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Old 01-22-2004, 04:02 PM   #1
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Electric or Gas electric fridge replacement??

What is the general opinion of replacing a BIG old fridge in our 76 Overlander??? Should we use electric or Gas/electric????

THanks
Ron & Tony
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Old 01-22-2004, 04:05 PM   #2
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fridge

I like the electric & gas combo. Boondocking requires gas. Also, when driving I keep the gas on to keep the fridge going & then plug in when I get parked. Remember to turn off the gas before pulling into a gas station though.
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Old 01-22-2004, 04:19 PM   #3
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Question 3way diagnostic

So the 3 way diagnostic will work? What happens if I pull into a gastation with the gas on??? I dare ask....
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Old 01-22-2004, 04:22 PM   #4
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Open flame + gas vapors = possible combustion and rapid expansion!!!!
-Better Safe than sorry.
P.S. The 2-way refer. boils the ammonia gas in the unit by either a propane fueled flame or an A/C heat strip, the condensation of that gas removes the heat from the 'fridge'. ...
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Old 01-22-2004, 04:24 PM   #5
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?

Don't know what a 3 way diagnostic is (but if it includes Guinnes and some close friends I'm in) ,but if you've got the gas on, there's flame/heating element that could spark gas vapors. Some aren't concerned about it, but I prefer to take the extra 2 minutes, pull over, and shut off the gas before pulling into the station.
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Old 01-22-2004, 05:19 PM   #6
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Unhappy SHould I replace this???

Yah, this is what's in there now... what a rust bucket!!!
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Old 01-22-2004, 05:43 PM   #7
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I would replace it.

There are 4 different options. Almost all will require you to run 12 Volts to the rear of the refer.

Replace it with an Electronic ignition gas/electric model. 12 volt feed /draw is minimal. The gas is already there.

Replace it with a 12VDC/LP/Electric model with electronic ignition. 12 volt DC for the LP portion is the same, but to use it as designed you will need to run a large feed from the tow vehicle to feed the 12 volt draw that it needs while underway. This would be in lieu of using the LP to keep food cold while underway.

The third option would be to use a Norcold 12VDC/120 VDC model that uses no gas. The compressor can run on either. The draw on this would be less that the 12 VDC fed heater, above but the boondocking capabilities are going to be limited by battery capacity.

Lastly you could install a 120V apartment style compressor based refer. In order to keep this unit running while on the road would require a mid sized inverter and the proper sized wire from the battery to the unit. You would not be able to do ANY boondocking for any length of time as the 12 volt battery would only support you for a few hours of run time if even.

Now that I have you completely confused allow me to offer a bit of advice. Remove the old refer first. Measure the opening and be very accurate on the depth of the opening. The newer units that are available and are supposed to be an exact replacement rarely are. You may need to raise it off the floor and make a filler plate for the top or bottom to complete the install.
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Old 01-22-2004, 07:06 PM   #8
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tin can luv,

Is the refer not working? If it is working, I'd just clean it up and add new seals. The one in my 73 is a RM75. I think its the same as yours. Mine too had rust on it. I took everything out, masked off the surrounding area and scrubbed/sanded all the steel pieces, painted with a gloss Grey Rustoleum (3 thin coats worked best). I cleaned all the plastic and shelves. Put a new seal on the door and voila' . . . new fridge.

While a new three way computer controlled unit is a dream to use, I like the continuity of the old fridge. Everything just looks like it should. Besides, its a lot cheaper this way!

Now, having said that, my 56 will be a frame off and it will have the best of everything in it. But thats only because I have to replace everything. Cabinets included.

Good Luck!


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Old 01-22-2004, 08:29 PM   #9
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I have a 120 V apartment fridge in mine. Most campgrounds we stay in have electric. When we boondock, we use the Honda generator and run it most of the day. Most of our trips are within 3 hours of home so we just put ice or plastic blue ice thingees in there until we are destinated. On a long trip, such as a 15 hour journey to Florida, buy the perishables at the destination.
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Old 01-22-2004, 09:30 PM   #10
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Electric or Gas/Electric Refrigerator Replacement??

Greetings Tin Can Luv!

When I purchased my '64 Overlander in '95 the only issue I had with it was that the previous owner had replaced the Dometic with a Kenmore compressor type refrigerator. It was a nightmare for the first four years that I owned the trailer - - it just was not a practical answer to refrigeration needs for one who uses the trailer for extended vacations - - in the past, I had always had a 3-way RV refrigerator and had always been pleased with its operation. After struggling through the '98 WBCCI International in Boise, ID with no refrigeration (relied on an ice chest that meant a daily trip plus $5 for ice); I was determined that the Kenmore would find its way to the nearest recycler.

In '99 after the WBCCI International in Dayton (the cost for ice was up to $7.50 per day during this rally plus the nearest vendor was far less convenient than in Boise), the trailer made its way to Ace Fogdall RV for a new 3-Way Dometic Refrigerator. It has been a fantastic refrigerator - - only marginally larger than the original with a front panel that coordinates with the wood in the original cabinetry (actually is less obvious than the original unit - - I remember it well as friends of my family purchased the trailer new). The controls for the new refrigerator are also top mounted rather than bottom mounted - - no more crawling around on the floor trying to deal with controls on the bottom. The nice thing, for me, is that I rarely need to operate it on propane (I dislike gas appliances of any kind RV or home) - - it works as well on 12-volt as it does on either of the two other power sources. The plus with running on 12-volt while traveling is that it isn't necessary to worry about whether the refrigerator is off or on as there is no open flame - - in fact, I travel with my LP valves in the off position.

I am so well pleased with the Dometic 3-way RV Refrigerator in my Overlander that there is no question in my mind that when the original Dometic in my Minuet fails its replacement will be a similar Dometic 3-way Refrigerator. The compressor type refrigerator will be somewhat less costly (probably 1/3 the cost) of a quality RV refrigerator, but there are significant trade-offs in terms of flexibility.

Good luck with your refrigerator dilemma!

Kevin
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Old 01-30-2004, 03:18 PM   #11
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FRIDGE TAKE OUT

Noticed a frind parked beside me this year used far less electricity per month...ran it down to the fridges. his 110 and mine 12 volt...
I,m going to a 110v volt not only for power but for space and less sweating....
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Old 01-30-2004, 05:48 PM   #12
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That's great to know, we haven't bought the fridge yet, and like to know where we'll save money in the long run.
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Old 03-20-2004, 10:55 AM   #13
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ref on 110 volt and 12 volt???

I was going to get a Sunfrost- the most efficient ref in the world but $2,000 is scaring me off and the freezer space in minimal. does anyone know of an energy efficient fridge that can run both 12 volt and 110? silver suz- size is no matter- everything is torn out. silversuz. Can't tolerate propane or generators in a big way.
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Old 03-20-2004, 12:14 PM   #14
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Using 12V RV refrigeration isn't practical for the long-term. The 12V heater on RV refrigerators isn't as powerful as the 120V or propane heater. That's to keep its power draw within the capability of tow vehicle wiring and connector plug. It's intended only to MAINTAIN temperature while on the road.

Second only to black tank sensors that aren't accurate, the 12V refrigeration was the most frequent complaint when I was an RV tech. People expected it to cool-down the frig before they departed. It won't do that. They were shocked at how quickly it ran the batteries down when the tow vehicle engine wasn't running. It's not intended for that. In the Florida heat, sometimes it wouldn't even keep the frig cold enough underway. 12V capability on the frig caused so many consumer complaints that most RV manufacturers quit offering it.

Using an inverter to power the 120V heater will take a LOT of 12VDC amps, and will require heavy dedicated wiring from the tow vehicle alternator, not only to handle the number of amps, but to prevent voltage drop which can have the inverter shutting off due to undervoltage. And it will run batteries dead even quicker than the 12V heater when the tow vehicle isn't running.

Most of us have propane as a backup if the 120VAC goes out. The frig switches automatically. Some of us can also backup 120VAC with a generator.

Silver Suz, if you want non-propane, non-gasoline backup for the frig, and you expect it to last a good length of time, you'd best have a high efficiency refrigerator like the Sun Frost.
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