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Old 05-16-2021, 01:20 PM   #1
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Access panel above fridge?

Has anyone added an access panel to the space above the fridge where the tank monitor resides? 2018 5.0TA. I have a few projects that I would like to have electrical control located in that central location. Right now there is no access unless you pull the fridge and look up or work through that tiny hole for the monitor. There's plenty of space in there and creating a door, tilting panel,... anything, for easy access for installing, repairs or trouble shooting.
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Old 05-16-2021, 04:57 PM   #2
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Don't know about yours but mine was empty and gap open to outside for hot air from the frig fins and flu. I had rv service re-install refrig and insulate. I did mount some instrument meters in that space but pulled the tank panel for access.
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Old 05-17-2021, 06:25 AM   #3
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I'll agree there is abundant unused space above the fridge. The rear of mine appears to have a section of insulation hanging down touching the top of the fridge and I can see daylight shining through the insulation.
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Old 05-17-2021, 07:09 AM   #4
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Be very careful. On my 2015 5.0TA there is a zip-tied bundle of wiring with virtually no slack in close proximity to the front panel (to the left hand side of the monitor). In 2015, Escape installed the tank monitor and the water heater switch (to run it on propane) in that area. I added a 120 vac switch in the same area to control the water heater’s electric element, thereby leaving the switch on the water heater itself permanently on. I would suggest you use an inspection mirror before cutting the panel to prevent “unintentional” damage to any existing wiring.
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Old 05-17-2021, 07:48 AM   #5
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Thanks for the information. I've taken several pics with my cell phone shoved into the tank monitor hole and have a good idea of where wires are. When I pull the fridge out to run additional wires then maybe I'll have a plan of where to cut and what type of removable/hinged panel to replace it with.
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Old 05-17-2021, 08:37 AM   #6
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Walt: StillCampin has dug in there on a 2019 5.0. This post may be helpful.
https://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f...tml#post308192

FYI...while you are in there make sure the empty space above the fridge is well sealed from the convective airflow path that needs to go up the back of the fridge and out your top vent. If hot air is allowed to surround the top of the fridge the performance will suffer tremendously.
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Old 05-17-2021, 10:11 AM   #7
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Has anyone tried this on a 21 ?.

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Old 05-17-2021, 11:53 AM   #8
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That's a good start, thanks. Looks like this project could snowball into a multiday task. Definitely not going to be deterred by the scope of things to accomplish while in there but look at it as a challenge.
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Old 05-17-2021, 01:20 PM   #9
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This is interesting. We have a 2018 5.0 build date November 18, and our control/ monitor panel is on the passenger side above the range hood.


I wonder why ours is in a different location? Did they move it for some option we got that you didn't or was it moved on all 5.0s after a certain date.

What was you're completion date?

It seems to me that it would be easier to install it above the frig as it is closer to the equipment it controls. Also on ours it is in a pretty tight spot between the cupboard door and the support wall is only about six inches wide.
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Old 05-17-2021, 02:18 PM   #10
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Our 2019 5.0 completed in June 2019 has it above the range hood also. Perhaps it was a change made late 2018.
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Old 05-17-2021, 03:02 PM   #11
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Completed March 5 2018. Not sure what options would require monitor panel to be located above hood vent. Are your fresh water level probes located on passenger side? A larger fridge?
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Old 05-17-2021, 03:18 PM   #12
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I think it's the same frig, must just be the new location after some point.


Strange though, it would seem to me a better location over the frig as the water pump and water heater are right there on the drivers side in the dinette bench.
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Old 05-18-2021, 07:47 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanandDaphne View Post
I think it's the same frig, must just be the new location after some point.

Strange though, it would seem to me a better location over the frig as the water pump and water heater are right there on the drivers side in the dinette bench.
Looks like they just made over the range hood their standard location...
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Old 05-18-2021, 10:09 AM   #14
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When we ordered our 5.0 in August of 2018 we wanted our GoPower controller mounted above the fridge. They said, "No" and explained the GoPower would be cut-in underneath the dinette bench and the tank monitor/water pump/water heater switch would be above the range hood. They felt there was heating problems above the fridge, and any controller should be as close to the batteries as possible.

I asked about installing another cabinet in that dead space and was told it would impede the cooling of the fridge.

Rather than cut into the dinette bench we asked for the GoPower controller to be zip-tied underneath the bench. After two years floating on top of two plastic boxes I replaced the GoPower controller with a Victron 100/30 controller that I read using bluetooth on my phone. Thank goodness we didn't have the GoPower cut into the bench front, since now there would be a gaping hole, or the GoPower would be sitting there useless. However, it could be used for a portable (a year earlier I had purchased a Victron 100/20 controller for our Renogy portable though).

Enjoy,

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Old 05-18-2021, 10:19 AM   #15
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sounds like ETI is still not blocking off and insulating the space over the fridge as per fridge manufacture specs.
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Old 06-02-2021, 06:22 PM   #16
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Be careful adding access to the refrigerator cabinet. The back side of the refrigerator needs to be sealed to the interior of the coach. If installed properly the top of the refrigerator should be sealed off to keep hot vent air from accumulating above the refrigerator. The back top of the refrigerator should be baffled to allow warm air to rise up through the upper vent without pooling above the refrigerator.

Not sure what you will find in the area above the refrigerator, but you could box in a compartment as long as you seal everything well between the interior and rear of the refrigerator.

When running on LP there is combustion gasses in the area behind the refrigerator.
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Old 10-03-2022, 02:36 PM   #17
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On my 5.0 the top space above refrigerator was open and flue heat and games were filling space. On a hot day the temp was really high. Escape guy said it was per dometic. Had to take it to local service to get it repaired. Escape only offered to pay about half. It really changed my opinion of Escape management.
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Old 10-03-2022, 02:46 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garyfaulkner00 View Post
On my 5.0 the top space above refrigerator was open and flue heat and games were filling space. On a hot day the temp was really high. Escape guy said it was per dometic. Had to take it to local service to get it repaired. Escape only offered to pay about half. It really changed my opinion of Escape management.
On our 2010 there was a 2" gap at the top the width of the refrigerator. Both sides also had a gaps. The top void seemed to fill with hot condenser air and the sides filled with warm ambient air. I filled with insulation which I was able to do without removing the fridge only because I have two sidewall vents. It amazes me that while Escape has improved their installations somewhat they still can't seem to meet all the detailed requirements in the Dometic installation manuals.
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Old 10-05-2022, 11:11 AM   #19
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I think what happens is the installer has a bad day and thinks no one will see the screw up. Then Escape doesn't want to admit responsibility.
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