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Author: Subject: Truck camper fridge questions
blackwolfmt
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[*] posted on 11-20-2017 at 06:30 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Hook  
Quote: Originally posted by Buckland  
I have the Isotherm 12V 65L. Great fridge, quiet, super efficient. Have a 160 W solar panel and 2 AGM batteries. Never ram out of juice or cold beer!


Show us your unit, please.

DC only? Fridge only? Fridge/freezer? Chest type or built-in?




Now dat is funny:lol:

since were on XXX I still luv my dometic 3 Way the propane its a great backup when the sun aint shinning to charge the battery




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rts551
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[*] posted on 11-21-2017 at 08:52 AM


Some of you keep talking about top loading refrigerators....I have not seen any of these built into campers. Are we talking 2 different issues or am I that far behind the times?
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woody with a view
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[*] posted on 11-21-2017 at 06:52 PM


Ralph, they mean ARB style aftermarket refers. Not your typical built into a pop up or cab over.



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aguachico
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[*] posted on 11-21-2017 at 07:22 PM


I'm looking at this unit, It can do freezer or fridge. I like to vac seal meats for a weeks worth of camping So as I load the freezer with vac sealed fish or seal meat, I can remove the the meat to eat. Then eventually before packing to leave for home both sides will serve as a freezer with all vac sealed meats ready for transfer. Best thing is getting back without a any meat to process.

https://www.dometic.com/en-us/us/products/food-and-beverage/...
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rts551
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[*] posted on 11-22-2017 at 08:43 AM


Quote: Originally posted by woody with a view  
Ralph, they mean ARB style aftermarket refers. Not your typical built into a pop up or cab over.


I see. Wasn't the OP talking about a built in frig? Maybe the thread morphed.
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woody with a view
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[*] posted on 11-22-2017 at 09:02 AM


Not sure, my atteention span is shrinking these days.



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Ken Cooke
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[*] posted on 11-22-2017 at 10:18 AM


I have the Dometic CFX-65DZ (CFX 65 Quart dual zone). It works great at keeping my fruits, vegetables, and mineral water refrigerated. I use the freezer compartment to keep my vegatable burgers and Indian food meals frozen). I usually pack some tuna sandwiches for the road, and this is much better than using an ice chest.



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[*] posted on 11-22-2017 at 10:21 AM


Quote: Originally posted by rts551  
Quote: Originally posted by woody with a view  
Ralph, they mean ARB style aftermarket refers. Not your typical built into a pop up or cab over.


I see. Wasn't the OP talking about a built in frig? Maybe the thread morphed.


Yes, and yes. Now lets talk about fishing. It all runs together right??
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PaulW
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[*] posted on 11-22-2017 at 10:25 AM


The Dometec and arb and many other portable frig/freezers work great, but to use in a camper/travel trailer/5er/motorhome the thing would have to sit on the floor and use up valuable space. Baja Nomads has several threads exactly for portable Frig/freezers. Take your discussion there.
This thread was supposed to be about the 3 way units commonly used on campers/travel trailers/5ers/motorhomes not about the portable frig freezers.
Having said that I find the most efficient usage for a 3 way is to use it on Propane when dry camping and 110v in an RV park or at home. 12v usage works as long as the battery survives which can be long or short depending on age and its amp hours. A 12 volt battery may work for many usages in the camper, but the 3way frig/freezer will probably be the most severe usage and kill the battery the fastest. I always use mine on the 12v setting when connected to the tow rig with the motor running. This avoids turning off the propane when stopping to fuel the tow rig. Its always good to practice safe procedures. It is also the law in many states that require no propane systems can be active when traveling thru tunnels. Another safety issue.
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rts551
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[*] posted on 11-22-2017 at 12:12 PM


Quote: Originally posted by msteve1014  
Quote: Originally posted by rts551  
Quote: Originally posted by woody with a view  
Ralph, they mean ARB style aftermarket refers. Not your typical built into a pop up or cab over.


I see. Wasn't the OP talking about a built in frig? Maybe the thread morphed.


Yes, and yes. Now lets talk about fishing. It all runs together right??


I suppose...My Samsung refrig works great on 110. I tried it on Propane...damn thing blew up.
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[*] posted on 11-23-2017 at 10:19 PM


Just to clarify, there ARE purely electrical, 12v or 110v, upright compressor fridges, WITHOUT PROPANE CAPABILITY, that can be built in to existing truck camper fridge openings. The doors open outward, like a conventional home fridge. They are not cheap......but neither are the traditional 3-way (propane, 12v, 110v) fridges that originally came with the camper. Most camper companies now offer these as an option. They have been around for ages in boats, where propane is disdained by some. They have begun to put them in RVs for a few years now.

The "table-top" style fridge/freezers are much cheaper (still not cheap, though) but MOST force you to choose between fridge and freeze. USUALLY, you have to go up to the 65 qt size or larger (still not that big, really) to have separate fridge and freeze compartments. There are exceptions.

It is VERY nice to have the capability of using propane for being off-grid in areas where clouds are common or trees are tall and dense. Seriously, I suspect a 5 gallon propane tank might power my 3 way fridge for about three weeks in ambient temps around 80 degrees during the day and 60 degrees at night. My camper has TWO, 7.5 gallon tanks.

Keeping the rig level is important, but it doesnt have to be completely level. It still works fine.

I always drive with my fridge in the propane setting. Some campers I have owned are more prone to blowing out than others. I check it at each stop.

I honestly think if I was buying a new RV, I would still go with a propane capable one over a compressor. You have to begin thinking about sun exposures, solar panels, multiple batteries, possible generator use, finding 110v for serious battery charging, with a compressor.

Propane is easy to find everywhere. Mexico, US, Canada. Very off-grid friendly.

[Edited on 11-24-2017 by Hook]
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[*] posted on 11-23-2017 at 10:26 PM


Quote: Originally posted by PaulW  
The Dometec and arb and many other portable frig/freezers work great, but to use in a camper/travel trailer/5er/motorhome the thing would have to sit on the floor and use up valuable space. Baja Nomads has several threads exactly for portable Frig/freezers. Take your discussion there.
This thread was supposed to be about the 3 way units commonly used on campers/travel trailers/5ers/motorhomes not about the portable frig freezers.


Whoops! I read the subject and immediately chimed in without investigating the earlier posts. Buy, so far, my Dometic fridge has been great! I'll watch for more fridge threads so that I can brag about my fridges USB connectivity.




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[*] posted on 12-26-2017 at 10:12 AM


Got a Dometic dzw-95. It is easy to lift because it is not too long. Preliminary testing shows it seals well and doesn't cycle often.
'
They use a slight of hand trick calling it a 95 liter fridge, when actually it is 85 liters internally.

Field testing to come.
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[*] posted on 12-27-2017 at 02:13 PM


Back to the OP-
I have an old 120 volt/gas ABSORBTION style refer in my TT. All refers that use propane are called ABSORBTION refers by the way they work. They have no electric driven compressor. They use heat and a gas transfer in a sealed coil to effect the cooling process

The ones with a 12 volt side have a probe (@6" long) that gets very hot and is next to the "boiler" of the refer sealed coil so as to heat the special liquid within and run the cooling process.
The propane burner heats the same "boiler" without using any electricity.
The electric probe is using around 350 watts of electricity. At 12 volts this is @ 29 amps. 10 hrs of usage is @ 290 amp hrs. Well beyond your battery capacity.

I use the propane side all the time ( I shut it down getting gas, no big deal). I have 2 7.5 gallon propane tanks and have never had any problems. I can run it on one tank for weeks.

If I had hookups I would use the electric side for extended stays. Save the cost of propane.





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Hook
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[*] posted on 12-27-2017 at 04:45 PM


Some people report that their absorption fridges work best on propane, but the two I have had always worked best on 110v. I also think it is more resilient to being unlevel on 110v.
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[*] posted on 12-27-2017 at 05:54 PM


Traveling sure is whole lot less complicated camping out of a pickup truck or suv, getting by with just a couple of iced coolers :light:



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[*] posted on 12-27-2017 at 09:08 PM


Quote: Originally posted by mtgoat666  
Traveling sure is whole lot less complicated camping out of a pickup truck or suv, getting by with just a couple of iced coolers :light:


I disagree. It's more complicated.

Keeping things dry. Draining away water. Keeping them in a cool environment. Making ice runs, if you are camping in one spot for a week or more.

Ice is a pain in the ass. The only good place for ice is in a drink.:smug:
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[*] posted on 5-7-2018 at 10:04 PM


I have a 6 cu. ft. Dometic fridge in in my cab over camper. It doesn't work very well on propane or electricity. When camping, when the temp gets over 85 or 90 degrees it just doesn't cool. I keep a thermometer inside the fridge and sometimes it gets up to 60 degrees or so. Thinking of buying a new one, but don't know which works the best in hot weather. All manufacturers say theirs is the best. Tried exhaust fans and inside fans. Nothing helps when beach camping on hot days.
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[*] posted on 5-8-2018 at 07:00 AM


If you have a 3 way fridge;

12V while driving after everything is cold from either being plugged in or propane. The 12V side uses a lot of amps to try and keep the fridge cold. It's also wise to rewire your RV electrical plug to the fridge with at least a 10 gauge wire, 8 gauge is best.

110V Always when you have it available

Propane Other than the initial cool down over night plugged into 110V this is how I run all my RV fridges. It's efficient and a propane tank can run a fridge for weeks and weeks, maybe even a month or more.

As somebody else said, if it's not a newer RV fridge, put a small solar powered fan in the fridge areas outside door to push out the heat to the roof stack/exhaust. It will make it cool much more efficient. If you're at a camp site without electrical hookups, you can even open your outside fridedoor (with screen) a bit to allow more fresh air up through the system.

A small fan inside the fridge also circulates the air inside and helps too, especially if the fridge is an older one.
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