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Old 06-22-2018, 05:23 AM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: windsport
State: Arizona
Posts: 3
Refrigerator replacement

We have 35C 2016 Thor, wind-sport with house refrigerator. We hate it, because of all the battery power it robs us when dry camping. Four six volt batteries with 4-160 watt solar panels and it still wont keep up.
We would like to install a two way propane/elec unit. has anyone else done this? If so, how difficult is it to do?
Sure, we have a gen. but we don't like it running so much and that interferes with quiet time, usually from 10PM to 6AM

Yes, I know we can add more batteries but where do you stop? More solar panels. More, and bigger controller --- invert-er and so on ? --- $$$$$$$
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Old 06-22-2018, 11:26 AM   #2
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Model: 2017 Windsport 29M
State: Indiana
Posts: 3,532
Replacing a household refrigerator with an RV model would not be an easy task. RV models require a chimney for the propane fired ammonia boiler, this will require an outside wall vent and a rooftop vent. Running 12v and propane lines would be easy, the vents are what would require a lot of planning and work. Perhaps you could look at a more efficient refrigerator but even that would require a lot of work. Many household refrigerators would require removing the front windshield, the fridge is just to big to fit thru the door on most coaches.

Sorry, I know this probably isn’t what you want to read but these are the facts. In the long run it would be cheaper and easier to install the solar panels I know you don’t like. Wish I could have given you a better answer, hopefully someone else may have a better idea.
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Old 06-22-2018, 11:42 AM   #3
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Model: Axis 24.1
State: Michigan
Posts: 6,945
You could replace the residential fridge with an RV compressor based model. It will be a bit more efficient and will work directly off 12V instead of having to run through the inverter first, and no chimney required.

Check out the Novakool fridges.

Dometic makes some as well.

Oh and welcome to the site.
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Old 06-22-2018, 12:08 PM   #4
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Brand: Still Looking
State: Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike turner View Post

.....cut...

Sure, we have a gen. but we don't like it running so much and that interferes with quiet time, usually from 10PM to 6AM

Yes, I know we can add more batteries but where do you stop? More solar panels. More, and bigger controller --- invert-er and so on ? --- $$$$$$$
Not what you asked, but strictly going by the numbers, if you canít easily run your residential fridge through the 8-hour quiet time on 4 batteries, you may have some other issues affecting the entire system.

Have you tried doing an energy audit to quantify how much of the problem is the fridge? I donít doubt itís the biggest energy hog, but are you sure batteries are good? Or that solar is producing what it should, etc? What about other users?

I do understand your problem. My sister hated her residential fridge also, mostly for other reasons. They got rid of problem along with RV. The new motorhome has conventional RV fridge, albeit much smaller one.


Donít mean to question your plans, itís just that itís such a large and expensive project.
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