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Old 06-14-2024, 12:07 PM   #1
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Space behind fridge? 17b

It looks like there could be a lot of space behind the fridge in the 17b. I have the larger fridge and it sticks into the aisle a little more than the smaller one and I"m assuming that was required air space. Plus more behind the microwave. But has anyone accessed those for storage or any other use?
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Old 06-14-2024, 01:22 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobbie54 View Post
It looks like there could be a lot of space behind the fridge in the 17b. I have the larger fridge and it sticks into the aisle a little more than the smaller one and I"m assuming that was required air space. Plus more behind the microwave. But has anyone accessed those for storage or any other use?
I have a 2022 E17A with the 4 cu. ft. frig, the larger option. If you remove the upper vent and look in, there are cooling fins and a fan between the trailer shell and the back to the frig. You really need the space that's there for air flow IMO.
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Old 06-14-2024, 02:14 PM   #3
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Thanks. I assume there is more space behind the microwave since my 15A cupboard was more than a microwave deep. I'll have to pull mine and check.
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Old 06-14-2024, 10:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SRS View Post
I have a 2022 E17A with the 4 cu. ft. frig, the larger option. If you remove the upper vent and look in, there are cooling fins and a fan between the trailer shell and the back to the frig. You really need the space that's there for air flow IMO.
Agree with SRS on the air flow. I'm going off of memory and a couple of pictures that I took modifying the space behind the fridge. With the larger 4cuft fridge there are only a couple of inches on the sides and a couple of inches from the top of the fridge to the bottom of the microwave cabinet. There is about 8" from the back of the cabinet to the side of the trailer. ETI had put a piece of paneling angled from the top of the fridge to the top of the upper vent to direct air out the top vent. My 17 did not have a fan on the back of the fridge.

This setup was totally inadequate. There were many dead spaces and when outdoor temps rose to upper 80s the fridge had trouble maintaining temps below 40F.

Worse, the temperature in the microwave cabinet above the fridge was above 110F which was no bueno for storing bread, cereal or other snacks. It melted my chocolate!

There are several threads/posts/articles that address absorption fridge improvements and most all involve improving insulation and air flow over the coils.

I added several inches of insulation on the top and sides of the fridge. I also filled the space between the back of the cabinet and the angled panel with insulation and then lined the interior above the coils to the top of the upper vent with reflectix so it was a true heat baffle. Two 5.5" fans controlled by an interior switch are mounted to the top vent which draws air from the bottom vent and pulls it over the coils and out the top vent.

I also adapted a Jon Vermilye mod and added fans to the interior of the fridge for air circulation to help keep temperatures constant throughout the fridge.

I briefly contemplated upgrading electrical and solar and installing compressor fridge but after these simple mods I am totally happy with the absorption fridge. At a setting of 3, the fridge maintains a temp of 37F and the freezer at 4F, even when outdoor temps are above 100.
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Old 06-15-2024, 09:31 AM   #5
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While it sounds like the more space behind the refrigerator, the better, Dometic has specific measurements for installations. (Link to a Dometic PDF). Larger spaces can allow cooling air to bypass some of the heat dispersing fins, resulting in poorer performance.

While things may have changed since my 2011 17 refrigerator installation, there was far too much space between the outside wall & the back of the refrigerator. I added a baffle to force air across the fins and it improved the performance.
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