Heki skylight and 12 v reefer questions

NorCal1P10

New member
Well I've been speaking with a sales rep for Northstar Campers and am leaning towards a Laredo SC. I am likely ordering one custom from the factory to have the options that I want. I am up in the air about two options at the moment.

What are your thoughts on the Heki skylight? Are there different models that the various camper manufacturers use? I've heard answers that are the polar opposite of each other. I am greatly concerned about the "melting" or "warping" comments and that is making me choose to not have one installed. I've also heard that it really heats up the interior of the camper if the screen is left open to alleviate the warping issue. Anyone have comments regarding their camper with a Heki?

I would also like to have a 12v reefer installed. It is the Dometic CR110. This one operates on electric power only, not LP. Does anyone here use these types of reefers, or mainly the 3 way?

My understanding is a compressor reefer is more efficient than an absorption reefer, and I don't have to worry about leveling the camper exactly right for the three way propane reefer to work. After looking around the internet I cannot find any literature explaining whether the reefer would work when hooked to shore power (at home). I would guess there is a converter (inverter?) that would allow the reefer to work when plugged into 110 or 220 volts? If I am off base please let me know.


Thanks
 

Capt Eddie

Adventurer
I hate my skylites. They are just another way to cause a leak and need to redo the roof. Keep down on all of the HOLES in your roof.
 

boblynch

Adventurer
We have not had trouble with our 3 way fridge on uneven terrain, but I would still rather have the 12v. Most folks I know with 12v refers have a solar panel on the roof that provides enough power to keep the fridge running 24/7. Agree with Eddie on minimizing roof penetrations. We have a Heki skylight and really like it. We keep the shade about 90% closed when driving and when the camper is not in use. We normally camp in shaded areas if possible. Opening the skylight when we first get to camp helps cool the camper down. No warping or other issues the past 6 years.
 

Recommended books for Overlanding

dags

Adventurer
I've not owned the large compressor fridge, only a small 4wd one. I currently own a northern lite with a 3 way - the fridge is nice but cannot run on batteries and takes 6-8 hrs of operation before it's down to operating temp. A compressor fridge takes a short period of time to cool down. As a 3 way fridge ages it becomes less efficient, you don't have such a drastic decline in efficiency with a compressor fridge.

If i had a choice i would go with the CR - you can read about the fridge on sailing forums, it's used by all the sailing guys.
 

mhiscox

Expedition Leader
I really enjoyed having the Heki skylight in my first Sprinter conversion. It is admittedly a pretty flimsy unit, but the extent of the ventilation and, in our placement, the ability to lie on the bed looking up at the trees/sky/stars/whatever, made it worthwhile. We did have some leaks, but this was due to a misguided attempt to put the flat hatch onto the ridged and flexible sheet metal roof. I would guess that the camper in question has a nice flat and rigid mating surface and would not be a problem.
 

deminimis

Explorer
I've had a Nevercold 12v fridge (horrible unit that you can not recharge). Not sure if Dom has the charge port or not, but guessing not. If so, when your refrigerant leaks out, you're likely stuck buying a new compressor assembly (at least that was the trouble with Nevercold, and I've been told similar with the Dom). After the second failure, went with Vertifrigo like mentioned above. Great fridge if looking for 12v only. A D4 and 140 watt solar panel keep it up nicely. However, since then we've had 2 & 3-way units. In my opinion, that's the way to go. They use very little propane and when in propane mode, it can hard freeze ice cream (less efficient/cold when plugged in). When I tried our former 3-way on 12v, it made fast work of three Trogan batts. With that, a 2-way (Propane and AC/DC) is the best move, in my opinion. Your mileage may vary.
 

mangymarmot

Adventurer
The Heki Sky Light is great in concept but the materials they use is cheap. If I were to do it again, I would have ordered our camper without a skylight and installed a boat hatch. If the Heki skylight cracks, it's a $1000 fix.
 

incognito

Adventurer
hy,

had a Nova Kool R3800 12v fridge and at level 4 from 7 was freezing the tomatoes inside it.best fridge i,ve owned it draws only 2.2 Amps they say.
works until 30 degres off level since they put it in sailboats also.
but : also they say you only need a 100 watts solar panel. yes to make it work maybe so you also need more wattage to recharge the batteries.
so i would say for me is the best option on the market today if combined with 200+ solar panels and a 240 bateries bank+

mesured a 3 way fridge and was drawing 10 Amps. mine is still for now 3 way double door and it costed me around +50 $ of propane in 7 weeks.
usually when plugged to outside 110V courrent goes to the camper converter which charge the camper batteries. the 12v fridge is connected to the camper batteries.

had also a 12v thermoelectric cooler warmer for the vegetables. was cooling 20 degrees less than ambient temp but was taking 4 amps non stop ( was working all the time) . for 100$ it did the job.
hope this helps
incognito
 
Top