Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-11-2020, 07:27 PM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: KS
Posts: 9
Year: 2008
Coachwork: IC
Chassis: FE300
Engine: Maxxforce 7.6L DT
Rated Cap: 72
Refridgeration?

What is everyone doing for a refrigerator and/or freezer? Are there any 12v options that wont take me for more than $400 and will have enough room for full time living? I haven't had any luck finding any which is why I ask here. Anyone running a standard 120v off a solar system? Any info would be greatly appreciated.
Tjurgensen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2020, 07:51 PM   #2
Bus Nut
 
dzl_'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: California, Bay Area
Posts: 536
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tjurgensen View Post
What is everyone doing for a refrigerator and/or freezer? Are there any 12v options that wont take me for more than $400 and will have enough room for full time living? I haven't had any luck finding any which is why I ask here. Anyone running a standard 120v off a solar system? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

First, if you search, there are lots of posts on this topic, and a good amount of useful info (you will also see there are some differences of opinion).



Second, define enough room for full time living. Are you a single person? couple? family?


I lived for 2 years with a ~ 2-2.5ish cu.ft. mini fridge. This was enough for 2 people living full time. But definitely a compromise, Inconveniently tight after a big shopping run and you certainly can't buy anything in bulk, but not an issue 90% of the time once you adapt to it. Freezer space was definitely an issue though.


Costco has a really good deal on a DC chest fridge right now. I find it kinda ugly, but for the price I couldn't complain. Supposedly made by the same manufacturer that makes Alpicool.
dzl_ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2020, 09:57 PM   #3
Bus Nut
 
BeNimble's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Sacramento
Posts: 296
Year: 1999
One approach is just use a 120vac and buy an inverter specifically for the fridge,
which is less efficient, but you save enough to buy a couple more solar panels if you are not already maxed out. There really is not good technical reason for 12v ones to cost so much more, just supply and demand.
BeNimble is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2020, 03:04 AM   #4
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,333
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas Built Bus
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
Looks like that chest refrigerator can use 115V AC or 12V DC. It also can go down to 0 degrees F ... would make a decent freezer if it is efficient.
Native is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2020, 03:07 AM   #5
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 1,759
All depends on cu ft you need, freezer or not.

Good portable 12V compressor units are not cheap.

Good as in last a long time, can getparts and service ten years later.

Fridges designed for 110Vac use way too much juice for off-grid living

fine if you are driving 7+ hours a day between mains powered camp sites though.

Personally I'd budget at least a grand for better energy efficiency, maybe two for a hungry family only going shopping once a month.
john61ct is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2020, 07:57 AM   #6
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 712
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Thomas 4 window w/lift
Chassis: G30
Engine: 350 Chevy
Rated Cap: 10K
Unfortunately it really does come down to the old adage: "You get what you pay for" when it comes to refrigerator/freezer combo's for vehicular use.

I have an Iceco GO20 12v. unit that has a freezer, (small), and refrigerator, (x2 small), that has a Danfoss, German made compressor. The rest of the unit is chinese made.
It was reasonably priced through Amazon, but how long it will last and what kind of customer support if anything goes awry is yet TBD.

Most all other high quality units, not made in china, are in the $1K price range.
Amazon has many 12v. units that are priced under $400, but it is totally "Buyer Beware", and definitely do your research on the many choices before you spend money on something that you'll soon regret.

Good luck, & post up what you settle on...
peteg59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2020, 11:08 AM   #7
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Wake Forest NC
Posts: 308
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Vista 3600
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 24000 lbs
I have some friends on a 43 foot Endeavor in Key West (sailboat) and they have been running a standard Home depot 120VAC fridge for years now.

they did extensive research on it, and in the end was the best bang for buck

they are strictly solar and with the inverter powering the entire boat do fine

I can ask tom for the link to his write up if you want
I can't remember his blog at the moment
RolesvilleMarina is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2020, 10:44 AM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Hagerstown, MD
Posts: 49
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas
Engine: CAT 3126
We elected to grab a 120v Magic Chef 10.1 fridge/freezer. As others have mentioned, it might be less efficient, but it allows us to buy more battery/solar.
StatTarget is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2020, 06:04 PM   #9
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: KS
Posts: 9
Year: 2008
Coachwork: IC
Chassis: FE300
Engine: Maxxforce 7.6L DT
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by dzl_ View Post
First, if you search, there are lots of posts on this topic, and a good amount of useful info (you will also see there are some differences of opinion).
Second, define enough room for full time living. Are you a single person? couple? family?
I lived for 2 years with a ~ 2-2.5ish cu.ft. mini fridge. This was enough for 2 people living full time. But definitely a compromise, Inconveniently tight after a big shopping run and you certainly can't buy anything in bulk, but not an issue 90% of the time once you adapt to it. Freezer space was definitely an issue though.
Thanks, good call.

I’ll be a single guy but most of what I eat is fresh or frozen. I suppose freezer space may be more of a priority than fridge space, though I’ll need both.

How’d it treat your battery, if you weren’t on shore?
Tjurgensen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2020, 06:20 PM   #10
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 712
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Thomas 4 window w/lift
Chassis: G30
Engine: 350 Chevy
Rated Cap: 10K
Unless you are stationary for extended periods on shore or genny power, it might be difficult to keep food from spoiling on long road trips with just a 120v. unit, (unless you run genny while going down the road). I'm not sure an inverter running off bus alternator would keep up/maintain battery while driving and fridge running?

You might also consider looking into finding a used RV fridge that is propane powered as well as 12VDC and/or 120VAC...
peteg59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2020, 06:24 PM   #11
Bus Nut
 
BeNimble's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Sacramento
Posts: 296
Year: 1999
Fridges are very efficient if you never use them...put stuff in and never take it out.
You can add more insulation for almost nothing so they stay cold. Until you open the door on a door fridge and the cold spills out, so the chest versions are much better, cold stays inside.
BeNimble is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2020, 11:57 PM   #12
Bus Nut
 
dzl_'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: California, Bay Area
Posts: 536
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tjurgensen View Post
Thanks, good call.

I’ll be a single guy but most of what I eat is fresh or frozen. I suppose freezer space may be more of a priority than fridge space, though I’ll need both.

How’d it treat your battery, if you weren’t on shore?

No shorepower, no solar, no genny, just alternator charging. I beat the **** out of that battery, didn't know how to care for a battery back then. But it served me well for two years none the less.



From what I recall, with little or no driving a single 100Ah battery would keep the fridge going for 2-3 days but that was draining it all the way, not something I would recommend, didn't have a low voltage disconnect.


Also don't know the condition of the battery when I bought the van could've been new could've been old already. And the fridge was from the 80's. So my experience is probably not the best case study to draw conclusions from.
dzl_ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2020, 09:51 AM   #13
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: KS
Posts: 9
Year: 2008
Coachwork: IC
Chassis: FE300
Engine: Maxxforce 7.6L DT
Rated Cap: 72
Well I plan on mostly boondocking. I'll have either 960 or 1280 watts of solar. I've read a bit about and think I'm going to try the chest freezer with seperate temp. controller wired in method.
Tjurgensen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2020, 10:32 AM   #14
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 1,759
That should yield (in ideal conditions) a potential 300-400Ah per day @12V

Plenty for even a large unit

But actual depends on weather latitude etc
john61ct is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2020, 01:42 PM   #15
Bus Crazy
 
Drew Bru's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Minnehaha Co., SD
Posts: 1,111
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 65
We have been boondocking full time with 1200w solar & 6 golf cart batteries for the last 15 months. We have a 7.6cuft residential fridge w/ freezer and the solar handles it easily. It typically uses less than 10% of the batteries in a 24 hour period.
__________________
Our Build: https://dazzlingbluebus.wordpress.com/
Drew Bru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2020, 02:00 PM   #16
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: KS
Posts: 9
Year: 2008
Coachwork: IC
Chassis: FE300
Engine: Maxxforce 7.6L DT
Rated Cap: 72
I also plan on running a few printers: laser, filament, and resin and a desktop computer/monitor. What voltage and capacity do your batteries give?
Tjurgensen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2020, 02:05 PM   #17
Bus Crazy
 
Drew Bru's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Minnehaha Co., SD
Posts: 1,111
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tjurgensen View Post
I also plan on running a few printers as well: laser, filament, and resin and a desktop computer/monitor. What voltage and capacity do your batteries give?
Our 6 6v golf cart batteries are wired for 12v and provide 690 amp hours.

We also charge laptops, have a small tv, and all the other creature comforts of home (no printers, though). The oven uses a surprising amount of electricity because of the glow bar igniter. We're able to run the water heater on electric mode when we're in full sun, otherwise we run it off propane.
__________________
Our Build: https://dazzlingbluebus.wordpress.com/
Drew Bru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2020, 11:25 PM   #18
Bus Nut
 
bus-bro's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Whidbey Island, WA.
Posts: 978
Year: 1984
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: All American
Engine: 3208 na boat anchor
Rated Cap: 2
Well, I bought one of these that dzl linked to: https://www.costco.com/massimo-cx50-...100566509.html .

Just an hermetically sealed compressor that runs on 12 or 24 volts DC, or 120 volts AC on a small power brick. The condenser is a folded up tube and grid condenser backed by a muffin fan. The evaporator is in the wall of the cooler box. I do see how the seal on the cooler cover could be easily damaged.

Ample capacity for a portable cooler. You do get the fan and compressor noise when it runs. It works a lot harder as freezer than it does as a refrigerator, so I wouldn't recommend it as a freezer. I do give the product a thumbs-up. When I bought it the price was reduced by $70 from the listing price.
bus-bro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2020, 12:38 AM   #19
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,333
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas Built Bus
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
Thank you for the review.
Native is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2020, 07:23 AM   #20
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: West Ohio
Posts: 1,841
Year: 1984
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 1753
Engine: 6.9 International
Rated Cap: 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by bus-bro View Post
Well, I bought one of these that dzl linked to: https://www.costco.com/massimo-cx50-...100566509.html .

Just an hermetically sealed compressor that runs on 12 or 24 volts DC, or 120 volts AC on a small power brick. The condenser is a folded up tube and grid condenser backed by a muffin fan. The evaporator is in the wall of the cooler box. I do see how the seal on the cooler cover could be easily damaged.

Ample capacity for a portable cooler. You do get the fan and compressor noise when it runs. It works a lot harder as freezer than it does as a refrigerator, so I wouldn't recommend it as a freezer. I do give the product a thumbs-up. When I bought it the price was reduced by $70 from the listing price.
Is it a danfoss compressor or a chinese brand? I wonder what it's btu capacity is.
__________________
The Silver Bullet https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/p...llet-9266.html
Booyah45828 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:54 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×