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Old 09-21-2021, 12:47 PM   #1
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Need a new refrigerator, 12V or 120V?

So the RV I just bought had a brand new (8 mo. old) house refridgerator. I wasn't the correct size though, too small so I was firring in the gaps around it. Upon attaching the main brace and on the very last screw and I poked a hole in a refridgerant line. Now it's no good for me anymore!

Maybe that's a good thing as I was thinking on changing it out to a real RV fridge anyway.

So, should I stick with the 120V models or is it better to get one that is 12V? I have both sources of electricity in the compartment as well as propane.
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Old 09-21-2021, 01:01 PM   #2
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If you boondock, you may want the absorption fridge.
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Old 09-21-2021, 01:20 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVforTwo View Post
So the RV I just bought had a brand new (8 mo. old) house refridgerator. I wasn't the correct size though, too small so I was firring in the gaps around it. Upon attaching the main brace and on the very last screw and I poked a hole in a refridgerant line. Now it's no good for me anymore!

Maybe that's a good thing as I was thinking on changing it out to a real RV fridge anyway.

So, should I stick with the 120V models or is it better to get one that is 12V? I have both sources of electricity in the compartment as well as propane.
Well RVforTwo,
In all reality, none of us can answer this truthfully for you. Yes, we can all put in our two cents on what works for us, but, what we don't know so far is, what kind of camping you do, hookups or no hook ups or, somewhere in between? An RV fridge has benefits.

1. The normal RV (absorbtion) fridge made for the last several years has been what's called a "Two-way" style. That is, it has two different methods of operating, to keep things cool. One is propane and the other is 120VAC. The old "Three way" also used 12VDC but, most of those went away a long, long time ago. So, the one benefit of using propane is that you can *Boon dock* or, otherwise known as REMOTE camp, any where, without the need for external power (120VAC) to rely on to keep your food cold.

2. But, that same fridge can also operate on 120VAC if, IF you have hookups or some form of shore power.

But, if one want's to call this a pit fall, the primary one I can think of is, an RV type fridge needs to be very, very close to level to work correctly and not damage any internal parts. Leveling a coach is no big deal for most of us. Others don't care how unlevel they are.

But, as the weather warms up a bit, some RV fridges tend to loose efficiency. That is, they don't cool as well in warmer, around 95-100 degree weather. Some are more efficient than others.

Where as, if you go again with a residential type fridge, you don't have to be near as level for it. You do however, have to realize that, since there is no other way for that fridge to operate other than 120VAC, you have to supply that 120VAC constantly. And that means, if you boon dock or remote camp, you'll need the ability for providing the 120VAC through an inverter which, needs good battery power to sustain power to that inverter. Solar does help in this matter. Yes, you can also run a generator to supply the 120VAC but, no one likes to hear those run forever and ever. At least no one I know likes to hear them run forever.

If you don't remote or boon dock and are primarily at camps/RV parks with shore power (hook ups), then you're good to go. And finally, a standard residential fridge will still be efficient in cooling when the temps rise to and above 100 degrees. And, your ICE CREAM will be ROCK HARD, that's important to us!

So, again, you need to determine how your RV will be used, and where, to help determine what kind of fridge you will replace your present one with. If you go with another residential model, do your research dilligently. That is, find out if it will work on an inverter and, make sure it states whether or not it can work on an MSW or PSW inverter. Some will, some wont. I found out the hard way. Also, find out what the side, top and back clearances are required for any fridge you may think about.
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Old 09-21-2021, 01:51 PM   #4
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Silver solder the hole and have it recharged. Much cheaper than a new one.
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Old 09-21-2021, 04:46 PM   #5
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Why are we not discussing 12v variable compressor fridges? These are not the classic absorption model and can be a viable option.
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Old 09-21-2021, 05:38 PM   #6
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Silver solder the hole and have it recharged. Much cheaper than a new one.
I normally would do this but the location of the hole I inflicted makes it pretty much impossible without cutting open the refridgerator outside casing. Look at that top silver braket on the right side. I never in my wildest dreams thought there would be a freon line right next to the seam in front. I only used a 1/2 long screw, took me by surprise! To top it off it's right next to the plastic lining of the freezer! That and this refer doesn't fit the opening at all and I'd have a lot of cabinetry/trim work to make it look right.


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Why are we not discussing 12v variable compressor fridges? These are not the classic absorption model and can be a viable option.
I'd love to hear a bit more on these. Would you care to further add to this discussion about these? I'm all ears and willing to learn. What brands/models are you referring to?
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Old 09-22-2021, 07:02 AM   #7
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A couple of links...



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Old 09-22-2021, 07:12 AM   #8
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Silver solder the hole and have it recharged. Much cheaper than a new one.
Modern units run the vapor line around the case to absorb heat. In addition, it may not be copper anyway...
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Old 09-22-2021, 07:30 AM   #9
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I like the propane option for our refrigerator for boondocking and traveling. If mine were to go bad I would replace it with the same. I like having options and they use very little propane.
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Old 09-22-2021, 09:33 AM   #10
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Modern units run the vapor line around the case to absorb heat. In addition, it may not be copper anyway...
It was a freon line alright. Unmistakable hissing sound at the very end of driving that last screw into the outer case.
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Old 09-22-2021, 10:23 AM   #11
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Personally I would stay away for direct driven 12 volt reefers. They are generally made for RV manufacturers to reduce cost by eliminating the need for inverters and transfer switches. It appears that they have also under wired them as well and many will not start with a normal resting fully charged 12 volt FLA battery. In addition, there is very little choice as they are manufactured for a specific size and price point RV.

Now, a modern, 110 volt "internal inverter" powered residential refrigerator along with a modern SW inverter will give you more choice in sizes and models as well as an auxiliary source of 110 volts for TVs, chargers, etc. Doesn't have to be a big inverter even for the largest residential reefers out there.

Since the market is larger for all of these items, (reefers and inverters) you will also find the prices are more favorable due to increased volume. My 22 cuft residential only uses an average of 90 watts or so. and there is plenty of additional wattage available to power other things.
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Old 09-24-2021, 06:10 AM   #12
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We just had our refrigerator replaced this past summer. I went with one that fit the opening. It is 120V/Propane by Dometic. The quality of the unit leaves a lot to be desired. Broke three handles so far. Freezer door does not seal properly.


I prefer the 120V/Propane because it will run while we are driving and I don't have to think about using up batteries. We normally open the refrigerator while on the highway for one thing or another.
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Old 09-28-2021, 01:15 PM   #13
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I hope I never have to go backwards and have a rv frig again. And we can boondock with 6 house batteries.
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