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Old 08-06-2019, 09:58 AM   #1
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5.0ta refrigerator

not happy with refrig cooling. I removed the system monitoring panel above the refrigerator and noticed daylight behind it. there is an open gap at back where hot air from outside tubes can enter space above refrigerator and warm inside living space. is this by design? I've contacted Escape but haven't heard back yet. 20190805_123316.jpg
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Old 08-06-2019, 10:14 AM   #2
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not happy with refrig cooling. I removed the system monitoring panel above the refrigerator and noticed daylight behind it. there is an open gap at back where hot air from outside tubes can enter space above refrigerator and warm inside living space. is this by design? I've contacted Escape but haven't heard back yet. Attachment 40878
Ideally there should be no way for warm air from the rear to get around the top or sides of the fridge. You don't want the convective current disturbed and you want the hot air going out the top vent. We have a 2010 with side venting but I had to do some work to fill the gaps with insulation. Also you might want to check your propane pressure at the refrigerator test port with a manometer. Low pressure was the biggest contributing factor to our poor refrigerator performance in hot weather. You should have about 11" w.c. with 50% of trailer BTU's in use. This will result in about 12" w.c. with no load. The regulator up at the front tanks are adjustable. Don't be fooled by other appliances working fine. They are not as sensitive to low propane pressure as the refrigerator.
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Old 08-06-2019, 10:32 AM   #3
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Ideally there should be no way for warm air from the rear to get around the top or sides of the fridge. You don't want the convective current disturbed and you want the hot air going out the top vent. We have a 2010 with side venting but I had to do some work to fill the gaps with insulation. Also you might want to check your propane pressure at the refrigerator test port with a manometer. Low pressure was the biggest contributing factor to our poor refrigerator performance in hot weather. You should have about 11" w.c. with 50% of trailer BTU's in use. This will result in about 12" w.c. with no load. The regulator up at the front tanks are adjustable. Don't be fooled by other appliances working fine. They are not as sensitive to low propane pressure as the refrigerator.
I sealed my fridge compartment all the way up to the roof vent such that it is airtight and watertight. Fridge works better now and compartment stays clean. The open face fiberglass that was in there collected dirt and wasn't as smooth to air flow.

The insulation was added such that the fridge just slipped in and I added rubber seals all along the back edge of the fridge sealing it to the reflectix to prevent any air leakage.

Just a suggestion...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Fridge Compartment.jpg (307.4 KB, 94 views)
File Type: jpg roof vent.jpg (388.7 KB, 72 views)
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Old 08-06-2019, 10:46 AM   #4
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there are things that I could have someone do, but I would think escape would do those things when building it. There always a chance of installer error or forgetfulness but are we as customers of a new unit responsible for them?
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Old 08-06-2019, 01:56 PM   #5
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I sealed my fridge compartment all the way up to the roof vent such that it is airtight and watertight. Fridge works better now and compartment stays clean. The open face fiberglass that was in there collected dirt and wasn't as smooth to air flow.

The insulation was added such that the fridge just slipped in and I added rubber seals all along the back edge of the fridge sealing it to the reflectix to prevent any air leakage.

Just a suggestion...
Wow. Nice work. Escape has gotten better but there is still room for improvement on their fridge installations.
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Old 08-06-2019, 02:13 PM   #6
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Wow. Nice work. Escape has gotten better but there is still room for improvement on their fridge installations.

My rule of thumb is that unsealed wood should never be exposed to moist air. Wet wood is a good place for mold to get started.

By completely sealing the fridge cavity, hot/cold air doesn't leak into/out of the trailer, the fridge works better, and no mold.
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Old 08-06-2019, 02:24 PM   #7
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there are things that I could have someone do, but I would think escape would do those things when building it. There always a chance of installer error or forgetfulness but are we as customers of a new unit responsible for them?
Think I'd check the Dometic installation specs for the fridge, if ETI did not meet the specs then they should be held responsible. If they were met then it'd be on Dometics. Many of us find these things easier to do by ourselves, as well as ending up with a better finished job.
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Old 08-06-2019, 03:03 PM   #8
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It appears it was sealed and perhaps the seal broke, I'd just reseal it from the rear. There will be items as you use the trailer that may separate, your are pulling your house down a bumpy road. Proflex is great on the exterior and caulk maybe used inside to seal any openings that may appear.
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Old 08-06-2019, 04:23 PM   #9
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as far as I can tell, the refrigerator has to be pulled out to access the area. Maybe could be reached from top. What ever way, I'm not going to be the one to pull refrigerator or go up on roof. I have some limitations on what I can do. If the area is supposed to be sealed, they didn't do a good job.
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Old 08-06-2019, 04:28 PM   #10
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there are things that I could have someone do, but I would think escape would do those things when building it. There always a chance of installer error or forgetfulness but are we as customers of a new unit responsible for them?
No trailer builder is going to do the type of installation that I did on my trailer - they can't afford to spend that much time and material on it and stay in business.

It's my trailer so I spent the extra effort to get it better than it had to be. It's as close to perfect as I know how to get it and that's what I wanted.

Like the saying goes - if you want it done right, do it yourself.

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as far as I can tell, the refrigerator has to be pulled out to access the area. Maybe could be reached from top. What ever way, I'm not going to be the one to pull refrigerator or go up on roof. I have some limitations on what I can do. If the area is supposed to be sealed, they didn't do a good job.
Pulling the fridge is a 30 minute job. No big deal. To reach the area that is separated, that is about the only way to get to the back of that enclosure.

While you're in there, it gives you a chance to seal the exposed wood or cover it like I did. Once you pull the fridge, you'll see what I talking about. Below is a pic of what mine looked like before I redid it.
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File Type: jpg Fridge cavity before.jpg (361.6 KB, 79 views)
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Old 08-06-2019, 04:51 PM   #11
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just heard from escape. they are investigating.
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Old 08-06-2019, 05:16 PM   #12
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Is it air infiltration or just light infiltration? If caulked it could appear to be open if brightly lit.

I noticed light in one of my cupboards, but it was where the wall lining had been pulled away ( by me ). The sun was shining on that side of my trailer.
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Old 08-06-2019, 05:32 PM   #13
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Escape said it I'd designed that way. it is hard for me to comprehend leaving that opening open to trap hot air and heat the inside of living space. If some has a 5.0ta and has time maybe look behind the monitor panel and see what you see.
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Old 08-06-2019, 06:31 PM   #14
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my installation manual says supposed to be filled with insulation. 20190806_162522.jpg
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Old 08-06-2019, 06:38 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by garyfaulkner00 View Post
Escape said it I'd designed that way. it is hard for me to comprehend leaving that opening open to trap hot air and heat the inside of living space. If some has a 5.0ta and has time maybe look behind the monitor panel and see what you see.
That's a good one - designed that way. More like, it's too much trouble for them to fix - live with it.

That opening is exposed to outside air and the monitor panel is mounted in the enclosure. The electronics don't like outside air - too much moisture.

None of the fridge cavities I have opened had that gap and were all stapled and sealed closed. It looks like someone forgot to staple it and left it that way - not designed that way.
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Old 08-06-2019, 06:55 PM   #16
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I sealed my fridge compartment all the way up to the roof vent such that it is airtight and watertight. Fridge works better now and compartment stays clean. The open face fiberglass that was in there collected dirt and wasn't as smooth to air flow.

The insulation was added such that the fridge just slipped in and I added rubber seals all along the back edge of the fridge sealing it to the reflectix to prevent any air leakage.

Just a suggestion...
Wow Tom did pretty much the same for our refrigerator cavity . What a difference in performance . Checked Dometics install instructions and refrigerator was not installed properly. That was a big reason for insufficient cooling of our refrigerator . There was large clearances ,with no insulation . Having had two Dometic refrigerators before , On both the cavity was packed with insulation , never had a cooling problem .
That was the first thing I redid .
Also added fan to rear and removed the switch that was supposed to turn fan on , which never did . I put mine on a switch I can control .
It has been about 5 years now and refrigerator performance has really improved . It evens operates in summer heat 95-100 .
I was ready to get rid of this series 8 8551 but I havenít had to .
Installation is very important for refrigerator operation. Pat
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Old 08-06-2019, 08:42 PM   #17
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I removed the system monitoring panel above the refrigerator
I am not sure what you mean by the above. Is this a part of the refrigerator? Or is this a board that has lights for black, gray and fresh water plus other switches?

What is at the bottom of the photo, it appears to be wood or is it insulation? Is the refrigerator underneath this?

When you look at the refrigerator from the outside access door can you pull back the black gasket material around the outside and see insulation?
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Old 08-06-2019, 08:59 PM   #18
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my installation manual says supposed to be filled with insulation. Attachment 40883
My guess is what we are looking at in your photo is their attempt at a baffle in lieu of insulating the top. Just not well sealed to the fridge. If you look in the outside lower fridge access panel can you tell if there is insulation along the sides?
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Old 08-06-2019, 11:05 PM   #19
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Inside above my refrigerator there is the black panel for checking battery, fresh water, black water. on my unit if that panel is taken loose you can access an area on top of the refrigerator. that is the area that is open to filling with hot air from the refrigerator vent on the back.
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Old 08-07-2019, 01:08 AM   #20
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Escape said it I'd designed that way. it is hard for me to comprehend leaving that opening open to trap hot air and heat the inside of living space. If some has a 5.0ta and has time maybe look behind the monitor panel and see what you see.
Not to mention that the gap would allow flue gas to be sucked into the interior if exhaust fans were on without the windows being open. It would also partly defeat the convection effect of the whole fridge vent.

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