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Old 08-27-2014, 02:07 PM   #1
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Default Roadtrek Sprinters all compressor frig

A question about an Agile refrigerator showed up on the Yahoo board, and it was mentioned that it comes with a compressor frig. Just looked at the Roadtrek site and it now looks like all the Sprinters come with the compressor frig. Chevies still with the 3 way.

Not sure if this is a good or bad thing at this point. I hope that they let the buyers know about the extra power use, as they come with only 220AH of battery. All do seem to now have the two more battery option and solar option available, so with those options the frig would be a very good thing for almost everyone, I think.

I am sure that the compressor frig saves Roadtrek a lot of money, as they are usually cheaper than a 3 way and much easier to install. They also gain the ability to put it nearly anywhere in the van without issue.
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Old 08-27-2014, 02:22 PM   #2
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Default Re: Roadtrek Sprinters all compressor frig

Booster-since i follow Roadtrek closely-2 years ago Roadtrek changed all sprinters to compressor fridge-. The Ranger also has the compressor fridge-which is one of the reasons i'm getting that and not the 190.

prior to that they all indeed had 3 way fridge. i think the change over co-incided with the E-trek introduction.
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Old 08-27-2014, 02:38 PM   #3
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Default Re: Roadtrek Sprinters all compressor frig

The way I see and understand it is a compressor frig like a 6.8 cf Nova Kool that Advanced RV has been putting in is going to use up about 90 AH per day. That would deplete close to half of a two-battery setup so you should couple that with solar to replenish at least that amount I would think if you wanted to dry camp any extended period past an overnight. The rest of the load would be the traditional usual. Would it work without solar? Possibly. It would be comparable then to a traditional one-battery setup but you'd better be driving and touring and seeking overnight electrical hookups as part of your routine. Either that, or they are definitely assuming you'll need to run a generator routinely or using the high engine idle. So, evidently they've figured out the normal customer would survive with the setup and, of course, once stung with a depleted battery one quickly learns how to manage.

It's too close for me. It would require constant battery monitoring and management affecting your daily decisions. I learned to do that with my one battery Pleasure-way and then enjoyed what seemed to be a luxury in comparison with my two battery GWVan Legend, both with 3-way friges and propane backup.
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Old 08-27-2014, 02:45 PM   #4
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Default Re: Roadtrek Sprinters all compressor frig

One other thought. Class Bs are gravitating to larger refrigerators away from the the traditional 3.8-4.0 cf versions. Now many run anywhere from 5 to 7 cf. Could it be that a 3-way simply would burn battery power too fast when stopped if you don't switch over thus would definitely require propane? With my one battery Pleasure-way I could barely get an hour stopped at lunch on 12V without the low battery warning going off.
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Old 08-27-2014, 02:56 PM   #5
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Default Re: Roadtrek Sprinters all compressor frig

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davydd
One other thought. Class Bs are gravitating to larger refrigerators away from the the traditional 3.8-4.0 cf versions. Now many run anywhere from 5 to 7 cf. Could it be that a 3-way simply would burn battery power too fast when stopped if you don't switch over thus would definitely require propane? With my one battery Pleasure-way I could barely get an hour stopped at lunch on 12V without the low battery warning going off.
When we had a 3way, we only ran it on DC while driving, and always converted it to propane if stopped for really short times, like potty stops. The CS seems to be the only one with a big frig, but even with 440AH of battery, if it is hot, you could use nearly 25% per day. I think for compressor frigs solar is going to almost a necessity for most folks, unless they drive every day, two at most. You also need enough battery capacity to cover the really poor solar conditions that happen occasionally, or be willing to drive some if that happens.

I think compressor frigs are going to take over a large part of the market, but there will be a learning curve for the manufacturers and the customers.
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Old 08-27-2014, 03:07 PM   #6
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Default Re: Roadtrek Sprinters all compressor frig

Jim Hammill implied(or did i infer) on a post at roadtrekking that the 3 models that currently have 3-ways(170,190,210) would at some point either come with compressor or have compressor as option.
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Old 08-27-2014, 03:39 PM   #7
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Default Re: Roadtrek Sprinters all compressor frig

I had a large fridge, 7 or 8 cu ft in the B+ I had. It was only 2-way, AC or propane. It the time I figured it was because a DC element would not be adequate (edit: absorption not compressor) so it was left out of the fridge design.

Great point about the new compressor fridges allowing for more floor plans and being easier to install. Cycling the batteries more often will mean they'll be replaced more often also. More batteries sharing the load means a less deep draw down & will definitely help with battery longevity.
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Old 08-27-2014, 06:33 PM   #8
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Default Re: Roadtrek Sprinters all compressor frig

Both of my 3-way absorption refrigerators never performed well on DC. Consequently I took to running them most all the time on propane when not plugged into shore power. They used very little propane.
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Old 08-27-2014, 07:23 PM   #9
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Default Re: Roadtrek Sprinters all compressor frig

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davydd
Both of my 3-way absorption refrigerators never performed well on DC. Consequently I took to running them most all the time on propane when not plugged into shore power. They used very little propane.
Me too....
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Old 08-29-2014, 04:02 AM   #10
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Default Re: Roadtrek Sprinters all compressor frig

Plus me. Absorption fridges are quiet and as long as one parks them on the more or less level they are fine. If compressor fridges are noisy, count me out. My next rv will have a bigger fridge but I am not convinced about the old-fashioned compressor fridges. I only use battery for fridge while driving as there is a safety problem with using propane and insurance companies go bananas if you get smucked and were using fridge on propane!! Otherwise, the fridge uses very little LP>
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Old 08-29-2014, 03:05 PM   #11
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Default Re: Roadtrek Sprinters all compressor frig

The level issue with an absorption refrigerator was never a problem or concern. The tolerances for one are much greater than my tolerance for level sleeping conditions. The compressor refrigerator uses about a third of the electrical when running on DC as I understand it. So, the issue is when parked and having two or more auxiliary batteries and/or solar should mitigate the parked condition. You just have to know to plan for it. It seems the converters think 200 ah of battery is enough for all electrical needs and I suspect I could make that work if I just wanted to continue touring as I have in the past.

I don't know if insurance companies even know if you have propane or not let alone what your practice is in using to go bananas. Since I will not have any propane in my next Class B I'll find out if it is a concern by whether I get a break or not in premiums. The truth is insurance companies are not that sophisticated. I have a Type III construction heavy-timber home with concrete floors and get no break in premiums from a flimsy wood stick built house.
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Old 08-29-2014, 03:42 PM   #12
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Default Re: Roadtrek Sprinters all compressor frig

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fastpaddler1
Absorption fridges are quiet and as long as one parks them on the more or less level they are fine. If compressor fridges are noisy, count me out. My next rv will have a bigger fridge but I am not convinced about the old-fashioned compressor fridges.
Our new NovaKool compressor fridge makes negligible noise. I can barely tell whether or not it is running. The Danfoss BD series variable speed compressors that are used by NovaKool and most other good DC-powered refrigerators are hardly "old fashioned". They are a marvel of efficiency and sophistication.

As for tilt, perhaps our old Dometic was worse than normal in this regard, but tilt was a *big* problem in our old rig. Nothing worse than coming back from a day hiking and discovering a puddle of ice-cream in the freezer.
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Old 08-29-2014, 03:53 PM   #13
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Default Re: Roadtrek Sprinters all compressor frig

I've never had a refrigerator/freezer big enough to hold ice cream other than an ice cream sandwich bar and they don't melt.

http://www.myfoxdfw.com/story/26137440/ ... sandwiches
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Old 08-29-2014, 04:26 PM   #14
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Default Re: Roadtrek Sprinters all compressor frig

Just like the discussions of gas/diesel-Onan generator versus engine generator-compressor fridge or propane there are always proponents of both.

all i can say is in general the most posts i've read on these subjects are-

propane fridge does not get cold enough or suffers when temperature rises or has problems from not leveling-i rarely have read too loud on compressor fridge but i have read a few.

Onan generator is to loud sounds like a chainsaw. people either avoid using it or grit their teeth when using it. Just about unanimous disapproval of Onan-but you need the electricity somtimes it makes.


gas/diesel-sprinters or otherwise-i am going to avoid that subject -LOL
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Old 08-29-2014, 06:48 PM   #15
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Default Re: Roadtrek Sprinters all compressor frig

The propane and AC way on the 3-way refrigerators have performed adequately for me. It is the 12V side that seems to under perform. In monitoring the temps I was getting frustrated while driving on 12V and it got to the point I would just leave it on propane.
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Old 08-29-2014, 07:04 PM   #16
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Default Re: Roadtrek Sprinters all compressor frig

Our former Dometic didn't even have 12VDC--it was propane or 120VAC only. From what folks are saying, this was no great loss. When traveling, we always turned on the inverter and set the fridge to AC. Worked fine (i.e., as well as it ever did).

I think that absorption refrigerators simply use a resistive heater when powered by 12VDC, which is very inefficient. DC compressor units use efficient DC motors, which is an entirely different proposition. Indeed, as I understand it, if you order a compressor fridge with the AC option, all you get is a little built-in power brick to convert 120VAC to 12VDC. No real point in this, assuming your rig has a converter anyway.
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Old 08-31-2014, 07:07 AM   #17
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Default Re: Roadtrek Sprinters all compressor frig

My Agile has the compressor fridge. There is plenty of battery capacity to run the fridge, furnace at night, watch a movie via inverter, charge iPhone and IPad, lights, etc. When spending more than one night, the solar more than counters the battery drain of the fridge.

Plus, since it cools down so quickly, we can make a relatively spontaneous decision to leave for a day or two and not worry about leaving the Agile at a trailhead parking that is far from level. I'd never go back to 3-way unless we made a drastic change in our travel/camping style.
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