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Old 05-27-2010, 02:42 PM   #1
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electric only refridge

I need to replace the fridge in my 66 Tradewind, and was thinking of putting an electric-only in but would like to find one with the closest measurement to original. The original measures 40 1/2 inches by 20 1/2 inches and is 24 inches in depth. If anyone has done this or has any info I would appreciate it. I have been informed that electric-only units are not as durable in an RV, but I travel short distances to area campgrounds. Thank you,,, Kelly
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Old 05-27-2010, 02:47 PM   #2
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Your local big-box store should have one that's close. The size that is twice as big as the cube-shaped dorm fridges is what you want.
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Old 05-27-2010, 04:02 PM   #3
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Many people do this. In fact I removed both an electric fridge and water heater from one of my trailers.

It is ok (and a lot cheaper to buy) as long as you are usually where there is power. Since we are boondockers almost exclusively it doesn't work for us
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Old 05-27-2010, 06:17 PM   #4
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The modern Energy Star refrigerators can be a viable option in an RV, especially if your usual experience is just weekends off grid.

Some have noted that you can get one of these refrigerators with a couple of extra batteries and a decent solar panel for about the price some of the super efficient refrigerators intended for off grid cost.

There have been some discussions at the NASW forum and elsewhere about how to use extra insulation and top access freezers for low energy refrigeration needs that run through the numbers and the issues at length.

This is another area where recent technological advances have changed the picture somewhat.
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Old 05-27-2010, 06:58 PM   #5
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i am doing this. i just could not see myself spending $800 on a (propane) fridge. id have to boondock like, 160 times before it paid off, VS the usual $5 of ice. so before making that investment - i decided to go with a cheapo $90 mini (electric) fridge , and should we find ourselves boondocking more than 2 weekends of the year .... maybe then ill make the investment.
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Old 05-27-2010, 07:07 PM   #6
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If you plan to stay in campgrounds only, and have a place to plug in where you store your trailer, an electric only unit might work.

You might want to think about re-sale, unless you plan to keep your trailer forever. Most of the folks we camp with boondock from time to time, and enjoy the convenience of a propane fridge.

Think real hard before limiting yourself.
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Old 05-27-2010, 09:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJtoNC View Post
i am doing this. i just could not see myself spending $800 on a (propane) fridge. id have to boondock like, 160 times before it paid off, VS the usual $5 of ice. so before making that investment - i decided to go with a cheapo $90 mini (electric) fridge , and should we find ourselves boondocking more than 2 weekends of the year .... maybe then ill make the investment.
I guess this makes sense if one is a bean counting type thinking about the cost before the experience. But Airstreams are made to travel. How many National and State Parks will you not be able to visit because you save a few bucks and buy a cheapo dorm refrigerator? Start subtracting the (paid off value) of those experiences and than do the math again.

Why didn't the factory think of this! Slap a home cheapo dorm model from home depot unit in ther' and call it good!

Like the Mastercard ads like to say...Camping it a remote mountain top or lakeside location with a lp powered refrigerator.....Priceless!

$5.00 bucks for ice? Must be Beverly Hills Imported Ice.
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Old 05-27-2010, 09:46 PM   #8
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We took out the old 3 way fridge that was in there and installed an electric only.....we got it from a big box store that had about 4 different sizes. Not sure of the type of campers that you guys are but we only boondock 2x's a year at Bristol Motor speedway for the race. And we are able to run our stuff off of a pretty good size generator. This is bigger than what you need but this is the one that we changed to:


This was the before:
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Old 05-27-2010, 10:50 PM   #9
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I supposed a dorm fridge would work if you don't boondock, but my first concern would be if it would withstand bouncing around in the trailer for any length of time. We actually had an upper cabinet come crashing down once because of terrible roadway (and it was an Interstate highway). Since RV appliances are designed for the rigors of travel, I would expect they would hold up better over the long haul.
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Old 05-27-2010, 11:37 PM   #10
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I myself wouldn't be without a fridge that would work off-grid. It's not just boondocking per se but also being able to stop by the side of the road for a couple of hours and being confident that the ice cream won't melt and there won't be a puddle somewhere from the frost that melted off the coils. Food is a big deal to me and my family and whether at home or on the road we hardly ever eat out, and having cold storage I can count upon is a basic requirement.

Not everyone is like that, and for some people, a 120v fridge is right for them.
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Old 05-28-2010, 05:31 AM   #11
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My son installed an all electric looks good has more space and he is happy with it. It has a silver front and matches the Airstream.

I think the same unit is sold by Home Depot he ordered his off the Internet.

He also has an inverter that will run the frig but never installed it as he loads it up 24 hours before heading out and everything stays cold for many hours.
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Old 05-28-2010, 06:53 AM   #12
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There IS a third option. Many marine refrigerators/freezers operate with a device called a DANFOSS COMPRESSOR. This can be installed to run on either 120VAC or 12VDC with very little amp draw. I have a portable fridge/freezer (Engel) that I use all the time in my service van, primarily on 12VDC, which is powered by my solar charging system. IIRC, it drwas less than 3 amps DC.

I am currently investigating replacing the Norcold fridge in my '96 Beaver motor home with just such a unit. I will keep the fridge/freezer box, but remove the coolling unit from the rear and replace the cooling/freezing capacity with a Danfoss unit.

I'll start a new thread when this project happens (very near future.)
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Old 05-28-2010, 07:23 AM   #13
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Lew,
This sounds like my kind of refridgerator. I'll keep my eyes open for this thread.
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Old 05-28-2010, 10:00 AM   #14
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I've heard nothing but good things about the Danfoss compressors. The yacht crowd like them due to the safety problems propane poses on a boat, and the OTR drivers like them because they aren't as fiddly to install as an absorption fridge (with the venting requirements, etc).

There are several fridge makers out there that use the Danfoss parts. Usually the fridges are on the small side, 3-4 c.f.

Sportsmobile (the b van maker) has switched to Danfoss fridges as standard equipment, and I expect that other manufacturers will follow (at least for the smaller RVs) as the designs get updated and the market gets used to them.

As Lew notes, the amp draw is much lower than absorption fridges. They're lighter, to the point where if you add a battery the weight is a wash overall.
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