Originally Posted by Maui
Thanks Bruce! I'm thinking of going to a house current frig too. Not as complicated and cools really fast in minutes. I'm thinking solar panel, charge controller and inverter to run the wall plugs which run the frig. How were you thinking of hooking it up?
To be honest it was simply going to be a take out and replace idea. There is a plugin available in the microwave compartment above the fridge compartment where I would likely plug it in.
However, finding something that would fit properly is a challenge. Most of the compact refrigerators are narrower than the stock Dometic unit. They are also taller or shorter as well. I haven't given enough thought or research into how it would be stabilized and how the gaps would be filled to still look good.
Another issue is keeping it closed during driving. I don't really want to put holes in the unit so some other mechanism needs to be devised while still looking decent.
For me, and for now, I only go to parks where I have power, so I'm not concerned about 12volt use.
It's also a cost issue. A compact fridge is $100-200. Not really expensive at all.
One of the inefficiencies people are talking about is losses during the conversion from 12 volts to 120 volts. There will always be loss be stepping up or down a voltage or current which means more drain on the batteries. While the loss may seem insignificant, it adds up when you consider that battery energy is finite.
Another inefficiency would be power consumption to cooling. However an Energy Star fridge is better at not wasting power than an unrated fridge. This power is wasted and converted to heat, which is an issue in a small class B. An exhaust fan may need to be utilized to get rid of the excess heat.