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Old 11-01-2013, 01:32 PM   #1
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Fridge Cooling questions

Newbie here, been reading the posts about fridge cooling issues when outdoor temps hit 100 degrees plus. This is of interest because we often camp in such conditions.

Doesn't seem to be a definitive fix from the posts. Seems like the Texas vent fan is one step to be taken, but are there other steps that would be good to do while the trailer is under construction? Should I ask for extra insulation at back of fridge? Or?

Any feedback appreciated. thanks. j
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Old 11-01-2013, 02:32 PM   #2
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I don't think this problem has been totally solved. I camp in one of the best environmental test lab for RV refrigeration!. The high heat and humidity summers of Central Texas. 90 degrees @ 10 PM. I have the factory installed fan, extra insulation, inside fridge fan, temperature monitor, and a heat baffle and my flame is good. I have come to the conclusion that it's all about the ambient temperature and humidity. I would love to know the no-crap, factory approved solution.
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Old 11-01-2013, 03:58 PM   #3
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We have a 2013 Dometic 4.3L three way refer in our 19'. The only thing that we found that helps in 90 degree plus temps is to remove the freezer box. We rely on a cooler with ice to store perishables.
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Old 11-01-2013, 06:27 PM   #4
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Thanks for taking time to reply. j
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Old 11-01-2013, 07:11 PM   #5
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We have the 5.0-sized refrigerator and basically do not use it in 90-plus heat if travelling day to day except for one important thing: freezing our ice packs at night so as to put them into a cooler in the vehicle (enough packs to switch with others kept in the cooler at night). May also have packs with items in the crisper.

When we get to a stopping point of at least three days, then we can use the fridge, trying to open the door as little as possible.
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Old 11-02-2013, 09:18 AM   #6
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We have the 6.7 cubic foot fridge in our 2013 19'. We love the big fridge, but its performance, whether on propane, 12V or 120V, is pretty disappointing. It's almost like Dometic makes their fridges for cooler climates and just doesn't build in enough cooling capacity for summer in the US. Really, it's basic engineering, and I think they fall short in their specifications. I had a few email exchanges with Reace over the summer as he was addressing the issue, but no solutions seemed to have emerged from that. I guess I'll try adding insulation on the outer wall, maybe some baffling to keep the airflow closer to the fins, add a second fan in the fridge, and all that, but I've not wanted to start all that on a brand new camper. So far, the most effective solution for us is a bag of ice in the bottom of the fridge in hot weather. It still beats having to carry an ice chest like we used to do.
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Old 11-02-2013, 09:56 AM   #7
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Careful with that solution,
I made a weekend trip to the deer lease a few weeks ago. I put a 10# bag of ice in the bottom of the fridge to help during 85 degree temps. Boy did I catch hell when my wife discovered 1" of loose water in the bottom of the fridge heading for the floor. My beef is with Dometic and their denial of any issues.
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Old 11-02-2013, 09:56 AM   #8
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Does this seem to be a Dometic problem? Would a Norcold or Atwood fridge offer better performance, or are all brands going to have difficulties in hot weather? j
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Old 11-02-2013, 10:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamie beers View Post
Does this seem to be a Dometic problem? Would a Norcold or Atwood fridge offer better performance, or are all brands going to have difficulties in hot weather? j
My understanding is that the problem is the basic refrigeration cycle used in an LP systems is less efficient than the cycle used in home (AC) systems rather than the specific brand. I think that higher outside temps exposes the weakness of the LP heat based cycle as opposed to the AC powered compressor cycle.
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Old 11-02-2013, 10:22 AM   #10
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There was some discussion on one of the Casita forums about this problem, and someone discovered that there are at least three "surrounding air temperature" versions of Dometic refrigerators, but only the lowest version is sold in the US & Canada. A photo of one of the higher temperature versions had a chimney attached to the top of the heater that vented to the outside. Don't know what other changes are made, but they seem to have versions that work in the outback as well as Africa...
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