Bigfoot refrigerator fan - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-18-2011, 08:00 PM   #1
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Bigfoot refrigerator fan

A previous owner had installed a cooling fan in the refrigerator access cabinet and included a switch mounted in the cabin and a thermistor near the fan. Perhaps this was a kit?

The fan was wired incorrectly and both it and the thermistor were located in the lower part of the cabinet. It seemed to me that they would be better in the upper part of the cabinet.

Our friend HandyBob advised us to get a 12v computer fan, which we did. He installed the new fan in the upper part of the cabinet and relocated the thermistor there as well. After rewiring, all work fine. I particularly like the switch, as some times even the sound of a computer fan is annoying.
Attached Thumbnails
old fan.jpg   Old fan closeup.jpg  

new fan and relocated thermistor.jpg   switch.jpg  

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Old 04-18-2011, 08:27 PM   #2
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Cool, just what I want. What is a thermistor and how is it wired? Thanks.
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:46 PM   #3
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I'm not sure on the thermistor details. My installer identified it. I believe that it is a resistor that in this case is acting as a non-adjustable thermostat. However it works, it works great. When the refrigerator access area gets hot, the fan comes on expelling hot air through the vent louvers. When the area cools, the fan turns off.
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Old 04-19-2011, 12:23 AM   #4
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Hello,

A thermistor is a type of resistor whose resistance varies significantly with
temperature. The one described here has a negative temperature coefficient
meaning that the resistance decreases as the temperature increases. It is wired in
series with the fan and switch across the battery. So, as the temperature
of the refrigerator compartment increases, the resistance of the thermistor
decreases and the fan speeds up. I put a similar setup on my rig but left out
the thermistor... I just let the fan run all day when the weather is hot. The
thermistor in the circuit will save a little bit of juice.

Larry H
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Old 04-19-2011, 04:11 AM   #5
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Tim D,

The old fan looks like a Valterra coil fan. Mine was installed by a previous owner. They are commonly used for small and/or side vented compartments. The catalogue illustration shows one mounted like your old one, pushing air upward.
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Old 04-19-2011, 01:02 PM   #6
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Learned something new today, thanks Larry!
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Old 04-20-2011, 11:27 AM   #7
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Thanks for the explanation, Larry. Bob, our installer HandyBob told us that blowing air directly on one section of the coil is not a good thing. I do not know why. He agreed that a fan on top drawing air over the coil generally would be better.
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