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Compact fridge on inverter

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I bought a 4.3 cu ft VissaniHVDR430SE and tried to run it off my 16 year old 750 watt inverter.  I do not see a locked rotar amps for the fridge listed anywhere, nor is the surge watts available for the inverter.

If I plug the fridge into the inverter it will go into overload mode, but the fan does not shut off.  If I turn the fridge off and plug in then turn fridge on it will work??  So spec's aside it is not going to work.

I started poking around the net and looking at what is available in small inverters.  I believe that a thermally controlled fan is important, could be wrong on that one? I looked at an AIMS 1250 with the bells and whistles including thermal fan for $125, but has very mixed reviews and there is a Whistler 1600 pro with the bells and whistles for sale on Craigs for $70, which also has mixed reviews. 

Now I am hesitant to buy an inverter online, I would prefer something I can return.

I took a look at Xantrex, which used to be a top company, now they are showing mixed reviews.   I tried surfing the net on fridge and inverter in RV and the threads quickly deteriorate into the you must use a 2 way fridge or go into solar so are useless.

So what is a poor boy to do, any input on this aside from the advantages of a 2 way fridge greatly appreciated.     Jim

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3 hours ago, jjrbus said:

I bought a 4.3 cu ft VissaniHVDR430SE and tried to run it off my 16 year old 750 watt inverter.  I do not see a locked rotar amps for the fridge listed anywhere, nor is the surge watts available for the inverter.

I looked at an AIMS 1250 with the bells and whistles including thermal fan for $125, but has very mixed reviews and there is a Whistler 1600 pro with the bells and whistles for sale on Craigs for $70, which also has mixed reviews. 

I took a look at Xantrex, which used to be a top company, now they are showing mixed reviews.   I tried surfing the net on fridge and inverter in RV and the threads quickly deteriorate into the you must use a 2 way fridge or go into solar so are useless.

    Jim

I find many if not most on-line reviews to be nonsense and often written by morons. I've gotten to the point I do not bother with them anymore. Once in awhile there is the rare review that actually gives specifics and is written by someone with at least a fundamental understanding of the subject at hand.

My first experience running a 4 cubic foot AC refrigerator with an inverter was with a new 5000 watt Vector. It would NOT run it. Kept tripping. So the seller took it back as "defective" and gave me a replacement.  SAME problem.  Not long after I got talking with a guy that runs a mobile hot-dog stand. For years he had run a small Honda generator all day just to run a refrigerator. He then changed to a AC refrigerator and an AIMs 1250  modified-wave watt inverter.  He did that because he found out that was what many other vendors were doing. He loved the setup.  After that - I got an AIMs 1250.  No problems. Ran the refrigerator in my RV for years.  And since then - for other uses - I got two more AIMs with zero complaints.  If someone has a bad review about an AIMs inverter - I'd like to to hear the details. I doubt they are credible.  I bet most reported inverter issues are due to low input voltage since many users seem to be clueless on the subject.  Any inverter I know of has an automatic shut-off if input voltage drops below 11 or 10.5 volts - even for a millisecond. So having enough battery and cables is a MUST.  In my case with the 5000 watt Vector - IT was the problem, not me.   I don't know what 750 watt inverter you have - but I have seen many that are pure garbage.  Small AC refrigerators draw 500-600 watts at first start for just a fraction of a second and then taper back to 200 watts while running.  On the subject of having a thermally activated fan or not?  Makes no difference IF the noise doesn't bother you. It DOES bother me.  The el-cheapos without - have a fan that runs all the time and inside an RV - it drives me nuts.  If you get an 1250 watt inverter with a thermal fan - hooked to a small refrigerator - will likely never have the fan come on.  And yes - Trace/Xantrex was a great company.  Then got bought by Duracell and Sneider Electric and now - who knows?  Disgruntled employees - according to rumour  - left Trace/Xantrex and started their own company called Outback.  Back to AIMs, It is my all-time favorite brand. That and Ramsond Sunray.  And to be fair - I've had two Harbor Freight 2000 watt inverters with no problems either.  First one from over 10 years ago with a thermal fan was $99.  Then maybe two years ago I got another on sale for $129 and it has that annoying full-time fan.

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agree with everything JD said.  remember my story of how, when I hardwired it with 2 gauge, the same 1000W Statpower inverter would happily run the same tools that made it trip when hooked up with 8 ga and alligator clips?  on the 1000W Xantrex I just wired into the Bandit, I used 1/0 welding cable with crimped and soldered terminals.  you want ZERO voltage drop.

have you considered looking on CL for used inverters?  I can often find a good quality brand....older Trace/Xantrex, TrippLite, Samlex, Winco....for what i'd pay for a new cheapie.  got a 1200W trippLite that must weigh 45 lbs for $80, although this isn't what you;'d want to use for a fridge.  AIMS is about the only cheap brand i'd mess with.  also agree with JD's take on reviews but you usually always find a few that are helpful.  and if the majority of users, no matter what dolts they be, report early complete failure, there's something to be learned there too.....the reviews on the Cobras, Whistlers, etc  (hmmm...all companies that rode the popular priced CB boom when it was a boom, the popular priced radar detector boom, the popular priced inverter boom, .....are we seeing a trend, and would we rather buy our inverters from people used to making high amperage power supplies instead...??) invariably make me want to run away screaming. 

always good to consider what's the value of food you'd lose if inverter died, and how far from a replacement will you be camping?

Edited by payaso del mar

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Thanks for the responses.

I sorta agree with the reviews, too may maroons with keyboards. Like the one that just took it out of the box and gave it a 5 Star rating.  But when I start to see a trend I have to take notice.  Plus people that are satisfied with a product do not post as often as people with problems!

I suspect the 750 watt inverter I have is way over rated, it will run small things with no issue but any strain and it shuts down even with heavy wire.

If I were going to fulltime I would go with a Tripp lite, but pricey for a little here and there use.

My thinking on the thermo controlled fan is I don't like the noise and it put's the inverter at least one step ahead of junk, hopefully.

I am a bit pushed for time I have lollygagged with this MH for over a year and now want to use it by the end of May, so will likely order the AIMS 1250 and get to work.  Jim 

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just buy your cabling, lugs, and big arse fuse/fuseholder (150amp?) at the same time so you aren't delayed waiting on them.  I had to make 3 trips to the Despot and Ace to get it all.

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4 hours ago, payaso del mar said:

just buy your cabling, lugs, and big arse fuse/fuseholder (150amp?) at the same time so you aren't delayed waiting on them.  I had to make 3 trips to the Despot and Ace to get it all.

Good thinking!!:D

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I am starting to get a little discouraged on this project. It seems to become more complicated and expensive as I progress.  The general consensus is that at least 2 golf cart batteries will be necessary, which because of weight distribution will have to be located in the old genset compartment.  So now I am into 2 batteries, connections and wire.  OK that is doable.

The fridge cannot be built in, it has to be free standing as the sides are used to dissipate heat and they get pretty warm.  So now I have to figure how to fasten the unit to the floor.  The floor is thin plywood and foam, likely the better part of a day figuring and doing. 

All this is doable the money is more than I want to spend, refrigerato, inverter, batteries, wiring, fasteners and such maybe $700.

Need to think on this over the weekend, might be better to learn to live with the RV fridge?                    Jim

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Glue a piece of 1/2 ply wood to the floor, then screw down the refer. Give yourself a bit of space on the sides and use a small computer fan to pull air in from the front, past the sides and out the backside. You can use a thermal switch to turn it on and off.

Think about one battery and 100w solar panel.

 

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Jim,

You're running into the same problem I have. The cabinet sides from the old Dometic 2 way installation don't leave enough space for heat to dissipate. I've used fans but it's still an energy hog. The sides stay very warm. I guess the heat "soaks" back through and starts another cooling cycle, which produces more heat and....

I'm still thinking and looking. By the way, one 120 watt mono panel and two batteries won't keep up- even with a fair amount of driving. With the same electrical set up, I used to run a small generator about once a week. Now it's no less than every other day for several hours.

I use a Harbor Freight 1000 watt continuous inverter. The first one died in a week but the second works fine. It seems to run about the same on high line power as the inverter. Often!

fleamarketvendor

Edited by fleamarketvendor
forgot sometjing

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I threw in the towel on this one and returned the Vissani this morning.  It was starting to look like $600 to $700 to gain a couple of cubic feet of fridge and not having to park level. Plus likely about 3 days of fabricating, chasing down parts, running wires and such. Too much effort for too little gain. 

The old fridge  RM2410   was not getting cold enough so turned it upside down and now it gets ice cold,  I started checking  it for reinstalling and now that %^$# thing is intermittently tripping the GFI! I checked the heating element with an ohm meter and it appears to be ok, cleaned everything I could see and kicked it a couple times! Just shoot me!

I had a thought on this, if I disconnect the heater element and the GFI still trips, the problem should be before the element. If it does not trip it is the element, this with an intermittent trip?? 

Any input or thoughts greatly appreciated.    Jim

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Check without refer plugged in, then with heater unplugged. Check heater leads to ground.

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9 minutes ago, WME said:

Check without refer plugged in, then with heater unplugged. Check heater leads to ground.

I have switched extension cords, switched outlets tried new GFI, it is holding now with the freezer at 14 degrees, this is sitting in an 84° garage.  Checked leads with ohm meter, waiting for GFI to trip so can check again.   The wiring was a bit discombobulated when I bought the toy so do not know if fridge was ever on a GFI?  

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I have turned it on and off, temperature up and down, picked it up and dropped it a couple times, shook and bumped it a few times, wiggled and poked everything there is to wiggle and poke and the GFI is not tripping.   I know the minute I reinstall it the GFI will pop!!

Now I see there is a larger one out of a 2007 trailer near me for sale, wonder if I should go look?      

                                                   Jim SW FL 

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I see you've met my dear friend "Murphy"

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I am not sure if it is Murphy or Gremlins.  Gremlins travel by electrons so if you are reading this it is too late :D

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On 4/11/2016 at 2:20 PM, jjrbus said:

WI threw in the towel on this one and returned the Vissani this morning.  It was starting to look like $600 to $700 to gain a couple of cubic feet of fridge and not having to park level.   Jim

 

Just curious. Why not a $130 AC refrigerator instead of what sounds like a high-end Vissani?

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53 minutes ago, jdemaris said:

Just curious. Why not a $130 AC refrigerator instead of what sounds like a high-end Vissani?

 The Vissani sounds hi end but is just more Chinese junk from Home Depot, currently $178. It is bigger than the $130 ones and has a separate freezer. I was changing for more space than the RM 2410. 

 

toy.PNG

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Your mention of "$600-$700" is what threw me off.

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Internet posts easy to misconstrue.   $200 fridge, $200 batteries, $125 inverter. Then wiring, fuse+holder, misc easy to get to $600.

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I just got 4 6 volt interstate golf cart batteries from Costco. 80 bucks a piece with no questions asked 12 month unlimited returns. I remembered learning I could do this from a guy in here - stamar I think he was. I also picked up a HF 2000-4000 watt inverter and went through another well pump at the cabin that makes my rv look cheap to run.

Heres why I like HF and you guys can call me cheap or mean or whatever; but they are physical. I can take a crap inverter back there and return it. If they wont take it back I just buy the same one and return on that receipt week later for refund. been doing this with well pumps now; original ran 4 years, next one ran 1 year and the one I am on now is on the extended plan so its going back before the time runs out for the spare. (we keep a spare pump there after having one die on vacation).

HF inverters don't change form factors all that often and if you get a good one and its a good runner it should last at least 3 years or more provided it stays dry. Locate it where mice cannot pee on it too, ive lost them to that.

As to the old oem rv fridge you are not using the best fridge fuel available... propane. the old timers in here like John learned me early on nothing that a full tank of $10 propane will chill your food as good. the 3 way fridges if expected to work now in todays date should get all new wiring. I mean all new, that wiring if original is corroded inside and not viable. cut a shank off it and look you will see the copper is dirty and not conducting like new wire will. you may even consider better grade wire like marine grade.

my 2 cents would be get your propane system in order and go propane; where you can run your fridge so cold that the beer sticks to your tongue on the cheap. put your cash into leveling jacks.

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good points.  now you got me thinking about not replacing the propane fridge in our cabin but just doing some work on it..........

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39 minutes ago, payaso del mar said:

good points.  now you got me thinking about not replacing the propane fridge in our cabin but just doing some work on it..........

My understanding is that some of the Amish types do not use electric refers, so use propane instead.  If there are any in your area they may be able to work on and have parts available to work on yours?? 

                                                  Jim

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I have an older dometic propane fridge at my cabin that no one used because it was from an RV and had been put inside the cabin and made everyone nauseous from the fumes. I took it outside and set it up; works great and actually gets used now. 

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heres a good solution that's not too expensive...

get a 12 volt fridge and connect to this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ThinkPOW-EMPTY-Battery-Power-Bank-for-Tablets-Laptops-MacBook-Retina-DIY-ONLY-/171527454872?hash=item27efd54098:g:OmMAAOxyzpdTi-oW

very low weight and can power it using old laptop batteries. I build packs like these all the time but usually for other things. This one caught my eye today because it makes 10 amps at 12 volts; I bet it would run a 12 volt fridge for a while and then could easily be charged with an inverter or even off the vehicle.

 

yep would run this:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Car-Truck-Fridge-Portable-Travel-Cooler-12-Volt-12v-Refrigerator-RV-Boat-Camping-/231828630869?hash=item35fa102d55:g:QB8AAOSwq7JUCeVB&vxp=mtr

6 amp.

Edited by Totem

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1 hour ago, jjrbus said:

some of the Amish types do not use electric refers, so use propane instead

oh duh....now I understand why I see all the Amish made refurb bits for these.

Totem, the "cabin" actually is a 21' Nomad traila for now, and the ammonia refer is stock.  why was that one giving off fumes?  you mean just the propane-combustion exhaust?  in theory, that should be just CO2 and water, but in practice, it does seem like it always has a sweet organic-compound odor.

how much $ would the lithium batteries run for that power pack?  you say old laptop batteries, but my (admittedly limited!) experience has been that the battery is usually one of the first things to die on a laptop.  is there a way to refurb em?

that thing on ebay is a thermostatic fridge and won't get things that cold....they claim 54 degrees F below ambient....after factoring in the "ebay seller claim discount", i'd guess more like 40-45 degrees below ambient.  sorry, I want my beer colder on a 95 degree Mexico summer day than 50 degrees, and it sounds like you'd have trouble keeping a lot of food cold enough to prevent spoilage in the summer, esp if your RV interior gets hotter than outside.  and it's not like the juice usage is all that low....you can run a real compressor-style fridge on 6 amps.  Engel, ARB, FridgeFreeze, JD's $130 Igloo..........

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