Has anyone replaced the fridge with a compressor-type? Like Vitrifrigo?

Refrigerator, stove, furnace, water pump, air conditioner, microwave, water heater, fans, lighting
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Millennial Falcon
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Has anyone replaced the fridge with a compressor-type? Like Vitrifrigo?

Post by Millennial Falcon » Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:44 pm

The stock Dometic fridge on my 1994 that I just purchased is not cooling. Not on AC, not on DC, and not on Propane. I've watched all the troubleshooting videos on youtube, and can't figure it out. The heating elements on the back get hot... I can hear liquids trickling... but no cooling.

So, I'm looking to just replace the unit, it's kind of rusty/ugly anyway.

In my research I came across this link: (http://www.truckcamperadventure.com/201 ... -few-tips/) which makes a compressor style seem pretty attractive. I plan to operate mostly on 12-volt through a solar set-up and battery bank... Boondocking, and not wanting to worry about running out of propane. So the idea of having a two-way AC/DC fridge and capping off the propane system doesn't bother me.

I called Dometic, and they patched me through to a truck vendor who sells compressor style fridges. Going off the measurements from the Dometic replacement chart (https://www.campersdirect.com/rvone/inc ... ileid=2429), and the nice gentlemen on the phone, he recommended the closest fit to be a Vitrifrigo model, which he says is very high quality. Specifically, he recommended the viafo-c115ibd4-f-1 http://www.vitrifrigo.com/us/us/c115ibd ... ing-unit_3 as the nearest dimensional fit.

The Dometic is in the literature as being: 29.75" High x 20.5" Wide x 21.375" Deep.
The Vitrifrigo is shown as being 31.625"High x 23.125"Wide x 21.875" Deep.

I don't think I'm going to be able to shoehorn that Vitrigo in to the hole the Dometic leaves without some MAJOR cabinet-work/carpentry. Has anyone replaced their stock Dometic with something more efficient and better at cooling? I'm just looking at my options here, since I need to replace the thing anyway. May as well make the best choice now while I can.

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skater
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Re: Has anyone replaced the fridge with a compressor-type? Like Vitrifrigo?

Post by skater » Fri Oct 05, 2018 1:44 pm

First, to answer your question, no, I haven't. But now you have me interested in it!

There's not much room to go higher or lower for a taller fridge, unless - as you said - you want to do some carpentry. In mine, there's a cabinet under the fridge that I wouldn't mind losing, but I'm not sure I feel strongly enough about it to permanently modify the cabinets.

Normally I don't like compressor fridges for RVs, but in this case I could make an exception. The last one you linked only draws 45 watts, so the Group 24 Lifeline I have in mine will run it for ~17.4 hours. To further expand that time, throw a 100 watt solar panel on the roof, and on a sunny day it'll run the fridge no problem without drawing from the battery at all.

Given the airflow problems in the older B190s with the two side vents, a compressor fridge could be a good choice. And it's probably a lot less sensitive to being run off-level, so if it's sitting in a sloped parking lot all day, no big deal. Hmmm!

There are a couple fridges from that company that are ~25" high, so you'd only have to cut a spacer for the difference in height and width - much easier than making it a larger compartment.
1991 Airstream B190 - bought, 2005; sold, 2011; bought 2017
1995 Airstream Excella 30' trailer

WBCCI #13270, Washington, DC Unit

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Millennial Falcon
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Re: Has anyone replaced the fridge with a compressor-type? Like Vitrifrigo?

Post by Millennial Falcon » Fri Oct 05, 2018 3:27 pm

Continuing my brainstorm here, in a public place... looking for input, or just witness my search if you like:

BASED ON TRYING TO REPLACE THE DOMETIC AT: 29.75" High x 20.5" Wide x 21.375" Deep.

The Nova Kool 4500 is 4.3 cu.ft. and would fit inside the pre-existing hole for the Dometic that came stock.
Dimensions of the Nova Kool are: 28.375" High x 20.25" Wide x 21.0" Deep.
Runs at 110AC or 12VDC and 4.4 Amps. Cost: $1,090
http://www.novakool.com/products/single ... 0_4500.htm

The Isotherm Cruise 100 Classic is 3.5 cu.ft. and would fit inside the pre-existing hole for the Dometic that came stock.
Dimensions of the Isotherm are: 29.3" High x 19.1" Wide x 18.9" Deep.
Runs at 110AC or 12VDC and power consumption listed as 400 per 24hours. Cost: $1,200
http://www.isotherm-parts.com/index.php ... ts_id=2169
Full Product specs: http://www.marinewarehouse.net/images/i ... og-USA.pdf

The Dometic Coolmatic CRX 110s is 2.6 cu.ft. and would fit inside the pre-existing hole for the 3-way Dometic that came stock.
Dimensions of the CRX 110s are: 29.33" High x 20.47" Wide x 21.97" Deep.
Runs at 110AC or 12VDC and 6.2 Amps. Cost: $1,100
https://www.dometic.com/en-us/us/produc ... ifications

The NorthernFridge TF130ACDC is 4.5 cu.ft. and would fit inside the pre-existing hole for the Dometic that came stock.
Dimensions of the NorthernFridge are: 29.50" High x 20.75" Wide x 20.25" Deep.
Runs at 110AC or 12VDC and 2 to 5 Amps. Cost: $1,500
https://www.northernfridge.ca/collectio ... /tf130acdc

The Norcold 0788 is 3.1 cu.ft. and is just slightly too tall to fit in the Dometic hole.
Dimensions of the Norcold are: 30.0" High x 20.5" Wide x 20.125" Deep.
Runs at 110AC or 12VDC and 3.0 Amps. Cost: $1,079
https://www.thetford.com/product/0788/

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usachris
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Re: Has anyone replaced the fridge with a compressor-type? Like Vitrifrigo?

Post by usachris » Fri Oct 05, 2018 6:47 pm

Yes! We did and love it.

It was easy to install and much quieter than we expected. The model we went with was the Vitrifrigo C130RBD4-F By far, the best upgrade we made!

I think the refrigerator hole in my ‘99 is bigger that your ‘94 so I needed to trim less but you might want to measure the inside of the cabinet once you have that old refrigerator out, because it might be worth the trouble to widen the hole for the new Vitrifrigo. :D

I uploaded several pics of the install in my gallery.

Also- we did not lose the cabinet under the refrigerator, nor was their any “major” cabinet remodeling needed.

This is the guy who gave us the inspiration and confidence to do this upgrade. Be sure to check it out:

https://b190exp.com/2017/03/17/refrigerator/
Christopher Salazar
1999 B190 #301352
WBCCI #01422 Region 12, Unit 19

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Millennial Falcon
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Re: Has anyone replaced the fridge with a compressor-type? Like Vitrifrigo?

Post by Millennial Falcon » Sat Oct 06, 2018 12:31 am

usachris wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 6:47 pm
This is the guy who gave us the inspiration and confidence to do this upgrade. Be sure to check it out:

https://b190exp.com/2017/03/17/refrigerator/
According to Tim at https://B190exp.com, he successfully slid the Vitrifrigo C130RBD4-F right into where his stock Dometic fridge was (Specs: http://www.vitrifrigo.com/ww/en/c130_en).

Did his 1996 B190 have the same size hole as my 1994? Or did Airstream modify the opening at all? I plan to order the new fridge and try and fit it in!!

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usachris
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Re: Has anyone replaced the fridge with a compressor-type? Like Vitrifrigo?

Post by usachris » Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:18 am

I’m sure you’ve heard the old adage “measure twice - cut once.” I’d remove your old refrigerator and measure the heck out of the opening. Pay extra attention to the depth and height. The walls of the b190 are curved and you want to be sure there is adequate space at the top/rear for the refrigerator to fit.

Also, confirm there is enough room for the external compressor to sit behind the refrigerator.

You may not have to move a vent pipe like I did, but taking the measurements beforehand showed me I had to and gave me a few days before the new refrigerator arrived to get the prep work done.
58C7157F-7B8F-4FE1-BB39-95BBF40318CB.jpeg
Installed and ready to rip off that plastic and fire her up!
58C7157F-7B8F-4FE1-BB39-95BBF40318CB.jpeg (690.93 KiB) Viewed 98 times
Christopher Salazar
1999 B190 #301352
WBCCI #01422 Region 12, Unit 19

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