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Old 12-17-2013, 10:50 AM   #1
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refrigerator

I am in need of replacing my old '81 AC/DC Norcold refrigerator on my Tung Hwa Trawler. Obviously my main goal is efficiency followed by price. Any thoughts on brands especially considering DC battery consumption?
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Old 12-17-2013, 10:57 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Ebberdene View Post
I am in need of replacing my old '81 AC/DC Norcold refrigerator on my Tung Hwa Trawler. Obviously my main goal is efficiency followed by price. Any thoughts on brands especially considering DC battery consumption?
Welcome Eggerdene. There should be plenty of info to help you. Try the search feature by clicking on the dark red bar above. Try "frig". "refrigerator",
"Danfoss", "Vitrifrigo", and any other term you can think of as search words. There is good info in the threads.
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Old 12-17-2013, 12:20 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Ebberdene View Post
I am in need of replacing my old '81 AC/DC Norcold refrigerator on my Tung Hwa Trawler. Obviously my main goal is efficiency followed by price. Any thoughts on brands especially considering DC battery consumption?
Indeed, welcome!

In our area, there are several excellent choices, both drop in and custom: Vitrifrigo (Sure Marine in Ballard), NovaKool (Bat Electric in Ballard), Seafreeze (Bellingham), and (if you wish) Norcold (Fisheries Supply/West Marine).

Strong recommendation is to go with either a Vitrifrigo or NovaKool- for the same footprint, you get more interior volume than the Norcold. Also, both use the Danfoss compressor. I believe the latest generation Norcold also use the Danfoss, but the interior volume is less.


First thing to do is ind out what model Norcold you have.
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Old 12-17-2013, 12:50 PM   #4
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A few months back our old Norcold gave up the ghost after 35 years. We replaced it with an Isotherm. Only very slight modification to fit the footprint. So far so good. Heck, if it lasts half as long as the old Norcold it'll be worth the ridiculous price! Good luck.
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Old 12-17-2013, 01:00 PM   #5
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We just put a Vitrifrigo 2 drawer in in place of our old Norcold this summer. The Vitrifrigo was about 3/4 " taller and a hair wider if I remember correctly. Very nice unit but pricey. A good bit more interior space and the drawer idea.
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Old 12-17-2013, 01:02 PM   #6
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Just replace a 1987 Tundra (made by Vitrifrigo) with the same but in stainless. Old one still worked fine but would not start up warm on 12v only on shore power.

I thought it was best to change it out in my time then Murphy's time.
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Old 12-17-2013, 07:17 PM   #7
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Second the Isotherm.

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Old 12-17-2013, 07:27 PM   #8
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We changed out our NorCold (DC non-functional) with a VitriFrigio from Sure Marine a couple of years back. I believe the model is a DP2600(?). It did offer the best capacity for the existing cut-out. Simple install once the wrestling of the old out of and the new into our down galley was done with help. It has been working fine, although I'm sure others would too after only two years. My only nit-pick is that the wire shelves are a bit light-weight and flexy, especially considering the boat units spent. They may have changed that.
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Old 12-17-2013, 07:30 PM   #9
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I just replaced our old full size fridge with two Isotherm's as as part of the galley upgrade.

This photo was taken before all the cabinet doors were completed, love the room this opened up.
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Old 12-17-2013, 08:23 PM   #10
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I just replaced our old full size fridge with two Isotherm's as as part of the galley upgrade.

This photo was taken before all the cabinet doors were completed, love the room this opened up.
Oooh! My wife would consider this as boat porn.
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Old 12-17-2013, 08:31 PM   #11
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I just replaced our old full size fridge with two Isotherm's as as part of the galley upgrade. This photo was taken before all the cabinet doors were completed, love the room this opened up.
Looks great, how much were those units if you don't mind me asking?
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Old 12-17-2013, 09:26 PM   #12
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Looks great, how much were those units if you don't mind me asking?
The left one is a fridge / fridge the second is a fridge / freezer both units including shipping and taxes expect to pay between $5k and $6k.

Both are 5.5 cubic feet and am glad that we went with the proud units which sticks out 2.1 inches. Made a template for the granite that also came out from the counter to match the fridges. The granite shop in Foley AL turned the granite request around within 48 hours as long as I installed it myself otherwise it would have been 6 weeks if they installed it.

Also installed large teak vents on each side of cabinet to allow for good air circulation which is critical for keeping units working at 100%.

Tomorrow I have to teak oil the trim and then apply several coats of sun resistant polyurethane and all will be good.

Will post a finished picture in a couple of days.
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Old 12-17-2013, 10:29 PM   #13
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Very nice, Gerald...very nice indeed. Glad my Admiral doesn't troll these threads!
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Old 12-18-2013, 06:31 AM   #14
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I recommend this 125/220 volts one. It is the most efficient energetically speaking, and being AC works easily with a small inverter.
Tropical specs. No sound at all, digitally controlled. Front SS.
I know that it is commercialized in USA.

Not cheap , it is about 700 USD -
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I spent already a summer in Spain and it works perfectly at 2
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Old 12-18-2013, 06:42 AM   #15
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Look for a unit that exits the warm air from the compressor directly into the cabin , instead of into the poorly vented box the reefer is located in.

It will cool far better.

Internal size with the same footprint just means the insulation is thinner, which usually costs energy.

If the space next to the reefer is large enough an inch or two of quality (expen$ive) insulation glued on helps a great deal. The smaller the unit (you can live with) the less energy required as heat differential and box external surface area are a good part of the power requirement.

DC only is fine as most boaters have a battery charger when at the power pole.Energy loss from a charger dockside is no hassle , 10%-15% loss from an inverter eats your house batts that much faster.
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Old 12-18-2013, 10:09 AM   #16
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I recommend this 125/220 volts one. It is the most efficient energetically speaking, and being AC works easily with a small inverter.
Tropical specs. No sound at all, digitally controlled. Front SS.
I know that it is commercialized in USA.

Not cheap , it is about 700 USD -
LIEBHERR
I spent already a summer in Spain and it works perfectly at 2

The Liebherr refers are really nice, I spec them a lot in my custom homes..
The RO 500 unit pictured is $ 2100 in the USA.. not a thrifty option

HOLLYWOOD
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Old 12-18-2013, 01:14 PM   #17
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sure?. it is about 647 Eu in Europe... ( By mail - Click appliances)
and 220v should be more expensive due to higher transformers...

I also installed a computer 12v with switch direct to the outside. Very powerful and cheap...
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Old 12-18-2013, 07:58 PM   #18
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If you are looking at a new installation see if there is a way to keep the heat from the compressor out of the galley. The Isotherm units have the hot air up top and in back so I put in a vent hose and a muffin fan with the heat going to the Pilot House and not the galley.

This made the Admiral very very happy which of course made me .....


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Old 01-14-2014, 10:35 AM   #19
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Thanks all for your replies. I can't locate the model number for my existing Norcold. I am confident that the new brands should all be much more efficient than my old refer. Seems to draw a lot of DC battery juice. Heading to the Seattle boat show to see what will work best.
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Old 01-14-2014, 11:27 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ebberdene View Post
Thanks all for your replies. I can't locate the model number for my existing Norcold. I am confident that the new brands should all be much more efficient than my old refer. Seems to draw a lot of DC battery juice. Heading to the Seattle boat show to see what will work best.
If you can get the measurements of the old fridge, the TF brain trust should be able to help you figure out which model you have.

At the very least, you should have the dimensions of the fridge location, so you know what size replacement you should be considering....
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