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Old 09-14-2020, 09:47 PM   #21
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@Sean Murry, @Centex - After looking at the excellent spreadsheet posted by Centex, I am not following why something like RFU9000 could not be installed in 5.0 when the Domestic fridge of slightly bigger dimensions can. I suppose ETI brings it into the trailer before installing the door, so can understand the door tripping a later install - but ETI could install it just as easily, should it decide to do so. Is that a correct understanding of the situation?

I am asking because in my communications with ETI, they expressed openness to compressor fridge in 5.0 but felt that nothing fitted its standard cabinet arrangement.
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Old 09-14-2020, 09:50 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Centex View Post
Congratulations on your 5.0 Order!

Thank You for sharing your DE0061 experience! I'd noted the rather low Norcold-advertised running amps compared to others as I built the table.

Do you happen to have a feel for the total run-time per typical warm/hot 24-hr day with your DE0061, and the outside temperature that goes with that?

Is the unit effective in keeping refrigerator compartment items chilled but not frozen? And freezer items, well, frozen?
Itís seems to run about 50% of the time. Just cycling on and off, on for 3 minutes, off for 3 minutes for example. What seems to make the most difference is how much is in it. The more the better. I havenít really paid attention to how outside temperature affects it but 50% is what Iíve noticed most of the time and we have been in 80-90 degree (F). I do like that it has a dedicated freezer door and fridge door. They are connected inside but separated with a cooling panel? Yes, fridge is cold and freezer colder. I like my ice cream. And my wife is an ice snob. We are both happy with the performance. The door latching Mechanism seems cheap, but so far no problems. I was disappointed at first because I knew that most compressor fridges run about 50% so I thought, wow 1.5-2 amps per hour. My batteries will last forever. Itís still only about 3-4 amps per hour and with 340 watts of Solar. We only have issues when we donít move.
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Old 09-14-2020, 10:39 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kavm View Post
@Sean Murry, @Centex - After looking at the excellent spreadsheet posted by Centex, I am not following why something like RFU9000 could not be installed in 5.0 when the Domestic fridge of slightly bigger dimensions can. I suppose ETI brings it into the trailer before installing the door, so can understand the door tripping a later install - but ETI could install it just as easily, should it decide to do so. Is that a correct understanding of the situation?

I am asking because in my communications with ETI, they expressed openness to compressor fridge in 5.0 but felt that nothing fitted its standard cabinet arrangement.
When we were building our Escape 19, Escape would only install Dometic appliances, so if you wanted a compressor fridge, Dometic was your only choice. As for the size fitting through the door, they must have put the fridge in the trailer before installing the door frame etc. Replacing a bigger fridge at a later date would likely require the removal of the door frame. I am not sure what the opening would be without the door frame. Looking at some old notes of mine I show the door opening of the Escape 19 at 22 1/2 inches. The depth of the RFU8220 is 19 1/2" (that is with the door of the fridge removed). I know on the Escape door there is a small sticky out bit, and I can't remember if the 22 1/2 " takes that into account or not. Regardless the RFU9000 depth is 22 3/4" making it impossible to get through the door without removing the door frame which is not something I was prepared to do. I am sure if I took the Escape door off and put it back on it would end up flying off the trailer after the first bump.
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Old 09-14-2020, 10:43 PM   #24
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As for the cabinet arrangements, Escape did modify the cabinet opening to accommodate the fridge we chose. They did charge for that, but it was worth it for us
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Old 09-14-2020, 10:47 PM   #25
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Thanks a lot, Sean! My first preference is to see whether I can get ETI to Install this. If not, I will be in touch!
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Old 09-14-2020, 10:49 PM   #26
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As for the cabinet, for a small fee Escape did modify the cabinet opening to accommodate our fridge
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Old 09-14-2020, 10:51 PM   #27
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Ooops. Posted the bit about adjusting the cabinets twice. I thought I forgot to push send on the first one. Time for bed I think
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Old 09-15-2020, 12:39 AM   #28
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FWIW my discussions with ETI earlier this year they were quite amenable to deletion of the standard fridge, deletion of the propane provisions to the fridge cabinet, and, within reason, alteration of the face-cutout of the fridge cabinet to customer spec.

However, ETI politely declined to consider installation of any fridge other than those specific models they already list as an option; it did not matter if the unit were provided to them by customer arrangement; they would not touch any fridge unit they do not already deal with in their inventory. I can certainly understand that policy for a number of good reasons on behalf of both ETI and their customers.

I hope folks understand that there's more to this sort of mod than just "Will it fit?". One must very thoroughly research and vet the entire undertaking. That can require digging deep. For example, see the attached Nova Kool documents.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Additional Ventilation Service Memo.pdf (44.6 KB, 10 views)
File Type: pdf INSTALLATION AND TROUBLE SHOOTING.pdf (428.8 KB, 8 views)
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Old 09-15-2020, 01:10 AM   #29
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Congratulations.
Since references are being posted: we ordered during another busy time.
Order--Nov. 2014; pick up-Sept. 21, 2015. That gave us lots of time to evaluate must-haves and druthers, and no-not-that.
We had 7 intermediate build sheets, before the signed, approved one went to ETI 3 months before build time. We spent a lot of time perusing the forum, and asking lots of questions (including a 31 question email to ETI in mid-winter). Our trailer turned out just perfectly for us!
So, you have your project ahead of you, but the time will go fast (at least looking back on it, it did!.) All the best, and have fun.
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Old 09-15-2020, 06:48 AM   #30
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Ok, I admit that I don't understand the desire to have a compressor reefer over the standard installed models. I imagine I'm not alone here. It would be great be great if someone knowledgeable about the two types would give a short explanation. Thanks, Matt
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Old 09-15-2020, 07:19 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steveanson View Post
Ok, I admit that I don't understand the desire to have a compressor reefer over the standard installed models. I imagine I'm not alone here. It would be great be great if someone knowledgeable about the two types would give a short explanation. Thanks, Matt
Absorption refrigerators are a bit more complicated. When you're boondocking and running on propane, they can have issues at high altitudes. They can also have issues in very hot weather. The newest generation of compressor refrigerators, which run only on 12 volt power, are very efficient and don't use a huge amount of electricity - it takes much less electricity to power a compressor than to generate the heat required for an absorption fridge to work. As solar panels have become more powerful, coupled with better batteries they can provide enough power for a compressor fridge so they are becoming more popular.
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Old 09-15-2020, 07:42 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Murry View Post
When we were building our Escape 19, Escape would only install Dometic appliances, so if you wanted a compressor fridge, Dometic was your only choice. As for the size fitting through the door, they must have put the fridge in the trailer before installing the door frame etc. Replacing a bigger fridge at a later date would likely require the removal of the door frame. I am not sure what the opening would be without the door frame. Looking at some old notes of mine I show the door opening of the Escape 19 at 22 1/2 inches. The depth of the RFU8220 is 19 1/2" (that is with the door of the fridge removed). I know on the Escape door there is a small sticky out bit, and I can't remember if the 22 1/2 " takes that into account or not. Regardless the RFU9000 depth is 22 3/4" making it impossible to get through the door without removing the door frame which is not something I was prepared to do. I am sure if I took the Escape door off and put it back on it would end up flying off the trailer after the first bump.
When Dometic replaced my original fridge with a new one under warranty my RV dealer removed the door and frame, installed the unit, replaced frame and door. Took them about 2.5 hrs and I could not tell the frame had been disturbed. They made it look simple. When you've (been there, done that)
I suppose it is simple. They had never seen an Escape.

ETI reimbursed me for the door work ( about $200) as Dometic did not cover that. I was very pleased and impressed with that.

The entire operation from start to finish cost me nothing but time. I got that in abundance (hopefully)
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Old 09-15-2020, 10:53 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Centex View Post
FWIW my discussions with ETI earlier this year they were quite amenable to deletion of the standard fridge, deletion of the propane provisions to the fridge cabinet, and, within reason, alteration of the face-cutout of the fridge cabinet to customer spec.

However, ETI politely declined to consider installation of any fridge other than those specific models they already list as an option; it did not matter if the unit were provided to them by customer arrangement; they would not touch any fridge unit they do not already deal with in their inventory. I can certainly understand that policy for a number of good reasons on behalf of both ETI and their customers.

I hope folks understand that there's more to this sort of mod than just "Will it fit?". One must very thoroughly research and vet the entire undertaking. That can require digging deep. For example, see the attached Nova Kool documents.
When we installed our Novakool RFU8220 we had Escape eliminate the standard side wall cutout for the fridge, but we had them leave the rooftop vent, which gave us the extra ventilation that Novakool had mentioned in their bulletin
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Old 09-15-2020, 12:23 PM   #34
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I have no beef in this but I will say, our 2nd gen Americana frig works great even in 100 + temps. of course I resealed and re-insulated the frig cavity and have the factory texfan and interior fan. I would only consider a compressor frig if full timing and plugged in.
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Old 09-15-2020, 01:10 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidmurphy02 View Post
Absorption refrigerators are a bit more complicated. When you're boondocking and running on propane, they can have issues at high altitudes. They can also have issues in very hot weather. The newest generation of compressor refrigerators, which run only on 12 volt power, are very efficient and don't use a huge amount of electricity - it takes much less electricity to power a compressor than to generate the heat required for an absorption fridge to work. As solar panels have become more powerful, coupled with better batteries they can provide enough power for a compressor fridge so they are becoming more popular.
David, is the 12v refer powered by the TV's alternator while being towed, or rely on the storage batteries? Also, do you know the cost comparison between the two to have installed? Does ETI offer a compressor frig? Thanks, Matt
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Old 09-15-2020, 01:25 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steveanson View Post
David, is the 12v refer powered by the TV's alternator while being towed, or rely on the storage batteries? Also, do you know the cost comparison between the two to have installed? Does ETI offer a compressor frig? Thanks, Matt
Not David but ...
  • Typically a 12VDC compressor reefer is wired to work exactly like a 3-way reefer operating in the 12VDC mode. That is, it draws its power from the trailer battery/12VDC system, and to the extent your vehicle is capable of charging your trailer battery when underway that occurs through the 7-pin connector's 'battery +' pin.
  • Reefers, whether compressor or 3-way, should never be wired to allow operation directly from a vehicle alternator. IMO that risks damage to the reefer's electronic control board at the very least; doing that is contrary to all reefer manufacturer installation instructions. Connecting the reefer to the trailer's normal 12VDC distribution / fuse panel avoids any issues or concerns by ensuring the trailer battery (or regulated 12VDC power-supply) is always in the loop to serve as a 'buffer'.
  • ETI is formally listing a compressor reefer option for the 2021 E19 as of now. They have not yet formally announced brand/model/volume details. Via casual email I have been told by Linda Fedoruk at ETI: "So far, the only compressor fridge we have available is a Norcold 5 cubic foot model. We can install this in the 5.0TA but it will be smaller than the standard fridge."
  • The currently offered 2021 E19 compressor reefer option is listed at +$550 above the price of the Base 5 cuft 3-way provided in the E19 (see "Build Your Escape" on ETI's E19 webpage).
  • In one of his recent livestream events Karl indicated that ETI is evaluating compressor reefer options for other trailers in their line, but nothing yet decided, more info to be disclosed when available, perhaps sometime in October, but maybe later.
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Old 09-22-2020, 08:03 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Murry View Post
..... One thing to consider is whether the fridge will fit through the door of the Escape.
For example we went with the NovaKool RFU8220. We were going to go with the RFU900 as it is a bit bigger, same height and width of the RFU8220, but the depth made it impossible to fit through the Escape door.
We were able to get the RFU8220 through the door by sliding it through sideways. That extra depth would prevent it from getting in.
Returning to the question "What width appliance can fit through the door?", following are dimensions provided today by Linda Fedoruk @ ETI in response to my inquiry (all in the context of a 2021 5.0TA):
  • Clear opening width of entry door with no hardware removed: 22"
  • Clear opening width with gas strut disconnected: 22-3/4"
  • Rough opening width (fiberglass-to-fiberglass) with door frame removed in its entirety: 24"

Insofar as the the standard fridge cutout space for that trailer:
  • Vertical dimension from finished floor to bottom of the standard fridge face-flange (not the cutout): 15-1/2" (this cannot be lower due to wheel-well intrusion)
  • Depth of space from face of cabinet to inside of trailer shell: 24" (a 'fixed' dimension)
  • Cabinet face cutout dimensions: 24" wide x 53-1/2" high (this can be customized by ETI within limits)
None of the above verified by me of course (no trailer in-hand!) but clearly there's lots of latitude for fitting a non-stock fridge if one wants to go to the effort.
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Old 09-22-2020, 10:22 PM   #38
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This is very interesting. Looks like one can get Nova Kool RFU9000 into the E5.0 and install it, but it would require removal of the door - unless one can persuade ETI to do the installation.
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Old Yesterday, 07:26 AM   #39
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Lightbulb Passing the time - galley musings

Inspired and greatly influenced by Jim Bennett's Cabinetry Work In My 5.0TA ...
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File Type: jpg GALLEY MOD 01.jpg (92.3 KB, 27 views)
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Old Yesterday, 01:01 PM   #40
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Placed deposit August 10, 2020. Build Sheet signed August 27th. 21C production completion November 27, 2020. I'm having it shipped to me first week of December 2020. Driving to and from Sumas, WA over mountain roads, in possibly the snow, driving over salt-infested roads in my new F-150, and getting salt all over my new 21C on my way back to Southern Nevada doesn't appeal to me!
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