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Old 04-22-2016, 01:35 AM   #1
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Residential Fridges and Inverters

I'm sure I'm beating a dead horse on this one, but it is late, and at the moment I have 0 time to search.

We are about to move in 2 weeks on a month-long, 2000 mile journey. We will be boondocking a lot of the time. We have a residential fridge (Magic Chef Vissani 9.9 cu/ft). I want to know my best options on going with an inverter. From others experiences, will a regular inverter work? Or is it something that the added expence of a true-sine inverter would be called for?

The only reason is from the manual: "In moving vehicle. This unit is not designed to be installed in an RV or used with an inverter. This unit is intended for household use only."

I want to get an inverter purchased within the next couple days so I can get it installed before the move. If I need to shell out the extra money for a true-sine inverter, we will probably end up going with a cooler for food, which we don't want to. Don't want to risk the fridge, but need our minimal funds to last.

Fyi, we do have a solar panel, and will be stopping once in a while at campgrounds with hookups (if only for a charge-up and a close shower).

Thanks everyone

-Sky
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Old 04-22-2016, 01:46 AM   #2
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With the manual stating no inverter, I think the reference is to a MSW inverter. So a PSW inverter is needed.
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Old 04-22-2016, 10:58 AM   #3
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The first thing that I acknowledge is that I don't have a clue on how much battery power you have and solar charging capability that goes with it. I don't think the use of a MSW vs PSW is a significant factor.

Without exhaustive shopping I looked at 2 units. I am not endorsing, just comparing.

Samlex 12v 1000 Watt Pure Sine Wave Inverter $281.18

1000W continuous output with 2000W surge. Built in GFCI and includes remote control.

Samlex 12v 1500 Watt Modified Sine Wave Power Inverter $175.00

1500W output, I don't see any ratings for surge.

I've look very hard and can't find any information on your Vissani to find out how much power it draws so I can't compare it to your cooler either. Of course, if you are referring to a cooler that isn't powered (I have one of those for emergency backup), there is no comparison. LOL

So the most important question is, can your solar and battery system support your refer when boon docking?

Only if you get a "YES" to that question do you need to find an inverter. That being said and based on the owner's manual I would NOT even consider a MSW.

Finally, the PSW inverter I referenced can handle over 8 amps continuous and 16 amp surge for up to a second.

Good Luck!
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Old 04-29-2016, 09:58 AM   #4
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If you go with an inverter, I'd probably get the pure sine wave inverter, as the motor in the fridge may burn up with a modified sine wave inverter. Manufacturer even alludes to that.

Before you can decide on a power unit, you need to know how much amperage the fridge draws, both running amps and start-up amps. Startup is the surge amperage/wattage and is often 2-3 times running amps.

Since you'll be boon-docking frequently, have you considered a small generator? (Be careful, gas engines need to be de-rated for higher altitudes, and I don't know where you'll be camping.)

Keep in mind, too, that if the running amps are, say 4.6 amps (equals 552 watts), then you'll be pulling about 110% of that from your battery, when using the inverter. That's a substantial 50 amp draw at 12 volts when the fridge is running. I'd suggest disconnecting the fridge and allowing it to function as a cooler when you're not driving (which will try to maintain some level of charge for the battery) or if you're not in a campsite with shore power. Same applies to using a genset: turn off for the night, run to cool down fridge, shut off while traveling, run again to cool down, etc.

One last comment: residential fridges are very particular about being level to run efficiently. That may be another reason why the mfr. advises against using in an RV.

Best of luck on your journey.
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Old 06-29-2016, 12:21 AM   #5
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I was referred to Don Rowe.... donrowe.com by an engineer that worked for a heated mattress pad company that sells their products under several names at Penney's, WalMart... etc.... He shared that Don was excellent on the phone and had some great brands and pricing... I called Don (now maybe 5 years ago) and purchased from him... He's in Monroe OR, so there's no sales tax... I installed the unit and its been turned on almost 100% of the time...

I'm a very happy customer... and have suggested him to many... at the time I purchased... he had very attractive pricing on full sine wave inverters...

I hope this helps...
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Old 06-29-2016, 04:24 AM   #6
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I bought a refrigerator which works well in my rv but i only hook it to shore power. Thouggt about buying an inverter also. These are the specs i got from someone here last year and might be the same one you have.

Vissani 10 cu ft HMDR1030WE
1.4amp 130wats 312kwh yr
24w 60h 25d
*Compressor has a locked rotor draw of about 17amps amps at 120vac. P=IE so that's 780 watts at start-up
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Old 06-29-2016, 09:38 AM   #7
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I've had good luck with the Xantrex ProWatt SW series.

You would need at least the 1,000 watt model, it is available for $256 here

Prowatt 1000 SW on eBay
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Old 06-29-2016, 09:42 AM   #8
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Second the recommendation for Power Inverters | DonRowe.com as a good source for inverter choices, and for all of the items you need to go with your inverter. While the MSW is lower cost, the PSW will ensure you have no problems. I bought 1000w PSW from donrowe and it works great for my Samsung RF18.
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Old 06-29-2016, 10:11 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 38Chevy454 View Post
Second the recommendation for Power Inverters | DonRowe.com as a good source for inverter choices, and for all of the items you need to go with your inverter. While the MSW is lower cost, the PSW will ensure you have no problems. I bought 1000w PSW from donrowe and it works great for my Samsung RF18.
Hi 38Chevy454,
I am looking for a smaller inverter for my Samsung RF18. I am wondering if you did any tests of the max amperage draw from the Samsung. The label say Max at 115v is 1.1Amps
I am looking for the smallest inverter than I currently have just to run the refer.
Thanks in advance
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Old 06-29-2016, 10:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by computerguy View Post
Hi 38Chevy454,
I am looking for a smaller inverter for my Samsung RF18. I am wondering if you did any tests of the max amperage draw from the Samsung. The label say Max at 115v is 1.1Amps
I am looking for the smallest inverter than I currently have just to run the refer.
Thanks in advance
I just went with the 1000W to ensure no issues, even though I only run the frig off it at this time. It does allow me to expand to other circuits later if I want. I think you could get by with 500-600W size inverter, but realistically the inverter physical size is not that much different. Cost is a bit less for smaller watts, but the relative cost increase for the step up is not much.

I am not sure the 1.1 amps is the max draw though. That may be an avg amp draw. What does the defroster require? What does max cooling require? The Samsung uses the "digital inverter compressor" per their words, and it does not really start and stop like conventional compressors; rather it is variable speed. That helps a lot with the start-up current required., but it also means that it always has a slight power draw.
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Old 06-29-2016, 10:26 AM   #11
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Ah, great info. I guess I should have looked that up on the compressor.
Just going by what's on the label for the max. I haven't been around during a defrost cycle. I wonder how often it does that? I guess could take the yellow energy label and divide by 365 to get a avg daily usage.
Thanks again
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Old 06-29-2016, 10:34 AM   #12
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Even if you go for a PSW inverter, if the company somehow figures out it was used with one or even just in your camper, they may void the warranty. You could of course bring in in the house before calling for service and hope they can't figure out it was in the camper.

Might want to see if there is a way to contact the company and ask why they cannot be used on an inverter and if a PSW will work. I see Home Depot has a chat to ask questions. Maybe they have a direct line to Magic Chef and could ask while you remain anonymous.

If I read the info right the reason Samsung units work on MSW inverters is because all of them convert a/c to d/c for international use. Ours has worked for years in the MH but is mostly plugged in or on the generator. Occasionally we use it on the inverter with no problem.
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Old 06-29-2016, 12:15 PM   #13
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We have an Amana residential refer. When we first got the coach we went through 3 control boards before the coach manufacturer found the problem. The stock inverter was a modified sine wave unit. They sent me a modified control board (larger wattage resistor) that fixed the problem for the last 9 years. When I had to replace the inverter I went with a pure sine wave unit, I did not want to worry about any other issues.
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