Dometic Fridge below freezing operation? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 12-12-2019, 05:06 PM   #1
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Dometic Fridge below freezing operation?

Is it OK to use the Dometic fridge in our 2019 E21 when the outside temp falls into the low 20's? I recall some time ago seeing an article or post that it is harmful to the absorption type fridge to use when it is very cold outside. We just got home from a long trip only to find that out household fridge had failed while we were away. Our trailer is winterized but if we could use the E21 fridge as a backup until we can get the house unit repaired, that would be a big, big help. Nighttime temp down to 20 at night here but above freezing during the day.
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Old 12-12-2019, 06:28 PM   #2
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The only issues I've had is getting the freezer to maintain temp when it's in the high 20's low 30's, inside the trailer. If the lower part (fridge) is below set temp the element in the freezer does not come on and the freezer rises to the temp of the fridge section.

I keep the furnace on when it's cold, even when traveling, set to something like 50. If I think the freezer is getting too warm I open the fridge door for a bit.

Has been working okay like this for the last few years. I do have a remote thermometer in both sections of the unit.
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Old 12-12-2019, 07:09 PM   #3
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If you have hookups, placing a 40 watt incandescent light bulb in the lower outside rear space behind the refrigerator has been suggested by low temperature users.
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Old 12-12-2019, 07:18 PM   #4
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We used ours for three winters in Tetonia Idaho while on shore power with no issues.
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Old 12-12-2019, 07:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by padlin View Post
The only issues I've had is getting the freezer to maintain temp when it's in the high 20's low 30's, inside the trailer. If the lower part (fridge) is below set temp the element in the freezer does not come on and the freezer rises to the temp of the fridge section.
Right, because there are not separate cooling systems for the fresh and freezer sections, so if the fresh section is staying cold enough without running the cooling system (which is likely, because the back of the refrigerator is exposed to outside air), no cooling happens and the stuff in the freezer thaws. This is not specific to any particular model or brand of refrigerator.
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Old 12-12-2019, 08:52 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone for the thoughtful replies. As it turns out, we have the freezer issue covered as we have an Indel portable compressor refer which holds the freezer temp very well. It would actually be an advantage for our particular need if the refer and freezer in the trailer were kept the same temp as that would give us more "refer" space. I received also a tip from Dave in Escape Service- cover over the lower outside freezer vents about 90% with cardboard or tape to make the fridge work better in sub freezing temps. I turned the trailer fridge back on this afternoon and as soon as it gets to temp, I will move all the food in coolers back to the trailer. Thanks all!
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Old 12-13-2019, 08:34 AM   #7
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If you cover with cardboard put it on the outside of the vent if on propane use, if on electric maybe ok on the inside, check for clearance from paper for fire reasons, outside is safest.
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