Do I need a vent? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-06-2015, 04:02 PM   #1
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Do I need a vent?

My son advised me yesterday that I could have his old GE dorm refridgerator (which I have stored for him for several years!) if i wanted to install it in my 13' Scamp. I plugged it in and it works great!

With a little trimming it will fit in my Scamp's ice box opening.

In fact, it appears that at one time there may have been a dorm type refridgerator installed in my Scam,p based on the size of the opening, and a loose electrical receptacle box under the cabinet .

However, there is no vent opening at the back of the ice box area. Even thou the GE refridgerator is 120 volt only...shouldn't there be a vent in the side of the trailer to exit the heat?

If so, any ideas on what size the vent should be?

All replys will be appreciated!

Bill
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Old 06-06-2015, 04:17 PM   #2
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I could be wrong, but I don't think a vent is required for an all-electric unit.
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Old 06-06-2015, 04:37 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post
I could be wrong, but I don't think a vent is required for an all-electric unit.
From your lips to God's ears!

I do hope that is correct, as it would save me the additional work of installing a vent.

Bill
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Old 06-06-2015, 05:41 PM   #4
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When I installed a dorm fridge in our Uhaul I left a little space around it for air to move. I didn't use any trim to seal it to the cabinet front and there is space behind it. No problems after spending 3 months straight in the camper over two winters. No outside vent
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Old 06-06-2015, 06:18 PM   #5
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I have a dorm fridge in the Compact Jr with no vent. There is 3" space behind and space opens to the closet. Works great and the cloths stay nice and warm.
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Old 06-06-2015, 06:32 PM   #6
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The reason for vents behind RV fridges is so the burning propane can exhaust to the outside. And I think those ammonia-type fridges produce more heat than an all-electric one.
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Old 06-06-2015, 07:11 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by mary and bob View Post
When I installed a dorm fridge in our Uhaul I left a little space around it for air to move. I didn't use any trim to seal it to the cabinet front and there is space behind it. No problems after spending 3 months straight in the camper over two winters. No outside vent
Thanks Bob! That's great to read!

How did you keep the fridge from sliding out of the cabinet?

I've been pondering on how I could secure mine in place.

Bill
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Old 06-06-2015, 07:14 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Tom Trostel View Post
I have a dorm fridge in the Compact Jr with no vent. There is 3" space behind and space opens to the closet. Works great and the cloths stay nice and warm.
Thanks Tom. If i measured correctly, I will only have 1" behind the unit, but more space on the sides.

Bill
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Old 06-06-2015, 07:21 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post
The reason for vents behind RV fridges is so the burning propane can exhaust to the outside. And I think those ammonia-type fridges produce more heat than an all-electric one.
Mike, that does make sense because of the LP flame.

I ran the fridge for about 6 hours in almost 90 degree weather this afternoon, and the coils at the back just felt a little warm to the touch. Not hot at all.

But, of course, the unit was sitting in a open garage.

It's sure easy to tell if a ammonia fridge has a leak!

Bill
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Old 06-06-2015, 08:00 PM   #10
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How did you keep the fridge from sliding out of the cabinet?

I've been pondering on how I could secure mine in place.

Bill[/QUOTE]

First I had to make a platform for the fridge to sit on. Then using various hardware corner "L" brackets I attached them to the fridge at the four corners and platform. One of those try this and that kind of things
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Old 06-06-2015, 08:08 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by mary and bob View Post
How did you keep the fridge from sliding out of the cabinet?

I've been pondering on how I could secure mine in place.

Bill
First I had to make a platform for the fridge to sit on. Then using various hardware corner "L" brackets I attached them to the fridge at the four corners and platform. One of those try this and that kind of things[/QUOTE]

Thanks Bob, that sounds like something within my abilities! Only problem I foresee is working inside the cabinet to see and screw down the brackets!

Oh! Since my lower kitchen cabinet is not installed...maybe I could install the fridge first?

Bill
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Old 06-06-2015, 09:22 PM   #12
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Pop rivet aluminum L stock to the front sides of the frig. Slide the frig. into the cabinet then pop rivet the frig. to the face of the cabinet.
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Old 06-06-2015, 09:28 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Bill Nolen View Post
My son advised me yesterday that I could have his old GE dorm refridgerator (which I have stored for him for several years!) if i wanted to install it in my 13' Scamp. I plugged it in and it works great!

With a little trimming it will fit in my Scamp's ice box opening.

In fact, it appears that at one time there may have been a dorm type refridgerator installed in my Scam,p based on the size of the opening, and a loose electrical receptacle box under the cabinet .

However, there is no vent opening at the back of the ice box area. Even thou the GE refridgerator is 120 volt only...shouldn't there be a vent in the side of the trailer to exit the heat?

If so, any ideas on what size the vent should be?

All replys will be appreciated!

Bill

Some compressor based fridges are self venting and some are not. A dorm type mini fridge is usually designed to free stand ( in a dorm room...lol) and not be completely enclosed. The compressor does generate a good amount of heat. The self venting ones usually have a narrow slot that directs the excess heat out the front along the bottom or top. The risk in not providing ventilation on a non self-venting fridge is a build up of heat, inefficient cooling and possibly shortened refrigerator life.

Larger home-style fridges usually have a vent along the front at the bottom to allow excess heat to dissipate. Most smaller fridges have no such vent.

For anyone considering a compressor fridge in their trailer, I'd recommend you get one that clearly states it's "self venting", or provide a vent if there isn't one already in the enclosure.
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Old 06-06-2015, 09:44 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by rbryan View Post
Some compressor based fridges are self venting and some are not. A dorm type mini fridge is usually designed to free stand ( in a dorm room...lol) and not be completely enclosed. The compressor does generate a good amount of heat. The self venting ones usually have a narrow slot that directs the excess heat out the front along the bottom or top. The risk in not providing ventilation on a non self-venting fridge is a build up of heat, inefficient cooling and possibly shortened refrigerator life.

Larger home-style fridges usually have a vent along the front at the bottom to allow excess heat to dissipate. Most smaller fridges have no such vent.

For anyone considering a compressor fridge in their trailer, I'd recommend you get one that clearly states it's "self venting", or provide a vent if there isn't one already in the enclosure.

Compressor type refrigerators cool by pumping a vacuum and the coolant evaporating. Then the heat sucked out of the inside of fridge around evaporator is transferred to the condenser (often coils on the back, sometimes embedded in case). to operate efficiently the heat needs to be carried away from the area around the fridge. In a large or even small dorm room there's enough air to draw the heat away. Inside an enclosed space, like in a cabinet, there has to be some way for the heat to be transferred away from the fridge. Hence, better operation and life with venting.
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Old 06-06-2015, 10:35 PM   #15
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If you can get the fridge in the hole without bashing your fingers you probably have enough surrounding space for air circulation to cool the fridge. I wouldn't term it a "vent" issue. If it will make ice cubes, you're fine.
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Old 06-07-2015, 07:14 AM   #16
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I replaced the non-functioning three-way unit on my old Scamp with a dorm fridge and yes it needs "venting". I put it back in the same place as the original and even with all the louvers in the shell behind it the cabinet top above the fridge gets noticeably warm when the fridge is running. That little fridge is giving off a lot of heat and as we know, heat rises. If I was planning on leaving the dorm fridge (I am not) as a long term solution I would add a puck fan behind it to aid heat extraction.
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Old 06-07-2015, 09:06 AM   #17
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ALL ANY REFRIGERATION SYSTEM DOES IS TO MOVE HEAT FROM ONE PLACE TO ANOTHER. THEY DO NOT MAKE COLD.

Therefore the heat removed from inside of the refrigerator needs to go somewhere.

Absorption units, like our propane ones, use a flame and therefore require more venting for not only the heat that's removed but for the fumes from the flame.

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Old 06-07-2015, 09:56 AM   #18
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Do I need a vent?

Byron, Timber Wolf and Joe have it right. Heat has to have somewhere to go. You may be fine with no venting and then again you may shorten the life of the fridge without it.


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Old 06-07-2015, 02:20 PM   #19
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If there is a bit of space for air to get around the sides or underside of the fridge, you might be able to cut a small hole in the cabinet above the fridge's back end (near the trailer sidewall) and create a chimney effect of air movement. Or air might move from below the fridge, around the back, then over the top and out the front above the fridge, with help from a computer muffin fan. Just a couple of ideas to play with.

Of course, if you're camping in 90 degree heat, a vent to the outside might start to seem pretty good.
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Old 06-07-2015, 03:42 PM   #20
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Thanks everyone for your comments, and advice.

From reading the messages, it appears to me that I can get by by not providing a venting system....but, that might result in shorting the life of the fridge. And, if the weather is very hot...not the best fridge cooling.

Since the fridge was free, and new dorm fridges are cheap, when compared to the cost of a new three-way, the overall life of the fridge doesn't seem that important. Yeah, sure...until it fails in the middle of a camping trip!

i hate the thought of cutting a hole in the fiberglass shell because that's just another hole to leak rain into the Scamp. So I am leaning towards installing a passive venting system with holes in the top surface of the kitchen cabinet, and from the bottom, as suggested. If the air flow is not sufficent, then perhaps a venting fan to aid the air flow.

However, in 100 degree weather, the last thing a person would want is a heat source discharging hot air into a non-A/C'd 13' Scamp's sleeping space!

So...I'm still pondering on what to do! Any thoughts on what type of non-leaking vent would be best?

Bill
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