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Old 07-22-2021, 11:21 AM   #1
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RV Fridge Options

Ok, so shopping around for a new RV and the dealership had sent me a list of optional items (2 different fridge options):
1. 8 cu.ft. fridge - RV
2. 10 cu. ft. fridge - 12V
Zero $ difference between the 2 options.

I'm guessing the "RV" fridge is the standard one that runs on either 50-amp hookup source or LP while on the road/boondocking. Has anyone here heard of a 12V fridge for an RV? Would anyone recommend one over the other?

Thanks
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Old 07-22-2021, 12:07 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by rockelino View Post
Ok, so shopping around for a new RV and the dealership had sent me a list of optional items (2 different fridge options):
1. 8 cu.ft. fridge - RV
2. 10 cu. ft. fridge - 12V
Zero $ difference between the 2 options.

I'm guessing the "RV" fridge is the standard one that runs on either 50-amp hookup source or LP while on the road/boondocking. Has anyone here heard of a 12V fridge for an RV? Would anyone recommend one over the other?

Thanks
I have reported on the real world performance of the 10cuft Dometic 12v compressor fridge in other threads. DW and I both like it because itís larger than the absorption fridge, and it gets and stays colder. Only issue is power consumption. If you have a battery bank of over 100 amp hours, and about 200w of solar, the power used by the fridge is not an issue while boondocking. The fridge can consume anywhere from 25 to 50 amp hours per day depending on ambient temperature and humidity, and exposure of the RV to sunlight. If you donít want to upgrade your electrical system, donít get this fridge; unless of course you plan on having hookups all the time.
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Old 07-22-2021, 12:20 PM   #3
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I should have prefaced my post with: we rarely ever boondocks, just full hookup sites when the RV isn't sitting in storage. I was wondering if the 12V fridge can be on while driving (connected to the truck's power cord)? Or does it actually use LP while driving?
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Old 07-22-2021, 12:24 PM   #4
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The fridge runs only on 12v.
Your tow vehicle can provide 2-5 amps through the 7-pin connector while towing. My experience is tat I don’t get enough from the tow vehicle alternator to keep the fridge fed. It will use some battery power while towing. So, even with a smaller battery, as long as you depart with it fully charged, you shouldn’t have a problem getting to your next hookup site.
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Old 08-05-2021, 07:42 AM   #5
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Wow, some great info here. Semper-fi, thank you for your service. I have the unfortunate situation of having a Dometic RML8555 in our ‘13 View. Our last trip from So Cal to Nebr and back via Las Vegas and Denver CO during the heat wave of 2n week of June the poor thing couldn’t keep up with the 108 high we experienced in Vegas on 120v hookup. Made the mistake of putting a remote temp sensor in the reefer, which got up to approx 70 inside. Needless to say the wife hit the panic button. So natch she wants a new reefer. Would be nice not to have to be so anal on getting the rig level [no leveling jacks].

JIC you are interested, in more reasonable ambient temps it seemed to work OK, but she was hesitant to use any of the stuff inside, and tossed out most of it after we got home. On getting home I found the small fan in the rear wasn’t working, [it normally doesn’t come on with shorepower] replaced it and added 2 more. Hope I can get her to trust it, don’t have the batteries and enough solar for boondocking with a 12 V setup.
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Old 08-05-2021, 09:04 AM   #6
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Your fridge will keep cold better on propane than on 120v in those hot conditions. In hot conditions use the 120v only if you need to save propane.

At home when getting ready for a trip and on shore power it's fine to use the 120v if you have a day or more for it to get the fridge down to temp, but if you're in a hurry use the propane.

It really helps to know how the fridge works for making these decisions.

There are plenty of other reasons your 8 year old RV fridge is not cooling properly. Check out YouTube for videos on testing and maximizing your fridge's operation.
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Old 08-05-2021, 10:07 AM   #7
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Since you don't boondock, I agree that the 12V compressor refrigerator is a good choice.

Solar will help keep your batteries topped off while driving in the daytime, probably not 100%, but enough to minimize the drain. I second Jim's suggestion of 200W solar. Even 100W would be a plus while driving. Solar isn't as expensive as many think it is, and it's a fairly straight forward DIY job.

A 100W solar "kit" (panel(s) and controller) can be had for about $240 and a 200W kit for about $300.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Grape-So...-KIT/203505908

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Grape-So...-KIT/203505912

Another advantage of solar is that it will keep your batteries charged while in storage. This assumes outside storage or relatively open covered storage. Of course, you can always add solar later.
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Old 08-05-2021, 03:56 PM   #8
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Better cooling on propane in hot conditions? That’s news to me. It seems to cool down faster on 120v at home. I was told to use propane to increase the life of the electric heating element, and I started using the propane while driving to see if it would cool any better on this trip. Does it hurt or help to remove the vent grilles? Seems like a lot of heat collecting at the top, which is on the side, especially since the chimney vent is inside. Do you know
where can I find out more about the operation of these things other than You Tube? Thanks.
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Old 08-05-2021, 04:30 PM   #9
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Better cooling on propane in hot conditions? Thatís news to me. It seems to cool down faster on 120v at home. I was told to use propane to increase the life of the electric heating element, and I started using the propane while driving to see if it would cool any better on this trip. Does it hurt or help to remove the vent grilles? Seems like a lot of heat collecting at the top, which is on the side, especially since the chimney vent is inside. Do you know
where can I find out more about the operation of these things other than You Tube? Thanks.
My Norcold LPG/120V refrigerator (anecdotally) seems to cool down faster before a trip on LPG than on 120V AC. I don't know about hotter vs. cooler conditions. I've read other posts mentioning the same faster cool down on LPG, but they're also probably anecdotal and not the result of a scientific test.

Mine is nineteen years old so maybe the electric heating element isn't operating as well as it should.

Sorry, but I can't address your questions about venting, etc.
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Old 08-05-2021, 05:15 PM   #10
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It's true, the propane flame is better at heating the cooling medium in the fridge than the electric heater is. The fridge cools fastest at all times when it's on LPG.
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Old 08-12-2021, 02:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creativepart View Post
Your fridge will keep cold better on propane than on 120v in those hot conditions. In hot conditions use the 120v only if you need to save propane.

At home when getting ready for a trip and on shore power it's fine to use the 120v if you have a day or more for it to get the fridge down to temp, but if you're in a hurry use the propane.

It really helps to know how the fridge works for making these decisions.

There are plenty of other reasons your 8 year old RV fridge is not cooling properly. Check out YouTube for videos on testing and maximizing your fridge's operation.

In the 8 years of ownership Iíve learned a lot about keeping this fridge going, cleaning burner, chimney flue, propane regulator malfunction with incorrect pressure, which Iíve all fixed myself after warrenty expired. Iím not the type to give up quickly and just replace stuff. One of the benefits of being retired.
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