Dometic frig not cooling enough - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-03-2019, 01:00 AM   #21
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Mine's been OK so far even at fairly high temperatures (high 90s). I do have Escape's "Texas fan" that actively cools the condenser when it's above a certain temperature, and it definitely seems to help in the summer. I've definitely had to set it on "5", though, so I suspect at closer to 105+ I'd need that interior fan. Adding an interior fan blowing across the fins would probably also help. It's not so much an overall interior vs exterior temperature that it's maintaining as external condenser vs internal fins. Anything you do to pull heat away from the condenser or better circulate the interior air across the fins will improve performance and efficiency.

RV fridges are also super finicky about installation in terms of baffles and installation, so it's possible there's room for improvement on some trailers.
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Old 06-03-2019, 08:07 AM   #22
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RV fridges are also super finicky about installation in terms of baffles and installation, so it's possible there's room for improvement on some trailers.
That's an understatement! I think it's generally agreed among those of us who have spent a lot of time working with these fridges that the installation is off on many of them. In my trailer they only very loosely followed Dometics installation instructions.

I've spent a lot of time retrofitting baffles, a fan, and insulation. It has definitely helped, but I think to get the kind of cooling a good fridge is capable of I'd need to rebuild the entire box, rather than just adding things to the current one.

Everything I've done has contributed to how my fridge works now, but I think the single most effective thing saving me when temps get into the 80s is the fan I put in the upper vent to draw hot air over the fins and out. When I cut an ugly hole in the upper vent right in front of the fan, that made the final huge difference. With just a fan blowing up against the back of the vent, it was mostly just blowing a lot of air around in the upper compartment. Now the fan grabs the hot air and blows it straight out.
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Old 06-05-2019, 10:22 AM   #23
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Glenn Baglo: a reverter? Dang, man, don't you know that? It's when you want things to work well, the way they do at home in your own house, but they keep reverting to the camping life, giving you less than optimal results whenever you're alone, but then they revert yet again, and switch to working just fine when you have someone check them out or even observe them working/not working. It can drive you mad!


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Old 06-05-2019, 10:43 AM   #24
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Thank you.
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Old 06-05-2019, 11:32 AM   #25
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I too went with a NovaKool and would not have a fridge if I had to use an absorption fridge. After shipping fish from Alaska I bought a 50 quart compressor unit for the back of my truck with a lithium battery and solar for power. Wish I had done both when I bought my Casita a couple of years ago.
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Old 06-05-2019, 12:57 PM   #26
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I too went with a NovaKool and would not have a fridge if I had to use an absorption fridge. After shipping fish from Alaska I bought a 50 quart compressor unit for the back of my truck with a lithium battery and solar for power. Wish I had done both when I bought my Casita a couple of years ago.
How much battery power do you need to run one of these?
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Old 06-05-2019, 01:29 PM   #27
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I don't have a fiberglass trailer, but I do have an A-frame trailer with the same style Dometic 3-way fridge. At first I did not have good cooling ability on hot 80+F days. Then I did the recommended mod of two 12V computer fans to draw air across the fins and out the vent. World of difference. My fridge can now cool to 35F on a 95F day.
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Old 06-05-2019, 02:13 PM   #28
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I don't have a fiberglass trailer, but I do have an A-frame trailer with the same style Dometic 3-way fridge. At first I did not have good cooling ability on hot 80+F days. Then I did the recommended mod of two 12V computer fans to draw air across the fins and out the vent. World of difference. My fridge can now cool to 35F on a 95F day.
Do you have them thermostatically controlled?
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Old 06-05-2019, 02:23 PM   #29
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[QUOTE=Kai in Seattle;744351]Glenn Baglo: a reverter? Dang, man, don't you know that? It's when you want things to work well, the way they do at home in your own house, but they keep reverting to the camping life, giving you less than optimal results whenever you're alone, but then they revert yet again, and switch to working just fine when you have someone check them out or even observe them working/not working. It can drive you mad!


In this context, I would think a reverter is someone who had a gas absorption fridge and switched to a compressor fridge then reverted back to a gas absorption fridge, however I have never heard of this happening.



On a more serious note, baffles are an important part of air flow, you want the air to go thru the fins in the back of the fridge. Installation manuals I have read state a maximum space between the fridge and the wall behind it. I got 5 degrees of additional cooling by placing a baffle in the rear of the fridge on my hilo, which was not properly installed.


I think the industry needs a high efficiency compressor fridge that runs on propane.
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Old 06-05-2019, 04:07 PM   #30
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Reverter

You can only use a reverter on 12V when it's connected through a flux capacitor.
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Old 06-05-2019, 04:07 PM   #31
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Do you have them thermostatically controlled?
Yes, the kit I bought included a small thermostat. Here is my writeup:
Fan kit placement for fridge - Page 3 - Forest River Forums

The one thing that I have changed since, is the computer fans (go figure). The original computer fans did not have high quality bearings and they rattled and/or would freeze up. I replaced the fans with higher quality fans with true ball bearings and have not had a problem since.

Also some people ask me about the white tin shroud. Forest River, the A-frame trailer manufacturer, actually installed it. The premise is that the air flow is then forced to go past the fins on the refrigerator.
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Old 06-05-2019, 05:23 PM   #32
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OR335d: do you use the Rigellian or the Karellian flux capacitor? Or the Oort type? The cost differential can be substantial.


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Old 06-05-2019, 05:24 PM   #33
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Alben: a couple of 12V fans to push the heat away...damn, brilliant. Simple, elegant, works. Now I want some.


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Old 06-05-2019, 05:53 PM   #34
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Don't forget to include the power draw of the fans in your power budget.
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Old 06-05-2019, 06:30 PM   #35
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Don't forget to include the power draw of the fans in your power budget.
Power draw of 120mm computer fan, one fan only, I have on the outside is .73 amp.
Also one on the interior circulating the cool air off the fins helps a lot too. The 80mm one I have draws .14 amps. I have it blowing against the fins and the difference is surprising.
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Old 06-05-2019, 07:58 PM   #36
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The two computer fans I am using draw 0.12 Amps each. They are lower speed, but they do the job and are low power. Inside the fridge I have a Camco fridge fan that runs on two D size batteries if left on continuously.
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Old 06-05-2019, 10:42 PM   #37
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How much battery power do you need to run one of these?
In our 13’ Scamp, I ran the Nova Kool refrigerator off a group 27 battery connected to a 100 watt Renogy solar panel. I never ran the battery down past 50% discharge.
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Old 06-06-2019, 07:57 AM   #38
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I have done a lot of research and tinkering to get our Dometic RM2510 fridge cooling well in high ambient temperatures. When I mean cooling well I mean a 55-60F differential. So if it is 95F outside I wanted the fridge to stay below 40F. Which despite what some are saying here is entirely possible with a properly working absorption fridge. I tried several different things. The biggest improvement that I don't see mentioned in this thread is checking your propane pressure at the fridge. It should stay above 11" w.c. with 50% of trailer BTU's in operation. On our Escape that has the propane pressure at ~12" w.c. with no load. Replace your regulator if necessary. Also consider cleaning the burner jet. Read the entire thread if you have time. It also discusses installation details including proper insulation, baffling, external condenser fans and internal evaporator fan. Just because you have a blue flame, a cold freezer and other appliances are working well doesn't mean you don't have a problem.

FYI...the reason a cold freezer isn't a good indicator that the fridge is going to be cold is the way the circuiting works on the fridge. It passes the working fluid through the freezer first so it will also be cold first. If there isn't enough cooling the freezer can be cold and the fridge will still be marginal. Also the flame can be nice and blue but be too small. If you do not have proper pressure and not enough BTU's are generated you will not be getting full cooling. Other appliances are not as sensitive to low propane pressure.

Refrigerator Test - Escape Trailer Owners Community
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Old 06-06-2019, 09:55 AM   #39
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Hey, looking at that thread (only so much I can see since none of the photos are visible to non-members), I see stuff about the water tray. My fridge is much, much older than the models being talked about in the thread, but I do have a tray inside my fridge, under the freezer. Which is for catching any thawing frost from the fins and freezer.

But does it also need some water in there for proper cooling? Nothing in any Dometic instructions or really anywhere else I've ever seen in fridge threads online have mentioned this.

Should I try putting some water in there? It sometimes has water in there all on its own from thawing, but I'm really not sure how often.

That thread has given me a couple more things to check. I've baffled the heck out of my fridge, insulated the sides and top, installed an exhaust fan plus circulation fan inside the fridge (movable battery powered) and checked gas pressure. But my baffles are to the 1" gap standard, not "fitted" around stuff, really tight, like I'm guessing some of the photos show.

Yesterday I made a couple mistakes...vent side of the trailer was in the late day sun and it was in the 80s in the trailer. Fridge was 60. I moved and it finally recovered overnight, but barely. Just under 40 by morning with fridge on "max". Early June is a bit soon to be struggling with my fridge...July and August I'll be using a cooler!
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Old 06-06-2019, 10:24 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
That sounds about right. Ammonia absorption RV refrigerators can get to about 40° below ambient temperatures. That is all.
The above was true of the old 3 way fridge in my Scamp that I tried a lot to fix. Added insulation and fans, cleaned the stack and fuel jets etc to improve. But once it got into the high 80’s low 90’s it struggled to keep below 50.

Fast forward to newer trailer with a 3 year old 2 way fridge.... very different story. Temps need to be in the high 90,s low 100’s before you “might” see temp moves above 35 and even then it normally does not get above 40 if the door is not opened to often. While it does have side vents as the Scamp did, its set up slightly different inside the outside hatches and it came from the factory with a fan on the outside back that can be shut off and it’s well insulated all around the fridge on the inside.

An added bonus to the difference in the way the outside hatches have been baffled is I can tow with the fridge running on propane without fear of it blowing out after a mile or two of travel as it did with the Scamp.

Both fridges needed to be dead on level all directions for optimum performance.

I know people who have the roof venting seem to have less issues in warm weather than those with side vent systems. As do those who have lots of insulation around the fridge its self...... my Scamp had zero insulation from the factory around it and no rear fans.
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