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Dometic RM2454 fridge replacement


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Who has replaced the standard troublesome Dometic refrigerator with a similar size 12 volt electric refrigerator? Mine has been a constant problem and I’m thinking about replacing it with an all electric model of similar size (4 cu. ft.). If you have done this modification I’m looking for tips on installation and what to consider or what to look for.

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SeaDawg did a retrofit (the Truck Fridge version of the Isotherm), which is documented here.  Try2Relax also did one (NovaKool).  Another good discussion of pros/cons and brands, including photos of Try2Relax's install is here.

 

We have the Isotherm and love it - but it was a factory install - happy to answer any questions, though.

Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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They did it from the start - the one and only.  That's one of the mods that I'm really glad they did for me, since they could do the cutout to match and they didn't cut either of the outside vents.

Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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I would love to ditch the dirt-eating propane fridge, one thing that is holding me back is the exterior vents. I would really like to blank them off so that there are no openings whatsoever, I am not sure about the cleanest way to do that. A glassed in set of patches with new gelcoat would be best, but I don’t know how it would turn out and the cost....... it could look terrible if done poorly.... any ideas? Take it to Hohenwald?

 

Overland, please post a pic of the entry area of your rig, I want to see how it looks.

 

How much room is left between the back of the compressor fridge and the hull? If significant you could leave the covers in place and haul contraband in there.... ;)

 

Thanks,

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Don't you still have to vent the heat from the condenser of a compressor fridge?

John


"I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt."


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

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[postquote quote=174927][/postquote]

No outside vents needed, it vents into the cabin.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Just today I have been looking at the Nova Kool R5810 fridge. It’s larger (5.8 cu. ft.) than the original fridge and fits in the same opening. It is 4 inches shorter in height than the original so if centered, that would provide two inches top and bottom for ventilation. The outside vents should be sealed off just to keep dirt out and the outside wall can be insulated. The electric fridge vents much like the one at home.

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I do really like our 12v replacement Truckfridge. So far, works great, very quiet. I have to lean right up next to it to tell if it's running. It's also made by Indel, but a lot less $$ because it's made for the truck market, not marine. Also, fewer options. Like the model a, available in any color you like, as long as it's black.:)

Paul did our install. I get a little more storage in the fridge, but a smaller freezer. I like the interior led light. I also am very happy to have it just a little bit off the floor. Paul installed an IKEA drawer beneath it.

Sherry

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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I really like Randy's Novakool. More fridge space in the same size cutout. He did a beautiful install.

We weren't sure about getting the Novakool through the door and space between the microwave cabinet and shower edge in the Elite I, (without disassembling a wall) so we went with the Truck fridge.

 

The entry is larger in the Elite II.

 

Sherry

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Not sure this is the best topic category to place this suggestion, but since you folks are discussing refrigerators, here goes.

 

I just noticed my 2019 Oliver LE2 (Hull#444) Norcold Refrigerator outside vent door was missing one of the two plastic vent door clamps.  I found this on Amazon and suggest folks order a spare or two unless someone has devised a better way to keep the vent door in place.

 

 

 

Norcold-Refrigerator-vent.thumb.jpg.91039ca48e3c6a372564ee0414dcf6b1.jpg

Norcold-Vent-Door-Latch-clip.thumb.jpg.f2b10f0cb1be29dd6ed998800cb70a6c.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

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KWR


2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II, Hull#444


2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD Crew Cab, 4WD, Denali, Duramax 6.6L Turbo Diesel V8 Engine with Allison 6-speed transmission

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FYI: Not that this requires any special skills or tools but, if you never installed one of these just know it’s a one trick pony. Once installed, they won’t come back out without breaking.

Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge) 2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0026 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0050 2017 Silverado High Country 2500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

      ALAKAZARCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMA       ABBCMBNSYTsm.jpg

 

 

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  • 9 months later...

IMG_6783-a.thumb.jpg.8e505f837eca4aa2c5739255b26fa885.jpgIMG_6782-a.thumb.jpg.fdcf19d4a3aef35435283df9a5c0ecb0.jpgIMG_6780-a.thumb.jpg.a633140ccca59a9bce1782c2f947dbd8.jpgIMG_6781-a.thumb.jpg.5bcee9502fec6f14dcdc127fe4d54902.jpgIMG_5187-a.thumb.jpg.ec9e0a8a951d2c80f9b3e4c6aafde4b0.jpgIMG_4897-a.thumb.jpg.c0356bc65712abe173955584ce89322f.jpgI have also lost a few of those black plastic retainer clips for the refrigerator vent covers somewhere "on the road"...

I was able to replace them with a more reliable fastener - a cage nut, machine screw flat metal washer and flat rubber washer.

I happened to have in-stock some M6 cage nuts designed to fit into a 1/4"x1/4" square punch-out in the side rails of a 19" computer server rack. They fit perfectly into the square hole in the refrigerator vent trim ring (inserted from the inside) designed to capture the black plastic retainer clip.

Since my cage nuts are metric, I had to use metric machine screws. You can just as easily use inch-sized cage nuts and machine screws.

The upper and lower vent covers require slightly different washer sizes and machine screw lengths as detailed below.

Upper Vent: M6-1.0x20mm machine screw, 6mm or 1/4" x 3/4" diameter steel flat washer, similar size round rubber flat washer.

Lower Vent: M6-1.0x25mm machine screw, 6mm or 1/4" x 5/8" diameter steel flat washer, similar size square rubber washer.

Flat washers and machine screws are stainless steel. Rubber washers are cut down to fit from a larger rubber washer. If you want you can select machine screws with security heads (security torx, security hex, etc...).

CAUTION: Do not tighten machine screws too much - they will crack the bracket with the square opening in the trim ring that holds the cage nut in place (don't ask me how I know this LOL). Snug but not real tight. The rubber washers are there for this purpose. Periodically check machine screws to make sure they haven't self-loosened.

Tom

 

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Tom


2018 Oliver Legacy Elite #409 - 2017 Silverado 1500, 5.3L, 4x4 Z71, Dbl Cab, Std Bed


 

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That's all good,and a nice mod,  but honestly, we've never lost one of those original plastic/ nylon fasteners in almost 100,000 miles of towing, 12 years. 

I will add. We have a 2008, original equipment. Things may have changed.

Sherry 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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9 hours ago, SeaDawg said:

That's all good,and a nice mod,  but honestly, we've never lost one of those original plastic/ nylon fasteners in almost 100,000 miles of towing, 12 years. 

I will add. We have a 2008, original equipment. Things may have changed.

Sherry 

We still have ours, too.  Only 4 years and 50,000 miles though!  Mike

Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpg

 

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1 hour ago, Mainiac said:

So, on an electric fridge, solar is enough to keep powered? What about extended cloudy days?

Even with a bunch of extra panels on the roof, and more battery capacity, eventually any battery bank is going to go flat. Before you reach that point you run the generator. Or hook up the trailer and go to where the sun shines more.... gloomy, rainy forest camping is not a good choice. Nor is winter camping, you need long days of direct sun exposure.

John Davies

Spokane WA

Edited by John E Davies

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Mainiac said:

So, on an electric fridge, solar is enough to keep powered? What about extended cloudy days?

Ideally*, I would recommend an extra 180-200W of portable solar and an extra 100Ah of battery storage if you add a fridge.  That's based the two rules of thumb that guided our solar and battery selection, which I've found to be quite accurate in practice:

1) assume ~20 to 30 Ah per day for each 100W of panels.  

2) your battery bank's usable Ah should be sized to ~½ of your total solar wattage 

To that, I'll add a third rule of thumb for Ollie users, which comes from both personal experience and reports here from others, which is that the typical battery usage for an OE2 is ~70-80 Ah per day.  That includes some inverter use for hair dryer, coffee machine, etc.

And I guess a fourth rule of thumb would be to budget an extra ~50 Ah per day for a compressor fridge. Mine draws ~2.5 A running, which would be a max of 60 Ah if it ran 24 hours.  On good days, it will run ~50% of the time, or 30Ah, plus some for the extra draw when starting.  So I see ~35 to 45 Ah on average, which makes 50 Ah a pretty good budget.  

We've had very good luck with our electrical, having based our solar and batteries on the above, even though we only camp in the spring, fall and winter.  Apart from twice when our trailer was indoors at Oliver for service, I've only had to plug in once when not running the AC.  That one time was in November, camped under trees, with no sun, and using a toaster over for 30 minutes a night.  Even then, we lasted three days. 

So anyway, if you start with 75 Ah of base usage per day, and add 50 for the fridge, that's 125 Ah.  125 / 25 * 100 = 500W of solar.  500 / 2 = 250 Ah of usable battery storage, which would be 500 Ah of AGM batteries or 275 Ah of LFP batteries.  

 

*There's a big caveat to my recommendation, however, which is that Sherry gets by with far less solar and far less battery capacity in her OE1.  I'd love to have a long conversation with her one day about how she does it.  Part of that is probably that since I do have enough solar and battery capacity that I rarely give a thought to conserving (which is how I got into trouble that one time).  But then if you go way, way back to my original post on sizing my solar, my goal was to have enough solar and battery that I don't have to think about it.  For the most part, I'd say we accomplished that - and we still don't have, nor want, a generator.

So if you run the numbers from above with more optimistic assumptions, say 60 Ah typical usage, 35 Ah fridge usage, and 30 Ah per 100 W of solar, you get 60 + 35 = 95 / 30 * 100  = 317 W of solar, and dividing by two, 160 Ah of usable battery life.  Or pretty much a typical OE2.  Maybe 80% of the time, that's fine, and an extra 100W portable panel might get you to 90%.  At that point, it would depend on when and where you camp, how much of an electricity hog you are, and how much margin you're comfortable living with.  Three cloudy days, and I bet you'd want that generator.  

Edited by Overland
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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Thanks KWRJRPE!  

Not sure this is the best topic category to place this suggestion, but since you folks are discussing refrigerators, here goes.

I just noticed my 2019 Oliver LE2 (Hull#444) Norcold Refrigerator outside vent door was missing one of the two plastic vent door clamps.  I found this on Amazon and suggest folks order a spare or two unless someone has devised a better way to keep the vent door in place.

I am happy to report they also work on the Dometic RM2454 vent covers as well.  Although I didn’t lose one, I did break one on my upper vent.  My refrigerator exhaust fan does not start when I turn it on, so I remove the cover and spin the blade and it starts running.  The fan issue is on my list of things to do but the button is replaced.

Sherry and Mike and Carol,

I guess they don’t make em like they used to.

Mossey

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Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL   LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Our winter trip to Quartzsite was the first long test of our NovaKool fridge. We left home December 20th and arrived back home February the 24th. The first three days on the road it was cloudy and rainy. I don’t know that I had to but, on the third evening I ran my generator for about an hour. Several days of travel out to Quartzsite we boon docked with one night on shore power. Four nights at Lost Dutchman State Park with a day or so of clouds. Ran the generator one morning for a couple hours. We were at Quartzsite for ten nights with mostly sunny days so didn’t need the generator. Traveling home was a little disjointed so there were some shore power days and a bunch of boon dock days but didn’t need the generator on the trip home. Our fridge typically draws about 4 amps while running. Sometimes running more than 50% of the time and sometimes way under 50% of the time. All the while holding fridge temperature at about 34 degrees and freezer at around 19 degrees. We did need to defrost the fridge on the way home. Don’t know if excess frost affected the cycle time or not. Anyway, with our typical power usage we were overall pleased with the ability of the Oliver LEII solar/lead acid battery performance. One issue which Lithium batteries may solve is the Lithium batteries ability to charge quicker than a conventional battery. There were a couple of times that there just wasn’t quite enough hours of sun to get the job done. The next day of full sun was able to top off the batteries. Either more solar panels, quicker charging batteries, or a little of both would solve that issue. I think that the standard LEII solar setup is right on the edge but is probably about  80% or so adequate. Testing continues....when we’re allowed out of our house. Great information Overland! Your assumptions are spot on based on your actual experience, others actual experience, and my experience so far. We liked the extra capacity and relatively quick recovery when loading room temperature items. With the extra capacity, we found that an extra cooler was not needed except maybe if camping many miles away from anywhere to buy food. 

Edited by mountainoliver
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We do manage to keep the fridge going and batteries around 70 to 75 per cent through the night, with good conditions, and miserly power useage for uses other than our 12v truck fridge.  We also have to use a 100 watt "portable" to add to the production of the 200 watts of fixed solar. And, in less than ideal conditions,  I chase the sun around the path with that panel. Even then, in low sun, crummy days, we will have to kick in a half hour with the honda 1000, sometimes both morning and night, if it's raining, especially if we have to use the power greedy furnace fan.

Unlike many, we have very limited power needs. No electrical cooking or heating gear. No keurig. No induction hot plate. No microwave.  Led lights even seldom get used. We charge phones during the day, and often from the truck while driving. No laptops. No tv. Not a lot of streaming on our phones. A couple years ago, we chased down phantom draws on the power, and we're pretty much down to the essentials-- which are mostly monitors and the charger/converter. 

We use a cooler with ice for beverages. I'm very conscious of where everything is loaded in the fridge, and how many times I  open the fridge door each day, spilling cold air.

No inverter, either. We used to have one, but  with only  2 group 27 batteries, and the very limited storage,  that just doesn't make sense. We removed it.

I wouldn't necessarily recommend our minimal setup for new campers. It requires a lot of monitoring,  (and, a good monitor) and discipline.  We're ok with that, but it was our choice. And, we're used to it. We're solar powered by choice, since 2008, and almost never camp with hookups.  Power misers by choice.

And, we both love the new truck  fridge, danfoss/ secop compressor, indel  product. Quiet, efficient, even cooling, even a bit more capacity than our old Dometic. No orange lights from the panel at night. 🙃

That said, we've already purchased new solar panels to double our fixed panel production. I would love to upgrade to lithium batteries,  but it would be a waste right now when the agms are still working well.  That's a someday in the future thing. If we find we actually need them.

Sherry

 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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  • 1 month later...
On 6/14/2019 at 11:22 AM, Overland said:

They did it from the start - the one and only.  That's one of the mods that I'm really glad they did for me, since they could do the cutout to match and they didn't cut either of the outside vents.

I wonder, with the new Lithium option coming out on 2021 models, will Oliver offer a compressor fridge option as well?  I would love to ditch the fussy, inefficient absorption fridge, but only with a Lithium/solar setup. 

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Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin on order

2013 F350 3.2l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

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Don’t know. They were looking at putting compressor fridges into the single axle at one point, but only because they had a hard time finding an absorption fridge that they could easily replace. Eventually they found a small enough one though. 

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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There has been a lot of interest on the forum in 12v danfoss/secop fridges over the past few years. I  think every one of us who made the switch loves it. 

I do think part of Oliver's concern in offering it is the battery cycling. With the deep cycling capability and amp hours of the lithium setup, it would be no issue.

The fridges are also generally much pricier than a three way , as well. (Mine, a Truckfridge with the Indel label) wasn't very pricey, but I  don't know if it meets rvia/csa standards. It is less expensive than the marine versions because it doesn't have to meet coast guard standards, as it's sold for the over the road trucking market. Pretty much just means it has some galvanized where uscg would require stainless. 

I hope people will keep asking. 🙂 Overland's custom factory install, without the vents, and the cavity cut to the size of the fridge, is really sweet and clean. We had to do significant mods to accommodate the smaller footprint, and still just have the unneeded vents sealed with just a sheet of plastic in our replacement setup.

Sherry

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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