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Old 09-16-2018, 08:16 AM   #1
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I now get it about residential fridge/freezer

My coach has a propane fridge and I am ok with its disadvantages (and advantages).

When we moved in to our house 4 years ago we got a new fridge and had the old one moved to the basement. This fridge is probaly 26 years old as thats how old the house is.

Yesterday I plugged the fridge in as our chest freezer needed defrosting. Within an hour the freezer was down -5F, it would take all day for my propane freezer.
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Old 09-16-2018, 08:51 AM   #2
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Thats great that it cools down faster, but I start my gas fridge in May, and it doesnt shut off until November. How fast it cools down doesnt really make any difference to me. If you boondock camp much, the disadvantages will quickly become apparent, unless you have an eight pack of batteries, and a solar array to back it. Otherwise, you will be running the generator all the time.
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Old 09-16-2018, 09:43 AM   #3
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No thanks, we boondock when possible. And we have solar too; probably saw the sun about one hour in the last week.
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Old 09-16-2018, 10:27 AM   #4
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Our new fiver that we purchased last fall came with a residential unit (22 cf). We discussed this in length before we bought too. So far we love it, but then we don't boondock...yet. If we ever do decide that's the way we will head, then the fridge will become somewhat of a liability. We only have two 12v batts and thus far, the fridge has been challenged to run off the inverter only twice for about 6 hrs.
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Old 09-16-2018, 10:47 AM   #5
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Clearly I come from the "non-boondocking" side of things. I've had both types. To make it worse I had the Norcold 1200 barn burner. LOL With that in mind, I know that some RV refers work better than others so my experiences may differ from those of other people.

In my experience prepping a "hot" RV refer is the minor side of things. Here is what I found when comparing to our residential models...

1. Freezer temp control wasn't a big deal. However, freezer size and frost-over where.

2. Refer temp control was a HUGE deal. Depending on what side of the coach the sun was coming from made major difference.

3. When loading the RV refer you need to take care that you didn't put too much in too quickly, especially if items were not already cold. Along the same lines, keeping the doors closed is and only peaking quickly are essential practices that are not needed with a residential model.

4. Setting temp control in a residential is easy. Not so much with a RV Refer.

5. With our previous coach that had 4 house batteries we could go 7-8 hours and be above 60% SOC before the generator would kick in. Yes...the RV refer didn't care. HOWEVER...for us...we seldom boondock without a need/want for air conditioning. Our new coach has 8 batteries but we haven't tested this area...been too hot.

Personally, I think 3 things will drive towards use of residential refers by even some of the more serious boondocking folks.

1. Lithium Ion batteries reduce size and weight for power storage. They have other advantages over even the best AGMs.

2. Solar panel and supporting power management systems are getting cheaper. The panels are also getting better and more sturdy.

3. Residential refers are getting more power efficient.

My 2 cents
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Old 09-16-2018, 11:03 AM   #6
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We love our double door Norcold 1201. It fits all our food for a week or more. Also have a 1.6cf fridge in a stoarge bay.

We only have 440AH of AGM batteries and 200 watts of portable solar, would need to double it for a residential unit.
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Old 09-16-2018, 12:45 PM   #7
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Absorption fridge
All it requires is 12V DC and propane


Residential fridge
AC power ALWAYS
Via battery bank/inverter, generator, AC Power Cord etc


YES residential will cool down quicker.........forced circulation via compressor


Majority os 'lack of cooling' issues with RV absorption fridges can be traced DIRECTLY back to RV MFGs LACK OF INSTALLATION ----NOT following RV Fridge MFG requirements for clearances, airflow/venting
When THOSE REQUIREMENTS are followed an absorption fridge WILL perform and maintain SAFE temperatures
BUT they will take several hours to start the cooling process due to the natural heat cycle/gravity flow process.
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Old 09-17-2018, 06:08 PM   #8
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Our 11 cf residential uses about 100 ah per day, 4 GC batteries give us 200 ah to use, in cool weather we shut the refer off at night, cutting use to about 70 ah. On sunny days the 2 panel, 500 watts system will charge the batteries back to 100% before noon.

In hot weather we go to full hook up campgrounds to run the a/c. No way will we run the gen 24/7!
Not full time but usually on the road for 6 months.
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