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 > Dometic or residential refrigerator?

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huntdooly

Southeast

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Posted: 11/08/18 09:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am seeing a lot of newer coaches with residential style fridges that run on an inverter. I assume that they cannot run on propane.

Are these or the Dometic 4-door fridges that run on propane/electricity better for boondocking? And overall, in general?

Thanks for your help in advance!

tragusa3

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Posted: 11/09/18 04:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I know very little, but will tell you why I chose an 8cf Dometic.

1. We are without power about half the time.

2 Gone with the Wynns has a video that he measured the amp hours used by a residential fridge. His would eat through 200 amp hours of battery in 6 hours. I wasn't interested in the expensive solar and batteries necessary to support this.

3. There is higher than typical negative comments about the 4 door, 12cf Dometic. It has the same cooling power as the smaller models and just can't seem to keep up with 12cf.


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doc brown

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Posted: 11/09/18 04:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I’ll throw in my two cents. I had Norcold not Dometic and replaced it with a residential about 4 years after I purchased my new coach. I boondock quite often and I did install 400 watts of solar, added two batteries to my existing four batteries, installed an automatic gen start and upgraded my inverter from msw to psw. All that cost around $4000, I did all the installations. Glad I did it because my fridge has larger capacity, it gets cold within 2 hrs and it’s dependable. The Norcold was ****.


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jplante4

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Posted: 11/09/18 04:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Dometic also makes an AC/DC compressor fridge that doesn't use propane. We got one in the store in the spring and ran it off a fully charged group 24 marine/RV battery for 40 hours. Draws about 8 ah. Fits in the hole where most of the 8 cu. ft. models go.

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theoldwizard1

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Posted: 11/09/18 05:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The pluses and minuses.

Residential refrigerators do a better job of maintaining temperature in hot weather. An ice maker is a realistic option !

RV refrigerators give you the freedom to camp without electricity. If you frequently camp without electric hookup, residential refrigerator are probably NOT for you. You would likely need FOUR 6V golf cart batteries and a large solar set up or be willing to run a generator several hours per day.

Obviously a good quality pure sine wave inverter is required.

When driving, a simple parallel battery charging setup should run the inverter but it will NOT recharge your battery bank.

filrupmark

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Posted: 11/09/18 06:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am in the residential upgrade process replacing our 8 cuft Dometic rite know. I installed a 9.9 Cu.Ft. Frigidaire last weekend. We generally have hookups but I have the Honda twins if needed.
Our Dometic just didn't have enough horsepower in the Texas heat. Of course DW keeps it overloaded. Hopefully we will have ice cream instead of shakes. Solar next.


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2manytoyz

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Posted: 11/09/18 07:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've had both, and without a doubt, an absorption (propane) type is more efficient. It's slow to get going, but once it does, it sips propane and can run for weeks. Ideal for boondocking.

That said, our new RV has a 22 cu ft residential style fridge. Only works on 120VAC. This vehicle has 4 house batteries, and a 2000W inverter. It can run the fridge up to 2 days, provided not much else is drawing battery power. Takes about 2 hours to cool down, has an ice maker, and a water/ice dispenser built into a door.

There's a 5500W Onan generator onboard. If we are driving, the batteries are charging, and the inverter runs the fridge. If we are parked at a rest stop, we generally have the generator running, which also runs the fridge.

Since we don't really boondock in Florida due to the heat most of the year, not having an absorption style fridge is no impact. And having this much fridge/freezer space is AMAZING.


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scbwr

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Posted: 11/09/18 07:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We're not full timers and don't have any problems staying with our propane/electric fridge. During the time we owned two travel trailers, we've never had a problem with Dometic refrigerators. So far, the Norcold in our Newmar is working well.

But, for full timers, it makes a lot of sense to have the benefits of a residential fridge. And, I tend to think most full timers aren't boondocking very often.


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Ivylog

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Posted: 11/09/18 08:09am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

2manytoyz wrote:

I've had both, and without a doubt, an absorption (propane) type is more efficient. It's slow to get going, but once it does, it sips propane and can run for weeks. Ideal for boondocking.

When you put heat in to get cold out I would not say it’s “more efficient” but it does use less electric power.


This post is my opinion (free advice). It is not intended to influence anyone's judgment nor do I advocate anyone do what I propose.

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Ivylog

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Posted: 11/09/18 08:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

theoldwizard1 wrote:

Obviously a good quality pure sine wave inverter is required..

Not needed with a Samsung because they use DC compressors. Even AC compressors will run on MSW but you loose 15% efficiency so I installed a separate 1000W PSW and two batteries (will power for 30 hours) my 21 cuft as we boondock often.

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