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Old 11-18-2022, 11:22 AM   #1
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Texas style refrigerator.....

Okay, help an old guy out here.

I saw in the build sheet on the second page a "Texas Style" refrigerator.

So that is different than a Wisconsin, Iowa, or Washington refrigerator?

What the heck is that?
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Old 11-18-2022, 11:59 AM   #2
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The first refrigerators in the 21 were a Dometic 8551 model. They were not designed for hot conditions as I remember it. So several fixes were tried but in the end, Reace prevailed upon Dometic to exchange the original refrigerator for a “better” one which was the 8555. I think they called this the Texas model. Many folks changed theirs out and some even bought the 5 year Dometic extra warranty. Alas, the final analysis was that the 8555 also had challenges keeping cold for a lot of folks. Ours is the 8555 exchanged. It has two fans and does ok up to about 80 degrees. Being in the shade, precooling, using the fans help.

We don’t camp much when its real hot, usually camp in the shade and have an Engel refrigerator/freezer to keep things cold no matter what. The freezer on our 8555 works fine, the refrigerator doesn’t cool much below 40 degrees from ambient outdoor temps. When it’s 75 degrees or cooler outside, the 8555 refrigerator works great, otherwise we take the Engel along and things like meat and easily spoiled foods stay in there. Condiments, already cold soda, fruit like apples or tomatoes, those sort of things, live in the refrigerator till consumed. The freezer works ok, never gets much above 10 or 15 degrees, usually 0 degrees F or below.

Others have done more significant modifications and have better results. We went with the low electricity draw Engel swing compressor unit that is the size of a medium cooler. We use it in the camper, outside the camper, and in the Highlander, when we travel without the camper. During the holidays when the refrigerator gets pretty full in the house, I plug the Engel in and keep beer, eggnog and other err, libations in the Engel in the kitchen. Convenient. It will run on AC or DC. Not propane though
I think I’m right on this history, others have a better memory than mine.
Iowa Dave
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Old 11-18-2022, 12:03 PM   #3
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Thank you Dave

Dave

Thanks, you have a wealth of historical knowledge here.

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Old 11-18-2022, 02:17 PM   #4
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The Dometic RM8551 is a 4.3 cu ft. fridge that was standard in the 19 Gen1 Escapes. Buyers when ordering a 19 had the option to upgrade to the RML8555.

I do not believe they were ever installed in the 21 model Escape trailers. The original 6.7 cu.ft. RML8555 was a single door model that had numerous complaints from customers. In March 2015 Reace announced that he had reached an agreement with Dometic to allow people to swap their RML8555 for the RMD8555 two-door fridge that was claimed to have a better cooling unit.

Perhaps the "Texas style" really meant the Texas fan which was an option early on then became standard. It is a thermal controlled fan on the back of the fridge.

https://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f...html#post87530
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Old 11-18-2022, 04:13 PM   #5
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2013 - 21 for sale has Texas Refrig

The 2013 - 21 that Paul is selling here has the Texas Style refrigerator with upper and lower fans on page #2 of his build sheet on the second line..
Attached Thumbnails
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Old 11-18-2022, 05:39 PM   #6
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The record

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Originally Posted by Rossue View Post
The Dometic RM8551 is a 4.3 cu ft. fridge that was standard in the 19 Gen1 Escapes. Buyers when ordering a 19 had the option to upgrade to the RML8555.

I do not believe they were ever installed in the 21 model Escape trailers. The original 6.7 cu.ft. RML8555 was a single door model that had numerous complaints from customers. In March 2015 Reace announced that he had reached an agreement with Dometic to allow people to swap their RML8555 for the RMD8555 two-door fridge that was claimed to have a better cooling unit.

Perhaps the "Texas style" really meant the Texas fan which was an option early on then became standard. It is a thermal controlled fan on the back of the fridge.

https://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f...html#post87530
Thanks for setting the record straight Ross. I knew there was an exchange and got my numbers wrong. We had a 2010 Escape 19 with a single door fridge but I think it was a 2510. I knew there was an exchange because AZJack had done that on the 21 we bought from him. He had also bought the extended warranty which we never needed.

My daughter has a 74 Boler. Her original refrigerator conked out after 42 years. She lives in NE Indiana so they took it to the Amish refrigerator guy. He said it wasnít worth fixing and sold them a nice little unit that was a ďscratch and dent ď but was new. Its a little bigger than the original and works great. She was very happy with him and the unit too. So we contacted him about rebopping the two door 2555 for better performance. He was familiar with the Escape problem and his conclusion was that there was not enough room for a bigger cooling unit or better performance on the one we have. As I stated, it works well enough for us most of the time and in difference to fighting it we bought the Engel. If it conks out in the future, we will get a two way compressor unit and skip the propane. For now itís good enough.
Thanks again for the clarification.
Now all the young people are caught up and I can store something else new in my aging brain.
Iowa Dave
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Old 11-18-2022, 06:49 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Iowa Dave View Post
Thanks for setting the record straight Ross. I knew there was an exchange and got my numbers wrong. We had a 2010 Escape 19 with a single door fridge but I think it was a 2510. I knew there was an exchange because AZJack had done that on the 21 we bought from him. He had also bought the extended warranty which we never needed.

My daughter has a 74 Boler. Her original refrigerator conked out after 42 years. She lives in NE Indiana so they took it to the Amish refrigerator guy. He said it wasnít worth fixing and sold them a nice little unit that was a ďscratch and dent ď but was new. Its a little bigger than the original and works great. She was very happy with him and the unit too. So we contacted him about rebopping the two door 2555 for better performance. He was familiar with the Escape problem and his conclusion was that there was not enough room for a bigger cooling unit or better performance on the one we have. As I stated, it works well enough for us most of the time and in difference to fighting it we bought the Engel. If it conks out in the future, we will get a two way compressor unit and skip the propane. For now itís good enough.
Thanks again for the clarification.
Now all the young people are caught up and I can store something else new in my aging brain.
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The way I see it Dave is that the older you get the more you know, so therfore you have more to potentially forget
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Old 11-18-2022, 07:33 PM   #8
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The way I see it Dave is that the older you get the more you know, so therfore you have more to potentially forget
Yes thatís right thatís the ticket. And Iím doing my part, nobody ever called me slacker.
Have a great weekend and start thawing that turkey before long.
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Old 11-18-2022, 10:45 PM   #9
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My 8555 (w/"Texas" fans) freezer is a great place to thaw poultry when the outside temperature is above 80F.


We're investigating something better for next summer.
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Old 11-18-2022, 11:17 PM   #10
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Spoilage

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My 8555 (w/"Texas" fans) freezer is a great place to thaw poultry when the outside temperature is above 80F.


We're investigating something better for next summer.
My father in law asked me once if Iíd be going hunting on opening day of squirrel season. It was the next day and temperatures in the 90s were predicted.
I admitted that I planned on going.
He knew I liked those long shots the tops of the hickory trees.
He said simply ďarenít you afraid they might spoil before they hit the ground? ď
Our freezer has always been pretty good. In Ft Hayes Kansas we camped one day when it was 108F Toasty for sure.
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Old 11-19-2022, 08:19 PM   #11
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Absorption fridges are designed to cool the interior box to a food safe temp as long as the ambient temperature does not exceed 80 degrees. That is, 40 degrees F below ambient. That’s the physical reality of the design. Fans can be added, but they only work to lower ambient temperature through circulation/ventilation.

For many geographic locations, that is adequate; for us it is not.
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Old 11-19-2022, 08:27 PM   #12
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That is not our experience. If you don't over pack the fridge, keep things away from the fins it stays at low to mid forties them cools way down at night while stationary. This is while travelling in 100+ degree temps. A fan helps a lot too.
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Old 11-19-2022, 08:53 PM   #13
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Absorption fridges are designed to cool the interior box to a food safe temp as long as the ambient temperature does not exceed 80 degrees. That is, 40 degrees F below ambient. Thatís the physical reality of the design.
...
The above requires an explanation as to why the freezer works.
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Old 11-19-2022, 09:37 PM   #14
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The above requires an explanation as to why the freezer works.
The smaller freezer compartment and the larger cooling box operate via 2 separate evaporators.
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Old 11-20-2022, 11:01 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by bborzell View Post
Absorption fridges are designed to cool the interior box to a food safe temp as long as the ambient temperature does not exceed 80 degrees. That is, 40 degrees F below ambient. That’s the physical reality of the design. Fans can be added, but they only work to lower ambient temperature through circulation/ventilation.
Have to disagree here. I've found our last 7 campers had no problems, easily up to about 100 F. Now if we go back over 20 years I'd agree, but not the case with the campers we've purchased newer than 2002. You do have to know that the clip on the fin needs to be moved up or down to get the correct interior temps though. Once set, it seems we never have to set again.

The last camper we owned where the fridge was fickle was our 2001 Scamp with a totally non-electric fridge that you had to manually change the amout of gas needed depending on the conditions.

Our current 5.0, and our Lance, Bigfoot, Cougar, Eagle 33, and Casita, sat in our seasonal campground with no trees for shade, where 100F is not uncommon in July and August, and kept our beer easily under 40F.

The campers we've owned since 2001 that the fridges worked just fine:
2007 Casita 17 Spirit Standard
2007 Airstream Bambi 16
2012 Jayco Eagle 33
2014 Cougar 22RBS
2003 Bigfoot 25RB (previous owner replaced fridge around 2012)
2014 Lance 1995
2018 Escape 5.0
Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 11-20-2022, 11:50 AM   #16
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Have to disagree here. I've found our last 7 campers had no problems, easily up to about 100 F. Now if we go back over 20 years I'd agree, but not the case with the campers we've purchased newer than 2002. You do have to know that the clip on the fin needs to be moved up or down to get the correct interior temps though. Once set, it seems we never have to set again.

The last camper we owned where the fridge was fickle was our 2001 Scamp with a totally non-electric fridge that you had to manually change the amout of gas needed depending on the conditions.

Our current 5.0, and our Lance, Bigfoot, Cougar, Eagle 33, and Casita, sat in our seasonal campground with no trees for shade, where 100F is not uncommon in July and August, and kept our beer easily under 40F.

The campers we've owned since 2001 that the fridges worked just fine:
2007 Casita 17 Spirit Standard
2007 Airstream Bambi 16
2012 Jayco Eagle 33
2014 Cougar 22RBS
2003 Bigfoot 25RB (previous owner replaced fridge around 2012)
2014 Lance 1995
2018 Escape 5.0
Enjoy,

Perry
PerryÖ

You should have been buying lottery tickets since 2002.

My point is that the design parameters of the absorption fridge are pretty much defined by physics. 40 degrees F lower than ambient is not anecdotal, itís the limit of the design.

Lower cooling can be attained by added ventilation or better insulation, but those approaches donít change the physical limitations of the design, they simply buy more protection against ambient temperature.

I would guess that reports of consistent food safe temps with absorption fridges in greater than 80-85 degree environments speak more to the effectiveness of cabinet design, insulation and ventilation.
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Old 11-20-2022, 12:33 PM   #17
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PerryÖ

You should have been buying lottery tickets since 2002.

My point is that the design parameters of the absorption fridge are pretty much defined by physics. 40 degrees F lower than ambient is not anecdotal, itís the limit of the design.

Lower cooling can be attained by added ventilation or better insulation, but those approaches donít change the physical limitations of the design, they simply buy more protection against ambient temperature.

I would guess that reports of consistent food safe temps with absorption fridges in greater than 80-85 degree environments speak more to the effectiveness of cabinet design, insulation and ventilation.
Sorry Bob, but if that was true our fridge would be in the 60's in the summer and that hasn't ever happeded, not even close, much less the high 40's or 50's. I'm talking actual results, not some theoretical written on a piece of paper. And real results are what's important here.

Would we ever get a compressor fridge? Yes, if and when our absorption dies, but our absorption works great. They all die, even compressors, from the vibration rolling down the road.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 11-20-2022, 12:50 PM   #18
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Itís not too late to buy those lottery tickets.
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Old 11-20-2022, 01:28 PM   #19
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Bob, Iíve seen the 40 F limit mentioned with Peltier devices, but not absorption. What makes my Freezer -9F at 85F if I can only get 40F? Iíd like to know. Can you point me to info written in an understandable way?
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Old 11-20-2022, 02:04 PM   #20
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Bob, I’ve seen the 40 F limit mentioned with Peltier devices, but not absorption. What makes my Freezer -9F at 85F if I can only get 40F? I’d like to know. Can you point me to info written in an understandable way?
Randy…

Searches for technical information on absorption fridges almost invariably reveals RV Blog posts comparing compressors and absorption fridges. Most of them reference the 40F below ambient performance.

Besides those sometimes newfound knowledge tidbits, about the best I have come up with other than admittedly older articles that reference the original technology are rare, but occasionally candid references made by manufacturers.

Here is a quote from a Dometic brochure that lists as a “Con” for their absorption fridges, a limit of 32 C (89.6 F).

“CONS
• Higher energy consumption than compressor fridges
• Not suitable for use in extreme ambient temperatures above +32 įC (deserts, tropics**) – except for the new 10-series,
see page 16
• Gas operation not allowed on ferries or boats • Donotworkefficientlyonatilt>5–6į
* AES refrigerators are also suitable for solar operation
** Tip: The performance of absorption refrigerators can be enhanced by using a ventilator.”

The difference between the upper ambient limit as cited by Dometic and the theoretical 40 F lower than ambient temperature can easily be accounted for by thoughtful and effective cabinet design, insulation and, as cited by Dometic, ventilation.

For me the practical reality of a 90 F day reducing effective cooling to a food safe level as cited by the manufacturer of an absorption fridge translates to a significant impediment to us keeping our food safe where we live and camp.

As for the 40 F (or 50 F if you accept Dometic’s citation), I think that reference is for the main box as the freezer will often still keep food safe while the main box has exceeded 40 F.
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