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Cabin Heat from the Refrigerator


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Hi, All,

We picked up our Oliver last week, and since having a travel trailer is new to us, we have some questions that we hope others can help us with. Here's one: We ran the refrigerator for about 12 hours today on propane (for the first time) and are surprised by how hot the exterior of the refrigerator got, especially at the top, and how it heated up the entire cabin. The wooden cutting board and the inside of the microwave were quite warm to the touch, as well, from sitting above the refrigerator. Is it normal for the refrigerator to put out so much heat into the cabin when it is running on propane?

 

Thanks,

Steve

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Steve, I think the heat is normal when you run your refrigerator on propane. However, I have no way of knowing if the heat you are experiencing is abnormal since I can't tell how severe it is.

 

In my 5th wheel, the refrigerator does not have anything on top of it as it does in the Oliver, but when I go outside and feel the exterior with the cover off, it is hot. Hot to the touch. I could not keep my hand on it indefinitely without it burning my hand, but I can touch it briefly without getting burned.

 

Maybe others will share their experience with the Oliver refrigerator and can tell you how hot their cutting board gets when they run the unit on propane. I have wondered if it would be smart to get a small vent fan installed in the cavity behind the refrigerator. These have built-in thermostats and are powered by 12V DC or by a small solar panel mounted on top of the refrigerator vent, which I'm not sure if the Oliver has or not. The refrigerator is probably vented out the side of the trailer, rather than out the top of the trailer. I've never use one, but in the summer I think they would be very helpful in keeping the refrigerator cooler, both outside and inside. Check with Oliver and see if they can install one in your trailer. Check the Camping World web site and search for item #36042, called the FridgeCool Fan. It sells for $33.33 and is sometimes on sale for 25% off.

 

I think I will ask Robert to put one in my trailer. Here is a link to the fan:

 

http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/it ... -fan/36042

 

Doug

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The upper outside cover to the refrigerator gives access to the curved air flap ( a name I made up for lack of a better word ). A bit of regular household insulation placed behind it nearly eliminated the heat conduction to our interior.

We don't have one of the cooling fans, but have wanted to increase our cooling efficiency of the refrigerator with one. A computer cooling fan is very low in power consumption, 12 volt and quiet. I see where they are being used for that purpose on other forums.

I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth 08' Oliver Legacy Elite HULL NUMBER 0003(sold)

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Congratulations on your new Oliver, Steve...mine's just going into production now. And thanks for posting your observation re: the frig. I've personally never heard or experienced this problem, but my previous trailer had a top-venting frig.

 

Doug, I think the fan you provided a link for is a perfect solution, and one I might add as well. It's certainly an inexpensive fix. And, it looks like it can easily be added to existing Olivers, provided there is access to 12V power in that area (which I assume must be the case).

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Steve,

 

We just returned from the factory after having some mods made to the . They had to remove the outside upper refrigerator vent cover to access that area behind it. Just as Mountainborn describes, there is a "curved air flap" that is screwed to the upper edge of the vent hole. It is supposed to be curved back and over the top of the refrigerator to direct the rising heat out the vent. It is made from the same mat material that is lining the upper storage areas. I would remove the vent cover and make sure that this mat has not fallen down behind the refigerator and is blocking the vent.

 

Mountainborn, that is a grand idea about the insulation....

Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge)

2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #026 | 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #050 | 2022 Silverado High Country 3500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

             801469912_StatesVisitedTaliandSteve08-23-2021-I.jpg.26814499292ab76ee55b889b69ad3ef0.jpg1226003278_StatesVisitedTaliandSteve08-23-2021-H.jpg.dc46129cb4967a7fd2531b16699e9e45.jpg

 

 

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It looks as if the trailer is made to direct this heat to the outside vent on the Oliver. If it is installed and functioning properly, it should keep the heat down inside the trailer.

 

However, if you want to further increase the efficiency and the cooling ability in your refrigerator, especially when it is hot outside, the optional fan would be very helpful I believe. i am going to try it, and I'll let you know what I think. In the Texas heat, my RV refrigerators have always struggled to keep the contents cold enough. Any help I can get will be a benefit.

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Thanks to you all for the responses!

I checked, and yes, indeed, the "curved air flap" venting material that you have described was positioned in such a way as to totally block the vent, forcing all of the heat from the refrigerator to remain in the cabin! I have repositioned it in a way to direct the heat out of the cabin through the vent, but I think I will need to check this from time to time. I also will get some insulation and put it behind the vent, as suggested by Mountainborn. Great idea.

 

Thanks again,

Steve

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My wife and I picked up our Oliver just before you and I noticed the same thing with the heat. I thought it was too warm on the interior and added some issulation just behind the deflector at the top of the frig. It greatly reduced the amount of heat. Just be sure you don't have anything near the fins and the tube you will see at the top of the frig. You need good are flow around these.

 

I also want to mention another issue I noted. I have to call the folks at Oliver about this, since it may have just been something that was over looked on our unit. When using our Fantastic fan with only one window open, I noticed some warmth and the odor of spent gas around the small vents in the unit near the Microwave. Upon further investigation, I found that the frig compartment was not sealed at the top, near the rubber deflector. This was allowing some heat and fumes to get into the cabin, especially when using the powerful Fantastic vent fan. I have since sealed the space I saw and have had no further issues.

 

One note on the electric frig fans. I installed one of these on my previous camper and had to leave it turned off. Reason being was that even on the lowest setting the frig compartment began to freeze. Normal ventalation should be good for most, unless you are in outside temps that are constantly approaching the high 90's.

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