Author Topic: Pros and cons of using home fridge in rv?  (Read 1308 times)

Offline boohoo222

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Pros and cons of using home fridge in rv?
« on: January 08, 2017, 09:12 PM »
 i?? what are the pros and cons of using one in rv
1978 dodge coachmen class c 23ft                       1978 chevy open road class b

Offline joanfenn

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Re: Pros and cons of using home fridge in rv?
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2017, 09:19 PM »
My experience is we use a little home fridge in our motor home that is parked out at the farm.  Works great.  Saves running the original one all the time which is not recommended at all.   If you always have a place to plug into 110 why not.  They are less expensive then the three ways for sure.  So I feel that if your coach has access to power go for it  You can probably find one that will fit in the old space.

Offline boohoo222

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Re: Pros and cons of using home fridge in rv?
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2017, 09:24 PM »
gonna be living in rv and even when on the road I have 7000 watt gen , the original fridg has to be exactly level to work and that's a problem
1978 dodge coachmen class c 23ft                       1978 chevy open road class b

Offline M & J

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Re: Pros and cons of using home fridge in rv?
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2017, 10:13 PM »
Other than what Fenn said, you'll have to seal the roof exhaust and possibly the grill on the outside. Then framing it in. But you lose any option for boondocking or if your genny is down you will require shore power.
M & J

Offline boohoo222

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Re: Pros and cons of using home fridge in rv?
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2017, 10:40 PM »
thanks
1978 dodge coachmen class c 23ft                       1978 chevy open road class b

Offline ClydesdaleKevin

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Re: Pros and cons of using home fridge in rv?
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2017, 11:11 AM »
Saves running the original one all the time which is not recommended at all.

We have been running ours for 5 years straight, and this is the first I've ever heard that it isn't recommended to run the original all the time.  Why not, since they don't have any moving parts, and since NOT using them is the primary cause of them getting "bubbles" that need to be burped?

Kev
Kev and Patti, the furry kids, and The Nautilus, our 1989 Holiday Rambler Imperial 35 Anniversary Edition.

Offline khantroll

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Re: Pros and cons of using home fridge in rv?
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2017, 10:05 AM »
I'll be switching to a an electric dorm fridge this spring, as my LP fridge is getting less and less dependable. I'm sure it is something with either the wiring or the heating element, but given that the fridge is over 40 years old and not well cared for by the PO I think it's simpler to replace it with something like this:


https://www.walmart.com/ip/Igloo-3.2-cu.-ft.-Refrigerator-and-Freezer-Platinum/15162427


Eventually, I'd like to replace it with a helium based three way, like this:


http://www.camperpartsworld.com/Atwood-Helium-camper-Refrigerator-8-Cubic-Ft.html


As for the cons of a residential fridge, mostly it's the power draw. You will not be boondocking without a hefty battery setup or running your generator all the time, which gets expensive and annoying real quick.

Offline joanfenn

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Re: Pros and cons of using home fridge in rv?
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2017, 10:52 AM »
sorry Kevin but after the fire of a previous member here that lost everything and almost himself I wouldn't trust something that is 30 or 40 years old.  I am sure that I read that somewhere that it isn't recommended about running them constantly and now I will have to try and find it again. 

Offline joanfenn

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Re: Pros and cons of using home fridge in rv?
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2017, 10:27 AM »
OK I admit it, I cant find it.  But I am sure that I read it somewhere.   :-[   There seems to be a lot of articles on the controversy of driving with one on.  Also found several articles on what to do if your fridge is not cooling well.  There are even some articles on using those little fans to suck the hot air up the fridge exhaust to improve cooling ( guess we are going to try that one) But of course I can't find what I was looking for.  Sorry Kevin didn't mean to give you heart failure.   i??

Offline DRMousseau

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Re: Pros and cons of using home fridge in rv?
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2017, 02:31 AM »

The fridge in my Cruise Air II was replaced by the PO with an equivalent sized 110V household/apartment model for some reason. Personally,... I hate it, and would much prefer a simple three-way AC/DC/Propane model someday. Now I live year around in my "rolling upstairs apartment", so a good fridge IS important. Since I'm usually connected to shore power more often than not, I find the current setup is tolerable for now. It is new and quiet. But as a household model, I have to remember to run the genny occasionally while on the road for any great time. And when boondocking in quiet remote areas, I depend on the inverter/battery system and have to monitor it closely,... this usually means breaking the silence of the quiet evenings with the genny to top off the battery bank for the night. I do have the upper vent closed off for now, and a cover inside over the louvers of the access door, mostly to maintain indoor climate and keep intruding pests out.


Now the ol' Winnebago had a li'l 2-way,... 12v DC and propane, and it ran constantly! Even though it was an old simple pilot lighted or manually "plugged in" system, and  I was limited to 20lb tanks, I was still VERY happy with it!!! DC power was used when traveling on the road with no great concerns (still ran the genny occasionally on long trips) and when settled for any time I simply lit the pilot (unless shore power was available for the charger/converter). It was quiet, economical, and dependable.


And most ANY pilot-lit propane system should be shut down while traveling on the road,... and probably a good idea for newer electronic ignited systems too.  There ARE safety circuits and components in place for these (even in older pilot-lit models), but I jus can't bring myself to fully depend on 'em. It's easy to hear these fire-up and know they're running properly when settled somewhere, but not while running down the highway. Besides, if the pilot or flame goes out on the road, I may be ok to not have heat or hot water ready at my destination,.... but I sure better have a cold beer and sandwich fixin's!!!
Welcome,..
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Offline Froggy1936

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Re: Pros and cons of using home fridge in rv?
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2017, 02:23 PM »
How is the greenhouse holding up ?  Hm? Frank
The Journey is the REWARD !

Offline DRMousseau

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Re: Pros and cons of using home fridge in rv?
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2017, 11:05 PM »
With over 60" of snowfall so far, and some frequent wind gusts over 40mph, ice, freezing rain, and more,... my "little bubble" has been quite a nice refuge from a harsh winter. Even the local bunnies find the open door policy of my comfortable li'l shelter to be quite welcoming. Jus wish they'd leave those "berries" outside instead of right under my entry step!
Welcome,..
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Offline brians1969

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Re: Pros and cons of using home fridge in rv?
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2017, 06:21 PM »
For about 11 years I have had a ac/dc/lp refrigerator. It had been getting weaker for the past year or two (especially on warm summer days). I had contemplated getting a rebuilt cooling unit. Ultimately, I decided to join the "house fridge crowd".  I got a Frigidare from Lowes for about $300. It's been great! I am a full-timer but I don't boondock.

I love it. Frost-free. Fridge and freezer gets nice and cold. I don't worry about putting warm stuff in there and having the temperature rise for a couple hours. Don't have to worry about fires. From warm, the fridge got to temperature very quickly. It draws between .8 and 1.5 amps running. I don't what that means for inverters and batteries.

I am definitely sold on the house fridge idea! Although I havent figured yet what to do on a power failure. I can run the generator or get an inverter I guess.

Offline CapnDirk

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Re: Pros and cons of using home fridge in rv?
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2017, 10:31 AM »
I'm surprised that 12V 110V  compressor fridges have not caught on more with the manufacturers.  Meaning a regular refrigerator that runs on 12V and if 110 is available (on shore power) it would step down the 110 to 12.

"Anything given sufficient propulsion will fly!  Rule one!  Maintain propulsion"

"I say we nuke the site from orbit.  It's the only way to be sure"

Offline tmsnyder

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Re: Pros and cons of using home fridge in rv?
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2017, 08:18 AM »
In my 1959 travel trailer I installed a house fridge, just couldn't justify spending the $ on a gas fridge for the 2-3 camping trips per year that we do.  But instead of running the fridge, I found a 1/2 size SS food pan, 4" deep that fit into the ice box of the fridge.  It holds a bag of ice and keeps the fridge cold a day. 


We outgrew the 16' trailer, and the RV we got already had a dorm fridge in it, no gas fridge.   Also the freezer is not as tall as the one in my trailer.   So I'm putting a 1/2 size, 6" deep food pan on the top shelf of the fridge.  There's plenty off room left in the fridge for milk, eggs, bacon, jelly.  And the door has all kinds of soda holders.  We don't drink soda, for health reasons.   But I'm pretty sure my beer will fit in those spots as well :)  So the plan for us is to use a good cooler as an ice chest, load it up when we grocery shop, and then pull a bag a day out for the fridge.


This goes back to the original ice boxes that old time campers used to use, some still do.


I looked into running off an inverter.  By plugging the fridge into a Kill-A-Watt during the summer, I learned that the fridge draws on average about 50 watts.  It drew almost an amp while running, but didn't run all the time.  Based on math, it appeared that a typical 90Ahr deep cycle battery would last about a day including the draw from the inverter.  We typically camp for 4-5 days, and buying 5 batteries or running the generator for hours each day just didn't seem like a great idea. I hate listening to that thing.  I'd rather just buy 10 bags of ice, pack a cooler full and use one or so each day of camping.   This is just the way we decided to go.  Cheap, simple, quiet.  Also, I can run the fridge while driving down the road, no need to pull the ice out LOL


Another option I have considered is dry ice.  I've read that if the dry ice is wrapped up in paper, it will keep the fridge cold but not freeze it.   And as it evaporates, there is no water to have to dump out daily.  As an added benefit, it will lightly carbonate any open containers of juice in the fridge.   Maybe that's not a benefit for your milk though.  The hassle of dumping water vs the cost of dry ice pushed me towards the regular ice option however.  Plus dry ice is not readily available everywhere but maybe it would be a good option for someone.

Offline Elandan2

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Re: Pros and cons of using home fridge in rv?
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2017, 08:32 AM »
Our 77 ElandanII came with a Norcold 12V/110V compressor fridge from the factory. It operated on a constant 23V and automatically selected 110V if available. Unfortunately, it was removed and replaced with a 3way fridge to allow for boondocking, so I can't report how well it operated or how fast it depleted the batteries on 12V. Personally, I think that they would have caught on a long time ago except for the fact that they reduce your ability to be away from hookups for very long. Many people I deal with in my business have DP's with residential fridges and the battery banks they have are huge, many with 4 8D batteries. They say that they can only go one night without hookups or running their generator.
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Offline CapnDirk

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Re: Pros and cons of using home fridge in rv?
« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2017, 09:21 AM »
Elandan2:  Thanks for the info, I was not aware that 12V compressor fridges dated that far back.  You would think that another 30 years of technology would improve the design, and with nice solar setups perhaps give some longevity.


The refrigerator topic seems to come up often, problem being mobility.  Everything in the RV will work fine in a parking lot, but going down the road or 2-3 days boondocking and the fridge is a problem.
"Anything given sufficient propulsion will fly!  Rule one!  Maintain propulsion"

"I say we nuke the site from orbit.  It's the only way to be sure"

Offline DRMousseau

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Re: Pros and cons of using home fridge in rv?
« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2017, 01:25 PM »

I guess I liken the fridge as I would any other major RV appliance. While I did receive a cute electric fireplace as a gift from my daughters, I jus couldn't imagine depending on AC for heat. Nor could I accept an electric hot-water heater, or stove top.


The portability and economical convenience of propane is a big factor in RV living (I always carry a portable 20lb backup to my onboard system). And while AC generators are also a part of RV life, their use is usually minimized due to expense and noise. It certainly is nice to never worry or experience the concerns of "local power outages".


I often wondered why 3-way absorption type AC units were not more popular in RVs, as the noise of compressor type AC air conditioning can be DOUBLED when using the genny to power it,... and my roof mounted AC is PLENTY noisy enough! Imagine an AC unit no noisier than your furnace,... ahhhhhh.


Aside from the furnace, most propane appliances have few moving parts. And the furnace blower CAN be quite a seasonal load on RV electrical systems. It also seems an absorption fridge lasts far longer than any AC household compressor unit while being a bit quieter. While I use the convection/microwave far more than the propane stove top, I doubt that I would use an electric stove top at all!


Of course, none of this really matters much maybe, if one always relies on AC shore power and has little travel time away from such, but for most, shore power is a "luxury" supplement we take advantage of in every way possiable. But the genny is probably the most relied on source of AC power in RVs, with perhaps a backup of an inverter. The chassis battery sometimes backs up the house battery DC system (and sometimes vice versa). I would like MORE backups to my propane system, with AC/DC options to backup refrigeration being most important.
Welcome,..
To The Crazy Old Crow Medicine Show
DR Mousseau - Proprietor
Elixirs and Mixers, Potions and Lotions, Herbs, Roots, and Oils
"If I don't have it,... you don't need it!"

Offline boohoo222

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Re: Pros and cons of using home fridge in rv?
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2017, 08:58 PM »
well after all these stories we have a winner.....drum roll........going with a home fridge and freezer, and when on the road ice chest and bags or blocks of ice, I ran sport fishing boats a few years ago and have several 96 quart coolers.....problem solved,,,thanks to you all
1978 dodge coachmen class c 23ft                       1978 chevy open road class b

Offline Oz

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Re: Pros and cons of using home fridge in rv?
« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2017, 08:28 PM »
Gas lanterns are pretty far off topic, good Dr. 


That was Rick Shaw's Winnie that burnt from running the refrigerator while driving.  I don't know where the post is, but I do recall him telling us about it.  He came down to visit us just about 6 weeks ago in his newest RV.
Previously enjoyed our '74 - D24 Indian & '74 - D24 Indian Custom

 

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