Bushman 12v compressor fridge

Submitted: Thursday, Dec 05, 2019 at 09:09
ThreadID: 139392 Views:903 Replies:3 FollowUps:9
I need to replace my upright 190L Waeco 12v compressor fridge in my caravan.

Bushman have caught my eye and keen to know of anyones real life experiences with any of their products. Dometic/Waeco seem to have the caravan market largely in these upright compressor fridges however Bushman is Australian and read well with a Danfoss compressor
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Reply By: Gone Bush (WA) - Thursday, Dec 05, 2019 at 09:39

Thursday, Dec 05, 2019 at 09:39
Graeme,

I've just done exactly that.

My Waeco RPD190 fridge failed after 9 years.



Fortunately it was just before we left for a trip to QLD. I was already booked into Bushtracker to have a grey water tank fitted so I got them to put a Bushman 190 litre fridge on the list.

It required some minor adjustments to the surrounding cabinet work, mainly in the height, but it all worked out OK.



I believe they only come in a black finish now, stainless is not available anymore.

One thing to be aware of: my cabinet work did not allow the fridge door to open past 90 deg so I couldn't pull out the shelves to adjust their height so I got a bunch of baskets from Bunnings and use them. It keeps the contents under control a bit better too.



The locking handle on the Bushman was black on black, so I painted mine silver so it's a lot easier to see at a glance that the door is locked.



The fridge draws about 4 amps and has worked very well so far. I've contacted Bushman a couple of timess to ask some questions and they've been very helpful.

You're welcome to come up and have a look if you want to.

Cheers.
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Follow Up By: Kazza055 - Thursday, Dec 05, 2019 at 11:23

Thursday, Dec 05, 2019 at 11:23
Looks very nice GB, what size is it and what did it cost?
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Follow Up By: Gone Bush (WA) - Thursday, Dec 05, 2019 at 11:53

Thursday, Dec 05, 2019 at 11:53
Both fridges were/are 190 litres.

The Bushman cost $2000 plus installation which, from memory, was about $300. Very happy with the neat and tidy installation done at the Bushtracker factory.
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Follow Up By: RMD - Thursday, Dec 05, 2019 at 12:02

Thursday, Dec 05, 2019 at 12:02
Gone Bush

Nice reply and explanation and exactly answers the question. Nothing like having already completing the work and pics show the result too. Good stuff.
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Follow Up By: Member - bungarra (WA) - Thursday, Dec 05, 2019 at 17:04

Thursday, Dec 05, 2019 at 17:04
Thanks Stephen.

Knowing how well you research products it doesn't surprise me you ended up with Bushman.
I did a lot of homework before I posted and so getting your endorsement verifies I was heading down that correct path.

I just ordered one ")….self install when it arrives

Thanks again
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Follow Up By: Gone Bush (WA) - Thursday, Dec 05, 2019 at 19:06

Thursday, Dec 05, 2019 at 19:06
I'm sure it will all work out, Graeme.

As to my research, all this was very hastily carried out.

My Waeco failed a week before we set off to QLD.

I was booked into BT for a grey water tank on Easter Tuesday.
They only had that Tuesday & Wednesday to do the work
Thursday was Anzac Day, and we were due in Atherton on the Monday for a Bushtracker Muster.

So a week before Easter, I asked them to add a new fridge to the work.

I can remember ringing them from the parking area behind the BP Servo in Port Augusta just before the Easter break to confirm everything because we only had the Engel in the Cruiser to keep our food in and all of these Public Holidays were ahead of us.

But everything worked out very well and the staff at BT were excellent.

The upside of all this though, was that my new 300Ah lithium pack from EV Power down in Margaret River was just outstanding and made the trip across a breeze. Previously I would have been sweating on finding a mains power outlet every 3 days to charge the AGMs.

Here we are at Meadow Glen rest area just west of Cobar. One of our favourite stopovers.
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Reply By: Dave B18 - Friday, Dec 06, 2019 at 17:59

Friday, Dec 06, 2019 at 17:59
Most have dumped the 12V fridges and using the LG and Samsung inverter fridges on 240V. Power from 400W inverter and use less power than 12V fridges. Importantly they offer substantially better performance.
Any 12V compressor fridge over 160L capacity is under powered with a BD50 compressor.
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Follow Up By: Member - bungarra (WA) - Friday, Dec 06, 2019 at 22:42

Friday, Dec 06, 2019 at 22:42
Quite a sweeping statement that "most have dumped the 12v fridges"...not sure that can be substantiated....in fact I'm sure it couldn't be

I looked very briefly at the concept you quote and decided that my "van being an off-road 'van that does go off-road I needed a fridge that was purpose designed for a degree of bounce & shake along with insulation needed for the more intense heat inside an enclosed caravan.

I doubt a domestic fridge designed for a stationary position in an ambient temperature that is likely to be far less than some of the caravan internal temperatures along with less insulation would stack up under my purposes......I am sure a lot ( not most) have done so successfully but I don't believe it would suit my and many others scenarios.

Add to that I am not at all in agreement with a "portable" 240 inverter running live in a caravan under tow......any under tow mishap and there is potential lethal consequences with a 240v source live inside where perhaps 100% of any unsuspecting helpers may risk electric shock. I know it is becoming more popular with new and updated Lithium battery systems for the 'van and appliances being 240v but they are not the same set up safety wise compared to a inverter "add on".

I also disagree with the particular compressor being underpowered for the 190 L

However all that aside I appreciate your input and agree that we probably disagree :)

I look forward to installing my new purchase and we will see!

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Follow Up By: Gone Bush (WA) - Saturday, Dec 07, 2019 at 00:14

Saturday, Dec 07, 2019 at 00:14
Using a mains power fridge via an inverter is an interesting concept and I know that a few people have done it.

I actually have a power point in a suitable spot that could have been used but finding a fridge to suit the cavity and then covering all the other questions that would arise would have taken a whole lot more time than I had.

I do agree with the issue of having 240v running all the time and some years ago I had these stickers made - just in case.

One is on the outside window frame near the door, and the other is on the Mains Power "Fuse Box" (please excuse my technical terminology)





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Follow Up By: RMD - Saturday, Dec 07, 2019 at 10:27

Saturday, Dec 07, 2019 at 10:27
I note the comments above but also think a 240v fridge run on an inverter is quite ok. If the 240v inverter is fed 12v from the original heavy wires to a fridge then running only uses about 1/2 the current of a 3 way fridge would but more than a 12v compressor fridge. The inverter type fridge running off a close coupled 12v to 240v ac inverter shouldn't be a problem in an accident, ie, not running the 240v ac through the caravan 240 wiring, I don't like that situation. Many use 12 batteries tightened down into an engine bay and they get vibed and shaken to death. Stupid it is, I recently saw a profession installer tighten a new battery and deformed the case. Really dumb. In caravans, things like 12v 3 way and other fridges are strapped in tight so they cannot move/bolted to floor and ALL caravan vibes and shocks are immediately received by the fridge. Inside a 12v fridge compressor there is a shock absorbing suspension system for the actual compressor. Why not also, for any installation of any fridge, ensure a suitable retaining of the fridge but have it so the fridge is on a cushioning system/pad and the walls CAN be further insulated for thermal reasons and cushioning. That way, although the fridge is perhaps a domestic unit, some thought has been given as to it's installation and it's inertia is allowed to move a little without transferring high shocks load to the fridge and internals. With the additional thermal insulation the fridge, although not initially designed for purpose is able to perform well both power wise, thermal cooling and survivability too.
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Follow Up By: Dave B18 - Saturday, Dec 07, 2019 at 19:53

Saturday, Dec 07, 2019 at 19:53
Bungarra you may like to disagree about the BD50 being under powered on 190L fridge, but it is. If you have the technical expertise to calculate out Secops specifications at 30C you will quickly see that 160L is at the upper limit at full compressor speed. In any of the 200L+ 12V fridges, in summer temperatures they will generally run 24x7 and use in excess of 120Ah. The largest sensible size 12V compressor fridge is Vitrifrigio DP150i 150L. Next best bet is the Dometic RUC 6408X. Engineering wise would go for the Dometic RUC 6408X. Nothing Australian about a Bushman fridge.
There is absolutely zero issue powering a 240V fridge while travelling, or in the case of an accident. The inverter is powered while travelling from the main vehicle start battery through a battery isolator. When the vehicle is switched off automatically switches over to the caravan batteries. Reason why it is perfectly safe you need to touch both wires of an electrically isolated inverter. Reason why portable inverters are not earthed in RV's.
There are a greater number than you would realise powering 240V inverter fridges. Was even more popular while Samsung had their from memory 179L fridge available.
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Reply By: Member - William B (The Shire) - Saturday, Dec 07, 2019 at 15:25

Saturday, Dec 07, 2019 at 15:25
Hi,
we have a Bushman fridge , not a upright, and have nothing but praise for their product and service.
William
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