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  1. #4201
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Sierras
    Posts
    162
    Quote Originally Posted by Eldo View Post
    I have 2 12-volt AGMs in my camper van out of necessity because they are located in the living quarters.

    AGMs cost twice as much but can last twice as many cycles.

    Also, discharging an AGM below 50 per cent has way less effect on total cycle lifespan so I'm comfortable going down to 25 per cent any time I want. So effectively I have more amp hours available, which makes up some of that 2 times cost of an AGM.

    The AGMs were in the van when I bought it in 2006 and are probably in need of replacement due to lessened capacity. I upgraded my solar to 150 watts this past spring but then swapped out my 12-volt only fridge for a propane one so ended up having amp hours galore even with the old AGMs.

    I lived in the van full time this past April to Sep but haven’t used it for winter camping for several years since I now live slopeside during the ski season. For sure I would need new AGMs asap to do any cold weather camping.
    I haven't read of many people going 12v fridge to propane, usually it's the other way around. How come?

    Sent from my SM-G950U using TGR Forums mobile app

  2. #4202
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Sun Peaks Resort
    Posts
    413
    Quote Originally Posted by McScrundle View Post
    I haven't read of many people going 12v fridge to propane, usually it's the other way around. How come?

    Sent from my SM-G950U using TGR Forums mobile app
    12v fridge draws a fair amount of power and in winter there is not enough sunny days and daylight hours for solar to be a reliable source of power. And in winter propane fridges sip propane.

  3. #4203
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    PNW
    Posts
    4,841
    ... and in winter you can pack snow and run no power to the cooler.
    PE, Mechanical Engineering
    University of Bridger Bowl Alumnus
    Alpental Creeper

  4. #4204
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Shuswap Highlands
    Posts
    2,173
    The benefit of the 12V fridge IMO, is that it can be operated while traveling, when the propane is supposed to be shut off. So if there are long legs of travel between camps, it is nice for keeping the ice cubes from melting. But ya, on batteries alone, the heating element is a serious draw on the batteries.

  5. #4205
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Sun Peaks Resort
    Posts
    413
    Quote Originally Posted by BCMtnHound View Post
    The benefit of the 12V fridge IMO, is that it can be operated while traveling, when the propane is supposed to be shut off. So if there are long legs of travel between camps, it is nice for keeping the ice cubes from melting. But ya, on batteries alone, the heating element is a serious draw on the batteries.
    These days propane fridges and heaters do NOT operate with a constant pilot light so as the appliance cycles on and off the propane supply is also turned on and off. This is why I drive with propane and fridge on.

  6. #4206
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Shuswap Highlands
    Posts
    2,173
    Quote Originally Posted by DanoT View Post
    These days propane fridges and heaters do NOT operate with a constant pilot light so as the appliance cycles on and off the propane supply is also turned on and off. This is why I drive with propane and fridge on.
    Do you shut off the fridge before pulling into the gas station?

  7. #4207
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Sun Peaks Resort
    Posts
    413
    Quote Originally Posted by BCMtnHound View Post
    Do you shut off the fridge before pulling into the gas station?
    I am pumping diesel and the fridge is on the other side of the truck from the filler spout, so the fridge stays on.

  8. #4208
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    LV-426
    Posts
    15,481
    Quote Originally Posted by BCMtnHound View Post
    Do you shut off the fridge before pulling into the gas station?
    My fridge has an automatic pilot, but once lit, it's always on until I turn off the fridge. I leave it running on propane while driving, even when getting gas, and the gas inlet is only about 3' away from the fridge vents on the side of the camper. Haven't died yet.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  9. #4209
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Portland by way of Bozeman
    Posts
    2,817
    I continue to watch this thread with great interest. I'm awfully close to selling my diesel burning pepper wagon and older F-150 for a new F-150 and finding a good camper. It's time.

    I have a raft of questions, but need to get them ordered and such before I start shot-gunning them at this thread.

  10. #4210
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Portland by way of Bozeman
    Posts
    2,817

  11. #4211
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    1,695
    Wow that kicks ass. Showed that to a friend who got a delica and now they are kinda bummed. Lol

  12. #4212
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    494
    Quote Originally Posted by Bobcat Sig View Post
    Unrelated to my quest but mega rad: https://seattle.craigslist.org/see/c...772198635.html
    I used to live about a block from this guy. Honestly seemed a bit sketch when I stopped in but based on how many cars going through seems to be selling them.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk

  13. #4213
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    3,487
    Quote Originally Posted by Bobcat Sig View Post
    Unrelated to my quest but mega rad: https://seattle.craigslist.org/see/c...772198635.html
    76 horsepower at 4,000 rpm lolololol
    Sounds great to tour Kansas.

  14. #4214
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Sun Peaks Resort
    Posts
    413
    Quote Originally Posted by Bobcat Sig View Post
    I continue to watch this thread with great interest. I'm awfully close to selling my diesel burning pepper wagon and older F-150 for a new F-150 and finding a good camper. It's time.

    I have a raft of questions, but need to get them ordered and such before I start shot-gunning them at this thread.
    You will be hard pressed to find a good camper that is light enough for an F150. F350 or possibly get away with F250.

  15. #4215
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Meiss Meadows
    Posts
    1,087
    The only time my fridge is off is when I am pumping gas or propane.

  16. #4216
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Eburg
    Posts
    13,381
    Quote Originally Posted by McScrundle View Post
    I haven't read of many people going 12v fridge to propane, usually it's the other way around. How come?
    Nearly all U.S. RV refrigerators can work on 12V. Maybe you're talking about absorption vs. compressor units? Compressor units (electric only) are very energy efficient and can run on a cabin battery for many days. With a solar panel and a few hours of sun every couple days they will run indefinitely. Temperature control is far superior to absorption units. They just work better, chill down no matter the weather conditions, set and forget temperature control. No contest.

    The only advantage of an absorption refrigerator is that it can run on propane. They do not chill below 45F or even higher in some conditions (wet, humid or hot). They are very inefficient when used on 12V mode, so much so that the rule is just don't do it unless your engine is running. An absorption unit in 12V mode can drain a cabin battery in a few hours. They need to be level to work properly, and on unlevel ground the membrane can rupture, ruining the unit and making your RV smell like ammonia. I know. Temperature setting with an absorption unit is guesswork -- a setting of 5 could result in icing up one day and 50F on another day.

    If you have an absorption refrigerator and make it work for you, that's cool and there's no need to swap out. I made mine work well enough on most trips for 12 years. But then I got a compressor refrigerator in my new rig and I'd never think of going back to a 3-way absorption fridge. If you're buying a new camper or RV and have a choice, get a compressor unit. If you plan to do extended boondocking, get a solar setup.
    Last edited by GeezerSteve; 12-14-2018 at 05:28 PM.

  17. #4217
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Sierras
    Posts
    162
    Quote Originally Posted by GeezerSteve View Post
    If you're buying a new camper or RV and have a choice, get a compressor unit. If you plan to do extended boondocking, get a solar setup.
    Oh absolutely, I swapped my propane fridge out for a compressor fridge almost immediately. This summer it couldn't keep food below 60F, making it perfect for growing bacteria.


    Sent from my SM-G950U using TGR Forums mobile app

  18. #4218
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Tahoe-ish
    Posts
    699
    I've spent the last few days gutting and starting the rebuild of my '82 Winnebago (GM 6.2l diesel with Banks turbo--it can go uphill at like 30mph).

    I put in one of the knockoff Webasto diesel heaters ($200 on eBay) and am super stoked about it. It sips fuel and cranks nice, dry heat.

    I'll prob hit the road early Jan for 6 weeks or so in search of good snow and touring locations. Of course, if things here in Tahoe get better, I might just stick around.Name:  15448455418300.jpeg
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    Sent from my VS996 using Tapatalk
    ride bikes, climb, ski, travel, cook, work to fund former, repeat.

  19. #4219
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    20 steps from the hot tub
    Posts
    3,658
    Quote Originally Posted by McScrundle View Post
    I haven't read of many people going 12v fridge to propane, usually it's the other way around. How come?
    Geezer Steve posted some reasons why a 12-volt compressor fridge is better than an absorption 12/propane/120 fridge.

    But for me it came down to the fact my fridge was 80s vintage, so about one-third as efficient as a modern DC model. It was a strain on my electrical system and I could get a propane fridge at a junkyard for $20.

    If I had $1,000 handy I’d definitely buy a new 12-volt fridge.
    "Good girls go to heaven. Bad ones go to hell. And girls on fast bikes go anywhere they want." Elena

  20. #4220
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Golden BC
    Posts
    3,548
    Quote Originally Posted by GeezerSteve View Post

    The only advantage of an absorption refrigerator is that it can run on propane. They do not chill below 45F or even higher in some conditions (wet, humid or hot).
    .
    The propane frig has a freezer section in the trailer and it freezes so 25F or so.
    Mrs. Dougw- "I can see how one of your relatives could have been killed by an angry mob."

    Quote Originally Posted by ill-advised strategy View Post
    dougW, you motherfucking dirty son of a bitch.

  21. #4221
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Marquette MI
    Posts
    2,063
    Quote Originally Posted by climberevan View Post
    I've spent the last few days gutting and starting the rebuild of my '82 Winnebago (GM 6.2l diesel with Banks turbo--it can go uphill at like 30mph).

    I put in one of the knockoff Webasto diesel heaters ($200 on eBay) and am super stoked about it. It sips fuel and cranks nice, dry heat.
    More info on the knock off Webasto? Looks sweet!

  22. #4222
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Marquette MI
    Posts
    2,063
    As far as the whole fridge debate goes, the compressor fridge is the way to go if you're building something. My 3 way fridge works on propane, or AC. The 12v mode does nothing but draw about 14+ amp hours when read off my Trimetric, which will nuke my 255AH battery bank in about 10 hours, assuming no solar input, or other draws, oh and also it melts my ice cream, so double bad.

    That said if we're only talking about ski RV use, my fridge more keeps my spaghetti sauce from freezing than cooling anything down. In the desert I flip to propane mode, and melt my cheese when I drive off and forget to re-light it when I stop.

    As far as turning the gas off when driving, the risk is if you get in a wreck and your bottle is open. The pilot (at least mine) will extinguish itself going any faster than about 30 and shut the gas off once the thermocouple cools (seconds). Some fridges have no standing pilot, using a piezzo style igniter instead, and probably keep struggling to re-light until you stop, probably not a good idea to leave on, but any gas that builds up will blow out, so little explosion risk.

  23. #4223
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Lupiter
    Posts
    106
    Quote Originally Posted by Bobcat Sig View Post
    Unrelated to my quest but mega rad: https://seattle.craigslist.org/see/c...772198635.html
    This guy is scoring some true gems of japanese squibularity. I wonder if this harebrained idea is pulling profit. Right area. Close to pacific distributors, especially down from Canada. As long as they're 25+ years old, I wonder how much supply is really over there on the other side of the sea.

  24. #4224
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    232
    ^ apparently a lot. There’s a guy in southern Virginia doing the same thing, always wanted to check out his inventory. Some of it looks like it might be hell to get parts for, and I wonder how much a pain the RHD is.

  25. #4225
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    1,057
    Quote Originally Posted by GeezerSteve View Post
    They need to be level to work properly, and on unlevel ground the membrane can rupture, ruining the unit and making your RV smell like ammonia. I know.
    How level is level? My driveway is just under 5°. Then again, I don't even know what kind of fridge I have!

    Quote Originally Posted by DanoT View Post
    You will be hard pressed to find a good camper that is light enough for an F150. F350 or possibly get away with F250.
    Listen to the man, Ryan. ESPECIALLY if you might want to tow around your little motorbikes with a camper on. Half-ton trucks limit you (for the most part) to pop-ups. Depends on your comfort level though. Hard-sided campers can certainly be done on half-tons (see Norsemen, et. al.), but they're not really designed for it, and you'll be aware of that fact on icy mountain roads. I probably have the lightest camper that any red-blooded american is running on an F-350, and I'm glad I didn't get any less truck. Other than the turning radius, the new F-350 rides nearly as well as my 2016 Tundra (non-TRD) did. The new truck with the camper on it gets 2-3mpg more going up the mountain than the Tundra did empty, and closer to 6mpg better if both are hauling 4k lbs.

    Scratch all this if you dig a pop-up like the FWC Hawk.

    Hit me up any weekend you're at Meadows and come chill in the camper.

    Quote Originally Posted by jaja111 View Post
    This guy is scoring some true gems of japanese squibularity. I wonder if this harebrained idea is pulling profit. Right area. Close to pacific distributors, especially down from Canada. As long as they're 25+ years old, I wonder how much supply is really over there on the other side of the sea.
    These old JDM campers look cool as hell, and I'd have bought one if I knew it would be reliable and serviceable (and had enough power...). Given those concerns, the price of admission feels a bit high--high enough to make that guy a profit if people are paying asking prices. Caveat: no personal experience with these, so maybe I'm missing something. The delica at my local hill certainly looks more awesome in person than they do online.

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