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Main Forum => General Discussion => Topic started by: The McDucks on October 04, 2017, 03:39:35 pm

Title: Compressor Refrigerator
Post by: The McDucks on October 04, 2017, 03:39:35 pm
We just ordered a new 2552 at the Hershey show, for delivery next February. Among the customizations I requested were no slide-out and a big, 9-cubic-foot Nova Kool RFU9000 compressor fridge instead of the usual absorption type. Absorption fridges have disappointed me in the past. Earl was happy to accommodate, but unsure whether the larger fridge could be made to fit.  He called me yesterday to confirm that it would fit OK. Deleting the slide-out gives us extra lateral and vertical space on that side of the coach, which allows the bigger fridge to fit, and also allows us to add 6 inches to the distance between the dinette seat-backs, making for a more comfortable fit for me.  We didn't want the slide-out anyway, to keep things simpler, and to facilitate lunch stops and stealth camping.  But of course, with a compressor fridge we'll be asking more from our coach batteries when boondocking, so I also upgraded the solar charge controller and battery monitors to Bogart equipment.
Benefits of the compressor fridge:
For us the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.  We are paying more for the fridge, and more for the Bogart gear, but still have a net savings from deleting the slide-out. 
I'll find out whether I did this right after we've camped for a while next spring.

Title: Re: Compressor Refrigerator
Post by: jatrax on October 05, 2017, 10:10:01 am
Congrats on the rig and on the Nova Kool.  That is the exact model I wanted in my rig, and at the time they said no.  I did get a compressor fridge but they used the Norcold DE-0061.  However, they vented it to the outside just like a standard absorption model.  So you might want to double check that they are venting yours to the inside ONLY as you would expect.  That is what I expected but I got venting to both inside and outside.  I was one of the first with a compressor fridge so hopefully they learned from mine but I suggest you check and make sure.
Title: Re: Compressor Refrigerator
Post by: hutch42 on October 05, 2017, 12:26:30 pm
A great choice for a fridge!  I have had two Nova Kools over the years.  A 2.5 CF and most recently a 5.6 CF side by side.  Both have given me years of trouble free operation.  Th 5.6 CF has run virtually 24/7/365 a year for 15 years.  A friend with identical unit went 16 years before replacing the compressor.  I do turn it off a few weeks in the winter months to defrost.  It has kept fridges temps at 35-38 and freezer at -5 to 10 degrees.

Another benefit on a compressor fridge is the chance of fire that have been problems with absorption fridges is pretty much reduced to nothing.  As JTRAX mentioned you may want to double check on the venting?  Nova Kool may state that because they do not heat up as much as absorption's.  However they do get pretty warm in the summer months which cause's the fridge to consume more power.  I had vents with the 2.5 CF but none on the 5.6 CF.  I hooked up a little "nothing draw" computer fan to the starting circuit,  Blows cooler air across coils.  Reduced power consumption 15%-20%.  Important on a boat with no genset.

The 9 CF Nova Kool is listed at 5.2 DC amps.  This should average out to 3.5 amps in the summer and 2.8-3.0 amps in the shoulder and winter seasons.  My 5.6 CF runs about 35-40 mins an hour in the summer and 25-30 mins an hour off season.  Basically an 80 amp draw in 24 hours with the 9.0 CF Nova Kool verses 55 amp draw draw with the Norcold absorption fridge.  If dry camping and not wanting to run the generator you might consider a solar option.

Winnebago has just taken a bold step in adding the Norcold compressor fridge to the View-Navion-Fuse line as standard equipment.  They seem to be satisfied with the Zamp Solar systems they have been offering the past few years.  The new units come with a Norcold 7.0 CF compressor fridge, Zamp 200 watt solar system, and upgraded group 31 AGM (200 amp) batteries....standard equipment.

Congratulations and good luck with the new PC.
Title: Re: Compressor Refrigerator
Post by: The McDucks on October 05, 2017, 01:06:19 pm
I'm glad to hear you say good things about Nova Kool, hutch42.  I did specify two rooftop solar panels, so I hope to keep up with the power demands of the fridge while boondocking without running the generator or engine too much.
jatrax, I'm a bit surprised to hear about your experience, since the recommended installation envelope for the Norcold DE-0061 is actually slightly larger than that for the Nova Kool RFU9000, according to the companies' published installation guides.  Judging by comments I got from Earl I gather Phoenix hasn't dealt much with Nova Kool, which builds their stuff in British Colombia.  I'm paying an additional $1,000 to get the Nova Kool, vs. about a $600 premium for the Norcold DE-0061.  Earl did type NO OUTSIDE VENTING in all caps on the sales order to ensure there's no repeat of your experience.
Interesting to hear that Winnebago is making a compressor fridge standard on some models.  I think this will be an industry trend, now that more efficient 12-volt compressor fridges are available and solar cells keep getting cheaper.

Title: Re: Compressor Refrigerator
Post by: jatrax on October 05, 2017, 01:51:20 pm
I believe at the time of my build they had no relationship with Nova Kool and did have with Norcold so it was not so much a design issue but just logistics.  I think if I had insisted they might have changed their minds but I already had so many changes I just let it go.

Cannot say anything about the longevity on the Norcold yet, but I am happy with the performance.  I selected the Nova Kool because of it's outstanding reputation in nautical use.

Excellent that the venting will be handled.  I wonder how they will do that?  You should still get an access panel there in order to get to the rear of the refrigerator.  Maybe just solid panels.