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-   -   Simple Survey on Fridge Performance While on Propane (http://www.airforums.com/forums/f404/simple-survey-on-fridge-performance-while-on-propane-169937.html)

MrKenmore 01-25-2019 08:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by abutters (Post 2200972)
According to a conversation I had with Airstream prior to purchasing this unit, I was informed that in December of 2019 Airstream switched to a Norcold fridge in lieu of the Dometic.

Is the Norcold an absorption style fridge (propane/electric) or AC/DC compressor style? I assume you meant December 2018 not 2019. Thanks for the info.

OTRA15 01-25-2019 08:20 PM

Post #456:
Quote:

Originally Posted by abutters (Post 2201653)
Yes I did mean December 2018 . . .
. . .


YoungishJedi 01-28-2019 08:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MrKenmore (Post 2203319)
Is the Norcold an absorption style fridge (propane/electric) or AC/DC compressor style?

I was talking to the service manager at my dealer on Saturday and they said they thought the new fridge is an AC/DC compressor style. We were both wondering if there would be enough amp hours for use over night while boondocking before killing your batteries.

In the next few weeks I'm going to call AS and tell them their last fridge 'fix' for my '17 BC didn't work and see how it goes. It would really be helpful for the community for everyone to call in and make sure AS knows, not just the dealers, that the fixes aren't working.

uncle_bob 01-29-2019 10:20 AM

Hi

Depending a *lot* on exactly which model and outdoor temperatures, average numbers in the 2 to 4A range are not uncommon for compressor fridges. Peak consumption is a bit higher. You don't (hopefully) run the compressor 100% of the time.

The 4A number gets you to about 100AH over a 24 hour period at the high. With two AGM's fully charged at the start you will barely make it a day. At the 2A end, you would make it a day and a half with two flooded cells. If you are running one battery rather than a pair .... it all gets cut in half.

A lot of propane based fridges pull an average of 1A (regardless of temperature). Even with propane there is a limit after a couple of days. An average of 2A isn't doing very bad at all ...

Bob

abutters 01-31-2019 06:41 PM

Engel fridge freezers draw between 0.7 and 2 amps. And sometimes zero amps because they do not run continuously unless you leave the door/lid open.
I have used one of their larger models for over 4 years and when traveling power it with a Goal Zero solar generator with a 100 amp hour battery. I get several days of run time between recharging and can recharge via solar, 12 volts or 120 volts.
Go to the Engel website and you’ll find all the specifications. The largest fridge is only 3 cubic feet but you’ll find that rv’s designed for real life off grid use will employ two of the 3 cubic foot models when balancing efficiency with larger fridge capacity is desired

uncle_bob 02-01-2019 06:06 AM

Hi

There is always a tradeoff between foot thick walls (with low heat loss and zero space inside) vs skinny walls. What the RV manufacturers are putting in are the "skinny wall" versions.

Bob

trd09 02-14-2019 06:37 AM

1 Attachment(s)
See attached for updated part

MrKenmore 02-17-2019 06:45 AM

Thanks for sharing. That's very interesting. It appears they finally threw in the towel. I winder how the vents in the front are? Possible retrofit options for those of us on LP (old style)?

Kahaz 03-20-2019 12:40 PM

Refrigerator
 
I called the company and asked if there were plans to make a 'kit' available for us older owners to upgrade and was told they hadn't heard anything about it.

I think we're replacing the fridge, anyway, with either another Dometic that can run on batteries, or perhaps a top opening Engel.

OTRA15 03-20-2019 02:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by YoungishJedi (Post 2204084)
. . .
In the next few weeks I'm going to call AS and tell them their last fridge 'fix' for my '17 BC didn't work and see how it goes. It would really be helpful for the community for everyone to call in and make sure AS knows, not just the dealers, that the fixes aren't working.

Wondering if you have any new information on this?

Thanks,

Peter

OTRA15 03-20-2019 02:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by randsfl (Post 2183442)
. . .
I am taking BC in for one last try - for me the frig does not work . . .
. . .

Wondering if they fixed it right for you?

Thanks,

Peter

PS -- Click on orange arrow in quote to go to that post.

OTRA15 03-20-2019 02:17 PM

Have you sold the Basecamp? Given the move by Airstream to a new fridge design, is it possible that AS will retrofit a new fridge for you?

Thanks for the hard work you have put into this thread, as OP and later.

Peter

[click on orange arrow in quote to go to this earlier post]
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bborzell (Post 2182961)
I have not posted on this topic because I simply decided to move on. My fridge works well as long as there is no heat outside. Above 80 and it is a food killer. Always has been and I see no reason to believe that Airstream’s decision to nibble around the edges of a fundamental design flaw will ever make things better.

This is easily my biggest RV screwup. I bought into a company that won’t admit that a serious design error is the culprit. The many years that I have looked to Airstream as a company that values their reputation came to an abrupt stop with this experience. How any RV company can sit by and ignore the reality of their customer’s ruined trips because of ruined food is beyond any notion of corporate responsibility.

After nearly two years, none of their tweaks have been effective because they can not overcome the near constant buildup of heat beneath the countertop. This has not been a failure of prescription; it is an abject failure of diagnosis.

The unfortunate reality is that Airstream can count. They know that many Basecamp buyers live is regions where consistent temps above 80 are not all that frequent. They also know that many buyers will not temp check their food and that ignorance is bliss until you start throwing up and/or having diarrhea. As long as Airstream continues to view those of us who have lived with the reality of their design killing our food whenever it gets warm outside, I see no change on the horizon.

Actually, my money is on Airstream waiting until the majority of the warranties expire and then following with a significant design change that adequately vents fridge heat. Better yet, they will quite possibly begin to fit compressor fridges.

The real irony is that Airstream might well have fixed all these issues by swapping out the absorption units with compressors as soon as it became apparent that they could not adequately vent the absorption fridges. That would have been a lot cheaper than the cost of 6 or so trips to the dealer (including one to the factory) that were useless. I wish that they had rather directed the tech time and useless parts toward me with an offer of a compressor fridge that works. Oh BTW, I didn’t rely on wishing, I asked for a compressor swap and was told by the dealer that Airstream would not agree to such a swap, but they would consider giving me another absorption unit (so that I could start a new chapter of this nightmare).


Bborzell 03-21-2019 10:49 AM

Hi Peter...

Have not sold it. In fact, we are preparing it for another cross country trip (30 days or so) beginning the end of March.

The Basecamp is still our choice for our needs (who needs to eat, after all?)

I plan on initiating communication with Airstream with a request for them to pitch in on replacing the absorption with a compressor. How they respond will determine our future with Airstream and whether I decide to file a legal claim. God knows that my experience matches, point for point, every element of California’s Lemon Law.

But, for now, we are looking toward the east coast.

...Bob

OTRA15 03-21-2019 12:15 PM

Thanks, Bob, for the update, and have a great trip. Where are you headed?

Peter

Bborzell 03-21-2019 01:15 PM

Santa Fe, San Antonio, New Orleans and Inverness, Florida. Should be fun.

Bob

ArawayCamper 03-21-2019 06:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by uncle_bob (Post 2204517)
Hi

Depending a *lot* on exactly which model and outdoor temperatures, average numbers in the 2 to 4A range are not uncommon for compressor fridges. Peak consumption is a bit higher. You don't (hopefully) run the compressor 100% of the time.

The 4A number gets you to about 100AH over a 24 hour period at the high. With two AGM's fully charged at the start you will barely make it a day. At the 2A end, you would make it a day and a half with two flooded cells. If you are running one battery rather than a pair .... it all gets cut in half.

A lot of propane based fridges pull an average of 1A (regardless of temperature). Even with propane there is a limit after a couple of days. An average of 2A isn't doing very bad at all ...

Bob

The datasheet for the NovaKool R3100 which seems like the one Airstream would be using calls out 2.2ADC on a 12VDC system when the compressor is running with an asterisk disclaimer that the compressor will not be running continuously and the current consumption will also vary with temperature. Assuming a duty cycle of 50% for a 24 hr period results in 26.4Ah draw. With 2 AGM's I've got ~160AH of total capacity or ~80Ah of capacity at 50% discharge. This would mean I could run the refrigerator 2-3 days with other accessory loads.

For comparison, my early 2017 had a refrigerator which seemed to work okay (even had consistent temperature!) but during other warranty work the dealer installed the "fix" which turned out to be what my wife and I call the jet engine fan(s) (which still bothers us at night sleeping due to noise). I was doing a spring RV checkout a few days ago and turned the refrigerator on. The solar charger (not factory) was charging 1.9ADC at 14VDC of which 0.2-.3A was being used for absorption phase of the battery. This results in a consumption of 1.6-1.7ADC for the dometic refrigerator and jet engine fans. During the warmer months, the jet engine fan(s) usually start running at 10am and run until 2am the next morning which comes out to 16 hours out of a 24hr period. Using the consumption figure above, that would be 25.6-27.2Ah.

We went for one trip with the "fixed" refrigerator before I completed my solar installation and found the batteries lasted around 2 days, which seems consistent with the math above. Prior to the "fix" we'd been out 4 days on the same battery set. Now that solar is on, and I have an endless power source for 12V, the power consumption doesn't bother me as much as the noise and uneven (sometimes cooling, sometimes freezing). If the NovaKool is quieter and has more even cooling, I'd prefer it. From a power perspective it's probably a wash for me.

RandyNH 03-30-2019 07:59 AM

While I have a larger model NovaKool 5810 I believe (I never think about it anymore (nice) so don't remember) but sitting 2 feet directly in front of it, they don't make any discernable noise.

I used sensor push Bluetooth thermometers, when I first replaced it, to track the stability and over about a year it never fluctuated more than 2 degrees from where I set it, not 2 up 2 down, 2 total. Highest internal trailer temp, it only breathes internal air as I've closed off everything around it to the outside, was 105 degrees and it still maintained temp. That was over a weekend we weren't there and the sun beating on the trailer.

OTRA15 05-09-2019 05:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bborzell (Post 2222565)
Hi Peter...

Have not sold it. In fact, we are preparing it for another cross country trip (30 days or so) beginning the end of March.

The Basecamp is still our choice for our needs (who needs to eat, after all?)

I plan on initiating communication with Airstream with a request for them to pitch in on replacing the absorption with a compressor. How they respond will determine our future with Airstream and whether I decide to file a legal claim. God knows that my experience matches, point for point, every element of California’s Lemon Law.

But, for now, we are looking toward the east coast.

...Bob

Hope your trip worked out!

Any good news from Airstream?

Thanks,

Peter

Pocket22 06-19-2019 08:12 PM

Our 2017 23FB Flying Cloud with Dometic refrigerator model 2551 now has 3 fans, a new thermistor, a new cooling unit and still will not effectively cool to food safety temps. The temps are all over the place, mostly staying in the mid 40's to 50's on electric power, though it occasionally will dip colder, but will not maintain. It has never (since purchase) worked properly. Dometic will not cover any more repairs. Dometic blames Airstream design. We are perplexed, exhausted and sad that we are unable to go camping in our "dream" Airstream since we bought it. We are unable to store food or medication that requires cold temps.

OTRA15 06-19-2019 08:48 PM

Welcome to the forum!

You might find a broader audience in the Refrigerators forum, as this thread is focused on the specific problems of the Basecamp model's fridge:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f425/

There is also an active forum specifically for the 23FB, and that might actually be the best place to get advice from the many experienced fellow owners there:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f142...um-166374.html

Good luck,

Peter


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