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Open Roads Forum  >  General RVing Issues

 > New camper without 12 volt fridge

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Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 11/08/22 07:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

dedmiston wrote:

Grit dog wrote:

No I don’t remember. In 2005 our camper was made by Kelty. (A tent, lol)


Awesome. I gave my girlfriend (now wife) a tent for Christmas the first year we were dating.

Lol
When I got married I had to begin convincing my wife that “roughing it” didn’t mean having to stay at the Super 8 vs the Marriot!

We tent camped until moving to AK. (When I joined Rvnet). She drew the line at Grizzly bears. Funny story, our first night across the border driving up there with the first TC on the the ole pickemup, seen a grizz about 1/2 mile from where we broke camp in the morning….lol


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Pbutler97

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Posted: 11/09/22 02:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It's simple, it's all about the bottom line for the RV manufacturer. They've collectively never once done anything or made a change because it's better.

12v fridges are cheaper to buy, and much cheaper / faster for the manufacturer to install. Most are already throwing cheap solar on as mandatory options anyway no matter if it's capable of supporting a 12v fridge or not, so that does not get added into the equation. As an example an absorbtion fridge is an option with Forest Rivers Rockwood/Flagstaff brands, starting at around $550.00 on the smaller units that have a standard size fridge. It's more for a double door on the larger ones.

* This post was edited 11/09/22 03:07am by Pbutler97 *

goducks10

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Posted: 11/09/22 09:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Norcolds leaving the US for greener pastures.
Not sure how that will affect anything but it does suck.
https://www.rvtravel.com/norcold-shut-refrigerator-manufacturing-rvt-1077b/

valhalla360

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Posted: 11/10/22 12:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Grit dog wrote:

That’s really sad if LP fired camper fridges are now in short supply.
Although supply and demand I suppose. What % of RVers actually need the LP side of a 2 or 3way fridge? (Used to be all 3 way fridges not so many years ago, then 2 way)
I’d like to say I’m that guy but if I’m honest, I need LP less than 50% of the time.
So the real issue is are the camper mfgs setting up the power and charging (solar) to handle a DC only fridge for an acceptable amount of time?
Doubt it. So there’s a required upgrade right outta the box!


3 way never made a lot of sense as the 12vDC option was always a looser. At upwards of 30amps, even plugged into the truck while towing, the batteries were still going to get drained. Simpler just to leave it closed for a few hours while driving.

The real catch is what is an "acceptable amount of time". I'm betting off grid use represents less than 5% of users. At maybe 4amps@12v while running, the truck pigtail is more than enough to cover the fridge while towing and then it's on to shore power.

Somewhere around 100-150w of solar and a couple basic 100amp-hr batteries will handle a 12v fridge. Most who do a lot of off grid camping are already installing substantial solar/battery systems, so the 12v fridge fits nicely.


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valhalla360

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Posted: 11/10/22 01:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Pbutler97 wrote:

It's simple, it's all about the bottom line for the RV manufacturer. They've collectively never once done anything or made a change because it's better.

12v fridges are cheaper to buy, and much cheaper / faster for the manufacturer to install. Most are already throwing cheap solar on as mandatory options anyway no matter if it's capable of supporting a 12v fridge or not, so that does not get added into the equation. As an example an absorbtion fridge is an option with Forest Rivers Rockwood/Flagstaff brands, starting at around $550.00 on the smaller units that have a standard size fridge. It's more for a double door on the larger ones.


At least at the retail level, price is about a wash. The upcharge for absorption on new RVs is to discourage customization. It's cheaper to install the same appliance every time.

If they are throwing in a low end solar system, it's probably more expensive to put in 12v vs running an extra branch on the propane system...but again, probably not by much.

The bigger reason is marketing. We probably have 50% more interior space in our 12v fridge for the same size cabinet opening. That is a selling point and to be honest, it's a good one that provides value.

Reisender

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Posted: 11/10/22 06:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

valhalla360 wrote:

Pbutler97 wrote:

It's simple, it's all about the bottom line for the RV manufacturer. They've collectively never once done anything or made a change because it's better.

12v fridges are cheaper to buy, and much cheaper / faster for the manufacturer to install. Most are already throwing cheap solar on as mandatory options anyway no matter if it's capable of supporting a 12v fridge or not, so that does not get added into the equation. As an example an absorbtion fridge is an option with Forest Rivers Rockwood/Flagstaff brands, starting at around $550.00 on the smaller units that have a standard size fridge. It's more for a double door on the larger ones.


At least at the retail level, price is about a wash. The upcharge for absorption on new RVs is to discourage customization. It's cheaper to install the same appliance every time.

If they are throwing in a low end solar system, it's probably more expensive to put in 12v vs running an extra branch on the propane system...but again, probably not by much.

The bigger reason is marketing. We probably have 50% more interior space in our 12v fridge for the same size cabinet opening. That is a selling point and to be honest, it's a good one that provides value.


Yah for sure. We have a 3 way 3.7 cubic foot in ours trailer. The DC 12 volt compressor models are a slide in replacement and I think they are close to 5 cubic foot. Ours works fine but when it’s time to replace it we’ll put a DC compressor fridge in its place.

aftermath

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Posted: 11/10/22 08:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have an older Airstream and have day dreamed about getting a new(er) one but no more. They have "improved" them to the point where I don't want one anymore. The 12 v fridge was the first step. These are better in some regards but they require more electricity. That is OK if you 1. Always plug in, or 2. Add solar and/or 3. Upgrade to a more expensive battery pack.

Then they went to on demand water heaters which are fine if you are connected to a water hose. Trying to boondock with one of these is a challenge. They have a work around for that too but it is some kind of recycling faucet that costs even more money.

Then of course you get automatic stablilzers and automatic awnings. Hey, nothing can go wrong with these don't you know?


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Bobbo

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Posted: 11/10/22 08:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Agreed. I bought a new 2017 Airstream. There was nothing wrong with it that a Progressive Dynamics converter didn't fix. (Had the converter delivered before taking possession of the Airstream. Never even plugged it in with the factory converter.) Propane oven AND microwave. Six gallon propane/electric water heater tank. Propane/electric refrigerator. Since we boondock, a lot, I would not even consider a new Airstream today.


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Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 11/11/22 09:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Bobbo wrote:

Agreed. I bought a new 2017 Airstream. There was nothing wrong with it that a Progressive Dynamics converter didn't fix. (Had the converter delivered before taking possession of the Airstream. Never even plugged it in with the factory converter.) Propane oven AND microwave. Six gallon propane/electric water heater tank. Propane/electric refrigerator. Since we boondock, a lot, I would not even consider a new Airstream today.


You’re saying the gold standard of TTs came with a cheapo converter just like my Indiana Special camper? That’s pathetic….

Bobbo

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Posted: 11/11/22 07:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Grit dog wrote:

Bobbo wrote:

Agreed. I bought a new 2017 Airstream. There was nothing wrong with it that a Progressive Dynamics converter didn't fix. (Had the converter delivered before taking possession of the Airstream. Never even plugged it in with the factory converter.) Propane oven AND microwave. Six gallon propane/electric water heater tank. Propane/electric refrigerator. Since we boondock, a lot, I would not even consider a new Airstream today.


You’re saying the gold standard of TTs came with a cheapo converter just like my Indiana Special camper? That’s pathetic….

Yep. Parallax 8355. Sitting in my garage, for free, if anyone wants to drive by and get it. The next year, 2018, Airstream went to a WFCO converter/charger. Better, but not by much. If mine had come with the WFCO, I still would have put in the Progressive Dynamics as soon as received.

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