12v refrigerator

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paulieboi1

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Hi, I am removing a defunct 3 way refrigerator, and want to replace it with a 12v only one. Eventually, I am going to install a solar energy system, but for now I am wondering if I can just connect the 12v refrigerator to the existing 12v power supply that ran to the old refrigerator. And, I was wondering if having the rv plugged into a 110v hookup will be adequate to power the refrigerator via the coach battery, until I get the solar installed. Thanks for any advice or assistance.
 

Kirk

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I am wondering if I can just connect the 12v refrigerator to the existing 12v power supply that ran to the old refrigerator.
The answer is yes, if your new refrigerator doesn't draw too much more current. There is probably a 12V fuse that will limit the current you can daraw and if you were to increse the size of that fuse you would also need to replace the wire with larger diameter wire. If you are thinking of a compressor type refrigerator or an electric only absorption refrigerator, you need to determin how much current it will require in order to figure that out. Since the old refrigerator was a 3 way you probably have large enough wire for the new one. There should be an amp rating on the old one to compare the new one to.
And, I was wondering if having the rv plugged into a 110v hookup will be adequate to power the refrigerator via the coach battery, until I get the solar installed.
If your RV has a working converter, then it should. You have not said what the RV is or what converter it has so I am only guessing, but the answer is most likely yes.
 

paulieboi1

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Thank you for your reply and the info, Kirk . The RV is a 1986 Coachman Georgie Boy. The old refrigerator/freezer is around 7cu ft Norcold and the new one is going to be 4.5cu ft. 12v EverCool refrigerator/freezer.
 

John From Detroit

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Two possible issues with hooking to the existing 12 volt wiring.
Wire size and fuse... Are they big enough.. The answer to Are they big enough and "Can I do it" are the same.
 

Mark_K5LXP

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That one's pretty thrifty, on the intertubes I read its about .69kWh per day. A pair of GC2's will deliver over 3 times that for that rate, so with judicious solar and battery management it's certainly doable.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
 

Kirk

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The RV is a 1986 Coachman Georgie Boy.
Coachman didn't buy Georgie Boy until 1996 so you must either have a Coachman or a Georgie Boy RV?
4.5cu ft. 12v EverCool refrigerator/freezer.
Do you mean that you are getting an EverChill refrigerator? I don't find anything on the Ever Cool brand. If it is the EverChill then it requires 11A when running so that is what you need to check. If you find the fuse that will tell you if you are OK. Most 3 way refrigerators require 12-14A when on 12V so you probably have a circuit that is ample.
 

Mark_K5LXP

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11A for a 4.5ft^3 refrigerator sounds very high. For the 4.5ft^3 everchill spec's I found it was 8A start, 1A run. Throw in ~30% duty cycle and the .69kWh per 24 hours works out.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
 

paulieboi1

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Coachman didn't buy Georgie Boy until 1996 so you must either have a Coachman or a Georgie Boy RV?

Do you mean that you are getting an EverChill refrigerator? I don't find anything on the Ever Cool brand. If it is the EverChill then it requires 11A when running so that is what you need to check. If you find the fuse that will tell you if you are OK. Most 3 way refrigerators require 12-14A when on 12V so you probably have a circuit that is ample.
Yes, EverChill
Coachman didn't buy Georgie Boy until 1996 so you must either have a Coachman or a Georgie Boy RV?

Do you mean that you are getting an EverChill refrigerator? I don't find anything on the Ever Cool brand. If it is the EverChill then it requires 11A when running so that is what you need to check. If you find the fuse that will tell you if you are OK. Most 3 way refrigerators require 12-14A when on 12V so you probably have a circuit that is ample.
Yes, EverChill, my mistake.
 

ORV270RKS

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I replaced our 2-way fridge with the 10.7 cu. ft. Everchill 12V compressor refrigerator about 3 months ago. It pulls right around 55 watts when it runs, and it runs maybe 60%-80% of the time, depending on ambient temperature. That works out to around 800 to 1000 watt hours per day, so the .69kWh per day for the smaller fridge sounds about right.

I ran a dedicated 10-gauge wire for power to minimize voltage drop. A smaller wire might not be a safety hazard with these low amp draws, but voltage drop can affect the performance if it’s too small. Everchill gives recommendations for wire size in the installation instructions, based on length of run.

Regarding boondocking with a 12-volt fridge - as a fulltime boondocker, I can say it’s definitely possible as long as you have an adequate solar set-up (or you don’t mind running a generator). We have 1440 watts of solar panels and 600Ah of lithium batteries which handle the 12-volt fridge with no problem. I would say a system half that size would be adequate if you don’t have a lot of other “out-of-the-ordinary” electrical needs.

Overall, we are much happier with the 12-volt fridge, and highly recommend it. Temps are consistent, it’s quiet, and it’s roomier than our old Norcold N8X.
 

paulieboi1

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That one's pretty thrifty, on the intertubes I read its about .69kWh per day. A pair of GC2's will deliver over 3 times that for that rate, so with judicious solar and battery management it's certainly doable.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
I’m looking at a system with 2 100 amp hour batteries and 200 watt solar panels.
 

paulieboi1

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Posts
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Albuquerque
I replaced our 2-way fridge with the 10.7 cu. ft. Everchill 12V compressor refrigerator about 3 months ago. It pulls right around 55 watts when it runs, and it runs maybe 60%-80% of the time, depending on ambient temperature. That works out to around 800 to 1000 watt hours per day, so the .69kWh per day for the smaller fridge sounds about right.

I ran a dedicated 10-gauge wire for power to minimize voltage drop. A smaller wire might not be a safety hazard with these low amp draws, but voltage drop can affect the performance if it’s too small. Everchill gives recommendations for wire size in the installation instructions, based on length of run.

Regarding boondocking with a 12-volt fridge - as a fulltime boondocker, I can say it’s definitely possible as long as you have an adequate solar set-up (or you don’t mind running a generator). We have 1440 watts of solar panels and 600Ah of lithium batteries which handle the 12-volt fridge with no problem. I would say a system half that size would be adequate if you don’t have a lot of other “out-of-the-ordinary” electrical needs.

Overall, we are much happier with the 12-volt fridge, and highly recommend it. Temps are consistent, it’s quiet, and it’s roomier than our old Norcold N8X.
Thanks for the info! Unfortunately, the generator is out of service, and can’t be fixed either. It was made by Dometic and needs a new carburetor, which I was told is no longer available.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Since you are replacing a 3-way fridge, the wiring must already be capable of supply 20-25 amps @ 12v for the DC operating mode. That will be plenty for the compressor. There may be a smaller size 12v wire as well that operates the controller board; it would be insufficient for the 11A the compressor needs.
 

paulieboi1

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Albuquerque
Since you are replacing a 3-way fridge, the wiring must already be capable of supply 20-25 amps @ 12v for the DC operating mode. That will be plenty for the compressor. There may be a smaller size 12v wire as well that operates the controller board; it would be insufficient for the 11A the compressor needs.
I intend to use the 12v wire that runs the heating element forth3 refrigerator.
 

John From Detroit

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Davison Michigan
That one's pretty thrifty, on the intertubes I read its about .69kWh per day. A pair of GC2's will deliver over 3 times that for that rate, so with judicious solar and battery management it's certainly doable.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
A pair of GC-2 is about 1 KW or at the 48 hour rate.. Just about a match for that fridge For 2 days. .
 

paulieboi1

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Joined
Aug 11, 2022
Posts
17
Location
Albuquerque
The answer is yes, if your new refrigerator doesn't draw too much more current. There is probably a 12V fuse that will limit the current you can daraw and if you were to increse the size of that fuse you would also need to replace the wire with larger diameter wire. If you are thinking of a compressor type refrigerator or an electric only absorption refrigerator, you need to determin how much current it will require in order to figure that out. Since the old refrigerator was a 3 way you probably have large enough wire for the new one. There should be an amp rating on the old one to compare the new one to.

If your RV has a working converter, then it should. You have not said what the RV is or what converter it has so I am only guessing, but the answer is most likely yes.
Since you are replacing a 3-way fridge, the wiring must already be capable of supply 20-25 amps @ 12v for the DC operating mode. That will be plenty for the compressor. There may be a smaller size 12v wire as well that operates the controller board; it would be insufficient for the 11A the compressor needs.
Since you are replacing a 3-way fridge, the wiring must already be capable of supply 20-25 amps @ 12v for the DC operating mode. That will be plenty for the compressor. There may be a smaller size 12v wire as well that operates the controller board; it would be insufficient for the 11A the compressor needs.
Hi Gary,
Thank you for your previous information. I am going to install the 12v refrigerator tomorrow, and would like your expertise on a couple more questions. From what I can tell, the existing 12v wiring is 8 gauge. There isn’t a fuse for it in the 12v panel (I tried them all) and I can only trace the wiring from the refrigerator connection to where it goes under the floor. I’m assuming it must go across to the converter, but I’m not sure. And I don’t know if the existing line is fused, so I wanted to put in an inline fuse. I had to get a heavy duty one because of the 8 gauge wire and the smallest fuse I could find was 20amp. So, my first question is will the 20amp fuse be okay? (the refrigerator is 11amps) The second question is, although it is recommended to put the fuse closer to the power source, would it be okay to put it closer to the refrigerator end of the line, since I can’t seem to trace it to the power source? The old refrigerator was not the original one, and I don’t know how it was connected to the power source.
Sorry to be so wordy, but I didn’t know how else to explain it. I appreciate any feedback you can give me. Thanks again.
 

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