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Old 08-28-2013, 08:39 PM   #1
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Fridge Not Cooling

We are having difficulties with the 5.0 cu.ft. fridge in our 19. We have been in very hot (33-38C) and humid (50-85%) conditions for the past four days and the fridge just can't keep up. We have it set on the highest setting and it's barely holding its own. I think I need to do the upper vent blocking and install a circulating fan inside.

Anybody else had this issue in hot weather? Any other suggestions on a fix?

Doug
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Old 08-29-2013, 06:42 AM   #2
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I believe a lot of Escape owners in the southern US are having cooling problems with the 5.0. I know I am. It's been very hot and humid this summer. My 5.0 refrigerator just will not stay cold or recover over night even with a light load and very little access. We have had at least three recent posts on this subject with no solid fix. I have tried most of the suggestions except filling it with ice and staying in the Rockies.
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Old 08-29-2013, 09:18 AM   #3
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That's the reason I started this thread. The other one was more concerned with not cooling on the road. Ours just isn't cooling period. I have checked all of the obvious stuff, 110vac plugged in, fuse and breaker ok, gas getting to the burner. All appears ok to me, although I admit I know virtually nothing about these fridges.

When we stopped for the night last night, we set the fridge to run on electric. This morning, it was warm. The fridge appeared to have finally died. However, just for the heck of it, we set it to run on gas. We checked it about a half hour later and it was starting to get cold.

I'm completely baffled. I think I'll call an RV tech here locally (if there is one) and see if we can get to the bottom of this.

Doug
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:09 AM   #4
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At this link- RV Refrigerator Education - YouTube there are a set of videos which help to explain how the fridge works and a cure to few of the major problems they see.
I too, have had problems and think I have fixed most of them but in video 3 of the series, they explain that you need a p-trap in the drain tube and I know I do not have one. I think this weekend I'll be adding one to mine.

Ben
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:26 AM   #5
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Great link, Ben. Thanks for that.
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Old 08-29-2013, 03:15 PM   #6
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Has anyone experienced this problem with the 4.3 currently being installed in the 19?
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Old 08-29-2013, 03:35 PM   #7
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I believe historically the 5.0 model has had some issues, my 3.0 model I had in my 19' had no problems cooling and the 5.0 is no longer being installed due to production ending. The 4.3 is replacing the older 5.0 model and I believe with the new roof vent there is no issue with cooling.
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Old 08-29-2013, 08:04 PM   #8
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Has anyone experienced this problem with the 4.3 currently being installed in the 19?
Hola Amigos! I hope you are well down in Baja! I've had trouble with my 4.3 when it gets really hot and have done all of the mods that have been discussed. Basically, what I've learned is that these refrigerators are not as stable and reliable as a home refrigerator with a compressor and are sensitive to ambient temperature and humidity. They work fine except when it gets hot; over 90F and especially over 100F. One thing I do to compensate is take the freezer section out and use it only as a refrigerator when it will be really hot. The freezer coils + refrigerator coils are both exposed when you do this and the unit becomes much more efficient. Tomorrow we are going to the Colorado River camping and fishing for a week. It is projected to be up to 110F so I pulled the freezer section out for the trip. We will also be on power and water hookup so the air conditioner will stay on continuously. A cooler trailer interior will also help the refrigerator stay cooler. I'll let you know how it worked out. How's your 19' coming along?

Steve
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Old 08-29-2013, 08:11 PM   #9
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Jim,
I am not aware of the roof vent being install with the 5.0 Dometic in production. I had one of the last 5.0 Dometic refrigerators in production @ 7/3/12. I can't remember on the time line where the roof vent install began. I am thinking of installing one, but 90 to 100 degrees ambient may be too much no matter what you engineer to solve.
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Old 08-29-2013, 08:49 PM   #10
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Compared to some of these issues, my problems have been minor. Maybe because we don't have an air conditioner and favor camping in locations where WE won't melt. Still, I have noticed that our 3.0 tends to follow the outside temperatures, mostly within a range of 30 - 45F. And it doesn't seem to matter much what temperature I select on the thermostat. The refrigerator temperature has risen above 40F on 80+ sunny days with the selector set at 4: and it has dropped in the evening to 30 with the selector set at 2. 4 is supposed to be cooler, 2 is warmer. Go figure...
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Old 08-29-2013, 09:25 PM   #11
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Well, our fridge is dead when on electric but seems to be working on gas. Something must be haywire with the electric portion. We stopped in to an RV service place this morning to have them look at it. The people there must have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed because they gave us attitude right from the start. After a few words, we decided to abandon that idea and we're going to limp home on gas supplemented with bags of ice until we hit a cooler climate. We'll have our local RV tech look at it when we got home.

We know for sure that the high temps and humidity definitely played a role in this issue. It may have also caused the demise of the electric side of the fridge trying to keep it cold. More later on this when we get home.

Doug
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Old 08-29-2013, 09:45 PM   #12
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Do y all think that 3.0 has less of a problem staying cool compared to the 4.3 refrigerator?
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Old 08-30-2013, 09:04 AM   #13
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Do y all think that 3.0 has less of a problem staying cool compared to the 4.3 refrigerator?
Wonder if the 30% smaller size makes it easier to cool down and keep cool....
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Old 08-30-2013, 09:07 AM   #14
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I do not know the answer, my old one had a 3.0 and no issues but if that is true, my new 6.3 may have trouble if size is an issue?
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Old 09-02-2013, 10:37 AM   #15
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Have spent the past week with similar issues. Drove from ID to OH with outside temps of 90-100 F in NE and IA. We have the 19 with microwave so the fridge is a smaller unit. Temps inside fridge were consistently 50 F +/-. I spoke with Reace several times and really didn't resolve the issue. If outside temps were 70-80 and inside of trailer was cool, temp inside fridge was 39-41. My impression is the unit is not capable of maintaining a temp differential of more than 30-40 F. If it's 100 outside, inside the trailer has to be as hot or hotter. I wondered about the amount of door insulation and think I will try hanging a sheet of bubble wrap from the freezer door extending to the bottom of the door. Will also try removing the freezer unit. We just went with an extra ice chest in the back of our TV and a 6 lb sack of ice every other day. We used propane when traveling and camped at Walmart with 110 V power every 3rd day or so. Also discovered AC works well but is unbearably noisy at night. Any tricks to keep trailer cooler inside when towing? We wondered about leaving Maxfan on low and having a window opened slightly to move some air through the trailer.
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Old 09-02-2013, 01:01 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by lefttee View Post
Have spent the past week with similar issues. Drove from ID to OH with outside temps of 90-100 F in NE and IA. We have the 19 with microwave so the fridge is a smaller unit. Temps inside fridge were consistently 50 F +/-. I spoke with Reace several times and really didn't resolve the issue. If outside temps were 70-80 and inside of trailer was cool, temp inside fridge was 39-41. My impression is the unit is not capable of maintaining a temp differential of more than 30-40 F. If it's 100 outside, inside the trailer has to be as hot or hotter. I wondered about the amount of door insulation and think I will try hanging a sheet of bubble wrap from the freezer door extending to the bottom of the door. Will also try removing the freezer unit. We just went with an extra ice chest in the back of our TV and a 6 lb sack of ice every other day. We used propane when traveling and camped at Walmart with 110 V power every 3rd day or so. Also discovered AC works well but is unbearably noisy at night. Any tricks to keep trailer cooler inside when towing? We wondered about leaving Maxfan on low and having a window opened slightly to move some air through the trailer.
I spent quite a bit of time with the Delorme installation & venting guide cleaning up the back side of my 5 cu ft refrigerator. I also added an interior fan that mounts on the cooling fins, added a layer of Reflex bubble wrap to the inside of the freezer door, a fan blowing out the top outside grill that I use when the temperatures are over 90°, and a layer of furnace filter to the lower outside access door which helped keep the flame from blowing out while driving. All in all, the improvements helped a great deal. I'm still not happy with temperatures over 100° while driving, but there are limits.

By the way, be sure you have enough air intake open if you are going to run the fan while traveling. I tried it & it quickly raised the refrigerator temperature - I suspect it pulled air out around the door seal. Shutting off the fan almost immediately lowered the temperature.
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Old 09-02-2013, 04:38 PM   #17
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Sorry - I meant Dometic, not Delorme - a bit of a mind slip from a previous post...
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Old 09-02-2013, 05:31 PM   #18
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We removed the freezer housing in the standard 19' refrigerator and the fridge temp was 8 Degrees F cooler in 90 degree daytime temperature. The max temp was 37 degrees F. during the hot days.
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Old 09-02-2013, 06:12 PM   #19
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do you mean the 6.7 unit now put in the 19'?
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Old 09-02-2013, 06:23 PM   #20
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4.3 unit with roof vent.
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