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Old 04-13-2018, 06:08 PM   #1
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Convert your current absorption fridge to a compressor driven residential fridge????

Just ran across this on another forum !!
Under $1,000 (parts + $300 install) to convert your current absorption fridge to a compressor driven residential fridge. (and no woodworking needed???)
Wish it had been available sooner!!

Products | JC Refrigeration
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Old 04-13-2018, 07:09 PM   #2
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So it is interesting, i was just on another forum lamenting that the 2019 of the next rig I want went from absorption to residential. Why not just put a residential in its place? And why do you want to switch?
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Old 04-13-2018, 07:24 PM   #3
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Inquiring minds want to know?
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Old 04-13-2018, 07:42 PM   #4
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Okay: What do you lose?

And what do you gain?

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Old 04-13-2018, 08:16 PM   #5
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Well I would guess a few things:
  • Rig no longer has to be level for it to run
  • Refer cools faster with a compressor
  • Colder temps in the box
  • Uses more electricity
  • No gas option
  • More $$ for the conversion
  • Need a genny and/or an inverter for it to run while boondocking/on the road
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Old 04-13-2018, 08:54 PM   #6
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I posted this for those that are having issues with their absorption fridge... and were thinking of going to a residential one..
The good with this is that you keep your original fridge and do not have to deal with woodworking/fitment size issues with a true residential fridge..
The bad (or good) is you no longer have to deal with propane..
And was told that there would not be a real need for additional batteries or so the mfg says..
I replaced our Damnetic #1492 which crapped out last year with a Samsung..
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Old 04-13-2018, 09:28 PM   #7
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So where's the DIY installation video they talk about? All the videos on their Video page are for replacing an absorbtion unit with another absorbtion unit. Been there done that on a previous TT.
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Old 04-13-2018, 09:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tfryman View Post
So where's the DIY installation video they talk about? All the videos on their Video page are for replacing an absorbtion unit with another absorbtion unit. Been there done that on a previous TT.
The vid for the residential isn't ready yet....
They just pop'd the cork on this not long ago...
On another forum one of the members has made an appointment today to have the update done in a week or 2 ..
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Old 04-13-2018, 10:03 PM   #9
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Now I see!
(The light finally went on in my head... )
This converts you over to a residential-style unit...

...and you lose the ability to run on propane

Interesting........ Thanks for posting it!
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Old 04-13-2018, 10:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Denman View Post
Now I see!
(The light finally went on in my head... )
This converts you over to a residential-style unit...

...and you lose the ability to run on propane

Interesting........ Thanks for posting it!
Yup straight electric.. then again, lose the "gotta be level to work" and the ice cream "STILL ain't frozen" complaints from THE... OWMBO'd.......
as well as should not have any "fire" issues....
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Old 04-13-2018, 10:22 PM   #11
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I'm not sure how my two coach batteries could handle the extra load....

But it DOES sound as if it would work for a lot of folks!

(Melting ice cream? That's what BIG spoons are for!)
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Old 04-14-2018, 11:52 AM   #12
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For that money you can just get a 110 ac/12vdc compressor direct replacement. Increase in battery load appears to 1 1/2 to 3 amps over the absorption type.
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Old 04-14-2018, 01:19 PM   #13
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Note that Norcold sells a compressor kit as well: Norcolder™ SCQT-4408F | Products | Thetford

Of course on Amazon its almost $1000 so for about the same price.

In addition A Nova cool compressor fridge is about $1500, or even more..$2500.
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Old 04-14-2018, 01:43 PM   #14
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I would also look at a new total replacement first to see if there is one that fits the RV’s fridge space. If the goal is to go with compressor cooling, thereby eliminating absorption (and propane), there are more units now being made that run on 120 VAC or 12 VDC.

Only as an example of what’s available, Norcold makes a 7 cubic foot that only uses a claimed .4 Amps on 120 AC and 3.2 Amps on 12 DC. For comparison that’s roughly the size you’d find in Axis/Vegas or many Class Cs.

It’s interesting that in the new Mercedes View tested by MotorHome magazine, Winnebago went with a compressor-only fridge; although a little small at 5 cubic feet for a Class C.
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Old 04-14-2018, 03:29 PM   #15
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Residential

Check others using the residential refrigerators to get the true power required under typical opening and closing conditions. Also, if you are running this via an inverter (not 12V) using your house batteries, take into account their efficiency ratings.

It's just that I have heard complaints about the real power demands and 12V battery energy available to run this type of refrigerator installed in recent RVs.

I dread hearing generators running all night to keep someone's ice cream frozen!
Let's all keep a set of jumper cables in our RV's to help them get their rigs started in the morning when their engine battery is also low on energy.

The absorption refrigerator is a very efficient machine when it is working properly and if you run out of propane, you can start your rig and take it down to get a propane refill.
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Old 04-14-2018, 04:23 PM   #16
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It would help a lot if we all use the term “residential” in same context.

A true residential used in houses/residences are normally much larger, and may not be as energy efficient. Also, large inverters running at low power demand waste power. For reference, many true residential use around 2 kWh per day, more or less.

By comparison, smaller compressor fridges like Norcold that I used as an example may only draw 3.2 Amps at 12 Volts, or 38 watts, which is 920 watt-hours per day (i.e. — .92 kWh per day).

It’s easy to see that these RV-specific smaller fridges may use a lot less power, and if we eliminate the inverter inefficiency required for true residential, the actual real-world difference is even greater.

I would rely on specifications and technical data more than on random reports from owners that may or may not even understand what they have, or why it doesn’t work as expected.
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Old 04-14-2018, 04:46 PM   #17
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It would help a lot if we all use the term “residential” in same context.

A true residential used in houses/residences are normally much larger, and may not be as energy efficient. Also, large inverters running at low power demand waste power. For reference, many true residential use around 2 kWh per day, more or less.

By comparison, smaller compressor fridges like Norcold that I used as an example may only draw 3.2 Amps at 12 Volts, or 38 watts, which is 920 watt-hours per day (i.e. — .92 kWh per day).

It’s easy to see that these RV-specific smaller fridges may use a lot less power, and if we eliminate the inverter inefficiency required for true residential, the actual real-world difference is even greater.

I would rely on specifications and technical data more than on random reports from owners that may or may not even understand what they have, or why it doesn’t work as expected.
A large, group 27 deep cycle battery has typically 100AH capacity. A brand new, in spec group 27 battery would provide 100AH/3.2A= 31.25 Hours of refrigeration if that was the ONLY load for this type of refrigerator. 2 batteries would provide 62.5/24 or 2.6 days of power again, if this were the only load on the 12V batteries AND they are brand new. An absorption can last weeks on typical propane storage capacities. Realistically, these are very different stored energy users. I think this is why the general RV user has an awakening when the new refrigeration is installed. I do like the convenience of a compressor run refrigerator for it's quick and cold refrigeration but would rather have the absorption type for various RV situations. It's just my opinion.
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Old 04-14-2018, 05:42 PM   #18
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Just saying we need to be careful not to compare apples and oranges.

The Winnebago View comes with two batteries, and if I compare that to my sister’s huge true-residential refrigerator plus its associated inverter inefficiency, it may easily require 3 or 4 times more energy (i.e. — battery capacity) to run as long. And not that many RVs with residential refrigerators have up to 8 house batteries.

I don’t doubt the “general RV user has an awakening”; in large part because the “average” person isn’t extremely analytical and therefore doesn’t understand what they are buying at a detail level.
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Old 04-14-2018, 08:28 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thehobe1 View Post
A large, group 27 deep cycle battery has typically 100AH capacity. A brand new, in spec group 27 battery would provide 100AH/3.2A= 31.25 Hours of refrigeration if that was the ONLY load for this type of refrigerator. 2 batteries would provide 62.5/24 or 2.6 days of power again, if this were the only load on the 12V batteries AND they are brand new. ...
... and you don't want them to last long... Otherwise figure your calculations on using 50% of the available capacity on regular basis. Occasional deeper discharge may be tolerated, but a steady diet to zero will dramatically shorten the life.

Reality the 2 battery solution would be just over a days use - and that still assumes it is the only load which also isn't likely reality.
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:22 PM   #20
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Assuming data is correct (and granted it has to be confirmed), 3.2 Amps for an entire day is 77 Amp-hours. A couple of typical golf cart batteries are rated 225 Amp-hours, so for those who will boondock and charge from solar, or run generator at least once a day, it will be very possible to obtain a 24-hour energy cycle.

Another way to look at it is that these refrigerators require one extra battery beyond what other 12V electrical loads require.

Spending over $1,000 to convert an existing fridge is something I wouldn’t do, but if given an option to buy a new Axis with 12V compressor in lieu of an absorption one meant to run on propane most of the time, I’d go all electric. It’s just a personal preference based on fact that it would power off alternator while driving, or shore power at campsites. Stopping overnight on road trips would be even easier since MH would only be stopped for 12 hours or less. Mostly, I’d see it as an investment towards making the motorhome simpler, and thus better for me.
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