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Old 06-24-2011, 09:53 PM   #1
65th Anniversary CLIPPER
 
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1996 36' Clipper Bus
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Clipper, Dometic Refrigerator, Fridge Lamp Switch

The Clipper OEM Dometic Fridge LAMP was not working so I tried to change the bulb with no success.
Removed the switch and tested with digital meter and found no continuity.
The switch #2932665017 ($12.79) was not available locally.

Soaked the switch in a baking soda solution for about 3 hours and rinsed and re-tested good. Installed and again we have light.

This gives me another idea!

The Clipper OEM Dometic Fridge has worked great "most" of the time. With remote temp sender, we keep a close monitor on the temperature of the fridge in the cockpit mounted display.
As posted in earlier posts, I had installed two light duty fans powered by two 9V solar panels, that are independent of the other power systems, in the lower outside air intake to help move air up over the coils when parked in the sun. I also installed a 12V fan in the upper outside vent, powered from the house battery bank (#2 bank) and controlled with a switch on the control panel above the fridge, that can be turned on in the evening when the fridge is accessed more often.

HOWEVER, we experienced record hot weather on our recent mid-continent tour, and the fridge labored at times to retain temps. below 40*.
Off to WallyWorld and bought a hand held "C" battery powered fan ($3) to move the air inside the fridge. Although this seemed to be a good temporary solution, the fan was hard on batteries.
Stopped later on the trip at CW and purchased their fridge fan (D batteries) for $13.+ and was not impressed with the little air movement it generated.

So, the project now is to install a computer 12V fan inside, on the bottom of the fridge fines, powered by the existing hot wire to the fridge light.
It will have a switch inside the fridge to turn on and off, and it will work independent of the light.
I will report on the success of this project after completion and testing.
Dave
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Old 06-24-2011, 11:17 PM   #2
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1967 24' Tradewind
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Check out this fridge fan made from a hard drive cooler fan: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f425...cks-34859.html

I made one and used it in my old fridge and it worked pretty well.
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Old 06-25-2011, 01:13 AM   #3
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1996 36' Clipper Bus
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Fridge Fan

Thanks for the thread, and great ideas.
I have looked through my old computer stock and found a small CPU fan that clips right on to the cooling fins of the fridge. It will mount on the sensor side of the fines, above the light area. It does not take up any of the precious room there and should be adequate for the job.
I am going to try to fish a wire out the back and install an external switch on the fridge upper panel control display, so that it can be controlled without opening the door. I will update when I have it going, and will include some pictures at that time.
Dave


Quote:
Originally Posted by vswingfield View Post
Check out this fridge fan made from a hard drive cooler fan: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f425...cks-34859.html

I made one and used it in my old fridge and it worked pretty well.
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Old 06-28-2011, 12:56 AM   #4
65th Anniversary CLIPPER
 
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1996 36' Clipper Bus
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Fridge Cooler Fans

I am not quite finished this upgrade project but will update the theory and concept applied to the COOLER FANS in the Dometic fridge in the CLIPPER.
There are many techniques used by others as may be found on other threads, but I wanted to ensure cooling productivity when it was needed with little chance of battery drain if the fan circuit was left activated.


Update June 27, 2011 on the Dometic fridge accessory fans installed to assist in cooling in extreme weather.
I have removed the 2 X 4" light duty 6V fans on the independent 9V solar circuit that were installed in the lower air intake at the back of the fridge to assist in the air flow when parked in the sun.

Existing installation on the roof are 2 x 9V solar panels, which I have now wired independently to 4 X 12V fans. (2 .X 80mm outside in the lower air intake, and 2 X 60mm 3 wire fans inside in the fridge compartment near the cooler fins.) This solar system will work independent from the other systems on the Clipper when in sufficient sun, and should need no input from the owner/operator other that periodic checks to ensure all fans are operating when sufficient solar power is available.

In addition, this 4 fan solar circuit may be powered by the JUTA MPPT controller 200W circuit (see below) that powers the upper vent cavity 80mm fan, by turning the switch (labeled internal fan) on the fridge upper control panel that closes the ground to complete the circuit. The upper vent fan switch (labeled external fan) must be on to power this circuit, and should only be used when there is not sufficient solar power to run the 9V solar circuit.


Upper external fridge ventelation fan
An outside upper vent 12V 80mm fan is installed for use in extreme heat or heavy use of the fridge resulting in the continuous opening of the door. The switch (completes the ground circuit) is located on the upper control panel and the fan is fused at the outside fridge access by an inline blade 1A fuse. The fan is powered from the load side of the JUTA MPPT controller on the 2 x 100 watt solar panel circuit. In theory, the MPPT controller should shut off this load at any time the battery bank drops below 12.2 Volts.
This vent fan should not be left on all the time. It is for assist in cooling only when required by extreme weather heat, or heavy use of the fridge by multiple door openings.

I will have some pictures on completion of the project. Just waiting on some sun to prove the system works as designed before tying the wiring up.
Dave
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Old 06-28-2011, 06:03 PM   #5
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1996 36' Clipper Bus
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Clipper, Cooler Fan, Dometic

Installation is complete of the refit and update on the fridge COOLER FANS on the CLIPPER.

All works as designed and the 9V solar panels run the 4 X 12V fans at a varied speed depending on the solar exposure. This keeps the noise level, as anticipated, below my hearing thresh-hold.
When switched to the 12V circuit the 5 fans sound like a squadron of SPITFIRES on a takeoff run.
Mounting for the fans in the outside and inside compartment is done with a piece cut from vinyl siding. On the inside this vinyl strip is snapped over the drip tray and extends into the rack slot so that it cannot be removed without pulling out the top rack. One fan is attached to this vinyl mount and the other is above on the cooling fins. Good air circulation is achieved with this. I have kept the fans to the right side of the fins as this is where the circuit board temp sensor is located.

Note: Do not mount the fan under the fins as they defrost and drip into the drip tray. The water will foul the fan and wiring.
Dave
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Old 06-28-2011, 07:01 PM   #6
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Nice Job! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 06-30-2011, 12:25 AM   #7
65th Anniversary CLIPPER
 
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1996 36' Clipper Bus
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Dometic Fridge

Just a note on the fridge startup in the Clipper after 4 days of upgrade and cleaning.
Turned it on gas at 3:30PM with temp. start at 75* and sun on fridge side.
At 7:30 PM when I checked it, the fridge was at 43.4 and at 8:30 had dropped to 34.8. This was with the 4 fans on solar running until approx. 8PM when the trees shaded the unit.
Looks like 5 hours lead time minimum needed to bring the fridge down to store milk.
From what I see on other threads this is good for this type of fridge.

Some good info posted on this thread with regard to cold weather operation of your RV fridge.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f425...tml#post924570

Dave
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Old 07-03-2011, 01:35 PM   #8
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Works Too Good

Cooler fan update.
Outside temp. 81* in full sun.
Fridge set on med. and everything is freezing.
Fridge temp. is 30.9 at the top of fridge.
I will reset the temp to min. to see if that helps.
Otherwise, I might have to install a cutoff switch on one or both of the internal fans or move them away from the sensor?
My GW does not like her eggs hard!
Dave
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Old 07-15-2011, 02:10 PM   #9
65th Anniversary CLIPPER
 
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1996 36' Clipper Bus
Tub City , British Columbia
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Clipper, Dometic, Cooler Fans

Update on the exterior fans on the Dometic RM4873 on the CLIPPER.
I have remounted the two lower external cooler fans (solar curcuit) to run horizontal rather than vertical.
To do this I used a piece of vinyl siding "J" trim rather than the previous edge of a sheet of vinyl as seen in the above posts.
The fans are now basically out of sight and directs the vertical airflow travel wanted. Pic. #3 (disreguard the battery at bottom or this picture as I was just testing another theory)
The "J" vinyl trim mounts with the existing OEM screws that secure the fridge vent.

I also remounted the top exhaust fan (12V circuit) with the same "J" trim to make it easier to change out when the time comes for replacement. (no picture)

I have relocated the interior fridge fan so that it does not blow directly on the sensor and this has helped stabilize the interior fridge temps, to above freezing. (no picture, see previous posts)
For a little time and small $ I think this alteration to the Dometic will be very helpful in the hot sun.

Dave
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:19 AM   #10
65th Anniversary CLIPPER
 
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1996 36' Clipper Bus
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Dometic Elite RM4873, Clipper

The CLIPPER has the Dometic Elite RM4873 fridge model that, with some modification as explained above, works great.

The documentation for these older units is becoming harder to find as companies expand, contract, disappear, and hire new kids to update their web sites. (profit is only generated by selling new stuff)

This is the bible on these fridges. Save it to your computer for reference when you are boondocking and find your beer is warm.

http://gasrefrigeration.net/dom_tech...707_2811sm.pdf

Today, it appears I have a problem with the AC side of the 3 way Dometic. Still trying to determine what is happening. I will update as time unveils the secret.

Dave
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:14 PM   #11
65th Anniversary CLIPPER
 
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I am not sure what happened yesterday with the Dometic Elite RM.

I have a remote temperature sender in the fridge with readers on the dash of the Clipper, on the bulkhead wall at the fridge in the Clipper kitchen, and another in my brick house so that I can monitor things while parked at home without going out in the cold and wet.

My in-home unit quite receiving yesterday and when I took it out to the Clipper to replace the batteries and regain the signal, I observed that the fridge temp. on the other two displays was 41*. (normally runs 31.5 to 37*)

I changed the batteries on all units, and monitored the fridge for the evening, and when the temp. did not come down, I switched to LP gas which brought the temp. down within an hour. (there was no indication of a problem on the display panel as I cycled through the various setting options.)

32* at 6 AM so I switched it back onto electric and after initially rising to 35* has now at 10 AM returned to 32.7*.

All seems right at this point.

ps: temp are now corrected to F* although I tend to use both F and C in the same sentence.

Dave
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