propane refrigerator

i would be interested in hearing more about your refigeration
system. i am using a well insulated icebox and am considering a
switch to warm drinks as getting ice is a nuisance and restricts my
itinerary, but would like to consider my options.
john churchill

John, I've used the Dometic AC/DC/propane refer since the early '80's. Am now on my third unit because the propane chimney eventually rusts out. All three of the units still functioned fine on electricity generated heat source but drew too much for practical use on anchor IMHO. Something like six amps on DC and ran all the time since it is a heat unit.

But the refer itself cost so little, about $300 originally and $400 the last time in '93. The unit in use now is no longer efficient on propane but since I'm 'plugged in' (AC) it runs about 35 to 40 degrees F. and on occasion freezes soda. I've never had a problem with propane or refrigerant leakage (whatever it is, maybe amonia?).

Thebig problem is that they stopped making this model and no only make somethink equivilant in a gassly purple ment for picnics. Ij will probably eventually buy one of the new design but am holding off for now because it will require a rebuild of the refer area since I built the original into the existing ice box. In any case, here is the site for the present unit:

It has an automatic shutoff if the mini-burner goes out for obvious safety reasons and while many people claim it has to be level to work right, I've never shut ours off when sailing for any reason and that includes a full gale when we spent a lot of time on our ear.

It is small as you can see, but gives us all the cold stuff we need. We usually carried two 20 lb propane tanks and even with cooking all the time (we live aboard) we get about six to eight weeks from one tank.

I've never regretted not going with a bigger box and an Adler-Barbor type refrig. I like keeping the power draw low and I abhor disturbing the tranquility of an anchorage by running an engine to charge batteries...I wish others did too.

I can't help thinking that somewhere in Europe, in some little country, they make a 'small' propane or kerosene refrigerator that will fit in the boat. I just have to find it.

Stan (Waxwing)



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