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Old 09-01-2017, 06:46 PM   #21
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We got a pair of captains lights in the dinette area, which we use if/when BRIGHT light isn't needed. I believe they were standard by the bed and optional at the dinette. (Ours are mounted on the bulkhead corners.) We almost never use the ones at the head of the bed, but at the dinette we frequently use them. YMMV.
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Old 09-01-2017, 06:57 PM   #22
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Santiago,
Sounds like a very good "shakedown" trip for the trailer and that you have it pretty dialed in now. Time for adventures and memories.
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Old 09-01-2017, 07:50 PM   #23
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Great reading Santiago.


For the running noise level of the Novacool, how does it compare to the MaxxFan? What percentage of speed for the fan would be the same as the running fridge?


I'll try to do some comparison gas numbers for the my unit on the same basic run later this month.
Hi BC, as to the fridge fan, there is a computer like fan in the back that blows over the Dan Floss compressor. When I tested unit on the bench prior to installing, it was almost undetectable out in the open. Once installed into the cabinet and surrounded by all the insulation I added, you can not hear it.

Being paranoid, I added a similar low speed, quiet fan on the back side of cabinet to aid air flow as I was not taking any chances. On the bench that fan is barely audible. Installed if you are sitting on the U shape bench as I did a lot, you will hear it faintly. I always had to place hand over it to detect if it was running. This auxiliary fan uses 0.15 amps and only runs when fridge cycles on. There is no comparison to the MaxxFan, well only if the MaxxFan is turned off. The Nova Kool is as quiet as our home fridge.
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Old 09-01-2017, 08:01 PM   #24
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Ok. That's what I was getting at. The "hum" of a residential fridge compressor is usually quite noticeable to me. Based on your post, the hum is there but not overly significant A trade off for the reliable cooling.
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Old 09-01-2017, 08:10 PM   #25
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Nice report, thanks.

Do you notice if you get better mileage when towing at higher altitudes? I seem to get better mileage towing out west than back east, but I haven't examined this closely. I also tow at a constant 60 mph when possible.
Hello Mike, so nice to hear from you.
Good question. I became mileage aware after purchasing the RAM 1500 and looked for ways to operate it efficiently. It's not a question of saving money but of efficiency. Kim and I are like that.

Can't speak to driving back east, that I will know in near future as we intend to go everywhere once we have completed or near completed our retirement house. Kim and I are the worker bees and not the fastest construction workers on the planet but we are very good and enjoy the challenge.

Out west we have many elevation changes, the gradual ones are the most surprising ones. Due to in-laws in northern california, we drive there a lot. Consistently I have noticed when driving the truck alone that it's difficult getting to 25 mpg per dash computer on way north. On way back it's a different story. Once we get over the Tehachipi Pass lowering our trip average a lot, it recovers all the way to Anaheim and 25 mpg is a piece of cake. Once we arrived in Anaheim the reading was close to 28 mpg. It's tempting to drive faster of course but when driving my truck with or without the trailer, I always do so in the far right lane and follow a semi doing 60 so no one will bother me. This is the opposite of what I have done all my life as I have always owned sport cars, even today. Takes an adjustment in attitude.

I have not yet checked all my records on actual mileage calculating by hand but will later and report the discrepancy between that and the truck's computer. Last time I did that it was less than 1 mpg.
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Old 09-01-2017, 08:14 PM   #26
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I think you will get used to the WDH after time. It only takes a minute to hook up the bars on ours. I did get one of those HitchGrippers from Amazon so I didn't hurt my back when removing the ball assembly. I use Sumo Springs which are similar to the Timbrens for extra capacity on our tow vehicle as well.
Thank you AK, looks like a useful device that I can aim and guide the shank in with a lot less effort.
As I mentioned, the WDH is a great device just a bit impatient on my part.

Thanks
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Old 09-01-2017, 08:16 PM   #27
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I find the comments about the LEDs being too bright to be interesting. I find them to be a bit dim, especially over the kitchen area, where I intend to install double lights. My cataracts must be worse than I thought..
Mike, can't speak to your lighting but we are most comfortable in the trailer when wearing our Eclipse glasses, it's saving our eyesights ; > )
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Old 09-01-2017, 08:26 PM   #28
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Santiago,
Sounds like a very good "shakedown" trip for the trailer and that you have it pretty dialed in now. Time for adventures and memories.
Hi Greg, thank you.

Yes we finally had an opportunity get away from our construction project, visiting relatives, other trips and prepping the trailer.
As you know, when we brought it home last November it was not usable. I re-designed the battery scheme, turned off the standard built in charger, its still there and can return to service if need be. I replaced its charging duties with a Xantrax marine charger that measures the AGM battery's temperature and adjusts charge. Then there is the Redarc 40 amp dc to dc charger with built in MPPT solar charger. All this took more time than anticipated. We had camp reservations to attend Osoyoos but out of state relatives had to show up for most of May.

Finally we got to leave Anaheim and had a great trip. Everything worked flawlessly, I was shocked as mechanical devices normally fail one way or another .... nothing bad happened !
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Old 09-01-2017, 08:33 PM   #29
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Ok. That's what I was getting at. The "hum" of a residential fridge compressor is usually quite noticeable to me. Based on your post, the hum is there but not overly significant A trade off for the reliable cooling.
Hi BC, it's not a hum but air flow from the fan I installed on the side of the cabinet to ensure good flow through rear heat exchanger takes place. I could have not added that and let Mother Nature's convection department pass the air out of the cabinet but I don't take chances. The faint fan pushing air sound can only be heard when you are sitting next to it as a fan sound, no humming. As I said before when not sitting there I need to reach over to feel air flow if I want to know the unit is cycling.
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Old 09-01-2017, 09:21 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by AKCamper View Post
I think you will get used to the WDH after time. It only takes a minute to hook up the bars on ours. I did get one of those HitchGrippers from Amazon so I didn't hurt my back when removing the ball assembly. I use Sumo Springs which are similar to the Timbrens for extra capacity on our tow vehicle as well.

I'm too cheap to buy one of those. I used a bit of rope and a short piece of plastic pipe. It stays on full time, ready to use.


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One of my future projects is to install a light fixture over the dinette table. I have seen posts where it was done and it doesn't look too difficult. I'm with you though the more light the better.
I'm surprised by 2016 they hadn't started putting them in as standard. Yup, not difficult and very worthwhile. We use the table for several purposes and it's good to have a light shining down on it.
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Old 09-02-2017, 08:22 AM   #31
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Nova Kool

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The Nova Kool 6.8 cf 12v fridge is a non issue.
Santiago -- Was this a factory option?

zz
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Old 09-02-2017, 09:39 AM   #32
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Santiago -- Was this a factory option?

zz
Good morning zz,

Wish it had been. I asked Escape that they substitute the Nova Kool 6800 for the Dometic 3 way. Noval Kool is manufactured in BC. They rejected my request. Went to plan B, asked for no refrigerator, no driver side wall vent cutout and no roof vent cutout. My proposal was rejected. Later when asking again, no answer.

Went to Plan C, talked to new president of Big Foot (he bought back the company after their financial meltdown) and they would sell me the 17ft without the 3 way. At that point it looked like we would be buying the 17ft Big Foot as we had already seen it at a dealer and liked it. It has a beautiful rear lounge with large windows.

Escape changed their mind and sold me the trailer without the 3 way fridge. When I got home I ordered the Nova Kool 6800 from suremarineservice.com in Seattle area.

I then proceeded to remove the standard Interstate group 27 12v battery and box and proceeded to add 4 Lifeline 6v AGMs, Xantrax temperature regulated marine charger and dc to dc step up charger for truck to trailer charging.
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Old 09-02-2017, 11:35 AM   #33
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One would think with all the fridge grief out there that Reace & Co. might see the benefit of adding a Novakool option. Consumer behavior 101 says most consumers are more interested in value vs. price. No doubt this would be a pricy option, however we surely would have considered it as we forsee having our 21 for many years.

Met a camp host recently who after is absorbtion fridge went in the blink decided to put in a 17 c.f. Samsung in his 5th wheel. Has 6 six volt batteries and 320W of solar panels. To fix his fridge was more than the Samsung.
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Old 09-02-2017, 12:08 PM   #34
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One would think with all the fridge grief out there that Reace & Co. might see the benefit of adding a Novakool option. Consumer behavior 101 says most consumers are more interested in value vs. price. No doubt this would be a pricy option, however we surely would have considered it as we forsee having our 21 for many years.

Met a camp host recently who after is absorbtion fridge went in the blink decided to put in a 17 c.f. Samsung in his 5th wheel. Has 6 six volt batteries and 320W of solar panels. To fix his fridge was more than the Samsung.
Hi Ross, well not sure of the retail cost of the existing Dometic used in Escape 21ft now but a cursory look some time ago showed that the Dometic was a few hundred less than the Nova Kool 6800.

With regards to the electrical, I did not want to go solar so that decision took me in a whole new direction. Had I gotten solar, I believe I would be just fine with the factory twin 6v batteries and used the standard built in WGO charger. So for most people that already buy solar and buy the twin 6v battery which are common options, jumping to an electric fridge should be just a couple of hundred dollars. Escape will save with the 110vac wiring and breaker, running propane line, cutting vents on wall and roof so in my mind they save on labor time applied to your build. Escape will also save in not dealing with complaining customers.

Then there are campers that do a high percentage of plug in camping (pay camping) so power storage capacity is not a problem.

My case is not common as I chose to not have solar and as a result I needed more battery capacity and dual charging systems. Our travel style makes our system work exceedingly well in any weather or time of day. Going from point A to B fills our batteries using a three stage charger. Dry camping time is three days. if you need longer dry camping days, use a propane fridge.
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Old 09-02-2017, 01:40 PM   #35
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Santiago,
Did you add any modification to your truck's 7 pin connection as to how much DC is being provided by your tow? I have a 2014 Ram and wondered what my 12v options are. Thanks for any info....
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Old 09-02-2017, 02:08 PM   #36
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Hi Ross, well not sure of the retail cost of the existing Dometic used in Escape 21ft now but a cursory look some time ago showed that the Dometic was a few hundred less than the Nova Kool 6800.

With regards to the electrical, I did not want to go solar so that decision took me in a whole new direction. Had I gotten solar, I believe I would be just fine with the factory twin 6v batteries and used the standard built in WGO charger. So for most people that already buy solar and buy the twin 6v battery which are common options, jumping to an electric fridge should be just a couple of hundred dollars. Escape will save with the 110vac wiring and breaker, running propane line, cutting vents on wall and roof so in my mind they save on labor time applied to your build. Escape will also save in not dealing with complaining customers.

Then there are campers that do a high percentage of plug in camping (pay camping) so power storage capacity is not a problem.

My case is not common as I chose to not have solar and as a result I needed more battery capacity and dual charging systems. Our travel style makes our system work exceedingly well in any weather or time of day. Going from point A to B fills our batteries using a three stage charger. Dry camping time is three days. if you need longer dry camping days, use a propane fridge.
Santiago very nice setup ! Pat
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Old 09-02-2017, 03:12 PM   #37
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Santiago,
Did you add any modification to your truck's 7 pin connection as to how much DC is being provided by your tow? I have a 2014 Ram and wondered what my 12v options are. Thanks for any info....
Hello Jim,

My 2016 RAM 1500 has factory charge line to the bumper's 7 pin Bargman connector. I once measured via trimetric meter that 9 amps were flowing. This is an approximation as the flow can vary due to truck/house battery state of charge and what the alternator is up to at that very moment. I have the 220 amp towing alternator.

What most people don't know is that in recent years, vehicle alternator charging to starting battery voltages and timing have been regulated by the EPA not automotive engineers. Charging rates and timing are controlled by the vehicle's computer. Hard to predict what you will be getting at any given moment.

Furthermore, proper charging requires three stages, bulk around 14.4v for first 80% of charge, absorption for next 20% at whatever lower voltage your battery type needs, we have AGM settings on our chargers, and finally float to just keep battery topped off without overcharging and ruining battery. Can you say leaking? gassing ? short life ?

Simple vehicle charging does none of the above. I will be disconnecting my vehicle's factory charge line as I can not predict what it will do and AGM batteries are pricey. I know what either of my two 3 stage charges will do and that's how I want it.

So ..... I connected fused (60amp) 4 AWG welding wire housed in plastic ribbed loom to rear of truck. There it went into an Andersen-120 2 pin water tight connector with tight water resistant rubber cover on truck and trailer side. This sends 40 amps to the trailer's DC to DC 3 stage charger. This charger also contains a solar MPPT 3 stage charging unit that could be use with solar some day if we decide to dry camp more than 3 days at a time. I doubt that will happen as we like to keep moving and exploring new places.

Our second 3 stage charger is the 40 amp Xantrax marine charger. This charges when using shore power or generator. Because this set up works so well based on our camping style, we never used nor needed the generator. We will not be bringing the generator again unless we need to dry camp 4 or more days, not likely. Of course if you pay camp a lot with shore power then electrical storage is a non issue. The standard built in WGO charger is still intact but I disconnected it in favor of the Xantrax. It can return to service quickly.

After 4,300 miles and 18 nights, it seems we used the DC to DC about 85% of the time, the other 15% was at home prior to prepping before leaveing and two Oregon state parks that had electricity when doing the Eclipse thing. It's comforting seeing the Trimetric amp-hour capacity showing we are almost always full. I probably could have gotten by with less battery storage.
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Old 09-02-2017, 03:16 PM   #38
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Wow, sounds impressive.
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Old 09-02-2017, 03:16 PM   #39
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Santiago very nice setup ! Pat
Thank you Pat. I always enjoy your posts and perspective on things.
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Old 09-02-2017, 03:33 PM   #40
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Thank you Pat. I always enjoy your posts and perspective on things.
Your Welcome Santiago ! Pat
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