Why not this fridge?
QCan a Dometic 12V fridge (as fitted in our caravan) be used on a narrowboat? If so, why aren’t they stocked by chandlers?
SUE LEMON, via email
ATONY REPLIES… The Dometic name is used on their ‘three-way’ fridges (gas, 12v or 240v) but they stopped supplying them for boat use a number of years ago. I suspect your fridge is one of these.
If so, and if this is a new boat, a gas fridge will almost certainly make it non-compliant with the RFD and may lead to a Boat Safety Failure. Also, they are usually electricity-hungry absorption type units with no thermostat for 12v operation, which is only intended to keep your food chilled while travelling to or from a caravan site. It will draw around 8A from the battery for 24 hours a day (ie, a discharge of 192Ah compared to around 40Ah for a compressor 12v fridge), so you are likely to end up with flat batteries (and solid tomatoes etc).
If you have sufficient batteries and an efficient inverter there is much to be said nowadays for considering an A++ rated domestic mains fridge. It will be far cheaper than a 12v compressor one, and if you run it slightly cooler than normal and turn it off after the last door opening of the night and on again in the morning, it may even use less than a 12v one running 24/7. A few years ago I would not have suggested this, but mains fridge efficiencies have improved.
A modern A++ mains freezer might be best