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Old 09-04-2018, 06:00 AM   #407
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To preface all this. We picked up our BC on 08/28 and during the walk around was told that the TSB had been done and a larger fan was installed. I didn't think to ask if the fridge had been tested. It was off and I trusted the sales/service team.



I tested the fridge once home for about 48hrs on power and while the freezer worked the fridge barely chilled, like hardly noticed it. Temps here have been is high 70 and mids 80s with 85% humidity. I did not hear this exhaust fan once. Yesterday I turned on propane to see if there was a difference and nope, however I did hear the exhaust fan kick in and could smell the plastic shroud heat up (yum). I switched back to electric last night about 5pm. This morning I happily report that the fan is running and the internal temp is now 50/11 degrees. Today will be a high of 85. I'll leave on and test again before work at noon and see if the temp continues to drop.


So far I feel like this was a mistake buying the BC and selling our 31ft '77. We've already invested in memory foam mattress and I think we still need something else for comfortable sleep. I guess I expected my experience would be different when the sales team assured me all the bugs had been worked out. I'm going to try and be optimistic as I truly am excited about the ability to take this guy out more often and to more places than our old one. I suppose I have 2 years of warranty for Airstream to get this right. What does Dometic say?


Mike
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Old 09-04-2018, 09:17 AM   #408
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TracieW View Post
Hi all, I may have a simple fix!

I have a 2017 Basecamp and I've been so frustrated with the refrigerator not cooling on gas and our food spoiling.

I had the fix of installing the extra fan and it didn't make any difference.

I called Airstream yesterday and talked to a tech and I think he may have solved the problem.

Usually when we go out we plug or Airstream in about 24 hours and turn on the refrigerator before we leave for a trip. I was assuming since the refrigerator was set to Auto that it would automatically switch to the gas. Well according to the tech the refrigerator may not be switching to the gas when we unplug... maybe the auto button is not working or the refrigerator is only checking for electric or gas when you turn it on. So when we unplugged, it wasn't switching to gas and it was turning off. The freezer would stay cool probably because its enclosed with it's own door.

The tech said to manually take it off auto and put it on gas and then it will switch to the gas. I did a test last night on gas only and the refrigerator section was the coldest it has ever been. It got down to 30 deg.

I hope this simple fix works but still need to test it on a hot day.
Unfortunately, the solution I thought I had did not work. The refrigerator will not cool appropriately in direct sun on propane only. I took my Basecamp to Airstream a couple weeks ago, during a heatwave, and they confirmed it doesn't cool appropriately on a hot day. They took off the propane cover to see if that made a difference and it didn't. The fan fix doesn't work either. They have submitted this information to the manufacturer of the refrigerator for a replacement. I have a feeling that a new refrigerator probably will not solve the problem but we have to go to through the process. I will update again when I get the new fridge and test it on a heatwave day. May not get another heatwave 'till next summer but I'm going to keep on this. Fortunately my warranty doesn't expire until 2020.
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Old 09-04-2018, 02:08 PM   #409
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The problem is heat used for boiling the refrigerant medium (ammonia). Heat for boiling is acquired by an electric heater or a propane burner and acts as a boiler to vaporize ammonia. Both of this heat sources vent their remaining heat that is not used to evaporate the ammonia exit out of stack that vents into the refrigerator compartment (this also houses the condenser, evaporator and absorber coils). The extra heat form the boiler chimney/stack with the addition of hot ambient air results in excess heat load causing poor heat exchange for the refrigerator. I have had some preliminary success in venting this stack outside of the refrigerator compartment and adding an extra 140mm fan tested the driveway (test was without propane cover on)(only purchased my BC 5 days ago). I have not tested the stack exhaust temps using propane yet Ė donít wat to melt my plastic vent. I will be going out to this weekend do additional field tests on my mods. Anyone else try this experiment?

Rod
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Old 09-04-2018, 02:46 PM   #410
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In July 2017, a number of posts starting with #37 suggested that the fridge's basic design defect could not be remedied, as long as the front of the Basecamp sits in direct sun in hot weather, and there is no flue through the roof.

[click on orange arrow in quote to see the full post]
Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
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.
. . .
There are about 12 posts over the next few months which repeat the basic conceptual design problem. This entire thread should be required reading for anyone considering a new Basecamp IMO.

So sorry for everyone's struggles. We had hoped to downsize to this beautiful little trailer . . . .

Not now.


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Old 09-04-2018, 03:59 PM   #411
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
There are about 12 posts over the next few months which repeat the basic conceptual design problem. This entire thread should be required reading for anyone considering a new Basecamp IMO.
Really disappointing. Somebody at AS comes into the office one day to propose this great new concept for a trailer. It gets approved by dozens of others, goes through engineering, design, and production. Yet has a fatal flaw in a basic component that is required for owners to enjoy their trailer without getting food poisoning. Oh, but only in hot weather.

Really disappointing.
.
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Old 09-04-2018, 09:38 PM   #412
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nodintree View Post
The problem is heat used for boiling the refrigerant medium (ammonia). Heat for boiling is acquired by an electric heater or a propane burner and acts as a boiler to vaporize ammonia. Both of this heat sources vent their remaining heat that is not used to evaporate the ammonia exit out of stack that vents into the refrigerator compartment (this also houses the condenser, evaporator and absorber coils). The extra heat form the boiler chimney/stack with the addition of hot ambient air results in excess heat load causing poor heat exchange for the refrigerator. I have had some preliminary success in venting this stack outside of the refrigerator compartment and adding an extra 140mm fan tested the driveway (test was without propane cover on)(only purchased my BC 5 days ago). I have not tested the stack exhaust temps using propane yet Ė donít wat to melt my plastic vent. I will be going out to this weekend do additional field tests on my mods. Anyone else try this experiment?



Rod


I still think this can be solved doing what you say. As an engineer itís simple physics or thermo. As you state if you get the hot air out, it will work. I encourage you to keep trying and hopefully find the right solution mod.

Sometimes it takes the users to mod and find the fix. Keep,at it
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Old 09-05-2018, 02:29 AM   #413
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troutboy View Post
I still think this can be solved doing what you say. As an engineer it’s simple physics or thermo. As you state if you get the hot air out, it will work. I encourage you to keep trying and hopefully find the right solution mod.

Sometimes it takes the users to mod and find the fix. Keep,at it
With direct sun beating on the propane cover, in 90+ degree heat? The solar gain is simply greater than any fridge system's ability to remove heat from inside the cabinet, is it not? Move the fridge to one side, and add an awning and a flue, and the BC fridge could work. BC III here we come?

You were one of the early posters here, over a year ago, and in Post #36 you said:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Troutboy View Post
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.
. . . and my reply to you in Post #37, quoted yesterday in Post #410, now marks over one year of Airstream making believe that they can fix this design defect by applying more Band-aids IMO.

The little train that could [" . . . I think I can, I think I can . . . "] is not always on the right track IMO.



Sometimes that light at the end of the tunnel is a fast freight heading straight for you!



Please re-read this entire thread. You are an engineer, so do the solar gain BTU calculations, and the exhaust air numbers with that very limited free-air vent. Unless you get some kind of huge high-speed [not quiet] fan pushing the hot air out, it ain't gonna work, at least not in direct sun in hot weather IMO.

Cheers,

Peter

PS -- As you say, "it’s simple physics or thermo."
PS2 -- Da Nile is a wide river to cross.
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Old 09-05-2018, 03:15 AM   #414
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hopmonster View Post
. . .
I suppose I have 2 years of warranty for Airstream to get this right.
. . .
Quote:
Originally Posted by TracieW View Post
Unfortunately, the solution I thought I had did not work.
. . .
Fortunately my warranty doesn't expire until 2020.
So sorry for your troubles.

Peter
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Old 09-05-2018, 09:54 AM   #415
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
With direct sun beating on the propane cover, in 90+ degree heat? The solar gain is simply greater than any fridge system's ability to remove heat from inside the cabinet, is it not? Move the fridge to one side, and add an awning and a flue, and the BC fridge could work. BC III here we come?

You were one of the early posters here, over a year ago, and in Post #36 you said:



. . . and my reply to you in Post #37, quoted yesterday in Post #410, now marks over one year of Airstream making believe that they can fix this design defect by applying more Band-aids IMO.

The little train that could [" . . . I think I can, I think I can . . . "] is not always on the right track IMO.



Sometimes that light at the end of the tunnel is a fast freight heading straight for you!



Please re-read this entire thread. You are an engineer, so do the solar gain BTU calculations, and the exhaust air numbers with that very limited free-air vent. Unless you get some kind of huge high-speed [not quiet] fan pushing the hot air out, it ain't gonna work, at least not in direct sun in hot weather IMO.

Cheers,

Peter

PS -- As you say, "itís simple physics or thermo."
PS2 -- Da Nile is a wide river to cross.


Peter,

I think itís solvable if they put the right people on it and do the calcs/math and airflow.

Moving the air across the coils at an appropriate flow will remove the heat. Itís simple theory

How many fans, what kind of baffling or flow pattern, I donít know.

Itís just amazing to me that they canít figure this out. They must not be concerned.

Iím convinced if the right do-it-yourselfer had a unit and messed around they could crack it.

Give one of these units to GMFL, RFP or one of many others and it gets figured out ( even if it means major mods or movement of venting and air intake/outflow.)

The talent and ingenuity of the members of this forum always amazes me.

Seems like Airstream is blindly placing fans, not changing Baffling or airflow direction, and one of the last posts stated they didnít even compress the gasket. All in all they are just plain clueless and havenít though through this well enough.

Always appreciate your opinions. I think we both agree that AS is just indifferent, incompetent or both with regards to this issue.


I have my own opinions as well and have solved heat transfer issues way more complicated than this in industrial settings.
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Old 09-05-2018, 01:01 PM   #416
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I can certainly agree the added 120MM fan was poorly placed. It is behind the top vent dead center which means it blowing primarily on the mullion between the two vent sections.

I have my new 92MM fans coming tomorrow. We will see what happens. I'll run the fridge over the weekend.

I like the idea of running out the vent stack outside.
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Old 09-05-2018, 01:50 PM   #417
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Heres what I have experimented with so far. Started precooling the frig two days earlier with yeti cooler blocks. Was close to 32 but not had the frig loaded with bottle waters that were not frozen. This was strictly an electricity operational run. I need to finish mounting the 140 mm fan and solder and cut the new stack, observe this under a little higher ambient temps and under propane operation (concerned about propan eoperation with increased stack temps @ the plastic) ATTACH]321633[/ATTACH]
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Old 09-05-2018, 03:37 PM   #418
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
Generally speaking, yes.

But if you read this entire thread, you will see that the folks quoted in Post #397 have been very active recently in reporting about their BC fridges. I even quoted them which should have prompted a reply, albeit a brief one perhaps.

There looms a very pregnant silence, however, and at some point it will come out if they have been asked not to post any further, as a part of the "final fix" for the fridge that won't work in all camping conditions!

If you take the time to read this entire thread, you will see the [possible] pattern IMO.


Hi

I've been following the thread pretty much from the first post. I stopped trying to help after getting the "Basecamp owners only are allowed in this thread ..." brush off..... That might have been in a different thread, but the message came through strong and clear.

Bob
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Old 09-05-2018, 05:45 PM   #419
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OK..I admit I haven't read all posts.

On our last outing our fridge had a hard time maintaining 45*.

Also noticed the stove was hard to light.

On the way home we stopped to fill an MT LP tank.
I noticed when I switched to the full tank and removed the empty one the unconnected line had not shut off.

Replaced the regulator with a Marshall Hi flow...no more leak and the fridge went down to 32.9 overnight, empty set on max.

Bob
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Old 09-05-2018, 07:40 PM   #420
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hopmonster View Post
To preface all this. We picked up our BC on 08/28 and during the walk around was told that the TSB had been done and a larger fan was installed. I didn't think to ask if the fridge had been tested. It was off and I trusted the sales/service team.



I tested the fridge once home for about 48hrs on power and while the freezer worked the fridge barely chilled, like hardly noticed it. Temps here have been is high 70 and mids 80s with 85% humidity. I did not hear this exhaust fan once. Yesterday I turned on propane to see if there was a difference and nope, however I did hear the exhaust fan kick in and could smell the plastic shroud heat up (yum). I switched back to electric last night about 5pm. This morning I happily report that the fan is running and the internal temp is now 50/11 degrees. Today will be a high of 85. I'll leave on and test again before work at noon and see if the temp continues to drop.


So far I feel like this was a mistake buying the BC and selling our 31ft '77. We've already invested in memory foam mattress and I think we still need something else for comfortable sleep. I guess I expected my experience would be different when the sales team assured me all the bugs had been worked out. I'm going to try and be optimistic as I truly am excited about the ability to take this guy out more often and to more places than our old one. I suppose I have 2 years of warranty for Airstream to get this right. What does Dometic say?


Mike

Did your frig get to temperature?
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