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Old 12-17-2012, 09:23 AM   #61
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I went back and read all the posts, it seems, that the issue here lies with 5.0 Dometic model. The other two mentioned, 3.3 and 6.7 seemed ok. Let's monitor this some more next summer and try to get it resolved. Thanks everyone for their input.
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:54 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
I went back and read all the posts, it seems, that the issue here lies with 5.0 model. The other two mentioned, 3.3 and 6.7 seemed ok. Let's monitor this some more next summer and try to get it resolved. Thanks everyone for their input.
Yes, I posted our story so that others will be aware of monitoring their refrigerators, particularly the Dometic 5 cf model when used in the Escape 19.

Regardless of the particular Escape model and the particular refrigerator model, though, it sure wouldn't hurt to watch the temperatures by thermometer and know that your food is consistently staying cold. It is possible that (most?) other owners have not been using a thermometer in their refrigerators so they do not know just how their fridge is performing under driving vs sitting conditions.

At every gas stop, I dashed back inside the Escape to record the refrigerator temperature, and consistently observed that the temperature started descending again as soon as we stopped driving. It came down a few degrees even in a 10-minute stop. So, if you are not using a thermometer, it might be that your refrigerators are moving out of a safe temperature range during a drive, but drinks are tasting cold again by the time you have stopped for a while and happen to do a taste test.

In case anybody is doubting the accuracy of our thermometer, or thinking that our thermometer inexplicably didn't work while the camper was in motion, these were desperate thoughts we also had. As I have probably posted before, we use a thermometer that can be read from the outside of the refrigerator so we do not have to open the fridge door, knowing that opening the door has a quick warming effect in there. During part of our latest trip, we also added a second thermometer so that we could verify that the first thermometer was working properly, and yes, they were consistent.

We'll definitely look forward to hearing what everybody else's fridge is doing when more people are taking data with a thermometer. And we'll be camping on the Gulf Coast in late February, so we can hope for outdoor temperatures warm enough there to perhaps teach us something about our new fan and baffle.
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Old 12-17-2012, 01:29 PM   #63
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I read someplace about placing a penny in side a container that has frozen water. Then you place this in your rv freezer. If you find the penny encased in ice, then it indicates that your freezer thawed, the penny dropped, and then refroze again. A cheap indicator that your freezer stopped working long enough to thaw something and come back on to refreeze.
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Old 12-17-2012, 02:04 PM   #64
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We bought our 17B a little over a year ago, moving up from tent camping so we had no experience with gas refrigerators. That, and being an engineer, I had to throughly analyse its performance. I bought a wireless thermometer that, with the sensor in the refig, I could read its internal temperature from the car. Since our refig is the smaller one, it can run on DC so when moving, we used the car’s power. That worked fine for the first 3-4 trip during the winter.

Our first long trip came in July when we traveled from California (San Jose), through Nevada, Idaho, to Yellowstone, then back, for 2 weeks. While traveling, the temp was in the high 40’s to low 50’s. We too distrusted our sensor so I put another one to verify the readings. That led to some confusion for a day or two until I realized that here was a big difference in the temperatures within the refig. The door trays apparently receive little cool air and were much warmer than other parts and for a while, one sensor was lying under the cooling fins and reading much lower than the other sensor. When the outside temps were high, we switched to using gas (instead of the car’s DC) which seemed to work better but I’m not sure how much since I had confusing temperature data. My conclusion from that trip was that we had put too much food in for the little blue cube fan to effectively move the cool air around.

On a later trip, were camping were it was in the 90’s during the day and the frig temperature would rise from about 42 in the morning to 50’s in the day (similar to when traveling during the other trips). This was not acceptable especially since the frig was not overloaded so I needed to do something. I added curved baffling at the top vent and baffling along the side of the absorber as shown in Dometic’s documentation. I stop short of adding a fan since people on the Casita web site say baffling works well and I wanted to see how the passive system works before adding more complexity. The blue cube fan just didn’t seem to cut it so I then added 2 small fans attached the internal cooling fins which move the air around in the internal compartment better. I have used my modifications a few times but the weather was cool and I can’t tell how much difference they make. I do notice less of a temperature difference in the compartment so the moving air is good.

As a side, I never seemed to have problems with the freezer section. I didn’t put the sensors in that compartment but our ice cream was always hard.

I will be watching this closely next summer; I really need a refrigerator that I can trust.

Ben
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Old 12-17-2012, 02:27 PM   #65
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While operating on DC, was there a big drain on your battery? Do you have solar and 2x6's or just one battery? I'd like to think that 12v is a viable choice for non propane situations.
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:01 PM   #66
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the little blue cube fan

Ben[/QUOTE]

Ben, do you have a picture of this? Where did you get it?
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:10 PM   #67
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CW sells them as well as most other rv suppliers, I think it is by Camco.
http://www.campingworld.com/search/i...p_sort_default
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:27 PM   #68
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While operating on DC, was there a big drain on your battery? Do you have solar and 2x6's or just one battery? I'd like to think that 12v is a viable choice for non propane situations.
On DC, the frig draws about 10A so I wouldn't want to run it too long without the car engine running. Sometimes when we get on site, it may take us 1/2 hour to turn on the gas and I can see the battery gauge take a hit. But I do have solar and dual 6V batteries so have no problem getting the charge back.

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CW sells them as well as most other rv suppliers
Yes, that is what I used.

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Old 12-17-2012, 03:35 PM   #69
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With solar you should only be drawing 3-4 amps less your charging, did you ever measure your net loss while hooked up to tug, if 1-2 amps loss, may be worth to switch to DC?
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:48 PM   #70
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I'm watching this situation in my 17B as well. On a pop-up I once owned I added a 12v computer fan in the outer compartment to help dissipate heat, and it seemed to work well. In that instance I had a separate on/off switch, since I only needed it when the weather was particularly hot. Don't see how that kind of installation would work with the Escape, however, so I'm interested in the baffles Ben mentioned, and the 2 small fans you installed.

Bob
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