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Old 05-03-2009, 11:57 AM   #1
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Propane Fridge

Hello! How efficient & reliable are propane refrigerators? I am looking for a mid-size fridge & am wondering how long it will run on a outdoor grill size propane tank... Anyone using these that can share their expericences? Thanks!

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Old 05-03-2009, 12:12 PM   #2
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Re: Propane Fridge

the only way to go in my eyes search the site-lots of talk on this subject
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Old 05-03-2009, 12:31 PM   #3
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Re: Propane Fridge

Thanks timbuk, will search. Shoulda done that first I guess!
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Old 05-03-2009, 01:15 PM   #4
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Re: Propane Fridge

I have a 2 way propane/AC fridge, and I plan to sell it and go all electric instead.

The propane fridges are extremely efficient, especially running off of propane instead of 110 VAC. You could probably run it all summer and still have propane left over off a single BBQ grill sized tank.

My reasons for going all electric in my bus work for me, and may not be an issue for you. That is for each converter to decide on their own.

Primarily, it is about cutting big holes in my thermal envelope (the shell of the bus). The absorption fridges require 2 vents, one low and one high, for fresh air to enter, and for heat to escape. The upper hole traditionally goes in the roof, but more modern versions of the documentation have the option of a wall vent. RV manufacturers needed that so they could mount them in slideouts, where the roof is here again/gone again.

Secondarily, I worry about the fire risk with an absorption fridge. This is a minor concern, but all the manufacturers have had a lot of recalls in recent years due to fires, and a lot of stick and staple rigs have burned down completely due to fridge fires. Granted, some of those were due to poor maintenance and some due to poor installations, however I prefer to avoid the issue all together.

Thirdly, there is cost. An absorption fridge is extremely expensive new. Used ones in good condition aren't always easy to find, and even those tend to be expensive. Chances are that within the time I plan to use my bus, whatever fridge I have will die at some point. Perhaps more than once. I don't know what my finances will be like in the future, so I want the least expensive replacement option I can come up with.

So, I've decided it will definitely be an electric fridge for me.

I would prefer one of those super-efficient DC compressor fridges that the solar energy people love so much. However, they are just as expensive as the gas absorption options.

That leaves me with a standard fridge, or a converted freezer, running from inverter. This is the route I plan to go.

Converted freezer: I've seen plans on the net for using chest style freezers with a secondary control and thermostat to operate it as a refrigerator. Apparently it saves a lot of energy because opening the fridge doesn't cause all the cold air to fall out the front. And since it was designed to be a freezer and hold things frozen for a long time, it doesn't have to run much at all.

So, there's my decision and my reasons for it. I hope this helps you (and others) in their decision process.

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Old 05-03-2009, 02:54 PM   #5
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Re: Propane Fridge

I've been thinking hard on this question myself. I believe what i am going to do is by a smaller used house hold fridge for when I have a camping spot with juice.
And also build in a insulated space to place a 50 quart cooler for the times when I roughing it. Ice is cheaper than propane and available every where, well most everywhere.
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Old 05-08-2009, 09:17 AM   #6
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Re: Propane Fridge

google rv refrigerator repair there are several places that repair them
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