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Old 01-04-2019, 09:28 PM   #1
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Which appliances/hardware are recommended that are not RV/Skoolie specific?

My local sears is going out of business, and has a large amount of appliances for kitchen and shop on sale at 70%. Are any of these recommended for purchase, even though they are meant for home use and not specifically RV?

Gas Generator (6000A B&S)
Refrigerator, Full & Compact
Microwaves
Air Conditioner Units - Window/Wall Mounts
Air Compressors

I've seen posts about people using standard appliances, and others recommending against it. Just curious what your opinion is.
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Old 01-05-2019, 10:13 AM   #2
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Generally speaking, appliances made for a home are going to be much larger and consume much more energy than something designed for mobile/RV use. From my experience, the people installing them are mostly stationary where they don't have to worry about things like how much electricity or water they use. Not to disparage that lifestyle at all but just pointing out its quite different from how you would plan a bus to travel.

You don't have to get very far into electricity usage before that generator or other external power source becomes a critical thing that you're running all the time.

Specifically WRT your air compressor, chances are you already have one built into the bus.
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Old 01-05-2019, 10:19 AM   #3
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If you haven't bought a bus yet, I'd really think twice about buying appliances (or anything else, really) ahead of time. We wasted I don't know how much money on things we thought we'd use but they ended up not working out for us either because they were just a little too big, or for some other reason. When space is at a premium, it's best to wait until you know what you're getting into before buying. It's sort of a "measure twice, cut once" kinda deal.
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Old 01-05-2019, 11:00 AM   #4
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My $0.02....

I agree with Drew. I would be a little reluctant to buy much "bus stuff" before you have a bus.

Regarding refrigerators, I put a 3 way RV refrigerator in my first bus. I wound up replacing it with a 10cf residential refrigerator. More storage in the same footprint and it uses less than 1/3 the (AC) power. The downside is the loss of the ability to run on propane.

That generator looks like a typical 3600 rpm open frame generator. VERY loud for RV use and not terribly fuel efficient. I currently have a Honda EU3000si that I use when boondocking. Quiet, fuel efficient and reliable.
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Old 01-05-2019, 11:04 AM   #5
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My $0.02....

I agree with Drugs. I would be a little reluctant to buy much "bus stuff" before you have a bus.

Regarding refrigerators, I put a 3 way RV refrigerator. I wound up replacing it with a 10cf residential refrigerator. More storage in the same footprint and it uses less than 1/3 the (AC) power. The downside is the loss of the ability to run on propane.
Drugs, eh???
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Old 01-05-2019, 11:12 AM   #6
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Drugs, eh???
Well that too........ Just the good ones though

Auto-correct is being onnery today.
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Old 01-05-2019, 07:22 PM   #7
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I have a 15 cu ft fridge in my beast, as well as a conductive cooktop.
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Old 01-06-2019, 12:30 AM   #8
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Thanks. You guys probably saved me a thousands or so in errant purchases that wouldn't be efficient choices for a skoolie.
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Old 01-06-2019, 02:50 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
My $0.02....

I agree with Drew. I would be a little reluctant to buy much "bus stuff" before you have a bus.

Regarding refrigerators, I put a 3 way RV refrigerator in my first bus. I wound up replacing it with a 10cf residential refrigerator. More storage in the same footprint and it uses less than 1/3 the (AC) power. The downside is the loss of the ability to run on propane.

That generator looks like a typical 3600 rpm open frame generator. VERY loud for RV use and not terribly fuel efficient. I currently have a Honda EU3000si that I use when boondocking. Quiet, fuel efficient and reliable.
Honda makes a great generator but they are gold. I bought a Predator 3500 inverter generator from Harbor Freight last year. I put over 200 hours on it while building a barn and fences. Could not be happier with the purchase. I can sit next to it and have a conversation without raising my voice. It is quieter than the Onan I used to have. I decided on it after reading an article on how people in hurricane devastated areas ran them nonstop for over a year. They even changed the oil while it ran. Mine will be installed in the rear engine compartment with dedicated fresh air and exhaust.
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Old 01-06-2019, 09:35 AM   #10
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Honda makes a great generator but they are gold. I bought a Predator 3500 inverter generator from Harbor Freight last year. I put over 200 hours on it while building a barn and fences. Could not be happier with the purchase. I can sit next to it and have a conversation without raising my voice. It is quieter than the Onan I used to have. I decided on it after reading an article on how people in hurricane devastated areas ran them nonstop for over a year. They even changed the oil while it ran. Mine will be installed in the rear engine compartment with dedicated fresh air and exhaust.
I've heard good things about the new Predator generators. Sounds like HF is upping their game.

I bought the Honda about 12 years ago and have used the heck out of it. I would not hesitate to buy another.
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Old 01-07-2019, 01:19 PM   #11
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I've seen posts about people using standard appliances, and others recommending against it. Just curious what your opinion is.
One of the many heated topics in the RV world. Don't expect to find many actual facts on the topic.

If your style of use means that propane is a good option, a propane refrigerator and stove/oven are great things. There is also nothing wrong with an all electric setup if your style of use allows for that.

The negative of the propane refrigerator is cost, limited life, complexity of installation, and potential for fire when it has issues. No, that is not a guaranteed result but it does happen.

There are many of us running residential appliances without any problems. Many of these appliances - refrigerators in particular - have become very energy efficient and offer much more space than a typical RV two/three way refrigerator.

If warranty is an important issue, I suspect your options will be pretty limited.
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Old 01-07-2019, 03:46 PM   #12
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Just for the record...


one of the RV mags recently ran a poll on the topic of household vs 3-way RV fridges.


The household units were preferred by a fairly wide margin including a bunch of old timers who had swapped their 3-ways for 110.


No idea where the article is now but I came across it in one of the ads at the bottom of the pages here.
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Old 01-08-2019, 06:32 AM   #13
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Just for the record...


one of the RV mags recently ran a poll on the topic of household vs 3-way RV fridges.


The household units were preferred by a fairly wide margin including a bunch of old timers who had swapped their 3-ways for 110.


No idea where the article is now but I came across it in one of the ads at the bottom of the pages here.
I think that is a product of the residential market, all these green rebates and focus on household Elec in the last lets say 15ish years....at least up here in the north. So a lot of manufacturers have driven that way.
I just don't see the same level of drive for constant improvement from the RV world. not to be too "tinhat'ish" but I feel it lets "big RV" if you will upsell you on a bigger genset, or more solar, or , or. Thus further feeding the consumerism society we now live in.
Time will tell if this uptick in skoolies, Vans, tiny home, permaculture, etc etc forces the mini/rv appliance world to step their game up or not.
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Old 01-08-2019, 06:45 AM   #14
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I doubt the RV manufacturers will step up.. I think we had a thread about this awhile back but in the standard RV lifestyle MOST people plug in their RV at a campground, efificiency isnt thought of because they pay the camp fee and plug in the cord.. manmy people have no idea how most things work in their fancy new RV.. they just park it and plug it in.. just like brand new cars.. how many people do you know actually check their oil and other fluids on their newer cars? next to nil.. the number of people thinking about efficiency in an RV is small.. after all try to find a pre-built RV that has solar, or wind, or anything other than a noisy generator..



thos here building their own think about efficiency and reliability because they may be living away from shore power and fuel for long periods of time.. being self sustaining requires putting real thought into every watt hour you use.. as well as needing simplistic reliable appliances that have a chance of being fixed without access to specialized parts.. 3 way fridges, RV furnaces, etc are all more complex than they ever need to be.. and most people will say as their RV ages, the frig the furnace, and the rooftop A/C are the sources of issues...



as far as whether household appliances can last is I think partly a matter of what you are installing.. if you are installing the fanciest top of the line frig or range then I would expect it needs to be much more precision and wont last as well, however using simplistic apartment stoves, and apartment refrigerators are probably quite reliable..


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Old 01-08-2019, 07:51 AM   #15
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Among "RV appliances"...the 3-way fridge is without a doubt the worst. More trouble than they are worth (I've owned 2). Don't really chill or freeze worth a damn...have to be absolutely level or die...catch fire routinely...


what's not to love?


Too many new tech options that are far superior including new high efficiency household units.



Me? I'm going with a 62 qt. dual zone 12v freezer/fridge by Whynter. Seen'em in action and polled a number of blue water sailors who have them and love them. No...it is not as big as a household unit but then I don't need that much space. Do some homework and go with what fits your gameplan.
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Old 01-08-2019, 08:13 AM   #16
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RV fridges are evil bastards.
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