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Old 04-15-2017, 08:12 AM   #1
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Rv frig vs. Residential frig

I could used some experienced campers advise on frig types. We will be purchasing a 5er soon and will have a choice about the frig. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks
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Old 04-15-2017, 08:37 AM   #2
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The residential style generally requires electricity. If you plan on mostly being at parks with power, you will be fine. If you plan on boondocking a lot, you need a good size bank of batteries and a good size inverter to run it or a generator going. I camp quite often not on a power source, so I prefer the gas combo. The gas fridges dont consume a lot of propane, and I dont need to run my generator or have a huge battery bank to keep it running. Seems like their are lots of people on the forum who prefer the residential fridge. I think it depends on your set up, and where you plan on doing the bulk of your camping.
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Old 04-15-2017, 10:06 AM   #3
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We love our residential fridge but you need at least two 12v batteries to get you thru the night if you're boondocking. I've heard some folks turn the fridge off at night and it's still cool in the AM.
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Old 04-15-2017, 10:31 AM   #4
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The information you have been given is very accurate. Even the highest efficiency residential unit will go 36 hours at most on a pair of GC2s. Matt and his antique GMC have been proving this for years now. He has a very convenient generator. We don't so I just poured the money into a rebuilt cooling unit.

It is completely your choice. If you are planning to be off shore power much at all, the gas reefer has a distinct advantage. While they do require more maintenance and are slower to cool down, being able to survive on our solar alone is a great benefit.

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Old 04-15-2017, 10:32 AM   #5
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Welcome to iRV2.

A residential fridge will provide more internal space in the same cabinet , and keep frozen food FROZEN ! (I hate partially melted ice cream ) .
The choice is dependent on your intended use , if you spend a lot of time boon docking then an RV fridge would be best, always on shore power except short trips , residential will hold internal temp for up to 6 hours with door closed ; with out power; depending on outside temp.
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Old 04-15-2017, 10:43 AM   #6
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A residential fridge IS the best; however:
For most Class A coaches it's a no brainier, residential. Most "A"s come with onboard generater with auto gen start and can support a residential with out additional cost.
For a 5er you need to balance the cost of adding a generator with AGS and sufficient batteries.
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Old 04-15-2017, 10:44 AM   #7
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Really like our residential fridge. Would put up with installing batteries, solar panel and running the generator to have one.

You should be able to calculate the amount of power a fridge takes and take the appropriate steps to run it.

We had a RV fridge in our 5er. Had a cooling unit go. Should have replaced it with a residential.
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Old 04-15-2017, 10:47 AM   #8
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I like the gas refer in my Class A. I wish it was a bit larger but we've never run out of food or drink.
My ice cream is just fine.
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Old 04-15-2017, 11:49 AM   #9
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a related 5ver question regarding the resi fridge/ electric/ invertors and batteries...
Does / can the tow vehicle charge the 5ver batteries off it's Alternator when the engine is running - presume through the standard 7 pin connection..
Likewise a solar panel setup on the roof of the RV could do the same while being towed I would presume?
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Old 04-15-2017, 12:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selah View Post
A residential fridge IS the best; however:
For most Class A coaches it's a no brainier, residential. Most "A"s come with onboard generater with auto gen start and can support a residential with out additional cost.
Or carry enough batteries and solar to handle the load. I have 4 - 8D batteries (150#'s each) with room for 6, only 400 watts of solar and a 12.5KW with auto gen start. But I normally drive for a day, stay in a Wal*Mart or rest area and by the third day I'm in a park and hooked up. Or at least that's what we did when the late DW was still alive, not sure how it'll go now.
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Old 04-15-2017, 12:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
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a related 5ver question regarding the resi fridge/ electric/ invertors and batteries...
Does / can the tow vehicle charge the 5ver batteries off it's Alternator when the engine is running - presume through the standard 7 pin connection..
Likewise a solar panel setup on the roof of the RV could do the same while being towed I would presume?
Yes, it is doable. On a 7 pin connector pin 4 is the one that is designated for charge line use. You'd think the large middle connector would be the one to use but it's normally used for backup lights.
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Old 04-15-2017, 12:13 PM   #12
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We have the larger 4 door Norcold gas RV fridge and it works great. Our freezer maintains around 0 degrees and the fridge is usually right around 34-36 degrees. After the normal cool down period, we end up turning the thermostat down as it gets too cold. Everything is nice and cold, Ice Cream frozen hard, ice maker makes so much ice we need to shut it off at times. Don't believe all the bad things you hear about the gas fridges, they work great if you use them right, and afford you the ability to camp anywhere without spending additional money for solar, batteries ect.
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Old 04-15-2017, 12:29 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Mike and Cha View Post
We have the larger 4 door Norcold gas RV fridge and it works great. Our freezer maintains around 0 degrees and the fridge is usually right around 34-36 degrees. After the normal cool down period, we end up turning the thermostat down as it gets too cold. Everything is nice and cold, Ice Cream frozen hard, ice maker makes so much ice we need to shut it off at times. Don't believe all the bad things you hear about the gas fridges, they work great if you use them right, and afford you the ability to camp anywhere without spending additional money for solar, batteries ect.
+1 with the 4 door Norcold. To me the fact it runs driving so nothing gets soft is a plus, auto switching so pretty much set and forget.
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Old 04-15-2017, 02:40 PM   #14
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I've had both and they work well depending on how you use them. If it's two adults camping, the RV fridge works well. If you have kids who are constantly in the fridge, then the RV fridge will struggle to keep cool.

Your lifestyle and intended use should guide your selection.
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