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Old 08-13-2013, 10:38 AM   #1
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What's a good price for a used fridge?

Hey all, I just found out that someone nearby me is selling a used Norcold 3-way fridge/freezer that I think is about 6cu (from the exterior dimensions), and thus, on the upper end of the size of fridge I was looking for. He's got it running on AC right now, so I know that the coolant system works anyhow, but I've no guarantee on the DC or LP systems.

He's asking $425 for it, and the best new price I can find is about $1100. Is that a decent used price? Should I snap it up or offer something lower?

Thanks!
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Old 08-13-2013, 03:17 PM   #2
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Re: What's a good price for a used fridge?

Why don't you just light a match?

I don't think much of the 3-way RV ref. I think they are an accident waiting to happen. They don't cool so well in high summer temps. We had one in the class c. We junked it. Every RV that we have seen that burned, it started at the refrigerator. So as a personal choice we went with standard ac refrigerators.

A great deal depends on how you will use your bus. We tend to stay plugged in. We do not "boondock". Except for freedom parking while traveling. Freedom parking means we stay somewhere that has either limited or non-existant utilities. A generator would provide any ac that we may require. We have two 4.4 cf refrigerators and a 12 cf upright freezer. The refrigerators are ge under counter style from Walmart. For what you will pay for a single used 6 cf RV refrigerator, I can buy two refrigerators that add up to 8.8 cf each with a small freezer areas that will actually make ice cubes. I can run a good 8 hours with no power and the refrigerators hold the food cold if we don't keep opening the doors.

I am biased. I have found most "RV" specific stuff to be junk. But then we have a Residential Vehicle not a Recreational Vehicle. Slight differance in wording, huge difference in livability.

Biggest question is how you will use your bus.
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Old 08-13-2013, 03:52 PM   #3
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Re: What's a good price for a used fridge?

Lorna,

We'll be using it for trips of maybe a week or so, not for full-timing. We plan to do a fair amount of boondocking, and we won't have a genset (hopefully, I'll get some solar panels when I can afford them). We'll already have LP for the stove/range and a water heater when that comes along.

We do keep a lot of dried/canned stuff in the house, so we really don't -need- 6 cu, but since we're looking for a 3-way anyhow ...

I'm also planing on doing some fireproofing along the walls/roof where the fridge will be, and we would have it running on DC while driving anyhow. I'm a lot less concerned about the fire-risk unless the fridge itself catches on fire. But them that's what all those extinguishers are for, right?
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Old 08-13-2013, 05:42 PM   #4
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Re: What's a good price for a used fridge?

Since you mentioned canned goods etc,have you looked at 12v/120vfridges like arb,engel,etc can't link on phone,go to expeditionportal dot com and look under camping equipment or search for fridges

Those type are alittle more $$ but may be what you need for,milk,eggs, drugs etc
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:47 PM   #5
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Re: What's a good price for a used fridge?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hex
... I'm a lot less concerned about the fire-risk unless the fridge itself catches on fire. But them that's what all those extinguishers are for, right?
Make sure the refrigerator you are planning on buying isn't one of the ones they recalled.
Norcold recall

Dometic recall if you have a Dometic, input the info here to see if your unit is on the recall list.

Find out the model number and do a search. Norcold and Dometic recall refrigerators almost every year. Some of the recalls stretch back to the 1080's!

http://www.youtube.com/results?searc....1.11.youtube.

I also like this picture....


Why do folks spend so much money on foamboard is beyond me.
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Old 08-14-2013, 12:45 AM   #6
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Re: What's a good price for a used fridge?

People, if you insist on an RV refrigerator please invest in a couple of good fire/smoke alarms and make sure you can get out of your bus without having to pass by where you installed the refrigerator.







This one was interesting Read thru the posts for some eyeopening info...
Quote:
I finally paid off my 2002 Fleetwood Wilderness fifth wheel camper. This baby was sweet, light weight all the slide outs etc.. I went down to my land this weekend to check on it, run the AC etc.. When I got there I noticed the fridge had apparently went out, all my food was rotten. After cleaning out the fridge I pressed the buttom on my Dometic fridge to switch it from electric to propane. Seemed like it was working, I could hear it come on. Several minutes later I smelt a strong ammonia smell and decided to turn it off and go out side for some fresh air. After going outside I could see smoke coming from the vent over the fridge. My son had the water hose going but it was spreading real fast. Fire department got there 10 minutes later, but it was toast. Through research I have now found out that that fridge from 1997-2003 had a massive recall. I bought the trailer second hand so I was not notified of this recall. Yes, I had insurance so the process is underway. If you have one of these fridges CHECK for a recall.


http://gypsyjournalrv.com/2010/12/norcold-nonsense/
Quote:
There were two other coaches besides ours at Camping Connection having the same Norcold recall work done. And remember, this is the second recall, because their first fix didnít work. But, considering the number of RVs that have burned to the ground from refrigerator fires, it has to be done. We have seen RV fires, and trust me, they are an ugly sight!



When you see an RV that is burnt like this, it was from the refrigerator. We have seen a lot.

(close up)


Read this one toohttp://www.irv2.com/forums/f54/norco...fire-3564.html


Seriously, I really don't care what you guys put in your buses... just don't park too close to me if you stick an RV refrigerator in! I figure you should have done the research and know the pros & cons of anything you stick in there. It's your life and the lives of those you love that you should have in mind as you convert. I wish I could remember where I seen the video of the RV that caught fire from a refrigerator fire and managed to burn down the RVs on each side of it. Three RV's completely gone in about 5 minutes each. But going with a residential unit is not much better if you don't allow a couple inches for air circulation on each side and top. The newer units that don't have the coils on the back, have them running just beneath the metal skin on the sides and top. They need to be able to dump the heat in order for the residential units to work right.
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Old 08-14-2013, 09:35 AM   #7
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Re: What's a good price for a used fridge?

My "friends" are beating me up because I'm not using the 3 way refrigerator, saying "you will be sorry". They all have them in their RV's. I'm going the marine way and using the 12 VDC Nova Kool 9.1 cubic ft Danfross compressor refrigerator. I agree with Lorna about the safety issue with 3 way refrigerator.

From my research;

Quote:
Me wrote: I discovered that the propane absorption refrigerators are not very efficient on electricity. Again I found through the marine website that the 12 VDC Nova Kool 9.1 cubic ft Danfross compressor refrigerator, draws about 5 amps. These electric compressor refrigerators are more efficient than the absorption refrigerators. An absorption refrigerator uses heating elements that draw between 350 to 600 watts, depending on the size of the refrigerator, or about 10 times as much power as a compressor driven refrigerator. One of the Norcoldís I looked at draws about 35 amps.
I plan to boondock alot off the grid, trying to conserver battery life.
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Old 08-14-2013, 11:33 AM   #8
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Re: What's a good price for a used fridge?

Okay, in doing some research, it looks (to me) like most of the problems with LP fridge fires come from one of three issues:
  • 1) blocked airflow for venting

    2) improper maintenance/set up (foreign debris in the burner/exhaust area, not checking for leaks, allowing flammable objects in the airflow area, not being within level tolerances).

    3) metal fatigue/rust issues causing leaks of LP/flammable coolant in/near the burner area

I'm prepared to deal with these. I'm a belt and suspenders type of guy. I'm planning on lining my venting area with cement board and throwing in a heat-release fire extinguisher, and then having CO/LP detectors along with smoke detectors. And then I'll do my maintenance - I like to take care of my stuff. And in the worst case, both of our emergency doors are accessible, as is the standard front doors and all four of the emergency exit windows AND both the roof hatches.

Looking at the idea that there are an estimated 9 million RVs out there and still only around 4000 fires (from all causes, including electrical) per year, I'm willing to take the chance. If my bus burns you can all point and tell me you told me so.

And my research has also shown me that the cost of that used fridge is about the same as a recharged/rebuilt coolant system, so I think I'll check it out.

Thanks all, and thanks for the concern. I'm certainly going to treat the fridge as a high priority maintenance/inspection item.
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Old 08-14-2013, 05:20 PM   #9
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Re: What's a good price for a used fridge?

its a good price for a working fridge.

i seen plenty that will work on gas and not 12v, or work on 120 but not on gas. making a one way fridge out of a 3 way.
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Old 08-14-2013, 10:20 PM   #10
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Re: What's a good price for a used fridge?

I paid $500.00 for my used 3way dometic, a bit to much, but it was the only one I could find, its old out of a 1990 class c, seems to work good on 120v and propane, haven't hooked up 12v, mostly use the propane, I keep a eye on it and drive with the propane on. when it craps outs I will replace it with a res fridge and use an inverter, just because its hard to fine a propane one. we do boondock lots.
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