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Old 07-21-2019, 07:48 PM   #1
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Residential or propane Refrigerator

Can anyone shed some light on which is the better option?

We are looking for our first RV. It will be a Class A gas. I had myself convinced residential was the way to go, but now I'm not so sure.

Any thoughts or advice based on your experiences would really be appreciated.

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Old 07-22-2019, 05:13 AM   #2
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My advice would be read the 1,000's of others that have chimed in on this subject in the past. A wealth of knowledge.

Good luck.

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Old 07-22-2019, 05:17 AM   #3
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There is no right or wrong answer. Each has it's benefits and drawbacks. A properly equipped rig with a residential will do everything a gas electric will. The benefits for gas electric come in with smaller RV's that don't have room for a good battery bank or 50 amp service.
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Old 07-22-2019, 05:26 AM   #4
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If you're going to be plugged in or on generator most of the time, then a residential fridge is probably the way to go.

However, there is one option missing from your question: 12vdc compressor fridge.

If you are going to do any substantial boondocking, then perhaps you should add a 12vdc compressor fridge to your decision tree. They are more efficient than many residential units and will allow for longer boondocking. More and more 12vdc units coming to the market every day.
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Old 07-22-2019, 06:04 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies. We dont plan on any boondocking other than the occasional overnight on the way to our destination.

Does one model cool better / quicker than the other?

Any special maintenance requirements for the propane versions?
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Old 07-22-2019, 06:06 AM   #6
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If you purchase a larger RV with large battery bank , go for the residential fridge. You will have to run the generator a few hrs every day to keep the battery bank charged if you are not connected to power. For smaller class A's and C's consider a propane model especially if you plan on any boondocking. If you also only camp with services , a residential fridge would be just fine.
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Old 07-22-2019, 06:09 AM   #7
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Based on my considerable research, there really is no such thing as a DC compression refrigerator. There are units that accept DC but they just have an internal inverter rather than requiring an external one.

Modern big residentials all have built in inverters anyway, but do not have DC input options. They are all pretty efficient and generally average around 90 watts continuously.

In addition, the multi door, big adsorption units are somewhat problematic.
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Old 07-22-2019, 06:10 AM   #8
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I think (so may be wrong).
  • Residential fridge if plugged in or on generator most of the time.
  • 12VDC compressor fridge if you have a lot of solar and large battery bank.
  • Propane 3 way if you long tern boondock/dry camp and limited solar and battery bank.
  • Residential or 12VDC compressor fridge will keep lower temperatures than propane 3 way.
  • 120VAC or 12VDC have a much faster recovery time compared to Propane 3 way (cools faster)

I have limited solar and battery bank and do a lot of dry camping so propane 3 way works best for me.

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propane, refrigerator

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