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Old 02-18-2015, 04:38 PM   #1
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Another Compressor Refrigerator

For those considering a compressor based refrigerator as a replacement for the propane based absorption supplied by Escape, here is a choice mentioned at Fiberglass RV. Sold by Costco for 729.99, it is a 5 cu ft refrigerator with freezer running on 12V or 120V.

Grape's website has more information, but at Depth 23.25" x Height 41.5" x Width 20.25" it looks like it would fit through an Escape door, and appears to draw 3.75 amps at 12V. Grape's Instruction Manual PDF
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Old 02-18-2015, 04:54 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Vermilye View Post
For those considering a compressor based refrigerator as a replacement for the propane based absorption supplied by Escape, here is a choice mentioned at Fiberglass RV. Sold by Costco for 729.99, it is a 5 cu ft refrigerator with freezer running on 12V or 120V.

Grape's website has more information, but at Depth 23.25" x Height 41.5" x Width 20.25" it looks like it would fit through an Escape door, and appears to draw 3.75 amps at 12V. Grape's Instruction Manual PDF
I called Grape Solar about this very fridge Jon, back when we were all first discussing suitable replacements for the Dometic. The only issue I had with it was the compressor. After I questioned them about the compressor type a few times, they admitted it's not a Danfoss. It's a lesser quality Chinese unit. In fact, the whole fridge is made in China. Not that anything made in China is automatically bad, but it might be a concern for durability.
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Old 02-18-2015, 05:34 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Vermilye View Post
For those considering a compressor based refrigerator as a replacement for the propane based absorption supplied by Escape, here is a choice mentioned at Fiberglass RV. Sold by Costco for 729.99, it is a 5 cu ft refrigerator with freezer running on 12V or 120V.

Grape's website has more information, but at Depth 23.25" x Height 41.5" x Width 20.25" it looks like it would fit through an Escape door, and appears to draw 3.75 amps at 12V. Grape's Instruction Manual PDF
I would also be concerned about its placement, clearance, and the ability to adequately dissipate heat off the condenser. The following is from their user's manual.

The surface temperature of the compressor can reach 160°F -195°F when running.
The noise emitted by the cooling fan on the condenser is normal.

"Position the freezer in a dry and well-ventilated place. Keep the freezer away from direct sunlight, heaters and corrosive gases."
" The normal operation of the freezer depends on the heat radiation of the condenser. For the initial use, the packing foam must be taken off and at least 6” of open space must be left around the freezer."
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Old 02-18-2015, 05:35 PM   #4
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Need to also consider if the fridge was made for Costco. My brother-in-law sells BBQs etc and has to compete with Home Depot and the like. What appears to be the same BBQ has had corners cut ( cheaper wheels eg. ) to allow Home Depot to sell for less.
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Old 02-18-2015, 05:54 PM   #5
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When this appeared on FiberglassRV I did some searching, and didn't find it on Costco's Canadian website. It is on Amazon.ca, at about the price one might expect given the U.S. price.

I had only briefly looked at the manual (for power consumption) so I had not noticed the ventilation requirement - good spotting, Don. It seems like the condenser uses the appliance cabinet as a heat sink, which is a perfectly good approach for a house - and the retailer's market for this product might be solar-powered homes - but would not suit an RV installation snugly fitted into a cabinet.
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Old 02-18-2015, 06:05 PM   #6
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When this appeared on FiberglassRV I did some searching, and didn't find it on Costco's Canadian website. It is on Amazon.ca, at about the price one might expect given the U.S. price.

I had only briefly looked at the manual (for power consumption) so I had not noticed the ventilation requirement - good spotting, Don. It seems like the condenser uses the appliance cabinet as a heat sink, which is a perfectly good approach for a house - and the retailer's market for this product might be solar-powered homes - but would not suit an RV installation snugly fitted into a cabinet.
The unit size and power draw are great but it would take a lot of courage to purchase a fridge for this $much with a Chinese-made compressor where the noise level, heat dissipated and expected life would all be unknown. I also don't see a door latch for traveling on this unit.
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Old 02-18-2015, 06:13 PM   #7
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Need to also consider if the fridge was made for Costco.
Good point, but I don't think so. I think it is made by an unidentified Chinese manufacturer for Grape Solar, who then offer it through their usual channels. How much confidence do buyers have in Grape Solar as an appliance manufacturer? The owner's manual is pretty marginal.
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Old 02-18-2015, 06:13 PM   #8
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Hey, I'm not recommending it; just pointing it out!
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Old 02-18-2015, 06:15 PM   #9
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Hey, I'm not recommending it; just pointing it out!

I appreciate tips like this about additional possibilities - it is up to each of us to decide if we are interested.
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Old 02-18-2015, 06:27 PM   #10
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Hey, I'm not recommending it; just pointing it out!

We need a "shoot the messenger" smilie.
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