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Old 12-29-2015, 11:18 PM   #15
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The Dometic Tundra that's similar in size to the Webasto mentioned here is reported to use about 28 amp-hours/day at 90F. Several cheaper models show much higher usage but the article in which I found this table suggests that their higher current demand is due to poor insulation which requires the compressor to run more frequently.
Our 8.1 cubic foot Vitrifrigo (which fits in the same space as the 7 cubic foot Dometic on a typical 27 foot Airstream) is rated at 5.6 AH (@ 12v) and my experience indicates it runs about 65 - 75% of the time in typical camping conditions (i.e., not 100 degree days in the Mojave!) so that works out to between 85 and 100 AH per 24 hour period. The Vitrifrigo is a quality model so I am skeptical that there exists a similar sized fridge from another manufacturer that will only use about 25% of this amount of power (i.e., 28 AH/day.) Anyone contemplating a 12 volt Danfoss fridge needs to plan for making up the requisite amount of power usage between their shore power, batteries and solar set-up. We have 400 AH of LFPs and 540 watts of solar on the roof and a number of other electric intensive activities (TV and internet) and can do fine basically forever without running the generator or needing shore power unless we hit two or three cloudy/rainy days in a row (or camp in the shade.) Then we haul out the Yamaha for a couple of hours to get us over the hump. Even when we "have to" use the generator (which is converted to propane, btw) we still use way less propane than we would if we had a standard Dometic fridge, plus of course, the Danfoss fridge works so much better than the adsorption style (i.e., Dometic) fridge.
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Old 12-29-2015, 11:38 PM   #16
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Thanks Bob. My best choice may be staying put - 2x Lifeline AGM's 105 AH each and a refer I can run for days with no worries about battery drain. I have a generator but use it as little as possible.
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Old 12-30-2015, 12:09 AM   #17
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Cannot an Interstate be adequately leveled to run a propane refer? I like to boondock for a few days or longer at a time - the refer in the Interstate seems to make this impossible. Why is a propane/110 VAC refer somehow less desirable?
Not having to cut even more great gaping holes in the side of the Sprinter van body probably has something to do with it— Mercedes is a lot more particular about what an upfitter can do to the Sprinter van than were Freightliner and Dodge, the previous dealers for Sprinter vans. It wasn't until 2014 that Mercedes approved the first Sprinter van conversion with a slide-out, for example, and to the best of my knowledge only one upfitter, Leisure Travel Vans, has ever gotten approval for one. But back to fridges…

Fridge location in an Interstate varies from one floor plan to another but the exterior fittings all stay the same (except the T1N and maybe the Grand Tour). For example, on mine, the municipal water intake and fresh tank fill are directly behind the fridge, exactly where a Dometic propane-fueled fridge would have exterior access to the working parts. Installing a propane fridge would require ripping out the galley entirely and rebuilding it to put the fridge where a hole could be cut into the side of the van. A lot more expensive and time-consuming than switching to 6v Lifeline house batteries in series to get more amp-hours and adding more solar capacity to run the fridge longer on battery power. And all to get a less-efficient fridge.

But the older T1N-based Interstates (2004-2007) had a Dometic propane fridge— and a different floor plan. So you may want to consider a used T1N Interstate if having a Dometic propane fridge is really a make-or-break decision point for you.
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Old 12-30-2015, 12:56 AM   #18
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Mike, we have a 8.1 cubic foot Danfoss fridge (Vitrifrigo) that Lewster installed for us back in September and we love it! Best of all (for you) we are currently in the Palm Canyon State Park in Borrego Springs and will probably head over to the Rockhouse Road boondock area to join you and the other AS'ers there for a few days beginning tomorrow (12/30/15) and we'd be pleased as punch to show it off to you. Bob
There are about 28 of us over here now, Airstreams, can't miss us. The wife I know would love to see it. My Amazon wishlist has significantly increased in the past week.

Knowing you have the 27 EB makes me all the more interested in seeing it, since our setups are similar.

When AMSolar gets back from Vacation I'll have a total of 705 watts of power. Currently we have 505 watts.
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Old 12-30-2015, 01:24 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by AnnArborBob View Post
Our 8.1 cubic foot Vitrifrigo (which fits in the same space as the 7 cubic foot Dometic on a typical 27 foot Airstream) is rated at 5.6 AH (@ 12v) and my experience indicates it runs about 65 - 75% of the time in typical camping conditions (i.e., not 100 degree days in the Mojave!) so that works out to between 85 and 100 AH per 24 hour period. The Vitrifrigo is a quality model so I am skeptical that there exists a similar sized fridge from another manufacturer that will only use about 25% of this amount of power (i.e., 28 AH/day.)
~~
Hmmm... I found a confusing Dometic chart that may have been the source of the Dometic data on the report I linked earlier. It shows a 4.5A draw at 12V, 2.25A at 24V... but then shows a power consumption of 28W. The only way to get there is to multiply the 24v amperage by 12v. 2.25A at nominal 12v gets you 27W, about 12.5V gets you 28W, but it would only be half the real number.
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Old 12-30-2015, 08:59 AM   #20
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Maybe someone can post photos of their Danfoss fridge installation?

I guess the outside vent door is not needed. Have you just left it in place or replaced it with a solid door. Can the space be used for storage?

What issues did you encounter installing one of these fridges? Its it just a simple swap out, plug in the AC to the existing receptacle and connect to the existing 12v in the vent compartment? Any issue with trimming the fridge out on the inside?

What would be the suggested battery capacity for running one of these fridges for someone who has a 50/50 spread between powered campsites and non powered campsites. Sounds like 200ah is not enough for conventional batteries but maybe enough if Lithium.

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Old 12-30-2015, 09:28 AM   #21
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Many thanks. I can see how spatial constraints make a swap to propane impossible. But it surprises me that Airstream would be ok packaging a power hungry fridge and marginal battery capacity in the same vehicle.
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Old 12-30-2015, 09:31 AM   #22
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I had one (Inox 65 IIRC) in my previous vintage Airstream, granted it was an under the counter model but I will be buying a larger model for my current build when the time comes. A no brainer for me, it does what it's supposed to and does it reliably, quietly and efficiently.
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Old 12-30-2015, 09:45 AM   #23
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Maybe someone can post photos of their Danfoss fridge installation?

I guess the outside vent door is not needed. Have you just left it in place or replaced it with a solid door. Can the space be used for storage?

What issues did you encounter installing one of these fridges? Its it just a simple swap out, plug in the AC to the existing receptacle and connect to the existing 12v in the vent compartment? Any issue with trimming the fridge out on the inside?

What would be the suggested battery capacity for running one of these fridges for someone who has a 50/50 spread between powered campsites and non powered campsites. Sounds like 200ah is not enough for conventional batteries but maybe enough if Lithium.

Kelvin
Here is a picture of our install. This is a 8.1 cubic foot Vitrifrigo that replaced a 7 cubic foot Dometic (the standard fridge provided by Airstream on 25, 27 & 28 foot models.) It fit right in the original space. We used a small 3/8 inch black trim piece at the top which we could have avoided had we raised the fridge by about 1/4 inch with a piece pf Plexiglas on the floor of the compartment. However we didn't think of that until the fridge was in place and the trim piece does not bother me in the least. The fridge's mechanicals are easily accessed via the existing compartment door to the outside. You do not gain any appreciable storage as the area accessed by the existing exterior door needs to be clear for airflow. We simply capped off the propane connection for a future user in case the trailer ever goes back to an adsorption unit and there you have it. We tied the new fridge's 12 volt into the existing supply for the Dometic's computer board and did not plug in the 110 cord as it does not add any value in this particular installation. Removal of the old fridge took about 1/2 hour and installation of the new took about one hour (there were two of us.) It took about the same amount of time as it did me to replace the kitchen faucet.
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Old 12-30-2015, 09:48 AM   #24
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Old 12-30-2015, 10:12 AM   #25
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But it surprises me that Airstream would be ok packaging a power hungry fridge and marginal battery capacity in the same vehicle.
Doesn't surprise me at all. They build them, but they don't use them.

And honestly, something like 80% of all Airstream Interstates aren't used for camping at all, let alone boondocking, so the complainers about battery capacity are a small but vocal minority. They're used as the ultimate "soccer mom" vans, tailgating party vans, mobile offices, or limousines (I'm told the Hard Rock Café has purchased a few— in black of course— for that purpose).
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Old 12-30-2015, 02:55 PM   #26
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definitely look into a dual operation refrigerator - LP & electric. We were very happy that we could run the refrigerator throughout a dry camp AS rally last year and didn't have to always be buying ice for an ice chest
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Old 12-30-2015, 03:15 PM   #27
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The op has a newer AS with that type of fridge. He was just enquirering on this type of alternative.
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Old 12-30-2015, 03:28 PM   #28
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I guess the worse case scenario when dry camping is also having to run the furnace. How much amp/hrs would be enough from 5pm to 8am the next day during the winter to power both the fridge and furnace?

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