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Removed my Dometic fridge, a couple of concerns


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I just finished removing the fridge, it has never been out since 2017 and I am going to install a Fridge Defend kit. Removing it is the only way to access the coils and burner . The early hulls have TINY vent openings. You cannot even remove the burner jet from the outside!!!!  Grrrrr. Double grrr. Rats.

First question, the bay and coils are filthy, being open to the outside is the issue. Is there any simple way to help, short of turning it off and taping plastic across the vents when on dirt roads? (Or installing a compressor fridge.)

The upper vent is very weird, they used massive 1/8” aluminum plate to direct hot air to the outside, any idea why such big pieces? Maybe to act as a heat sink for the hot exhaust coming up from the burner?

I hate all the HVAC tape that is everywhere, it isn’t sticking well or doing a good job of keeping dust out up top.,., But I don’t know of any better solution. Maybe I will try sealant instead, for the areas that I can reach.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/3M-10-1-fl-oz-Red-Fire-Barrier-CP-25WB-Plus-Sealant-CP25WB-10/100166701

I laughed out loud when I saw the insulation on top, it consists of about a dozen small pieces shoved in and left loose.

I used my Harbor Freight hydraulic lift to support the fridge, it works great and I can roll it down the floor toward the beds if I need more room.

Any and all comments are very welcome, there will be a couple of articles in the near future…

Thanks.

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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If I could source a bigger vent cover I could enlarge the bottom opening 2” toward the front 1” toward the top… that would provide welcome room for service.

EDIT, I searched really hard and long and can’t find anything suitable, all the “standard” sized vents are too tall for the molded-in flat area. I have submitted a ticket to see what the Mother Ship says. 

The existing hole is 18” x 6.25” tall, and there is about 10” from the top lip to the lower curve of the hull.

John Davies

Spokane WA

  • Like 2

"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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I think our very early vents were possibly smaller

Screenshot_20230123-173654_Gallery.jpg

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

Florida and Western North Carolina, or wherever the truck goes....

400 watts solar. Dc compressor fridge. No inverter. 2 x 105 ah agm batteries .  Life is good.

 

 

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It's def a pita to move that fridge out.  

Good on you.

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

Florida and Western North Carolina, or wherever the truck goes....

400 watts solar. Dc compressor fridge. No inverter. 2 x 105 ah agm batteries .  Life is good.

 

 

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1 hour ago, SeaDawg said:

I think our very early vents were possibly smaller

Screenshot_20230123-173654_Gallery.jpg

The lower one looks like both of mine, but at least you have lots of room to install a much taller one, if nothing inside intrudes.

John Davies

Spokane WA

"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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Yes, second look, our vents are likely similar, though the hooded indent is shorter on yours. 

Immaterial for us, now, with the replacement 12v secop/danfoss compressor fridge. Just a smaller space to close up.

I'm really sorry for your troubles. We could access quite a bit from the original cavity with the 3way, but sometimes it required my skinnier arms.

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

Florida and Western North Carolina, or wherever the truck goes....

400 watts solar. Dc compressor fridge. No inverter. 2 x 105 ah agm batteries .  Life is good.

 

 

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17 hours ago, John E Davies said:

hate all the HVAC tape that is everywhere, it isn’t sticking well or doing a good job of keeping dust out up top.,., But I don’t know of any better solution. Maybe I will try sealant instead, for the areas that I can reach.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/3M-10-1-fl-oz-Red-Fire-Barrier-CP-25WB-Plus-Sealant-CP25WB-10/100166701

Not so sure that product will work for your application. I've used similar fire barrier sealants in the past to seal cabling conduits and they don't cure like typical sealants do. They cure to a hard clay-like consistency so that the sealant can be easily removed and replaced when additional cables or conduit are added.  They also expand when heated, though I don't know at what temp this occurs. 

2010 Elite II, Hull #45

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18 hours ago, John E Davies said:

The existing hole is 18” x 6.25” tall, and there is about 10” from the top lip to the lower curve of the hull.

18 hours ago, John E Davies said:

If I could source a bigger vent cover I could enlarge the bottom opening 2” toward the front 1” toward the top… that would provide welcome room for service.

 

I expect your "really long and hard" search covered this possibility, so you are likely aware that the 2022 Elite II models include a frame for the lower fridge access hole that is screwed to the hull.  See photo below.  The OD of the "screw-in" frame is 24 1/4" W x 16 3/8" H.  The ID of the resulting hole is 21"W x 13 1/8" H.  Oliver may still have some of those screw-in frames in stock, with corresponding vent covers.

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While such a screw-in frame might provide sufficient additional structural integrity to enable you to expand your access hole even further than the "2" toward the front 1" toward the top" you specified above, it appears it is too big to "nicely" fit your 2017 hull contour.  But, I thought it best to provide the photo, with measurements, so you can decide for yourself whether the screw-in frame might enable you to cut your hull above the contour line while still preserving an acceptable fit.

Good luck!

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Hull #1291

Central Idaho

2022 Elite II

Tow Vehicle:  2019 Tundra Double Cab 4x4, 5.7L with tow package

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Rivernerd, seeing that pic makes me weep, the access is so great. There is no way that will work well unless I had a big hole cutout and new fiberglass and gelcoat added.

I actually like the low energy aspect of the fridge, which is why I am resisting buying a compressor one, I camp in the shoulder seasons and in northern latitudes, I don't want to add another battery to my 200 amp hr Battle Borns,  nor do I want to have to run my generator every other day.

Plus I “might” sell the trailer after the  2024 Solar Eclipse trip to TX, so I am reluctant to spend a bunch on upgrades at this stage.

This is approximately how much room I have, tho it is a Dometic and the important stuff like the jet and ignitor are well off to the right and inaccessible.

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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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I heard from Oliver Service, he was zero help. He suggested a https://www.amazon.com/Norcold-621156BW-Trailer-Appliances-Service/dp/B004A32GMI?th=1 which is 4 inches too tall.

But he was polite about it.

John Davies

Spokane WA

  • Like 2

"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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1 hour ago, John E Davies said:

I don't want to add another battery to my 200 amp hr Battle Borns,  nor do I want to have to run my generator every other day.

@John E Davies I don’t think the newer compressor fridges are going to draw that much. @SeaDawg has two AGM batteries and does just fine with the compressor.  I run a Truma fridge in the back of my truck and it is powered by a second battery that is approximately 650aH (it is a 750 CCA) that gets charged by the alternators. I run that thing 24/7 on trips and it has never run the battery down.

Take a look at the specs for the Isotherm Cruise 130 just for reference.

Brian

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Brian and Brandelyne

Paris, TN

2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty 7.3L V-8 (Gas), 10 Speed, FX4, Max Tow Package, Firestone Airbags

2023 Oliver Elite II, Twin Bed, Tail # TN 23-1351, Expected Delivery Date 3/08/2023

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Those solid vent covers look great! I wonder if they'd fit mine. We removed our original vents, and covered with visquene and insulation, and reinstalled.  That really helped with air and dirt intrusion, but the solid covers would be soon much nicer.

The isotherm cruise elegance 130 is probably a bit more efficient than our truckfridge to 130, as there's more insulation in the door. Otherwise,  interior layout is identical to ours. (All indel b products.)

I'd love to have 200 ah lithium, but no changes in store til the agms die. Even then, not sure if we'll bother. I manage ok with 400 watts solar, some portable when camped awhile, and a small genset for a string of cold, rainy days. With the caveat that we don't have an inverter anymore, nor microwave. 

Our fridge draws 60 to 70 ah per day, depending on ambient temperature. 

We installed the truckfridge 5 years ago, and it's worked great. 

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

Florida and Western North Carolina, or wherever the truck goes....

400 watts solar. Dc compressor fridge. No inverter. 2 x 105 ah agm batteries .  Life is good.

 

 

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22 hours ago, John E Davies said:

I hate all the HVAC tape that is everywhere, it isn’t sticking well or doing a good job of keeping dust out up top.,., But I don’t know of any better solution.

JD

I think this may work better for you.  It is an aluminum heat shield that is adhesive backed heat barrier rated up to 2000 degrees. Capable of reflecting 90% of radiant heat

GJ

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4 hours ago, Geronimo John said:

JD

I think this may work better for you.  It is an aluminum heat shield that is adhesive backed heat barrier rated up to 2000 degrees. Capable of reflecting 90% of radiant heat

GJ

image.thumb.png.5ee10f7823cac6a359b8252a07fa304e.png

Thanks for the suggestion, but it no longer applies…. I ordered a new fridge.

https://olivertraveltrailers.com/forums/topic/8827-thread-for-isotherm-cruise-130-elegance-2-way-compressor-fridge-the-unit-used-in-2023-models/

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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