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Old 06-15-2015, 05:28 PM   #101
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From what it looks like, the move to compressor frigs is driving the show, rather than being a negative. I think the problems everyone has with the 3 ways got some folks putting in compressor units and finding out how nice they are. The only downside that I can think of is that you need more power, and they addressing that rapidly, probably at least partially in response to folks wanting compressor frigs.

Personally, I hope it doesn't lead to a wholesale charge to get rid of propane, as there are lots of things propane does better than other methods. (Cooling isn't one of them though) Heat, hot water, and cooking are all better with propane over electric, IMO.
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Old 06-15-2015, 05:34 PM   #102
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If you have the battery power the 12V compressor refrigerator is definitely the way to go. I think most of the converters are coming to that conclusion as well. It will be the old 3-way absorption that will appear quaint and "old school" in the future and could kill resale.

I suppose any waste system could be subject to abuse. It is the Dave Matthews Band tour bus syndrome.
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Old 06-15-2015, 07:24 PM   #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobojay View Post
wiljennie, suggest you head over to the Ford Transit USA forum...
http://www.fordtransitusaforum.com/

and check it out for any Transit info you need. Good resource. I'm one of the moderators over there and can highly recommend it
Thanks Bobojay!!! Will do
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Old 06-15-2015, 07:26 PM   #104
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Let me chime in here and mention that one of the things that I fought for when ordering my new Roadtrek was to take out the 3 system fridge and replace it with the compressor fridge that RT uses in the Ranger. I really wanted to get rid of the leveling hassle. (I also ordered the underhood generator, solar, and the extra battery that are regular options with the 170) What I don't understand is why the fridge isn't part of the package that I had already set up. Seems a no-brainer. But I also wanted to keep the propane cooktop, furnace, and water heater.
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Old 06-15-2015, 07:33 PM   #105
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compressor fridge that RT uses in the Ranger. I really wanted to get rid of the leveling hassle.
Not sure what the leveling hassles are yet.

We are thinking of putting in a top loading simple fridge - put it on a pull out drawer track - keeping it simple to use less electricity and weight.

Absolutely no concept of pros and cons - or what needs to be leveled and what does not.

Yours Jennie
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Old 06-15-2015, 08:31 PM   #106
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A 3-way propane/DC/AC absorption type refrigerator needs level to operate properly. Usually anything you can tolerate for living and sleeping is level enough. The other thing absorption refrigerators need is ventilation which is typical with a top and bottom vent you can see on the outside of the van. That is another good reason to not have one, IMO. We have a 12V only compressor two-door refrigerator/freezer.

As far as propane goes, it is normal for heating, hot water and cooking. If you had a diesel you could opt for a Rixson's Espar diesel-fired glycol heat exchanger for heat and hot water which is better than any propane system being used in Bs. Only Great West Van and Advanced RV have adopted that so far that I know of. Do it yourselfers have done some.

Cooking. You have to have the battery power or be tethered to shore power but the electric induction cooktops are amazing with instant heat and nearly finite control that a gas burner can't match. The other handicap is you need ferrous metal cooking pots and pans. Aluminum and copper won't work. You may or may not already have such. We opted for a portable cooktop so we could cook outdoors as well. As a result we quit carrying our Coleman propane grill. With all this we were able to eliminate propane totally.
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Old 06-15-2015, 11:35 PM   #107
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I'm guessing a compressor fridge will use 125 amp hours a day, which, assuming only 8 hours of a day of usable sun, I will need 563 watts of solar coming in to offset the power draw. I can see a class "C" or an "A" having the panels and a 60+ amp MPPT controller to be able to swing this, but not a "B".

Like what was said above, absorption fridges are somewhat fickle, and they eat themselves when 3+ degrees from horizontal. However, (assuming set to propane) they draw only enough power needed to keep the eyebrow panel going, and to light the LP gas burner.

Is there something I'm missing? I'm assuming around 5 amps at 12 volts, which is the max a Nova-Kool model will draw.
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Old 06-15-2015, 11:37 PM   #108
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What you are missing is that they don't run all the time. They might only run 15-20 minutes per hour, so the draw on average is alot less than 5 amps. I'd budget 1.5 to 2 amps per hour.
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Old 06-16-2015, 12:53 AM   #109
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Our 3 cubic foot compressor frig will use somewhere in the 17 to 45ah per day, depending on outside temp, how many times we are in it, if we put warm food it, etc. Many folks with one the size of ours claim that 100 watts of solar will cover the frig easily, which it will in good sun, but I would prefer 200+ if you are going to get in a lot of shade or bad sun angles. We have never seen a day where our total use was over 60-70ah.
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Old 06-16-2015, 01:06 AM   #110
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Our larger 6.8 cf double door compressor refrigerator/freezer runs at 5.2 amps and probably averages about 3.5 amps or about 84ah per day. That is probably as generous as you are going to get in a B.
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Old 06-16-2015, 05:11 AM   #111
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I'm going by NovaKool's rated average amp use. I'd like to see a figure about the amp use on a 100% duty cycle, so I'd know worst case. I am looking at a 6-7 cubic foot model, so its amp use will be higher.

I'll probably go with Sportsmobile's recommendations on this. In the summer, at a renaissance faire, I'll have the A/C and generator on, so electric is a non-issue. However, in the winter, I try to run a generator as little as possible, just because even a quiet one makes a lot of noise. If 400 amp-hours are enough, especially with solar, an electric fridge makes sense. If it will eat the batteries, especially combined with the furnace on, then going with a propane fridge might be better.
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Old 06-16-2015, 10:45 AM   #112
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You are misreading the NovaKool spec.
http://www.novakool.com/documents/sp...perial2015.pdf

Their highest consumption is 5.2a. The NOTE at the bottom of the page clearly states that this is only while running. The listed specs ARE worst case.
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Old 06-16-2015, 02:51 PM   #113
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If you need heat your refrigerator is not going to run 24/7 to consume 125ah per day. You will never have that worst case.
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Old 06-16-2015, 06:20 PM   #114
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That is good to know. Electric fridges have their advantages. Just the fact that I don't have to worry about three degrees of vertical is a good thing, not to mention that food gets cold a lot quicker. Are they noisy at all, especially boondocking?
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Old 06-16-2015, 07:50 PM   #115
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Quote:
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Are they noisy at all, especially boondocking?
No. Very soft hum.
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Old 06-16-2015, 09:08 PM   #116
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It is background noise unless your curiosity is listening for it. Do you notice your refrigerator noise at home?

BTW, I would add compressor refrigerators stay consistently colder. Our past 3-ways were all over the board in temperatures and varied with the mode it was running in.
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Old 06-21-2015, 07:54 PM   #117
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On a totally different subject (since I've worked out the electrical system pretty much), one thing I'm still working on is the bathroom. If I go with a standard floorplan where SMB can locate the black water tank directly under the commode, pretty much any Dometic toilet works. However, if I go with a floorplan with the commode in the back, I might need to go with a macerator toilet. My concern about this is water use, as when I do "#1" with a normal toilet, I can run almost no water, while with a macerator toilet, any flush requires a certain amount of water.

Of course, another advantage of the macerator toilet is that anything in the black tank ground up into small particles, so if I needed to, I could use a diaphragm or bilge pump to empty it if I needed to pump uphill. These can be run dry without damage.
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Old 06-22-2015, 01:37 AM   #118
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Cassette Toilet. You don't need a dump station, just a toilet.
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Old 06-22-2015, 01:51 AM   #119
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Since I will have a gray water system, I might as well go with a black system. I can lug a 60 pound container of crap to a bathhouse and down the toilet, but it is a lot easier to just dump it with the gray water. Plus, it is easier to just pull a second handle than to deal with the container.

Now, if I were boondocking for weeks at a time, I'd agree with you, because I could bring 3-4 cassettes to have on hand.
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