge cycle. i..e. I'd charge for an hour and shut the genny off at 8pm. About 5 a.m. the inverter would go into alarm.

THREE ISSUES



My goal is to get 12 hours out of a 30 minute charge from the genny. Ultimately I'll add a solar panel to help reduce this even further.

I have three issues that I'll need to address before our next boondock

1) Upgrade the group 24s to 6 volt golf cart batteries. This should get me 25% more battery capacity.

2) I upgraded the converter charger to a three stage converter, much better at doing a fast charge.


3) Rewire the converter so it goes straight to the batteries, not through the BCC and other circuits.

We spent about two weeks out in BLM and NPS without hookups. Things seem to work OK once we sorted out the power and figured out what we need to do to make this a better system.


The modified system works great while traveling and during short stops with no hookups
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Old 03-01-2019, 07:09 AM   #9
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...add some batteries, and a good inverter, then throw in some solar and you have a fairly viable solution for powering your R&R while boon-docking....not a prefect solution, just a good one.....
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Old 03-01-2019, 07:21 AM   #10
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As of right now, the jury is out on whether or not we will like the residential fridge in our MH. Plugged in, it is great as well as with the genset running. We have yet to make a "long trip" to see if the inverter/alternator combo works as it is supposed to. Our coach has 6 house batteries and is supplemented by the chassis batteries. I might consider an overnite sometimes w/o power but dry camping is just not our thing
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Old 03-01-2019, 07:21 AM   #11
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Some gp24 batteries are only 55 AH. A pair of GC2s will at least double your capacity.
There are 245 AH GC2s out there. That would increase capacity.

Keep the new converter close to the batteries and use 6 gauge wire

Adding more capacity, and during it, will increase recharge time.
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Old 03-01-2019, 07:32 AM   #12
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One of the best upgrades we ever done was replacing the Norcold with a Samsung. We have 4 coach batteries and never had a problem with overnight stays without electricity. Also in the winter we stay in an RV park and our electrical bill is half of what it used to be with the Norcold.
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Old 03-01-2019, 07:46 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vito.a View Post
We all think that until we own a coach with a residential fridge. When our Norcold first went out I spent over $3500 having it replaced. A few years later it failed again and was another $3500!

First, did you see these pictures?
Camey's Last Ride.....
The Norcold totaled the coach! They are lucky they were not in the coach. And this is one of thousands.

I turn on our residential fridge 1 hour before loading it and everything is ready to go. Our Norcold used to take 2 days to cool down.
I don't have to worry about parking level as the residential fridge will still work.
Our ice cream is always frozen. With the Norcold it would thaw during the afternoon and refreeze at night ruining the ice cream.
Our inverter runs the fridge and the batteries are charged by the alternator when the engine is running or anytime we are plugged in.
If you dry camp a lot, then yes you have to run the generator for about an hour each morning to recharge the batteries.
Most folks don't understand how efficient a modern refrigerator is. The residential fridge in our Windsor only used .8 amps with the ice maker off and our current residential fridge only uses 1 amp.
There are lots more great things about it but I think you will have to try it to fully understand.
I would say you nailed it pretty well
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Old 03-01-2019, 09:08 AM   #14
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If you take the money saved with the home refrigerater and put it into solar it would balance out.
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