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Old 06-24-2012, 07:23 PM   #1
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Fridge temp?

Hi all,

For those of you with fridge thermometers ... what's the average temp you can expect in your fridge? Our fridge will shut off anytime we move the trailer, so Reace has suggested that we take it in anyway ... but we also realized this week that even running at "max" it is only cooling to about 55 degrees, which resulted in some milk going bad, and worse, lukewarm beer.

Part of the problem may be that the fridge is not sealing ... it looks like the door is hung crooked, and it seems like air may be escaping the seal at the bottom. Not sure if that is it, or if there's something else going on, too. But I also want to make sure we aren't expecting it to be super cold when it never will be ...

Thanks,

Elizabeth

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Old 06-24-2012, 08:38 PM   #2
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Re: Fridge temp?

Hi: medora...Guess our fridge thermo isn't very accurate. It's hanging from one of the wire racks and reads 28*f. The recommended way to check from Dometic is with a glass thermo in a glass of water.
Our 5cu. ft. fridge is on elect. set at 3 and not been opened in days. I always make sure to close the door and give it an extra squeeze shut to seal the gasket.
While I was out there I brought in a diet soda. Cheers Alf
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Old 06-24-2012, 09:10 PM   #3
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Re: Fridge temp?

I use an indoor/outdoor thermometer with the wireless outdoor sensor in the fridge to monitor the temperature. On propane, I usually set the temperature dial to 3 and this keeps it at 3 degrees C. If it is a hot day, I may see the fridge temperature start to go up and then I set the fridge to 4. This is for a 5 cu ft fridge. If you have one of the smaller ones, it is probably different.
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Old 06-24-2012, 10:07 PM   #4
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Re: Fridge temp?

I agree with what has been said above. Our 5 cu. ft. fridge is always on #3 and it keeps the kids milk and, more importantly, my beer very cold. I have also installed a low voltage squirrel cage computer fan on the back of it to move air up and out when we go on our annual trip to southern Utah in August.
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Old 06-24-2012, 11:05 PM   #5
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Re: Fridge temp?

Thanks all. Clearly there's more than just one problem with this fridge. It's the 5 cubic foot, btw, and 55 F is roughly 13 C, so we aren't even in the ballpark. No wonder the milk is curdling.

Hopefully there's a good service joint around here somewhere.
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Old 06-25-2012, 12:09 AM   #6
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Re: Fridge temp?

You may have a thermostat problem. When the service man removes the fridge have them check to make sure the hinge screws are tight top and bottom.
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Old 06-25-2012, 07:41 AM   #7
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Re: Fridge temp?

We had to change out our electric thermostat, and it fixed it up good. We too use a fridge fan to keep temps even throughout, and set it so it is a couple degrees above freezing inside.
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:21 AM   #8
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Re: Fridge temp?

Really appreciate all this, guys ... Curious if you recommend a particular fridge fan?
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Old 06-25-2012, 02:14 PM   #9
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Re: Fridge temp?

I just picked up a fan at a local RV store. Not very expensive at all, and uses two D cell batteries that seem to last forever, though it is only on when the fridge is running. It is about 3"x3"x4"Tall, and sits on the bottom shelf.
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Old 06-29-2012, 11:30 AM   #10
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Re: Fridge temp?

Fridge temp on my 3.5 Dometic was affected when the temp. sensor fell off the cooling fin, and the gas flow was restricted by the manual shut-off valve being partly closed. Paper clip fixed the sensor.

I also put a very small washer under the plastic catch, on the top of the fridge door, to raise the catch and increase its contact. Door had a habit of popping open on the road, bad for cooling. Has been great since.
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Old 06-29-2012, 12:29 PM   #11
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Dometic Bashing

Since we have taken shots at Dometic I thought I would add my woes. The value to you would be to check the status of the door seals on your fridge, particularly if you are still under the two year warranty. It was a three years warranty if purchased before July 2009 so there still maybe some covered another month by their previous longer warranty.

My issue is with the seal and the magnet inside the seal. The seal has ruptured and the the metal magnet strip slid out. So far I have been able to keep it in place and avoid the $160 cost for a replacement. Check your seals!

I have the 5 cu ft model fridge.
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Old 07-23-2012, 01:05 PM   #12
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Re: Fridge temp?

All -- we got our fridge/trailer back from repair - we were told there was "excess insulation blocking the flue" and it was removed. But -- we are bummed to learn as we test it that the temp still seems to be hovering around 10C/50F. Mind you, it's been hot here (29C/85F here yesterday) but that still seems far from workable for beer, let alone milk.

How long should it take for the fridge to cool off? I took readings yesterday after it had been on several hours. I'm not sure if I'm supposed to wait longer (I think Dometic said you should wait overnight ... but really, should it take that long to reach workable temps?). What should we be telling the techs to look for at this point? Every trip to the RV repair place eats the better part of a day for us, so we definitely want to make sure it's actually fixed this time.

~e
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Old 07-23-2012, 01:32 PM   #13
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Re: Fridge temp?

E,

It does take a LONG time to get them cold inside. It goes much faster if you can load in lots of cold stuff first, we put frozen water bottles, etc in and that helps it get cold much faster. I am hoping the little fan we bought helps it stay colder in hot temps too.

Eric
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Old 07-23-2012, 01:37 PM   #14
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Re: Fridge temp?

Thanks Eric, that helps to know. I got that little fan btw ... Just gotta get the D batteries to power it

I'll give it 24 hours and check again.

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Old 07-23-2012, 03:18 PM   #15
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Re: Fridge temp?

Just opening the door two or three times will let a lot of heat in, if the ambient temp is up there. In case you ever wondered (it's a guy thing)....heat seeks cold, cold doesn't seek heat. If you never wondered, then it's certainly something to ponder. So it's easier to heat an area up than it is to cool an area down.

They actually make both a refrigerator and an oven thermometer that are relatively inexpensive and they are different thermometers. You can find them at any appliance parts house.

One of the old fashioned ways we use to check door seals was with a piece of paper. Hold it where half is inside and enough on the outside to hold on to. Close the door on the single piece of paper and then close the door and pull the paper out. If the resistence is the same all the way around, then you should be getting an even seal (provided the seal itself isn't torn).

One of the biggest culprits for a torn door seal is something being spilled that's sticky when it drys and not being cleaned well, out of the folds of the door seal. You think it's all cleaned up (or maybe it spilled in travel and already dried) and close the door. It dries, sticking the seal to the refer box.....you open the door and waalaaa a torn gasket.

Hope this helps.

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Old 07-23-2012, 03:28 PM   #16
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Re: Fridge temp?

Thanks muchly. We did ask the tech to check the door seal and they said it was ok but I will check again. I actually have a good quality wired digital thermometer sensor in the fridge right now so I don't have to open the door to check the temps. The fridge temp is actually going UP this afternoon, though it is very hot out today. We'll give it until tomorrow (it will be considerably cooler out, we hope) before we make the final call.

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Old 07-23-2012, 08:21 PM   #17
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Re: Fridge temp?

We are about to pick up the sixth trailer we have owned and i believe the previous 5 have all had dometic fridges and although they all seem to have "unique" quirks they all would freeze things in the fridge if on the coldest setting. Even when it is 30 ish celcius outside. So it sounds like there is truly something not working properly with your fridge. I guess all you can do when you take it in is verify the proper operation of the unit before you leave.
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Old 07-23-2012, 08:59 PM   #18
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Re: Fridge temp?

Yeah, we talked to Reace this afternoon ... what a great, helpful guy ... and it really sounds like this one has a bad cooling unit, and likely needs to be replaced outright. It is now running at 18c 65f, which, even on a hot day, is unworkable. Reace says the unit should have cooled off within a few hours.

We had a very poor experience with this RV repair company, which charged us for what should have been warranty repairs (they said we should get reimbursed by the manufacturer, which is hokum .. Reace warned us, but we were asleep at the wheel and they took advantage). I hope they make good, and I also wish there was an "Angie's List" type review service for techs. A good one seems hard to find.
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Old 07-23-2012, 09:44 PM   #19
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Re: Fridge temp?

I reported earlier in this thread that my fridge maintained 3C at a dial setting of 3. This week I am in Oshkosh, WI at the EAA Airventure fly in and am getting much different results. It was 38C today and the best the fridge could manage was 13C at a setting of 6 according to my wireless remote thermometer. All of the food in the freezer remained frozen rock solid, as I discovered when I went to prepare dinner and realized that I had not taken anything out, but the fridge temperature was quite a bit higher than normal. It seems that there is a limit to how much heat these propane fridges can extract. Based on today's results, a data set of one, it seems to be about 25 degrees C below ambient. It is supposed to be a bit cooler tomorrow so I will leave the setting where it is and see what happens.
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