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Installing external ventilation fan for Norcold N51 refrigerator


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I am planning on installing a 12V external ventilation fan on our Norcold N51 3 way refrigerator.  I feel the refrigerator will benefit in higher temperatures that might experience out West when running our Norcold on LP.  I suspect that we would only use it in those conditions.  The unit is a Titan dual fan unit and it will attach very nicely on the inside of the ventilation bezel.  I am planning on installing on the main lighting panel inside the door.  I will use one of the unused switch locations as the power on/off for the unit.  The unit has an inline control that has speed control and manual and auto operation.  I had previously purchased an extra switch into the main lighting panel using one of the powered awning locations.  I believe I will be able to tap the 12V power that supplies power to all the switches using a red cable that runs from the fuse panel in the attic.  I will then attach a couple of push on connectors onto the wiring from the Tital remote.  I need to decide where to put the inline switch.  I really don't want to drill any holes until I know that fans work as desired.  The power cable and temperature sensor from the inline remote will need to run into the fans. 

Now my question for anyone in the group who has added or considered adding a ventilation fan, what were your considerations and ideas about doing the install? 

David Caswell and Paula Saltmarsh


Hull 509 "The Swallow"

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Hull #193 came factory equipped with a Dometic fridge and a single fan that is controlled from a switch in the main panel in the entryway.  My B+ power comes from the bottom of the fridge up to the thermostat and continues up to the switch.  The second switch wire completes the circuit back to the fan.  The negative wire also comes from the bottom of the,fridge and runs directly to the fan.  You may not have access to the bottom of your fridge, but I have two removable vent panels.  There may be additional DC power already at the switch panel, but it’s simple run from the attic to the entry switch panel if you need it.

Mossey

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Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL  
2017 LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

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Camping in the Texas heat I find direct sunlight on the outside vents is a problem, but keeps the sun off does let the fridge work properly. Usually the awning does the trick, but adding a fan couldn't hurt, but direct sunlight with a fan I would say, might not do the trick. 

trainman

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Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #489, 2019 RAM 1500, 5.7 Hemi, 4X4, Crew Cab, 5'7" bed, Towing Package, 3.92 Gears.

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  • 2 months later...

Oliver Service discouraged me about connecting my fan to the attic power feed that extends to the entrance panel so I have decided to use the 12V power and ground at the base of the refrigerator.  The problem I am concerned about is connecting the very modest AWG wiriing for power and ground to the refrigerator 12V power and ground as it is 10 AWG stranded wire.  I would normally use a bus bar in this situation, but the wiring behind the access panel would be exposed to the weather.  I am interested in what others have discovered when they have used this power source.

 

 

David Caswell and Paula Saltmarsh


Hull 509 "The Swallow"

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On 7/6/2022 at 3:53 PM, GraniteStaters said:

Now my question for anyone in the group who has added or considered adding a ventilation fan, what were your considerations and ideas about doing the install?

I was going to do something similar but then I found out about Fridge Defend so I decided to go that route instead. Ordered the product but haven't finished installing. See some discussion below.

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2021 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull #854
2021 Ford Expedition Platinum

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About 8 years ago, I had an additional fan added to the exhaust port of my Dometic fridge.  Well . it blew so much air out of the hot exhaust that it was immediately inhaled by the intake panel, resulting in an increase in overall  temp!   Ha!  I fixed that by devising a cardboard deflector, that moved the hot air away from the trailer's body.

 

 

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Pete & "Bosker".    TV -  '18 F150 Super-cab Fx4; RV  - "The Wonder Egg";   '08 Elite, Hull Number 014.


Travel blog of 1st 10 years' wanderings - http://www.peteandthewonderegg.blogspot.com


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Wow. Perfect timing. I've decided that I need to get a fan for my fridge because I also like to boondock in warmer weather. I'm thinking about the Fridge Defend, but want to know about Dave's project also. Whomever is doing a mod to cool off the fridge, please show off your work with some pics and step by step instructions. I'd be very appreciative. 

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

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While we are planning to install an ARP Fridge Defender this winter, here is what we did for this summer using stuff we had from other projects.  We used 3 little 80mm fans mounted to a piece of scrap aluminum.  We mounted everything using some heavy duty hook/loop fasteners.  We also used a little normally thermal switch that cuts on at 85F and placed the switch at the top.  We just taped into the power leads going to the standard fan unit.

Given the fan option for the Fridge Defender, it would likely be cheaper than this set up - but since we had this stuff sitting around we used it.

Not sure how long the adhesive on the fasteners will last.  The fans are not rated for external use.  Not sure how long they will last.  There is enough room up top for a fourth fan.  Current draw is extremely low and they are almost noiseless (the standard fan makes more noise).  Made it so it can all be easily removed.

So far, we have noticed a significant cooling improvement and the adhesive is still sticking!  Lots of rain and a couple of washes with high pressure sprayer and no fan damage...but it's still new.  I will need to replace the splice connectors with something more weather resistant  but just wanted to make sure it worked.

 

Fans mounted.JPG

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Mouted in upper opening.JPG

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

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I impressed with some of the posts about this issue.  I did open a ticket with Oliver asking about what they would recommend.  The discouraged me from trying to run the wiring and power from the cabinet access panel adjacent to the entry door and suggested using power from the 12V DC supply that powers the fridge.  I decided to use a new bus bar and split the negative and positive 12V power cable and allow for connection of the fan to the bus bar.  I have attached a picture.

IMG_1658.jpg

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David Caswell and Paula Saltmarsh


Hull 509 "The Swallow"

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On 9/8/2022 at 10:37 AM, Jim and Frances said:

While we are planning to install an ARP Fridge Defender this winter, here is what we did for this summer

Mouted in upper opening.JPG

 

Those are terrific (and high quality) fans but they most likely won't last very long, they were never intended for a wet environment. I used one in the bottom of my battery box for cross ventilation, I added drain holes to the hub, so water won’t pool inside and screw up the bearings or freeze, and sealed the wires. The Fridge Defend fans are moisture resistant and have proven to hold up well in this exposed location.

https://olivertraveltrailers.com/forums/topic/5301-how-to-lithium-battery-powered-vent-system/

John Davies

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel.

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Great post, John.   I will factor these suggestions into my final install.  I am running these fans for the next 6 days.  Sensor is set for automatic so the fans won’t run when temp is 68F or lower.  Attaching picture.  85115A8C-B425-44C5-8F0B-13E60721C68E.thumb.jpeg.e79f6fcf72358139bfe4fe2bf24fcfea.jpeg

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David Caswell and Paula Saltmarsh


Hull 509 "The Swallow"

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