The refrigerator @ 104 in the shade. - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 07-12-2013, 11:10 PM   #1
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The refrigerator @ 104 in the shade.

I may have found a limitation to operating my 5.0 cubic foot frig down here in Texas. During my last outing it was very warm outside(104/92) and my refrigerator really struggled to keep the milk from spoiling. I was running on gas at the maximum cold setting 24/7. During the build Reace added extra insulation and a cooling fan to help with this issue. Does anyone have a mechanical solution or mod that has helped them operate in these extreme summer temps?
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Old 07-12-2013, 11:23 PM   #2
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Do you know what were the temps were in the refrigerator and freezer? In your situation I would put anything that may spoil on ice in a good cooler. The refrigerator can only go so many degrees below ambient.
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Old 07-13-2013, 07:39 AM   #3
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They have solar refrigerator shrouds that replace roof top models with built in fans, it would seem with that high heat outside that the heat created by the refer was not exiting thru the roof vent. Does it work okay on 120v? If so then that maybe your solution?
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Old 07-13-2013, 07:57 AM   #4
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We hit the limits with our new 6.7 cubic foot fridge on the way home from California a couple of weeks ago. It was 108F driving across the CA central valley, and the fridge just didn't have a chance. We made the mistake of adding some groceries to it just before we left in the middle of the day, and it didn't cool down until nighttime. In general, if the temps were much above 90 during the day, the fridge temp would get up into the mid/upper 40s and then cool off again into upper 30s at night. I couldn't tell much difference whether on 120V or propane in camp, or between 12V and propane while driving. We tried a fan inside the fridge which helped a little. We had to throw away some milk and other things. The whole time, the freezer section seemed to be fine, although I didn't measure the temperature there. I think in the future, if we're in seriously high temperatures while driving, we'll pack a bag of ice right in the fridge.
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Old 07-13-2013, 08:06 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveandsandyclink View Post
Does anyone have a mechanical solution or mod that has helped them operate in these extreme summer temps?
Drive to a cooler climate. Heck, even I would be melting at those temps.

Seriously though, even with good ventilation, there is not much to be done with these evaporation type fridges. As mentioned, they operate at a set temperature below ambient. I have had the opposite situation happen to me, in that when using the fridge when temps are below freezing, it is tough to keep the contents from freezing, even on the lowest setting. We have often just turned it off for a while to remedy this.

Maybe adding ice might help. Maybe freeze some in pop bottles to keep in the fridge, and open it as least often as you can get away with.
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Old 07-13-2013, 08:15 AM   #6
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I try to maintain my temperature at 4-8 for the freezer and 36-40 for the refer, all the time. Milk should not spoil in the 40's degrees temporarily. Do you have thermometers and are you sure it is not blowing out and getting warmer than in the 40's? Also I think whole 4% milk is more perishable than 1% or 2% milk. I have a set of these and they tell you not only the current temperature but also the high and low temperature, which is good to know to determine the swing in temperature while towing. Amazon.com: ACU_RITE Refrigerator/Freezer Wireless Digital Thermometer 00986: Kitchen & Dining
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Old 07-13-2013, 09:44 AM   #7
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We had both whole milk for tea and 1% for cereal, plus mayo that we didn't trust. The milk definitely went "off" before we finished it, and we were afraid of using the mayo after a few excursions for hours at a time in the upper 40s F. We measured the temps with an old fashioned fridge thermometer plus a small digital unit that I left in there. I like that remote setup; might have to try one.
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Old 07-13-2013, 10:15 AM   #8
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I have been monitoring my inside frig temps with a Camco temp monitor. Temps ranged in the upper 40's /low 50's. I also use a cube fan to circulate air inside the frig. I thought about using ice but did not want chance of water getting loose and reaching the floor. There seemed to be no difference between 120v & propane.

We often just travel and use our Escape as a rolling bathroom, motel, and a place to eat. A light load of food & drinks, lots of road time, opening the door very little.

I read on a RV site that adding a duct to exit air directly out the side vent would help. I've done that. I have thought about installing a solar powered
roof vent directly above the refrigerator area to help vent warm air out.

Like I stated, I might have reached it's operating range. Having said that, the roads are full of RV's this time of year.
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Old 07-13-2013, 10:39 AM   #9
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Has anyone removed the freezer section ? If so does the removal increase the cooling ability ?
What is the model number of the frig that is currently being used in the 19' TT ?
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Old 07-13-2013, 10:39 AM   #10
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I wonder if there are models of fridges that will go colder. Reace is bound by the smaller opening size of the Escape door for what he can fit inside.
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