Refrigerator Failing To Cool While Driving - Escape Trailer Owners Community

Go Back   Escape Trailer Owners Community > Escape Tech > Problem Solving | Owners helping each other
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 03-03-2017, 06:35 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
fudge_brownie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Janesville, WI, Wisconsin
Trailer: Escape 19 (sold) Escape 21 2014
Posts: 1,458
Refrigerator Failing To Cool While Driving

I have struggled for several years with my refrigerator failing to cool properly while driving. My efforts have been: installing a Dometic flame guard, performing a pressure test, replacing the propane regulator, resealing the vent box, installing furnace filters on the lower vent and sealing the inside of that vent with a closed cell foam. I even replaced the refrigerator. My current model is the RMD 8555.

Nothing would keep the refrigerator from warming 10-15 degrees on a four hour trip. I have been monitoring using a Sensor Push, which includes graphing so the rise in temperature is clearly visible.

My conclusion was the flame was going out while driving, but no proof.

In my trials, I had installed some aluminum flanges on the roof vent based on a recommendation. They did not help. However, in my searching I found a reference from an owner on another RV Forum that had experimented using a leaf blower across the roof top vent. He found he could extinguish the refrigerator flame. Not sure just how he was using the blower but that put me on to efforts with that top vent, hey, there was not much left to do.

I looked for a method to reduce the opening. The photo shows the installed mesh from Dometic with the cover cap removed. There is but a simple screen to keep the larger critters out, pretty large openings in the mesh. I wanted some way to reduce potential air flow into or across that opening yet allow the vent to work properly when parked in hot temperatures.

I knew the vent had to remain open but the opening needed to be minimized. I found decorative aluminum. It seems to be used on screen doors so Home Depot carries it, this came from Hobby Lobby. Very easy installation. Four screws to remove the vent and then cut the aluminum to fit. You may note I used Zip ties to fasten the aluminum to the screen, it is in there pretty tight so not sure that is necessary. I made sure to use materials that would not rust or deteriorate. You will need Dicor or similar sealant to fill the screw holes after reinstalling.

This has worked very well in our current 87 degree temps, while driving the refrigerator has actually cooled down from its starting temp. On two occasions we have seen this drop, one of them being with the 87 degree temperature and driving for seven hours. Our confidence in the refrigerator has been restored.

One unknown, is how the vent filter will affect cooling when even warmer temperatures are encountered. In theory those nifty fans on the back of the refrigerator should kick on. Has anyone heard theirs go on? Our peak temperature was 87, it worked well in keeping the refrigerator cool. I cannot speak for higher temps.

My conclusions are that some Escapes, and perhaps other brands, have different aerodynamics going on at roof top level. Perhaps a slightly different placement of the vent, the angle of the vent or maybe other rooftop appliances creating a different air flow. Who knows for sure. I do not think the brand and model of the refrigerator is critical, the venting used by Escape is from Dometic, that maybe more relevant. It is that air flow that seems to create issues.

If you are having a similar issue this is an easy and inexpensive fix.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_1781.jpg (236.6 KB, 60 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1684.jpg (179.2 KB, 57 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1685.jpg (207.6 KB, 56 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1687.jpg (225.9 KB, 61 views)
__________________

__________________
Paul and Janet Braun
2003 Toyota 4Runner V8 now 2012 Toyota Sequoia V8
Escape 19' 2010 now 2014 Escape 21'
fudge_brownie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2017, 07:26 PM   #2
Site Team
 
padlin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Southwick, Massachusetts
Trailer: 5.0 TA #6, 2012 F150 EB
Posts: 5,946
Quote:
Originally Posted by fudge_brownie View Post
I have struggled for several years with my refrigerator failing to cool properly while driving.

Ditto, temp rises, but only to about 50, with the outside temps around 60. This on longer drives.

My conclusion was the flame was going out while driving, but no proof.

This is what the tech who swapped in the RMC thought the problem is.


One unknown, is how the vent filter will affect cooling when even warmer temperatures are encountered. In theory those nifty fans on the back of the refrigerator should kick on. Has anyone heard theirs go on?

Have yet to hear mine go on, only when I throw the switch I put in.

If you are having a similar issue this is an easy and inexpensive fix.
Worth a shot, thanks for the idea.
__________________

__________________
Happy Motoring
Bob
padlin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2017, 07:33 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
fudge_brownie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Janesville, WI, Wisconsin
Trailer: Escape 19 (sold) Escape 21 2014
Posts: 1,458
Bob,
I knew you were a candidate for this potential fix. I believe you mentioned the extensions to the top vent openings. Since this is a seat of the pants solution "you" may need more or less blocking of the top vent.
__________________
Paul and Janet Braun
2003 Toyota 4Runner V8 now 2012 Toyota Sequoia V8
Escape 19' 2010 now 2014 Escape 21'
fudge_brownie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2017, 08:13 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
thoer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Galesville, Wisconsin
Trailer: 2017 21 "Blue II" & 2017 Highlander XLE (previously 2010 17B "Blue" & 2008 Tacoma)
Posts: 4,207
Nice, well documented and helpful information, Paul.
__________________
Eric (and Mary who is in no way responsible for anything stupid I post)

"Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance." George Bernard Shaw
thoer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2017, 08:17 PM   #5
Site Team
 
cpaharley2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Chilliwack, British Columbia
Trailer: Escape#4, 2019 Escape21 DejaView pulled by 2014 Ram Hemi/8sp
Posts: 20,021
Paul,
I had the same model refer in my 21 and I disconnected my thermister and let it hang inside, I also put water in my condensate cup to keep the end covered. I only covered the bottom part of the side vent. These all helped. Finally those fans will not come on, the thermocouple is too hot. I bypassed them with a manual switch and operated them manually. See post #70 here RMD 8555 Two Door Fridge - performance stats
__________________
Jim
"Never in doubt,..... often wrong!"
cpaharley2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2017, 08:28 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Mike Lewis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Santa Rosa County, Florida
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
Posts: 2,208
I have the same year and model Escape, the same fridge, and the same problem: the fridge gets too warm when driving. So your post is timely for me, thanks! But-- my fridge gets too warm when driving when it is on either propane or 12V power, so in my case at least it's not just the flame blowing out (when on 12V); it's something to do with the airflow in the fridge compartment. I wondered about modifying the roof vent as well but I didn't know what to do. I like your method and I'll try it out.

I'm really glad I read this thread, and I appreciate the info.
__________________
Mike Lewis
Photos and travelogues here: mikelewisimages.com
Mike Lewis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2017, 08:10 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
fudge_brownie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Janesville, WI, Wisconsin
Trailer: Escape 19 (sold) Escape 21 2014
Posts: 1,458
Mike,
You add an interesting angle to the failure to cool down while driving. With both sources of power it seems more like venting or door leak. I thought in the scheme of cooling performance the 12 volt was quite far below 120 volt and propane. Can that account for the difference?

Jim,
I reread all 200+ posts on the discussion you linked to. Several things struck me, 1) there did not seem to be a resolution to the issue, just lots of things to try and 2) has anyone installed a replacement heat sensor (I thought 110-120 F was settled on) that turns those beautiful, but silent, fans on automatically?
__________________
Paul and Janet Braun
2003 Toyota 4Runner V8 now 2012 Toyota Sequoia V8
Escape 19' 2010 now 2014 Escape 21'
fudge_brownie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2017, 10:15 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Mike Lewis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Santa Rosa County, Florida
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
Posts: 2,208
Quote:
Originally Posted by fudge_brownie View Post
Mike,
You add an interesting angle to the failure to cool down while driving. With both sources of power it seems more like venting or door leak. I thought in the scheme of cooling performance the 12 volt was quite far below 120 volt and propane. Can that account for the difference?
I don't think it's a door leak, but I'll make sure the fridge doors are shut securely from now on. I'm doing a static test right now with the fridge running for a day or two on each power source, to make sure that I only see a problem when the trailer is being towed. I should know more in a few days.
__________________
Mike Lewis
Photos and travelogues here: mikelewisimages.com
Mike Lewis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2017, 05:31 AM   #9
Site Team
 
cpaharley2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Chilliwack, British Columbia
Trailer: Escape#4, 2019 Escape21 DejaView pulled by 2014 Ram Hemi/8sp
Posts: 20,021
Quote:
Originally Posted by fudge_brownie View Post
Mike,
You add an interesting angle to the failure to cool down while driving. With both sources of power it seems more like venting or door leak. I thought in the scheme of cooling performance the 12 volt was quite far below 120 volt and propane. Can that account for the difference?

Jim,
I reread all 200+ posts on the discussion you linked to. Several things struck me, 1) there did not seem to be a resolution to the issue, just lots of things to try and 2) has anyone installed a replacement heat sensor (I thought 110-120 F was settled on) that turns those beautiful, but silent, fans on automatically?
I spoke with the manufacturer of these heat sensors for fan control and they agreed what Dometic was using as a on/off point was too hot. However the cost for a new lower sensor ws about $30. The manual on/off switch was a more economical answer. Your choice....
__________________
Jim
"Never in doubt,..... often wrong!"
cpaharley2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2017, 05:33 AM   #10
Site Team
 
cpaharley2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Chilliwack, British Columbia
Trailer: Escape#4, 2019 Escape21 DejaView pulled by 2014 Ram Hemi/8sp
Posts: 20,021
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Lewis View Post
I don't think it's a door leak, but I'll make sure the fridge doors are shut securely from now on. I'm doing a static test right now with the fridge running for a day or two on each power source, to make sure that I only see a problem when the trailer is being towed. I should know more in a few days.
Mike, just remember the defrost hose is a source of warm air and it should be immersed in water or have a loop to keep water in blocking the air intrusion.
__________________
Jim
"Never in doubt,..... often wrong!"
cpaharley2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2017, 07:22 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
skiman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Jeromesville, Ohio
Trailer: Escape 21' pulled with 2014 Silverado Crewcab
Posts: 729
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Mike, just remember the defrost hose is a source of warm air and it should be immersed in water or have a loop to keep water in blocking the air intrusion.
Also the fantastic fan should be shut to avoid pulling air through the drain. I'm not sure how well the hose stays immersed in our "rolling earthquake". Also keeps dust being pulled into the interior.
__________________
Carl,

"Isn't it amazing how much stuff we get done the day before vacation?"
Zig Ziglar
skiman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2017, 10:17 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
MyronL's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Edgewood, New Mexico
Trailer: 2013 Esc19/'14 Silvrado
Posts: 2,936
"...In theory those nifty fans on the back of the refrigerator should kick on. Has anyone heard theirs go on?..."

Very much like your vent solutions. Haven't seen this issue affecting my fridge performance but will be keeping watch.

I never heard my fans go on so I changed the thermistor sensor in back and added a manual switch in front. Fair warning: Pulling out the fridge is not a job for the squeamish.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg FrigFSw.jpg (46.3 KB, 34 views)
__________________
Myron
"A billion here, a billion there...add it all up and before you know it you're talking real money." Everett Dirkson
MyronL is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2017, 08:29 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Mike Lewis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Santa Rosa County, Florida
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
Posts: 2,208
Well, I was wrong-- my test of the fridge running on 12V shows that it indeed gets too warm when the trailer is sitting still, not only when it is moving. I had the fridge on 12V all day today; it was cloudy and the ambient temperature was in the 60s. The fridge went up to 44 degrees F. So I guess I will use the OP's screen method and keep the fridge on propane when traveling, and at all times other than when I have shore power. It's a good idea worth trying, anyway.

I had my single-door fridge swapped out for a two-door model at ETI in the summer of 2015. I assumed that they included a fan, but damned if I can find one or hear one. Camping World wanted $400+ to install one, including labor. No thanks. Perhaps after the Osoyoos rally I can schedule an appointment with ETI to install this fan. I'm not about to pull the fridge myself. Nosirreebub.
__________________
Mike Lewis
Photos and travelogues here: mikelewisimages.com
Mike Lewis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2017, 08:39 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
gbaglo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: North Vancouver, British Columbia
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B - "Toad". '08 Toyota RAV4 V6
Posts: 13,896
Have you checked the door seals?
Close the door on a $1 bill ( or a $5 in Canada ) and tug on it. It shouldn't be easily removed. Do that all around the door.
__________________
2009 Escape 17B "Toad"
2008 Toyota RAV4 V6 Sport
North Vancouver, British Columbia

What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
gbaglo is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2017, 08:59 PM   #15
Site Team
 
cpaharley2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Chilliwack, British Columbia
Trailer: Escape#4, 2019 Escape21 DejaView pulled by 2014 Ram Hemi/8sp
Posts: 20,021
Mike, you have fans they just need to be connected and turned on, there is a black metal thermocouple on your burner tube with 2 wires running to it, all you have to do is install an in line switch and activate these two wires, you will hear your fan activate. I'll bring an extra switch to Osoyoos, it takes 5 minutes....
__________________
Jim
"Never in doubt,..... often wrong!"
cpaharley2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2017, 09:27 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Mike Lewis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Santa Rosa County, Florida
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
Posts: 2,208
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Mike, you have fans they just need to be connected and turned on, there is a black metal thermocouple on your burner tube with 2 wires running to it, all you have to do is install an in line switch and activate these two wires, you will hear your fan activate. I'll bring an extra switch to Osoyoos, it takes 5 minutes....
Thanks, Jim. I'll look for the thermocouple tomorrow.
__________________
Mike Lewis
Photos and travelogues here: mikelewisimages.com
Mike Lewis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2017, 09:57 PM   #17
Site Team
 
cpaharley2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Chilliwack, British Columbia
Trailer: Escape#4, 2019 Escape21 DejaView pulled by 2014 Ram Hemi/8sp
Posts: 20,021
Mike,
go to post #70 here and you will see the pictures of what you are looking for RMD 8555 Two Door Fridge - performance stats
__________________
Jim
"Never in doubt,..... often wrong!"
cpaharley2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2017, 07:18 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Mike Lewis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Santa Rosa County, Florida
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
Posts: 2,208
I found the thermocouple. I even saw the lower fan for the first time; I guess I had been looking in the wrong place. My fridge went up to 44 F today running on propane, so I guess I need to activate those fans.
__________________
Mike Lewis
Photos and travelogues here: mikelewisimages.com
Mike Lewis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2017, 07:23 PM   #19
Site Team
 
cpaharley2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Chilliwack, British Columbia
Trailer: Escape#4, 2019 Escape21 DejaView pulled by 2014 Ram Hemi/8sp
Posts: 20,021
Yep, just insert one wire in the left side and one wire in the right side and flip the switch and the fans will activate here they are https://www.amazon.com/TEQStone-Pre-...+toggle+switch
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 61adtL7rPuL._SL1200_.jpg (72.5 KB, 17 views)
__________________
Jim
"Never in doubt,..... often wrong!"
cpaharley2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2017, 07:59 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
MyronL's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Edgewood, New Mexico
Trailer: 2013 Esc19/'14 Silvrado
Posts: 2,936
Mike you might also read my post#2 in Learned stuff, Quartzsite.
__________________

__________________
Myron
"A billion here, a billion there...add it all up and before you know it you're talking real money." Everett Dirkson
MyronL is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off






» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Escape Trailer Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:37 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.
×