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Old 07-12-2014, 06:03 PM   #1
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How many folks are having fridge issues

Pretty good layman's description of how the absorbtion process works. Think I'll still install a solar powered vent cover fan on my 21 just out of curiosity. As long as there is airflow over the top coils it still might help somewhat. Have to do some detailed studies......

I used to be a member of ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air conditioning Engineers.)
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Old 07-12-2014, 06:36 PM   #2
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Thanks for the info.

I read a very interesting article -- reads like a rant but the guy has some valid points, about how ammonia absorption refrigerators just don't last. He makes a point that a) rv refrigerator manufacturers don't provide the service needed, and b) that there would be a huge market for compressor type refrigerator manufacturers to make units designed to simply drop in and replace the absorption types:

RV Refrigerator Failures - RV Full Time
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Old 07-12-2014, 07:46 PM   #3
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Compressors require a LOT of electricity to run, so I think it would be a very limited replacement market. Never heard of one that runs on propane.

The author did not post what his solution to his personal fridge problems is, either.
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Old 07-12-2014, 07:59 PM   #4
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Compressors require a LOT of electricity to run, so I think it would be a very limited replacement market. Never heard of one that runs on propane.

The author did not post what his solution to his personal fridge problems is, either.
I believe I read that he replaced his with a Whirlpool stainless 21 cu ft house fridge.
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Old 07-12-2014, 08:29 PM   #5
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That Whirlpool stainless 21 cu ft house fridge draws about 9 amps per day at 120 volts which I believe is the most energy efficient home refrigerator on the market....a real possibility for full-timers with multiple batteries, solar and an inverter.
Exactly. Not a viable option for us, but for full timers with more battery and solar power, or for those who pretty much stay on grid, it might be a better option. Just because it doesn't specifically address our small trailer's needs doesn't mean it isn't interesting. Perhaps the day will come when the technology doesn't require ammonia absorption, and/or uses less amperage.
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Old 07-12-2014, 10:07 PM   #6
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Some states one could pull a pup trailer behind the main trailer. Could put a 21 cf fridge in that...........think of the added closet space in the Escape!
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Old 07-12-2014, 10:40 PM   #7
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We are in Bothel Wa, it's Mid 30's and had baffle update done yesterday , with the small battery operatd fan fridge on 120 it's marinating right around 40 degrees .
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Old 07-12-2014, 11:01 PM   #8
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We are in Bothel Wa, it's Mid 30's and had baffle update done yesterday , with the small battery operatd fan fridge on 120 it's marinating right around 40 degrees .
Who did the baffle update and where did you get the directions?
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Old 07-12-2014, 11:18 PM   #9
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Some states one could pull a pup trailer behind the main trailer. Could put a 21 cf fridge in that...........think of the added closet space in the Escape!
What's crazy about this is that the refrigerator I mentioned earlier draws 9 amps per day but the parasitic loss from my 2500 watt inverter is 1.4 amps per hour...or 34 amps per day just being turned on. The refrigerator would use only 21% of the total. The inverter would require the rest. I have plenty of solar and battery capacity to do this sometime but working up the numbers is interesting. It would total out to 43 amps of solar charging needed to catch up every day. I probably wouldn't ever do this if I can keep the Dometic unit running but if it ever dies it goes in the trash and a home unit probably goes in its place...
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Old 07-13-2014, 12:01 AM   #10
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Compressors require a LOT of electricity to run,
I kept my boat in the Med. for 10 years, including North Africa ports. Very hot places. Keeping stuff cool was never an issue because the engine had an engine driven compressor and the fridge/freezer had a holding plate. 45 minutes running in the morning when getting underway and 45 minutes running before reaching port was all that was necessary to keep the holding plate freezing. Since it is an eutectic solution the freezing temperature is way below that of water. It would easily keep stuff for 2 days.

After having a great working system like that I'm not all that impressed with the current system. A total run time of 1 1/2 hours isn't all that onerous. If we end up taking the trailer to Mexico I'll probably play around with some version of a holding plate system. Either electric or putting to use a very small diesel that currently powers a 100 amp alternator.

Interesting thread, definitely seems to be variations on how the current system works for people.

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Old 07-13-2014, 12:29 AM   #11
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I have suspected all along that there was no hope for my 5cf model. Many of you have heard me complain while searching for a solution. Mine belongs in an igloo and not in an Escape bound for Texas. For me, 35c is a normal summer day. I have experienced many nights of getting up and checking the fridge temp. We have lost food to spoilage during outings. I have gotten no where with Dometic on the issue. My warranty has expired now and when it totally quits, I'll gut it and convert it to an ice box with a block ice compartment and drain. A dorm fridge would likely fit but then you have lost the flexibility of dry camping or staying in primitive campsites. I placed my order with Fridge Fix yesterday. We will see if that might help. I will likely have no more than an expensive light now. Until the RV nation revolts, everyone will suffer with poor refrigerator performance.
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Old 07-13-2014, 12:37 AM   #12
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Dumb question: Could you just retrofit the existing unit to handle an ice block in the freezer (adding a drain or collector) when the temps are high? (Turning the fridge off, of course.) Would it be any different than adding an icebox?

Edited: In re-reading your post, I see that that's what you are planning to do. But could you keep it as a two-way (propane and ice) fridge?
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Old 07-13-2014, 12:37 AM   #13
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I have suspected all along that there was no hope for my 5cf model. Many of you have heard me complain while searching for a solution. Mine belongs in an igloo and not in an Escape bound for Texas. For me, 35c is a normal summer day. I have experienced many nights of getting up and checking the fridge temp. We have lost food to spoilage during outings. I have gotten no where with Dometic on the issue. My warranty has expired now and when it totally quits, I'll gut it and convert it to an ice box with a block ice compartment and drain. A dorm fridge would likely fit but then you have lost the flexibility of dry camping or staying in primitive campsites. I placed my order with Fridge Fix yesterday. We will see if that might help. I will likely have no more than an expensive light now. Until the RV nation revolts, everyone will suffer with poor refrigerator performance.
..not if you have sufficient solar, battery and inverter capacity...just sayin...
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Old 07-13-2014, 12:47 AM   #14
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Some states one could pull a pup trailer behind the main trailer. Could put a 21 cf fridge in that...........think of the added closet space in the Escape!
Point taken....lol. That'd look pretty silly. But, there are several ad/dc fridges that would take up no more space than their absorption counterparts -- and even fit in the same enclosure. I freely admit I don't know all the pitfalls, but it is still an interesting discussion.
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Old 07-13-2014, 12:51 AM   #15
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I was at the State Park in Morro Bay camping last year and saw a full size refrigerator sitting outside the entrance door of a 30' motorhome. I was just itching to take a look inside but gave it a pass...so someone is doing it already.
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Old 07-13-2014, 01:17 AM   #16
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I think that begs the question, at what point do you cross the line between camping and merely attaching wheels to your home, with no intention of ever moving it?
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Old 07-13-2014, 01:34 AM   #17
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I think that begs the question, at what point do you cross the line between camping and merely attaching wheels to your home, with no intention of ever moving it?
Agreed. I think I steered this thread off topic. It might be worth starting one to discuss the viability of ac/dc vs absorption, but it has nothing to do with baffles.
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Old 07-13-2014, 09:59 AM   #18
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Karen,
RV Formco still manufactures rv iceboxes. About $175.00. Once upon a time that was your only option in a RV. It's a big step backwards in technology. A lot of hassle and the cost of ice adds up on a long outing. It does give you a handy place to keep some food inside instead of just ice chests outside. At this point, I am not willing to spend $2500 or so on an AC unit, solar panels, inverter, batteries, and tow it down the road. Replacing a poor Dometic with another poor Dometic does appeal to me either.
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Old 07-13-2014, 11:59 AM   #19
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I have suspected all along that there was no hope for my 5cf model. Many of you have heard me complain while searching for a solution. Mine belongs in an igloo and not in an Escape bound for Texas. For me, 35c is a normal summer day. I have experienced many nights of getting up and checking the fridge temp. We have lost food to spoilage during outings. I have gotten no where with Dometic on the issue. My warranty has expired now and when it totally quits, I'll gut it and convert it to an ice box with a block ice compartment and drain. A dorm fridge would likely fit but then you have lost the flexibility of dry camping or staying in primitive campsites. I placed my order with Fridge Fix yesterday. We will see if that might help. I will likely have no more than an expensive light now. Until the RV nation revolts, everyone will suffer with poor refrigerator performance.
Sorry to hear about all the woes. I've got the little one that came with my 17B and have had no problems. However, I have also used mine as an icebox with a block of ice in a plastic dishpan so it can be dumped when the ice melts. Just a thought.
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Old 07-13-2014, 01:36 PM   #20
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At this point, I am not willing to spend $2500 or so on an AC unit, solar panels, inverter, batteries, and tow it down the road. Replacing a poor Dometic with another poor Dometic does appeal to me either.
I hear you Dave. In our case, we're getting the A/C, 6V batts and prewired solar as part of the build. Later we may have the option to go with ac/dc, but for now we'll stick with the absorption fridge and hope for the best.
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