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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Time to swap the Refrigerator?

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SoonDockin

Oklahoma

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Posted: 07/31/21 09:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

eric1514 wrote:

I swapped the absorption fridge in my van to a NovaKool compressor and I will do in my class c even without lithium batteries. It’s night and day if you do it right, and the factories rarely do. You might also see if J.C. Refrigeration makes a conversion kit for your present unit. That’s the route I’m going in my c because the present fridge fits so well and ‘d have to remove a window to get it out.


I see they have a kit for my norcold N8XL. I thought it would be AC/DC but now see they just build DC or AC. Seems a DC unit would be the smart move. Still at the cost, I will look at DC fridges too. Getting it out of my door looks easy enough.

Thanks for the tip!


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eric1514

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Posted: 07/31/21 09:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

SoonDockin wrote:


I will confess, I never cared if I was off level when camping. Ya I get close but never bother blocking tires or running jacks down. I had a class C with a 7cu/ft dometic fridge that never gave me a bit of problems and I never tried to level that rig.

I had read that they needed to be level, but just assumed that was a "suggestion".

I spent this trip measuring every low storage spot to see just how many Ah I could fit. Seems like I can easily add 600Ah and only use up one storage hatch. I can probably fit 4-500 watts of solar on the roof, and my truck has the super duper alternator for charging on the road. We often camp in RV parks so charging batteries each night is easy. We like to go explore and on this trip visiting my kid in Colorado, we use it for everything. Probably ran the generator in places it was frowned on but when you need a microwave .....

The fridge is a big problem right now. It was hit and miss if it would cool, and clearly needs attention. As it does not use DC, I will be looking at the suggested retrofit options, and if necessary will replace it.

Thanks for all the support!
The NovaKool I put in my van was the R3100. 3.1 cu.ft. I only had 2 grp 31 AGM batteries (210Ah total) and 300 watts of solar. I would use between 40-50Ah/day and it was pretty easy to get that back with the solar or a drive to a trail head or the store. I put a digital thermostat on it set for 35.5 and it held that very nearly all the time. You should have no problem with all you envision for your RV.


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eric1514

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Posted: 07/31/21 09:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

SoonDockin wrote:


I see they have a kit for my norcold N8XL. I thought it would be AC/DC but now see they just build DC or AC. Seems a DC unit would be the smart move. Still at the cost, I will look at DC fridges too. Getting it out of my door looks easy enough.

Thanks for the tip!
The DC kit is the way to go. The AC kit will require an inverter all the time.

The NovaKool I bought was over $1100 and frankly, not as well appointed as the Dometic it replaced. My wife was kinda disappointed but it worked very well especially after I put on a digital thermostat. I also had to do some cabinetry, but not much.

The conversion for my Class C fridge is around $800, already cheaper. To replace that fridge with a Dometic or Norcold is twice that and I'd have to remove and reinstall the huge dining room window. For me, the conversion is the way to go.

dougrainer

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Posted: 08/01/21 08:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

SoonDockin wrote:

2oldman wrote:

You camp unlevel?


I will confess, I never cared if I was off level when camping. Ya I get close but never bother blocking tires or running jacks down. I had a class C with a 7cu/ft dometic fridge that never gave me a bit of problems and I never tried to level that rig.

I had read that they needed to be level, but just assumed that was a "suggestion".

I spent this trip measuring every low storage spot to see just how many Ah I could fit. Seems like I can easily add 600Ah and only use up one storage hatch. I can probably fit 4-500 watts of solar on the roof, and my truck has the super duper alternator for charging on the road. We often camp in RV parks so charging batteries each night is easy. We like to go explore and on this trip visiting my kid in Colorado, we use it for everything. Probably ran the generator in places it was frowned on but when you need a microwave .....

The fridge is a big problem right now. It was hit and miss if it would cool, and clearly needs attention. As it does not use DC, I will be looking at the suggested retrofit options, and if necessary will replace it.

I would also like to lessen my need for propane. I have two 30lb bottles that are a bit heavy to lift that high. I would prefer to gt by with one or two 20lb bottles.

Thanks for all the support!


You are honest. DEAD WRONG as to why to level, but you admit to not doing it. Because you "thought" you knew about RV refer level, you have partially RUINED your RV cooling unit. NO IFS ANDS OR BUTS. People that do what you did think since nothing drastic happened at first, that talk about level was a wives tale. NOW, you have found it it will COST you big bucks. Either replace the cooling unit or go AC/DC. Either way will cost you. Doug

SoonDockin

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Posted: 08/01/21 05:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well its kind of like two roads converging. I want to equip my rig so I can operate most 120v stuff from batteries. Switching to a 12v refrigerator is a logical move. In the end I am not out much with my fridge starting to act up. Just pushes that part of the project closer to the front.

SoonDockin

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Posted: 08/01/21 06:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am looking at the Furrion 12v fridges. Only downside I see is they vent to the inside. I wonder how much heat one of those things can put out.

eric1514

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Posted: 08/01/21 06:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

SoonDockin wrote:

I am looking at the Furrion 12v fridges. Only downside I see is they vent to the inside. I wonder how much heat one of those things can put out.


All of the compressor fridges I'm aware of vent to the inside. It's a good thing for the RV maker as you don't have to cut any holes in the coach. Yes, they will dump some heat into the RV, but not a lot.

However, since you are replacing an absorption fridge, you already have holes in the side of your RV and you can vent using those if you want. That's what I did. I think there are advantages to doing that as outside air can be cooler than inside air (unless you're running the A/C) and venting outside gets rid of the heat without warming the cabin. Heck, the holes are already there, might as well use them. The same rules apply about venting. You have to carefully build the space so that air flows in and out unimpeded and maybe add a fan to help. This is true whether you vent in or out and most RV manufacturers ignore this important part of the installation.

Stay away from Furrion. I don't think they make anything that's worth a ****. The Forest River forum is full of owners with tales of woe about everything Furrion. Good fridges cost money. There's a reason Furrion and Everchill are cheap.

Look at NovaKool, Isotherm, TruckFridge, Vitifrigo. Anything with a Danfoss or now it's called a Seco variable speed compressor

* This post was edited 08/01/21 09:00pm by eric1514 *

SoonDockin

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Posted: 08/02/21 07:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well DW want to make a trip to Indiana soon to visit inlaws. I might just see if JC Refrigeration can do the install for me while I am bored.

eric1514

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Posted: 08/03/21 01:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

SoonDockin wrote:

Well DW want to make a trip to Indiana soon to visit inlaws. I might just see if JC Refrigeration can do the install for me while I am bored.
I hope you go that route and please report back your experience. I think you’ll be getting a quality product installed by the folks who make it.

deltabravo

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Posted: 08/03/21 10:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

https://jc-refrigeration.com/

Video on doing the conversion.


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