normal temperature variation on fridge - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-24-2018, 06:21 AM   #1
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normal temperature variation on fridge

What would you think the normal temperature variation should be for a three way refrigerator, running on 110v shore power, over a 24 hour period?


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Old 04-24-2018, 06:55 AM   #2
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On a cloudy day with the outdoor and indoor temperature in a comforable range (~65f) and not changing more than a few degrees, I have seen my absotoption fridge stay within a degree or two of 37.

But if I set it for 37 f in the early morning when its nearly the same outside, and then the outdoor temps climb to 90 f or more and the fridge is in the sun, then I have seen the fridge temp change maybe 40 degrees if I dont make any adjustments.

When the outside temps change, I am frequently adjusting the fridge... its like chasing a slippery pig.
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Old 04-24-2018, 07:10 AM   #3
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A lot. We use a weather station sensor to track our 40 year old Dometic propane electric fridge temp. Generally without any countermeasures the fridge maintains temperature about 30 degrees F below outside (not interior) temperature.

Countermeasures that we've used to date such as opening the lower fridge vent and moving ice packs from the freezer at night to the fridge during the day help somewhat. We generally don't camp at temperatures above 80 degrees F.
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Old 04-24-2018, 07:18 AM   #4
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Also often times, we have to move the fridge temp setting from 3 at night to MAX during the day.
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Old 04-24-2018, 07:55 AM   #5
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The 110 heater is not very responsive and may not handle a hot day especially if the back of the fridge is in sunlight.
Switching to propane will keep it more even. a muffin fan blowing up through the loops will help.
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Old 04-24-2018, 12:37 PM   #6
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I found that with a circulating fan in the fridge there was little temp change AND I set the therm lower. When my fan died, had to set therm at max and temp varied more.
As a related ? anyone found a battery operated fridge fan, besides the blue one, that is moisture proof? My blue one, ( most common), rusted out in battery compartment.

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Old 04-24-2018, 10:50 PM   #7
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I found that with a circulating fan in the fridge there was little temp change AND I set the therm lower. When my fan died, had to set therm at max and temp varied more.
As a related ? anyone found a battery operated fridge fan, besides the blue one, that is moisture proof? My blue one, ( most common), rusted out in battery compartment.

Mark
The blue one we have doesn't have the on/off switch on it. The only way to turn it on or off is removal of batteries. We've had ours for about 8 years and it is still in perfect condition. The one with the on/off switch on it wears out very fast. I haven't seen any other fan other than the blue ones.
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Old 04-25-2018, 06:38 AM   #8
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So, if I'm interpreting what I'm reading correctly, I should add two fans to the fridge operation: one to blow across the cooling fans inside and a second fan to blow across the rear vent area of the unit?

Also, would it be helpful to add an awning/window shade to the exterior rear wall area over the fridge vent?


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Old 04-25-2018, 06:51 AM   #9
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So, if I'm interpreting what I'm reading correctly, I should add two fans to the fridge operation: one to blow across the cooling fans inside and a second fan to blow across the rear vent area of the unit?

Also, would it be helpful to add an awning/window shade to the exterior rear wall area over the fridge vent?


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Yes except the internal fan mostly needed to move air around in the box. Packing food in the fridge a little "loose" so the air can circulate also helps. And a nearly empty fridge will not keep temp as well as a half full one. Just google "absorption fridge tips" or similar terms.. there is lots of info online so I will not bother to rehash it all.
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Old 04-25-2018, 11:45 AM   #10
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my 16' casita has a dometic 2193 (or 2191?) fridge. after nearly 6 years of trying i've finally taught it to behave like a fridge. the interior temperature remains very constant. i've installed lots of additional insulation (even lined the interior box with reflectix), baffles to segregate hot & cold in the backside and an effective air blocker to prevent flame blow out on the road. another thing that i think helps is packing food in various tupperware type containers that are chilled before loading into the trailer. there were many hours of testing and recording results and i couldn't see any difference made by adding fans. i have one still mounted in the rear access cave but it's never used. these absorption fridges are problematic at best. i will open the outer access door and shade the hole if the sun is shining directly on that side of the trailer. other than that it simply works. (that sound you hear is me knocking on wood...)

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Old 04-25-2018, 01:51 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by TheWanderers View Post
So, if I'm interpreting what I'm reading correctly, I should add two fans to the fridge operation: one to blow across the cooling fans inside and a second fan to blow across the rear vent area of the unit?

Also, would it be helpful to add an awning/window shade to the exterior rear wall area over the fridge vent?


bill (not laura)
Bill,

If your Bigfoot refrigerator has sidewall ventilation, (two or even one vents on the side of the trailer as opposed to a lower sidewall intake vent and an upper rooftop exhaust vent) you would likely benefit from some improvements to remove 'waste heat' from the back of the refrigerator.

I am linking to one of the more extensive threads here on this subject. It discusses the specific parts of the refrigerator that you want to remove heat from.

Having the refrigerator in the shade of the awning, as the Casita did, was a good thing.

Fridge Performance Survey

How are you and Gladys treating each other there?

On edit: Huh, it looks like you do have a rooftop exhaust vent for the refrigerator; is that correct?
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Old 04-25-2018, 02:52 PM   #12
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On edit: Huh, it looks like you do have a rooftop exhaust vent for the refrigerator; is that correct?
CivilGuy,

Yes, we do have the rooftop vent. There are several smallish issues like this one that will take some time to sort out, but generally, Gladys is outstanding! We are really enjoying the extra room we've discovered and are looking forward to lots of adventures this season.

We'll be looking for a window awning for that side of the camper for our refrigerator now.

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Old 04-25-2018, 05:00 PM   #13
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So, if I'm interpreting what I'm reading correctly, I should add two fans to the fridge operation: one to blow across the cooling fans inside and a second fan to blow across the rear vent area of the unit?

Also, would it be helpful to add an awning/window shade to the exterior rear wall area over the fridge vent?


bill (not laura)
We put the little fan on the bottom shelf of the fridge inside so it can blow air up and around. To strong of a fan will not let it cool properly either. That is why the little blue fans do a good job. So far in over 30 years we've replaced 2 of them. Not bad for their cost. I think blowing across the fins may melt the ice off of them and it will affect it getting cold. I'd be careful about putting an awning over the vent since it may affect the circulation. A fan in back to cool off the rear vent area is helpful. We usually don't change the temperature to much because it does take the fridges a long time to cool off once it is warmed up. Try to limit opening the door. Don't stand and try to decide what to take out. Once it gets warm it takes a few hours to cool. Just things we've learned in 40 years of RV'ing.
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Old 04-25-2018, 06:30 PM   #14
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I have heard of people putting a batt powered fan inside the fridge, but what is most common is a muffin fan, very cheap at any electronic parts store, even cheaper at Quartsite, set up so that it blows upward, over the coils at the back of the fridge, you can pick up the power for it from the 12V leads to the fridge. They use very little power and you can switch it off at night. Those of us that travel through Mexico do this for the best results on fridges.
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