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Old 11-20-2011, 11:27 PM   #11
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Re: skoolis not welcome

But it's just not practical for boondocking.
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Old 11-20-2011, 11:29 PM   #12
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Re: skoolis not welcome

12 volt compressor reefer, batteries and solar panels do, so I've read. Only cost is $$$.
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Old 11-21-2011, 12:05 PM   #13
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Re: skoolis not welcome

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarlaxle
But it's just not practical for boondocking.
But we don't boondock. We do wallydock (parking lots) when traveling and they will definitely hold the cold over night. I'm putting a contractor genny in the bus (along with a bumper sticker that says.."Loud generator on board and we're not afraid to use it!"). Hopefully that will encourage folks from parking plastered up next to us in parking lots. We park out at the edges where no one else is parked, go in the store and when we come out, we are surrounded.

The AC undercounters are more energy efficient than an typical RV unit. But if you insist on a 12vDC, get a NovaKool. Seriously, stay away from the LP RV units. They are dangerous. Every RV fire that we have seen, was burned up at the reefer vent.
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Old 11-21-2011, 04:44 PM   #14
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Re: skoolis not welcome

I'm not a full-timer but I have wally-docked some in the new bus. I've got a 12V Small fridge in the bus now and I've thrown my small dorm fridge in when I've needed it. Right now I am using two generators depending on my needs. I have a nice 6K genny I run when I am using the AC, heater, microwave or any other power-sucking appliance. If all I am using are the lights and fridge, maybe the coffee pot or laptop, then I'll just run my little 1000W genny. It all comes down to your own preference and needs. If I am just using the 1000W genny I can actually get away with paying less for gas than I did to run my old camper that had a propane fridge. All I ran off the propane was the fridge and it burned through more cash for a weekend. And If I wanted lights I still had to run the genny to charge the batteries.

For short term the setup works great. For hardcore boon-docking I'd look at adding some solar panels for my battery bank. Right now though the cost is a big deterrent for the way I use it.
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Old 11-22-2011, 11:02 PM   #15
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Re: skoolis not welcome

Quote:
Originally Posted by lornaschinske
But we don't boondock. We do wallydock (parking lots) when traveling and they will definitely hold the cold over night. I'm putting a contractor genny in the bus (along with a bumper sticker that says.."Loud generator on board and we're not afraid to use it!"). Hopefully that will encourage folks from parking plastered up next to us in parking lots. We park out at the edges where no one else is parked, go in the store and when we come out, we are surrounded.

The AC undercounters are more energy efficient than an typical RV unit. But if you insist on a 12vDC, get a NovaKool. Seriously, stay away from the LP RV units. They are dangerous. Every RV fire that we have seen, was burned up at the reefer vent.
On the road I use an ice chest. The old Winnebago doesn't have an inverter or generator and I'm too damn afraid to use the LP burner - emphasis on burner - stuck with shore-power campsites. I just checked NovaKool's website - nice products. But I suspect that a Sears or Wally-World unit and an inverter would be cheaper either to retrofit my Winnie or for the Skunky Bus...
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Old 12-05-2011, 04:50 PM   #16
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Re: skoolis not welcome

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skunky Bus
Quote:
Originally Posted by lornaschinske
But we don't boondock. We do wallydock (parking lots) when traveling and they will definitely hold the cold over night. I'm putting a contractor genny in the bus (along with a bumper sticker that says.."Loud generator on board and we're not afraid to use it!"). Hopefully that will encourage folks from parking plastered up next to us in parking lots. We park out at the edges where no one else is parked, go in the store and when we come out, we are surrounded.

The AC undercounters are more energy efficient than an typical RV unit. But if you insist on a 12vDC, get a NovaKool. Seriously, stay away from the LP RV units. They are dangerous. Every RV fire that we have seen, was burned up at the reefer vent.
On the road I use an ice chest. The old Winnebago doesn't have an inverter or generator and I'm too damn afraid to use the LP burner - emphasis on burner - stuck with shore-power campsites. I just checked NovaKool's website - nice products. But I suspect that a Sears or Wally-World unit and an inverter would be cheaper either to retrofit my Winnie or for the Skunky Bus...

Want to weigh in here... big cost is Refer for me... If LP is so dangerous, why are there so many? Is there a safer unit? I don't want to depend on çonnection' to have cold food..

I am Boondockin often.. Any help? $1k is alot for cold juice!!
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Old 12-05-2011, 05:30 PM   #17
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Re: skoolis not welcome

Batteries, solar panel, and an efficient electric reefer. Though that will cost more than the propane reefer.

I was going to use a 12 volt compressor reefer, but they cost big money also.Instead I bought a Magic Cheif 120 volt one on sale ($17. It has a seperate freezer compartment on top, .7 amps running, and uses less than 0.6 Kw-hours per day, and it is very quiet. It should go for 4 days with my 450 amp-hour battery bank. Of course it will need an inverter to run off the batteries. So a boondocking electric reefer will only cost two to three times what a propane reefer would.
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Old 12-05-2011, 05:50 PM   #18
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Re: skoolis not welcome

A lot of things do not need to be held "cold" just cool. We use powdered milk over regular milk. I just get tired to tossing spoilt milk. I only use milk for cooking. Stop and think... What do you need to keep cold? Can you substitute something else for that product and do you HAVE to keep it cold? We use butter. I have a "butter bell" which keeps my butter cool. Uses the same principal as a spring house. Do you need cool drinks or cold drinks? There are "water crocks" that dispense cool water by holding it in a pottery crock. Check out Mother Earth News. I'm sure they have articles on how to keep food cool. You can build a super insulated ice chest. I don't know how long you boondock. We currently hold our food on the cart in coolers. We use ice and some "Nordic Ice Packs" that my daughter brought home from work. They get chocolate shipped in them during the summer. These things hold cold for a long time. Even better than the OLD blue ice packs that Colemans used to sell. A few ice packs and some cube ice or frozen jugs or bottles of water will hold food cold for several days. We used to tent camp for 3 to 5 days and used a 100+ qt ice chest with old Coleman ice packs, bag ice and 16-20 oz soda bottles filled with water and frozen. The stuff in the bottom tended to stay frozen. This was in FL. We also line the interior of the lids of the ice chests with Reflectix.

Also available at Cabala's

Do not think that ALL propane powered refrigerators are dangerous. The RV units are just so poorly made. I don't know why. The propane units like what is made by Servel is a safe unit. Oddly enough the Servel and the RV units is made by the "same" manufacturer (Dometic). They are comparable in price to the RV units.

Danby
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Crystal Cold

Check out the super efficient AC refrigerators thru some of the solar outfits (propane appliance link will also take you to an electric page)
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Old 12-05-2011, 06:25 PM   #19
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Re: skoolis not welcome

I built an icebox into my rig, something like on a sailboat.
If you're interested it's in my conversion thread, along with some simple formulas to figure out how much insulation you need, how much ice to use and how long it lasts for any size icebox and a little bit about how it was built.
Mine uses about 7# (standard bag) of ice in 24 hours and the temperature here is in the low hundred every day.

Don't know your requirements, but just personally I'm not trying to keep the arugula 'farm fresh' and don't need 'ice cold' stuff, just enough to keep the milk from spoiling or in my case 1/2 and 1/2 - I drink lotsa coffe and it's a weak spot .

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Old 12-06-2011, 10:31 AM   #20
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Re: skoolis not welcome

Lorna,
Good information...
Thank you for the links, guess I have more homework (don't mind that)

Tom,
I will try to find your thread. I have reconsidered solar. Not just for refrigeration, but as a battery tender as well. And an Icebox would be satisfactory for me. I too drink a lot of coffee, and like to have several types of milk, almond, cream etc. in the box.
I don't need anything Ice Cold. (except Ice, Lol) Mostly just cool and cooler.


I lived in a 20' Itasca for about a year (well, that's another story) and the propane fridge worked "ok" ... but was cheap to run, and i was on shore power, but the 120 side did not work as well. So fridge is not as important as I may reflect that it is.. I am just used to having one 'very cold' all the time. The Bus will not be a live - aboard... yet So thank you for some options. Today i have to figure out if I have a 24 v system or 12...
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