Which Fridge

Submitted: Monday, Feb 09, 2009 at 07:05
ThreadID: 65825 Views:2521 Replies:5 FollowUps:3
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Which fridge is best for a new van 12/240V Waeco or the 12v Vitrifrigo van will have 3x110amp/hr Batteries and 2x120w solar panels as well.
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Reply By: MEMBER - Darian (SA) - Monday, Feb 09, 2009 at 10:29

Monday, Feb 09, 2009 at 10:29
Bit of info being traded on this topic around the traps at present -
have you searched yet ? Here and [ http://www.caravanersforum.com/viewforum.php?f=2&sid=19ba3c363b24833fb5874ac4517dd6d3 ]
Also, one of the members here just supplied me with two addresses on this issue:

[ http://groups.msn.com/PhoenixOwnersGroup/general.msnw?action=get_message&mview=0&ID_Message=793&LastModified=4675687095932003050


[ http://groups.msn.com/PhoenixOwnersGroup/general.msnw?action=get_message&mview=0&ID_Message=793&LastModified=4675687095932003050

AnswerID: 348292

Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Monday, Feb 09, 2009 at 11:58

Monday, Feb 09, 2009 at 11:58
That first link just takes me to the index page of the 'General forum' on the Caravaners forum. Please be a little more specific.

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Follow Up By: MEMBER - Darian (SA) - Monday, Feb 09, 2009 at 13:01

Monday, Feb 09, 2009 at 13:01
Well... I just went to


and there is a discussion starting on that page re a currently popular fridge.
FollowupID: 616524

Follow Up By: MEMBER - Darian (SA) - Monday, Feb 09, 2009 at 13:06

Monday, Feb 09, 2009 at 13:06
Ah - sorry.... you meant the first of the first addresses :-o)....... once there at the front, just enter the brand name of any fridge in the search fuction - eg quite a lot of returns on Vitrifrigo.
FollowupID: 616526

Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Monday, Feb 09, 2009 at 12:19

Monday, Feb 09, 2009 at 12:19
One of the things that the proponents of compressor fridges throw up is that absorption fridges are not tropically rated. Most of the Dometic fridges are now "T" rated.

What they neglect to tell you is the standards to which absorption fridges are tested also applies to compressor fridges. The only compressor fridges I know of sold in Oz that are "T" rated are some of the Waeco models. The Vitrifrigo models are usually "N" rated.

The other thing about ordering a van with a battery system like that is - did you specifically order a van with a greater load carrying capacity than the standard model? It is the norm for manufacturers to just install all the extras you order in their standard build of van. You will even find the tare weight on the compliance plate to be that of their first weighed standard built van. (I know, mine was) If you only have the standard 60 litre tank, when you fill it and add the weight of your battery system you will have added nearly 200 kg of weight to the basic van. If you have multiple tanks you will be well over the 200 kg. This is half the standard allowance of 400 kg.

The 400 kg allowance is a historical figure from when caravanners only went on a few weeks holiday and did not carry much load. Also water tanks were smaller. Including 80 ltrs of water, we carry nearly 500 kg in the van. Also, that does not include the chairs and table, food pantry and booze stocks that are carried in the back of the truck. Most of our friends are carrying similar loads.

Check with your dealer what is happening. You could get a van that does not allow you to carry much in the way of cooking equipment, dining ware, food, clothes, bedding, personal effects, timber for chocking and levelling the van, awning and annex equipment and other outside bits (hoses etc.) Most importantly, weigh the van when you take delivery of it to check the weights. I did not do this and it cost $3,500 to upgrade the chassis at a later date.

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AnswerID: 348303

Reply By: robertbruce - Monday, Feb 09, 2009 at 18:52

Monday, Feb 09, 2009 at 18:52
one of the chest fridges is best - all the cold falls out of the stand-ups when they are opened and they cant keep up......
AnswerID: 348356

Reply By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Monday, Feb 09, 2009 at 19:44

Monday, Feb 09, 2009 at 19:44
In my view, either of these fridges will give you good service. I have the Vitrifrigo, as it is the default brand used by Kedron, who built my van. I could not find a good reason to change, but must admit, if their default brand was Waeco, I would have accepted that as well. I know a number of people with each of these, and al are happy.

In a van with good battery capacity (which you have) and adequate solar, I believe upright fridges are the best due to the floor space saving. Not surprisingly, the overwhelming majority of vans are fitted with upright fridges.

I have no idea of your other power needs and likely consumption, but with 3 x 110 AH batteries, it might be worth considering a 3rd solar panel, if the budget and roof space permits. Your 2 panels will give you (on average) 70 to 80 AH of charge per day - perhaps a bit more, depending on conditions. That is a bit under 25% of your battery capacity. My 'rule of thumb' (admittedly based on little science) is to have the ability to provide at least 30% of battery capacity in solar charge per day.

But of course, we all have different power consumption needs, camping habits, etc, so my 'rule of thumb' might not apply to you.
I have 3 x 120 AH AGMs in the van and 3 x 130 Watt panels on the roof.

Norm C

AnswerID: 348365

Reply By: wendys - Monday, Feb 09, 2009 at 20:24

Monday, Feb 09, 2009 at 20:24
Have a Vitrifrigo (bar fridge size, with freezebox inside). Was installed new in van in 1997. We have solar panels to about 220-240 on van roof, and 2 sealed batteries in van. As well as fridge, our lights, cook fan are 12v, and we sometimes run iverter to power laptops when in bush. We have lived in a bush clearing in Gulf country for 5 months, off the solar power alone. Fridge never missed a beat - kept meat frozen, beer cold, etc. Spent several months on job site in Pilbara (Sept-Dec), where outside temps were heading for 50. Again, frdige kept stuff frozen, etc. Came across Nullabor when it was over 50 at Eucla - no fridge issues. Wouldn't have anything else!
AnswerID: 348377

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