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Old 04-13-2016, 06:24 AM   #1
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1977 24' Argosy 24
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Refrigerator Replacements, Solar?

Ha, the Dometic fridge in our 24 MH will NOT get cold. I can hear the propane catch and hear it burning when I open up the side vent cover. So an RV guy told T.O.M. (the old man) that we could put a regular small fridge in there rather than spend the big bucks on another elec/propane Dometic. The RV guy said it probably needs ammonia and another gas but that they never work right, so just buy a small fridge and run it on electric.

Also, has anyone ever used a solar panel or two - the portable ones you'd place in the sun - to run a fridge?

Thanks in advance.

PS - WILL post pics if I ever get time - been working LONG hours.
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Old 04-13-2016, 07:26 AM   #2
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Elisa,

Personally I would have to say T.O.M. is an idiot. There is a reason motorhomes and trailers use specialized fridges. The small generic apartment sized fridges generally don't fit without modifications to the opening in the cabinets and they just don't look good. Once you've modified the cabinet its kinda tough to make it look right again.

That's just my opinion of course but my little 20' Argosy came with one of those small fridges and I couldn't get it ripped out of there fast enough.

Sorry about being so blunt but I guess this is one of those subjects that just irks me!


Brad
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Old 04-13-2016, 07:34 AM   #3
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I don't think T.O.M. is the idiot….it's the 'RV Guy'!! Obviously a know-nothing of little training and experience. GET YOURSELF A NEW TECH!!!!!!!!

I'm definitely not a fan of gas/absorption refrigeration, but the easiest way forward is to have the cooling unit replaced (and not by the 'RV Guy' either) as he clearly does not possess the complete understanding of what a cooling unit contains nor what is involved in completing the repair as a non-working fridge is quite a bit more complicated than 'just replacing ammonia and another gas'….which happens to be hydrogen!

Since she mentioned solar, a 12VDC marine fridge using a Danfoss compressor is a far better solution to the fridge problem. Solar to keep the battery bank charged and a fridge that runs directly from them. Also, a unit made for the rigors of a mobile environment (unlike an apartment unit) and can work perfectly up to 30º off-level.

Just my 3¢ of information and experience.
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Old 04-13-2016, 07:37 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by lewster View Post
I don't think T.O.M. is the idiot….it's the 'RV Guy'!! Obviously a know-nothing of little training and experience. GET YOURSELF A NEW TECH!!!!!!!!
Oops, you're right My apologies to T.O.M.

Lewster's right, find a different RV guy and start over.
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Old 04-18-2016, 10:08 AM   #5
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hello Elisa
I had I asome problem , and I put out this fridge, because for me consume a lot of energy , I change for one 12 volt compressor with 2 battery can running 3 days with out problem and if you have a solar pannel, you have forever good fridge
the negative pount is noise als absorbe fridge, but one beer every night I hoppe help
Herman
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Old 04-18-2016, 12:13 PM   #6
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Hi Elisa,

I have run 12v dc refrigerators with solar for 5+ years. A small fridge with danfoss comperssor will use between 30 and 50 amp/hours per day. Energy consumption is dependant on size of fridge outside temps and ventilation around fridge.
If your goal is three days with no sun you would need approximately 300ah of 12v battery storage to cover worst case. You can get away with less battery (200ah) storage with a good solar system and a little sun you can run forever. Provided you limit your other energy use.
benn
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Old 04-19-2016, 01:02 AM   #7
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I bought standard home refrigerator, 160 liter and purchasing danfoss compressor 12 volt and change, an economic method and it works
Herman
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Old 04-23-2016, 08:56 PM   #8
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Sorry to offer contrarian advice, by I had an Engel MT45 lose coolant after 5 years. Though to be fair it sat unused for about a year before failure. The original gas fridge in my 1977 Argosy 28 MH runs like a champ. Lesson I learned is to not let fridges sit unused. I run my gas fridge pretty regularly - often for months at a time. Propane fill is about $42 and the tank lasts maybe 3 months.
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Old 04-23-2016, 09:38 PM   #9
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You can get away with less battery (200ah) storage with a good solar system and a little sun you can run forever. Provided you limit your other energy use.
As a rule of thumb, you want to have at least as many watts of solar panel as you have amp-hours of house batteries. So in the case of 200 amp-hours of house batteries, you'd want at least 200 watts of solar panels to keep them charged.
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Old 04-24-2016, 09:02 AM   #10
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It's pretty easy to DIY your own cooling box if you are re-modeling: http://www.indelwebastomarine.com/us...ation-systems/
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