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Old 01-12-2007, 11:05 AM   #1
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12v Fridge

Hi all, I was wondering if any one has installed a inverter. i have a 53 Flying Cloud that I'm in the process of restoring my self. I want to keep the original fridge, which works great. What my question is, does any one know how long a battery will last running a fridge that old? Or should I just skip this whole process and get a new fridge LP/120v. Any advise would be great.

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Robert
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Old 01-12-2007, 11:21 AM   #2
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Hi Robert and welcome to the forums. While I have no direct experience with this particular problem, I gather you would have a great deal of trouble with a inverter set up. Were it I, I would go with a LP/electric.
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Old 01-12-2007, 09:10 PM   #3
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Hello Robert ,

SafariTim has done that very thing and many others ,he has a 60 ambassador
that he did a rehab on the wiring ,but did install an inverter .Lewster ,RV tech
here also probably has some good answers to provide as well ,along with others that have done it .Id go to the search function at the top of the main menu there and type in inverter install ,to help you find the answers you need
RV COOL also has alot of knowledge of vintage fridges as well.

Scott of scottnalily
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Old 01-12-2007, 09:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acsondes
Hi all, I was wondering if any one has installed a inverter. i have a 53 Flying Cloud that I'm in the process of restoring my self. I want to keep the original fridge, which works great. What my question is, does any one know how long a battery will last running a fridge that old? Or should I just skip this whole process and get a new fridge LP/120v. Any advise would be great.

Thanks,
Robert
Robert,

You don't need an inverter to power a 12VDC fridge......just a really BIG battery bank. The 12V side runs a heating element similar to the one that the unit uses when you are plugged in to shore power. The big difference is the amp draw.....about 10X that for DC as AC.

Example, if your 120VAC heating element draws 1200 watts, that would be 10 amps. If the same 1200 watt element was running on DC power, it would draw 100 amps. With a battery of a 400 amp/hour capacity, you could run the fridge on 12V for about an hour before the battery is at 75% charge, or effectively dead.

On the topic of an inverter, it takes 12VDC power from a battery and changes it to 120VAC, usually in a modified sine wave form. While this will run your fridge longer on 120VAC being created by the inverter, you still have a lot of loss due to the inherent resistance in the inverter.

Simple solution.........USE PROPANE!!!! or if you must, get a small generator to power your fridge on AC
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Old 01-12-2007, 09:21 PM   #5
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Just curious Robert, does the original old fridge from 1953 really run on 12V? I was thinking the older refers were LP gas only. If not, well then I've learned something. Its cool you still have a working original, uh, no pun intended.
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Old 01-12-2007, 09:41 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Sugarfoot
Just curious Robert, does the original old fridge from 1953 really run on 12V? I was thinking the older refers were LP gas only. If not, well then I've learned something. Its cool you still have a working original, uh, no pun intended.
I don't recall even seeing a 12VDC/propane fridge that used 12VDCV for the heating element. Newer units ALL use 12VDC as control voltage to run the PC board and igniter board (if equipped with DSI). You can still buy a triple: 120VAC/Propane/ and 12VDC for the heataing power source, but you need BIG cables and a BIG alternator to use them. I believe that some on the Forum with classic MoHos have a few of these.
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Old 01-12-2007, 10:13 PM   #7
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I owned an '84 VW Westfalia conversion while stationed in Germany. This unit had an Electrolux refrigerator that could be switched between 12 volts, 220 volts and propane. The idea was to use the 12 volts while driving with the propane turned off, and when camping switch to either shore power or to propane. This worked very well. I've not seen any of these refrigerators over here, though. I'd follow Lew's advice.
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Old 01-13-2007, 10:34 AM   #8
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12v

Thanks all for the advise...

Sugarfoot- actually the fridge works only on 120volt system at the moment. Thats why I was thinking installing a inverter to make it run on a 12volt system.

herrgirdner- they do make 3way fridges here in the state, but they are very pricey, plus it doesn't have that 50's look that we want.

lew- wow.. it really sounds like you know your stuff. sounds like i need to get a lot of deep cycle batteries and a inverter. But it doesn't sound like the battery will last that long. And I don't want to be one of those campers that run a generator all day long. That just bugs the hell out of me. well need to talk with my better have (wife) to see what we will do.

Thanks all who replied

Happy days

Robert
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Old 01-13-2007, 11:00 AM   #9
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Robert,

Is it a Frigidaire? My '59 Frigidaire still works also, but looking at the size of the compressor I imagine it pulls about 600-700 watts or more when running.

I agree they look cool, but might be energy hogs compared to modern refrigerators.
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Old 01-13-2007, 11:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster
Example, if your 120VAC heating element draws 1200 watts, that would be 10 amps. If the same 1200 watt element was running on DC power, it would draw 100 amps.
Although the formula seems correct, the heating element in my Dometic fridge is labeled 150W.
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Old 01-14-2007, 04:52 PM   #11
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Is this a compressor model???? Most older vintage refrigerators had the propane only feature...of course if it is not a compressor - freon model, which would be unusual for that era.
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Old 01-15-2007, 06:34 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by uwe
Although the formula seems correct, the heating element in my Dometic fridge is labeled 150W.
Uwe,

You are correct in the wattage. It was just numbers for ease of explaination . The newer Dometics use about 350 watt elements and the big Norcolds and Dometic Dimension double door models use 2 elements.
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