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Old 11-14-2018, 08:29 PM   #1
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Default 12V Compressor Refrigerators

I have a 2001 Dodge Roadtrek 190 with a 3 way Dometic refrigerator and am looking at replacing it with a 12V compressor type. Anyone know the cut-out dimensions? Any one replace there's and have any suggestions? Thanks.
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Old 11-15-2018, 12:39 AM   #2
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Can you find a model number for your current refrigerator? Then do some internet searching for dimensions
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Old 11-15-2018, 12:42 AM   #3
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I did find some dimensions but I'm also looking to see what others replace theirs with and if they had any luck with them.
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Old 11-15-2018, 02:25 AM   #4
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What is the advantage to the 12v compressor fridge?
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Old 11-15-2018, 03:17 AM   #5
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Not having to be as level and not having to mess with getting propane burner lit. Also more consistent temperatures
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Old 11-15-2018, 03:21 AM   #6
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What is the advantage to the 12v compressor fridge?

All things being equal, compressor fridge is more reliable at maintaining set temperatures since in runs like your home fridge on 20th century technology, not 19th century technology.

My 3.1cf Nova Kool does not drain my two batteries overnight, even running lights, tv/dvr, furnace (or Maxxfan, depending on temperatures). However, I've taken steps to reduce battery drain by making everything 12v so I do not use the inverter, ever.

But, RV manufactures continue to install both absorption and compressor fridges without adequate venting or cooling fans. See this thread for more discussion on that topic: http://www.classbforum.com/forums/f8...html#post83646

Either type can do the job, if working properly, and with correct ventilation. Likewise, both can have problems if the cabinet area they are installed in gets too hot.
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Old 11-15-2018, 11:46 AM   #7
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We replaced our propane fridge with a compressor fridge. We had to re-align cabinetry, but it was one of the best mods we've ever done. You can read about that job here:

https://interstateblog.blogspot.com/...airstream.html
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Old 11-15-2018, 12:14 PM   #8
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THE Reason an absorption refrigerator exists is because there is not enough reliable electrical power.

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Old 11-15-2018, 01:09 PM   #9
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I am always a little puzzled at these threads on absorption vs compressor. Over 36 years and with one C, two "B+"s and four Bs I have never had problems with absorption refrigeration. Perhaps I am just lucky. Perhaps it is that I maintain them well.

I know two things for sure. One, we mostly boondock and level not for the refrig but our own comfort. Two, we live in a HOT part of the country. Please come join us in Oklahoma for July and August if you are in doubt.
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Old 11-15-2018, 01:31 PM   #10
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I am always a little puzzled at these threads on absorption vs compressor. Over 36 years and with one C, two "B+"s and four Bs I have never had problems with absorption refrigeration. Perhaps I am just lucky. Perhaps it is that I maintain them well.
Well, I've owned both. Of course you can make an absorption unit work after a fashion, and if you like you can define this as "never had problems".

If I had to live with an absorption unit again, I obviously could. But, the performance of compressor units is SO superior that I would never, ever go back to absorption if I had any kind of a choice.
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Old 11-15-2018, 01:49 PM   #11
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Anyone know of a worse B manufacturer concerning absorption refers than roadtrek?
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Old 11-15-2018, 01:55 PM   #12
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Well, I've owned both. Of course you can make an absorption unit work after a fashion, and if you like you can define this as "never had problems".

If I had to live with an absorption unit again, I obviously could. But, the performance of compressor units is SO superior that I would never, ever go back to absorption if I had any kind of a choice.

This pretty much says how it/was with us also. We got our absorption frig to work "OK", but it was one of the little constant irritants of daily life on the road to make sure it was well.



We were one of the earlier conversion to a compressor frig something like 7 or 8 years ago, and would not consider going back unless there was no other way. Back then, there was very little information on changing over in existing class b vans available, so we spent quite a bit of time figuring out how poor a job most of the compressor frig instructions were relating to just how important the ventilation of the units is.


We have an Isotherm Cruise 85, which is slightly smaller than the Dometic gas unit it replaced, on the outside, but with similar capacity. It fit easily in our Chevy 190 Roadtrek with some bonus room under it where we now keep the Chevy Jack and some extra extension cords.
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Old 11-15-2018, 08:58 PM   #13
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I don't do RV parks. They defeat what I am looking for when I get out in my Agile. So, I'm mostly boondocking. I don't see how a compressor fridge could work for me. If I am in a park or something, I have 120v on my fridge too. I guess I just don't see it, but I'm new to this for the most part. Maybe I'm missing something...
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Old 11-15-2018, 09:08 PM   #14
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I don't do RV parks. They defeat what I am looking for when I get out in my Agile. So, I'm mostly boondocking. I don't see how a compressor fridge could work for me. If I am in a park or something, I have 120v on my fridge too. I guess I just don't see it, but I'm new to this for the most part. Maybe I'm missing something...
THE Reason an absorption refer exists is because there is not enough reliable electrical power. Hey, you're ok it appears.
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Old 11-15-2018, 09:09 PM   #15
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I don't do RV parks. They defeat what I am looking for when I get out in my Agile. So, I'm mostly boondocking. I don't see how a compressor fridge could work for me. If I am in a park or something, I have 120v on my fridge too. I guess I just don't see it, but I'm new to this for the most part. Maybe I'm missing something...
You need a decent-sized battery plus either a lot of solar or else a second engine alternator. We have the latter--a short drive every few days will keep our fridge running forever.
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Old 11-15-2018, 09:29 PM   #16
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THE Reason an absorption refer exists is because there is not enough reliable electrical power. Hey, you're ok it appears.
Sure. Seems like the tech is a little ways off still IMO before I can travel as I like in an RV as small as mine and have power to spare...



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You need a decent-sized battery plus either a lot of solar or else a second engine alternator. We have the latter--a short drive every few days will keep our fridge running forever.
There is only so much room in my rig. A second alternator is big money. So is a major battery/ solar upgrade on top of the lack of space. Seems like a lot of effort and cost beyond the cost of the fridge, to replace something that already works fine.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for better tech and lower maintenance. Just doesn't seem viable to me currently. I would like to upgrade my power system. A couple extra batteries, a better converter/inverter/charger system, a second alternator would be sweet, more solar if there was room, etc... Wish they made ACs that didn't drain the power too...
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Old 11-15-2018, 10:49 PM   #17
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I have two 115AH (size 31), 300W of solar on the roof and Isotherm 85l (3 CF) in the 20' Sprinter van, works great. No more levelling concerns, parking at any slope is OK.
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Old 11-16-2018, 05:47 PM   #18
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I'm the proud owner of not one but TWO absorption refrigerators, both of which I'm convinced were delivered straight out of Hell itself. In the Before Time, I used to be a big propane advocate, until I lived through the process of trying to make both of those function reliably. We put in sufficient battery (300 AH lithium) and solar (300 watts) to carry our Vitrifrigo's compressor demands while remaining off-grid close to 100% of the time. I've been very, very, very happy with our set-up.
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Old 11-16-2018, 06:01 PM   #19
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Thank you all for your advice and suggestions. As soon as I can remove my Dometic 2333 unit and measure my cut-out dimensions I'm going to replace my refrigerator with a compressor type. I'm researching Nova Kool, Norcold, Vitrifrigo and Isotherm compressor units. It'll be awhile though, we just got 12" of the white stuff.
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Old 11-16-2018, 06:16 PM   #20
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Booster, did you install a Isotherm Smart Energy Control Kit? They say it cuts battery use in half.
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