Update on Nova Kool RFU 8320 Refrigerator installation - Escape Trailer Owners Community

Go Back   Escape Trailer Owners Community > Escape Tech > Modifications and Alterations
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-07-2019, 01:18 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Escondido, California
Trailer: 2012 Escape 19'
Posts: 945
Update on Nova Kool RFU 8320 Refrigerator installation

Well, it has now been 7 years since I removed my original Dometic refrigerator and installed the Nova Kool RFU 8320 Refrigerator in my Escape 19 and I wanted to let everyone know that is is still running strong and giving me cold, reliable, adjustable freezer and refer temps when needed. It has a Danfoss 12volt DC refrigeration compressor which has been very responsive and reliable. My three solar panels and four 6 volt batteries have been keeping it and all the other electrical goodies going for all this time. I can go anywhere boon-docking and not worry about power.

Of course I power the refrigerator 24 hours per day at about 50% duty cycle. I have all LED lighting, a killer stereo system that gets used all the time, I run my electric coffee grinder and Mr. Coffee machine on my 2,500 watt inverter every morning before I put on my shoes, and run a CPAP machine with humidifier each night. Sometimes I run an 1,800 watt griddle for breakfast on the inverter. Evenings are often spent using electronic devices to read or browse. I am generally up to full charge by 9:30AM unless it is overcast that will delay it a few hours. If the sun doesn't come up I have a Honda 2200 propane generator that automatically shuts off when the batteries are fully charged, never more than 90 minutes but it has been used less than a dozen times.

If I had to do it again I wouldn't hesitate installing the same refrigerator and electrical upgrades in my 19. We really love our trailer!!

Steve
__________________

__________________
480 Amps 12VDC Battery Capacity,
350 Watts Adjustable Solar Panels,
2500 Watt Inverter;
"Want Some Ice Cubes?, "Want a Frozen Margarita?", Want a Jump?"
hotfishtacos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2019, 01:25 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Greg A's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Trailer: 2015 Escape 19 "Seventy Degrees"
Posts: 2,878
Thanks, Steve that is really good information. Does that Nova model fit the standard refrigerator opening on the 19 or does it have to be modified??
__________________

Greg A is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2019, 01:32 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Escondido, California
Trailer: 2012 Escape 19'
Posts: 945
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg A View Post
Thanks, Steve that is really good information. Does that Nova model fit the standard refrigerator opening on the 19 or does it have to be modified??
It required significant modification to the opening and barely fit. I felt like a surgeon opening a much larger opening that ran up against everything...but it did fit.
__________________
480 Amps 12VDC Battery Capacity,
350 Watts Adjustable Solar Panels,
2500 Watt Inverter;
"Want Some Ice Cubes?, "Want a Frozen Margarita?", Want a Jump?"
hotfishtacos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2019, 08:13 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Signal Mountain (Chattanooga), Tennessee
Trailer: Escape 21 November 2014; 2016 Ram Eco-diesel 4WD Crew
Posts: 486
Steve,

Congratulations on your great experiment and sharing your results.

With our two original 6 volt batteries now being 5 years old, I'd like to know what brand of 6 volt batteries you have used, and are currently using. Where you've bought them, which type (lead acid, etc), and how long they last.

What are the signs that the batteries are nearing the end of their service life?

How often to you add water?

Bill
Bill and Earline is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2019, 09:18 AM   #5
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
Thanks for the update Steve. Having adequate solar and a bigger inverter helps too!

On a side note, hasn't it been just short of 5 years since the install, not 7? Unless I was asleep for 2 years without knowing it.....
__________________
"You can't buy happiness, but you can buy an RV. And that is pretty close."
rbryan4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2019, 10:32 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
MyronL's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Edgewood, New Mexico
Trailer: 2013 Esc19/'14 Silvrado
Posts: 2,943
Very interested. The NovaKool RFU 8300 7.3 cu ft is 23¼" wide and the RFU 6800 6.8 cu ft is 20¼" wide. Are these powered strictly 2 way... dc and ac... no propane ?
__________________
Myron
"A billion here, a billion there...add it all up and before you know it you're talking real money." Everett Dirkson
MyronL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2019, 10:41 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
rubicon327's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Burlington Twp., New Jersey
Trailer: 2010 Escape 19
Posts: 3,415
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyronL View Post
Very interested. The NovaKool RFU 8300 7.3 cu ft is 23¼" wide and the FRF6800 6.8 cu ft is 20¼" wide. Are these powered strictly 2 way... dc and ac... no propane ?
Many models are available in DC only or DC and 120V AC. They are a compressor based design, not absorption, so no propane.
__________________
“One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure.”― W.F.
rubicon327 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2019, 10:49 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
MyronL's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Edgewood, New Mexico
Trailer: 2013 Esc19/'14 Silvrado
Posts: 2,943
So I couldn't do one without I added 200 watts of solar to my roof and upgraded my inverter from 600 to 1200?
__________________
Myron
"A billion here, a billion there...add it all up and before you know it you're talking real money." Everett Dirkson
MyronL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2019, 10:54 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
rubicon327's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Burlington Twp., New Jersey
Trailer: 2010 Escape 19
Posts: 3,415
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyronL View Post
So I couldn't do one without I added 200 watts of solar to my roof and upgraded my inverter from 600 to 1200?
Steve ordered his fridge to run on 12VDC only. You wouldn't need the inverter. You would need more solar and a larger battery bank. There are smarter people than me that could tell you how much more you would need.

I believe he is only referencing the inverter to give an indication of his demands on the batteries and how quickly his solar allows them to recover under normal circumstances.
__________________
“One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure.”― W.F.
rubicon327 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2019, 11:07 AM   #10
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 rubicon327 View Post
I believe he is only referencing the inverter to give an indication of his demands on the batteries and how quickly his solar allows them to recover under normal circumstances.
Yes, that's my assumption too. In any case, in order to run a NovaKool compressor based fridge and be able to boondock, you need more solar, and more battery.
__________________
"You can't buy happiness, but you can buy an RV. And that is pretty close."
rbryan4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2019, 11:21 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
Marry's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Ponoka, Alberta
Trailer: 2016 19 classic "outta sight", jeep rubicon unlimited
Posts: 1,648
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post

On a side note, hasn't it been just short of 5 years since the install, not 7? Unless I was asleep for 2 years without knowing it.....
At least someone is awake
__________________
"never lose hope, never lose faith"
Marry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2019, 11:57 AM   #12
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Port Angeles, Washington
Trailer: 2014 FWC
Posts: 18
Steve,
Do you know what your 24hr power consumption is for the Nova Kool unit?
The manufacturer’s specification states 5.2 amperage running, do you find this to be correct?
I was thinking of the going with a RFU6200, however since you were able to fit in the RFU8220 I’ll upsize.
As a side note, in our current camper we run two 12v compressor fridge/freezers
( ARB and Truck Fridge) on a single battery (Lifeline GPL-31XT) with 385 watts of solar panels on our roof (mounted flat).
Cheers!
Captm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2019, 12:12 PM   #13
Site Team
 
cpaharley2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Chilliwack, British Columbia
Trailer: Escape#4, 2019 Escape21 DejaView pulled by 2014 Ram Hemi/8sp
Posts: 20,043
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captm View Post
Steve,
Do you know what your 24hr power consumption is for the Nova Kool unit?
The manufacturer’s specification states 5.2 amperage running, do you find this to be correct?
I was thinking of the going with a RFU6200, however since you were able to fit in the RFU8220 I’ll upsize.
As a side note, in our current camper we run two 12v compressor fridge/freezers
( ARB and Truck Fridge) on a single battery (Lifeline GPL-31XT) with 385 watts of solar panels on our roof (mounted flat).
Cheers!
The op mentions 50% duty time for his use so 5.2 x 12 hours or about 66 amps used in 24 hours.
Escape offers a dual 165 watt solar set up...
__________________
Jim
"Never in doubt,..... often wrong!"
cpaharley2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2019, 02:07 PM   #14
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Port Angeles, Washington
Trailer: 2014 FWC
Posts: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
The op mentions 50% duty time for his use so 5.2 x 12 hours or about 66 amps used in 24 hours.
Escape offers a dual 165 watt solar set up...
Well, I did see where the OP stated,"Of course I power the refrigerator 24 hours per day at about 50% duty cycle." and your calculation, "5.2 x 12 hours or about 66 amps used in 24 hours." and does not answer my questions.
Which were, "Do you know what your 24hr power consumption is for the Nova Kool unit?
The manufacturer’s specification states 5.2 amperage running, do you find this to be correct?".
I am looking for real world data the OP may have.
I'm not a fan of the solar products ETI uses, but that's just me.
Cheers!
Captm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2019, 09:06 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: North Vancouver, British Columbia
Trailer: 2019 Escape 19
Posts: 108
This is very good news. I ordered my Escape 19 a couple of weeks ago and did the fridge delete. I am going with the Novakool RFU8220, 7.3 cu ft. The big difference between the RFU8220 AND the RFU8320 is the RFU8220 vents from the front, so you don't need the air space on the top and bottom. They do recommend a vent at the rear near the top, but the standard vent supplied with the normal propane fridge does the trick.

I got Escape to modify the cabinet opening to accept the fridge, but the measurements for the opening are very close to the larger fridge option from Escape. The Novakool RFU8220 requires a cut out of 52 7/8" H, 23 1/4" w and a depth of 19 1/2".

I am going to be installing 4x100A Lithium batteries from Battle Born, so that gives me 400A of usable power. With the optional solar panel I am hoping to be OK boondocking. We shall see but the results from your install sound encouraging
Sean Murry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2019, 09:26 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
sclifrickson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Port Townsend, Washington
Trailer: 2010 17B “MATT”, then 2017 19 “Lilly”
Posts: 1,510
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Murry View Post
This is very good news. I ordered my Escape 19 a couple of weeks ago and did the fridge delete. I am going with the Novakool RFU8220, 7.3 cu ft. The big difference between the RFU8220 AND the RFU8320 is the RFU8220 vents from the front, so you don't need the air space on the top and bottom. They do recommend a vent at the rear near the top, but the standard vent supplied with the normal propane fridge does the trick.

I got Escape to modify the cabinet opening to accept the fridge, but the measurements for the opening are very close to the larger fridge option from Escape. The Novakool RFU8220 requires a cut out of 52 7/8" H, 23 1/4" w and a depth of 19 1/2".

I am going to be installing 4x100A Lithium batteries from Battle Born, so that gives me 400A of usable power. With the optional solar panel I am hoping to be OK boondocking. We shall see but the results from your install sound encouraging


The fridge you’re getting vents heat from the front, as in, into the trailer interior? That doesn’t sound right at all.

Nice battery setup. Presumably you’re also replacing the charger with something appropriate for lithium?

And you’re going with just one solar panel to keep this all charged up and running? You might consider two. Or two plus a portable as I see you reside in the Great White North. But perhaps you plan to do your boondocking in the southern latitudes. In summer. Say, the deserts of the southwest US. That could explain your need for a compressor fridge.

Do let us know how it works out in practice. It’s always fascinating to hear how pushing of the envelope works out, and the rest of us learn a lot too, both from the successes and the failures. Sadly, I think the failures are underreported, and such learning opportunities lost to the masses.
__________________
💩-p+☕️+n
sclifrickson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2019, 06:37 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: North Vancouver, British Columbia
Trailer: 2019 Escape 19
Posts: 108
All of the compressor fridges are designed to vent the heat to the front. Most require an air vent at the bottom and top of the fridge allowing convection to do the venting. The model I am getting simply puts the venting all in the front, so you don't have to allow for the extra venting at the bottom and the top.

Compressor fridges don't generate heat anything like an absorption fridge, and speaking with the manufacturer and several people who have these fridges in their boats or RV's say heat venting to the inside of the cabin is a non issue. They are designed not to require outside venting such as is required with an absorption fridge.

As for the charger, I am going to swap out the charger portion of the WECO with a Progressive Dynamics PD4655LIV which has a setting for Lithium.

I did consider adding a second solar panel on the roof, but have decided to go with a portable instead. That way if I am parked under trees, I can use the portable to chase the sun. I am having ETI install the ZAMP port for that purpose. The fridge itself though is very energy efficient. While running it uses 5.2A It is expected to run between 1/4 to 1/2 time depending on the ambient temperature. So it should use between 1.3 - 2.6A per hour.

I also had ETI pre-wire for a battery monitor, which I will install. That way I can keep good track of incoming and outgoing amps.

Hopefully with 400A of useable battery, roof solar, portable solar, I won't run out of juice. If I find it is not enough I can always resort to a portable generator, but that would be a last resort.

I just see so many positive reasons to go with a compressor fridge, that I thought I would give it a shot. I will keep you posted as to how it works or any issues I come up with.
Sean Murry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2019, 06:42 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: North Vancouver, British Columbia
Trailer: 2019 Escape 19
Posts: 108
Sclifrickson, I noticed you called your new trailer Lilly. That was the name we chose for our trailer except spelled Lily. I call my truck Herman, and if you recall the old TV Show "The Munsters" Herman Munster was married to Lily. Hence the trailer will be called Lily.
Sean Murry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2019, 06:48 PM   #19
Site Team
 
cpaharley2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Chilliwack, British Columbia
Trailer: Escape#4, 2019 Escape21 DejaView pulled by 2014 Ram Hemi/8sp
Posts: 20,043
I always confused the Adams Family with the Munsters.......both were cute.
__________________
Jim
"Never in doubt,..... often wrong!"
cpaharley2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2019, 06:56 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Escondido, California
Trailer: 2012 Escape 19'
Posts: 945
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill and Earline View Post
Steve,

Congratulations on your great experiment and sharing your results.

With our two original 6 volt batteries now being 5 years old, I'd like to know what brand of 6 volt batteries you have used, and are currently using. Where you've bought them, which type (lead acid, etc), and how long they last.

What are the signs that the batteries are nearing the end of their service life?

How often to you add water?

Bill
Hi Bill! Mine are Interstate 6 Volt Wet Cell Deep Cycle batteries but Trojan makes a comparable battery. I damaged 2 shortly after I purchased the trailer in 2012 but all 4 now have been going strong since then. They are widely available. I will bet these batteries will last for several more years. I fill them when the water gets below the "filled ring" and generally check them every two weeks while camping and once per month when the trailer is stored. I would buy the same batteries again.
__________________

__________________
480 Amps 12VDC Battery Capacity,
350 Watts Adjustable Solar Panels,
2500 Watt Inverter;
"Want Some Ice Cubes?, "Want a Frozen Margarita?", Want a Jump?"
hotfishtacos 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 03:59 AM.


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