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Old 08-17-2016, 05:57 PM   #1
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Reliable refrigerator?

I just placed my order for a 5.0TA and I've started thinking about equipment. I'm not sure about the history of Escape refrigerators but it seems that there have been issues with the bigger refrigerators including the ones installed in the 5.0. The 4 cubic ft. Dometic fridge in my Casita has been reliable and adequate for our needs. I guess warranties are great but I'd rather spend my time traveling than dealing with warranty services. For those of you that have spent a lot of time watching this forum, do any of the refrigerators, like for instance the one used in the 19' , have fewer problems? Or... Have the fridge problems in the 5.0 all been solved?
Steve
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Old 08-17-2016, 06:15 PM   #2
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It's hard to describe the ongoing saga of the fridge issues with Escapes, but I'll try to give you a VERY abbreviated version.

The door on the Escape trailers, until the 2017 redesign, was only 22" wide. So, that meant whatever fridge was used had to be narrow enough to fit through the door.

That limited Escape to using either a small Americana fridge or if you wanted a larger fridge, the Dometic 8 series.

The smaller Americana fridges cooled quite well, but of course, there isn't that much capacity.

The 8 series is a fridge that is sold primarily in Europe, not the US. It's designed for cooler climates. The EU uses a "climate class" rating to describe the expected power consumption and cooling capability of fridges. Any unit sold in the EU has to have a climate class rating. The ratings are SN, N, ST and T, meaning subnormal, normal, subtropical and tropical. Tropical rated fridges are designed to perform where it gets quite hot, while on the other end, subnormal rated fridges are designed to perform where it stays relatively cool. The other two ratings are in between.

Here's the problem: the Dometic 8 series is rated SN - subnormal. That means it's designed to work when the ambient air temperatures are below 85F. We all know it often gets much hotter in North America.

So, owners of the 8 series often had issues with insufficient cooling, particularly when camping in the summertime. All sorts of retrofits and modifications have been done in an attempt to make them work better. Some have been more successful than others.

Since you're getting a 2017, you won't have to deal with the 8 series. The door is wider, allowing Escape to install a larger and wider Americana series fridge that works better when it's hot out. That's actually part of the reason why Escape redesigned the trailer. The Dometic Americana is a widely used fridge in North America, and is designed for that market.

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Old 08-17-2016, 06:19 PM   #3
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Steve,
One of the reasons for the 2nd generation Escape models is the wider door which allows a different model refrigerator, one designed for hotter climates. In the older Escapes there were few choices available, but now the selection is better.
I'm in York, right down the road from you here in Pennsylvania nd will be getting my 2017 Escape 19 later this year. Also there is a rally in Niagara Falls, Canada in September, well worth you paying a visit and see the various Escape models. See here for details 2016 Niagara Wine Escape- 9/16-9/18
ps, we go thru Wellsboro several times a year on the way to New York, a nice little town.
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Old 08-17-2016, 07:49 PM   #4
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Robert, Excellent Explanation!
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Old 08-17-2016, 07:59 PM   #5
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Thank you both for that fridge/design info. I wonder which model will be installed in the 2017 5.0?
Steve
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Old 08-17-2016, 08:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
It's hard to describe the ongoing saga of the fridge issues with Escapes, but I'll try to give you a VERY abbreviated version.

The door on the Escape trailers, until the 2017 redesign, was only 22" wide. So, that meant whatever fridge was used had to be narrow enough to fit through the door.

That limited Escape to using either a small Americana fridge or if you wanted a larger fridge, the Dometic 8 series.

The smaller Americana fridges cooled quite well, but of course, there isn't that much capacity.

The 8 series is a fridge that is sold primarily in Europe, not the US. It's designed for cooler climates. The EU uses a "climate class" rating to describe the expected power consumption and cooling capability of fridges. Any unit sold in the EU has to have a climate class rating. The ratings are SN, N, ST and T, meaning subnormal, normal, subtropical and tropical. Tropical rated fridges are designed to perform where it gets quite hot, while on the other end, subnormal rated fridges are designed to perform where it stays relatively cool. The other two ratings are in between.

Here's the problem: the Dometic 8 series is rated SN - subnormal. That means it's designed to work when the ambient air temperatures are below 85F. We all know it often gets much hotter in North America.

So, owners of the 8 series often had issues with insufficient cooling, particularly when camping in the summertime. All sorts of retrofits and modifications have been done in an attempt to make them work better. Some have been more successful than others.

Since you're getting a 2017, you won't have to deal with the 8 series. The door is wider, allowing Escape to install a larger and wider Americana series fridge that works better when it's hot out. That's actually part of the reason why Escape redesigned the trailer. The Dometic Americana is a widely used fridge in North America, and is designed for that market.

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Great info, Robert. Just wondering if the 8 series was the reason for adding the external fridge fan and whether or not it will be needed on the new, larger fridge in the 21? I have it on my build sheet but if not needed will delete it
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Old 08-17-2016, 08:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starbrightsteve View Post
Thank you both for that fridge/design info. I wonder which model will be installed in the 2017 5.0?
Steve
I believe it's the Americana RM2652. 6 cubic foot, 2 door if you get the larger model. If you dig around in the "It's Friday - 2017 and beyond" thread, you'll see some photos of it.
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Originally Posted by stephen99 View Post
Great info, Robert. Just wondering if the 8 series was the reason for adding the external fridge fan and whether or not it will be needed on the new, larger fridge in the 21? I have it on my build sheet but if not needed will delete it
I think a fan in the rear is always a good idea regardless of the fridge model. I'd keep it on the build sheet.

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Old 08-17-2016, 08:29 PM   #8
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Found a photo:



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Old 08-17-2016, 08:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
I believe it's the Americana RM2652. 6 cubic foot, 2 door if you get the larger model. If you dig around in the "It's Friday - 2017 and beyond" thread, you'll see some photos of it.

I think a fan in the rear is always a good idea regardless of the fridge model. I'd keep it on the build sheet.

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RM2652 is a 2 way power model so maybe RM2663 instead.
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Old 08-17-2016, 09:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starbrightsteve View Post
I wonder which model will be installed in the 2017 5.0?
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
I believe it's the Americana RM2652. 6 cubic foot, 2 door if you get the larger model. If you dig around in the "It's Friday - 2017 and beyond" thread, you'll see some photos of it.
The photo is of a 21'; no new-style 5.0TA trailers have been built yet. The assumption is that the 5.0TA and the 21' get the same refrigerator - that seems like a reasonable assumption to me, but there are no guarantees.
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