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Old 06-26-2008, 12:03 PM   #1
odyssess's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Posts: 109
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E 3800
Rated Cap: 36
Re: Propane vs Electric?

I have and currently use my Norcold 2 way(gas and electric) refrigerator. It's about 4.5 cubic feet and has a freezer. This thing stays really really cold, runs completely quiet(wouldn't know it was on) and uses very,very little propane. I have an 11.3 gal propane tank mounted under my bus and ran the fridge for a week straight and never moved the gas gauge. If you vent it right and insulate it properly, it stays cold on the hottest days even when people keep opening and closing it all day. I spent a little more, but I'm really happy with the fridge. It runs while were driving without having to run a generator and even when it's not quite level, it still works fine. When we camp where there is electric hookups, it will automatically switch to shore power. You can see some pics in my gallery. Hope this helps.

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Old 08-07-2008, 11:16 AM   #2
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Plymouth MA
Posts: 197
Re: Propane vs Electric?

Older Propane fridges in RVs need to be level, as an orifice in the unit can become clogged with the drying agent used in the pipes.
Newer units (don't know the age) are less finicky, but just a bit so.

My unit runs on three-way power: propane/120VAC/12VDC. Some units run only on gas, or 12VDC/propane, or whatever.

You can find propane/12VDC/120VAC units available; I got mine free by helping a guy junk out a fifth-wheeler he was going to use to haul his lobster pots.
The idea is that the unit runs on 120VAC if hooked to shore power, or 12VDC if on the road. Personally, the 12VDC heater uses a LOT of power, and will kill the average car battery in an hour or so if the unit is not switched off when the engine is off.
The propane is only used when parked/boondocking.
My propane will last a lot longer when I reinstall the fridge with additional insulation on the sides and top. WIth a lot of use, the propane lasts 10-14 days on a 20 lb. tank.

get the bus level BEFORE installing the fridge. Then install the fridge, again ensuring the fridge is level.
On a spot near the dash, epoxy putty a bullseye level: when you park the bus, and the level indicates the bus is level, then the fridge will be also.
Makes setup easier.
The tool storage is nice, but where do I put the bed?
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