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Propane refrigerators

Old 05-28-2019, 06:01 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by BACKTOTHESEA View Post
When we were RV'ing on weekends the tank in the RV lasted just about the season. maybe 5 weeks total time and I would burn roughly the equivalent of 2 20# cylinders over 4-5 weeks total use, so about double what online and some others are saying. We didn't use much hot water as we showered at a marina and most cooking was on an outdoor grill. One online says 1-1.5 pounds a day which is more in line with my usage (more in the 1.5# range).

One thing I strongly suggest and makes a huge difference in how cold it will operate. Add a low amperage ventilation fan to the vent stack. Not the exhaust vent but the vent for the coils. Without my fan running ice cream would be like soft serve at best. With it on, kept it similar to when you grab the 1/2 gallon out of the store freezer.

If buying a used one, inspect the coils very well (rust is culprit) and ask that it be pre-chilled and running when you show up. They take quite long to come to temperature and you will be waiting a while to see if it actually works if it is not already running. Also make sure parts are still available. There are a few doo dads (for lack of the technical terms) for the propane system that seem to fail from time to time and there may also be a circuit board.
This. When we were RVing we bought a neat little fan made from a computer fan that ran on D batteries for about 2 weeks. Hung on the interior coils and circulated air to chill the box. Worked great. They do take a couple hours to chill down so plan accordingly.
The burner is actually about like a pilot light. Doesn’t use a whole lot of gas.
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Old 05-28-2019, 07:43 PM
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Don't buy a Norcold. They have a tendency to catch fire. A lot of motorhomes have burned due to the Norcold. If yo buy used, inspect the coils and if there is any rust on them, don't buy it.. Rust on the coils is a sign that it has overheated and will be subject to leaks which aren't repairable without replacing the entire cooling unit.
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Old 05-28-2019, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Boataholic View Post
These are true propane only 'fridges. Light operated by a battery (small one I assume). I bet they aren't cheap though,

Unique Off Grid

https://bensdiscountsupply.com/propa...rs-6-15-cu-ft/
okay since I’m the OP I guess I can hijack my own thread —

so if one one is living off the grid (solar,wind,etc) are propane refrigerators allowed? Where would one get the propane? I’m just wondering.

Thanks to everyone who responded. I appreciate the comments.
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Old 05-29-2019, 03:23 AM
  #24  
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https://bensdiscountsupply.com/diamo...hite-19-cu-ft/

here is sample...

when we had our “off grid” camp the propane guy still got to it....

Grid was the electrical grid for which we rigged up solar, batteries and a generator...

I preferred to haul coolers with ice and drive 30 miles to town after a couple days....

This was before Yeti’s... haha...
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Old 05-29-2019, 04:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Bayou Dularge View Post


okay since I’m the OP I guess I can hijack my own thread —

so if one one is living off the grid (solar,wind,etc) are propane refrigerators allowed? Where would one get the propane? I’m just wondering.

Thanks to everyone who responded. I appreciate the comments.

You would have to carry the propane in if you cant get a delivery. We have ours brought in on a boat. We use about 4, 100 lb tanks per season (may to sept) and we use it for the fridge, hot water heater, and stove. I am very close to pulling the trigger on setting up enough solar to run an electric fridge. There are two ways to go about it. Inverter and "regular" fridge, or a low voltage fridge. They make them in 12 and 24v. Probably other voltages too, depending on the setup. The inverter way requires more solar/batteries because you have efficiency loss. The low voltage refrigerators are expensive to buy, and likely harder to get parts for when service is required. I go back and forth regularly about which version is better and have not made up my mind completely. I do know I want out of the propane fridge though. They just aren't as consistent as a compressor refrigerator. If you really want to get into it, go to this forum SolarPanelTalk and you will find all you ever wanted and more. They helped me upgrade my solar 2 years ago and its been great.
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Old 05-29-2019, 05:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Bayou Dularge View Post
Thanks. Great reply. This fridge would sit mostly unused at my camp in the marsh. When not occupied the internal temps soar to 100+ and the humidity is about the same.

The words “circuit board” scare me. I’ve not had much luck with appliances stored down there.

Thanks for the the detailed response. You saved me some money and headaches.
How often will the camp be used and for how long each visit?
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Old 05-29-2019, 07:14 PM
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We go to the camp "as often as possible" but until I win the Powerball I only visit my camp a few times a year (8-9 at most). Usually a one night or two night visit.

We haul ice down there (Yea, I've got a Yeti but depending on the temp we often don't take it because of the weight).

We run the A/C and lights off a generator. We also have 110v H20 heater for the showers.

i'm starting to wonder if i could power up a 110v small fridge if I unplugged it when we ran the water heaters.

About 15 years ago I had another camp that had a propane fridge. It was small and only worked about half the time.

I really appreciate the time folks took to respond to this post. Please keep posting your comments. I find them all very helpful.
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Old 05-29-2019, 07:19 PM
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Would need to know gen size watts etc to answer above question
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Old 05-29-2019, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Basketcase View Post
You would have to carry the propane in if you cant get a delivery. We have ours brought in on a boat. We use about 4, 100 lb tanks per season (may to sept) and we use it for the fridge, hot water heater, and stove. I am very close to pulling the trigger on setting up enough solar to run an electric fridge. There are two ways to go about it. Inverter and "regular" fridge, or a low voltage fridge. They make them in 12 and 24v. Probably other voltages too, depending on the setup. The inverter way requires more solar/batteries because you have efficiency loss. The low voltage refrigerators are expensive to buy, and likely harder to get parts for when service is required. I go back and forth regularly about which version is better and have not made up my mind completely. I do know I want out of the propane fridge though. They just aren't as consistent as a compressor refrigerator. If you really want to get into it, go to this forum SolarPanelTalk and you will find all you ever wanted and more. They helped me upgrade my solar 2 years ago and its been great.
Okay, you've got my attention.
We have a 12v solar panel mounted to charge the 12v battery that powers our emergency 12v lights and our water pump. On the battery we a 110v battery charger .

Because of everyone's informed responses I'm not going to get a propane fridge.

I'm wondering if buying an inexpensive 110v fridge and running it on the generator (two Honda 2200 run in parallel).

We need the two 110v A/C running and I'm going to have to figure out if the generators would support the lights (Mostly LEDs) and the fridge or the water heater).

I appreciate all comments.

Thank you.
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Old 05-29-2019, 07:25 PM
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4400 should run that at idle
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Old 05-29-2019, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by bluffman2 View Post
4400 should run that at idle
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Old 05-29-2019, 07:40 PM
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You said 2 gens 2200 watts run in pair. That’s 4400 watts. That’s more than what you need
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Old 05-29-2019, 07:41 PM
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Also, we carry a 5 gallon tank of propane in with use on each trip. This powers the stove and, if needed, propane heaters.
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Old 05-29-2019, 07:56 PM
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If you're going to run on an inverter or even generator, check into the soft start or hard start modules. You can get away with seriously less power to start the unit compressor which may save you a decent amount long term by not having to spend as much on equipment or fuel.

Since you said camp, I wonder how much of a fridge you really need. Perhaps one of the 12v chest style expedition freezer/fridge combos may be enough, especially paired with a good cooler. And they are very rugged.

Otherwise, yeah get the RV fridge. But keep in mind on 12v they are best at maintaining the temp and the initial cooling is best done by a stronger power source and by loading it with cool stuff to help by using the thermal mass to drop temp. But not something you want to load into a 100 degree hot box.
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Old 05-29-2019, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by bluffman2 View Post
Would need to know gen size watts etc to answer above question
Two Honda 2200i generators run in parallel. +/- 4000 watts.
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Old 05-30-2019, 03:18 AM
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I have a medium sized one at the camp. We have 1 hundred pound cylinders and typically use one cylinder between Nov. 1st and Jan 31. We use gas for cooking and refrigeration and only light the fridge during that period. (hunting season)
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Old 05-30-2019, 04:09 AM
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You need to get 1 or 2 120amp deep cycle batteries and a good solar panel like
https://www.sunyee.com.au/solar-panel.html
charge one during the day and the other runs the engle or similar fridge. Than swap over the next day.even the flexible panel would be good.
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Old 05-30-2019, 04:35 AM
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If it were me, I'd try and rely less on gen power and more on power you didn't have to tend to as much. If you NEED the AC, that will be tough but the rest is easy. I'm working towards becoming less fuel dependent at our camp, but we are fortunate enough to have propane delivery and running water. You could easily run 12v Fridge, lights, phone chargers, etc off of a few high voltage solar panels (Less expensive than 12v, per watt) and a few batteries. We run 2, 6v batteries in series and run all 12v accessories. A lot of LED lights, phone chargers, a small inverter for "whatever". There are some folks on the island that have enough solar to run pretty much everything they need. Ceiling fans, vacuum cleaners, etc. It gets expensive but it can be done.

Here is a 12v fridge that is probably a good size for most camps. Solar Fridge

Here is a 345watt panel. Astronergy

If I had to guess, I'd say 3 or 4 of those panels, 4 or 6 golf cart batteries, and the right charge controller and you would be all set. Totally guessing, knowing nothing about your loads. Once this is set up, the only thing you'd need the gen for would be the AC and maybe hot water heater, unless you did a solar one That is next on my list.
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Old 05-30-2019, 04:43 AM
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Basket - thanks your comments are very helpful.

About 9 months out of the year we need the A/C down there. We’ve got two or three window 110v A/Cs.
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Old 05-30-2019, 05:36 AM
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Basket - solar water heater? Please tell me more. The environment where my camp around my camp is tough.
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