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Old 05-16-2018, 07:53 PM   #21
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Default Propane...I'd rather save my house batteries for something else and I have a solar

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Absorption frigs are probably the least efficient refrigerator you can get. Sure, they work better on propane than on 110v or 12v, but that is only because you can get more heat out propane than you can out of either of the electric ways. All that heat goes out the chimney along with a little bit of the heat from the frig. On DC, they use 5 times the power of a compressor frig for really weak cooling capacity.



IMO, there are many more compromises with a 3way frig than an compressor version. Leveling, outside temperature, fumes, are just a few. At 100*F you won't keep food cool in almost all of them. About the only compromise with a compressor frig is making the necessary power availability changes, which are normally not all that much.


I don't think I have ever seen anyone go back to a 3 way once they had switched to a compressor frig.

Well.. if and when my 3 way fails... I will go get another 3 way....probably with an automatic switch for whenever I plug into shore power.. right now, I have to manually switch it.


Only decision will be either Dometic or some other brand...
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Old 05-16-2018, 08:35 PM   #22
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I found two ideal setups (IMHO, of course) for a class "B" refrigerator:

The first is a propane fridge, but one that requires no battery power to run, and uses a pilot light. The reason why this is useful is because it separates it from everything else, guaranteeing your beer will be cold no matter what. Bonus points if it can be run by 12 volts or 120 volts, so propane can be shut off while going down the road.

The second is a marine grade fridge with a Danfoss compressor. The biggest advantage of going this route over a cheap dorm fridge is efficiency. Even 1-2 amps can mean a significant difference for sustainability. The upside of this is the fact that you do not need ventilation, other than the place for the exhaust inside, and it cools quickly. The downside is that it requires a decent solar system and battery bank.

I'm not sure which is the best of these scenarios. Maybe someone can make a fridge that has both absorption and compression coils so it can efficiently run from solar, and at night, use absorption cooling to lesson the load on the batteries.
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Old 05-16-2018, 08:50 PM   #23
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I'm with Booster. I can't imagine anyone who has ever actually experienced both ever even considering an absorption unit. In practice, it is a night and day difference in performance.
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Old 05-16-2018, 09:34 PM   #24
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I'm with Booster. I can't imagine anyone who has ever actually experienced both ever even considering an absorption unit. In practice, it is a night and day difference in performance.
It is quite simple in few words. THE reason for an absorption refer is Not Enough Reliable electrical power.

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Old 05-16-2018, 10:20 PM   #25
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Default Reliable or not... when you're out of power, it's a problem

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It is quite simple in few words. THE reason for an absorption refer is Not Enough Reliable electrical power.

Bud

Regardless, I don't want my food to spoil while I'm out boon docking because I ran out of power...

Sure, I have a generator.. and solar panel... but, if I don't have to run the generator... and there's restrictions on that it's one less thing to worry about...


And, I have two AGM deep cycle 6 volt marine batteries in series.

Just me...
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Old 05-16-2018, 11:15 PM   #26
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I don't want my food to spoil
Oh, I've had plenty of spoiled food over the years. It stopped when I got a compressor.
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Old 05-16-2018, 11:27 PM   #27
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Oh, I've had plenty of spoiled food over the years. It stopped when I got a compressor.
+1. That's why we got rid of both of our 3-way fridges. They simply didn't work as advertised. I was a die-hard 3-way advocate until I discovered this.
The Vitrifrigo works just as well at high-90s exterior temperatures as it does at any other condition (although it does cycle harder).

It is possible that many people don't know how bad the 3-ways really are (hence my link to the thread above where owners took a quantitative approach to evaluating them). The van-sized Dometics don't come with either thermostats or thermometers of any sort. What does that suggest, when the manufacturer produces a refrigerator that is not capable of telling its own temperature? It's sort of like a clock that doesn't tell time.

I am not sure why anyone would be penny wise and pound foolish on this issue. Good refrigerators cost, but so do inverters of any decent capacity, which is what it would take to run a dorm fridge. But, to each their own.
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Old 05-16-2018, 11:30 PM   #28
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Oh, I've had plenty of spoiled food over the years. It stopped when I got a compressor.
Yes, I understand... Sorry...

We try very hard to avoid this....I guess anything can happen....

I'll do some more research on the compressor refrigerator idea....

Actually, I floated this idea to my RV shop....and they said..why would you not have the 3 way......

OK.. time for independent investigation....
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Old 05-16-2018, 11:30 PM   #29
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Dug up the test,
interior van temp 88,
around 2.5 gals of water bottles in freezer,
inverter and freezer on cycle is 00:07:14,
inverter and freezer off cycle is 01:41:02,
freezer data plate, 115v, .89 amps, 95 watts,
I'll let others do the math, but in my situation this is cheap and it works.
Great info! I too already have an expensive 12V compressor fridge in my current rig and won't be changing it. However, if I was building a new van - with a lot of Lithium storage - this is what I would be doing. Having this data is useful. Would be good to add some specs on the fridge (make, model, size, etc.)

The other question that was discussed in theory (but not tested AFAIK) was regarding a cheap but efficient 110V water heater like this one;
https://www.bosch-climate.us/product...mini-tank.html
Some opine that this would be too power intensive; but I think it might not be too bad as long as it was insulated enough so that it didn't come on often. In fact, one guy I spoke with at a campground had one of these connected to an inverter and only ran it when his van was running - he said it worked fine for most of his needs (mobile vandweller).

You would save a lot of $$ and complexity to just have lots of battery storage and a big inverter and run everything on 110V, at least that's what I was thinking...
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Old 05-16-2018, 11:38 PM   #30
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Regardless, I don't want my food to spoil while I'm out boon docking because I ran out of power...

Sure, I have a generator.. and solar panel... but, if I don't have to run the generator... and there's restrictions on that it's one less thing to worry about...


And, I have two AGM deep cycle 6 volt marine batteries in series.

Just me...

Prediction: If you replace your absorption unit with a high efficiency compressor unit, you will periodically wonder what took you so long. If the compressor reefer is a Nova-kool with dual compressors providing totally independent operation of the fridge and the freezer, it will be obvious from your perpetual grin.
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