BC Made 12 Volt compressor fridges - Escape Trailer Owners Community

Go Back   Escape Trailer Owners Community > Camping | Places, Gear and Planning > Product Reviews
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 11-03-2017, 10:41 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Eggscape's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Kelowna, British Columbia
Trailer: 2018 Escape 19
Posts: 1,286
BC Made 12 Volt compressor fridges

About 30 minutes away from where the Escape is manufactured, there is another great Canadian Company. They make 12 volt compressor type fridges for the west coast marine industry. The company is called Nova Kool. If you go on line you can see the many fridges they offer. Please note the current draw listed is only when the fridge is in the cooling cycle. They are built like your home fridges and only come on when needed. I have one of their chest models and it has worked great for the past 10 years or so. It does a fantastic job of cooling and takes about 10 mins to cool from room temp to 3 degrees. I can crank it even lower and make it into a freezer as well. We use it at least 4 times a year on our 2 - 12 hour trips to and from our cabin. May not be the perfect solution if you spend a long time off the grid but if you like to plug in everywhere but a few nights…then this might be an option to check out.

Nova Kool Manufacturing Inc.
1578 Hartley Avenue
Coquitlam, BC
Canada V3K 7A1

Phone: (604) 523-6515
Fax: (604) 523-6674
__________________

Eggscape is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2017, 10:44 PM   #2
Site Team
 
rbryan4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Canyon Lake, Texas
Trailer: 2015 19 "Past Tents", 2018 F150 2.7L Ecoboost
Posts: 9,485
Ed, NovaKool is well known to the forum and has been discussed many times. There are some Escape owners who have retrofitted a NovaKool fridge due to the poor cooling performance of the Dometic 8 Series fridges Escape used to install.

The first Escape owner to install a NovaKool that I know of was Steve (hotfishtacos) on this forum. Here's the thread he created detailing the install. He also added a bunch of solar in order to run it:

Nova Kool RFU 8320 Refrigerator Installation
__________________

__________________
"You can't buy happiness, but you can buy an RV. And that is pretty close."
rbryan4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2017, 10:49 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: North Van., British Columbia
Trailer: 2014 Escape 19, sold; 2019 Escape 21, Sept. 2019
Posts: 5,005
Yup, they've been around for a long time. About 25 years ago I bought the guts from them and installed them in a built-in chest fridge-freezer in a boat that I built. It did a fantastic job. I wish the Escape had a NovaKool option during construction. I'd gone for it in a flash, especially with the ability to use solar charging.

Ron
Ron in BC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2017, 11:01 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Eggscape's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Kelowna, British Columbia
Trailer: 2018 Escape 19
Posts: 1,286
Thanks
Glad to hear it...
I have been looking at all 52 pages of the mod section over the past two weeks and looked here in the recommended products and nothing jumped out at me that it was a well know product. Must be to much input for me...
Eggscape is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2017, 11:01 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
float5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Denison, Texas
Trailer: 2015 21'; 2011 19' sold; 4Runner; ph ninezero3 327-27ninefour
Posts: 5,156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
Yup, they've been around for a long time. About 25 years ago I bought the guts from them and installed them in a built-in chest fridge-freezer in a boat that I built. It did a fantastic job. I wish the Escape had a NovaKool option during construction. I'd gone for it in a flash, especially with the ability to use solar charging.

Ron
I don't know how much solar you need for that. Can you have enough solar without also adding to your batteries? Steve had more batteries. The problem with compressor type is that it does not lend itself as well to boondocking, at least not without some substantial change over the standard equipment. I would not see the reason because my refrigerator works fine, one from 2015, much better than the older one we had in the 19'. But will have to see if that holds up in a lot of hot weather.
__________________
Cathy. Floating Cloud
"Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.... "
Emerson
float5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2017, 11:27 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
gbaglo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: North Vancouver, British Columbia
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B - "Toad". '08 Toyota RAV4 V6
Posts: 13,900
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossue View Post
As said previously...Finally!! (Is someone gonna delete this too?)
I think there was a glitch on the site shortly after you posted the image the first time. I was responding to another post and site froze and I got a 501 error.
Not likely a conspiracy.
Oops. Gone again. Maybe aliens.
__________________
2009 Escape 17B "Toad"
2008 Toyota RAV4 V6 Sport
North Vancouver, British Columbia

What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
gbaglo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2017, 11:23 AM   #7
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Rochester, Minnesota
Trailer: 2017 Escape 21
Posts: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
Yup, they've been around for a long time. About 25 years ago I bought the guts from them and installed them in a built-in chest fridge-freezer in a boat that I built. It did a fantastic job. I wish the Escape had a NovaKool option during construction. I'd gone for it in a flash, especially with the ability to use solar charging.

Ron
I asked ETI to install a compressor fridge in our new 21 that I picked up this past August. I referenced Nova Kool, Norcold and Dometic, all of which offer a compressor type fridge. ETI agreed to install the Dometic CRX1110 and charged me for the cabinet modification, but no extra charge for the fridge itself. I have been very pleased with it, especially when on the road all day.
volk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2017, 11:43 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by volk View Post
I asked ETI to install a compressor fridge in our new 21 that I picked up this past August. I referenced Nova Kool, Norcold and Dometic, all of which offer a compressor type fridge. ETI agreed to install the Dometic CRX1110 and charged me for the cabinet modification, but no extra charge for the fridge itself. I have been very pleased with it, especially when on the road all day.
That's very good to know. It that 3.7 ft3 ? Do you find it big enough? We pickup next June, and I may ask for this.
thiggins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2017, 12:22 PM   #9
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Rochester, Minnesota
Trailer: 2017 Escape 21
Posts: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by thiggins View Post
That's very good to know. It that 3.7 ft3 ? Do you find it big enough? We pickup next June, and I may ask for this.
For the two of us (plus two four-legged children), yes it is big enough. Dometic makes a bigger compressor fridge (CRX140) that is 4.8 cubic feet. It also uses a Danfoss compressor, but uses a bit more energy. I attached a spread sheet I assembled when I was looking into the specs for these fridges. For comparison I included the absorption fridge that ETI installs as standard equipment in their 21 (the DM 2663, I believe). The relatively high current draw of the heaters used in the DC mode of operation is the issue for the absorption fridges when on the road for a long time, namely the heater just barely maintains the cold (if its not real hot outside) and it prevents the tv alternator from topping off the battery charge, so you pull in to a campsite with the batteries partially discharged.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf RV_Fridges.pdf (71.3 KB, 72 views)
volk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2017, 12:39 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Eggscape's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Kelowna, British Columbia
Trailer: 2018 Escape 19
Posts: 1,286
Thanks Volk for your input.
This will be great news for some and makes this thread well worth while.
I am sure some would like to know if the larger unit was also at no extra cost other than the cabinet mod charge?
I would guess that they offer this manufacturer of fridge because of their established relationship with them...and if leads to better cost to the customer all the better. Might also have a larger repair/parts base throughout North America.
Eggscape is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2017, 12:40 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by volk View Post
For the two of us (plus two four-legged children), yes it is big enough. Dometic makes a bigger compressor fridge (CRX140) that is 4.8 cubic feet. It also uses a Danfoss compressor, but uses a bit more energy. I attached a spread sheet I assembled when I was looking into the specs for these fridges. For comparison I included the absorption fridge that ETI installs as standard equipment in their 21 (the DM 2663, I believe). The relatively high current draw of the heaters used in the DC mode of operation is the issue for the absorption fridges when on the road for a long time, namely the heater just barely maintains the cold (if its not real hot outside) and it prevents the tv alternator from topping off the battery charge, so you pull in to a campsite with the batteries partially discharged.
Excellent ! I love stuff like that ( are you also an engineer ? ha ha ).

What did they do with the extra space in the cabinet? Did you get an extra drawer, door ?...

Did you try to get them to install the Norcold DE-0061 ? Seems like it's basically the same size as the standard unit and is the most efficient.
thiggins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2017, 01:06 PM   #12
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Rochester, Minnesota
Trailer: 2017 Escape 21
Posts: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by thiggins View Post
Excellent ! I love stuff like that ( are you also an engineer ? ha ha ).

What did they do with the extra space in the cabinet? Did you get an extra drawer, door ?...

Did you try to get them to install the Norcold DE-0061 ? Seems like it's basically the same size as the standard unit and is the most efficient.
Attached is the picture of the installed fridge. The two drawers are simply extra storage space. I did not want to push ETI too much at the time. When they replied that they would install the CRX1110 for no extra charge other than the cabinet mod we were quite satisfied and went with it. I did mention the Norcold unit, but had no reaction from ETI. Bear in mind that the CRX1110 cycles, so that the average current is less than the 6.2 A shown on the spread sheet.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg tr35.jpg (66.3 KB, 46 views)
volk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2017, 01:17 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by volk View Post
Attached is the picture of the installed fridge. The two drawers are simply extra storage space. I did not want to push ETI too much at the time. When they replied that they would install the CRX1110 for no extra charge other than the cabinet mod we were quite satisfied and went with it. I did mention the Norcold unit, but had no reaction from ETI. Bear in mind that the CRX1110 cycles, so that the average current is less than the 6.2 A shown on the spread sheet.
Excellent. Hopefully I can get them to do the same for us, or go a little larger on the fridge ( probably with extra $$$) . At a minimum I'd be happy with exactly what you have there. Super!
thiggins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2017, 03:52 PM   #14
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Rochester, Minnesota
Trailer: 2017 Escape 21
Posts: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by thiggins View Post
Excellent. Hopefully I can get them to do the same for us, or go a little larger on the fridge ( probably with extra $$$) . At a minimum I'd be happy with exactly what you have there. Super!
Tim,
Only additional recommendation/comment I would have is that ETI change the outside fridge access panel if a compressor fridge is installed. The standard opening is almost useless as the compressor fan and coils are sitting much higher and are very hard to reach or see from below. It is not critical by any means, but it would be nice to have an easier access if one wanted to vacuum the coils and fan area. Yes, I am an engineer (retired)!

Vlad
volk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2017, 05:34 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
Santiago's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Anaheim CA, California
Trailer: SOLD 2016 Classic 21ft - SOLD 2016 Ram 1500 tug - ORDERED Van Replacement
Posts: 522
Quote:
Originally Posted by volk View Post
Tim,
Only additional recommendation/comment I would have is that ETI change the outside fridge access panel if a compressor fridge is installed. The standard opening is almost useless as the compressor fan and coils are sitting much higher and are very hard to reach or see from below. It is not critical by any means, but it would be nice to have an easier access if one wanted to vacuum the coils and fan area. Yes, I am an engineer (retired)!

Vlad
Why do you have an outside access panel ? It would be best if the entire back wall was intact, fully insulated with no means for water, dust, bugs or thermal losses.
__________________
Santiago
Santiago is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2017, 05:39 PM   #16
Site Team
 
rbryan4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Canyon Lake, Texas
Trailer: 2015 19 "Past Tents", 2018 F150 2.7L Ecoboost
Posts: 9,485
Quote:
Originally Posted by Santiago View Post
Why do you have an outside access panel ? It would be best if the entire back wall was intact, fully insulated with no means for water, dust, bugs or thermal losses.
I'd agree, with one caveat - with a self venting compressor fridge, the coils are going to get dirty eventually. Dirty coils mean less efficient refrigeration and increased power consumption. The only way to clean them without a back panel would be to pull the fridge. I grant you though, it'll take years before they get dirty enough to affect performance, so perhaps just pulling it when that happens is better in this case.
__________________
"You can't buy happiness, but you can buy an RV. And that is pretty close."
rbryan4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2017, 06:17 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by volk View Post
Tim,
Only additional recommendation/comment I would have is that ETI change the outside fridge access panel if a compressor fridge is installed. The standard opening is almost useless as the compressor fan and coils are sitting much higher and are very hard to reach or see from below. It is not critical by any means, but it would be nice to have an easier access if one wanted to vacuum the coils and fan area. Yes, I am an engineer (retired)!

Vlad
Thanks, I'll keep that in mind and will discuss it with them. I'm pretty confident a compressor fridge is the way to go, having lived with our absorption fridge for about 10 years...oui....

Sure seems like they should offer the compressor fridges as an option...it IS 2017 BTW !?!

Per Santiago's comments, maybe I'll tell them to delete the access panel completely. I could probably figure out a way ( add a door ) later to access the back of the fridge, or just pull it like he said. I'd rather have fewer holes too. The water that DOES get into our Casita usually comes thru that dang refrigerator access panel. It's a PITA.

Thanks again !
thiggins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2017, 06:55 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: North Van., British Columbia
Trailer: 2014 Escape 19, sold; 2019 Escape 21, Sept. 2019
Posts: 5,005
Quote:
Originally Posted by thiggins View Post
Per Santiago's comments, maybe I'll tell them to delete the access panel completely. I could probably figure out a way ( add a door ) later to access the back of the fridge, or just pull it like he said. I'd rather have fewer holes too. The water that DOES get into our Casita usually comes thru that dang refrigerator access panel. It's a PITA.
The one that I had for 9 years in my boat gave very good service.

Just to clarify; the compressor is air cooled and condenser still requires an air flow. There does have to be a flow of air in the rear area, it can't be sealed off.

Ron
Ron in BC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2017, 07:08 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
The one that I had for 9 years in my boat gave very good service.

Just to clarify; the compressor is air cooled and condenser still requires an air flow. There does have to be a flow of air in the rear area, it can't be sealed off.

Ron
Yeah, although the Norcold DE-0061 is "self venting", and includes it's own vents, one on the front top, and one on the bottom. I assume they use a fan to move the air thru them and warn about blocking them. Very nice. The Dometic looks like it will require more thought on getting air moving across the fins around back. The Norcold unit sure looks nice. I'd love to eliminate that huge exterior hole behind the fridge, given my experience with water getting thru that.
thiggins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2017, 07:18 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
Santiago's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Anaheim CA, California
Trailer: SOLD 2016 Classic 21ft - SOLD 2016 Ram 1500 tug - ORDERED Van Replacement
Posts: 522
Quote:
Originally Posted by thiggins View Post
Thanks, I'll keep that in mind and will discuss it with them. I'm pretty confident a compressor fridge is the way to go, having lived with our absorption fridge for about 10 years...oui....

Sure seems like they should offer the compressor fridges as an option...it IS 2017 BTW !?!

Per Santiago's comments, maybe I'll tell them to delete the access panel completely. I could probably figure out a way ( add a door ) later to access the back of the fridge, or just pull it like he said. I'd rather have fewer holes too. The water that DOES get into our Casita usually comes thru that dang refrigerator access panel. It's a PITA.

Thanks again !
A 3.7 ft 12v is not big and can easily be pulled out if you determine over the years that it collects dust. I think you will find that will not be an issue. If the outside access is a well sealed hatch then go for it. Sealed is the key word.

I installed a Nova Kool 6.8 ft within the standard cabinet opening on a classic 21 having curved walls. It went through the 22 inch wide curved door just fine and intact. I insulated the back wall fully and made sure the rear condenser coils had good cooling flow. This 6.8 cf Nova Kool used 5.2 amps when running. On average it ran 45-60% cycle - depending. Not sure why one would opt for a 3.7 cf model then do cabinetry work above it to fill the void ?

My next unit will be a Vitrifrigo DP-150 5.3 cf, it's rated at 2.6 amps due to the condenser being a small cube like core type condenser with fan similar to what automobiles use to heat interior. This is far more efficient than rear coil. Another advantage is the the entire rear of refridgerator is flat and can be shoved back against very thick wall insulation.

These units are typically installed in boats and obviously do not vent to outside. As Ron stated, they requires air intake and exhaust that flows past the condenser. The simplest way is to go ahead and install both outside intake and exhaust vents similar to what small adsorption (propane) refrigerators use on smaller trailers. I would not do that on my RV and prefer to keep cabin as well sealed as possible but it is an option and just throwing it out there.
__________________

__________________
Santiago
Santiago is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
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






» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Escape Trailer Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:53 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.
×