Jump to content

Fridge Cooling Poorly


Recommended Posts

Our fridge cools to 32F under AC and in hot weather. 
 

On the road now and with propane it wasn’t getting below 45F in 90-100F driving weather at max setting  

At overnight stop ambient got down to 60s and I fully cleared the lines via the stove. 

So it works, but just not getting under 40F on propane. 

High temps I can understand, but surprised when ambient is in 60s.

Am I missing something? 


 

 

2020 Legacy Elite II Hull 625 - 2013 Lexus LX 570

San Antonio/Boerne - Texas Hill Country

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

Ralph, did you put screening on your fridge vents? That cuts air circulation. We always had them, but didn't routinely camp in high temps. 

Do you run fridge on propane or dc while driving?

Are the fins clear or frosted over, and fridge not packed so tight that air can circulate?

On our older  dometic and norcold fridges,, the thermostat could be adjusted a bit by sliding the thermistor down the fin. I'm not sure how the new ones operate . Someone else will have to chime in on that.

I'm guessing you have the norcold fridge.

45 is not a good temp for foods. Ok for produce, meats won't last as long. Any ground meat, and raw poultry, I'd put in the freezer.

If it's 90 to 100 daytime, your fridge may take awhile to cool down a bit after nighttime temps.

A fan inside the fridge can help circulate air. 

A clip on fan outside top vent while camped can help pull exhaust . You can also just open the top vent, for awhile, to allow more exhaust area.

 

 

 

  • Like 3

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

57 minutes ago, SeaDawg said:

Ralph, did you put screening on your fridge vents?  No screens

Do you run fridge on propane or dc while driving? Propane

Are the fins clear or frosted over, and fridge not packed so tight that air can circulate? Clear, but thinking it may be partially air circulation issue  

57 minutes ago, SeaDawg said:

I'm guessing you have the norcold fridge. Yes

45 is not a good temp for foods. Ok for produce, meats won't last as long. Any ground meat, and raw poultry, I'd put in the freezer.

If it's 90 to 100 daytime, your fridge may take awhile to cool down a bit after nighttime temps. It did drop into mid-30s tonight, so may be ambient temp and propane efficiency issue  

A fan inside the fridge can help circulate air. 

A clip on fan outside top vent while camped can help pull exhaust . You can also just open the top vent, for awhile, to allow more exhaust area.

Thanks…

57 minutes ago, SeaDawg said:

 

 

 

 

2020 Legacy Elite II Hull 625 - 2013 Lexus LX 570

San Antonio/Boerne - Texas Hill Country

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Ralph,

We recently ran into the same issue while out at the beach in +95F temps.  We use a fan inside the frig for circulation but we likely had a little too much food inside.  We also have screens installed, top and bottom.  We could not extend the awning to provide some shade due to high winds.  We ended up using a little 120v fan sitting on a little table blowing into the base of the unit with both lower and upper covers off.  This helped a lot.  The stock internal fan was working - just not enough heat exchange going on. 

A quick online search reveals ammonia cycle refrigeration is challenged in +90F temps.  Lots of ideas for extra fan kits to help out.  We opted to try our own tapping into the frigs 12V power and using a normally open 30C temperature sensor switch.  Temp mounted on aluminum bar with lots of snap-lock strips (not sure how the adhesive on these 3M strips will hold up in the heat).  We be testing soon to see how it works.  

image.png.5a66da17d0b03e93a34af170d42a2b84.png

 

  • Thanks 1
  • Like 7

SE Texas  | 2021 Elite II  # 927  "Lucy"  |  2019 F250 FX4 6.7

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, Jim and Frances said:

Ralph,

We recently ran into the same issue while out at the beach in +95F temps.  We use a fan inside the frig for circulation but we likely had a little too much food inside.  We also have screens installed, top and bottom.  We could not extend the awning to provide some shade due to high winds.  We ended up using a little 120v fan sitting on a little table blowing into the base of the unit with both lower and upper covers off.  This helped a lot.  The stock internal fan was working - just not enough heat exchange going on. 

A quick online search reveals ammonia cycle refrigeration is challenged in +90F temps.  Lots of ideas for extra fan kits to help out.  We opted to try our own tapping into the frigs 12V power and using a normally open 30C temperature sensor switch.  Temp mounted on aluminum bar with lots of snap-lock strips (not sure how the adhesive on these 3M strips will hold up in the heat).  We be testing soon to see how it works.  

image.png.5a66da17d0b03e93a34af170d42a2b84.png

 

Hi Ralph, 

That looks very cool. (Pun intended.) Could you provide some instructions on how I might do that? Thx!

  • Like 1

2021 Elite II #841, 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4, 3.0 diesel

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Cameron said:

Hi Ralph, 

That looks very cool. (Pun intended.) Could you provide some instructions on how I might do that? Thx!

Oops, I mean Jim, you're the magician with this trick.

2021 Elite II #841, 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4, 3.0 diesel

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Cameron!  No magician here.  Let me first see how it works - may be a waste of time!  I will post follow up if it seems to work well.  Gosh knows, we got the temps and humidity here in SE Texas to test it right now!

  • Like 1

SE Texas  | 2021 Elite II  # 927  "Lucy"  |  2019 F250 FX4 6.7

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Here's my quick hack to get hot air away from the fridge. Big thanks to Katjo for turning me onto this fan from her fantastic series of videos. Love them! Anyway, the fan charges up with a USB, then runs on its own internal battery. I hung it onto the outside of the trailer with a bungee. I really felt the hot air coming out. Today it was only 90 degrees so it was just a test run for when I'm back in the desert again in 100 degree weather. 

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B091GRLBHZ/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?smid=A19DWMTD5OSZWP&psc=1

 

 

 

PXL_20220810_185518475.jpg

  • Like 1
  • Love 1

2021 Elite II #841, 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4, 3.0 diesel

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fans do indeed help in hot weather.  I have just installed the Fridge Defend by ARP on my Norcold 4000, which included 4 fans..Two small fans inside the fridge as well as two larger fans for the lower and upper outside vents.  Oliver already had installed an optional fan in the middle of the outside vents, so I now have 3 fans working in sync outside on 3 different levels (bottom, middle and top) and the two interior fans. 

I have run a few tests the past few days with the new fans on and off in 95F-100F heat.  I started with a room temperature refrigerator and a setting of 6 on the fridge temperature.  The minimum temperature the fridge could achieve was reached in each case in about 15 hours (when the first off/on "cycle" occurred).

The results were pretty convincing:

Min temp in 15 hours with single Oliver installed fan:  40.0F

Min temp in 15 hours with all 5 installed fans running:  28.1F

I wish I knew which of the fans were most important, but the way the ARP is wired, it's all on or none on.  I suspect it's a combination of all the fans.

Nice thing is I bought the ARP for peace of mind as I do tow with my fridge running as most of us do and I know the absorption fridges are inefficient and can be dangerous when off level for even a few minutes.  Nice bonus to add the fans (relatively inexpensive) along with the ARP controller.

  • Like 4

States Visited Map

2020 Elite II, Hull 688 --- 2021 Silverado 2500HD, 6.6L Duramax Diesel

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, Cameron said:

Here's my quick hack to get hot air away from the fridge. Big thanks to Katjo for turning me onto this fan from her fantastic series of videos. Love them! Anyway, the fan charges up with a USB, then runs on its own internal battery. I hung it onto the outside of the trailer with a bungee. I really felt the hot air coming out. Today it was only 90 degrees so it was just a test run for when I'm back in the desert again in 100 degree weather. 

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B091GRLBHZ/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?smid=A19DWMTD5OSZWP&psc=1

 

 

 

PXL_20220810_185518475.jpg

So clever! Thank you for the kind words about my videos.❤️

  • Like 1

2021 Dodge Ram 1500 

2021 Oliver Elite ll 

Hull #732 

Michigan 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, NCeagle said:

Fans do indeed help in hot weather.  I have just installed the Fridge Defend by ARP on my Norcold 4000, which included 4 fans..Two small fans inside the fridge as well as two larger fans for the lower and upper outside vents.  Oliver already had installed an optional fan in the middle of the outside vents, so I now have 3 fans working in sync outside on 3 different levels (bottom, middle and top) and the two interior fans. 

I have run a few tests the past few days with the new fans on and off in 95F-100F heat.  I started with a room temperature refrigerator and a setting of 6 on the fridge temperature.  The minimum temperature the fridge could achieve was reached in each case in about 15 hours (when the first off/on "cycle" occurred).

The results were pretty convincing:

Min temp in 15 hours with single Oliver installed fan:  40.0F

Min temp in 15 hours with all 5 installed fans running:  28.1F

I wish I knew which of the fans were most important, but the way the ARP is wired, it's all on or none on.  I suspect it's a combination of all the fans.

Nice thing is I bought the ARP for peace of mind as I do tow with my fridge running as most of us do and I know the absorption fridges are inefficient and can be dangerous when off level for even a few minutes.  Nice bonus to add the fans (relatively inexpensive) along with the ARP controller.

This modification, the Fridge Defend, seems like a complete no brainer. Seems like the sort of device that should be standard on all RV fridges. Thanks for your posts (here and elsewhere). It's definitely on my list for this fall. 

  • Like 2

2021 Elite II #841, 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4, 3.0 diesel

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I didn't see anyone address altitude, which has a very limiting effect on absorption units running LP.

As a side... until my wife sees a compressor fridge with a freezer the size of the absorption unit in our 2020, she's just not interested in one as we prepare and shrink-wrap numerous frozen meals for trips. 

Charlie.

ALAZARCACOCTDEFLGAHIIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMA

Arizona | 2020 Oliver Elite II Twin bed Hull #617 | 2021 Ram 1500 e-Hemi 4x4

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...