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Old 06-12-2011, 07:07 PM   #1
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Fridge holding temp while travelling

We left Osoyoos at 8 AM and arrived home at 1:30 PM. Five hours travel.

The temp in the 5 cu. ft. fridge, according to my thermometer, was 36 F when we left and 42.6 F when we arrived. The fridge had been opened twice for water during the trip. However, I have to qualify my data because the thermometer was just sitting on the top shelf when we left and it took me some time to find it when we arrived - submerged in the tray that holds defrost water at the back of the fridge.

It's sitting in the sun, but I suspect I may have to get a new one.

It's a digital Bios and records minimum and maximum temps that the fridge reaches and cost $9.

baglo
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Old 06-13-2011, 12:02 AM   #2
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Re: Fridge holding temp while travelling

Thanks! I'll invest in one of those thermometers.

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Old 08-03-2011, 09:01 PM   #3
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Re: Fridge holding temp while travelling

We drove from Kinaskan Lake park campground, home to Whitehorse with the propane left on (It was a test to see what would happen) and the fridge worked well all the way.the trip is about 750, kilopmeters.

wieners were still frozen solid in the freezer of the 5 cubic foot fridge.

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Old 08-04-2011, 12:15 PM   #4
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Re: Fridge holding temp while travelling

I found a great link today on RV refrigerator basics; it includes a video with info on RV fridges. The site has lots of other valuable info as well: http://www.rvuniversity.com/staticpa...Efficiency_101

I also found some great tips on an RV forum. If you are interested, check this out: http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...cold-6620.html

The best ideas (to summarize):
1. Use a fridge fan (battery powered) pointing up inside fridge, toward the front, on bottom shelf. It circulates the cool air and can speed up cooling by 50%.
2. Use a fridge fan (specifically built for this) in one of the back vent areas to help cooling. This can speed up cooling by 40%.
3. Cool the fridge for 24 hours before leaving. This gets it cool so it doesn't take as long when you get to your destination. Freeze a couple of jugs of water before leaving home and put them in the fridge before taking off. They help keep the fridge cool while traveling and you have cold drinking water when you arrive.
4. Food can spoil at 40 degrees or warmer, so best to put perishables in an ice chest while traveling.
5. Propane mode cools faster than electric.
6. If it is very hot where you are camped, cool the inside trailer temp for more efficient fridge cooling.
7. Operating a fridge when it or the trailer are not level can cause permanent damage! So, if you have the fridge on propane while traveling, stop for lunch for an hour or so, and the trailer is not level, turn off the fridge while you are stopped! While the trailer is moving (and fridge is on propane), this is not an issue. Just when it is stopped for a period of time.

Happy Trails!
Linda
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:05 AM   #5
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Re: Fridge holding temp while travelling

Thank You Linda for the fridge info I hope others read it.
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:16 AM   #6
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Re: Fridge holding temp while travelling

I just want to add that you can get a digital fridge thermometer at your hardware or kitchen store that records the minimum and maximum temps in your fridge.

Costs about $10.

baglo
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:41 AM   #7
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Re: Fridge holding temp while travelling

Great idea. I want one!

Linda
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:49 PM   #8
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Re: Fridge holding temp while travelling

Great list, Linda.

We use one of those battery operated fans in the fridge. I really helps keep things at an even temp, because the to is usually much colder near the freezer.

I had never heard or realized that propane will cool the fridge quicker. Good to know.

We also keep a thermometer in there quite often to check and maintain a proper temp, something that needs adjusting with changes in the outside temps.
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Old 08-18-2011, 07:15 PM   #9
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Re: Fridge holding temp while travelling

I have been tinkering with the fridge in our new 5.0 since we brought it home a couple weeks ago. The cooling capacity was just losing the battle against the Texas heat (currently 100+ F). It looks like the easiest-to-fix problem and one that will have a huge impact is to isolate the fridge cabinet from the heat generated by the cooling unit.

As delivered, the back of the fridge cabinet is open to the outside. The heat from the hot parts on the back of the fridge can flow in around the fridge box. (Verify this by feeling how warm the floor of the cabinet above the fridge gets.) I installed a foil-faced, rigid foam board to close off the sides and the space above the box. In day-long tests before and after, the improvement was about 11 degrees F. For non-Texans and non-Arizonans, that is probably all you would need to do to have a really efficient unit.

I still have a few more things to do. I'll let you know the results.

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Old 08-18-2011, 07:21 PM   #10
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Re: Fridge holding temp while travelling

Looking forward to hearing the results of your tests...
36 days until pick-up!
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Old 08-18-2011, 09:55 PM   #11
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Re: Fridge holding temp while travelling

Quote:
Originally Posted by MMarvin
I have been tinkering with the fridge in our new 5.0 since we brought it home a couple weeks ago. The cooling capacity was just losing the battle against the Texas heat (currently 100+ F). It looks like the easiest-to-fix problem and one that will have a huge impact is to isolate the fridge cabinet from the heat generated by the cooling unit.

As delivered, the back of the fridge cabinet is open to the outside. The heat from the hot parts on the back of the fridge can flow in around the fridge box. (Verify this by feeling how warm the floor of the cabinet above the fridge gets.) I installed a foil-faced, rigid foam board to close off the sides and the space above the box. In day-long tests before and after, the improvement was about 11 degrees F. For non-Texans and non-Arizonans, that is probably all you would need to do to have a really efficient unit.

I still have a few more things to do. I'll let you know the results.
Marv
Pictures of what you did. Sounds interesting
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Old 08-18-2011, 10:01 PM   #12
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Re: Fridge holding temp while travelling

Jackie,

Likely your trailer will be more capable when it's delivered than ours is. Reace has been in on these changes.

Hokie,

Here you go. Note that the light-color vertical strips on the sides are the insulation board.

OP, sorry for the hijack, I guess I turned this into a technical discussion. I'm bad.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg top blocked off.jpg (182.3 KB, 91 views)
File Type: jpg sides insulated.jpg (204.1 KB, 95 views)
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Old 08-19-2011, 06:06 AM   #13
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Re: Fridge holding temp while travelling

Good project this weekend...thanks
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Old 08-19-2011, 07:41 AM   #14
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Re: Fridge holding temp while travelling

Hi: All... The 5cu. ft. fridge in our 5.0 cools so well that a can of diet cola left in it after our last trip froze and exploded. Glad to say the mess was all cleaned up by the time I got home from work. Maybe we shouldn't leave things in there and the fridge turned on ready to go again next week?
I like the idea of a shroud to duct the heat away from the cabinet tho!!! More pic's. please. Alf
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Old 08-23-2011, 08:49 PM   #15
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Re: Fridge holding temp while travelling

Alf,

If you are exploding cans now, do not do this modification. I am not responsible

Right now, the fridge (at worst case condition) is holding at 41-43 degrees F sitting in the direct sun. Ambient is around 102 degrees. I expect that shading the fridge side of the trailer and running the A/C will get the fridge temp down into the food-safe zone.

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Old 08-27-2011, 12:42 PM   #16
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Re: Fridge holding temp while travelling

Marv and all,
I also have had problems keeping my 5.0 foot fridge down to 40 degrees when outside air is over 100 20 hours a day. I used what I had laying around the garage and hope to have the same success. I stuffed the area above with r-19 insulation and then attached a piece of sheet metal to the wood above the fridge to insure the insulation remains in place and then I used pipe insulation, the slip on kind that is made of foam to fill the gaps on each side of the fridge. Hoping it will drop the fridge temp 10 degrees. When we leave AZ for the coast we have no problems there.
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Old 08-27-2011, 11:19 PM   #17
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Re: Fridge holding temp while travelling

Jack,

I think your best bet is to become a Zonie and head for the coast. That worked for us when we lived in Arizona.

The insulation will work but you must completely seal the sides and the top in back. No hot air gets in! And you need airflow past those coils on the cooling unit. My fridge is sitting around 42 degrees with 107 ambient. Improved but not good enough. The floor in the cabinet above the fridge is 81 (same as room temp), that shows no hot air is entering the fridge cabinet now. Tomorrow I am going to temporarily install a fan on the cooling fins to see what that does.

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Old 08-28-2011, 07:46 AM   #18
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Re: Fridge holding temp while travelling

Hi: All...Has anyone tried using a Hot/Cold Compress refreezable, waffer thin gel type cold pack, from the drug store? They can be put in the freezer to freeze... then slipped into the fridge while towing!!! Then refreeze over nite for the next days towing. Might be a help to add cooling to the fridge with out taking up to much room in there.
On the flip side they can be put in the microwave to be warmed and aid an injury you might have along the trail!!! Alf
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