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Old 02-18-2015, 03:38 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, 03:54 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, 04:34 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 160F -195F 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, 04:35 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, 04:54 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, 05:05 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, 05:13 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, 05:13 PM   #8
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Hey, I'm not recommending it; just pointing it out!
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Old 02-18-2015, 05:15 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, 05:27 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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Old 02-18-2015, 05:47 PM   #11
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It all depends on one style of camping of course but I think the importance of refrigeration is over rated. For me ..... I use a YETI ice box. They are expensive but have thick enough insulation to hold ice for a pretty long time ...... but then I have been observed drinking a warm beer once in a while.
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Old 02-18-2015, 06:16 PM   #12
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i have been thinking of buying a YETI cooler a small one as a back up to my fridge (which is the small one) the YETI is very heavy so im thinking i would buy the small one or i could never get it in my car. They are very nice but $.
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Old 02-18-2015, 06:28 PM   #13
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For me, it is important - I sometimes dry camp for a couple of weeks on end, 30 or more miles from the nearest resupply. Solar, good refrigeration, and careful use of water are pretty imperative!
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Old 02-18-2015, 09:19 PM   #14
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If I bought a $30,000 trailer I shouldn't have to carry an ice chest with all the extra weight and bother to keep my drinks and other main items cold. I do carry a small ice chest for the day trips because cold delectables during a wine picnic are most enjoyable.

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Old 02-18-2015, 09:23 PM   #15
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If I bought a $30,000 trailer I shouldn't have to carry an ice chest with all the extra weight and bother to keep my drinks and other main items cold. I do carry a small ice chest for the day trips because cold delectables during a wine picnic are most enjoyable.
We've heard this before. IMHO it's not how much you PAY for the trailer, it's about the conditions you are willing to deal with. I've owned an all-molded trailer for more than 12 years. An ice chest is part of my Packing List. YMMV

And in case you are a newbee to these trailers, I have friends that spent A 'EL of a lot more for their trailer than I did on Ten Forward.. and THEY have refrigerator issues. This is NOT an ETI problem. Just cruise the big forums (RV.net, IRV2.com) and you'll have a HUGE learning experience when it comes to refrigerator problems!

And BTW the CasitaForum has a HUGE thread going about refrigerator issues.. and THEY are all molded towables.
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Old 02-18-2015, 09:39 PM   #16
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If I bought a $30,000 trailer I shouldn't have to carry an ice chest with all the extra weight and bother to keep my drinks and other main items cold.
You would expect the fridge in a more expensive trailer to perform better, but alas, you and I know that isn't always the case. There are small fridges in pop-up trailers that will freeze your food rock solid.

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I have friends that spent A 'EL of a lot more for their trailer than I did on Ten Forward.. and THEY have refrigerator issues. This is NOT an ETI problem. Just cruise the big forums (RV.net, IRV2.com) and you'll have a HUGE learning experience when it comes to refrigerator problems!
True, and another confirmation of the wisdom in buying an Escape. What other TRAILER manufacturer would go to such lengths trying to correct this issue they didn't cause?
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Old 02-18-2015, 09:44 PM   #17
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Everyone, no matter the build or how much they SPENT on buying their trailer is trying to figure this out.

If you are an engineer and have the knowledge to solve the problem.. you will be a gazillion-aire. If you're not... carry ice, or make it!
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Old 02-18-2015, 10:23 PM   #18
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Can make solid ice packs 1/2 gallon juice and milk cartons . Looked at the Yeti however bought a Penquin from Amazon 35 qt . They make ammo cases too . Very thick walls will keep ice for at least 10 days in hot weather . However I have a truck for carrying . Also use a regular ice chest if not hot . I just will make do with this frig .
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Old 02-18-2015, 10:28 PM   #19
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I'd like to start a new thread ... "Dry Camping". I don't know how to start a tread. Can someone help? .... or more importantly ... would any one be interested?
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Old 02-18-2015, 10:47 PM   #20
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I'd like to start a new thread ... "Dry Camping". I don't know how to start a tread. Can someone help? .... or more importantly ... would any one be interested?
We don't have a forum set up for your topic... so maybe General Chat (until some moderator moves it ) General Escape - Escape Trailer Owners Community

Hit the button that says "new thread" kinda on the left side... button.

Hope this helps a bit.
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