About a year ago my parents purchased a pop-top camper-van and it had a domestic house hold refrigerator installed.  The previous owners had built the camper and run the refrigerator from an Inverter.  They had installed 3 x 80 watt Solar Panels (or 240 watts) on a metal bracket slightly hanging off  the rear of the van so as not to impede the pop-top opening.  The solar panels were regulated through a Steca 20 amp Solar Charge Controller and charged  two 105 amp hour AGM Batteries.   The batteries were wired to a 1000 watt modified Sine Wave Inverter.

The refrigerator was a standard 90 litre bar fridge which was plugged into the 1000 watt inverter and the solar panels were able to keep the batteries charged on all but one camping trip when the weather was cloudy for two days in a row.  Luckily the previous owners had installed a high amperage switch to allow the camper vans alternator to charge the RV batteries when there was no sunshine.

The reason the previous owners set it up this way was that a domestic bar fridge like this one only costs $250.oo.  Whereas a 12 volt compressor or 3 way RV refrigerator would cost about $1,000.00 more than that, so they thought if the refrigerator stops working they could just buy a new one and still be better off.   Also if you do a lot of camping at campgrounds you have power supplied anyway.

One drawback of running the inverter throughout the night is that they could  hear the little cooling fan inside the inverter sometimes, but that was mostly because it was mounted too close to the bed.  Eventually my parents out grew their little campervan and wanted more room and a bathroom, so they sold the camper and upgraded to a full sized motor home.  I know that a lot of people would disagree with this type of setup, as using an inverter incurs power loss and I must admit that I was  bit skeptical at first however it did work well while my parents owned it.

Pop Top Ford Transit

Dads Pop Top Ford Transit.