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Best Fridge for Self Build


Wasnt Me

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We have sold our Chausson and I am currently looking for a VW Crafter LWB, to self build.

 

Gathering information to make sure I get it right.

 

What do people think on the fridge, compressor or 3 way?

 

I plan to put at least 300 Watts of solar panels on and 2 batteries. Obviously space will be an issue and not sure I want to cut a massive vent into the side of the van.

 

Any ideas accepted. Thanks in advance.

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If you want your beer/icecream cold at 35°C+ then compressor. Also if you want to eliminate gas (diesel heating etc.) Otherwise I'd be inclined towards 3way. I've noticed many PVCs go the compressor route lately but I suspect it's because most people tend not to move around much and are constantly plugged in. Manufacturers are simply responding to low demands for electric autonomy.
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You might consider a diesel-fuelled Truma Combi “D” for air/water heating - with a 230V option if you want it - but you’ll probably still want gas for cooking. (A diesel-fuelled hob is available, but it’s rarely fitted.)

 

A primary reason for compressor fridges being chosen for panel-van conversions is (as you’ve mentioned) it simplifies installation and avoids metal surgery.

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12v compressor fridges use around 50 amp hours, 600 watt hours, per day, perhaps less, depending on use and ambient temperature. Your solar, unless you visit northern Europe in winter, will easily provide enough power for the fridge. Having a efficient method of battery charging from the engine, a battery to battery charger is useful, and is needed anyway if the vehicle has a smart alternator, will make up any shortfall in power if you encounter several days of poor weather. The negative reports, where professional pvc have comprestored fridges, are due to no solar and single low capacity batteries with inadequate alternator charging.

 

Mike

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Derek Uzzell - 2019-09-24 7:51 AM

 

You might consider a diesel-fuelled Truma Combi “D” for air/water heating - with a 230V option if you want it - but you’ll probably still want gas for cooking. (A diesel-fuelled hob is available, but it’s rarely fitted.)

 

A primary reason for compressor fridges being chosen for panel-van conversions is (as you’ve mentioned) it simplifies installation and avoids metal surgery.

 

Thanks I just looked up the diesel heater, 8-) I thought the gas one was expensive. I think that and the cost of diesel prohibits that.

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mikefitz - 2019-09-24 10:54 AM

 

12v compressor fridges use around 50 amp hours, 600 watt hours, per day, perhaps less, depending on use and ambient temperature. Your solar, unless you visit northern Europe in winter, will easily provide enough power for the fridge. Having a efficient method of battery charging from the engine, a battery to battery charger is useful, and is needed anyway if the vehicle has a smart alternator, will make up any shortfall in power if you encounter several days of poor weather. The negative reports, where professional pvc have comprestored fridges, are due to no solar and single low capacity batteries with inadequate alternator charging.

 

Mike

 

Thanks I hadn't thought about the fact that smart alternators charge at up to 17 volts.

 

Are you suggesting the work around is the have an inverter and a charger for example a Ctek one? Or is the inverter not required?

 

Thanks in advance

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I had a Dometic Crx50 compressor fridge in my last van. Very impressed. Had a 100w solar panel and yuasa l36efb 100amp battery. Fridge worked very well with that set up. But the compressor was noisy and it used to wake me up at night cutting in and out. It annoyed me so much that my current van being built at the moment will have a 3 way fridge. I am a light sleeper though.

 

Another plus for compressor fridges is their ability to perform on inclines. They cool perfectly on a slope.

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I seem to recall a thread on here a while back (2-3 years?), where someone was so unhappy with the "electric" fridge in their new motorhome, they were looking to swap the van for one with a 3-way fridge quite sharpish... :-S

 

I suppose it'll all depend on what you expect, and/or how much the positioning of a 3-way fridge, will impact /dictate the layout?

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mikefitz - 2019-09-25 8:48 AM

 

Regarding battery to battery chargers. These units are dedicated units that take power from the engine battery and correctly charge the leisure battery. The units are user programmable for different battery types.

Sterling Power ( and others) specialise in these products,

https://sterling-power.com/products/battery-to-battery-chargers

 

Mike

 

Thanks I found this it looked of interest Link to Simply Split Charge

 

 

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