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Old 07-18-2017, 07:08 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by RandyNH View Post
Gail, I removed a Dometic 2454 and replaced with a NovaKool 5810. The Dometic had a button on the front with 5 setting levels, the NovaKool has a knob inside from 0 to 7 (0 actual turns it off completely) the temps mentioned are at 4.25

These are slightly larger than the Basecamp model, but still the single box system with the little freezer section above, I believe the amp draw in your size unit is half of mine

Your comparable NovaKool would be an R4500 which is a 4.3 cu.ft.
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Old 07-18-2017, 11:47 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Xrad13 View Post
Perhaps I missed something, but I did not see mention of thermistor adjustment. Has everyone pushed the thermistor upwards to increase cooling?

Here is a video link if I'm not being clear.
A thermister adjustment was a part of the dealer fan install. Didn't help.
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Old 07-19-2017, 06:06 AM   #31
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Forgive me if I missed this, someone else may have posted it, but here (PDF link) is the link to the Dometic Diagnostic Service Manual for these fridges.

Among other things, it gives information on how to test the function by basically running it wide open (bypassing the thermostat for continuous operation).

There is an ominous statement on page 24: "A refer (sic) that chases (sic) the out-side temperature is improperly vented or has a weak cooling unit."

We knew that our venting was the best that could be achieved, so the default conclusion is that its cooling unit was "weak". The term was not described in the manual, nor was there any explanation of how a cooling unit might become "weak", nor were there any suggestions on how to fix "weak". Given that the cooling units are integrated and have no moving parts, presumably the only option is wholesale replacement.

One of the other posters in the thread above above appeared to have a chaser - a fridge that followed ambient temperature - which is why I mention that.

Also, this other recent thread called Two-Way Refrigerator throws out some other information that y'all might find interesting as you continue your investigations. It deals with Airstream Interstates, but Interstates take the same sized fridge as Base Camps, whether it's Dometic or some other brand. One of the interesting claims to fall out of that thread is that Norcold refrigerators are currently failing at a rate of 80%, according to one distributor who was quoted. So, if any of you ultimately decide to ditch the Dometic, do your homework on replacement options.
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Old 07-19-2017, 08:07 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by InterBlog View Post
Forgive me if I missed this, someone else may have posted it, but here (PDF link) is the link to the Dometic Diagnostic Service Manual for these fridges.

Among other things, it gives information on how to test the function by basically running it wide open (bypassing the thermostat for continuous operation).

There is an ominous statement on page 24: "A refer (sic) that chases (sic) the out-side temperature is improperly vented or has a weak cooling unit."

We knew that our venting was the best that could be achieved, so the default conclusion is that its cooling unit was "weak". The term was not described in the manual, nor was there any explanation of how a cooling unit might become "weak", nor were there any suggestions on how to fix "weak". Given that the cooling units are integrated and have no moving parts, presumably the only option is wholesale replacement.

One of the other posters in the thread above above appeared to have a chaser - a fridge that followed ambient temperature - which is why I mention that.

Also, this other recent thread called Two-Way Refrigerator throws out some other information that y'all might find interesting as you continue your investigations. It deals with Airstream Interstates, but Interstates take the same sized fridge as Base Camps, whether it's Dometic or some other brand. One of the interesting claims to fall out of that thread is that Norcold refrigerators are currently failing at a rate of 80%, according to one distributor who was quoted. So, if any of you ultimately decide to ditch the Dometic, do your homework on replacement options.
What is particularly interesting to me is that as the fridge appears to be "chasing the outside" temperature, the countertop directly over the fridge gets hot. That strongly suggests to me that lack of adequate venting is the issue.

I'd like to hear from folks who are having cooling problems on 120V. Is the lack of cooling accompanied by a hot countertop?
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Old 07-19-2017, 08:18 AM   #33
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Speaking of chasing outside temperature, I just rechecked the fridge after all night on propane.

Outside temp: 66
Freezer: -7
Box: 25.4

It will get into the high 80s-low 90s today. I'll keep on checking.
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Old 07-19-2017, 10:20 AM   #34
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So we called Airstream and spoke to John:

-The issue is currently with production

-No Service Bulletin Has been issues

-It may come out in the near future

-Solution is to improve the ventilation

- We may want to contact our local dometic dealer to make sure it is not the fridge

- Someone will contact us if there is a service bulletin issued.
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Old 07-20-2017, 08:48 AM   #35
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This morning the freezer was at -7 and the box at 28 degrees with an outside temp of 64.

The pattern on propane is pretty clear. When the outside temp is around 70 or below, the fridge works fine. As soon as the temp rises to 85 or so, it gets overwhelmed by buildup of heat in the cabinet and the freezer gains 20 or so degrees as does the main box. After two days on propane, the box continues to increase to between 6 and 10 degrees above the minimum 40 degrees needed for food safety.

Since our trip to from northern California to Charleston, SC will be along US40 (not exactly cool temps), we will rely on a 30 qt. Pelican cooler for drinks and snacks and eat out alot. The second leg will take us to within 125 or so miles of the Airstream factory. We are hopeful that Airstream engineers will have devised a fix by the time we are in their area (probably the 28th) that adequately removes heat from the cabinet and does not rely on the extremely loud fans that they are currently recommending. There are many silent fans available that would accomplish needed venting while not introducing unnecessary noise. As it is now, I can hear the fans while standing 70 feet away from the trailer and they run constantly. I am anticipating hearing complaints from campground neighbors.
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Old 07-20-2017, 04:17 PM   #36
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My three fan mod cost $60. Can't here the fans inside the trailer. I still believe it's an airflow issues, having the right fans as well as making sure air flows over the coils optimally to remove the heat. Should be the same for the basecamp space.
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Old 07-27-2017, 04:26 AM   #37
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My three fan mod cost $60. Can't here the fans inside the trailer. I still believe it's an airflow issues, having the right fans as well as making sure air flows over the coils optimally to remove the heat. Should be the same for the basecamp space.
You are being optimistic IMO, and have not examined the problem closely, in terms of the BC fridge exhaust vent being about an inch away from the back of the propane cover. With no room for the exhaust air to flow freely, it is stifled, and the hot air stays trapped, stagnant in the cabinet space. ESPECIALLY if the front of the trailer is in direct sun.

With your design and fabrication skills, in my opinion you would appreciate this if you examined the problem more closely.

The Basecamp Issues thread has more details on the fridge problem as well.

No quick and easy fix here, again in my opinion, short of a substantial redesign of the layout of the components they are trying to JAM so close to each other. Also, Dometic's design parameters seem to conflict with the fridge's layout and venting system IMO.

Peter

PS see Post #600 et seq. on the Issues thread:

[click on arrow in quote to go there]
Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
Is there an air gap between the front of the trailer, and the propane cover as shown here? Looks like a mighty small space IMO. Even with fan assist, moving hot air out of the way quickly is going to be challenging if this end of the trailer is in direct sun on a hot day!

How about a dedicated mini-awning which can deploy to put the front of the trailer in shade? There could be a sun-sensitive switch which triggers this, like the rain sensors on the rooftop fans.



Good luck,

Peter

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Old 07-27-2017, 05:04 AM   #38
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At this point, someone with design and fabrication ability needs to create a channel from the exhaust port to the top of the propane cover, install a vent cover in the propane cover and leave a gap between the channel and body of the trailer, so that water can drain that might get in the top of it. This way the air exhausted from the fridge can clear the area of the propane tanks.

Is there enough space between the top of the tank area and the cover for such a channel?
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Old 07-27-2017, 09:28 AM   #39
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Proper flow for cooling

I believe this is the proper chimney for air flow
Attached Files
File Type: pdf IMG_1500146190211.pdf (123.9 KB, 89 views)
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Old 07-27-2017, 10:07 AM   #40
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Hi

Here's yet another problem / question to toss into the pile:

When moving, air flows over the TV. It then hits the front of the Basecamp. My guess is that it flows *down* over the front of the trailer in the area between the propane tank cover and the trailer. It then exits under the trailer. (= high pressure just above the propane tank cover). A "tall" TV would create a different pattern than something like a sedan hatchback. Yes, with a big automotive wind tunnel or a copy of FloEFD you could dig further into this.

If the air *is* doing this, pulling the trailer is actually *worse* than having it sit stationary in the driveway. Even with fans, you have a limited back pressure range. At some point, the air simply stops moving. It's not just an issue if you are relying on convection.

Bob
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Old 07-27-2017, 10:18 AM   #41
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Great point Bob. Indeed, is the new Basecamp the only Airstream with the fridge vent on the front of the trailer? Almost all others have side vents (or flues through the roof) which would more likely promote the exhaust gases leaving the fridge's system.

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Old 07-27-2017, 10:44 AM   #42
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Great point Bob. Indeed, is the new Basecamp the only Airstream with the fridge vent on the front of the trailer? Almost all others have side vents (or flues through the roof) which would more likely promote the exhaust gases leaving the fridge's system.

Hi

It certainly is the only version I've ever seen with the fridge right up front. Given that AS has made a few billion variations over the last 80 or so years, I'd never say "only one"

The gotcha is that they have designed themselves into a corner. Flue through the roof? Not so much. Remove the propane tanks? Nope. Jet engine loud blower(s) that will handle lots of back pressure? good luck ... Even with a compressor based design the exhaust heat has to go *somewhere*.

If they were paying me to do this, I'd put a baffle half way down the tank cover / trailer gap. Then start looking at mods to the tank cover to change the airflow pattern. It might be as simple as drilling a couple of 1 or 2" holes. Working out where to put those holes ... not simple at all. Note: I'm retired and *not* looking for work harder than lifting the odd can of beer each evening ...

Bob
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