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Old 12-28-2015, 10:43 PM   #1
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Smile Any experience with Indel Webasto Danfoss?

So part of my planned 2016 upgrades are a Danfoss refrigerator. I'm always hearing good things about Marine fridges. We are attracted to the lack of need to level and the low amp draw of most of these fridges. But I'm curious if anyone has any experience with one of these units in a newer Airstream.

This one was on my radar, not sure of other brands.
Indel Webasto:*CRUISE 195 INOX (Stainless Steel)

I saw some older posts with vintage Airstreamers who usually have under counter models. My wife was really attracted to this model with the larger freezer.

I'm just looking for some real world thoughts and opinions.
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Old 12-28-2015, 11:14 PM   #2
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The website says it is a compressor refrigerator, so it would not run on propane which requires an absorption system. Would you be satisfied with only electric operation?

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Old 12-28-2015, 11:40 PM   #3
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Most Airstream Interstates (except the older T1N models) have Nova Kool all-electric 12v/120v refrigerators, very similar in operating principle to the Webasto models you're looking at. They cool more efficiently (use less electricity) than a Dometic propane/electric model in electric mode. And as you already know, no leveling is required, so there is no problem with running the fridge while underway even in mountainous terrain, and with no flame there is no need to shut it off for safety when you refuel.

The only quirk I'd make note of is this if the fridge is powered by 120vAC, a built-in converter changes the power to 12vDC. And my fridge defaults to 120vAC operation if both 120vAC and 12vDC are available. So it's more energy-efficient if the 120vAC cord is left unplugged and the fridge is used in 12vDC mode all the time whether you're plugged into shore power or not; no energy lost in the 120vAC-to-12vDC conversion.
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Old 12-29-2015, 01:43 PM   #4
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Bold,

Lewster highly recommended that fridge when we were in a Vintage Class taught by him a couple of years ago.
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Old 12-29-2015, 02:47 PM   #5
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Maybe I'm missing the point, but you spend a ton of money upgrading your battery bank and then burn a good amount of it up powering a 12VDC fridge rather than using LPG?

I was under the impression the 12V fridges were current hogs
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Old 12-29-2015, 02:59 PM   #6
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Leveling for a LP refrigerator is not as critical as it's made out to be. If you're not comfortable with the level of the trailer, your fridge might not be. If you are, it is.
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Old 12-29-2015, 03:30 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by khollister View Post
I was under the impression the 12V fridges were current hogs
Much less of a current hog than using electric mode on a dual propane/electric fridge. All-electric fridges use Freon or an environmentally-friendlier Freon substitute as their refrigerant, much more efficient for heat transfer than the ammonia used in propane-fueled fridges.

Absorption-cycle refrigerators that run on propane and use ammonia as a refrigerant are very reliable; they're the oldest form of mechanical refrigeration there is, patented by physician John Gorrie of Apalachicola, FL in 1851(!) but already in use since the 1830's as a means of refrigerating rooms for housing fever patients; making absorption refrigerators the world's first air conditioners as well. But the absorption refrigeration technology is also the least-efficient form of mechanical refrigeration.
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Old 12-29-2015, 03:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khollister View Post
Maybe I'm missing the point, but you spend a ton of money upgrading your battery bank and then burn a good amount of it up powering a 12VDC fridge rather than using LPG?

I was under the impression the 12V fridges were current hogs
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.

ON EDIT: I noticed when looking back at that table that several of the models with a higher total or per-cu-ft power consumption are freezers, so not all of the ones on the table with more consumption are necessarily due to poor insulation. The comments in the article text may also refer to some poorly-insulated models not included in the table.

If you're going to go solar anyway you're likely to have plenty of panels and battery to support that. It's a bit less than the useful capacity of one cheap flooded Group 24.

I'm planning to put either the Tundra or that pretty stainless Webasto in my 28' trailer. Since I'm starting from scratch (no fridge in it at all at the moment) the cost of the unit itself is about the same as a big absorption fridge.
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Old 12-29-2015, 06:48 PM   #9
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I've been looking into the low draw fridge/freezers as well. The ARB looks pretty good. National Luna and of course Engel. That is a big one that you are looking at there. It does have the Danfoss compressor and that seems to be the thing..
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Old 12-29-2015, 08:42 PM   #10
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Not to hijack the thread, but I'm curious about the 12 volt fridges on the lower end of the spectrum. We've been eyeing the Whynter and Grape fridges:

Whynter:
Whynter 85 qt. Portable Fridge/Freezer-FM-85G - The Home Depot

Grape:
Refrigerators : Glacier 5.0 DC/AC FRIDGE/FREEZER

We were looking at the Engel's too....
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Old 12-29-2015, 08:49 PM   #11
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The cruise 195 has TWO danfoss BD-35 compressors. Each box has it's own t/stat and compressor. It provides great versatility, but at double the amp draw of other marine fridges.

I have installed 2 of the Cruise 195s and the owners love them! That is in addition to about a half dozen of these from VitrFrigo: double compartment refrigerator for bigger boats and a bunch of these: Indel Webasto:*CRUISE 130 Elegance

If you have solar and sufficient battery reserves, why hang on to 150+ year old technology that tries it's best but FAILS to keep your food at 33-35F, needs to be relatively level so gravity can help it work and is susceptible to ambient temperature swings when you can have a cold fridge (with ice cold beer) and rock hard ice-cream (no more RV soft serve!!!) for a fraction of a comparably sized absorption fridge???????

They also are designed to take a pounding, don't have recalls and will work up to 30off-level. Seems like a no brainer to me...
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Old 12-29-2015, 10:05 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by BoldAdventure View Post
So part of my planned 2016 upgrades are a Danfoss refrigerator. I'm always hearing good things about Marine fridges. We are attracted to the lack of need to level and the low amp draw of most of these fridges. But I'm curious if anyone has any experience with one of these units in a newer Airstream.

This one was on my radar, not sure of other brands.
Indel Webasto:*CRUISE 195 INOX (Stainless Steel)

I saw some older posts with vintage Airstreamers who usually have under counter models. My wife was really attracted to this model with the larger freezer.

I'm just looking for some real world thoughts and opinions.
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
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Old 12-29-2015, 10:49 PM   #13
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I'm perplexed. I became very interested in the Airstream Interstate after touring two at Yellowstone this fall. But the refrigerator's electricity hunger gives me pause. How is this better than a propane refer needing zip for battery power? Batteries deplete quickly, propane does not. 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? Is spending $$$ to upgrade battery capacity and solar panels worth more than a propane refer? Should I need to run a generator to support my refrigerator?
At least as I understand it, the 12 v refer in the Interstate prevents me from purchasing the Interstate. I'm not meaning to be contrary, but this has had me thinking for awhile. Thanks -
Mark
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Old 12-29-2015, 11:06 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Mark Wiltrakis View Post
I'm perplexed. I became very interested in the Airstream Interstate after touring two at Yellowstone this fall. But the refrigerator's electricity hunger gives me pause. How is this better than a propane refer needing zip for battery power? Batteries deplete quickly, propane does not. Cannot an Interstate be adequately leveled to run a propane refer? I like to boondock for a few days or longer at a time - the refer in the Interstate seems to make this impossible. Why is a propane/110 VAC refer somehow less desirable? Is spending $$$ to upgrade battery capacity and solar panels worth more than a propane refer? Should I need to run a generator to support my refrigerator?
At least as I understand it, the 12 v refer in the Interstate prevents me from purchasing the Interstate. I'm not meaning to be contrary, but this has had me thinking for awhile. Thanks -
Mark
Mark, the OP and I both have travel trailers and not Interstates (AS' Class Bs) and we have upgraded our batteries to LFP's (400 AH in both cases I think) and do extensive camping while not connected to shore power. I would be hesitant to recommend switching to a 12 volt fridge to anyone who plans to boondock extensively unless they have at least 200 AH of available battery capacity (which means 400 AH if using AGMs or wet cells or 300 AH if LFPs.) I know that Interstates do not come with that much capacity (neither do Airstream's travel trailers) so boondocking with an electric fridge with the stock batteries from Airstream regardless of TT vs. Interstate is not really all that practical unless you upgrade the batteries (and get decent solar) or are open to using the generator on a regular basis. However, if you go from one electric site to another (which a lot of - if not most - people do) then the electric fridge and stock batteries (in good condition) are just fine.
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