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Old 07-29-2014, 09:19 AM   #1
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Shading the fridge

OK, this may be a hair/hare-brained idea but what the heck....
In discussing how to make the fridge cool better, people often say you should try to keep the fridge side of the trailer in the shade. Following on that vein, I'm thinking about creating a 'shade-making' device when natural shade is not available and wanted input on what areas would be most important to shade.

I know the awning would shade the whole side of the trailer but here in NM (and other places) wind is unpredictable and we hate to leave the trailer for long periods of time with the shade extended.

So, if one were to fashion something to shade just the fridge area, would you need to shade from the very top of the upper vent and on down to below the lower vent? Or do you want to leave the upper vent exposed and shade from there down or visa versa? Any ideas on where it is most important for the shade to be or NOT be? Clearly the shade would have to be far enough out from the wall of the trailer so it does not impeded air flow but I'm just in the wondering about it stage right now.

Thanks for any input!
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Old 07-29-2014, 11:59 AM   #2
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Somewhere on the forum is a photo of an awning that someone rigged up to cover their refrigerator. I've looked but can't find it. Maybe someone else can help ...
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Old 07-29-2014, 06:06 PM   #3
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Here is a photo of a shade we used last summer in Tumalo, OR.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/brian_vansnell/9367758608

We propped the bottom cover open and rigged a small fan to blow air into the bottom of the fridge.

Tumalo is in the Oregon high desert, hot in the day and cool at night which gave the fridge a chance to recover. We used ice in a cooler for drinks so that we did not need to open the fridge very much. The fridge was running on propane and we had a solar panel to provide power for fans and lights.
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Old 07-29-2014, 06:34 PM   #4
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Brian, which picture shows the shade you were talking about? I looked at numerous pictures of yours and didn't find it.
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Old 07-29-2014, 07:32 PM   #5
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The first one,with the white tent shows his vent is open on the side...
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Old 07-29-2014, 07:45 PM   #6
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Just a thought...
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File Type: jpg JCLiberty32.jpg (75.7 KB, 16 views)
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Old 07-29-2014, 07:45 PM   #7
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OK. I see the vent opening shaded.
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Old 07-29-2014, 07:46 PM   #8
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Just a thought...
Now I'm hungry!
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Old 07-29-2014, 07:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bvansnell View Post
Here is a photo of a shade we used last summer in Tumalo, OR.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/brian_vansnell/9367758608

We propped the bottom cover open and rigged a small fan to blow air into the bottom of the fridge.

Tumalo is in the Oregon high desert, hot in the day and cool at night which gave the fridge a chance to recover. We used ice in a cooler for drinks so that we did not need to open the fridge very much. The fridge was running on propane and we had a solar panel to provide power for fans and lights.
So you think only the lower part needs to be shaded? Or would it help to shade the part above, up to the exhaust vent?
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Old 07-29-2014, 07:56 PM   #10
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Ah Ha! I found the post that had photos of outside awnings. Can't see that any of these are shading the fridge, but the concept was really innovative. Maybe it could be adapted? https://sites.google.com/site/ourescape15trailer/home

(Scroll down to the "modifications" section, outside awnings.)
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Old 07-29-2014, 09:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CADreamin View Post
Ah Ha! I found the post that had photos of outside awnings. Can't see that any of these are shading the fridge, but the concept was really innovative. Maybe it could be adapted? https://sites.google.com/site/ourescape15trailer/home

(Scroll down to the "modifications" section, outside awnings.)
Thanks! Ironically, I have actually already made awnings based on techfan's mods as pictured in your link. Thought I might do something similar for the fridge but really wanted to know what area needed to be shaded. If it is just the lower area then I need to make the awning down there.
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Old 07-30-2014, 12:52 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by FMLNM View Post
So you think only the lower part needs to be shaded? Or would it help to shade the part above, up to the exhaust vent?
The shade we have only covers the lower half of the fridge. The fan helps to move air over the back of the fridge. The fridge seems to work well. I know that when we have parked the trailer so that the fridge is in shade it also works well. It is possible a shade over the whole fridge area might work as long as air can move in the bottom and out the top. Usually when I get a solution that works I stop working on the problem!
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Old 07-30-2014, 09:26 PM   #13
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We've been thinking of a shade awning over the refrigerator. Our older 19' has two side vents, not a top vent. I'd make it to go over both vents and the portion of the side wall where the 'frig sits.

The current idea is to make it of PVC or other light tubing and support it from the side of the trailer with suction cups. Probably use a mesh fabric which would stop most of the solar radiation but allow air circulation.

No, wait! What a great million dollar product. Just ignore what I said till the product hits the shelves.

Thanks.
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Old 07-30-2014, 10:20 PM   #14
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I just ordered a double towel rack that attaches via suction cups. The offset from the wall would be about 6 inches. If it actually st icks well, then I plan to attach it somewhere on the fridge side of the trailer ( experimenting with location) and just hang a lightweight towel type material from it. Maybe even wet it to generate cooler air. Might take a while...the towel rack is coming from china. The top, bottom and sides would be open allowing air flow. We'll see how it works...probably can't hurt!
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Old 07-31-2014, 02:55 AM   #15
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You can buy sun shade material from the big box hardware stores, maybe WM.
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Old 07-31-2014, 09:31 AM   #16
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You can buy sun shade material from the big box hardware stores, maybe WM.
Thanks - I believe I can...hopefully the towel rack will hold the material far enough from the wall of the trailer that I can just use a wet kitchen towel...that will be the first attempt. Might be a few weeks before the towel rack arrives from China....couldn't find anything similar from here.
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