Review - Isotherm Cruise Elegance 65

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by dtfeld, Mar 11, 2022.

  1. dtfeld

    dtfeld Water Contrails GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 5, 2016
    Milton, GA
    410 Sundancer
    2001
    12" Axiom and 9" Axiom+ MFD
    Cat 3126 V-Drives
    Bought an Isotherm Cruise Elegance 65 AC/DC refrigerator in Black to replace my Norcold DE-451. I thought I'd do a review of it as this come up a lot.

    Purchase and Shipping - I purchased from Marinewarehouse.net. Best price I could find, great communication, and they double boxed the unit on a pallet. I had it delivered to a local freight yard instead of the house and saved $130.

    20220309_165551.jpg

    Looks - This unit very nice - very shiny (better be)! The door latch is plastic, but the door shuts tight and takes a little tug on the door edge to get it open. There is a 2 position locking mechanism, that will either pull the door shut, or in the off season, keep the door slightly ajar. The cooling equipment is on the the top back and is very quiet. Everything is well insulated, and tidy. Looks very solid. Looks like this fridge will hold about 48 12 oz cans, 5 rows, 4 deep in the main cavity/shelf, and 8 cans in the door. The door has dividers to prevent the cans from sliding around.

    20220309_170051.jpg 20220309_170054.jpg 20220309_170142.jpg 20220309_170152.jpg 20220309_170157.jpg


    Initial Power Up and Cooling - I set this up in may garage to do a little testing prior to installing in the boat. Unit comes with both 12V DC leads , and a 120V AC plug. Initially, I plugged it into AC power and set it to 7, and added a case of cans. I also filled the little ice tray just to see if it would make ice cubes (It does, but hardly enough for 1 G&T:( ). I let the unit run overnight. I checked it a couple time over the next 24 hours, and it seemed that the compressor never turned off at this setting, and the internal temp was 25* Thats some cold beer! I turned the unit down to about a 5 on the thermostat wheel, and the compressor has been cycling on/off. Once It settle down, I'll report the temperature at this setting.

    20220311_063650.jpg 20220311_063659.jpg 20220311_063704.jpg

    Note...Initial Post, adding pics
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2022
    SKybolt likes this.
  2. Strecker25

    Strecker25 Well-Known Member

    Nov 20, 2014
    Rochester, NY
    2002 410DA
    Caterpillar 350HP 3126
    Nice. I want to proactively replace both of our original units but I am leaning towards the cabin fridge first since its more critical (to the family at least, I keep my beer up top)

    I'd be tempted to go with black and save a few bucks since its behind the door but the stainless sure is nice. Did you get the 3 or 4 flange version?

    excited to hear your long term review because I'm leaning towards Isotherm for both. I like the 195 as well

    also, fwiw, that is a great price. It's the same cost I can get it from westmarinepro from and quite a bit less than anywhere else from what I can find
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2022
    dtfeld likes this.
  3. dtfeld

    dtfeld Water Contrails GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 5, 2016
    Milton, GA
    410 Sundancer
    2001
    12" Axiom and 9" Axiom+ MFD
    Cat 3126 V-Drives
    I've gone back and forth, but decided on Isotherm, and I'm looking at the 195 as well. I'm hoping the current Norcold makes it 1 more year!

    This unit has a a 3 sided metal flange. Hoping it slides right in and screws down tight. We shall See!
     
  4. dtfeld

    dtfeld Water Contrails GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 5, 2016
    Milton, GA
    410 Sundancer
    2001
    12" Axiom and 9" Axiom+ MFD
    Cat 3126 V-Drives
    I'm also going to try a Merlin II Smart Speed controller. The Secop compressor can run at multiple speeds, based on a resistor in the control circuit, from 2000-3500 RPM. The low RPM setting is more efficient, but the higher RPM cool things down faster (such as adding a case of warm beer cans that your buddy brought you) when the heat load calls for it. The Merlin automated that and keeps the power draw down.

    upload_2022-3-11_9-42-36.png
     
  5. Strecker25

    Strecker25 Well-Known Member

    Nov 20, 2014
    Rochester, NY
    2002 410DA
    Caterpillar 350HP 3126
    well that is awesome. that's some weird looking beer you have in there ;)
     
    Blueone likes this.
  6. dtfeld

    dtfeld Water Contrails GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 5, 2016
    Milton, GA
    410 Sundancer
    2001
    12" Axiom and 9" Axiom+ MFD
    Cat 3126 V-Drives
    After turning it down to about 5 on the thermostat, looks to have settled in about 32* Thats cooler full of ice territory, and a LOT better than the old Norcold could ever do.

    LED light is bright and allows you to see in pretty nicely. Nice touch!

    20220311_100516.jpg 20220311_100621.jpg 20220311_100629.jpg
     
  7. Dani-Lu

    Dani-Lu Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 20, 2007
    Delray Beach, Fl
    2001 410DA
    3126 Cats
    I am selfishly :) very interested to hear about the install, including 12v supply. My boat has a dead “AC only”, ice maker. Not sure if there is a 12v supply behind ice maker. If there isn’t, Interested to hear where you are getting the 12v from.

    Looks like a nice frig for cold beer!

    Enjoy.
     
    dtfeld likes this.
  8. dtfeld

    dtfeld Water Contrails GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 5, 2016
    Milton, GA
    410 Sundancer
    2001
    12" Axiom and 9" Axiom+ MFD
    Cat 3126 V-Drives
    I think ice makers are 120AC only...they use a lot of energy.

    My boat is wired for both, but it would not be hard to add. Usually, there is a DC Refridgerator breaker already installed.

    Yeah. This thing gets COLD! Looking forward to getting it installed.
     
    Dani-Lu likes this.
  9. Dani-Lu

    Dani-Lu Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 20, 2007
    Delray Beach, Fl
    2001 410DA
    3126 Cats
    Since we have the exact same boat, I am hoping they build the boat with AC and DC run to that compartment, making it plug and play depending on which option a new boat customer orders.

    Does your boat have separate DC breakers for the cockpit and cabin frigs?
     
    dtfeld likes this.
  10. dtfeld

    dtfeld Water Contrails GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 5, 2016
    Milton, GA
    410 Sundancer
    2001
    12" Axiom and 9" Axiom+ MFD
    Cat 3126 V-Drives
    To my knowledge, they did not do custom electrical systems…so you should have a DC connection, wiring and breaker.

    Reference the 410 schematic.
     
    Dani-Lu likes this.
  11. Dani-Lu

    Dani-Lu Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 20, 2007
    Delray Beach, Fl
    2001 410DA
    3126 Cats
    I will. Thanks.
     
    dtfeld likes this.
  12. dtfeld

    dtfeld Water Contrails GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 5, 2016
    Milton, GA
    410 Sundancer
    2001
    12" Axiom and 9" Axiom+ MFD
    Cat 3126 V-Drives
    PO may have cut or hidden the leads…
     
  13. dtfeld

    dtfeld Water Contrails GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 5, 2016
    Milton, GA
    410 Sundancer
    2001
    12" Axiom and 9" Axiom+ MFD
    Cat 3126 V-Drives
    I pulled the old dead Norcold out and did an initial fitting of the fridge.

    Vertically, the fit was very tight, and I had to use a drill and a dremel tool to make a 1/4” deep x about 1” wide cut out to allow the hinge mounts slide through the cutout.

    An additional hiccup is the bottom of this unit is intended to sit on rubber feet that are about 1/2” tall, so there is a gap between the 2x4 base support and the bottom of this fridge. Result is the fridge fall backwards at the top/ flange so there is an increasing gap between the flange and cutout from top to bottom. I think I need to add a plywood spacer on top of the existing 2x4 base to level it out, and spread the load.

    Horizontally, the unit is about 3/8” narrower on each side, meaning the flange screws are going to miss the cutout on both side. I’ll need to fashion some wings to hold the unit in the cutout. I’m thinking something like the wings on an old work electrical box that allow me to tighten up, but also remove for MX.

    Once I have the issues address, I should be good to go.

    Units looks very nice, and since it sits behind the swinging doors, I didn’t see any value in the stainless model that costs about $350 more.

    20220315_130544.jpg
     
  14. Strecker25

    Strecker25 Well-Known Member

    Nov 20, 2014
    Rochester, NY
    2002 410DA
    Caterpillar 350HP 3126
    looks great. I'm trying not to spend even more money but i really hate my norcold, it never turns off.
     
    dtfeld likes this.
  15. dtfeld

    dtfeld Water Contrails GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 5, 2016
    Milton, GA
    410 Sundancer
    2001
    12" Axiom and 9" Axiom+ MFD
    Cat 3126 V-Drives
    My main fridge runs 24/7 as well…noisy too. Buy that’s a project for next year.
     
  16. bbwhitejr

    bbwhitejr Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Apr 14, 2013
    Lake Lanier GA
    2003 420DA, 6CTAs
    NA
    I pulled and chunked the 120v ice maker and behind it were the 12v wires there ready to plug into the new Isotherm I installed in the cockpit.

    Bennett
     
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  17. Dani-Lu

    Dani-Lu Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 20, 2007
    Delray Beach, Fl
    2001 410DA
    3126 Cats
    Looks perfect and agree with your decision against the more expensive stainless model. Well done.
     
    dtfeld likes this.
  18. Dani-Lu

    Dani-Lu Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 20, 2007
    Delray Beach, Fl
    2001 410DA
    3126 Cats
    Thats good news - Thanks. Hope I find the same.
     
  19. dtfeld

    dtfeld Water Contrails GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 5, 2016
    Milton, GA
    410 Sundancer
    2001
    12" Axiom and 9" Axiom+ MFD
    Cat 3126 V-Drives
    I started fitting the fridge into the old Norcold cut-out.

    Vertically, I needed to add a 15/32” pc of plywood underneath or the new unit would “fall back into” the cavity creating a gap top to bottom. I bought a 2’x2’ project board from Home Depot and had the store cut it to about 17”x 19”. I screwed it down to the existing 2x4 base that was already there.

    The next issue is how to secure the frame to the fiberglass. The new unit is about 1/2” narrower than the previous fridge, and the screw holes in the new flange barely miss the fiberglass on both sides.

    Screenshot_20220328-082746_Gallery.jpg


    I’m looking for ideas on how to screw this down and trim it out. I was thinking f cutting a U shaped filler piece out of starboard, but pretty expensive with a lot of waste.

    Ideas?
     
  20. Dani-Lu

    Dani-Lu Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 20, 2007
    Delray Beach, Fl
    2001 410DA
    3126 Cats
    I think you have the answer, but you don’t necessarily have to buy a big piece of starboard to cut a U. Yes this would be the cleanest way, but instead you can cut 3 straight pieces and attach to top and sides. Or, maybe I am not visualizing the issue correctly.
     
    dtfeld likes this.

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