Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-27-2022, 08:12 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 26
Upgrade to 12v fridge

I have a 2018 FC and am interested in upgrading the fridge to an all electric model.

Has anybody attempted this as a project and if so what model do have and are you happy with it?

Thanks!
N95556 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2022, 10:53 AM   #2
Rivet Master
 
Mollysdad's Avatar

 
2017 26' Flying Cloud
Tampa , Florida
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 6,605
Blog Entries: 1
That seems to be the new fad in trailers.
But it requires you to have 12 v all the time.
Thus solar is usually first, then big lithium batteries.
My gas/electric fridge works great. I see no reason to swap at this time.
Mollysdad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2022, 11:24 AM   #3
1 Rivet Member
 
2008 31' Classic
Rochester , NY
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 18
12 V Fridge

Based on my experience with a 12v fridge in an SOB van, I would NOT install a 12v Fridge. We were in central Washington last summer during the heat wave - 100F temperatures. The solar would not keep up with the fridge draw - even in full sun and driving some during the day. Ended up starting the van to charge in the middle of the night (no generator policy at night).

We have a typical RV fridge in our AS, which runs off of shore power or propane - works well.

If you plan to always be hooked to shore power then you will be OK ....

IMHO
Wyokirk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2022, 01:15 PM   #4
2 Rivet Member
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 26
There a few reasons I like the 12v fridge:

-more space up to 8CF
-only uses 4-5amps
-no need to worry about being perfectly level
-no need to use propane while driving
-we plan on installing solar soon

I believe the new 12v fridges have really made some strides in terms of efficiency
N95556 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2022, 01:51 PM   #5
2 Rivet Member
 
2017 30' International
Box Elder , South Dakota
Join Date: Nov 2019
Posts: 77
I just recently installed the dometic dmc4101. Dimension wise it was a direct replacement for the absorption fridge that failed. Capping the propane was easy (simply purchased a 3/8” flare plug I believe). For electric I decided to run a new positive, negative, and ground wire and put the fridge on its own fuse. This was at the recommendation of an electrician since the power center is directly below the fridge it was super easy. So far it’s been great although we really haven’t tested it with solar only.
Labeda14 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2022, 01:52 PM   #6
Site Team
 
richard5933's Avatar

 
1994 25' Excella
Waukesha , Wisconsin
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 2,454
Images: 4
All depends on how you like to camp and how you're trailer is set up.


We had a 12v only fridge in our coach and loved it, but we had a huge battery bank and solar to take us through many days of dry camping without issue. In our current 25-ft
Airstream I'd never consider it. The trailer is already pushing its weight limit, so adding lots more batteries isn't an option, and there's only so much real estate on the roof for more solar.


If you do nearly all your camping plugged in then the only time you'll run it off the batteries alone will be while driving, and that will be helped a little by your charging wire from the tow vehicle. If this is the type of camping you do, then go for it.


However, if you like to spend time not plugged in or do a lot of dry camping on the way to places, then perhaps not. Would suck to want to spend a few days out on BLM land only to realize you can't without adding more batteries or solar (or both) just to keep the beer cold.
__________________
Richard
11018
1994 Excella 25 Follow the build on Gertie!
1999 Suburban LS 2500 w/7.4L V8
1974 GMC 4108a - Custom Coach Land Cruiser (Sold)
richard5933 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2022, 01:58 PM   #7
Rivet Master
 
2019 25' Flying Cloud
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 701
I question your use of the word "upgrade."

This is at least a bit tongue in cheek. At some point, they will all be electric and while to see the advantages, I have no need to be an early adopter on this one. There is some compressor noise, isn't there?
DCPAS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2022, 02:24 PM   #8
2 Rivet Member
 
2017 30' International
Box Elder , South Dakota
Join Date: Nov 2019
Posts: 77
I’d agree that it’s not necessarily an “upgrade” depending on how you travel/camp. For me the decision was tough, I looked into replacing the failed cooling unit, and or buying another absorption fridge. But after seeing two absorption fridges fail, and the updated absorption fridge also requiring new door inserts on top of being almost 1k more than the 12v…I decided to go with the cheaper option. So far I like the 12v. As mentioned there is more space, no ice build up on the fins, temp stays pretty consistent from what I can tell. There is compressor noise. I wouldn’t say it’s loud by any means. But if you are a sensitive sleeper it could be something to think about
Labeda14 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2022, 02:52 PM   #9
Rivet Master
 
2007 16' International CCD
Vintage Kin Owner
Somewhere , Colorado
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 914
Quote:
Originally Posted by N95556 View Post
There a few reasons I like the 12v fridge:

-more space up to 8CF
-only uses 4-5amps
-no need to worry about being perfectly level
-no need to use propane while driving
-we plan on installing solar soon

I believe the new 12v fridges have really made some strides in terms of efficiency
The above list captures the benefits of electric-only fridges ó except I would add that they cool down faster, too.

However, I take a bit of an exception to the phrase it ďonly uses 4-5 AmpsĒ. That is a good number for electrical draw while they are running, but omits the fact that they will be running about 50% of the time, more on hot days with warm nights. So, thatís about 60+ Amp hours per day, equivalent to all or more of the usable power stored in a 100Ah lead acid battery. All other uses are in addition.

This is why others are expressing caution. If you are plugged in all the time then it doesnít matter. I you donít mind the hassles and annoyances of generators then it doesnít matter much. But, if you like to go unplugged, then you will need to invest in lithium batteries and some significant solar capability to last more than a day or two.
field & stream is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2022, 05:08 PM   #10
Rivet Master
 
4RXLA's Avatar
 
1977 31' Excella 500
West Sacramento , California
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 563
Images: 33
Blog Entries: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by N95556 View Post
I have a 2018 FC and am interested in upgrading the fridge to an all electric model.

Has anybody attempted this as a project and if so what model do have and are you happy with it?

Thanks!


I just installed a NovaKool 9 cubic foot electric/12 volt unit. Iím 90% plugged in to shore power and have a generator for the other 10% so Iím happy to leave the absorption fridge behind.
4RXLA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2022, 09:32 AM   #11
2 Rivet Member
 
2015 30' International
Escondido , CA
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 59
I upgraded to the 12v Norcold N10DCDSSR

First of all it's not a drop in replacement because it requires a zero clearance install. This means to create effective cooling it requires customization of the compartment. Also took advantage of the space no longer needed after sealing the back. I created a new storage compartment with a 110v outlet leftover but had to remove the propane line altogether and using the vent door for access. It is most definitely an upgrade as it just sips power from our 500AH lithium battery bank. And performance is great even in 100 plus degree heat when traveling through Arizona.
dsatwork is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2022, 09:55 AM   #12
Half a Rivet Short
 
2017 30' Classic
2022 Interstate 24X
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 13,834
Hi

Ok, so here's the math:

If you have a 2 cubic foot fridge, it pulls less power than a 4 cubic foot. A 4 pulls less than an 8. First thing is to work out what size fridge we're talking about. The typical fridge in a 28' is fairly large.

Using the fridge in the van as an example (it's roughly the right size):

It has two compressors. Each one pulls about 5A when running. One operates the freezer. The other operates the refrigerator section. With both doing their thing, they pull about 10.5A off the battery.

How often then run and how long they run depends on how well the area is ventilated and how hot / cold it is out. A 30% run time is not a bad guess at 70F. If you are chugging down the road in the hot sun / parked out at the beach, something up around 80% is not impossible.

3A off of your battery for 24 hours is 72 AH. If you have the stock lead acid batteries, you just took them from "full" to "stop using". 8A for 9 hours will do the same thing. That assumes the batteries are in "brand new" condition and got a full charge at the start.

This is not a trivial load to drop on a stock battery system.

Does this mean 12V fridges are a bad thing? No, they aren't. You simply have to upgrade the batteries to match the load. They will do a much better job of cooling the two sections if you get one with two compressors. With a single compressor, you are right back to the same old compromises ....

Bob
uncle_bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2022, 11:00 AM   #13
4 Rivet Member
 
JRF0st3r's Avatar
 
1967 22' Safari
West Fork , Arkansas
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 362
AC / DC Refrigerator

When we rebuilt our 1967 Safari a dorm style AC refrigerator was removed and new cabinet built to install a marine drawer type 2.3 CF refrigerator, no freezer, that runs on a Danfoss compressor. It is exceptionally efficient, always cooling when on the road or on shore power. We chose Isotherm but there are other manufacturers. Now we do not normally boondock so if you do, this may not be the best option. For us, it has proven to be the ideal solution.

Here's a photo after installation but before the rest of the interior was completed. We could have made it larger using the drawer space above capacity but it has proven sufficient for our needs.
Jim
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Refrig + Control Dec 29 2015.jpg
Views:	10
Size:	713.6 KB
ID:	416606  
__________________
If it were easy, the PO would have done it.
JRF0st3r is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2022, 11:23 AM   #14
2 Rivet Member
 
Petaluma , California
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 30
As other posts say, if you do a lot of boondocking (we don't any longer) the change to a 12V-120V unit may not be right for you. We replaced the OEM Dometic with a Nova Kool 3100 on our 2019 Bambi. Works super well! Even last July-August in the desert southwest with temps 100-110F every day, it worked great. We've done a lot of rving in the desert SW and know what to expect, but were pleasantly surprised at how it kept up. Dometic makes great RV products, but the fridge simply didn't function even close to properly. After struggling for 2 years with the Dometic, the switch was made. One cautionary note: check the cutout for the fridge. In our case, the Nova Kool was a bit smaller than the Dometic, but the staff did a great job in fabricating a surround that goes well with the Bambi interior.
TinShanty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2022, 12:07 PM   #15
4 Rivet Member
 
2016 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
Brookhaven , Georgia
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 334
Blog Entries: 1
I have a 12v fridge and freezer which I am not using. It would be nice not to have them in the van which would increase storage space. I find a Yeti hard cooler works great for keeping drinks and the basics cold. I ran into a guy 2 days ago who had 1600 watts of solar and 4 lithium batteries. He said he never runs out of power. The panels were mounted on the sides of his truck camper. I also ran into another couple in a small RV who were headed south for the summer. They installed a fan behind the fridge to draw more air. They said it worked well at helping keep fridge temps in line.
__________________
Instagram @coasttocoastphotoatl
coasttocoast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2022, 04:04 PM   #16
3 Rivet Member
 
Little falls , New York
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 204
No thanks. Absorption all the way. If I have to deal with solar, battery issues etc just to support a fridge. for me I’d just as soon run a yeti cooler full of ice and avoid all the endless “do I have enough capacity?” Issues.
civeng99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2022, 09:42 PM   #17
Site Team
 
wulfraat's Avatar

 
2017 30' International
Broomfield , Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 3,503
Images: 1
Upgrade to 12v fridge

I have a propane fridge and 600ah of lithium. I see no need to move off propane for the fridge - it is the most efficient appliance when boondocking. When plugged in who cares it runs off 120v.

Iíve never had an issue being level and the fridge working in 12+ years and 2 trailers.

It uses less DC energy when boondocking than a compressor fridge.

It is highly reliable.

It uses < 1 amp DC.

It is plenty large at 8cf (I have a 30í international)

It runs fine when I am driving.

Once itís cold it stays cold.

EtcÖ

There are plenty of other upgrades Iíd make before dropping $1500 on a new fridge that draws more energy from my lithium bank.
wulfraat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2022, 06:17 AM   #18
Rivet Master
 
Silvr_Bullet's Avatar

 
2017 16' Sport
N/A , New York
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 1,189
Sometimes change pans out, but not always☹️
Silvr_Bullet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2022, 03:57 PM   #19
:SPACE A" S/O 11 Air19745
 
guskmg's Avatar
 
2006 34' Classic S/O
Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,709
I had the following tech rebuild my Dometic cooling unit 9 years ago. He uses all new tubing especially designed for the inadequate Dometic. The fridge really cools good. He will do the rebuild at his place or ship and receive a replacement for you. This is a very reliable family operation.
RV Cool-Refrigerator Repair
60 Hwy 287
Greenbriar, AR
800 515 6823
wick /stacey@rvcool.com
Wicks/Stacey
guskmg
guskmg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2022, 09:31 AM   #20
2 Rivet Member
 
2019 23' International
2022 28' Pottery Barn
Tomball , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 24
Do the JC Refrigeration mod. Will convert it to very low power draw compressor.
https://jc-refrigeration.com
B17drvr is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
12v


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Victron Orion 12V to 12V converter mikedebi Generators & Solar Power 14 08-03-2018 04:44 PM
12V Power Plug in for 12v T.V. Undertaker Electronics & Connectivity 12 09-10-2016 08:53 AM
Fridge Vent and Fridge 12V DC wiring rodsterinfl Electrical - Systems, Generators, Batteries & Solar 1 05-03-2014 09:33 PM
LCD Tv has a 12v converter... Can I use it on 12v? Keyair Audio, Video & TV 6 05-11-2010 03:40 PM
Can I Replace 12v light with AC fixture and still work off 12v M&M CAPECOD Electrical - Systems, Generators, Batteries & Solar 5 07-11-2005 10:58 AM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:58 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.