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Old 10-12-2014, 20:25   #136
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Re: Can a Household Refrigerator Work on a Sailboat ?

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Originally Posted by GILow View Post
I have one in my bus, gas/12v/240v. It uses a HEAP of power on 12v since it needs to produce a lot of heat to work, something like a 25 - 30 amp current draw on 12 volts. That's ok when I am driving the engine alternator can produce plenty of power, and when we stop we run it on bottled gas. The amount of potential "heat" in a BBQ gas bottle is extraordinary, which of course, makes them lethal on boats, but they are ok on the bus. A gas bottle will do a year's worth of camping, easily.

It is very intolerant of being other than nearly perfectly upright. If I don't level the bus when we stop for the night it struggles to keep things cold.

All of which makes them pretty useless for boats.

Matt

It pulled 25-30 amps consistently, or just at start up? I had a gas/AC Dometic in a van and had the same problem w. stabilization using propane, so I only used it w. 115 volt ac current. Turned it off on the road or stuffed a big tupper ware container full of ice in the bottom of it, to keep stuff cool til I could power it up again.
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Old 10-12-2014, 20:39   #137
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Re: Can a Household Refrigerator Work on a Sailboat ?

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It pulled 25-30 amps consistently, or just at start up? I had a gas/AC Dometic in a van and had the same problem w. stabilization using propane, so I only used it w. 115 volt ac current. Turned it off on the road or stuffed a big tupper ware container full of ice in the bottom of it, to keep stuff cool til I could power it up again.
Do you know, that's a good question, and I am ashamed to say, I'm not sure. I doesn't really matter when the engine is running, and as soon as we stop we switch to gas... but I suppose it is constant. Have not used it for a while, must go and check that.

It just goes to show how much boat engineering enforces better discipline. With the bus I can be pretty darn casual about stuff like that, not so much on a boat.

Matt
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Old 15-12-2014, 09:19   #138
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Re: Can a Household Refrigerator Work on a Sailboat ?

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I have one in my bus, gas/12v/240v. It uses a HEAP of power on 12v since it needs to produce a lot of heat to work, something like a 25 - 30 amp current draw on 12 volts.
Thats huge considering that my adler barbour draws 6 amps or less. Just how big is your fridge?
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Old 15-12-2014, 13:59   #139
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Re: Can a Household Refrigerator Work on a Sailboat ?

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I am building one now, around a large fridge/freezer, a 4 meter rigid dinghy, a king sized bed and not much else.
No hot tub or daiquiri machine? You will be miserable in your self deprivation.
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Old 15-12-2014, 14:30   #140
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Re: Can a Household Refrigerator Work on a Sailboat ?

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.........

A household fridge/freezer is highly impractical for cruising sailboats. If you're going to be tied up at a marina with shore power fine but if you're cruising in a forty foot boat it won't work.

Many folks initially have highly unrealistic expectations of the cruising life. If you want all the comfort and conveniences of home there are two solutions, one- lots and lots of money and and and a large boat with a generator running 24 hours or two- stay at home.

5 years full time liveaboard, and 22,000 miles of sailing, and my $300 domestic fridge and freezer are both working perfectly.

An extra couple of hundred dollars worth of solar panels runs them fine, on a sunny day the charge controller will be going into absorbtion mode often by around mid day. The solar also runs our watermaker, or it would be absorbing even earlier...

Apart from having to stay in one for a while earlier this year while I was working, we avoid marinas. I'd estimate we'd have spend over 1500 nights at anchor.

We don't have a fixed genset, just a small portable Honda generator, which I now only run occasionally to keep it from rusting up.


So the answer to the OP's question is yes it can/does work, although maybe not on a monohull.
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Old 15-12-2014, 14:52   #141
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Re: Can a Household Refrigerator Work on a Sailboat ?

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Originally Posted by onestepcsy37 View Post
Thats huge considering that my adler barbour draws 6 amps or less. Just how big is your fridge?
It's not the size that does it, it's because a RV/Caravan fridge is an ammonia absorption fridge. They use heat to make cold. If on 12v, the heat is a 12v electric heating element. That's far less efficient than a compressor type of fridge.

I have one in my motorhome. It sucks except that it can run on propane. Won't run off-level at all (will actually ruin the unit). They're expensive. The freezer doesn't freeze much. They have an annoying tendency to catch fire and burn the RV it's attached to down.

If mine _ever_ breaks, I'll replace it with a $300 domestic unit from home depot and an inverter. Lots of folks do it for RVs, it'd work for boats (aside from the form factor and space issues)
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Old 16-12-2014, 08:46   #142
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Re: Can a Household Refrigerator Work on a Sailboat ?

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If mine _ever_ breaks, I'll replace it with a $300 domestic unit from home depot and an inverter. Lots of folks do it for RVs, it'd work for boats (aside from the form factor and space issues)
Sailorchic34 has been using a $100 dorm fridge and a $40 inverter for years, and very successfully. If I didnt already have a good built in fridge ($1200 later) I think I would do the same.
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