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Old 01-28-2008, 11:19 PM   #1
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keeping that beer cold

i am going to replace thu fridge in my bus its an older shore power/propane unit. Ive come arcoss a few larger units for sale out of campers such as norcold and others and am wondering if anyone has any recomondations of what they would buy or stay away from i defenitly have to have the propane option. i have not seen too many newer models that have the 12 volt option. who has that and is it usefull? one of the newer fridges im looking at was running on propane when it was involved in a crash and had some fire damage. 12 volt would be nice for that i guess Any thoughts? thanks tim
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Old 01-29-2008, 01:32 AM   #2
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Re: keeping that beer cold

quite a bit more low tech, but you might consider using a 12 volt plug in coleman cooler when in transit. They're about 100 bucks and keep temps about 40 degrees cooler than ambient air temps. I have one and love it. If you put frozen items inside it really keeps things cold. Great while driving. You could then use your propane fridge when parked.
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Old 01-29-2008, 05:42 PM   #3
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Re: keeping that beer cold

If you're just worried about keeping it cold while going down the road, why not just get a regular dorm style fridge and then run it off of an inverter and battery bank? A fridge, inverter and battery bank would be cheaper than an RV fridge! A fridge doesn't take much power at all to run.
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Old 01-29-2008, 07:16 PM   #4
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Re: keeping that beer cold

I was going to suggest the same, but he seems deadset on propane. I sure don't have any complaints about my little sin fridge running on inverter power. Of course I don't boondock for REAL long periods. If I do the gennie comes with.
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Old 01-29-2008, 11:58 PM   #5
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Re: keeping that beer cold

hey guys i got one of those smaller fridges about 30 inches by 30 inches and i have a xantrex 1000 invertor i do bondock it alot and i would like the propane but is a 1000 invertor gonna run that fridge? it even has wood grain to match the rest of the bus bus is already plumbed for propane too all in the mane of cold beer
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Old 01-30-2008, 08:21 AM   #6
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Re: keeping that beer cold

My fridge too has woodgrain.

I have a pair of 750 watt inverters. 1 inverter will actually run the fridge, TV, surround sound, and PS2, no sweat. The fridge only draws 1.2 amps if I remember correctly. Sure it's going to surge to 4-5 amps, but the inverter has some surge capacity in it.
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Old 01-31-2008, 07:16 PM   #7
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Re: keeping that beer cold

I ran a ~4 cu ft dorm fridge at Burningman this past year for 3 1/2 weeks. It took a 750 watt inverter, 3 Walmart 29 series RV batteries and 330 watts of solar to keep up with it. It was under a counter and suffered from heat build-up, so efficiency really suffered. If you're going to be in a hot climate, I'd put it in a cabinet with a standard propane fridge roof vent, and add a 12 volt fan to pull hot air off the unit. If going to all that trouble, you're much better off running a propane unit, and saving the battery power for more appropriate uses. This of course assumes you're boondocking w/o shore power. Even so, I'd still vent it outside. Suckers put off a lot of heat!!

I'm going propane next year. That way, I can also run a much bigger refrigerator fairly efficiently, and save the solar power for fans, music etc.
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Old 02-01-2008, 03:25 PM   #8
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Re: keeping that beer cold

How long can you run a 1.2amp dorm fridge on a inverter and batteries? I know it depends on how many and how big the batteries are. I'm asking cause I just bought a 1.2amp fridge for about $50.
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Old 02-01-2008, 08:45 PM   #9
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Re: keeping that beer cold

I've gone as long as 36 hours running everything on battery power. This included two fridges, the TV, PS2, surround sound, lights at night, and assorted other stuff. That was off a pair of golf cart batteries. I know I ran them down lower than I should have (those fridges were running A LOT in that weather), but it did work just fine. Normally I try to limit myself to just 24 hours so that I have some reserve capacity and to prevent overloading the alternator because sometimes it is just necessary to use the alternator to charge the house batteries.

225aH/36H=6.25 amps per hour@12 volts or .625 amps per hour at 120 volts. I guess that would mean my pair of fridges ran slightly less than 15 minutes out of every hour after you factor in the other electrical accessories which sounds about right to me.
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Old 02-02-2008, 04:04 PM   #10
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Re: keeping that beer cold

2 fridges? i guess your posse is a thirsty bunch of bus nuts how much were your 750 inverters? my 1000 is just plain old black and yours are so colorful! im going to check out a 2 way fridge today i also bought an inverter from a trailer today for 50 bucks i also got the furnace for 100 bucks and the hot water tank the furnace that came with the bus needed as new circuit board and looked like it was tired. i can see that any longer lengths of boondocking propane would be the best for the fridge
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