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Old 02-22-2015, 09:10 PM   #1
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12 Volt refrigerator options?

Lew Farber has recommended Danfoss 12 volt refrigeration compressors but are there refrigerators on the market with this compressor? We have a 1967 Safari with no refrigerator. The trailer is gutted now so we could build for whatever is best. Rather than go with a propane / 120 Volt unit, we would like to consider an efficient 12V unit, preferably one that would look right as a built-in rather than a portable cooler.
Any recommendations?
Thanks,
Jim
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Old 02-22-2015, 09:34 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by JRF0st3r View Post
Lew Farber has recommended Danfoss 12 volt refrigeration compressors but are there refrigerators on the market with this compressor? We have a 1967 Safari with no refrigerator. The trailer is gutted now so we could build for whatever is best. Rather than go with a propane / 120 Volt unit, we would like to consider an efficient 12V unit, preferably one that would look right as a built-in rather than a portable cooler.
Any recommendations?
Thanks,
Jim
There are lots of these! Try iwmarine.com for Isotherm units (my preference), and google Tundra, Vitrifrigo, and Dometic marine units. A great variety of shapes and sizes.....
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Old 02-22-2015, 10:04 PM   #3
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Also check out Novakool. Danfoss compressor, built in British Columbia.

One thing to remember about the most efficient 12V units is they're not aggressive chillers, and will fail at getting a whole box full of warm food cold in a short time. They won't keep ice cream rock-hard. They do an adequate job, but if you're after the most efficient units (5A current draw or less) don't expect performance like the big Amana at home.

Refrigeration is the biggest single energy user in boats and RV's. Efficiency is important, but it comes with tradeoffs.
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Old 02-22-2015, 10:47 PM   #4
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Ah, but they are much more efficient and much faster in operation than any propane refrigerator. I had a full RV sized Norcod (52" x 24") in my GMC motorhome and it was a superior unit... and made back in 1975 using a swing motor compressor.
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Old 02-22-2015, 11:50 PM   #5
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I removed the factory propane fridge and installed a ISOTHERM 195 in it's place. (Actually Lew did the work, with some outstanding supervision ).

The foot print of the new fridge was slightly smaller, with some 2x4 framing and some black trim it looks like a factory install. Stopped by the ISOTHREM USA distributor to swap out a bad controller board. They were taking pictures and commenting on how if looked factory.

We have had our 195 baking in the FL August sun with no problem cooling things down or keeping the freezer at 0 F and the fridge at 37 where we set them. Both could be set lower. We experience about a 3-5 degree difference from the bottom shelf to the top shelf of the fridge.

We arrive at the trailer with our cold food turn the fridge on load it up and take off with no problems. Never give a thought to having to pre cool the fridge prior to loading.

There are many sizes and configuration to fit the space you have. I had a 12v dometic portable in my previous rig for 4 years and it did not miss a beat. Those danfoss compressors are efficient and built to take a pounding.
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Old 02-23-2015, 12:00 AM   #6
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12 Volt refrigerator options?

Compare truckfridge.com to indelwabastomarine.com. I have a fridge from truck box and am very pleased. It will keep ice cream hard. In fact you have to pay attention to what is on the shelf under the freezer as it too may freeze.


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Old 02-23-2015, 12:06 AM   #7
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Old 02-23-2015, 12:00 PM   #8
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Lots of good leads for me to look into. Thanks to everyone!
Jim
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Old 02-23-2015, 12:11 PM   #9
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I have the latest Norcold with unadvertised Danfoss cooling system in my Monaco Crown Royale. Super efficient. I'll never look back at a propane fridge. I installed solar on both my motorhome and trailer. When (if) the trailer Dometic dies - in goes a Norcold. It's a Norcold box only. The entire cooling system is Danfoss.
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Old 02-23-2015, 12:27 PM   #10
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12 volt or Propane Refrigerator

we have a Dometic RM 2452 120 vac or propane unit, I use a 300 watt invertor to power it while traveling. If I am going to be in an area without shore power, I use propane. It works great.
I have about $200 invested in the invertor lashup including $100 for the invertor, the rest of the cost is a separate 10 guage wire from the TV battery to a separate receptacle on the rear bumper, then to a relay in the AS.
Its great to be able to stop along the road in Nevada and have an ice cream cone break.
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Old 02-23-2015, 01:34 PM   #11
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We just purchased an Isotherm for our 67 Caravel. From what Lewster said and all
my marine pals say...there are not any better options. Cheaper options but not better. AC/DC only.
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Old 02-23-2015, 04:05 PM   #12
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Thanks again to everyone! I've spent a snow day looking around the internet. At this point my wife and I really like the Isotherm DR 65. This would be a drawer type refrigerator only. Using existing floor and roof vents we can get the required air flow in the back. Are there other steps we should take to make it as efficient as possible?
Jim
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Old 02-23-2015, 04:19 PM   #13
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When you run your AC power to the fridge make sure it's not on the inverter circuit if you have one. The fridge will seek an AC source first. If your are not on shore power you want it to run on DC power. Its much more efficient than converting DC to AC.
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Old 02-24-2015, 12:00 PM   #14
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Good choice, we bought the 130. Also we found that West Marine has reasonable pricing
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