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Old 05-08-2014, 02:54 PM   #1
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Insulating The Fridge

I'm going to risk starting another thread on this subject since I didn't find the answers in the volume of previous posts.

We have the 5.0 fridge in our 2012 19. During our trip to eastern Canada last year, the fridge had some difficulty keeping cool when the temp and humidity went way up when we were travelling in Saskatchewan. Daytime temps were in the high 90's F and humidity was in the 80-90% range. Once we got back to cooler less humid areas, it worked fine.

We are going to add the interior circulating fan and a wireless max-min thermometer setup for monitoring temps inside the fridge and freezer.

However, I have also read that adding insulation will/may also help. Not being one to want to wreck anything, I am a bit skittish about removing the outside vent (wall vent) to check conditions behind the fridge. Is that upper vent sealed and, if so, with what? Removing things that are sealed sometimes causes more problems so I want to know ahead of time what to expect.

If I do need to add extra insulation, do I add it above the fridge cabinet or just around the sides? Should I also install the baffle at the top to direct air out the upper vent?

So many questions, I know, but there has never seemed to be definitive answers to any of them.

Doug
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Old 05-08-2014, 03:35 PM   #2
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Hi: NuthatchBC... I've had the upper vent off my 5.0 with the 5cu.ft. fridge. No sealant as it's open to the elements. What I found was a strip of pink insulation diagonally across the vent. I surmised that it was supposed to be above the fridge so I put it up there across the rear of the fridge. We have had no difficulty with our unit but do run in the hot weather on propane when mobile. No issues there either. You require a current of air flowing up and out the upper vent. I usually feel for heat above the vent and under the awning to know it's working!!! Alf
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Old 05-08-2014, 06:30 PM   #3
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Doug I have had my upper metal vent off 3 times for modifications in hopes of improving the refrigerator performance. Mine had rope caulk to seal the top of the vent and was easy remove and reinstall. It was very hard to do much with limited access. Make sure your space just above the upper vent is closed in. My 2012/5.0 refrigerator with the "Texas fan" was install about as good as it gets. I did add a 12v. squirrel cage fan at the bottom to improve air flow and insulate the inside of the fiberglass to shield radiant heat.

For those of you that leave your igloo and travel south of the Mason/Dixion line, bring a good ice cooler.
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Old 05-08-2014, 06:44 PM   #4
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Hi Doug,

We also have a 2012 Escape 19. We've taken that top vent off a zillion times. It is not sealed, so you won't be changing anything when you remove it. One service center did add sealant to that vent, but we later scraped it off since we have had to access the back of the fridge through that vent hole so many times.

Due to ongoing issues with our fridge, we've had it in for service again and again. We changed service centers for the recent attempt, and there they decided to add insulation around the refrigerator since they said it showed as required in installation documents from Dometic. I don't know just where the insulation went or what type it is. Sorry to not be helpful there.

We do not know whether or not Escape originally installed insulation when they made our trailer. If they did, it's possible our first service center removed it and just didn't put it back. Anyway, we believe we have insulation now. The refrigerator still doesn't work right, but not with the issue you are confronting. Ours doesn't cool when we drive at highway speeds, but cools when driven slower or when parked. Ours seems to work adequately in warm weather and high humidity, if parked. If it once gets above 40 degrees in the fridge, however, it does take a long time to get it back down to the proper temperature below 40. We try to stay on top of it by cranking up the thermostat to the higher settings before we "lose control", and we try to super-cool it at night to about 30-32 degrees, before it has to face the heat of the day.

We have made and installed various baffles ourselves and none of that has solved our fridge problem. A service center installed a fan behind the fridge at one point, but that fan died within a few hours and didn't seem to be solving anything anyway. We are sick of the fridge battle but Reace seems to be hanging in there and still trying to help us.

Good luck to you!
--Liz
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Old 05-08-2014, 07:54 PM   #5
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A wise person once told us "If the temperature and humidity are uncomfortable for you, they're also uncomfortable for your fridge". Keeping that in mind, we are unlikely to encounter a prolonged period of unsuitable temps/humidity so I don't want to go haywire trying all sorts of stuff on the fridge. I do, however, plan to use the interior fan, max-min thermometer and I also want to insulate around the unit itself. I don't think it's worth it for us to do all the baffle stuff etc. With the recent announcement that the US government may now be detaining ex-pats at the border, I doubt we will be travelling to the deep south any time soon.

If any of you that have done work to improve the efficiency of the fridge will be attending the Osoyoos Rally, I wouldn't mind chatting with you about your experiences. Please let me know.

Doug
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Old 05-08-2014, 08:26 PM   #6
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Plan bringing a good ice cooler if you are travel with your TT in the summer south of the 45 degree latitude.
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Old 05-08-2014, 10:30 PM   #7
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Any thoughts?

On a hot day the back of the refrigerator is the area that gets really hot when hot air is draw into the coil area from outside and up and out the top vent.. What if we were able to block off the intake vent and then vent air into that space from inside the trailer where it would be significantly cooled before being introduced to the coil area. This would be especially good for an air conditioned rig where the air can be cooled off well. This would be easy to test with some vent hose. Any thoughts
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Old 05-08-2014, 10:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NuthatchBC View Post
A wise person once told us "If the temperature and humidity are uncomfortable for you, they're also uncomfortable for your fridge". Keeping that in mind, we are unlikely to encounter a prolonged period of unsuitable temps/humidity so I don't want to go haywire trying all sorts of stuff on the fridge. I do, however, plan to use the interior fan, max-min thermometer and I also want to insulate around the unit itself. I don't think it's worth it for us to do all the baffle stuff etc. With the recent announcement that the US government may now be detaining ex-pats at the border, I doubt we will be travelling to the deep south any time soon.

If any of you that have done work to improve the efficiency of the fridge will be attending the Osoyoos Rally, I wouldn't mind chatting with you about your experiences. Please let me know.

Doug
I've spent some time & effort improving the cooling & preventing the flame from blowing out while traveling. Much of what I did is covered in the Dometic installation PDF, but I also added lots of insulation and sealing between the back side & the rest of the unit. I'd be glad to show you the modifications at Osoyoos...
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Old 05-08-2014, 11:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vermilye View Post
I've spent some time & effort improving the cooling & preventing the flame from blowing out while traveling. Much of what I did is covered in the Dometic installation PDF, but I also added lots of insulation and sealing between the back side & the rest of the unit. I'd be glad to show you the modifications at Osoyoos...
Great, John. I'll be sure to look you up. Thanks much for the offer.

Doug
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