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Old 05-21-2018, 09:14 AM   #1
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12v Refrigerators

We have been looking for 12v options since it seems like our current fridge is not going to work out for our solar setup. We would prefer something without a handle that sticks out like most of the Dometic models.

We have found several refrigerators that run on 12v and look nice, but we are unsure if they have a lock so that the door does not open while driving. Does anyone know of any 12v manufactures other than Dometic and Norcold? We are looking for something in white that is 59-61" tall, 24"wide, and no more than 26" deep.

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Old 05-21-2018, 09:49 AM   #2
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It's a different approach, but I am going with a Whynter chest type freezer/fridge. They are very efficient 12 volt units but have to go under a counter...not upright.
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Old 05-21-2018, 10:40 AM   #3
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I have looked at the SunFrost.

They look nice but cost $2000-$3200.

I am leaning towards buying a $350 refrigerator and spending an extra $1000 on solar gear & inverter to support it.
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Old 05-21-2018, 10:58 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
I have looked at the SunFrost.

They look nice but cost $2000-$3200.

I am leaning towards buying a $350 refrigerator and spending an extra $1000 on solar gear & inverter to support it.
That would be my choice too.
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Old 05-21-2018, 11:09 AM   #5
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Were installing a traditional 120vac fridge and ensuring we have the batteries/solar/inverter to handle our needs

Id rather invest the money in solar and off grid battery than in a propane/12 volt appliance
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Old 05-21-2018, 11:29 AM   #6
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The cost of solar has come down far enough that expensive DC appliances are not nearly as attractive as they used to be.

in some circumstances it is now cheaper to add more solar capacity than to buy a more efficient appliance.
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Old 05-21-2018, 12:08 PM   #7
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I use a Dometic 12 volt , (not gas) , compressor fridge. They have locks on the door. The other one is a 12 Volt Norcold, not gas, has lock on the door as well. These are small units and very efficient. They have the condensor on the back so that it is easy to insulate the top / bottom and sides better. Something what you cannot do with the average 120vac fridge since the condensor coils are often integrated in the walls. So you need to allow for air circulation. Paid 150 for the first one and $ 100 for the other on CL.
Dometic and Norcold use the same compressor from Danfoss.





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Old 05-21-2018, 12:09 PM   #8
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Oh and by the way every Watt you waste away on the inside you will have to cool away as well. Efficiency pays.


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Old 05-21-2018, 04:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango View Post
It's a different approach, but I am going with a Whynter chest type freezer/fridge. They are very efficient 12 volt units but have to go under a counter...not upright.

We do not have the space for that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
I have looked at the SunFrost.

They look nice but cost $2000-$3200.

I am leaning towards buying a $350 refrigerator and spending an extra $1000 on solar gear & inverter to support it.

Well that was our plan but our friends got their fridge and solar setup first and it is killing their battery supply. 1.5 Hours after being unplugged and their batteries are drained to 50%. It is our understanding that the inverter multiplies everything by 10 to make the 12v batteries work on 120. With a 300w fridge that is a big problem. I don't want to have to pull a trailer of batteries just so we can have the fridge we currently have. Our solar setup is 1020w and we plan on having about 6 batteries.
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Old 05-21-2018, 05:05 PM   #10
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Your solar array, charge controller and batteries need to be sized to fit your loads. Obviously your friends did not size their system to support the loads it was asked to support.

I have a 10.9CF refrigerator in my 5th wheel. I have no solar (yet) and I have 2 - GC2 6 volt/ 215AH batteries in series for 12v/215AH. I run a 1000 watt Xantrex PSW inverter.

I can run for 24 hours on battery before I need to plug in or start the generator.

In my bus I will have 1800 watts of solar, 4 - L16 6 volt/370AH batteries in series for 24v/370AH.

The cost of my refrigerator, solar panels and batteries are a bit more than a similarly sized Sunfrost would cost. The solar will be enough to provide all of my electrical needs except for air conditioning. In a pinch, it will run one of my air conditioners on low.

It is really up to you. I don't think that the 12 volt refrigerator is necessarily a bad idea. I think that saving around $2300 by buying a 120v fridge and spending $2300 on Solar is a better idea.
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