RV Refrigerators - what is the current trend?

Treefarmer

New member
Lots of good advice. I run a Nevercold (aka:Norcold) 0041 ac/dc fridge in my Tiger. While it was suppose to be the top of the line, rugged marine/adventure RV fridge it's been nothing but trouble which is amplified by the lack of any customer service from Norcold. While I really like the concept of an ac/dc fridge I've learned a couple hardlearned lessons.

1) Verify build date code prior to accepting the fridge since thats what your warranty will be based from. (eg: My new in the box Nevercold was built several years before I took delivery so it was technically out of warranty when I had my first problem)
2) There is no such thing as a Nevercold "authorized" RV refrigerator repairman or service center. Sure, they are plenty of RV repair facilities but they will charge you out the ******** just to guess at what is wrong and typically won't warranty their own repair. They also hate dealing with Nevercold as a company.
3) AC/DC fridges hate hot weather. They either won't keep cool or shutdown once they get hot. Install a small, low volt computer fan over the coils(?) to help cool it so it keeps running.
4) At least with a Nevercold plan on replacing the thermorestor, thermostat and sensor coil as normal, routine maintenance and keep extra parts around for ongoing repairs.
5) Budget for a new house battery (runs the fridge) every 2-3 years since the Nevercold will kill it.

Cheers!
We had the same experience with Norcold. Buyer berware! They're customer service is particularly horrible. It looks like we stick to Dometic for now on the 12V side. Norcold and Furrion are definitely on our no go list forever. If a residential refridgerator could withstand the bouncing of traveling in an RV, then we would definitely consider going residential 120V in the future.
 

Verkstad

Raggarkung
how big of an inverter would you need to constantly run a home type fridge?
You would need to see the Appliance Nameplate. That should indicate its running wattage. Choose an inverter what can handle that amount plus the brief surge current needed as fridge compressor switches on.
Be sure to use sinewave inverter.
Induction motors dont perform well on ’modified sinewave’.
As far as the inverter on constantly, note my prior message about switching the inverter on using additional thermostat independent of the fridge OEM thermostat.
 
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JaSAn

Well-known member
I have a Viltron Phoenix 500 VA PSW inverter running my fridge.
It consumes 1W in zero-load ECO mode; not enough to worry about.
 

Verkstad

Raggarkung
I have a Viltron Phoenix 500 VA PSW inverter running my fridge.
It consumes 1W in zero-load ECO mode; not enough to worry about.
Which is great provided idle current of the fridge is below the ’switch on’ threshold of the inverter. There is something to be said for old school appliances !
Fwiw,
I never used an inverter fridge, but I understand their compressor never or seldom switches off.
Its compressor speed just ramps up or down as the cooling load demands.
As aside,
I modified my portable air compressor with a VFD and changed to threephase motor. Basically its a soft start system what lets me use a crazy long extention cord without the motor struggling to get started up and tripping circuitbreaker.
 
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Oka 374

Member
Here in Oz most are running domestic inverter 240v fridge freezers on a dedicated 300 or 350w PSW inverter, Victron seem to be the most popular.
As the inverter fridges are soft start you can get away with running such a small PSW inverter as even when running they don't use much power even when on the defrost cycle.
 
I purchased a Isotherm Cruise 130 with temp control. They make larger models. All reviews were very positive. I have not received my trailer yet so does anyone have any opinions on this model. I did look hard at Norcold but lots of negative reviews
 

TGK

Active member
Anyone have any experience/opinions of the Everchill brand 12V RV refrigerators? It's my understanding some of the traditional (Indiana for example) RV outfits are sticking this in their units now.
 

Martinjmpr

Wiffleball Batter
It seems to me that a 12v fridge running through a 120vAC / 12vDC converter when on shore power would be more efficient than a 120vAC fridge running through an inverter when on battery. The biggest advantage to the 120vAC fridge, though, would be that if it failed or needed to be replaced, it could probably be replaced at a much lower cost. I kind of feel like there's a Sword of Damocles hanging over our R-Pod in terms of the 3 way fridge. Right now it works fine, but if it fails it's at least $1000 or more to replace it.

I'm pretty sure our next RV will not have a propane fridge. Nice as they are, a combination of batteries and solar panels seems to make a 12v fridge a more attractive option.
 

Verkstad

Raggarkung
The biggest advantage to the 120vAC fridge, though, would be that if it failed or needed to be replaced, it could probably be replaced at a much lower cost.
Easily much less buying it...
But just dont get too customised elaborate with how its mounted with its adjacent cabinetry.
Later on if it needs replacement, an exact duplicate probably wont be available.
 

TGK

Active member
Easily much less buying it...
But just dont get too customised elaborate with how its mounted with its adjacent cabinetry.
Later on if it needs replacement, an exact duplicate probably wont be available.
Good point regarding mounting placement of RV refrigerator. If one hangs onto an RV for a long time, one can almost guarantee that replacements of the same size could be very hard to find. I'm currently facing that with my '71 Airstream. In 2004 a previous owner rebuilt the interior and installed a new at the time Dometic 5 CF RM2510 in the original frig location. However, now 18 years later, the cooling unit died. Dometic no longer makes the refrigerator. Rebuilt ones are also no longer available nor are replacement parts. I contacted Dometic and they do not have replacement. They are either way smaller or a lot larger in all dimensions. Width and Depth are the key measurements. I did find that Dometic makes a "state of the art" 2 way 7 CF fridge that has the right width and depth, but it's 8" taller. The height issue has the potential to be addressed by rebuilding the cabinet. However, it was made for the European market and I've only found one online source that sells it in the USA. It also is corded for the European market which would likely have to be changed. Cost is $2,500 and is non returnable. An unpalatable option. At this point, not even sure if I can find a similar size 12V electric for the space. If I could, I'd likely have to upgrade the electrical. I currently have a modern converter, but only a single AGM, which has worked fine as our electrical demand is minimal. However, going with an electric fridge would change the equation. Anyway I look at it, it's not an easy solution.
 

Buddha.

Finally in expo white.
Anyone have any experience/opinions of the Everchill brand 12V RV refrigerators? It's my understanding some of the traditional (Indiana for example) RV outfits are sticking this in their units now.
Yeah, when I first started as a RV tech a little over a year ago we had about a half dozen of the nEverchill fridges hanging out waiting to get shipped back for warranty claims. Haven’t seen a failure in a while though. Maybe they got better?
 
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JaSAn

Well-known member
Last winter I replaced an old Norcold with a cheap dorm fridge. So far, with 6 weeks of use, it is working well. Powered by a Victron Pheonix 500VA inerter,with 200W solar and 208AH GC2s, I am at ~80% in the morning and full before 1 pm.
It's been down some bad washboard.
 

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