Vista refrigerator does NOT run on battery power? Why

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lil tippy

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Sep 24, 2012
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Looking into buying a 2011 Winnebago Vista 30W.  Noticed the refrigerator only operates on electric from shore power or on propane.  It would not work on battery when the coach in going down the road.

I am sure Winnebago is a quality builder, can someone explain to me why it is designed to operate in this limited manner?  I am not thrilled to be operating on propane as I drive down the road and would worry about running low on propane with I setup.

Any other comments or suggestions in what to look for in this model would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
 
Most RV refrigerators run only on propane or 120VAC.  Those that do run on 12VDC use a lot of battery power.  Running on propane will use very little propane and it's how most are run when on the road.  The refrigerator uses less propane in a year than your furnace will on a few cold nights :)
 
I'm assuming you mean the fridge isn't powered by the inverter?  On the higher end units the fridge is powered by the inverter. Our old Norcold would pull about 700 watts from the inverter so it takes a larger inverter than Winnebago provides in the smaller units.

You spend big bucks and you get lots of features, as you go down in scale the features disappear.

How about clarifying your question for us.
 
I believe the OP is talking about the 3 way refrigerators that were once popular in pickup campers and pop up trailers. They had 120 VAC, Propane and 12 VDC as ways to power them.

If you care concerned about using propane going down the road, just don't open it much while traveling and it will stay cold all day. We leave hours on 24 hours/day while driving or parked. We rarely are on shore power, so it is all propane. We fill a couple times a year and most of the propane is used by the furnace to take the chill off in the morning.

It looks like Norcold provides the 641 and 841 series as three way.
 
John Canfield said:
I'm assuming you mean the fridge isn't powered by the inverter?  On the higher end units the fridge is powered by the inverter. Our old Norcold would pull about 700 watts from the inverter so it takes a larger inverter than Winnebago provides in the smaller units.

You spend big bucks and you get lots of features, as you go down in scale the features disappear.

How about clarifying your question for us.

Sorry, you are correct. I was referring to the fridge being powered by the inverter. The Vista 30 has a 1000 W inverter
 
You would need a bigger inverter to run a refrigerator but it could be installed and the frig connected to the inverter circuit. Our MH has only a 1000 watt inverter as well and I am considering installing a larger one but not for the frig....we are happy with the present setup, used very little propane when not hooked up to 120..
 
The fridge uses very little propane, so running out due to its use is a non-issue.

And you probably don't have enough battery capacity to run the fridge very long via inverter, so propane may be a better choice. As I recall, the Vista comes with just two batteries and they aren't large ones either.  Depending on what model fridge you have, it could be drawing 500 or so watts of power.  My Norcold 1200 pulls over 600W.

You may find, however, that there is a second 120v outlet behind the fridge that powers the ice maker. That's so the ice maker still works while in propane mode. You could plug the main fridge cord into that same outlet if you wish and Voila!
 
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