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Old 11-14-2017, 02:54 PM   #1
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Refrigerator question

I've seen a lot of people use the MagicChef 9.9 cu ft refrigerators from Home Depot in RVs and bus conversions, also BJs has a sale on a 7.5 cu ft Igloo coming up...I would love to grab one as they're cheap and sufficient but the manufacturers state they aren't designed to be used with an inverter...can anyone explain why? From what I read in the MagicChef reviews, people also mentioned they should be unplugged while driving, is that limited to regular RVs? Would a solar setup change that?
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Old 11-14-2017, 05:03 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by nightfury View Post
I've seen a lot of people use the MagicChef 9.9 cu ft refrigerators from Home Depot in RVs and bus conversions, also BJs has a sale on a 7.5 cu ft Igloo coming up...I would love to grab one as they're cheap and sufficient but the manufacturers state they aren't designed to be used with an inverter...can anyone explain why? From what I read in the MagicChef reviews, people also mentioned they should be unplugged while driving, is that limited to regular RVs? Would a solar setup change that?
If it works on a domestic circuit, it will work with a pure sine-wave inverter. The manufacturer might be concerned about warranty claims if people try to run it from a modified sine-wave.
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Old 11-14-2017, 05:28 PM   #3
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I can't say anything about the specific brands you mentioned. I ran cheap WalMart dorm fridges in a semi for years on a modified sine inverter with no problems. Also had the same thing in a camper before the bus. I've got a Whirlpool in the bus that ran just fine on a modified inverter until I switched to a pure sine wave inverter.
I think you'll find that most of the dorm and low end fridges have basically the same Chinese guts.
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Old 11-14-2017, 05:56 PM   #4
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After 3 years of bus duty our 4.5cf Vissani **** the bed.

Just installed a new Igloo, same size.

PSW inverter.

Things I've learned;
Operating in interior temps below 50f is hard on compressors. The oil gets thick and stresses it. I've run it lots while sitting in the DW in cold wx.

The new Igloo uses .8a when running, old Vissani used 1.5a.

The Xantrex 2000 uses .9a.
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Old 11-14-2017, 05:58 PM   #5
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After 3 years of bus duty our 4.5cf Vissani **** the bed.

Just installed a new Igloo, same size.

PSW inverter.

Things I've learned;
Operating in interior temps below 50f is hard on compressors. The oil gets thick and stresses it. I've run it lots while sitting in the DW in cold wx.

The new Igloo uses .8a when running, old Vissani used 1.5a.

The Xantrex 2000 uses .9a.
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Old 11-14-2017, 08:16 PM   #6
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Made my post while there was an unknown to me site outage. I guess that's why the double post.
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Old 11-15-2017, 10:05 PM   #7
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Thanks, that was all very helpful!!

Do you guys leave them on while driving?
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Old 11-15-2017, 10:17 PM   #8
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I never shut mine off.
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Old 11-16-2017, 06:48 AM   #9
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On while driving.
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Old 11-16-2017, 10:14 AM   #10
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Just for the record, there are now some really outstanding 12 volt fridge/freezers on the market. I am looking at one by Whynter that a bunch of local blue water sailors use and are in love with. These are not the funky cold plate rigs but new technology compressors. One guy told me he gets on board, turns it on and in about thirty minutes, everything he put in the freezer side is frozen solid and he has never had an issue. Sounds good to me. They are all chest type and I am working out my tiny kitchen area to accommodate one.
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Old 11-16-2017, 11:07 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Just for the record, there are now some really outstanding 12 volt fridge/freezers on the market. I am looking at one by Whynter that a bunch of local blue water sailors use and are in love with. These are not the funky cold plate rigs but new technology compressors. One guy told me he gets on board, turns it on and in about thirty minutes, everything he put in the freezer side is frozen solid and he has never had an issue. Sounds good to me. They are all chest type and I am working out my tiny kitchen area to accommodate one.
They are excellent, and the makers are VERY proud of them

I'll have to stick with a $300 apartment sized domestic.
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Old 11-16-2017, 11:52 AM   #12
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Roger the Pride. But you pay for what you get.
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Old 11-16-2017, 02:49 PM   #13
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They are all chest type and I am working out my tiny kitchen area to accommodate one.
110 VAC or 12 VDC, I think chest types are the way to go. When you open the door the cold stays in ... this should make them a little more economical.

But the extra counter space sure does make them work well in my floor plan.
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Old 11-16-2017, 03:04 PM   #14
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I agree on all points. I'm planning on mounting a dual zone unit (fridge & freezer) on a slide-out tray under the counter. And BTW...the Whynter units work on both 12 & 110.
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Old 11-17-2017, 10:05 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightfury View Post
I've seen a lot of people use the MagicChef 9.9 cu ft refrigerators from Home Depot in RVs and bus conversions, also BJs has a sale on a 7.5 cu ft Igloo coming up...I would love to grab one as they're cheap and sufficient but the manufacturers state they aren't designed to be used with an inverter...can anyone explain why? From what I read in the MagicChef reviews, people also mentioned they should be unplugged while driving, is that limited to regular RVs? Would a solar setup change that?
I have a norcold n84xxx 3 way fridge. Propane for boon docking, 120 for shore (or with my 200 watt pure sine invertor) power and 12v for my solar battery bank. I paid 900 on ebay. Friggin love it

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Old 11-17-2017, 10:11 AM   #16
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I have a norcold n84xxx 3 way fridge. Propane for boon docking, 120 for shore (or with my 200 watt pure sine invertor) power and 12v for my solar battery bank. I paid 900 on ebay. Friggin love it

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I have 2 260 watt solar panels and 4 trojan j200 solar bank batteries. I'm on 2 30 amp circuits.

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Old 11-17-2017, 12:25 PM   #17
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Make sure you keep that 3-way level when running. They are notorious for having the coils turn solid and trashing the whole thing. See the Leveling part on the page below...

https://rvshare.com/blog/rv-refrigerators/
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Old 11-18-2017, 09:21 AM   #18
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I've been running a 43qt Edgestar 12vdc/120vac chest refrigerator in the bus for several years now with no problems.
It appears to be identical to the Whynter 45qt (where'd the extra 2qts come from?) chest refrigerator, except that the Whynter version has better side handles.

It's a compressor driven fridge. Or freezer, depending on what it's set at. It has a Flash Freeze mode which brings the temperature down incredibly quickly. The one problem I've run into on that fridge is that it's too easy to bump that fast freeze button. I've done it a couple time, only to return to everything frozen solid.

Most people would do better with a medium sized chest freezer converted to a fridge, but I needed something smaller for the short bus.

EDIT: oh, Amazon has a notice at the top of the Edgestar product page that I purchased it on April 10th, 2014. It's been running off of a 12vdc source since about a week after that.
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Old 11-18-2017, 12:42 PM   #19
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We use a dometic CD50 12 volt fridge. Most 12 / 24 volt fridges like engel and norcold use a danfoss bd35 compressor with a dedicated 3 phase inverter. Bought thru ebay for $ 150 used.

They are very efficient. The problem with 110 volt fridges is twofold. The inverter is not very efficient with that low of a power demand , also the inverter has standby losses when the fridge compressor is off.

The second problem with almost all newer small fridge and freezers i that the condensor coil are in the walls so it is impossible to insulate better to keep the cold inside .

In Elfie this dometic is externally insulated with 2" additional foam and I added a computer fan to help reject the heat on the condensor side.
It is running 24/7 on the start battery with help of two solar panels.
Besides the fridge we have a 12 volt freezer box. it is made by Twinbird. It uses a stirling cycle helium cooler, very , very efficient, $ 500 used of ebay. It is running 24/7 of the solar a well.

For Dory I decided to convert a black and decker thermo fridge. Stripped the thermo electric peltier elements and got of ebay a danfoss BD35 with cooling plate. used $150 Added 2" foam to the black and decker shell to reduce cool losses. For the freezer have the same Twinbird.

Later J
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Old 12-10-2017, 02:20 PM   #20
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Are the propane fridges not available anymore?

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