Best Fridge? - Ford Transit USA Forum
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post #1 of 69 (permalink) Old 11-30-2018, 07:21:PM Thread Starter
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Best Fridge?

Anybody install the dometic cd-50? pros? cons?
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post #2 of 69 (permalink) Old 11-30-2018, 08:38:PM
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Iím looking to install a 130 INOX drawer fridge from Webasto. I am leaning towards a drawer fridge rather than a hinged one, because with the latter, I expect that many items will fall off the shelves as soon as I take the van off pavement / around a turn.

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post #3 of 69 (permalink) Old 11-30-2018, 09:47:PM
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I'd stay away from Dometic anything, its cheap Chinese crap with lousy support and warranty. Look into a Vitrifrigo (Italian)or Truck Fridge (Kentucky) for a well built 12v compressor fridge at a reasonable price.

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post #4 of 69 (permalink) Old 11-30-2018, 11:02:PM
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Serious folks use top-loading freezers. Too many good reasons to list. I loved mine. Shore power folks; disregard.
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post #5 of 69 (permalink) Old 12-01-2018, 12:24:AM
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I have a Truckfridge TF-130 in my Transit, and it works great. Truckfridge makes door and drawer model refrigerator freezers, as well as top loading chest style models. Many sizes and styles to choose from. Good prices.

They have a sales showroom and service center on I-75 at exit 129 in Georgetown, Kentucky directly behind the Pilot truck stop. Very nice people to deal with.

https://www.truckfridge.com/truckfridge-models/
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post #6 of 69 (permalink) Old 12-01-2018, 02:17:AM
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TruckFridge TF-65 in mine. Low power consumption, great fridge.

Check Amazon for best pricing (better than TF website) and fast delivery. Mine arrived via Prime in 1 day with no extra costs.
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post #7 of 69 (permalink) Old 12-01-2018, 09:32:AM
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TruckFridge TB51 for me. Portable if I need it to be, extremely efficient and rugged.

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post #8 of 69 (permalink) Old 12-01-2018, 10:32:AM
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I had a 80 liter front opening Dometic in the sold Sprinter. Did not like the latch design or the small freezer. Found a 85 liter Vitrifrigo for Transit build with a better latch design and the compressor mounted at the bottom back instead of the top back. That provided a much larger freezer at the top and used the harder to use space at the bottom for the compressor.

Was not expecting any change in power usage so was surprised to learn the Vitrifrigo used about 1/3 less power than the Dometic. The refrigerator is the largest power user in my conversion. Sprinter would normally show a 93% SOC when run overnight. The Transit shows a 95% SOC overnight. Both show 99% SOC overnight with refrigerator off. I have multiple items with very small power draws that cause the 1% SOC loss overnight. So Dometic used 6% of the battery and the Vitrifrigo uses 4%.

Both the refrigerators were about the same size, both have additional polyiso rigid insulation around the sides and top and bottom, same 255 amp-hr Lifeline 8D AGM battery, both installations have a 4" hole in the floor to provide cooler air and both have the same compressor. There had to be a reason why one was more efficient than the other. The only major difference is the design of the condenser. The Dometic had a serpentine coil mounted on the back of the refrigerator and the Vitrifrigo has a small radiator and fan. The Vitrifrigo has the same design condenser as a chest type refrigerator. The Vitrifrigo does have 2" of closed sell foam I added glued to the back of the refrigerator that could not be installed on the Dometic. So my conclusion is the better efficiency is due to the design of the condenser.

Think the belief that the better efficiency of a chest type refrigerator is because the cold air does not fall out is not true. Believe the reason is the same condenser design on both the Vitrifrigo front opening refrigerator and the chest type refrigerators.

The front opening refrigerator mounted above counter height is much easier to use and can have added insulation when installed.

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Last edited by orton; 12-01-2018 at 10:35:AM.
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post #9 of 69 (permalink) Old 12-01-2018, 10:40:AM
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Iíll never have a door opening fridge again in a camper. All your cold air spills out the second you open the door.

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post #10 of 69 (permalink) Old 12-01-2018, 11:03:AM
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Mulehawk; I was surprised to read a study about front opening vs top opening fridges. Like you, I thought the "cold air would escape" and the fridge would not be as efficient. Well, I forgot my college physics. The air isn't retaining the cold, the mass of the stuff inside is. Air has very little mass. The air has very little effect on the ability to keep the interior cold, dumping ALL the cold air for a minute and then closing the door will not warm the contents very much at all, and thus not enact the motor to re-refrigerate the interior. There isn't much efficiency difference between front and top opening mobile refrigerators, assuming the doors are opened and closed the same amount of time.

The "best" strategy to prolong cold temps to keep power cycles less frequent is to make sure you have a nearly full fridge, even if it's just water bottles. The initial cooling takes longer, but the warming time is proportionate. Cool while driving, and then the amount of ah needed from house batteries is lower while parked. You're not "storing" the cold in the air, you're storing it in the stuff inside.

However, I prefer a top load for a different reason: nothing will fall out when you open it after traveling on a bumpy road, and you can stack stuff inside better to make more use of the space.
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