Refrigerators: How well does yours cool? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 03-19-2018, 08:01 PM   #1
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Refrigerators: How well does yours cool?

(second try at posting this... first attempt seemed to disappear!)

Hi, first post here from a longtime fgrv member. I like the 17B layout and it's large enough for my solo travels. But it bothers me that the fridge in the 17 cannot be vented to the roof like those in the 19 and 21 (per ETI's CS). I recall having a Rockwood trailer at one time with (I think, about) 6 cu ft fridge that roof-vented the exhaust and it seemed to keep cool really well. Since then I've had a Burro with a dorm fridge (warm after 2 hours of travel since it was not powered), a stickie with a 3 cu ft Norcold sidewall-vent (which cooled dismally) and an Aliner with 2 cu ft sidewall-vent fridge (which also cooled dismally). It made me think that my next trailer should have a roof-exhaust fridge. My trips are made in summer primarily, which means leaving 100 degree Tulsa and driving all day in heat, and sometimes a second day in heat, to reach a cool destination in mountains or up north. I have had it with fridges that reach 55, 60, or higher during such a drive.

So I'd like to ask you owners of 17'ers (and 19'ers with sidewall exhaust) what your experience has been in hot weather. And for comparison, it would be good to hear the experiences of you folks who have the roof exhaust. Please mention in your reply any actual temperature data you might have noted as well as whether you have the vent fan installed to move more air across the back. I know that such fans can help (I've experimented with a fan temporarily hung outside the vent), but I'm wondering if the fan can help as much as a roof exhaust vent would.

I know about Danfoss/Secop compressors and all that, but for now I'd like to focus on the LP units if that's ok. Thanks for your input!
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Old 03-19-2018, 09:17 PM   #2
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Older 19 with a Dometic RM2510 with sidewall exhaust. Cools pretty well until we hit 80-85F. Then it struggled. In researching proper install I realized our fridge had two deficiencies. Based on Dometic literature it needed gaps around fridge (especially top) filled better with insulation and was supposed to have the auxiliary condenser fan. I was able to fill the gaps with rigid insulation at the top and stuff batt around the sides. Escape does a much better job now insulating around fridges from what Iíve seen. For the fan wasnít going to settle for the cheap Dometic fan that is part of their ventilation kit. Installed two of my own behind the upper louver. Used quality Dayton fans that are very quiet with great airflow. Early test was promising at 83F but ran out of hot days as it was early Oct. Looking forward to some longer term testing this summer. Hereís the thread: Refrigerator Test

Another question for 17 owners might be to see whether they have the stock 3CF or the optional 4CF fridge and how they cool? Might be a difference.
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Old 03-19-2018, 09:26 PM   #3
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Yes, the fridge size (and model number when known) is helpful, too!
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Old 03-19-2018, 09:35 PM   #4
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I hate refrigerator topics, everyone is unhappy. But, I'm following the 'New Compressor Refrigerator' thread on the CasitaForum. YES, it's not a 6cu refrigerator, but so far... it's cooling great in the heat "100 watt fixed panel on the roof (currently parked in the shade) and two Trojan 6v wet cell batteries." Hummmm. Follow along if you're interested https://www.casitaforum.com/invboard...ic-rip/?page=2
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Old 03-19-2018, 09:37 PM   #5
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I have 2510 ( 5 cu. ft. ).
Works fine as long as my wife closes the *&)$ door.
It doesn't close with gravity, like the fridge at home.
We keep sandwich stuff in a plastic box ( cheeses, salami, etc ) so that we can open the door and quickly grab a box of everything we need. The less time you have the door open, the colder it will remain.
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Old 03-19-2018, 10:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
I hate refrigerator topics, everyone is unhappy. But, I'm following the 'New Compressor Refrigerator' thread on the CasitaForum. YES, it's not a 6cu refrigerator, but so far... it's cooling great in the heat "100 watt fixed panel on the roof (currently parked in the shade) and two Trojan 6v wet cell batteries." Hummmm. Follow along if you're interested https://www.casitaforum.com/invboard...ic-rip/?page=2
I have a dometic compressor fridge in my van that I use when I have a hook up. Itís marvelous! Cools all the way to freezing super quick and very low amp usage. If I had solar in my van, I could run it 24/7 no problem. (But Iím in Oregon, so solar is a moot point! &#128522 I hate those 3 way fridges! Totally inefficient!
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Old 03-19-2018, 10:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
I hate refrigerator topics, everyone is unhappy. But, I'm following the 'New Compressor Refrigerator' thread on the CasitaForum. YES, it's not a 6cu refrigerator, but so far... it's cooling great in the heat "100 watt fixed panel on the roof (currently parked in the shade) and two Trojan 6v wet cell batteries." Hummmm. Follow along if you're interested https://www.casitaforum.com/invboard...ic-rip/?page=2
What kind of fridge are they discussing, Donna? I can't access that forum, never have been able. I tried unsuccessfully to join some years back, and not really interested in Casitas per se anyway.
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Old 03-19-2018, 11:44 PM   #8
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Mike, I just looked at the Casita thread, it’s the Nova Kool model R5810, 5.8 cu ft
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Old 03-19-2018, 11:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike G View Post
(second try at posting this... first attempt seemed to disappear!)

Hi, first post here from a longtime fgrv member. I like the 17B layout and it's large enough for my solo travels. But it bothers me that the fridge in the 17 cannot be vented to the roof like those in the 19 and 21 (per ETI's CS). I recall having a Rockwood trailer at one time with (I think, about) 6 cu ft fridge that roof-vented the exhaust and it seemed to keep cool really well. Since then I've had a Burro with a dorm fridge (warm after 2 hours of travel since it was not powered), a stickie with a 3 cu ft Norcold sidewall-vent (which cooled dismally) and an Aliner with 2 cu ft sidewall-vent fridge (which also cooled dismally). It made me think that my next trailer should have a roof-exhaust fridge. My trips are made in summer primarily, which means leaving 100 degree Tulsa and driving all day in heat, and sometimes a second day in heat, to reach a cool destination in mountains or up north. I have had it with fridges that reach 55, 60, or higher during such a drive.

So I'd like to ask you owners of 17'ers (and 19'ers with sidewall exhaust) what your experience has been in hot weather. And for comparison, it would be good to hear the experiences of you folks who have the roof exhaust. Please mention in your reply any actual temperature data you might have noted as well as whether you have the vent fan installed to move more air across the back. I know that such fans can help (I've experimented with a fan temporarily hung outside the vent), but I'm wondering if the fan can help as much as a roof exhaust vent would.

I know about Danfoss/Secop compressors and all that, but for now I'd like to focus on the LP units if that's ok. Thanks for your input!
I picked up my 17B about a year ago. I ordered the 4 cu ft fridge and it cools quite well. I also ordered the Texas fan for cooling the outer fins about 90 degrees. No complaints.
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Old 03-20-2018, 06:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by advenas View Post
I picked up my 17B about a year ago. I ordered the 4 cu ft fridge and it cools quite well. I also ordered the Texas fan for cooling the outer fins about 90 degrees. No complaints.
Good post everyone.

I was just checking out the ETI 19 foot options and I do not see a listing for an extra
fridge exhaust fan.
I see a roof mounted vent cover on the port side of the trailer roof. Is this vent associated with the standard 5 cu foot fridge?
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