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residential fridge in HDT


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We have often heard the cautions of RV fridges being the #1 cause of RV fires and thinking of installing one in Red Flyer made me think that might be a bad idea since the fridge location is approximately over the rear axel. By now we have a bit of weight back there so the ride has improved... somewhat. But I keep thinking things like furnace brazed or soldered joints of the refrigerant system are going to take a beating they may have not been designed for. Some roof top AC units are being offered in beefed up models due to rough rides.

So, apartment sized residential fridges are available the same size as a large model of RV fridge; 24" wide. All electric so if it dies, it simply does not work, hopefully without bursting into flames (unlikely).

We are adding 400W of solar and need loads like a fridge to soak up some of the power while the panels are putting out so this seems like a good idea.

The solar panels will only be available while we are boondocking, otherwise they are disconnected and stowed away.

We only boondock and will never have shore power except at home. We can load up the fridge with chilled and frozen goods and pre-cool the fridge prior to departure while hooked up to the shore power. Underway we could even run off of the inverter from the Volvo batteries so we avoid the startup from scratch load on the fridge once we arrive at our destination.

We have two generators and an APU available as well.

The big question is though the residential fridge is the safer option, would it survive the beating? ...there are some miserable highways out there.


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You might also look into what the largest marine/truck refrigerator is that you can find, and see if that would be big enough to suit your needs. They run on 12v, so they could be wired to a spare circuit in Red Flyer, but they're a refrigerant-based, compressor-style unit, not the ammonia-based heat adsorption type cooling unit that's so problematic in RVs, and they're designed to deal with the "rough ride" environment of boats and trucks.

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I installed a dorm sized residential refrigerator/freezer in my 770 when I bought it in 2004. It is about 3 feet tall so larger than just the cube type. Since then I have put over 100,000 miles on the truck including a trip to Alaska and Prudhoe Bay over the Dalton Highway. It doesn't get any rougher that that. I did install a transfer switch so it will switch between the inverter and shore power when I plug in. I've not had one problem with it in all that time. In fact, it became our primary refer twice when we had failures in our RV propane refer before we installed the 22 cf household refer in the 5er, and in addition to solo travel, we still use it occasionally around holidays when we need even more space.

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I have had to replace the 1.8 cu ft cube refrigerator in the truck twice. First one ran from 2006-2011. The second one from 2011-2014.


One failed from running on the inverter over time. There was a single sentence in the operator manual that the refrigerator should not be run on an inverter. No other warning on other information.


Perhaps the other had the same issue without any warnings in the manual.


Maybe 5 years is the lifetime of these low cost refrigerators.

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My apartment size 120 volt dorm-room style fridge has been in my Volvo 11 years.....no problems.

It runs on inverter, or shore or genny, whatever I can supply at the time.


Original cost was $89.00



In my 610 - which I owned for over 10 years - I ran a fridge like Rick. It ran 24/7 for all those years. I don;t think it was shut down more than a handful of times. I never had an issue with it. And that was a MSW inverter, but it ran mostly on shore power. My current (780) has the Volvo fridge in it. I don;t know if that is "hardened" of not....

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