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Compressor refrigerators for the Elite 2


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Has anyone installed a compressor refrigerator in their Ollie?  We have lithium batteries so can’t use the tow vehicle to run the refrigerator while we tow.  The 15 amp draw of the 3 way is a bummer!  Also, we camp in the mountains above 5500 so the efficiency of the 3 way will be an issue.  I also would like to avoid the low outside temperature limitations of the 3 way.  Is there an AC/DC compressor model that would fit in the Ollie’s refrigerator space?  Thanks for the input!  Bob

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Several of us have done this. I'll look up some threads for you. I think the Novakool probably offers the biggest capacity for the existing cavity, but there are a lot if choices.

In our smaller Elite, we installed the very reasonably priced Truckfrudge tf130 over three years ago, as it (barely) fit through our narrower opening between shower door and microwave cabinet. That opening is larger in the II, so you have more choices .

I'd loved to have installed freezer and fridge  drawers, but felt it was too pricey.

The swap was pretty simple. (Our Dometic three-way no longer worked, and required replacement. ) I gained about. 5 cubic ft. Of refrigerator space, and a drawer beneath the fridge. With the Novakool, you'd gain over 1 cubic ft., as I recall.

All the choices that I know of use the same Danfoss/Secop compressor. Since you have lithium, you shouldn't have any trouble running on battery. It's much more of a challenge for us, with only two 105 ah agm batteries, but we manage.

Edited to add links.

 

 

 

Edited by SeaDawg
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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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2 hours ago, Ospreybob said:

We have lithium batteries so can’t use the tow vehicle to run the refrigerator while we tow.  The 15 amp draw of the 3 way is a bummer! 

If you install a DC fridge you will need a better way to recharge. For your gas fridge, use the propane mode when towing, but always be aware of the wind direction when refueling at a gas station. I have done this forever and have yet to blow something up. You can fix the lack of TV charging for the factory lithium batteries relatively easily, but you have to be able to fabricate a mount and run wires or hire somebody to do it. If your TV has a “smart” alternator you have to run a small gauge voltage sense wire all the way up to the engine bay, but most TVs do not require this.

61DF60D3-6200-4372-9B33-6C1D5D56DC9E.thumb.jpeg.9b453868b76e9d06e7713c4c7babc34d.jpeg

https://olivertraveltrailers.com/forums/topic/5270-how-to-redarc-dc-to-dc-11-amp-output-trailer-charger-installation/

Consider a separate DC compressor fridge located inside your truck, it will be very useful for stocking extra supplies. I carry a mid-sized ARB one for any trip longer than two weeks. I haven’t camped at over 8000 feet, but so far the gas fridge (running on propane)  has been fine, even going over 10,000 foot passes. Run with what you have before getting too worried about upgrading.....

John Davies

Spokane WA

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"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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Ospreybob, do you have solar on your trailer? 

We don't have any trouble, on good days, keeping up with the dc compressor fridge traveling with 200 watts of solar. Rainy days, yes, but even then, I'm usually not down below 75 to 80 per cent on arrival, with my puny batteries, with just the dc fridge running all day, if we start pretty full. Depending on ambient temperature,  our fridge seems to use 2.5 to 3.5 amps per hour. Startup cool down,  of course, is more. I think the Novakool, which I'd love to have, uses a bit more, because of its size. Adding insulation to the cavity helps,  of course. As does keeping the fridge at least 50 per cent full of cold food or liquids, as a cold sink.

So, in my opinion, you may "want" a dc to dc charger, but you may not "need" it, depending on many factors.  

Everyone's needs are different. 

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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4 hours ago, John E Davies said:

If you install a DC fridge you will need a better way to recharge. For your gas fridge, use the propane mode when towing, but always be aware of the wind direction when refueling at a gas station. I have done this forever and have yet to blow something up. You can fix the lack of TV charging for the factory lithium batteries relatively easily, but you have to be able to fabricate a mount and run wires or hire somebody to do it. If your TV has a “smart” alternator you have to run a small gauge voltage sense wire all the way up to the engine bay, but most TVs do not require this.

61DF60D3-6200-4372-9B33-6C1D5D56DC9E.thumb.jpeg.9b453868b76e9d06e7713c4c7babc34d.jpeg

https://olivertraveltrailers.com/forums/topic/5270-how-to-redarc-dc-to-dc-11-amp-output-trailer-charger-installation/

Consider a separate DC compressor fridge located inside your truck, it will be very useful for stocking extra supplies. I carry a mid-sized ARB one for any trip longer than two weeks. I haven’t camped at over 8000 feet, but so far the gas fridge (running on propane)  has been fine, even going over 10,000 foot passes. Run with what you have before getting too worried about upgrading.....

John Davies

Spokane WA

We have been running a Dometic CFX-35 in the bed of our tow vehicle now for a year and find it to be an excellent addition to the fridge in our current SOB trailer.  Plan is to keep this compressor fridge in the TV after getting the Ollie in September.  The setup we have to run the chest compressor fridge in the bed of the truck is a 100W solar panel mounted on the roof rack on the truck shell run to a MPPT controller which then feeds two 12v AGM batteries mounted to the front of the truck bed.  Never had any issues with being able to run the dometic either in fridge or freezer mode 24/7 and then fully recharging the batteries the next day.  This system is NOT tied into the TV electrical, rather a stand-alone system.  Planning to use it after getting the Ollie to charge Ollie batteries when Ollie is parked in the shade by parking TV is full sun and running wires from battery bank in truck bed to Zamp port on Ollie instead of hauling around a ground mount, portable panel.  The Dometic sips amps and is useful for either overload food or to freeze a lot of water bottles/freezer packs for use in a cooler when away from the trailer.

 

 

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Need is a word that gets thrown around a lot right after someone does that mod on their own trailer, lol.  I don't think it applies here, because, you know, generators.  But definitely some thought needs to go into both power sources and storage.  Like SeaDawg said, expect your electric bill to go up by anywhere from 50 to 75 amp hours.  So, you can plan to recover that each day by some means, and/or, up your storage to get you from charge to charge.  

We use roughly 70 Ah non-fridge, and 60 fridge - so, 130 Ah total to try to recover.  To get that from solar exclusively, that would equate to 650 watts (rule of thumb = 20 Ah per 100 watts of solar).  So, that's not gonna happen without serious modifications.  You'd also in addition want 3 days of battery storage to get you through cloudy weeks, or 400 Ah - an easy but expensive upgrade.

You said you had LFP batteries, but not how much.  400 would be the minimum in my opinion, but SeaDawg is reading that and laughing.  But, you might not be able to hear her over her generator 😜.  If you got the 600 Ah option (platinum, natch) then you've got the extra amps in the bank to get you from charge to charge.  4 or 5 days, easy, more with good sun.  So unless you're a dedicated boondocker, I'd say try it and see.  Or get that generator. 

Or get a new truck.  Those F150 hybrids with the built in generator are pretty sweet.  

I do however agree 100% that you should put some thought into a truck fridge.  We've got a DC fridge in both truck and trailer and I wouldn't give up my truck fridge for anything, except perhaps for a larger one.  In fact it's become permanent. It's very convenient for grocery runs, when you don't want to head straight home to put everything up.  But just as importantly, we can stuff 3 weeks worth of food in there.  

 

 

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Snowball • The world's only spherical Ollie

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I just want to throw this out for your consideration. A long day trip, ten hours with the engjne running. A Redarc charger will give you around 110 amp hours, day or night. Your standard solar may give you double that.... unless it’s overcast or night time. Working together in full sun they will give you up to 300 AH.....

I think the DC to DC charger is a must have for anybody with lithiums, simply because it provides a decent amount of reliable power, regardless of weather conditions that will disable any solar device. And I am not saying that because I just installed one😬

OTH the regular 12 volt power wire from many TVs (but not a Land Cruiser!) will sort-of charge them, say to 70%. Better than nothing IMHO, especially if you have rooftop solar to assist.

John Davies

Spokane WA

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"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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The thing is, everyone is correct. 

Because everyone has different needs,  wants, and situations. 

Overland knows the calcs as well as anyone. We are severe power misers, accustomed to camping without power, and no 110 appliances or inverters. JED uses an inverter, at least sometimes. 

I wouldn't recommend a dc fridge to most people who have our puny batteries,  and limited solar. Even though we doubled our solar, I'm still not recommending dc fridge to those who aren't willing to monitor limited agm battery power. 

I've spent (as I've mentioned other times) hours, chasing the sun with portable solar. And, in crappy days, I  still have to run a fossil fuel Honda 1000 for a half hour to an hour in the morning.

Everyone has a different plan, situation, and certainly, most have more battery power than I do. And, most don't want to limit consumption as much as we do.

If I  had lithium, I  could certainly relax for a weekend. But, hey. I'm the one who monitors pretty much everything,  at home, or camping. I know what we "need", and yes, there is certainly more I'd love to have. But, indecisive if it's worth it, for us, and our habits.

More power to you all with lithium. (No pun intended.)

 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Thanks all for this very illuminating thread.  Before our Oliver we had a class B with a second alternator, 300 watts of solar and 400 amp hours of lithium battery.  Since we were driving nearly every day we never paid any attention to energy use.  Th class b had a compressor frig that worked  very well- we never thought about its energy consumption.  This new 3 way has been a bit of a pain!  It struggles to get and stay cold and has condensation issues.  We have 340 watts of solar, and 390 amp hours of lithium in the Oliver and no battery charging when we drive.  From everything I am reading, setting up the system to recharge with my tow vehicle (Ram 1500 etorque) would not help all that much (a topic for another thread).  Regarding energy consumption/ replacement, All the figures people are quoting seem about right given our 2 weeks in the trailer post-pickup last February.  If we stayed away from the big energy hogs (instant pot, induction cook top, etc) when boondocking we were gaining about 70 amp hours per day from solar and using about the same amount.  That is in the winter sun in Florida.  We do carry a 3400 watt dual fuel generator so we always have that back up.  Sure wish Oliver had told be they had the 640 amp hour lithium’s on the horizon.  I would have jumped on that.  On the positive side, Lithionics is in Clearwater Florida about an hour from me.  They may be willing to install the bigger lithium’s which seem to fit in the battery compartment of the Ollie.  Yesterday, Oliver told me that wanted $12,000 to do the switch!!!  Obviously they do not want to do the work.

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