Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Full-time RVing: Convert RV fridge to residential
Open Roads Forum Already a member? Login here.   If not, Register Today!  |  Help

Newest  |  Active  |  Popular  |  RVing FAQ Forum Rules  |  Forum Posting Help and Support  |  Contact  

Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Full-time RVing

Open Roads Forum  >  Full-time RVing

 > Convert RV fridge to residential

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 3  
Prev  |  Next
time2roll

Southern California

Senior Member

Joined: 03/21/2005

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member


Posted: 02/27/22 10:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would tend to wait on the fridge as it could consume 40% to 60% of your solar. See how the consumption goes and when all is well, go for it. If you find a preference to have extra capacity to run the air conditioner a few hours the fridge could push the limits of production and storage.


2001 F150 SuperCrew
2006 Keystone Springdale 249FWBHLS
675w Solar pictures back up

ajriding

st clair

Senior Member

Joined: 12/28/2004

View Profile



Posted: 03/09/22 10:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Bad idea for boondockiing. Those who install resi fridges tend to drive from outlet to outlet and are always plugged into hookups. This is just not a good solution for an RV.
Running an inverter to run a fridge is just not a good use of available battery power. You will be replacing batteries more often due to cycling them regularly.

There are electric DC fridges that will run more efficiently and could work for boondocking.

Are you not wanting the propane fridge because of high outside/ambient temps? That makes sense as the propane absorption fridges do have limitations and needs at higher outside temps.

The best solution is to address the weaknesses of the propane fridge or to install a DC fridge that uses a Danfoss -style compressor. The chest fridges are the most efficient, but there are front opening fridges also. There are also kits to convert a propane fridge to a compressor DC fridge, but this is only for a few select models and requires some know-how and time.

My advice is that you will be glad to have spent extra money to do it right than to have dying batteries constantly from trying to run a resi fridge off grid

phemens

Montreal, Canada

Senior Member

Joined: 09/18/2006

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 03/09/22 10:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ajriding wrote:

Bad idea for boondockiing. Those who install resi fridges tend to drive from outlet to outlet and are always plugged into hookups. This is just not a good solution for an RV.
Running an inverter to run a fridge is just not a good use of available battery power. You will be replacing batteries more often due to cycling them regularly.

There are electric DC fridges that will run more efficiently and could work for boondocking.

Are you not wanting the propane fridge because of high outside/ambient temps? That makes sense as the propane absorption fridges do have limitations and needs at higher outside temps.

The best solution is to address the weaknesses of the propane fridge or to install a DC fridge that uses a Danfoss -style compressor. The chest fridges are the most efficient, but there are front opening fridges also. There are also kits to convert a propane fridge to a compressor DC fridge, but this is only for a few select models and requires some know-how and time.

My advice is that you will be glad to have spent extra money to do it right than to have dying batteries constantly from trying to run a resi fridge off grid


Sorry, I disagree. Converting to a residential fridge was the single best thing we did on our rig. We boondock exclusively and have a setup almost identical to the OP's proposal. It works great and it certainly does not draw down the battery bank. We typically make very free use of the available battery capacity (600 AH Li) and wake up to 70-75% available, which is topped up before noon. Our batteries have never been below 50%.


2012 Dutchman Denali 324LBS behind a 2006 Ford F-250 V10 out of Montreal
1 DW, 1 DD, 1 DS, 2 HD (Hyper Dogs)
1200w solar, 600AH LIFePO4, Yamaha EF2000 gen, Samlex 3000w Inverter

Cptnvideo

Arizona - most of the time

Senior Member

Joined: 11/05/2006

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 03/09/22 11:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks, phemens. From what I've been reading, the newer res fridges are very efficient. And if you look at the annual kwh and divide it out to daily, it is very low.


Bill & Linda
Arizona
2019 Dodge Laramie 3500 dually 4x4 diesel
Hensley Trailer Saver BD5 hitch
2022 Grand Design Solitude 378MBS
1600 watts solar, 3kw inverter/charger, 3 206AH LiFePo4 batteries

Cptnvideo

Arizona - most of the time

Senior Member

Joined: 11/05/2006

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 05/01/22 01:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

After having issues getting the RV fridge to remain under 43° while on propane (and 2 different techs could not find anything wrong with the system), we decided to replace it with a Whirlpool 19.4 cu ft residential fridge. And we couldn't be happier. The res fridge draws 5.2 amps per hour from our battery bank. (This is going by the 569 kwh annual draw as stated by the manufacturer.) 569000/365/24/12.5 = 5.196 amps

Cptnvideo

Arizona - most of the time

Senior Member

Joined: 11/05/2006

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 05/10/22 06:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Phemens, we're not quite as efficient as you but we might have a larger fridge.
We've been boondocking for 5 days (and the first time since the residential fridge install). Batteries went into absorb charge at 2:30 MST. We wake up with about a 50% charge. Main TV only draws 3 amps when on, but that microwave sure does draw the current. When my wife turned it on to heat lunch, the system went from 55 amps going into the batteries to 55 amps going out.

23mikey

Home is Where You Park at Night

Full Member

Joined: 04/08/2006

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 05/12/22 03:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Cptnvideo, your setup is similar to ours. Factory installed residential Samsung 18cuft had it's own 1000w inverter, for traveling. I have added 1200w solar and 3kw inverter. With adequate sun our batteries (4x100ah Li) are back to 100% by mid-day. The one thing I found to be most helpful on the Samsung is to turn ON the E-Saver feature. I believe it turns off the door seal heater to keep moisture and condensation to a minimum. Really only needed in high humidity areas and a definite energy hog.

Safe Travels,
Mike


2018 F350 DRW Lariat PSD
2019 VanLeigh Vilano 320GK 1200w Solar, 400aH Battleborn, 3kw Magnum Hybrid Inverter/charger, Disc brakes, Sailun G rated tires

Cptnvideo

Arizona - most of the time

Senior Member

Joined: 11/05/2006

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 05/12/22 08:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Mike, ours is a 20cf Whirlpool. I'll have to look into the E saver.
But we were at 100% SOC by 9 am MST this morning.

BackOfThePack

Fort Worth

Full Member

Joined: 08/03/2020

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 06/05/22 06:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Propane systems are dirt simple, reliable & safe as well as cheap.

None of which can be said for solar electric.

Solar panels are nice when they work. Sort of like wind turbines. I’ve had them thirty years. Great marginal addition.

3-way reefer in current trailer is 20-years old this year. High hours of use.
If one has problems, search for answers (badly-built trailers feature bad installations).

Maximize each system to work well with the others. And, to a goal of being without re-supply up to X-nights-aboard with Y-people and Z-gallons fresh water. There is no point in overdoing that system which doesn’t matter when other supply causes one to have to move or to go to town.

Fit the pieces together. There’s plenty one can do IF he wants to provide EVERY service via ONLY propane, or 12V or 120V (Upgrades & additions).

Propane & Water are the essential systems in a camper. They are at the defining point of what is meant by “self-sufficient”.

Electric isn’t even needed except for water pump and furnace. Get priorities straight.

There’s nothing “simple” about solar electric. It has multiple failure points built-in. (When that happens, your 3-way will switch over to propane).


2004 555 CTD QC LB NV-5600
1990 35’ Silver Streak

Cptnvideo

Arizona - most of the time

Senior Member

Joined: 11/05/2006

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 06/05/22 07:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Why is it that I have not seen one person that regrets going from a propane fridge to a residential fridge?
Solar is extremely reliable but if ours should ever fail, we have a backup generator. Solar allows us to boondock practically indefinitely in peace and quiet. The only limitation is dumping and water. We can even go without propane if we don't mind waking up a little chilly.

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 3  
Prev  |  Next

Open Roads Forum  >  Full-time RVing

 > Convert RV fridge to residential
Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Full-time RVing


New posts No new posts
Closed, new posts Closed, no new posts
Moved, new posts Moved, no new posts

Adjust text size:




© 2022 CWI, Inc. © 2022 Good Sam Enterprises, LLC. All Rights Reserved.