12 volt refrigerator? - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 10-24-2013, 08:44 PM   #29
Senior Member
Spanke's Avatar
Name: David
Trailer: 1978 Trillium 1300
Cumberland, Indiana
Posts: 375
I had pretty much made up my mind to put in a Nova Kool R2600 12 volt fridge with the Danfoss compressor before this thread came along. This thread has not changed my mind.

My old Dometic RM211 was toast. I could have purchased a used unit or a new 3-way RM2193, but the cost difference between the Nova Kool and the Dometic was not that great and I liked the reviews, newer technology, power efficiency and interior size of the Nova Kool. Also, the depth of Nova Kool R2600 fits the available space better than the Dometic Rm2193.

It may not be for everyone, but for me, it seemed to make sense.


Trilliums Rock!
Spanke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2013, 08:57 PM   #30
Senior Member
Name: asdf
Trailer: asdf
Posts: 346
I quite agree. The downside is that is must use electricity, but it is so low powered that assuming solar (off grid) it is just a win!

jwcolby54 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2013, 09:32 PM   #31
Senior Member
Mike Magee's Avatar
Name: Michael
Trailer: Li'l Hauley
Posts: 4,522
Originally Posted by jwcolby54 View Post
Mike, I'm pretty sure this is not the case. I have the smaller unit but I turned it all the way cold and was getting low 40s when it was in the nineties out. It can struggle to cool a full fridge of new (warm) stuff, but once cold it says pretty darned cold.

Which is not to say a compressor type won't outperform it.
Results with absorption fridges seem to vary wildly. Perhaps it's because conditions vary wildly. A thing or two not working optimally on the unit can throw performance off quite a bit. Heat element out of spec, some dirt on the coils, sun shining on the fridge side, trailer not quite level enough, air flow on rear of unit insufficient, partially plugged condensation drain, etc.

My unit worked just tolerably well for the first 2 summers, and worse for the 3rd summer. I talked to the service guy at the dealership where I bought the trailer, and he said they see it all the time in the 3 cubic foot Norcolds and don't really know what to do about it. I'm not much of a fixer-upper, so when the techs scratch their heads I figure it's time to look for something better. YMMV.
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven... --Ecclesiastes 3
Mike Magee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2013, 10:01 PM   #32
Senior Member
Name: Drew
Trailer: Trillium Outback - 2004
Posts: 106
One thing to remember when using a DC fridge and charging with solar, when your fridge cycles on during the day it will diminish your charging amps. For example, if your panel puts out 4 amps and your fridge cycles on using 2.4 amps you’re now only pushing 1.6 amps into your batteries. The big issue here is that most panels never output their maximum amps because most won’t have perfect placement of the solar panel, not to mention cloud, time of year, panel quality, etc.

This issue drove me nuts last year so I upped my watts from 75 to 215. Not everyone can do that but it fixed the problem. This season when my fridge cycled on it rarely mattered. However, bad sun is just bad, and that’s a whole other issue!
Where we’re going, we don’t need a plug-in.
multi-task is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2013, 12:28 AM   #33
Junior Member
Name: Joe
Trailer: 1977 Scamp 13'
Posts: 21
I guess I am the oddball. I have a portable Coleman Power Cooler/Freezer. Uses a Stirling motor. Doesn't use much juice. Very light compared to Norcolds ect. Downside... Doesn't hold as much food.
Joe M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2013, 07:02 AM   #34
Lorelei L's Avatar
Name: Lorelei
Trailer: uhaul
Posts: 52
I know most of y'all are familiar with Harbor Freight. Is their 100 watt solar setup ok or is it crap?
Lorelei L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2013, 08:53 AM   #35
Senior Member
David B.'s Avatar
Name: Dave & Paula Brown
Trailer: Lil Snoozy
Posts: 1,297
Originally Posted by Lorelei L View Post
I know most of y'all are familiar with Harbor Freight. Is their 100 watt solar setup ok or is it crap?
I have had their 3 panel 45 watt system for several years now.....still in the box(unused) because of the large "foot print" needed. I was going to use them on our 25' toy hauler, but now we have a 13' Scamp. Our 100 watt single panel Ramsond panel is almost the same size as one of the 3 15 watt Harbor Freight panels.
Attached Thumbnails
David B. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2013, 09:03 AM   #36
Senior Member
Carol H's Avatar
Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
Posts: 11,708
Originally Posted by Lorelei L View Post
I know most of y'all are familiar with Harbor Freight. Is their 100 watt solar setup ok or is it crap?
Lorelei, I havent seen their 100 watt setups - I looked at their online catalogue and couldnt find it but if like the others set ups I have seen I agree with David that their panels tend to be on the large size.

I purchased my panel 6 years ago and I know that today I could get a panel with 3 times the wattage at half the size and cost. The smaller panels are easier to find a safe spot to store in the trailer if you do not plan on permanently mounting them.
Carol H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2013, 11:20 AM   #37
Senior Member
Steve L.'s Avatar
Name: Steve
Trailer: 2003 Casita 16' SD
Posts: 1,652
FWIW, I compared the HF 45 watt package to a 45 watt package from Northern Arizona Wind and sun and the HF package was 2.5 times larger (area). Plus, from the HF manual I wasn't thrilled with the following warning from the manual:

9. This product may occasionally produce more current and/or voltage than its rated output. Increase output ratings by 25% when determining component required voltage and amperage ratings. Refer to Section 690-8 of the National Electrical Code for an additional multiplying factor of 125 percent (80 percent derating) which may apply.

That's 25% in addition to what NEC recommends.

Not to offend anyone's sensibilities, but anything I buy at HF I consider disposable. YMMV.
Steve L. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2013, 12:18 AM   #38
Name: Mike
Trailer: Scamp
Posts: 45
Ever heard of Engel?

Originally Posted by Lorelei L View Post
Anyone install a 12 v fridge? How is it working for you? Do you use solar panels?
If you're looking for a good 12V fridge, you should check out what the overlanding guys use. These are the people who do EXTREME camping, where they go on expeditions to third world countries and drive 200 miles off road to find a campsite. You'll see a fridge that looks like this on almost every rig.

They are built exclusively for 12V power, but unlike the Dometic fridge that Scamp sells, these have a VERY low power draw (0.5 to 3 amps at 12V), and work well enough to make ice in the desert. Your average group 24 battery can power one of these for 2 or 3 days, and with a good solar panel you can power it indefinitely.

Most of them open from the top, like a cooler. But I found one that opens from the front, and is roughly the same dimensions as the Dometic fridge that comes with the Scamp. It's the Engel SR70, and based on the installation guide, it should fit in the same cutout as the factory refrigerator if you widen it a half inch. I plan on getting one in the spring.

mmcwhort is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2013, 06:26 AM   #39
Senior Member
Tim Wood's Avatar
Name: Tim
Trailer: Class B for now
Posts: 747
Originally Posted by Spanke View Post
Danforth 12 volt compressor refrigerators are no more expensive than a new 3-way ammonia type frig and are far more efficient. You can buy a 2.4cf for $639 + shipping here: Nova Kool R2600 68L Single Door Refrigerator (R2600) DC Only

This frig is pretty much a direct physical size replacement for the old Dometic rm211.

Since there is a compressor, they work much better than ammonia technology and you don't need propane or large vents on the side of your trailer. Only uses 3 amp when running. Easily can run a long time with only solar to replenish your battery.

If you have a generator to recharge you're golden. On shore power, if you have a converter, it only takes a 3 amp circuit to make it work.

Just more food for thought!


David, I'm probably missing this, but I don't see where Nova Kool uses a Danfoss compressor . I do know that a lot of these 12v fridges don't use Danfoss like Engel, but are still an excellent fridge/freezer. Then there are others who aren't as efficient as Engel or Danfoss. I have a small Dometic chest type fridge/freezer and it does have a Danfoss in it, and is a great little fridge/freezer.

Ahh with more investigating I did find some more specs and the Nova Kool does have a Danfoss compressor, good find.
Tim Wood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2013, 07:52 AM   #40
Lorelei L's Avatar
Name: Lorelei
Trailer: uhaul
Posts: 52
Thanks for the Engel & solar panel info. I go to HF to stock up on basic tools & little LED flashlights for the kitchen tool drawer, because when somebody goes into mom's tool drawer, I know I will likely never see THAT screwdriver or flashlight again! LOL
Lorelei L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2013, 09:13 AM   #41
Senior Member
rabbit's Avatar
Name: Jack
Trailer: '98 BURRO 17WB
Posts: 2,548
Norcold (Sidney, OH) and Waeco are also using Secop (formerly Danfoss) compressors. I think this is a recent change for Norcold.


rabbit is offline   Reply With Quote

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
110 volt and 12 volt on the same switch? Chris Jones Modifications, Alterations and Updates 46 04-04-2013 01:36 PM
Two 6 volt vs. 12 volt deep cycle kevin242 Electrical | Charging, Systems, Solar and Generators 9 10-09-2007 08:35 PM
Refrigerator not working on 12 volt. Ken Lepard Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 10 09-10-2007 06:55 PM
12 Volt Legacy Posts Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 20 07-03-2003 02:43 PM
12 volt Legacy Posts Electrical | Charging, Systems, Solar and Generators 31 05-23-2003 06:46 AM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:23 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.