Creating power for your home, off grid.
Emphasis on nuts-n-bolts, hands-on projects.
- Dennis The Bus Dweller
- Seasoned Nomadicista
- Posts: 1861
- Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 9:33 am
- Location: Southold N.Y.
I'm in the process of build another bus/home and this time im going with some pretty heavy PV solar. I used a RV 3 way fridge. In my last one and for one thing I found it to be a power hog. But also I needed to cut a big hole in both the top and the side of the bus and I don't want to cut any holes in this one. If all goes as planed I looking to mount either 9 sharp 170 watt or 9 evergreen 190 watt panels on the roof and a good size battery bank to run my rolling life. Now to my question, I'm looking at a Sun Frost Refrigerator/Freezer. Have any of you folks used any of these models and are they really worth the high price. I don't care to much about the price if they are worth it. Any input will be appreciated. And if there is another manufacture that makes a super efficient fridge that you people know about please offer any info you can.
Dennis the bus dweller N.Y.
We never put any holes in the bus nor have we even installed a fan, but
rather we built a cabinet to use the fridges own heat to move the air.
We also added some additional insulation around the fridge when we originally
Keep in mind that we live in the desert where the outside temperatures
reach a steady 120 degrees during July and August..
Now the first year in the desert , the fridge's computer did a safety shutdown
but that was before we added all the additional insulation to the bus's ceiling.
After we reset the fridge it's been happy ever since.
As to power , we have a variety of sources to work with including some solar
along with 1200 amp/hours of deep cycle batteries under the bed.
I guess the most important thing in our opinion would be insulation, insulation, insulation
and by the way insulation.
When we did the walls and floor of the bus we covered it all with 30lb roofing felt
then for the walls we did 2x4's and R13 while the floor got a veneer plywood , then some
slats with foiled bubble wrap , then some plywood on top of that and finally some
bus grade rubber.
The ceiling is covered in R6.5 foam board , with cuts partway through the back
to allow for the curves in the roof.
We certainly do agree with you that holes in the walls and ceiling are something to be avoided.
As soon as we get enough money together for the sun mar mobile toilet we will probably
be adding a fan to the fridge to plumb the waste heat into the toilet, so as to save some power there as well.
I think by and large that either Sunfrost or Norcold would be fine choices , although
we can only speak to the Norcold.
Another thing is to keep the fridge and freezer full, even if it's just jugs of water
and cooler blocks. Also keep the fins in back clean.
Hope some of that rambling proves useful.
In the main house they had a sun frost fride/freezer, i dont remember what model but it was probably one of the bigger ones seeing it was in the house. I would house sit for them and milk their goats, and i gotta say that was the best fridge ever. The layout is well done, they come fairly well insulated, the fan and compressor are on the top and it is quieter then most fridges, its a perfect matchup for solar as they draw the least of any other fridge i'm sure. And lastly they do a great job of keeping everything cold. We would milk goats and then put sometimes close to a gallon at a time of warm goats milk, in the hot NM summer, and it would chill it as well or maybe better then a house fridge.
So i am all for sun frosts, i would even consider putting one in a regular on grid house i like them so much. And i believe they make a coffin freezer too!
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