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Old 22-04-2009, 16:41   #1
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Propane Refrigerator

hi , before anyone says do a search , i did ,but short of reading all post containing refrigerator and or propane .
i was wondering why propane refrigerators are not used on boats ?
I know rvs used to have them and the only thing i can think of is they need to be level ,so couldnt you use a gimble system like a stove and make it work ?
most of us use propane on our boats and that wouldnt eat up our 12 volt
supply .
maybe i am missing something here ,please enlighten me
thanks
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Old 22-04-2009, 17:30   #2
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We've been using a gimballed propane fridge successfully for the last 3 years. Main problem seems to be the high level of oil in the gas we get in the islands causing the burner tube to soot up so we have to clean it every couple of months- no big problem. The fridge is 30 years old and starting to drop off in performance in the high summer temperatures here however I am fitting a new flame diffuser (old one finally fell apart) this weekend and hope it will improve the performance.
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Old 22-04-2009, 17:43   #3
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thanks for the reply , i found some house boats that used propane but not sailboats , I see it is possable .

now just need to see who makes a good gimbaled one these days .
I think it is worth putting in if done correctly , i have plenty of other things that need my amps
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Old 22-04-2009, 17:57   #4
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On our fridge a flanged pivot pin was attached to either side which fit in saddles in the enclosure. Simple and easy to fabricate. I haven't seen a purpose built gimballed fridge.
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Old 22-04-2009, 18:42   #5
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thanks , I guess i will have to make something ,maybe from an old stove oven
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Old 22-04-2009, 19:10   #6
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I had one in a past boat. I could never get it to work and when I took it out, all the paneling behind it was charred wood. I was amazed that the boat had not burned up. You have to deal with the heat somehow. I dont know about discharging the heat and gases inside the boat. just a thought
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Old 22-04-2009, 19:31   #7
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thanks , i guess i will have to look at some house boats and see how they deal with that , dont need no fire
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Old 22-04-2009, 20:05   #8
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Might want to check with your insurance company before you buy a propane fridge for your boat.
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Old 22-04-2009, 20:57   #9
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Had one on a cat, so can't advise on gimballing. The movement of a boat helps the coolant circulation, or so I was told.
But follow manufacturers instructions completely. You need good air flow for the cooling air. I improved the performance considerably by adding a 12v computer fan to aid in exhausting this air (I had already increased the vent area dramatically to meet the mfgs. requirement)
I was also told if performance was below par, to invert the unit for a day or so, to "burp" it. Seemed to help.
Note that (AFAIK) none of these things are really made for the marine environment, so be prepared to fight rust.
Since the 12v charging on this boat was an Outboard motor, this frig was very satisfactory.
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