Off Grid Refrigerator/Gas Stove recommendations for 2018?

Off Grid Mountain ManOff Grid Mountain Man Posts: 23Registered Users ✭✭✭
Hi, I'm looking for a Fridge, and Propane Gas Range for my off grid home I'm building in Northern NM.  I know there is tons and tons of information on this forum, and all over the net, but alot of the info is outdated, and I'm looking for 2018 information!  :)

I was going to just bite the bullet and get a Sunfrost R-16, (yes, I did a LOT of research about the potential issues), but turns out I wasted my time - Sunfrost stopped making Fridges 8 months ago! (website still up and running??)

 I'm looking for a size of Fridge around 10 cu Fridge, and 4 cu Freezer.  Prefer AC, as thats the way my place was wired. (could run another DC line if I have to).   I'm in a low winter sun area, rigging up a 2000 watt system - but can go 3 - 5 days with no sun, and only 3 - 4 hours on a good winter day......

I'm looking for a 24" range that uses no gas when not on, and no electricity. I have to haul my propane in small bottles as I'm too remote for propane truck. 

Thank you in advance for any current up to date information off grid electric Fridges, and Gas Ranges!

Comments

  • EstragonEstragon Posts: 2,850Registered Users ✭✭✭✭✭
    My range uses a 9v battery to spark the propane:
    http://uniqueoffgrid.com/category/off-grid-ranges/

    Mine's a 30", but I think they still make smaller ones. There's a setting for keeping an oven pilot flame lit if you want, or you can spark it each time. The battery always sparks the range burners.

    I also have to haul propane, and I'm pretty sure there's some sort of gravitational field that makes the 100# cylinders get heavier every year :blush:
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Posts: 4,021Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    If this is a home where you and others may live, you need to plan on building a system that will do what is needed for a home.
    A cabin is a completely different design offgrid from a home in my opinion. Good Luck NM is a perfect place for Offgrid :)
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • petertearaipetertearai Posts: 348Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    ive got a samsung inveter fridge . then an LG Inverter fridge . both good . the lg specs 299 kw per year . 450 litre fridge freezer great so far .
    2225 wattts pv . Outback 2kw  fxr pure sine inverter . fm80 charge controller . victron battery monitor . 24 volts 450 ah surette batterys . off grid  holiday home 
  • Off Grid Mountain ManOff Grid Mountain Man Posts: 23Registered Users ✭✭✭
    Thanks for your comments! 

     25 years ago I fell in love with Sun Frosts, yes, I know the issues some had - but sure wanted one. The company told me they had to stop making them 8 months ago due to no orders.  I guess when Sun Frosts came out, they were kinda the only game in town, but over the years, so many other brands of fridge could match or nearly match their power usage, at a drastically lower cost, and larger size.....it was going to cost me around 4 grand for an R-16 including tax title and license. ;)
    The Unique stove looks great, although I found some bad reviews online - still researching. Still trying to decide which fridge. I live deep in the Mountains off the grid, and will be using my stream with a cooler for a fridge the next few weeks!

    I'm getting a Viasat Internet system installed this week, and now need to go find the lowest powerage LED TV in the 32" - 40" range - but it looks like all new ones are in the 30 - 50 watt range?

    Thanks again for the suggestions.
  • mcgivormcgivor Posts: 2,219Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭✭
    Definitely look into inverter refrigerators, they are made for solar, even if that wasn't the intended purpose, no inrush and very efficient.
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery bank 

  • VicVic Posts: 2,907Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭

    Estragon's Unique ranges look interesting.

    You might also look for the Peerless Premier line of  ranges ...   some discussions here:

    http://forum.solar-electric.com/search?Search=peerless+premier

    My 13 year old Premier is still serving well,  with no issues yet,   they felt compelled to go to glo-bar ignition,  due to the prior models of oven ignition used mercury (as noted in some of the Discussions,  Linked above).   It IS possible that the Peerless ranges have gone to battery ignition,   without mercury/glo-bars.

    FWIW,   sounds like your site may be even more remote than mine.   BTW,  our Internet is via Terrestrial WiFi (the old term for it)  --  many,  many 5 GHz hops,   to the roof of a data center,   a bit expensive,  but generally very  low latency,   and adequate BW for video streaming ...

    FWIW,   good luck,   Vic

    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH [email protected], 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
  • Off Grid Mountain ManOff Grid Mountain Man Posts: 23Registered Users ✭✭✭
    Hi, thanks for the info! I'm in a south facing canyon, only option that I'm aware of for internet is satellite. I had a miserable experience with Hughesnet a few years ago, this time I'm going with Viaset.  $110 a month for unlimited Data, and $30 for Satellite phone. Will see how that works.  I could have gone with Hughes for $49 with a 10gb limit.
    Yes, this is the cost of living in the mountains off the grid.....but to compensate, I have low taxes, and am building a solar home that catches it's own water.
    My property gets a weak cell signal. At one edge of my property I can sometimes get a call out, that always drops out in a minute or two.  10 years ago a guy had a large super powered cell phone that worked fine, but I can't find out where to get these things or what they cost today in 2018. So going with Sat phone for home, and use my Verizon cell when driving into town where I can get a cell signal.
  • EstragonEstragon Posts: 2,850Registered Users ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 21 #9
    If you have some cell signal, a booster such as those by Wilson or Uniden may be useful.  I get very marginal connection at the cabin, about 15-20 miles from the tower in hilly, forested terrain.  With a directional yagi antenna mounted on a flagpole and a booster I get good voice and reasonable 3g speeds.  Some boosters are cradle type for a single phone tethered to the booster (mainly for car use).  Mine has an interior antenna allowing use throughout the cabin.  I put a hotspot near the interior antenna, and get wi-fi pretty much throughout the cabin for multiple devices.

    The boosters run from a couple hundred $ for basic 3g models.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • Off Grid Mountain ManOff Grid Mountain Man Posts: 23Registered Users ✭✭✭
    Hi, the Cell booster I believe MIGHT work.  I get  very weak, sometimes 1 bar signal at the top of my property. It's about 300' distance, and 200' lower to my home where I get nothing on a typical small cell phone. But as I said years ago a guy got a good signal with some gigantic over powered Cell phone.  The problem is laying out the money for a booster then find out no signal - where as $30 a month satellite phone through Viasat is guaranteed to work?  Decisions Decisions......
  • EstragonEstragon Posts: 2,850Registered Users ✭✭✭✭✭
    The outfit I got my booster had a money back deal if it didn't do the job.  It would probably help you if you know where your cell tower is.  Cell signals, especially the higher frequency bands, don't handle obstructions well.  If you find the latency on sat internet is too much, or it really craps out in the rain, maybe something to look into.  Does $30/month cover voice usage?  I thought sat phones were big$ to use.  $110/mo for unlimited data sounds not bad if the service is decent.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • VicVic Posts: 2,907Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 21 #12

    Hi O G M M,

    OK,  it does appear that Viasat is a geosynchronous satellite.   For some uses of the Internet  the Latency inherent in this type of service can cause problems  --  particularly,   voice service.

    Second,   have you really read each and EVERY one of the definitions,  limitations,  exceptions,  and tail-covering on this company's web site?   They must cover their behinds,  but,  when one gets down to using this service,  it might not be much different or better than Hughes Net.

    I have no knowledge of or experience with Viasat,   things for your uses of the service may well work great for you.

    Am sure that you know that "Unlimited",   seems like the dictionary definition,  in our minds  --  'without limit'.   AND,  this is often what the Marketers of  data providing services want us to believe.   BUT,  sometimes   there are many LIMITS,   specified somewhere in the fine-print.

    If you have not done so,  please read each and every Disclaimer,   definition and  exclusion on the Viasat (or any other data provider's) site   and there are many of these at Viasat.

    EDIT to add:  Also,  please carefully check the exact costs/fees that would apply should you choose/try to terminate your Contract,  early.   Sometimes this can be a real financial killer for some of these services.

    Again,  do not mean to disparage Viasat,  in particular,   we all have heard too many horror stories from others,   regarding this general category of providers.

    FYI,   YMMV,   follow the label,   avoid excessive use,   and so on ...  Vic 

    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH [email protected], 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
  • Off Grid Mountain ManOff Grid Mountain Man Posts: 23Registered Users ✭✭✭
    Thank you so much for all your advice Vic.  Yes, I know all these issues you brought up, and I realize if it totally sucks, it will cost me at least $400 to get out..... but on my rural off grid, in a canyon property, this is the price I pay.  Having lived with Hughesnet for a few years, I can say it's better than Dial up, but as I recall the uploads were about as slow, it had limits, it went out all the time, forget about watching videos, everything locks up and "buffers", customer service sucked, etc etc etc.  BUT, it was a milion times better than nothing.  Reviews I found online overall give a better rating to Viasat - but I will know shortly if this is true!  The 10 GB limit for the cheapo rate with Hughes would have been a constant headache, and for whenever I can get a signal, and use the internet with Viasat, as least I know they won't throttle me back from running out of bandwidth.  The one good thing, is if the installer shows up (tomorrow!), and he can't get me a good strong internet and phone signal, I pay nothing, contract is cancelled. Due to me being in a deep Canyon, losing all Eastern and Western sun, 100' trees, BUT I have pretty good mid day southern exposure,  straight down my canyon, I am 90% sure they will be able to get a signal.  I have both Viasat, and DirecTV showing up tomorrow, and in a week, I am moving fulltime to my off grid property.  Where I live now, they just installed Fiber Optic Internet, and it's going to be a HUGE slowdown, and back to better than nothing internet!!!  ;)
  • EstragonEstragon Posts: 2,850Registered Users ✭✭✭✭✭
    Just curious, whose definition of "good strong internet and phone" applies? Do you get to arbitrarily decline service, for example, if you try a series of diagnostics (pings, traceroutes), web sites, services (dns lookups, ssl), external speed measuring tests, etc., and then decide it isn't good enough, and not get dinged for the exit fee? Or does the installer bring a laptop, bring up a few websites, and declare all is well?
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • VicVic Posts: 2,907Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭

    OK Off Grid..,

    Glad that you have carefully checked on the details of the plan that you are getting.

    Congratulations on your upcoming move to FT  off-grid,   am sure that you will love it.

    I went without internet at the remote site,   'cause the satellite offerings at that time were horrible,   limited,   plus the Hughes FAPing,   etc.

    Have a Land Line phone line there,   but  the line quality was SO BAD,  that 28 KBPs dial-up  would usually result in no log on.  On the occasions that one could log on,  the connection was dropped within 30 seconds,   usually.

    Then some friends extended their Terrestrial WiFi backbone to my property (my WAP is the dead end).   And you are correct even something that is not that great,   is often better than nothing at all   ...   was just trying to make sure that you had checked on all of the very fine detail.

    Good Luck with the appliances,   the internet,   and ALL of the many other projects that you must have in the hopper.     Vic

    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH [email protected], 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
  • Off Grid Mountain ManOff Grid Mountain Man Posts: 23Registered Users ✭✭✭
    I will have the answer to your questions and review tomorrow.  ;)  Again, I wish I could have a better option, but as long as it "kinda works sometimes" - it's better than nothing.  I know this going in. I am unaware of any other options for internet - and I must have SOME internet for my/banking/watching investments, etc etc. But I don't have to have videos, and I spend a very limited amount of time on the internet. 
    I have a gorgeous piece of private, no HOA, no covenants, do what I want to, forested mountain land with a creek running a few feet from my solar home, surrounded by National Forest, but the downside is getting good internet, TV, and phone. 
  • Off Grid Mountain ManOff Grid Mountain Man Posts: 23Registered Users ✭✭✭
    Hi Vic thanks so much for your all your info.  I am doing the "20 year building plan" - no mortgage, built slowly out of pocket, and live a debt free life. Finally after nearly 10 years am moving to my property full time, after living up there part-time for years with no electricity or internet or phone!  

    One piece of advice I remember hearing years ago, if you live for a while with no electricity or internet, or phone, ANYTHING you can get, seems pretty damn good!   :D
  • 706jim706jim Posts: 214Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Seems this thread has drifted away from fridges and stoves and has wandered over to internet accessibility.
    Regarding the fridge, I could never understand how Sunfrost could get away with such high pricing. Maybe when panels cost $10/watt, but not anymore. I would suggest getting more panels and a conventional fridge. Where I live (on an island) a propane fridge cost a lot and was expensive to run; over a dollar a day. And propane bottles were getting heavier to move. I went from 100# to 60# to 50# bottles and even these are a bear to load and unload from a boat. So a $400 fridge (11.2 cubic feet with 2.2 cubic feet freezer) was my solution.
    My Danby range has pilot lights for the burners and the oven and works faultlessly. I don't think the pilots use that much gas.
    But good luck with your cabin. You are living the dream many others can only wish for.
    Island cottage solar system with 1400 watts of panels, Trace DR1524 MSW inverter, Trace C40 PWM controller 8 Trojan L16's. My 25th year.
  • VicVic Posts: 2,907Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭

    706jim noted,  correctly,  "Seems this thread has drifted away from fridges and stoves and has wandered over to internet accessibility   ...  "

    YES!   Great observation ...   but the OP did note the Internet access hardware that was going to be used,   was imminent.   SO,  it did not seem out of place,  to make a few general comments in THIS Thread.

    Seemed to me,  that many folks who are off-grid might have things to add about satellite Internet access,   and their personal experiences,   and so on.

    Of course,  this current comment,  further derails this Appliance Thread  (but,  is a satellite internet portal,  an APPLIANCE?)/

    This seems  a friendly Forum,    and Topic Drift appears to be well-tolerated,   often beneficial,   etc.

    FWIW,   Vic

    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH [email protected], 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
  • TricksailingTricksailing Posts: 16Registered Users ✭✭
    Back to fridges... boring!!  I did the math about 5 years back and came to the conclusion you could buy a decent solar power system with invertor and standard electric refrigerator for about the price of a gas fridge. It was for a friend who went with the electric fridge and has been very happy with it.
    Another issue with gas fridges in hot climates is that their efficiency dives dramatically when it gets hot.
  • simmtronsimmtron Posts: 87Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Another vote for Inverter fridge over propane. We live in the tropics  and 2 years ago changd to a Samsung inverter fridge from Propane. Here in Mexico the fridge cost $3OO US. 56OO pesos. I added 2 6 volt Golf cart batteries and 3 more 14O watt panels. Total cost approx $11OO , fridge and extra solar. I am running a 12 volt system as didn't want to change everything . A dometic fridge would  cost almost $25OO delivered. So saved $14OO and no more buying propane. Maximum draw on the inverter 13O watts and no startup surge. 
  • EstragonEstragon Posts: 2,850Registered Users ✭✭✭✭✭
    Propane sometimes makes sense for mobile or occasional use applications. For stationary and more or less full-time use, solar/battery/inverter is likely to be a better choice. Right tool for the job :smile:
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • jedwa1216jedwa1216 Posts: 1Registered Users
    Just want to follow up with the discussion about viasat internet and how it is working out. I have had viasat for a couple weeks now and it seems to be working fine. Also about the cell signal problem, we just use wifi for calling at home and it works fine. My Google Fi service is great for using WiFi instead of cell service.
    Please move my post if this not the way to do this, I just saw that mountain man seemed to be in the same situation as I am. No cell service and must use satellite internet. I had hughesnet before also and so far viasat is much better. We can even watch Netflix! Never could do that before. And I have the lowest price plan.
  • BB.BB. Posts: 27,907Super Moderators, Administrators admin
    Jedwa, your post is fine here. If you have detailed questions or discussions you wish to partake in... I would suggest you start your own thread and then you have better control on the direction of the conversations for your needs.

    Regarding cell phones... They are getting pretty nice. My current lot of Android phones will default to using WIFI for making phone calls (if I am logged into WIFI) and fall back to Cell Network (usually without dropping a call--Verizon and T-Mobile). Should be nice for those folks in WIFI islands and go in/out of cell coverage as part of daily life.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Off Grid Mountain ManOff Grid Mountain Man Posts: 23Registered Users ✭✭✭
    HI all, I'm the guy that started this thread - I ended up getting a Unique DC fridge, and off grid range.....

    I have been using Viasat for about 6 weeks now.  It's been a sometimes MISERABLE experience. 

    The install totally sucked.  I was promised a time, took off work, drove 6 hours round trip to my property and they showed up 8 hours late.  The guy refused to install that time after wasting my entire day.  He would not mount on my roof parapet wall that was wood frame, coated with a thin stucco.  A perfect place for install - my Direct TV was there doing fine - but he claimed they wouldn't pay him for drilling through stucco.  So I said, then do a pole mount - he hadn't brought a pole.  

    A few days later, after I requested a new installer, they sent THE SAME guy to me.  Again, he refused to install.  I got the hint, and offered him $100 cash - and he did the install. Yup, had to BRIBE him to get internet. 

    When it works, which is 50 - 90% of the time depending on the day, it works great. Much faster than Hughes net that I have had before.  (this was about 7 years ago) BUT Hughes was MUCH more reliable in my situation.  It rarely went out, I just had to deal with data limits. My Viasat goes out pretty much everyday at least a time or two, sometimes for hours. I have called, I have written, I have tried over and over and complained about a dozen times - it's always the same story, on hold for ever, talk to someone who barely speaks English, and NOTHING ever happens. If I hadn't already used the phone number they gave me already for all my bank accounts, credit cards, etc etc, I would simply cancel the card I pay it on, and get Hughes net.  For HALF the price, as they want a cool $1000 to shut the sucker down.  Of course, this would probably ruin my credit record if I canceled the card.

    The phone has a delay, which you can get used to, but you do talk over each other alot - but when it works, it's clear as a bell, much better than most cell service. But it always seems, RIGHT when I am in the middle of an important business type phone call - it goes dead.  Happens most every day as I said. It's not a matter of  IF my internet and phone will go out everyday, it's WHEN.

    I would NEVER recommend Viasat to anyone, and there is a good chance at some point, I will go back to Hughes.

    EVEN IF my situation is not the usual, their customer service is miserable - yes, Hughes was about the same, and slower, but at least it worked over 95% of the time!
  • westbranchwestbranch Posts: 5,090Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    I can sympathize with you...We upped our Xplornet rate (speed and data) plan by one level, and now we just see our video's streaming go a bit fuzzy   several times an hour rather than just getting a spinning arrow / circle, so the satisfaction is higher...
    In addition what we have discovered is that during certain  time  slots when every one is getting home and the kids get on the  net ,  there is a sports game or other special broadcast ( Elections) etc....  We get VERY SLOW service /  response time.. Just a fact of life due to the sharing system they devised ...
    Everyone seems to want the cheapest tier and the fastest service...




     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
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