Keeping the Fridge cool - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-05-2006, 06:34 PM   #1
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I put as large a fridge in my Burro as I could cram in there, and put new vents outside,
but since I live in the south west on a 100 degre day the temp inside the gas fridge
would go up to maby 60 degres. I solved that by installing a 12 volt 5" computer fan
( $19.00 @ Circuit city )
inside the top vent to draw more fresh air through, I hooked in into a standard 24 volt
thermostat ($10.00 @ Home Dopt) that I mounted inside by the fridge, so now I can set the thermostat so the fan comes on whenever it gets to hot. Wayne
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Old 06-05-2006, 08:23 PM   #2
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I need to do that. I was worried that my fridge was wearing out when it would only get down to 50* in Palm Springs 2 weekends ago. Now that the temps here in San Diego have come down, The fridge is cooling down to 30* and lower on high setting. It's the original 1978 fridge, and I don't want to spend the bucks to replace it.

It was just too hot in Palm Springs!
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Old 06-05-2006, 09:55 PM   #3
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For inside the fridge, I have a Camco fridge fan. It runs on 2 Ds for what they claim is 30 days.

They lie. I am STILL on my first set of batteries, and I got the thing in Novemeber, spent two weeks in the trailer straight, and have had many weekend outings since.

I actually just checked mine, it is still going after 4 days straight.

I need to get another one for exhaust. It's hot where I am right now and I might as well not have the fridge running. The freezer holds 2 cans of soda.. and it stays cold in there, but no where near freezing.
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Old 06-06-2006, 07:58 AM   #4
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It IS amazing how much those little fridge fans do. Although I need to install one on the outside, the little battery powered one like Gina mentions is amazing. My first trip this spring found me with (finally) dead batteries. I was in a hurry so I thought I'd just do without this trip. An always-prepared good friend bailed me out with a couple of Ds and the temp dropped about 15 degrees. I have found that food and fan placement in the inside are also key to how cool the fridge will stay.

Oh, AND starting out with everything pre cooled.
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Old 06-06-2006, 08:39 AM   #5
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We freeze gallon milk jugs in the home freezer, turn on the camper fridge a couple of days ahead of time, carry a camping cooler in the bed of the truck with ice and cold drinks, etc and migrate them to the fridge as required and This keeps from putting hot items in the fridge.

We keep the most perrishable items in the fridge.

It works really well.
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Old 06-06-2006, 06:13 PM   #6
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It IS amazing how much those little fridge fans do. Although I need to install one on the outside, the little battery powered one like Gina mentions is amazing. My first trip this spring found me with (finally) dead batteries. I was in a hurry so I thought I'd just do without this trip. An always-prepared good friend bailed me out with a couple of Ds and the temp dropped about 15 degrees. I have found that food and fan placement in the inside are also key to how cool the fridge will stay.

Oh, AND starting out with everything pre cooled.
I like that inside fan thing, Well here is a pix. of the Fridge in my Burro. Wayne

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Old 06-06-2006, 06:26 PM   #7
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Great minds etc...Last year I added a Koolatron fan to the outside top vent just under the "hot" coils. No 'stat...justa manual toggle switch to use when outside temps soar and when the frig side is parked in heavy sun. Fan is 12 volt and brushless (silent) and 4" in frame. Got it at Canadian Tire in the RV aisle for about $20 Cdn...and it was worth ten times that on our SoCal safari this year. Alistair
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Old 07-02-2006, 09:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
I need to do that.
I finally got it done yesterday.

I experimented with the thermostat thingy (I had one in my workshop junk drawer). Mine was the wrong kind. It was for a Heater. To work properly, it should be one to control an Air Conditioner. I wound up using a switch.
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Old 07-02-2006, 06:19 PM   #9
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Great minds etc...Last year I added a Koolatron fan to the outside top vent just under the "hot" coils. No 'stat...justa manual toggle switch to use when outside temps soar and when the frig side is parked in heavy sun. Fan is 12 volt and brushless (silent) and 4" in frame. Got it at Canadian Tire in the RV aisle for about $20 Cdn...and it was worth ten times that on our SoCal safari this year. Alistair
Hi Alistair
Very interested in your "booster" frig cooling mod...we also have a 73 Trillium. (no converter on board); where did you tap in to 12vpower? Where was toggle located... inside trailer, or accessible from outside compartment only ?
Also, can you give more details as to installation details... mounting, fan direction, etc? Any Photos available? Canadian Tire you said...alright !!
Joe
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Old 07-02-2006, 09:54 PM   #10
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My understanding is that the two most effective things one can do is install a thermostatically controlled fan in cooling vent (most fiberglass trailers seem to have the intake and exhaust vents in the side of the trailer, which is not as effective as an exhaust vent in the roof) and a circulation fan inside the fridge.

Go to www.campingworld.com and search "fridge fan" for some choices, even a solar powered model.

I would also add a lightweight plastic sheet across the front of the fridge (inside), covering the lower third or half, to keep the cold air from "spilling" out when the door is opened. Keeping a separate ice cooler for cold drinks allows the fridge to be used for food and not opened so much.
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Old 07-03-2006, 12:02 PM   #11
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I have a 16" Scamp SD with the fridge vent that goes out the top. I saw the solar fridge fan at camping world and wonder if anyone has installed one of these on their Scamp and if so do they have any pics they can post of the install?

Thanks;
Steve
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Old 07-03-2006, 09:49 PM   #12
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I have the solar fan but have not installed it yet. I was messing with it yesterday. The fan turns on in sun, off in no sun. It seems to work pretty good. It needs to be mounted facing up about 4 inches below the blades and it's very lightweight. I'll post pics as soon as I'm done.
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Old 07-04-2006, 02:00 PM   #13
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Back at ya' Joseph. My Koolatron fan picks up juice from the feed just in front of the 3-way (gas/ 12v/110) rotaryswitch. We have a deep cycle battery in a case on the tongue and a "smart charger" (all from CTC!) for a poor man's boondock setup. The fan was bolted to an aluminum bracket and is a few inches from the lower edge of the top coil. The switch -also on an alum bracket- sits inside the louvered -fold up access panel. Very simple...little current draw...no noise...and it moves substantial air past the coil/fin. The 12 volt set up is charged by: 12 volt feed from tug /battery charger /15 watt solar panel clipped to the front window gravel guard.
No 'stat or limit switch or nuthin. Real simple &real cheap.
Cheers...Alistair
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Old 07-04-2006, 07:21 PM   #14
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I did a fan mod the other day as my fridge was not getting cold enough. I had a 4 inch fan used to cool my amps in my mustang and decided i could use that. I wired it directly off a relay in my fridge so when my fridge turns on VIA thermostat the fan comes on also. When fridge turns off VIA thermostat my fan turns off. It helped cool my fridge an extra 10 degrees. I think the thermostat in my fridge is wonky though as the fridge shuts off when it gets to 40 degrees. I have it set to the coldest setting and the fridge will still turn off at 40. I will pull the thermostat apart when i get some time and see if i can adjust it. The saga continues.....
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Old 07-04-2006, 09:04 PM   #15
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I had some additional "luck" this weekend in keeping mine a bit cooler inside. I have those little lunch box sized Blue Ice thingies. I toss one in the freezer, when it is solid, I pull it out, put the inside fridge fan on top of it next to the freezer (so it blows the frozen air over it) and then toss the second one in to freeze. Keep rotating..
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Old 07-05-2006, 04:04 PM   #16
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Keep rotating..
OK, I'm getting dizzy, now...
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Old 07-06-2006, 08:00 AM   #17
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Cheers...Alistair



Thanx, Alistair, I'll give some serious consideration to that kind of set-up.

Here's to CTC !!

Joe/Peterborough
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Old 07-06-2006, 10:10 AM   #18
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Boy do I feel stupid. Did not know much about these types of friges, so after a very hot camp trip and no cold air in the frige, I thought it had just gone bad. When I got back I was able to find a used one that I was able to get instaled. Works fine but I have been in much cooler weather. Wonder if I riped out a good frige only to instal another one

Hay Fredrick, I still have the old one if you are interested. It might be good,
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Old 07-06-2006, 09:58 PM   #19
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I got My fridge back from an RV repair shop because I wanted to get it checked to see how it was performing and what the experts said. They said is wasn't poor, and it wasn't exceptional. It was satisfactory. On electrics, when it is 80F outside, The freezer works to -10F and food compartment works at 35F. On Gas the freezer works at -7F and the food compartment works at 38F. They suggested that to increase efficiency add a fan and improve air flow. I am pulling a Boler 17'. After sifting through the web, there are a number very informative sites explaining optimum fridge venting. I realized that the venting arrangement on my Boler really "sucks" by design.

If you are interested, take a look at this site.

http://www.rvmobile.com/Tech/Trouble/vent.htm

So I took the advise of the forum and added 2 - 3 inch computer fans to blow air through the top coil. These cost me $3.00 each at a surplus store called Princess Auto. They draw 0.1A apiece on 12 volts. I put a few baffles in to increase draft of air across the condensor and coils, and tried the best I could to streamline the airflow on the top using tin.

I like the idea of using a house thermostat to control the fans, but I am leary about the little mercury bouncing around and turning the fans on and off continually when I am travelling. I think having those fans run while I am towing and running the fridge on 12V will be crucial for efficient operation. The RV guys said I will be lucky to get 12V to just maintain the temperature while moving. No wonder many people run on gas while travelling.
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Old 07-06-2006, 11:54 PM   #20
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OK people! I have talked to a couple of others about installing computer fans for cooling. I am thinking of doing it also but how about some pictures guys. I would like to see where and how some of you have done yours. I imagne there are numerous ideas.
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