going all electric on travel trailer - fridge, stove, water heater

Supervstech

Administrator
Staff member
Moderator
I repair commercial coolers and freezers, below a certain size they all use about the same wattage, it all depends on door frequency, and product changeover.
Residential coolers up to a single wide tall deck all use a small freezer box, and pump cooler air from below the frozen coil.
Dorm coolers have styles that use a cooler plate, some freeze, some only cool.
The boxes with freezer compartments use a freezer coil, and gravity or a small fan to chill the cooler section.
 

Professor Farnsworth

π•ƒπ• π•˜π•šπ•”π•’π• β„‚π• π•Ÿπ•€π•–π•’π•¦π•–π•Ÿπ•”π•–
All it tells me is they probably have one refrigeration unit they put in all models, or so it seems. It might work fine with all, but it won't cool them all equally. Longer to make ice, to reach set temp after restocking at Wally World, etc.
Correct, its almost all the same danfoss compressors ( with some minor variations) in almost everything, on boats there up to 4 inches of foam and some have vacuum panels that are r40, some of those are pretty big.

Most cold stuff is already cold, like beer ;) meat and so on.

China has made copys of the danfoss, beware
 
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jberger

New Member
FWIW, we are all electric in our current RV with induction cooktop, 120vac fridge, etc.
The idea of a propane fire or propane fridge fire is exactly why we wanted to go all electric.
I'm so glad you and your family made it out ok, these vehicles burn INCREDIBLY quickly once they ignite, you are very fortunate.

The induction cooktops are awesome, they heat very quickly, and dump much less heat into the space. It finally convinced my wife to let me upgrade our range at home to induction as well.

Have you thought about using a diesel fueled unit for hot water and heat?
We have an Aquahot unit that we can use for both, and would really cut down on the battery bank needed to run it. Diesel doesn't ignite like Propane or Gasoline, so the fire risk would be much lower which should make your wife happy.

You might be able to get a full size fridge that actually uses less energy than a propane unit, our full size Samsung uses less than the Norcold it replaced, and it's much larger on the inside. We never had any good luck with the 12v fridges in prior uses, they just don't seem to cool fast enough and the ones that did used a ton of battery power to make it happen.

Check out Bontragers for RV specific surplus units, they have an ebay store: https://www.ebay.com/str/bontragersrvsurplus?_pgn=5&rt=nc

Also find the RV Salvage Yards in your area and look for the diesel fired hydronic heaters, induction units, basement chest freezers, etc. It's a very cheap way to get what you need without paying full price. You will be STUNNED at the number of burnt units you will find on the lots and how many of them started with fridge. . .
 

Professor Farnsworth

π•ƒπ• π•˜π•šπ•”π•’π• β„‚π• π•Ÿπ•€π•–π•’π•¦π•–π•Ÿπ•”π•–
Absorption refrigerators are stone age power hogs, diesel fueled stoves and such are nice but cost a lot, some of the stoves can also function as a heater, lots of high dollar rigs use diesel appliances.
 

Stepandwolf

Solar Addict
Most cold stuff is already cold, like beer ;) meat and so on.
The typical shopper in our local grocery store shops from the right side to the left side. They get the refrigerated and frozen items on the right s of the store and then wander through the rest of the store, then dealing with lines to checkout and then getting to your vehicle, etc. I shop refrigerated items second to the last, then frozen. I also bring insulated shopping bags with me to hold the items as I shop, then checkout, and then back to my SUV.

There are many items like the soda pop which likely wasn't cooled, condiments, and things I would like cold before eating them, like pickles. Anyway, my shopping habits probably aren't of interest here, but even my Dometic doesn't cool like I would like it.
 

12VoltInstalls

Solar Addict
The small cooler type fridges or bigger ones like the typical TT style? I can't fathom how a larger size fridge can run on such few watts. Do you have links so I will know what I can buy if I ever need replace my fridge.
There are 10-12CF 120V fridges 80-120W that you can order from Home Depot or wherever
I use a 4.x cubic foot, yes small- but $147 delivered to me from walmartha. I selected it specifically because it barely was big enough for my needs AND advertised 85W running. My inverter display, however, varies between 60W and 80W running.
It’s not the best but the best was $1400 for a 10.x CF that claimed 85W and had a separate top freezer.

The point was you can spend shorter dollars on commodity items, or you can spend tall dollars on the best equipment. You choose according to your own priorities.
 

Q-Dog

Β―\_(ツ)_/Β―
FWIW, we are all electric in our current RV with induction cooktop, 120vac fridge, etc.
The idea of a propane fire or propane fridge fire is exactly why we wanted to go all electric.
I'm so glad you and your family made it out ok, these vehicles burn INCREDIBLY quickly once they ignite, you are very fortunate.

The induction cooktops are awesome, they heat very quickly, and dump much less heat into the space. It finally convinced my wife to let me upgrade our range at home to induction as well.

Have you thought about using a diesel fueled unit for hot water and heat?
We have an Aquahot unit that we can use for both, and would really cut down on the battery bank needed to run it. Diesel doesn't ignite like Propane or Gasoline, so the fire risk would be much lower which should make your wife happy.

You might be able to get a full size fridge that actually uses less energy than a propane unit, our full size Samsung uses less than the Norcold it replaced, and it's much larger on the inside. We never had any good luck with the 12v fridges in prior uses, they just don't seem to cool fast enough and the ones that did used a ton of battery power to make it happen.

Check out Bontragers for RV specific surplus units, they have an ebay store: https://www.ebay.com/str/bontragersrvsurplus?_pgn=5&rt=nc

Also find the RV Salvage Yards in your area and look for the diesel fired hydronic heaters, induction units, basement chest freezers, etc. It's a very cheap way to get what you need without paying full price. You will be STUNNED at the number of burnt units you will find on the lots and how many of them started with fridge. . .
How much battery and solar do you have and are you fully off grid like OP wants to be?
 

jberger

New Member
Currently we have 1600ah 12V battery setup that we charge from alternator, generator or shore power. It's AGM so only 50% DoD and no solar at all today. The type of use depends on what type of trip we are on, we are not full time in the RV. Sometimes we boondock for a 3 days of tailgating or camping, other times we are taking a couple of weeks for longer trips with a mix of full hookups and random stops with no hookups. Because we are usually driving between stops, our engine alternator keeps the bank fully topped off most days.

I understand it's going to be very difficult for the OP to meet his goals with 400 in solar and a small bank, he is going to have to expand that system to successfully replace propane.
I'm not saying it's ideal, just that it is possible to be all electric and there are real benefits. I know my wife would never even consider having propane again if she had been in a fire like that, and we did take the risk of fire seriously when we were planning out our current coach. I don't think I'd be able to sleep at night either.
 

richard cabesa

Solar Enthusiast
That is only 3.5 cu ft which is about half of the size of my fridge, and I don't have a big one :( I see they offer a 9 cu ft one, and interesting, they are still claiming 80w. Something fish there.
A point of reference; we have a 9.2 co.ft. Nova Cool 12v only. Danfos compressor.

it draws about 50 watts and runs about 50% of the time. I did add insulation and installed the Fridge Optimizer and extra fan.

the refer box maintains 34* constant and the freezer about 8-10* Not quite cold enough for long term storage but I’m ok with that. It makes ice overnight

24 hours of use is right about 650 Wh
 

Plecoptera

New Member
This type of question happens a lot, especially over on reddit. Simply, heating and air conditioning are stoppers to all-solar solutions right now. Cooking is basically heating, as are showers. Maybe several iterations in technology from now fossil including LPG will be gone, but not today.

Reiterate the statement on absorption reefers. My on-board Norcold absorption takes minimum of 140W. My dual freezer/reefer compressor takes less than 30W after startup, and around 70W at startup. I run 200W of panel and 100Ah of AGM just for house systems like my waterpump, fan for LPG heater, lights, USB stuff, etc. The absorption reefer is now an unpowered icebox fed from the compressor freezer. 200W is plenty for that, but can't lift much more. If I have the time I usually run the freezer on my Lithium field system.

I have a 600W microwave, and a 600W coffee maker that get run off a bank of 1 to 5 100Ah LiFePO fed by anywhere from 400W to 1,200W of panel, depending on the daily situation. The 400W is a collection of 'suitcase' panels by Renogy. The 1,200W is DYI, modular, portable, and superior in every way to the Renogy except ease of setup.

That all support continent wide ebike trips and a smallish uber Teardrop (older T@b).
 
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12VoltInstalls

Solar Addict
we have a 9.2 co.ft. Nova Cool 12v only. Danfos compressor.
That looks like a great unit. I’m personally not in the position to spend $2500 on a refrigerator, though. If you can roll that good.
I’ll admit my selections veer toward more low-budget items; in my mind $2500 leaves a lot of headroom for replacing a $150- $400 refrigerator while allowing for a few more panels for better low-light use and a lot more sunshine flexibility for running tools etc

Mercedes and Cadillac make excellent cars but even if I could foot it I almost certainly wouldn’t be shopping at that level.

Maybe one day they’ll be affordable by volume? They seem like quality equipment.
walmartha and Home Depot for me.
 

Professor Farnsworth

π•ƒπ• π•˜π•šπ•”π•’π• β„‚π• π•Ÿπ•€π•–π•’π•¦π•–π•Ÿπ•”π•–
Just an example of a diy setup that people use, some people swap this out into an old fridge, some build a chest fridge that's super insulated

 

time2roll

Photon Sorcerer
Maybe a locking aluminum box to keep the cylinders from jumping onto the road.

DZ91717_11-2_250.jpg


https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Tool-Box/DeeZee/DZ91717.html
 

Stepandwolf

Solar Addict
Maybe a locking aluminum box to keep the cylinders from jumping onto the road.

DZ91717_11-2_250.jpg


https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Tool-Box/DeeZee/DZ91717.html
True that, but I assume it was operator error, i.e. tank or tanks were taken off the hitch to be filled and weren't mounted back properly. I have limited experience, but have never heard of a cylinder coming off unless there was an accident. Don't those things have a valve that shuts off if a significant drop in pressure is seen? Maybe not standard, but optional. Isn't the biggest culprit the fridges?
 

12VoltInstalls

Solar Addict
What would be the minimum GPM I would need for a shower? I read that 1.5 GPM is standard low flow but the point-of-use water heaters I see that use less than 2kW @110VAC are 0.4 or 0.2 GPM
If you use a low-flow shower head that also lets you shut off water between different showering ’tasks’ you can have a decent shower in 1.5 gallons- 2 gallons total- gpm has nothing to do with it. (other than production rate)
Set up like that a 4-gallon shower is luxurious.

However - not that I know everything or you must do as I do- if I were going to not propane heat water I would get as big of an electric hot water heater as I could possibly fit (like up to ten gallons or do); put as much solar as possible up top and β€˜dump load’ into the water heater. (When batteries are full, watts are sent into H2O heater; install a temp control mixing valve so nobody gets scalded and run thermostat up to 160F or more)
You will probably have mote than all the hot water you’d ever want.
 

time2roll

Photon Sorcerer
True that, but I assume it was operator error, i.e. tank or tanks were taken off the hitch to be filled and weren't mounted back properly. I have limited experience, but have never heard of a cylinder coming off unless there was an accident. Don't those things have a valve that shuts off if a significant drop in pressure is seen? Maybe not standard, but optional. Isn't the biggest culprit the fridges?
Yes there is an excess flow valve if the pigtail had ripped clean off. Not going to help if the cylinder is being used as a skid plate. I figure if the box is closed and locked DW can know all is safe and secure.
 
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