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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 08-09-2019 05:42 AM

2 Attachment(s)
Recent trip the fridge worked OK. I was actually surprised. Direct sun 100%. Exterior temps in the 80's and low 90's. No shore power so propane only. Temps in the fridge varied from 35 to 45ish. The 45 was when we were going in and out for lunch or dinner. I still may replace with the Novakool R4500. I have one more trip and then will decide.

(Sorry the images are rotated. This forum isn't the best for pictures.)

carolineb 08-09-2019 12:16 PM

We have had refrigerator replaced, seems to cool adequately but fans keep us awake. I called customer service and they were not helpful. They told me to go back to dealer to get baffles and if that doesn't fix it, the dealership should contact Airstream in Jackson. My husband is looking into some legal recourse. Our previous trailer was a CampInn teardrop and the owners would bend over backwards to resolve any issues and there weren't many.

LABC 08-10-2019 05:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MrKenmore (Post 2274922)
Recent trip the fridge worked OK. I was actually surprised. Direct sun 100%. Exterior temps in the 80's and low 90's. No shore power so propane only. Temps in the fridge varied from 35 to 45ish. The 45 was when we were going in and out for lunch or dinner. I still may replace with the Novakool R4500. I have one more trip and then will decide.

(Sorry the images are rotated. This forum isn't the best for pictures.)

Did you use shore power for the initial cool down? I haven't seen a report, yet, that shows propane-only providing 35-45 degree temps. Yours would be the first.

abutters 08-10-2019 09:37 AM

1 Attachment(s)
I dropped our BCX off at the dealer this past Tuesday. When asked about the reason for needing service I told them the refrigerator does not maintain safe temperatures below 40 degrees. When asked under what circumstances I replied: "whenever the BC is not under air, which includes all dry camping situations, all 15 or 20 amp shore power situations and all situations traveling over the road."

Because even when running on available 15 or 20 amp 120v power, if the inside temperature of the BC is not kept cool via AC, then the refrigerator struggles to maintain temperatures under 40 degrees.

I did get a look at the 2020 BCX with the new Nova Kool fridge. The vents behind the propane cover are gone and the propane cover has been moved back to within an inch of the aluminum skin. I've attached a picture of the new fridge.

randsfl 08-11-2019 07:13 PM

Had whole power system and frig replaced - new solar panels - agm batteries - inverter - marine frig - even added web boost for personal hotspot - all works great now -no cooling problems - a couple days of boondocking possible easily

But as always not complete trouble free - now I have a leak i can’t pinpoint ��

LABC 08-12-2019 08:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by randsfl (Post 2275816)
Had whole power system and frig replaced - new solar panels - agm batteries - inverter - marine frig - even added web boost for personal hotspot - all works great now -no cooling problems - a couple days of boondocking possible easily

But as always not complete trouble free - now I have a leak i canít pinpoint ��

Works great, that's good to hear! Were you on shore power at any point? If you were on propane-only, what temps did your fridge get down to and how long did it take to go from hot to that temp?

carolineb 08-12-2019 06:57 PM

They should retro fit all BCs with NovaKool refrigerator.

OTRA15 08-14-2019 09:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by randsfl (Post 2275816)
Had whole power system and frig replaced - new solar panels - agm batteries - inverter - marine frig - even added web boost for personal hotspot - all works great now -no cooling problems - a couple days of boondocking possible easily

But as always not complete trouble free - now I have a leak i can’t pinpoint ��

Thanks for the update -- glad you have a Basecamp which finally works right!

Could you please give us an idea of the total cost of all this work? If there is any way to break out the cost of replacing the fridge [including new batteries] that would be appreciated. Did Airstream contribute to the cost of replacing the fridge?

Thanks,

Peter

OTRA15 08-14-2019 09:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by abutters (Post 2275234)
I dropped our BCX off at the dealer this past Tuesday.
. . .

Have you asked for a new fridge not fired by propane?

Curious to know what the dealer's feedback has been.

Thanks,

Peter

abutters 08-26-2019 09:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by carolineb (Post 2276179)
They should retrofit all BCs with NovaKool refrigerator.

A company with a world-class service model would do that. Eliminate the problem for everyone involved. Not only would the Basecamp owners benefit, but Airstream would stop wasting the time of their dealer network.

dgirvin 08-27-2019 07:11 AM

As I’ve reported on this thread a few times, my propane fridge is working well. I’ve used it in temps between 35 and 100F. My only issue is that I’m currently up in Maine, where we’re having very cool evenings, and the food in my fridge is freezing (I’m dry camping and running on propane). Given the larger than average solar (I have the factory pkg) and battery capacity of the BC, I’d prefer if the propane worked so I could stay off grid longer. I just wish it had a thermostat instead of the thermistor for temp control. When i picked up my B.C., I asked my dealer about the NovaKool and he suggested I try out the propane model first. Glad I did, other than the frozen cucumbers this morning! ��

OTRA15 08-27-2019 07:22 AM

Thanks for the update.

Do you have the thermistor at the bottom of its range? [Mnemonic “It is warmer down south.”]

If you can anticipate the overnight temp range, maybe put a large bottle of room temp water in the fridge as a thermal mass to moderate things?

Peter

dgirvin 08-28-2019 05:23 AM

Great question Peter! Right now it’s in the middle so I’ll move it to the warmer ‘southern’ setting :) Also love your idea about the room temp water and will give that a try as well.

Thanks!

Doug

LABC 08-28-2019 06:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dgirvin (Post 2281703)
As Iíve reported on this thread a few times, my propane fridge is working well. Iíve used it in temps between 35 and 100F. My only issue is that Iím currently up in Maine, where weíre having very cool evenings, and the food in my fridge is freezing (Iím dry camping and running on propane). Given the larger than average solar (I have the factory pkg) and battery capacity of the BC, Iíd prefer if the propane worked so I could stay off grid longer. I just wish it had a thermostat instead of the thermistor for temp control. When i picked up my B.C., I asked my dealer about the NovaKool and he suggested I try out the propane model first. Glad I did, other than the frozen cucumbers this morning! ��

You're reporting that your fridge is keeping your food normal fridge temps when it is 100F outside and you're NOT at all using shore power, it's all propane? I haven't seen a report like that, yet, you'd be the first, but if that's the case I'd definitely like more details if you could.

OTRA15 08-28-2019 09:44 AM

Thanks Doug for the reply. Also be sure to have enough free air inside the fridge so it can circulate well. FWIW we keep a ice chest in the tow vehicle, so that the fridge does not get too crowded.

Hope the southern route pays off!

Peter

abutters 08-31-2019 02:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OTRA15 (Post 2276777)
Have you asked for a new fridge not fired by propane?

Curious to know what the dealer's feedback has been.

Thanks,

Peter

We picked up our BCX from the dealer after a couple of weeks of testing. Not sure if they adjusted the thermistor or what exactly they fine-tuned because the service report is short on details, but it cools down to 32 degrees on propane while sitting outside in 94-degree temps in central Florida.

dgirvin 09-01-2019 05:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LABC (Post 2282086)
You're reporting that your fridge is keeping your food normal fridge temps when it is 100F outside and you're NOT at all using shore power, it's all propane? I haven't seen a report like that, yet, you'd be the first, but if that's the case I'd definitely like more details if you could.

I’ve had the Fridge on both propane and electric in 90-100F all summer and it’s worked well, even to the point of being too cold at times. If it keeps working the way it is currently, I’d definitely like to keep the propane fridge to be able to stay off shore power longer. I just finished a two week trip with the last week entirely on propane and solar. Unlike a previous post suggesting that the NorCool would allow a couple of days of Boondocking, my batteries never got below 70% after 7 days. So, other than water, I could literally be off the grid indefinitely with a propane powered fridge. And, thanks to Peter’s advice, my thermistor is now ‘down south’ and things have stopped freezing on the cool nights we’ve been having over the past week.

dgirvin 09-01-2019 05:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by abutters (Post 2283419)
We picked up our BCX from the dealer after a couple of weeks of testing. Not sure if they adjusted the thermistor or what exactly they fine-tuned because the service report is short on details, but it cools down to 32 degrees on propane while sitting outside in 94-degree temps in central Florida.

Hi Peter, to answer your question about the dealer feedback, I’d read a number of posts about the fridge prior to picking up my BCX last Spring. He suggested that I try it first as he’d had none come back - my sales rep sold the most BCs in Canada last year so he had a good sample size. To this point I’m very glad I took his advice and tried it. He’s left the door open to replace it if I have any issues.

OTRA15 09-01-2019 07:17 AM

Good to hear that the southern route was scenic!

:D

TracieWllms 09-17-2019 09:52 PM

NovaKool
 
My 2017 Basecamp has been retrofitted with a NovaKool R4500. This is the first one that the dealer has done. They had to order a trim kit and a part to cap off the gas line as this fridge is AC/DC with no gas. They tested it yesterday and today both plugged in and on the battery only. They told me that the freezer got down to 3 deg. and the fridge was below 40 (I don't remember that exact number he told me). I have a 100 watt solar panel and they said it was very efficient when running on battery only. I pick it up on Thurs. I'm hoping we can go 3-4 days without plugging in...we'll see.


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