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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)

Bborzell 08-17-2017 09:04 AM

Gail...

I'll be interested in what you find on the compressor fridge. BTW, there are a couple of other compressor options available through Thetford (NorCold).

http://www.thetford.com/products/ref...refrigerators/

Since compressors still create heat, I am yet unconvinced how much of a real fix an A/C-D/C fridge would be if its venting needs were not met by the Basecamp cabinet configuration.

I spoke to a rep for Vitrifrigo and he cautioned that adequate venting is important with their fridge too.

...Bob

Bborzell 08-17-2017 09:41 AM

Just spoke to a Thetford rep. She indicated that the most significant issue with switching from 3 Way to A/C-/D/C is battery capability.

With respect to heat generation from the compressor, she pointed out that their fridges are installed in boats and long haul truck cabs where there is no ventilation.

In addition, I have been looking at developments in the Class B motorhome world where several manufacturers (Winnebago Travato) are using compressors instead of absorbtion fridges with success. In fact, many in the Class B world are suggesting that absorption fridges are on their way out because of leveling limitations while boondocking.

We have the factory solar unit with a single AGM battery. I am pretty confident that our normal procedure of cooling at home prior to departure along with charging from the tow vehicle would provide DC power while on the road with an added AGM battery. Obviously, staying at a hook up campground would take over while plugged it.

That leaves the question of boon docking. I think that DC use while off grid would work with 8 hours of sun. For cloudy days, a back up would be to run the tow vehicle for whatever period is necessary to replenish the two batteries. As a fall back, I have a 2K Yamaha generator that I'd rather not have to lug around, it would at least allow for running my wife's Nespresso coffee machine.

Gail Miller 08-17-2017 01:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bborzell (Post 1995194)
Just spoke to a Thetford rep. She indicated that the most significant issue with switching from 3 Way to A/C-/D/C is battery capability.

With respect to heat generation from the compressor, she pointed out that their fridges are installed in boats and long haul truck cabs where there is no ventilation.

In addition, I have been looking at developments in the Class B motorhome world where several manufacturers (Winnebago Travato) are using compressors instead of absorbtion fridges with success. In fact, many in the Class B world are suggesting that absorption fridges are on their way out because of leveling limitations while boondocking.

We have the factory solar unit with a single AGM battery. I am pretty confident that our normal procedure of cooling at home prior to departure along with charging from the tow vehicle would provide DC power while on the road with an added AGM battery. Obviously, staying at a hook up campground would take over while plugged it.

That leaves the question of boon docking. I think that DC use while off grid would work with 8 hours of sun. For cloudy days, a back up would be to run the tow vehicle for whatever period is necessary to replenish the two batteries. As a fall back, I have a 2K Yamaha generator that I'd rather not have to lug around, it would at least allow for running my wife's Nespresso coffee machine.

Thank you for your comments. I'm still studying :-) I have a Honda generator, but like you, I really don't want to lug it around.

RandyNH 08-17-2017 07:30 PM

Looks like, AER Supply in Seabrook TX is your best bet, for direct pickup. Wow, I thought the NovaKool was pricey, those prices above would have kept me out of the DC fridge market. Is it just because they are all manufactured in Italy? They both use the danfoss compressor and I would have to guess have the same thickness of insulation. Is their fit and finish really worth $1000 more?

InterBlog 08-18-2017 06:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RandyNH (Post 1995437)
Looks like, AER Supply in Seabrook TX is your best bet, for direct pickup. Wow, I thought the NovaKool was pricey, those prices above would have kept me out of the DC fridge market. Is it just because they are all manufactured in Italy? They both use the danfoss compressor and I would have to guess have the same thickness of insulation. Is their fit and finish really worth $1000 more?

Bingo - AER was my supplier. We ran the transaction through a local retailer because they do not sell direct to the public. Some wholesalers will do it under the table but some won't.

The retail price on the Vitrifrigo C115IBD4-F, which is the closest size mate to the Dometic RM2351, is in the neighborhood of $1,100. Is it worth it? According to my initial tests and experiences (knock wood), YES. But I already had the battery capacity to handle it.

Note regarding different manufacturers, for people who may be contemplating the switch to all-electric but maybe not Vitrifrigo:

According to this poster on another thread, Norcold's warranty returns are currently running at an astonishing 80%. They are having catastrophic design problems, if this is true.

uncle_bob 08-18-2017 09:57 AM

Hi

Any fridge or air conditioner needs to "vent" to someplace. In the case of your home fridge, it vents to the room it's in. If you look at the owners manual there are specific clearances you need to maintain off of walls etc. If you fully "box up" a fridge (any fridge) it's not going to work. In the case of propane driven fridges, you need to vent them out of doors. Otherwise you have a major health risk. That is independent of the need for air flow to dump heat.

Bob

Bborzell 08-18-2017 10:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by uncle_bob (Post 1995639)
Hi

Any fridge or air conditioner needs to "vent" to someplace. In the case of your home fridge, it vents to the room it's in. If you look at the owners manual there are specific clearances you need to maintain off of walls etc. If you fully "box up" a fridge (any fridge) it's not going to work. In the case of propane driven fridges, you need to vent them out of doors. Otherwise you have a major health risk. That is independent of the need for air flow to dump heat.

Bob

The comment from the Thetford rep that there was no need to ventilate was in the context of venting to the outside.

Bborzell 08-18-2017 02:13 PM

There should be confusion regarding the fact that a fridge is going to create heat whether it's absorption or compressor, but the open flame in the propane mosd of an absorption fridge will create considerably more heat than a compressor and failing to exhaust that added heat is what makes the current Basecamp configuration problematic.

That the absorption fridge sometimes gets overwhelmed on hotter days (mid 80s from my data) while on shore power further complicates the matter.

ijustlee 08-18-2017 02:24 PM

Refrigerators take the heat out of their inside space and pump it to the outside of their shell where it has to go somewhere away from the fridge. It is very important to make sure that the fridge can get rid of the heat! There is less total heat to get rid of with a compressor fridge compared to an adsorption type but you still need to consider the heat flow. I like to see some type of chimney effect rather than run fans so the whole system needs to be thought out better than Airstream did with the BC.

Bborzell 08-18-2017 02:33 PM

We have a large SubZero with the ginormous compressor on top. It vents into the kitchen. Compressors have done that for years. If it had an open flame to deal with, I doubt that it could get rid of the heat without a roof vent.

RandyNH 08-18-2017 09:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by InterBlog (Post 1995577)
Bingo - AER was my supplier. We ran the transaction through a local retailer because they do not sell direct to the public. Some wholesalers will do it under the table but some won't.

The retail price on the Vitrifrigo C115IBD4-F, which is the closest size mate to the Dometic RM2351, is in the neighborhood of $1,100. Is it worth it? According to my initial tests and experiences (knock wood), YES. But I already had the battery capacity to handle it.

Note regarding different manufacturers, for people who may be contemplating the switch to all-electric but maybe not Vitrifrigo:

According to this poster on another thread, Norcold's warranty returns are currently running at an astonishing 80%. They are having catastrophic design problems, if this is true.

Ah, I thought we were talking about the $2000 ones you mentioned, $1,100 is pretty much the same price as the Nova Kool R4500, pretty much same exterior dimensions.

I agree with your assessment, definitely worth it, I've been extremely pleased with the Nova Kool I replaced my Dometic with, it hasn't waivered yet and burns about 23AH off my 440 overnight before the sun comes up.

I wouldn't go near the Norcolds

Gail Miller 08-23-2017 06:01 PM

Maybe I should just pull the fridge out and use that space to stack two ice chests :D:D:D one could even plug into the AC electrical outlet :D:D AS sure is slow to come up with any solutions.

Trae and Ann 08-23-2017 06:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gail Miller (Post 1998248)
Maybe I should just pull the fridge out and use that space to stack two ice chests :D:D:D one could even plug into the AC electrical outlet :D:D AS sure is slow to come up with any solutions.



Good idea! I emailed airstream because we were set to take ours in last weekend but didn't want to have it sit up there while they figured out the fix. Voiced my concerns about the current solution and asked if I should delay my appt and asked how close they were to solving this. Never heard a word back!! Rescheduled for week after Labor Day... hope to see something positive between now and then.

Gail Miller 08-23-2017 06:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Trae and Ann (Post 1998249)
Good idea! I emailed airstream because we were set to take ours in last weekend but didn't want to have it sit up there while they figured out the fix. Voiced my concerns about the current solution and asked if I should delay my appt and asked how close they were to solving this. Never heard a word back!! Rescheduled for week after Labor Day... hope to see something positive between now and then.

Good grief ... frustrating for all!!

Bborzell 08-23-2017 07:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Trae and Ann (Post 1998249)
Good idea! I emailed airstream because we were set to take ours in last weekend but didn't want to have it sit up there while they figured out the fix. Voiced my concerns about the current solution and asked if I should delay my appt and asked how close they were to solving this. Never heard a word back!! Rescheduled for week after Labor Day... hope to see something positive between now and then.

Are you referring to a trip to a dealer or the factory at Jackson Center?

Bborzell 08-23-2017 07:19 PM

I'm on hold for a few weeks. Our next trip is to the pacific northwest where temps should be below 75 all the time we are there. I want to supplement the data I have collected with results of 3-4 days with cool ambient temps.

Trae and Ann 08-24-2017 07:01 AM

We are in Texas just to our local dealer for repairs.

Bborzell 08-24-2017 08:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Trae and Ann (Post 1998503)
We are in Texas just to our local dealer for repairs.

I have always gotten through to the AS customer service phone line. They should be able to tell you the status of the frudge work.

I do know that Jackson Center hasn't been offering up the kind of warm days that woukd make it easy to test proposed fixes under the conditions where we know the fridge fails to stay cold.

OTRA15 08-24-2017 10:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bborzell (Post 1998526)
. . .
I do know that Jackson Center hasn't been offering up the kind of warm days that woukd make it easy to test proposed fixes under the conditions where we know the fridge fails to stay cold.

One would think that the enormity of this design flaw would justify creating a dedicated testing room at Jackson Center, which could have its temperature raised to anything at all.

Wouldn't one . . . ?

:bb::wally::bb:

Don't they have rooms like this already, for testing the performance of the air conditioners, insulation, windows, doors etc.?

Will be the excuse for delays in resolving this SNAFU be something like, "Oh, well, we did not have any hot days in the latter part of 2017?"

:angel:

FricknFrack 08-24-2017 02:00 PM

Simple Survey on Fridge Performance While on Propane
 
Apparently there is now an official AS recall on the refrigerators issued last Friday. I know this because my BC has been sitting at the dealer nearly 2 weeks - I THOUGHT getting the refrigerator repaired - and I just called them to let them know I'm picking it up Friday as planned when the service technician told me they are now waiting for the 'official recall repair parts' to be fabricated and shipped to them. So there is now ZERO chance of it being fixed before our long Labor Day weekend trip to HOT southern Utah.... AND I once again wasted my time driving it all the way to the AS dealer only to have to pick it back up UNFIXED after I was PROMISED I'd have it back fixed in plenty of time for our trip.
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