Fridge - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-31-2006, 09:05 AM   #1
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Hey all
In my Cadet a previous owner added the fridge. (I.e. Dometic Rm190) In high amb. Temps. the fridge just can't keep.(Roughly 30 + degree C) Last night I pulled off the top vent to see about added some fans to aid in cooling at the rear, but found that the unit is not sealed to the inside of the trailer. The rear sides of the cabinet are open, plus on top of the fridge to the underside of the stove are completely open. There is also a slight gap to the outside at the bottom. The top is pretty tight to the outside wall but is not attached to the cabinet.
I was wondering how much I need to seal the rear of the fridge off to the rest of the trailer. Go through and have it air tight at all edges or work with mainly the top so the hot air can't go to the inside.
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Old 08-31-2006, 10:41 AM   #2
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Jeremy:

It seems that all these absorption-type fridges rely on about the same system of airflow for the "outside" part of the unit: convection, with fan-forced movement as an option.

The installation requirements on my RM2333 specifies that the "outside" part of unit should be sealed off from the inside of the trailer, top, bottom, and sides. All the things I had to do since the original install paid no attention to it. Particularly important at the top where the hot air can pool and needs to be directed out. We dried our wet towels on the counter above the frig. Worked great but didn't help the frig any.

If you do not have the installation instructions for your particular unit I'd suggest that you study the ones for another model if you can find it (Document Center), because the principles are the same. It will also specify things like the top and side baffles and all that. Good luck!
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Old 08-31-2006, 12:05 PM   #3
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Quote:
I was wondering how much I need to seal the rear of the fridge off to the rest of the trailer. Go through and have it air tight at all edges or work with mainly the top so the hot air can't go to the inside.

YOU NEED TO SEAL IT ALL.
I am installing a refer in my Burro now. The real concern should be sealing the unit to eliminate the the combustion air coming from inside the trailer and the exhaust from being vented into the trailer. Carbon monoxide is a deadly killer.
When I was a deputy sheriff I had the dubious honor of being a deputy coroner. I investigated deaths in 2 trailers that resulted from improperly vented gas appliances. The burner on your refer is very small but why take a chance? I does not matter if your refer does not get down to the proper temp. if you or your family members are dead.
I know what a time consuming job it is, but, please, seal it properly. Adequate combustion air needs to come from the outside and the exhaust needs to be vented to the outside.
John
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Old 08-31-2006, 05:13 PM   #4
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I completely agree with waht John has posted. From the reefer mechanics perspective, the owner's manual will specify the minimum inlet and exhaust vent areas, plus dimensions /clearances for optimum operation. Once you have those set, an auxiliary fan is also a good idea.

Victor
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Old 08-31-2006, 05:20 PM   #5
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What would be the best way to seal the rear of the unit to the shell, and to the cabinets?

I'm planing on using some metal to fill the larger gaps and for the baffle.
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Old 08-31-2006, 06:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
What would be the best way to seal the rear of the unit to the shell, and to the cabinets?

I'm planing on using some metal to fill the larger gaps and for the baffle.

I am building a plywood box to contain the refer under the cabinet and then I am going to fiberglass it to the trailer wall. It is MUCH more of a job than I thought it would be. Now I know why Camping World wanted to charge me $1096.00 to install the refer.
Everyone with an older trailer should check their refer to see that it is installed properly.
John
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Old 09-01-2006, 03:29 PM   #7
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Is there a any preference for sealants that people like to use or the most user friendly product?(i.e. for attaching to the fridge and/or to the shell of the trailer)Does it need to be fire resistant?

Should I leave a gap to the sides and top or the fridge, or right against the edge or attach it to the back side of the fridge? What I've found is the really to clear or I just missed the point.
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Old 09-01-2006, 07:49 PM   #8
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Do whatever it takes to seal the sides, bottom, top of the fridge so that NO fumes can get to the inside of the trailer.
If you have to use any foam anywhere, make sure that is the 'closed cell' kind.
I had one that had "cabinet leak", and you can't smell the gas fumes, and it made me deathly sick. Needless to say I have been very wary of gas fridges since then.
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Old 09-02-2006, 02:49 PM   #9
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I just finished installing a Norcold 323t fridge in my Compact II today. The old fridge I took out was a Dometic 23a vintage 1973. I did pay attention to sealing off both sides and the top. I used 2 inch foam so it will give me better insulation around the fridge also. There was a 2 inch difference in the height and width of the newer unit so had to frame in some 1x2 boards to fill the gaps. Now was also the time to level out the fridge with the rest of the trailer with some shims under the cabinet. The original instalation was not sealed all that well but now it's pretty tight on all sides and level. Mike
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Old 09-03-2006, 12:53 AM   #10
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I just bought a Surfside that has a Haier fridge in it. I know you plug it in-it's electric. Do I need to worry about what you guys are talking about here? Or is that just "gas powered" fridges. Or am I misunderstanding the whole concept of fridges and fumes regardless of how they are powered?
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Old 09-03-2006, 07:54 AM   #11
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I just bought a Surfside that has a Haier fridge in it. I know you plug it in-it's electric. Do I need to worry about what you guys are talking about here? Or is that just "gas powered" fridges. Or am I misunderstanding the whole concept of fridges and fumes regardless of how they are powered?
I think for the all electric the only concern would be the heat from the condenser (same as the fridge in your kitchen). If there is adequate exposure to the outside of the hull I would seal it just to keep it cooler in the cabin. I've seen the same sealing tape as used around windows in home-building used for this. This same stuff might work for the gas fridges if there is not too much heat build-up at the joint (I don't know how much is to much heat... prob. <150F or so since this is about what the side of the home would see in the summer).
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Old 09-03-2006, 06:42 PM   #12
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On my 13' Boler I replaced the fridge with a slightly larger one and used a higher heat resistant caulk on the shroud seams, and just in case, also taped the shrouding to the fridge and to the Boler shell with the 2" aluminum duct tape....double insurance.. ...and..... Catherine, you have no fume problems with your electric fridge, just like the one in your home!.....Benny
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Old 09-03-2006, 09:57 PM   #13
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The fumes we are talking about here are the products of combustion caused by burning LP/propane in the gas mode of a two- or three-way RV fridge using the ammonia cycle -- An electrical compressor fridge doesn't present a fume problem, but it is wise to seal the back side from the interior of the RV from a heat standpoint (except in cold climates, where one doesn't want to waste the heat).
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Old 09-04-2006, 03:39 PM   #14
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Hi Pete, aren`t the condenser coils in most newer domestic fridges today located just under the outer skin in the sides of the fridges as opposed to the external coils that used to be open mounted on the rear.....if so, and if heat was a problem , then seals would have to extend on each side almost to the door....Benny
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