Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Aqua Hot & Residential vs. non-R - seeking Info, Dinette too
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 > Aqua Hot & Residential vs. non-R - seeking Info, Dinette too

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obiwancanoli

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Posted: 06/20/21 04:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Looking at upgrades, maybe even a new coach... investigating has turned up a few questions, like, what is Aqua Hot? Why would I consider it? What does it cost. Is it standard on some, after-market on others? I can guess at a few things, but need to know...

Secondly, my current fridge is elec/propane... why would I want a residential fridge? What are the advantages/disadvantages? More capacity? Less power usage? Better cooling/freezing?

Lastly, my Newmar Ventana LE (2017) has a small - to me - dinette that I have to squeeze into either side, unless I remove the cushions. Even so, the darn thing is so small, anyone over 5' can't fully stretch out. I'm not a big guy, really... 205... and even after losing 35 pounds, it's still an uncomfortable tight fit... Can't change what I have, so considering possible new coach with more room...

* This post was edited 06/20/21 06:21am by obiwancanoli *

larry cad

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Posted: 06/20/21 05:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Aqua Hot is a system, typically used in diesel RVs, that does 2 things, first, it uses diesel fuel to heat a circulating fluid around the coach to various radiators in the coach. Fans on the radiators blow warm air into the rooms, providing heat during cold weather. In addition, the Aqua Hot is used to heat fresh water, in place of a traditional water heater. This feature provides you with almost unlimited hot water. It would be near impossible to install such a system after market due to the elaborate plumbing involved.

Residential refrigerators solve the many problems in propane types. Propane types are slow to cool, and have difficulty keeping cool in very hot weather. Also, propane types demand you keep the frig level when parked. If you read enough posts, you will read about many "fixes" to attempt to correct these faults. Residential frig does not have these faults and work in an RV the same as they do at home, and do not use any more energy.

A few years back, one maker, Norcold, had a design problem in their propane frig that allowed the propane flame to start fires in the coach, causing a number of RVs to burn to the ground. That single possibility is enough to cause me to switch to a residential. No flame!

Finally, if you want more room, you will need a bigger RV. 45ft diesels are very roomy as are the really large 5th wheels.


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sch911

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Posted: 06/20/21 06:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

larry cad wrote:

Residential refrigerators solve the many problems in propane types. Propane types are slow to cool, and have difficulty keeping cool in very hot weather. Also, propane types demand you keep the frig level when parked. If you read enough posts, you will read about many "fixes" to attempt to correct these faults. Residential frig does not have these faults and work in an RV the same as they do at home, and do not use any more energy.


RV refrigerators are primarily Ammonia Absorption cycle, not LP. LP is used to power the cycle in the form of heat. So is 12v power. When it comes to actual energy consumption (power used to cool) the Absorption systems are way more efficient than compressor based residential units. But the trend is now to go toward safer technologies for RV's like residential refrigerators with inverters, and large battery banks.


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folivier

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Posted: 06/20/21 06:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

To add to this Aquahot also has an electric heating element to provide heat and hot water. Not as much as the diesel burner but in our Foretravel it is usually adequate down to 40ºF for hot water and heat. But there is maintenance required for the diesel burner so make certain there is adequate access.

obiwancanoli

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Posted: 06/20/21 06:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thank you, gentlemen. One day, I hope to be as knowledgeable as the more experienced people I'm asking!

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jefferson,ga

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Posted: 06/20/21 07:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you do not need the extra sleeping area and storage a booth offers. Get one with freestanding chairs. very happy with ours.
aquahot is best if you camp in colder climates, thats my understanding. We went with heatpumps.
Res fridges were not an option in 06. Now would probaly order one. we rarely boondock, but res will hold temps well.


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DrewE

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Posted: 06/20/21 10:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

sch911 wrote:


RV refrigerators are primarily Ammonia Absorption cycle, not LP. LP is used to power the cycle in the form of heat. So is 12v power. When it comes to actual energy consumption (power used to cool) the Absorption systems are way more efficient than compressor based residential units. But the trend is now to go toward safer technologies for RV's like residential refrigerators with inverters, and large battery banks.


In a purely thermodynamic sense, as in total energy in to cooling output, absorption fridges are much less efficient than modern compressor fridges, by a factor of maybe three or so. There is literally no contest there. If you compare electricity usage on 120V power (where the RV fridge is not using any propane), the power consumption is significantly higher than a residential compressor fridge. If the absorption fridges were significantly more efficient, then residential fridges would generally use that system to be more energy efficient.

The advantages of residential fridges in RVs are better cooling, particularly in tough conditions (high ambient temperatures), generally larger food storage capacity, and lower cost for the fridge itself. The advantages of absorption fridges are much less electric power usage when off the grid, since the energy for the actual cooling is coming from propane rather than battery power, and (for some) quiet operation. If you are camping with hookups, or in situations where you'll be running the generator anyhow, the residential fridges are compelling. If you'll be boondocking or dry camping, and don't have a pretty good solar setup (or will be in an area where solar power is less practical, such as wooded areas), then an absorption fridge is probably the better option.





larry cad

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Posted: 06/21/21 04:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

sch911 wrote:

larry cad wrote:

Residential refrigerators solve the many problems in propane types. Propane types are slow to cool, and have difficulty keeping cool in very hot weather. Also, propane types demand you keep the frig level when parked. If you read enough posts, you will read about many "fixes" to attempt to correct these faults. Residential frig does not have these faults and work in an RV the same as they do at home, and do not use any more energy.


RV refrigerators are primarily Ammonia Absorption cycle, not LP. LP is used to power the cycle in the form of heat. So is 12v power. When it comes to actual energy consumption (power used to cool) the Absorption systems are way more efficient than compressor based residential units. But the trend is now to go toward safer technologies for RV's like residential refrigerators with inverters, and large battery banks.


The OP referred to his current frig as "my current fridge is elec/propane."

I was using his reference to what powers the frig, rather than what circulates inside the cooling tubes, to avoid confusion. I suppose I could have referred to a "ammonia/electron" frig.

Wait, NO, that would be wrong too.

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