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Old 12-08-2008, 05:16 PM   #1
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Running the refrigerator with out propane tanks

Hi guys,
I just bought a old Airstream Argosy, and Iím thinking of removing the propane tanks that feed the refrigerator, My question is can I instill a new refrigerator that will only work on electricity like a home refrigerator.
When Iím at home I will just connect it to the house and When Iím traveling can the car charge two or three deep cycle batteries to keep the refrigerator on and keep it cold until I reach my destination?
Once I reach the camping site I will then use the Generator to keep the refrigerator on.
Is that possible? And if yes how would it be done & if not what should I do?
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Old 12-08-2008, 05:19 PM   #2
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If you're planning to run off of batteries on the road, you want a 12-volt frdige, not a home unit that runs on 110AC. I had a camper van with a 12-volt fridge, it worked fine, but a single deep cycle battery would last about a day at the most, and this was a small fridge the size of those found in college dorms.

My 1990 Excella has a Dometic fridge that runs off either propane/12v or 110AC. Seems to work well so far.

Mike
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Old 12-08-2008, 05:23 PM   #3
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Hello khaled - welcome to the Forums!

Household refrigerators are installed some times and that often detracts from mobility and value. It's okay to run a fridge on household current without ever using propane -- it might take some thinking if it's a newer fridge that might try to automatically switch over to propane when unplugged.

Most RV fridges are 2-way - 120 volt AC or propane. I think you'd want a 3-way RV fridge - 120 volt AC or 12 volt DC or propane -- just never use the propane.
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Old 12-08-2008, 05:31 PM   #4
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what if I use a converter to switch from 120 volt AC to 12 volt DC.
and all I need from the deep cycle batteries and the car to keep them charging is to keep it working until I reach the camp site.
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Old 12-08-2008, 05:55 PM   #5
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what if I use a converter to switch from 120 volt AC to 12 volt DC.
and all I need from the deep cycle batteries and the car to keep them charging is to keep it working until I reach the camp site.
With a setup like that, battery life would be measured in single digit hours, if not minutes. It is very wasteful to convert from 12 volt dc to 120 volt ac. It would calculate out to something like 4+4=2.
By the time you get done converting it, you will have as much invested in your setup as you would if you just went out and bought a new fridge.
A good 1500 watt iunverter is $500:
Power Bright APS1500-12 1500 Watt Pure Sine Wave Inverter

A good apartment size fridge will run $450:
Sanyo Apartment-Size Refrigerator (4.8 cu. ft) (SR4800 ) at Cooking.com

AGM batteries (the good batteries that will be able to be recharged and drained) are $210 each:
8A27: MrSolar.com, Online Solar, Inc.---Solar Panels and Solar Power Systems


So, you are looking at $1500 for just the fridge, inverter, and batteries, not counting time to install, or peripheral parts.
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Old 12-08-2008, 06:11 PM   #6
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what if I use a converter to switch from 120 volt AC to 12 volt DC.
and all I need from the deep cycle batteries and the car to keep them charging is to keep it working until I reach the camp site.
Terry, I think you got it backwards...he said "from 120v AC to 12v DC" not "from 12v DC to 120v AC".

Isn't what he is proposing done all the time with an Inteli-Power?

Shari
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Old 12-08-2008, 06:39 PM   #7
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Does that mean it can work?
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Old 12-08-2008, 06:43 PM   #8
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There seems to be a little confusion with your objective. Does the refrigerator you plan to install run off of batteries or house current?
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Old 12-08-2008, 07:39 PM   #9
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It will run on house current while am at home but once i get to the camp site it will run on a Generator, what i want to know is can i set it up that while I'm on the road the SUV will keep the deep cycle batteries charged and the refrigerator on until I reach the camp site.

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Old 12-08-2008, 07:52 PM   #10
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It will run on house current while am at home but once i get to the camp site it will run on a Generator, what i want to know is can i set it up that while I'm on the road the SUV will keep the deep cycle batteries charged and the refrigerator on until I reach the camp site.

If you eliminate the propane tanks, you will need to convert the water heater to electric also. What about the stove and furnace?

Bill
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Old 12-08-2008, 08:15 PM   #11
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all will be electric the water heater will start the heat the water once I reach the camp site, the stove and oven will be replace with a microwave I will have a small gas stove for outside use only.
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Old 12-08-2008, 09:13 PM   #12
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Terry, I think you got it backwards...he said "from 120v AC to 12v DC" not "from 12v DC to 120v AC".

Isn't what he is proposing done all the time with an Inteli-Power?

Shari
Yes, it kind of takes the credibility out of what I said, but he still wants to use batteries on the road to invert to 120 volts.
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Old 12-08-2008, 10:30 PM   #13
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Am I missing something? Are you planning to run your generator 24 hours a day while camping? You'd need to do that to keep a household fridge working. If you had a fridge that ran off both propane or electricity (like RV fridges are designed to do), the problem would be solved...both while on the road and while not running a generator. And if you if you chose to use propane only for the fridge when you needed it and everything else was electric, a bottle would last a long time.
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Old 12-08-2008, 11:19 PM   #14
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The whole thing sounds very strange to me. Why on earth would you want a refrigerator completely dependent on being plugged into the wall, when it's so easy to get one which will run plugged in or not?
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