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Old 12-02-2022, 07:27 PM   #1
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2018 27' International
San Antonio , Texas
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Refrigerator Replacement

I have purchased a 2018 International Signature 27FB. The Dometic RM3762 refrigerator installed has a coolant leak and I have decided to replace it with a 12V unit. The only two direct size replacements are the Dometic DMC4081 and the Norcold N8DC (apparently the one that Airstream installs in its new trailers). I have read all the pros and cons of a 12V refrigerator and decided to proceed anyway. What I would like to know is which model has the best record and if there are any pitfalls connected with this project.



Any input is welcome....I am new to the Airstream family.
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Old 12-02-2022, 08:38 PM   #2
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I realize that youíve already decided to go with the 12v fridge. So maybe this is old info for you that youíve already considered.

The guts of the fridge are replaceable without having to replace the entire. Unit. Lots of threads here regarding how to do it.
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Old 12-02-2022, 09:39 PM   #3
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I would go with the Norcold as Dometic nowadays has a reputation for discontinuing units accross their product line after only a couple years with no repair parts available.
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Old 12-03-2022, 11:18 AM   #4
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We replaced our unreliable 3-way Dometic with a 12V DC only NovaKool refrigerator. I was unwilling to use Dometic for the reason noted by 4RXLA, and NovaKool seemed to have better reviews/reputation than Norcold. That was about a year ago and no complaints so far.
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Old 12-03-2022, 12:15 PM   #5
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You can also check out Vitrifrigo. They make a great product and might have one to fit your needs. We had one in our coach and thought the quality was far better than either Dometic or Norcold units we compared it to.
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Old 12-03-2022, 01:45 PM   #6
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Howdy,

Vitrifrigo is the only fridge unit that we install into Airstreams. They work extremely well and probably have a unit to it your needs.
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Old 12-03-2022, 02:08 PM   #7
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I wanted a Vitrifrigo but couldnít get one timely. I was lucky to get a NovaKool with only a 2 week wait. Iíve been happy with the NovaKool so far. Mine is dual AC/DC.
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Old 12-03-2022, 02:53 PM   #8
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Where to purchase?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster View Post
Howdy,

Vitrifrigo is the only fridge unit that we install into Airstreams. They work extremely well and probably have a unit to it your needs.

I would love to look into this brand if I could find a source!
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Old 12-03-2022, 05:43 PM   #9
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Vitrifrigo fit perfectly. Fridge consumes very little DC power once cold. Check out online boating/yacht sites...found the best, delivered deal that way.Attachment 425944Click image for larger version

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Old 12-03-2022, 06:16 PM   #10
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Ac/dc

Do you connect it to either 12v or 110V or both and then there a switch to select which power source to use?
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Old 12-03-2022, 06:25 PM   #11
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It is a 12vdc compressor. The fridge does have a 110v plug and 12vdc connection. We run it off the 12 vdc connection and don't have the 110v plugged in.

There is no switch. If you're plugged in or inverting it will run off 110v, otherwise 12vdc.
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Old 12-03-2022, 07:14 PM   #12
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Refrigerator Replacement

FYI the NovaKool RFU9000 has the same power set up and mine is plugged in to 120V. It automatically switches over to DC and I have no battery drain while towing. I have 2 Lifeline 100 amp/hr AGM batteries and the fridge can run up to 4 days on the batteries before the low power auto shut off kicks in. No solar.

I rarely boondock and have a generator so the DC operation doesnít concern me. I bought mine from a marine store in San Diego. Vitrifrigos were backordered at the time and I got the 2nd to last NovaKool unit that was on order from Canada.

Hopefully supply chains are better now than in the spring.
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Old 12-03-2022, 09:31 PM   #13
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Here's where we got our Vitrifrigo.

https://www.suremarineservice.com/Galley/Refrigeration/

They have a distribution center/main office in Florida, but all sales go through a dealer. I found Sure Marine to be great to work with. The one time we had a problem the folks at the distribution center/main office helped us and sent parts on the road.

They all can be connected to both 12vdc and 120vac. We didn't bother plugging into 120vac either. Leaving it on 12vdc made for a simple/easy install and freed up an outlet to use for other things. When you're not plugged in you need it on 12vdc anyway, and when you are plugged in the converter/charger can easily absorb the small load and still have enough to charge your batteries.
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Old 12-04-2022, 06:51 PM   #14
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DC wiring

Does anyone know if there is a chase under the floor between the DC power panel and the back of the refrigerator? I ask because I will be increasing the wiring size for the DC refrigerator from the panel to the power connection on the back of the refrigerator and was wondering how difficult a fish that is?
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Old 12-04-2022, 08:23 PM   #15
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There is a chase. If you open the 2 cabinet doors under the closet and access the area where the water pump is you will find it. It goes across to the area behind the power panel. Very easy to fish wires...it has several bundled wires running through it for reference that are easy to see.
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