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Anyone with Vittrifigo refer?

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biglegmax

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Anyone with Vittrifigo refer?
« on: September 10, 2018, 07:02:11 pm »
Norcold isn't cutting it. We are looking for a replacement AC/DC. I talked to the guys who installed our solar and they have some good things to say about the Vittrifigo. Appears one of their models fits in the same hole with little trim work, and you end up going from +/- 6 cu ft to +/- 8 cu ft. Any thoughts?
Doug

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Re: Anyone with Vittrifigo refer?
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2018, 07:34:08 pm »
Why you looking for AC-DC?  Don't you have an inverter?  I am running just a cheap AC refrig in my class A (2018 Winny Intrigue )  Works great with my solar (800w) and 4 batteries. Plus factor is that refrig has 20% more interior cu In, because it's just electric
Denny and Barb
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Re: Anyone with Vittrifigo refer?
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2018, 09:23:35 am »
Norcold isn't cutting it. We are looking for a replacement AC/DC. I talked to the guys who installed our solar and they have some good things to say about the Vittrifigo. Appears one of their models fits in the same hole with little trim work, and you end up going from +/- 6 cu ft to +/- 8 cu ft. Any thoughts?
Doug

Can you describe the issues with your Norcold?  Thanks!

Barry T

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jatrax

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Re: Anyone with Vittrifigo refer?
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2018, 10:35:22 am »
The  Vittrifigo gets great reviews on the marine forums but I do not know of anyone who has used it in an RV. 

What are your issues with the Norcold and which model do you have?

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Re: Anyone with Vittrifigo refer?
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2018, 11:32:49 am »
The other Marine fridge thats starting to be used in RV's is the Nova-Kool.  Company is located in Vancouver BC and is installed in many new cruising boats built in the Northwest.   They are compressor fridges running on 12V and 120V.  Winnebago and some others have started to use them in some of their models.  To date they have performed very well.  They burn about 3.5 amps an hour.  Winnebago hooks them to a 200 Watt Zamp Solar System (which is standard equipment in models with compressor fridges) and two typical puny no name group 24 batteries at 150 amps total. No issues to date.  The downside is that you would have to block off the vents from the inside.  Compressor fridges dont need any venting.  They are also impervious to extreme angles, unlike absorption fridges.

We have had two Nova-Kools on our boats.  The last one ran 24X7 for 48 weeks a year for 12 years.  Shut it down for a month to defrost in the winter.  Summer and winter fridge temps were 37 degrees and freezer -10 degrees.  A really well made unit.   The Nova-Kool RFU8200 is a 7.3CF unit that has a cut out size of H-52-7/8 W-23-1/4 D 19-1/2.


http://www.novakool.com/index.htm

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jatrax

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Re: Anyone with Vittrifigo refer?
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2018, 11:44:48 am »
The NovaKool was what I requested when I ordered my rig back in 2016 but Phoenix said they had no contacts there and would only use the Norcold DE0061.

Good point on the venting.  They did not do mine correctly and I had to make my own vent covers to seal that area up. 

They also put the outlet that supplies 120volt to the refrigerator on the inverter circuit.  Which means it never runs on DC but rather through the inverter.  Which is not the way it's supposed to work.  I re-wired things to move that outlet off the inverter and it now works correctly.

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Volkemon

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Re: Anyone with Vittrifigo refer?
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2018, 11:56:19 am »
The  Vittrifigo gets great reviews on the marine forums but I do not know of anyone who has used it in an RV. 

What are your issues with the Norcold and which model do you have?

I am following this closely because of the LONG lead time the norcold in our coach needs.  (It is original AFAIK)

Been a couple times now that we decided 'last minute' to go somewhere. And had to bring a cooler, because the norcold takes hours (many) to get cold from warm storage. When it is cold, works very well. No complaints there. But I would like the ability to have it cooled down and ready in under 8 hrs.

And no, I have not timed how long it takes the Norcold... I really should so I have a hard baseline to compare to.


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hutch42

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Re: Anyone with Vittrifigo refer?
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2018, 12:19:18 pm »
Been a couple times now that we decided 'last minute' to go somewhere. And had to bring a cooler, because the norcold takes hours (many) to get cold from warm storage. When it is cold, works very well. No complaints there. But I would like the ability to have it cooled down and ready in under 8 hrs

General opinions on the WBGO owners forum that I am on that the Norcold (absorption fridge) takes 4-6 hours (?) to get to normal operating temps.  Folks have been using  bags of ice and or small DC fans to help circulate cold air.  Lots of owners in deep south say longer in the summer.

JATRAX--WBGO is also using your model Norcold in several of their models.  No issues to date.

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jatrax

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Re: Anyone with Vittrifigo refer?
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2018, 02:06:04 pm »
I guess I am now a little unsure what the OP meant by "Norcold".  My first impression was that he has a Norcold DE0061 which is a compressor model.  But on rereading I'm not sure if he means he has a Norcold compressor model that is not working for him or has a regular absorption Norcold that he is unhappy with.  We need to get that clarified.

I have the Norcold DE0061 which is a compressor unit that runs on either 12volt DC or 120volt AC.  Outside of the install issues that I fixed I am very happy with the unit so far.

But if the OP has the same unit and is unhappy with it I am very curious to what the issues are. 

There are DC/AC compressor units made by Vittrifigo, NovaKool and Norcold.  Both NovaKool and Vittrifgo are used extensively in marine applications and get good reviews there.  As noted above, the Norcold compressor unit is starting to get some use in the RV industry.

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biglegmax

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Re: Anyone with Vittrifigo refer?
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2018, 07:16:23 pm »
Sorry, I should have been more clear. We have the Norcold absorption, PC standard. Want to repalce it with a AC/DC compressor style.

We do have an inverter, and enough solar to get by with a household type, AC refer, I just think a refer built for marine use would hold up better in the long run, in an RV. Although you can probably buy three households to one marine grade. So maybe cost wise that would make some sense. I do like the 12v option, and actually would be running it most of the time that way since we don't spend much time plugged in or on gen.

The lead time for cooling down an absorption unit was not a huge concern for us. They appear to work OK in moderate outdoor temps. The fluctuation in temps is our main concern. Manual thermometers told us some of our concerns were true about large temperature swings, then we bought  an accurite digital remote, which verified this. My wife is a retired county health nurse,( and probably more tuned into this than most), whose job was to respond to food born outbreaks. She has seen too many sick people that didn't need to be just because of poor food handling/ poor refrigeration.
 I guess if you only store foods that are not temperature senstive, there will never be a problem. Something that most of us do not think about at home. On a hot trip this summer we gave up and put all perishables in our portable compressor unit, which had less temp swings.

Sounds like any of the three brands of refers mentioned  are good ones, I have not looked at models to compare sizes or installation requirements yet.

Doug

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jatrax

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Re: Anyone with Vittrifigo refer?
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2018, 07:55:43 pm »
Doug,
I researched all three before buying my rig.  If I remember right I liked the Vittrifigo best but it was more expensive and harder to find in stock.  The NovaKool was my choice based only on marine forum reviews.  But when I proposed it to Phoenix they refused saying they had no experience with the company or any source for one.  I could have bought it myself and had them install but they suggested the Norcold DE0061 which has basically the same specs and they could get it from their regular distributor so we went with that.

As I understand it they all use the same Danfoss compressor so the rest is how they insulate / build the box.

Here is the one we have: https://www.westmarine.com/buy/norcold--de-0061-ac-dc-refrigerator-freezer--5388699  If you read the reviews it either gets 5 stars or 1 star.  Not sure whether all the 1 stars are justified but there have been some issues.  All I can say is I am completely happy with ours.  Cools fast and holds temperature wherever we set it. 

If you do go with one of these make sure the outlet you plug it into is not on your inverter.  If it is it defeats the purpose of having the 12v / 120v system.

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Re: Anyone with Vittrifigo refer?
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2018, 07:59:27 pm »
Sorry, I should have been more clear. We have the Norcold absorption, PC standard. Want to repalce it with a AC/DC compressor style.

We do have an inverter, and enough solar to get by with a household type, AC refer, I just think a refer built for marine use would hold up better in the long run, in an RV. Although you can probably buy three households to one marine grade. So maybe cost wise that would make some sense. I do like the 12v option, and actually would be running it most of the time that way since we don't spend much time plugged in or on gen.

I just have to say that when you have an Inverter, it doesn't matter.....  Meaning your AC 120 volts is available, weather
 your driving or not.  Weather your dry camping, or not...  It's always there.  Just like your 12 VDC.  So why buy an expensive
marine refrig when you could get by with just a $130 one that does the same thing?  I mean, it's your money, but residential
Refrig's are what Winnebago and other manufactures are going with of late, because of the Norcold lawsuit, (which I am a part of because of my 2350 refrig). Maybe this is the sign of the times for RV refers?  I fought, BTW long and hard , to get Winny to change my refrid out to a Norcold absorption, but  they could not, cuz they were a dealership of Winny.  Long story short, glad I tried the AC only refrig before spending $5000 to have it changed out to a Norcold absorption. With my adding 800 Watts of solar, (maybe overkill), I can with 4 batteries (cheap type 120ah) dry camp to our hearts content. AND... if the refrig dies, it's only $130 to replace. Easily done by myself.  AND, not $3000, as with the Norcold absorption.

Just my 2 cents....

Denny and Barb
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Re: Anyone with Vittrifigo refer?
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2018, 06:07:32 am »

General opinions on the WBGO owners forum that I am on that the Norcold (absorption fridge) takes 4-6 hours (?) to get to normal operating temps.  Folks have been using  bags of ice and or small DC fans to help circulate cold air.  Lots of owners in deep south say longer in the summer.


Sounds right. We are 400 miles from 'cant go any further south' deep south, so maybe on the longer side. When the bowl of water in the freezer turns to a bowl of ice Mrs V considers the unit 'ready to use'



I just have to say that when you have an Inverter, it doesn't matter.....  Meaning your AC 120 volts is available, weather
 your driving or not.  Weather your dry camping, or not...  It's always there.  Just like your 12 VDC.  So why buy an expensive
marine refrig when you could get by with just a $130 one that does the same thing?  I mean, it's your money, but residential
Refrig's are what Winnebago and other manufactures are going with of late, because of the Norcold lawsuit, (which I am a part of because of my 2350 refrig). Maybe this is the sign of the times for RV refers?  I fought, BTW long and hard , to get Winny to change my refrid out to a Norcold absorption, but  they could not, cuz they were a dealership of Winny.  Long story short, glad I tried the AC only refrig before spending $5000 to have it changed out to a Norcold absorption. With my adding 800 Watts of solar, (maybe overkill), I can with 4 batteries (cheap type 120ah) dry camp to our hearts content. AND... if the refrig dies, it's only $130 to replace. Easily done by myself.  AND, not $3000, as with the Norcold absorption.

Just my 2 cents....

Denny and Barb

I am liking your '2 cents' .  (nod) 



 The fluctuation in temps is our main concern. Manual thermometers told us some of our concerns were true about large temperature swings, then we bought  an accurite digital remote, which verified this. My wife is a retired county health nurse,( and probably more tuned into this than most), whose job was to respond to food born outbreaks. She has seen too many sick people that didn't need to be just because of poor food handling/ poor refrigeration.
 I guess if you only store foods that are not temperature senstive, there will never be a problem. Something that most of us do not think about at home. On a hot trip this summer we gave up and put all perishables in our portable compressor unit, which had less temp swings.


Doug


 tymote  That is an angle I had not considered, and should have. We replaced a faulty board in our basement fridge for bad temperature regulation after losing food a few times. EXCELLENT point.  2o2
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biglegmax

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Re: Anyone with Vittrifigo refer?
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2018, 03:40:50 pm »
Denny and Barb, if your $130 refer is of comparable size to the Norcold absorption, could you supply a model number, and amp draw?
 I do think cost factors into everything. I understand my inverter is available all the time, but we are all limited to how much capacity we have in our systems. We run our convection oven at times, for fairly long cooking times, and living in the NW solar can be limited. I would hate to be short on battery, and have to run the gen just for the refer.
I'm sure its not the same comparison running an absorption on ac, compared to running a ac only refer, but we found running our absorption refer off the inverter was drawing about 22 amps., if I remember correctly.  I'm not a big fan of running gens or open flames down the highway, to each their own though.

$3000 for this refer is outrageous, I know of four that will probably be given away or dumped, if anyone is looking...

Doug

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jatrax

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Re: Anyone with Vittrifigo refer?
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2018, 04:30:15 pm »
Quote
$3000 for this refer is outrageous,
Curious where this number came from?  I was under the impression the absorption units were used in part because they were cheap.  Most I have seen were in the $1,000 - $1,500 range.  Not cheap but not $3,000 either.  I'm sure I am missing something just curious what that is.

The replacement AC/DC compressor units are also in the $1,500 range.  A small residential AC only unit will of course be the cheapest by far.
Quote
running our absorption refer off the inverter was drawing about 22 amps
That seems a bit high but not impossible.  The absorption units work by boiling an ammonia / nitrogen mix.  So when on AC the unit is running a heating element like in the hot water tank.  Not exactly the best way to make things cold. 

I posted someplace on this forum what our power usage is for the Norcold DE0061.  I used a meter to record power use.  I'll see if I can find that post again.