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Old 07-15-2017, 09:07 AM   #603
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This morning I read some interesting information on the Airstream Forum 'Dometic Class Action Suit'. Most notably, comments by Lew Farber aka lewster. Also, useful info on the 'refrigeration forum'. I now think I want a marine compressor refrigerator :-) But who wants to pay for a new refrigerator (and probably an additional battery) if AS isn't willing to fix our problems?
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Old 07-16-2017, 12:28 AM   #604
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A few things come to mind with respect to the propane cooling shortcoming.

First, it really does appear that the primary design failure is in not allowing the necessary space in the cabinet.

Second, it makes sense that there appears to be fewer folks realizing this problem than the number of people who own Basecamps who post here

If you plug in to get the fridge to cool, chances are that both the freezer and the main box will reach respective food safe levels. If you drive from home after reaching a good temp and then arrive at a campground and immediately plug in again, you might never know whether the fridge began to get warmer en route; especially if your trip was short enough for the fridge to stay relatively cool despite the heat from the propane flame (which might explain why Airstream says that they have heard only a "few" propance cooling complaints).

I discovered the propane issue while parked at home with the front of the trailer getting morning sun. After 12 hours on AC (with acceptable temps), I switched the fridge to propane and by noon the next day, the ambient outside temp was 97 and the fridge box had warmed to 56 degrees.

Despite the suggestions that removing the black propane tank covers might allow for greater ventilation, I am of the opinion that the unintended effect of removing the cover would be to introduce even greater exposure to direct sun radiant heat. The lack of sufficient air space in the cabinet has already pretty much rendered any amount of passive ventilation ineffective. Adding direct sun to the front vent can't help an already compromised situation.

On Tuesday we will pick up our Basecamp after it undergoes the fan/insulation mod. On Friday we leave for a three week cross country trip. The last thing we want to do is drag along our large Pelican ice chest. I fully expect to see the mod correct the cooling deficiency. If it does not, I will insist that Airstream replace the fridge with one that operates on AC and DC, but not propane.
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Old 07-16-2017, 08:03 AM   #605
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bborzell View Post
A few things come to mind with respect to the propane cooling shortcoming.

First, it really does appear that the primary design failure is in not allowing the necessary space in the cabinet.

Second, it makes sense that there appears to be fewer folks realizing this problem than the number of people who own Basecamps who post here

If you plug in to get the fridge to cool, chances are that both the freezer and the main box will reach respective food safe levels. If you drive from home after reaching a good temp and then arrive at a campground and immediately plug in again, you might never know whether the fridge began to get warmer en route; especially if your trip was short enough for the fridge to stay relatively cool despite the heat from the propane flame (which might explain why Airstream says that they have heard only a "few" propance cooling complaints).

I discovered the propane issue while parked at home with the front of the trailer getting morning sun. After 12 hours on AC (with acceptable temps), I switched the fridge to propane and by noon the next day, the ambient outside temp was 97 and the fridge box had warmed to 56 degrees.

Despite the suggestions that removing the black propane tank covers might allow for greater ventilation, I am of the opinion that the unintended effect of removing the cover would be to introduce even greater exposure to direct sun radiant heat. The lack of sufficient air space in the cabinet has already pretty much rendered any amount of passive ventilation ineffective. Adding direct sun to the front vent can't help an already compromised situation.

On Tuesday we will pick up our Basecamp after it undergoes the fan/insulation mod. On Friday we leave for a three week cross country trip. The last thing we want to do is drag along our large Pelican ice chest. I fully expect to see the mod correct the cooling deficiency. If it does not, I will insist that Airstream replace the fridge with one that operates on AC and DC, but not propane.
Please keep us posted on how your refrigerator works on your trip. After trying several things on mine, it just does not cool sufficiently on propane or shore power. Refrigerator never gets below 68 degrees.
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Old 07-16-2017, 03:07 PM   #606
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LP Fridge Update

We just did an overnighter at a local campground (Sears Bellows County Park for those fellow LIers). I positioned the fridge thermometer (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1) hanging from the top wire rack center left to right. On electric before we left to go camping it was 28 degrees F. This morning, after having it on LP from 9 AM Saturday to 8 AM Sunday the thermometer read 68 degrees F. We will be contact Colonial Airstream Monday to alert them to the problem. As stated in a prior post, one may not even know it isn't working as you leave your house on electric and plug in to the campsite on electric. A lot of the campgrounds I go to on LI do not have electric hookups. Having the LP feature work properly is a must. I did check the temp after our one hour drive home to see if air circulation would lower the temp. Only went down a few degrees. I suggest everyone pick up a fridge thermometer!
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Old 07-16-2017, 03:11 PM   #607
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Bathroom Fan

I noticed a design flaw with the bathroom fan. If you can in the bathroom taking a shower or doing other business the door is closed. If the fan is running there is no way for make up air to enter the bathroom. You can test this by listening to the sound of the fan when you shut the door. My quick fix for now is to open the pass through access door to let in fresh air. I think there needs to be a vent somewhere that will allow fresh into the bathroom so the fan can make the proper air exchanges. With the door closed, the fan isn't doing much of anything.
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Old 07-16-2017, 04:25 PM   #608
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Maybe Bborzell or somebody can make a chimney out of cardboard and tape to try on this trip and report the results? It seems like what is needed is more chimney effect which should have been designed into the trailer like the older bigger trailers. You can look at many older models and see that the factory went to a lot of trouble to make a good chimney. If you are boon docking using fans is stupid design! Airstream could have incorporated a good chimney into the design if any of the so called engineers had ever gone boon docking?
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Old 07-16-2017, 09:56 PM   #609
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Another fridge issue (to pile on...). We went out to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington this weekend (daytime temps in the low 70s). Running on propane - thermometer in the fridge read 70 degrees in the mid-afternoon after sitting at the campground while we hiked. Glad I bought and brought a Yeti cooler just in case - but what a pain....
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Old 07-17-2017, 02:56 AM   #610
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For the time being, for anyone boondocking with a new Basecamp, it would be easier/better to use the OEM Dometic fridge as an ice chest, and keep your food cold with ice. You can store extra ice in the tow vehicle. If you pre-chill with electric before departure, and put only cold items in the fridge as you travel, the ice consumption should not be too crazy.

Just turn off the 12-volt power to the fridge, and shut down the propane line to it as well IMO.

An expensive aluminum ice chest on wheels? Yes!

But your food will be safe to consume.



PS -- Of course when the ice melts, the water will need to go somewhere. Is the fridge set up to drain the water without creating another problem?

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Old 07-17-2017, 05:59 AM   #611
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Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post



PS -- Of course when the ice melts, the water will need to go somewhere. Is the fridge set up to drain the water without creating another problem?

Use 1 gallon Ziploc freezer bags to contain the ice (and water).
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Old 07-17-2017, 08:56 AM   #612
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Originally Posted by ijustlee View Post
Maybe Bborzell or somebody can make a chimney out of cardboard and tape to try on this trip and report the results? It seems like what is needed is more chimney effect which should have been designed into the trailer like the older bigger trailers. You can look at many older models and see that the factory went to a lot of trouble to make a good chimney. If you are boon docking using fans is stupid design! Airstream could have incorporated a good chimney into the design if any of the so called engineers had ever gone boon docking?
While I understand the concept behind using a chimney as a passive method of allowing heated air to rise and exit the cabinet behind the fridge, I am much less clear on where a chimney might be employed in this case.

Were the fridge in an enclosure that went floor to ceiling, I could see an opportunity to vent through the roof, but since the fridge is under a kitchen counter, I don't see a practical option. What did you have in mind?
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Old 07-17-2017, 09:16 AM   #613
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Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
For the time being, for anyone boondocking with a new Basecamp, it would be easier/better to use the OEM Dometic fridge as an ice chest, and keep your food cold with ice. You can store extra ice in the tow vehicle. If you pre-chill with electric before departure, and put only cold items in the fridge as you travel, the ice consumption should not be too crazy.

Just turn off the 12-volt power to the fridge, and shut down the propane line to it as well IMO.

An expensive aluminum ice chest on wheels? Yes!

But your food will be safe to consume.



PS -- Of course when the ice melts, the water will need to go somewhere. Is the fridge set up to drain the water without creating another problem?

We have two Pelican ice chests. We always use the smaller one in the rear of our tow vehicle for drinks and snacks while driving. As a cooling source, we have several small nalgene screw top bottles that we fill with filtered water and freeze prior to departure.

https://www.amazon.com/Nalgene-Mouth...tle&th=1&psc=1

They will remain solid for at least 2-4 days in the Pelican depending on outside temp (we have maintained 40 degrees for up to 9 days with block or crushed ice even after the ice goes into solution). When the ice in the bottles goes into liquid, they will retain low temp for another day or so. After that, we drink them.

Your suggestion to use the fridge as an ice chest, if necessary, is a great idea.
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Old 07-17-2017, 10:09 AM   #614
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I called Airstream this morning to 'officially' report the lack of refrigerator cooling on either propane or shore power in my Basecamp. Gretchen, in warranty, said she has had some reports on this. She is ordering the 'fan' kit and shipping it to my dealer for installation. When I've called about issues before, I've been told that they haven't heard this complaint, so I wanted to 'officially' have it reported.
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Old 07-17-2017, 10:15 AM   #615
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We reported it to Colonial this morning and left a message with Airstream. Colonial did not have any knowledge of the problem. I would very much like to see the TSB prior to bringing the BC 215 miles with two toll bridges (one way).
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Old 07-17-2017, 04:40 PM   #616
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FYI there is a new survey thread, to report on fridge performance on propane:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f404...ne-169937.html

Hopefully the three fans being added by Airstream for the fix are quieter than the OEM noisy fans which AS has been putting into many of the other recent models!

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