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Old 07-12-2019, 12:11 AM   #1
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Compressor refrigerator in Sprinter motorhomes?

It appears many of the new Winnebago Sprinter based motorhomes are using a compressor refrigerator. For those who have this type of refrigerator, how noisy are they in a small motorhome? In my case with our 2016 Itasca 24J the refrigerator is at the foot of the bed. Also how about dry camping? Will one 100 watt solar panel and two Trojan T105 batteries keep up with the power demands? All input and advice is appreciated.

2016 Itasca Navion 24J (Mercedes 3500 chassis)
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Old 07-12-2019, 06:07 AM   #2
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I am just changing out my Dometic 8555 for a compressor Refrigerator so I'll have to update this after I have time to use it. It should be about the same draw or possiblity less on my batteries since I had to run so many extra fans with my Dometic to aide it in cooling. It drew 10+amps, this compressor model should only draw about 6 amp when compressor is running. I'm installing an Isotherm Cruise 219 with 7.8cuft.

2014 LTV Unity Murphy Bed
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Old 07-12-2019, 07:51 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Camper Ken View Post
It appears many of the new Winnebago Sprinter based motorhomes are using a compressor refrigerator. For those who have this type of refrigerator, how noisy are they in a small motorhome? In my case with our 2016 Itasca 24J the refrigerator is at the foot of the bed. Also how about dry camping? Will one 100 watt solar panel and two Trojan T105 batteries keep up with the power demands? All input and advice is appreciated.
It's quieter than the engine and louder than silence. Actually, it's quiet when the compressor isn't running, and barely audible when it is.

I have the stock Napa FLA batteries and they seem to be able to handle the load, but it's probably a borderline situation, and depends on all the variables being in sync. When they die, I'm going lithium.

You can never have enough battery capacity and solar charging. I added a 3rd panel for a total of 300W up top. I'm sure it helps replenish what the fridge and the rest of it pull out of the batteries.
2018 (2017 Sprinter Cab Chassis) Navion24V + 2016 Wrangler JKU (sold @ ????)
2016 Sunstar 26HE, V10, 3V, 6 Speed (sold @ 4600 miles)
2002 Roadtrek C190P (sold @ 315,000kms)
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Old 07-13-2019, 05:49 AM   #4
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Went from a diesel pusher to a Navion 24D 6 months ago. One of the things I REALLY like about the coach is the compressor fridge. Do not have to worry about being perfectly level - very quiet operation - starts up fast (no overnight startup with fridge fans) - works off solar - no extra vent hole in the roof. Best thing is works like your home fridge... hard ice cream, cold beers... definite improvement IMO over the old fridges...
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Old 07-25-2019, 07:15 AM   #5
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Well it took me 3 long days for this remodel and I am very pleased so far. I did not have time to take any pictures but it was a very challenging DIY remodel. I worked furiously when I got the Refrigerator last week to get this done since we had to leave for Elkhart on Monday to get the new Levelers. I've only been using the Refrigerator for 2 days but already I love it. As you can see from my outside temp gauge, which has the sun on it and reads 119.4 degrees, that the old Dometic would be super challenged to cool to 40 degrees or less. This Isotherm Cruise 219 2 way AC/DC compressor Refrigerator is only on setting 4 of 7 and is -6 degrees F in the freezer and 35-38 (interior and door) in the refrigerator. It is so nice just to set it and forget it, no more adding ice and worrying. The temperature never changes whether on battery or shore power. It uses between 2-7amps versus the 10+ the old Dometic and all its cooling fans, temp gauges and temperature controller used. I took in the Refrigerator exterior compartment and sealed the outside wall and added Reflectix insulation. Even with the sun beating on it my Temp gun only registered 82-85 degrees on the inside wall now. The Refrigerator comes with a fan to exhaust its compressor area at the bottom left corner and then I added one 120mm fan from my old setup to help move air from behind the Refrigerator and to ventilate the microwave compartment. There is about a 4 inch space that is open from the floor to ceiling behind the Refrigerator/microwave so that should allow for good air exchange from the air conditioned room to the back of this new space. The extra fan is located just behind the left side of the microwave. To pull air from the 4 inch space and blow it over the back and left side of the microwave, where it's exhaust area is. The Toshiba microwave, at 900w, works much better than the old Hotpoint and is the perfect size for how we use microwaves. I shed 52lbs between the old and new. The Dometic weighed 99lbs versus 75lbs for the Isotherm and the Hotpoint weighed 55lbs versus the Toshiba at 28lbs. Nice added benefit! The Isotherm Cruise 219 is slightly larger at 7.75 cuft (6.3cuft Refrigerator and 1.45cuft freezer), than the Dometic, which is nice. It is so nice to have an ice bucket with ice in free moving cubes versus a melted frozen blob of ice cubes. And to be able to actually use the ice versus just carrying it to help with cooling. I wish I would have done this along time ago, but I wanted to try and make what we paid a lot of money for work the way it is supposed to. I did my best and got the Dometic working reasonably well but I worried about it constantly. While we were driving today everytime I opened the Refrigerator the temperature gauge on the door was constant at 38 degrees. Love it! I guess I'll have to keep my Unity for a few more years.
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Old 12-06-2019, 08:52 AM   #6
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The VITA and Porta both come with the DANBY compressor refrigerator (110volt only)
Mine died right after I bought motorhome, found a bad overprotection fuse, replaced and all is well, however the inverter had died also, hmmm maybe a problem with inverter caused refrigerator problem.
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Old 12-06-2019, 09:33 AM   #7
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My Galleria came with the Norcold DE 0061, which has a separate top freezer. They also make a smaller one, DE 0041, with just a single door and the freezer inside, like a cube type dorm fridge.

It's mounted behind the driver's seat, and we sleep in the back. I can't really hear it run, though my hearing is less than what it used to be. The thermostat is all I hear, as it has a pretty good 'click' when it kicks on or off.

The specs say it draws 0.4A on 120V AC power, and 3.2A on 12VDC (has two sets of power leads). It seems to run less than half the time, though I don't know how much less. That's with the interior at or around room temperature. Presumably, it will run more if it's hot inside and less when cool.

So far I'm very happy with it. Freezer is very cold and keeps frozen food solid, and refrigerator section makes things like bottled water and milk "feel" to the touch about what we're used to, using the middle value of the temperature adjustment dial. I should probably stick a couple of thermometers in there to see what exactly it's doing, but it's off for the season and snowed under, so that's not happening soon.

Assuming a steady running current of 3.2A on battery power, and a 40% duty-cycle including cooler nights and hotter days, that's 31Ah per day. My 300W solar panels should be able to output 150W in the real world on a reasonably sunny day, which would be something like 70Ah over the course of 6 hours.

Someone can/should correct me on anything I've done wrong there, as this is my first foray into solar power. But at first glance, it looks like solar should have no trouble providing enough to run that fridge (only).



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2018 Coachmen Galleria 24T Li3
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