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Old 09-26-2014, 12:31 AM   #21
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I have a Dometic 7 cu ft fridge in my 2001 Bigfoot 21. It has two doors one for fridge and the other for the freezer. On the road it runs at 38 on propane and the same on campground power. Our fridge is a Americana Model.
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Old 09-26-2014, 06:42 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckS View Post
I have a Dometic 7 cu ft fridge in my 2001 Bigfoot 21. It has two doors one for fridge and the other for the freezer. On the road it runs at 38 on propane and the same on campground power. Our fridge is a Americana Model.
Chuck
Yeah, reports are the Americana models work fine. They're designed for North American climates. The 7 cf models I've seen online have an N or an ST climate rating.
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Old 09-26-2014, 10:57 AM   #23
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I called Dometic yesterday. They started off by telling me to take the unit in for warranty service. I finally got them to understand that it worked below 80 degrees and it would not do any good to take it in now and I just wanted it documented that I was have problems cooling above 80 degrees. She entered it in the system and said it was noted and said to take it in for service when the temperature got warm enough for it to act up again.
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Old 09-26-2014, 11:15 AM   #24
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Great! I think it's a really good idea to at least get our problems documented with Dometic. Thanks for calling (and posting).
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Old 09-26-2014, 11:49 AM   #25
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I just called Norcold and spoke to one of their tech's to see if I would expect any better results with their product. They have 2 units that would fit through the door - N3104 and N3150. This particular tech has also not heard of climate class ratings.

When I expressed the concerns I am having with their competition, I was put on hold so he could talk it over with his supervisor. He came back with...they recommend when the outside temperature is 80 degrees or up, the a/c needs to be turned on. The smaller the fridge, the better the cooling. That confirmed for me, that there is no benefit to switching to a different manufacturer when right off the bat, they won't make any promises...which I respect the honesty rather than trying to say what needs to be said to get the sale.

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Old 09-26-2014, 12:12 PM   #26
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So, industry wide, it sounds like the adsorption refrigerator manufacturers have been overly optimistic about backing off on cooling capacity required to make these newer units work well at higher ambient temperatures. Even the 4.3 cu ft Dometic has problems compared to older 5.0 models, so it's hard to believe it's anything other than cutting corners to raise profits. We all know these things could be manufactured to work at higher temperatures if there was a will to do so.

Thanks for updating us, Reace. I'm still going to keep bugging Dometic.
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Old 09-26-2014, 12:17 PM   #27
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ASSUMING (big if, I know) the Norcold 3150 in Europe is the same as North America it appears to be class ST, see pages 6-7 in https://www.dropbox.com/s/doc3607ag8...3-V05.pdf?dl=0
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Old 09-26-2014, 12:18 PM   #28
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Great input from Norcold - thanks for sharing it, Reace.

Quote:
Originally Posted by reace View Post
...they recommend when the outside temperature is 80 degrees or up, the a/c needs to be turned on.
That makes sense because less heat will be entering the refrigerator from the trailer interior with the lower interior temperature. I see at least two limitations to this approach:
  1. air conditioning is not practical when not on shore power or able (and willing) to run a generator... or if not equipped with A/C; and,
  2. the A/C won't help the cooling the circuit (which is working in outside air rather than inside) so cooling capacity will still be limited (which would likely matter only at very high ambient temperatures).
It is still a valid coping tactic when A/C use can be arranged.

If I were to travel south a lot or critically need refrigeration on our hotter days here and the only way to get adequate refrigeration was to have power for A/C, I think I would rather have a compressor-type refrigerator which I know would always work. Weather over 80F or 27C routinely occurs for short periods in Edmonton; just this Monday we hit 29C. In practice, for most of the camping season for me there is no refrigerator performance issue, with any type or model of refrigerator.
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Old 09-26-2014, 01:52 PM   #29
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re: "they recommend when outside temp is 80 degrees or up, a/c needs to be turned on..."

....but it's also a non-starter for us who do not have a/c, (I have to buy a $1K air conditioner just to make my $900 refrigerator work properly?) ...or, when on the road, or, when 8o-86 F outside is not deemed uncomfortable.
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Old 09-26-2014, 02:27 PM   #30
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I posted some time ago that Dometic is planning to ship some fridge doors that have a much higher r-value that the standard door supplied in North America. I have been patiently waiting for them. Today I was informed that these doors are different in some way or another for the fridges in Europe. They are waiting for some forming materials to be shipped over to start making the doors in the US. Although these doors may not look or completely fit correctly, as long as I can get a seal, I have asked for a door for each fridge to be shipped so I can at least try them out.
Once I receive them, I can put a couple of trailers into our fiberglass booth which is heated and I can raise the temperature up into the 90's over a weekend to test new door vs old door in a controlled environment. At least we would know if it is worth the wait or not.

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