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Old 07-09-2019, 09:18 AM   #505
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Originally Posted by Bborzell View Post
There has been a fair amount of chasing temps over the past few days. This morning the box was 36 and the freezer -3. This has all been on AC here at home.

Biggest eye opener is the difference between the two propane covers. Though it is 65 degrees outside, the aluminum cover is reading 82 degrees with the sun on it while the black cover is sitting at 135 degrees. Add the large mass of the black cover to the higher surface temperature and you get an enormous heat sink.

Even with the poor cabinet ventilation design, the black plastic propane tank cover is the kiss of death to any chance of reliable heat exhaust through the front vent for any BC with the absorption fridge.

Reports of some decent performance under warmer conditions are not surprising to me as the number of variables affecting overall performance is high and changes with locality, humidity, sun angle, etc.

My suggestion to anyone with a BC with an absorption fridge who is not entirely satisfied with their fridge ability to keep food safe once the box has been appropriately cooled prior to a trip is to consider the propane cover change.
I live 800 hundreds miles away from my selling dealer. Can I ask the closest dealer to perform the change to the aluminum cover and do it under warranty? Or will they look at me as if I have two heads?
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Old 07-09-2019, 12:32 PM   #506
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I live 800 hundreds miles away from my selling dealer. Can I ask the closest dealer to perform the change to the aluminum cover and do it under warranty? Or will they look at me as if I have two heads?

You don't have to go to your selling dealer for warranty work. Mine sucks so I'm headed to a 5 star rivet dealer that I worked with a/s customer support.

Lot of airstreamers are on the road and probably can tell you good ones near you.

Hopefully the more experienced dealers will know how about the issue.
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Old 07-09-2019, 11:38 PM   #507
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I live 800 hundreds miles away from my selling dealer. Can I ask the closest dealer to perform the change to the aluminum cover and do it under warranty? Or will they look at me as if I have two heads?
You would probably have to scour through a ton of these posts in order to make sense of how I got the aluminum propane cover. Here is the short version:

I called AS Customer Service with a proposal that they work with me to exchange the absorption fridge for a compressor. The fellow I spoke with said that they had to modify the cabinetry for the new fridge. He proposed that they send an aluminum cover to my dealer and install it.

While I am not convinced that the cover is a reliable fix for the problem of the box heating up under reasonably expected camping conditions, it is an issue I brought up to AS nearly two years ago because I knew that the black cover absorbed and stored significant heat from the sun reflection and that the vent was an inch or so away from that heat source. Since changing the cover was my proposal back then, it seemed like a good idea to see if it helped.

My dealer was the middle man. They had not done this swap up until now. It was pretty much between me and AS. I am guessing that the number of dealers who have gone this route can be counted on the fingers of half of my right hand. You should start with AS. Any dealer should be willing to do it if AS covers the cost as they did mine.

Guess it wasn’t that short.
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Old 07-10-2019, 07:55 AM   #508
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Prospective purchasers should force themselves to read each and every post in this thread, in order accurately to perceive the two corporate entities Airstream and parent Thor.

Time well spent.



PS — “Split not thy infinitives!”
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Old 07-11-2019, 04:21 PM   #509
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Everything I read regarding safe food storage sites 40 degrees as the upper limit. I used a digital thermometer to monitor the temps in our BCX fridge on our recent trip that spanned 28 days and 4500 miles. What I didn't think of using was my laser thermometer that could read the surface temperature of the foods and drinks inside the fridge. I was only measuring the air temperature in the fridge which reached temps above 40 degrees every day that we spent on the road. So I am unsure of whether I was keeping food at safe temperatures in my 2019 Basecamp X with the Dometic fridge or if I was not.
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Old 07-12-2019, 08:40 AM   #510
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Hi

I certainly will not argue that letting food get warm is a great way to be safe .... When you dig into the "magic temperature" for storage, there are a lot of assumptions made. The amount of time the food is at this or that temperature does matter. A very normal home fridge likely runs a "defrost cycle" from time to time. It's set up to be short enough to not matter a lot.

Various studies measure temperature different ways. Is it the "box temperature", the surface temperature, or the core temperature of the food? Depending on which one you use, the numbers (temperature and time) come up different.

Next up is the sort of food you are dealing with. Some stuff ( = that bottle of soy sauce), one wonders if there *is* a study that shows the need for refrigeration. With raw chicken, yup there are a *lot* of studies.

Any fridge (or oven or room or ...) will have a variation in temperature in it. The sensor position matters. One gotcha with most of these fridges is that the sensor is often at the cold(er) end of the fridge. The stock readout (if there is one) is being a bit optimistic when it tells you the fridge is at 32F.

So is 32, 36, 38 or 41 the magic fridge temperature? That depends ....

=====

If you start using an IR thermometer to work things out - understand how they do their thing. The surface you are "looking at". Color / reflectivity does not just apply to visible light. At IR it gets lumped into a number called emissivity.

We used to have to paint test samples flat black to get highly accurate readings. If you are worrying about a coupe of degrees, chicken wrapped in aluminum foil vs in brown paper is going to fake you out.

Bob
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Old 07-15-2019, 06:49 PM   #511
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Completed a 5200mi journey in our basecamp. As expected the fridge didn’t perform. Most temps inside fridge were 50-65deg in the southwest. All mods have been done up to this point.
Spoke to Airstream tech support about 2020 Basecamp “Novakool” compressor fridge .
Person knew little about specs,size, or if there will be a recall.
Soo Airstream wants to be top dog but not stand behind their product or ENGINEERING?
How about you act like an upstanding company and have a recall before your handed a class action lawsuit!
You know this has been a problem since 2017-
Airstreams reaction to this engineering flaw will dictate my future purchases of their product.
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Old 07-15-2019, 10:41 PM   #512
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Originally Posted by Philly77 View Post
Completed a 5200mi journey in our basecamp. As expected the fridge didn’t perform. Most temps inside fridge were 50-65deg in the southwest. All mods have been done up to this point.
Spoke to Airstream tech support about 2020 Basecamp “Novakool” compressor fridge .
Person knew little about specs,size, or if there will be a recall.
Soo Airstream wants to be top dog but not stand behind their product or ENGINEERING?
How about you act like an upstanding company and have a recall before your handed a class action lawsuit!
You know this has been a problem since 2017-
Airstreams reaction to this engineering flaw will dictate my future purchases of their product.
Just to confirm, you were running on propane while getting the 50-65 degrees? I can't break low 60's on propane in Southeast. Electric works fine, though, just wanting to confirm we're on the same page.
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Old 07-16-2019, 07:26 AM   #513
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Yes running on propane full time. We were boondocking 40-50% of the time.
To put it bluntly I had zero confidence in feeding my family anything out of the refrigerator on electric or propane. It doesn't matter when outside temps are anywhere between 80-105deg.
Airstream KNOWS their fixes arent going to solve this.
Why else would they put a compressor fridge in the 2020 units?
Think about it.
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Old 07-16-2019, 09:30 AM   #514
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Originally Posted by Philly77 View Post
Yes running on propane full time. We were boondocking 40-50% of the time.
To put it bluntly I had zero confidence in feeding my family anything out of the refrigerator on electric or propane. It doesn't matter when outside temps are anywhere between 80-105deg.
Airstream KNOWS their fixes arent going to solve this.
Why else would they put a compressor fridge in the 2020 units?
Think about it.
I sold a high end product made by a publicly held manufacturer for a number of years. We had several endemic component failures over a 15 year period but the only failure that was publicly acknowledged to the dealer network with a specific correction plan was a failure that fell under the CPSC - Consumer Product Safety Commission. So if Airstream owners and their families are endangered and getting sick from food stored at unsafe temperatures then maybe the only way we can all be made whole is by reporting our experiences to the government. Has anyone gotten sick from eating food out of their Basecamp refrigerator? Or had to throw unsafe food away?
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Old 07-17-2019, 08:04 AM   #515
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Just adding my name to the list: 2017 build, black propane covers purchased new at Windish RV in Colorado. The fridge is basically a fancy shelf that is definitely not safe for perishable foods or drinks. I’m calling Windish today to see if they’ve done any work on these.
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Old 07-18-2019, 06:53 AM   #516
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Our trailer is back with the dealer now waiting for service. According to the dealers service department AS and Dometic have come up with a list of things that they want to get checked out. Allegedly they're really starting to take this seriously. <eyeroll>

At this point we're 2 years without a working fridge and several 'fixes' that have only wasted time. I'm trying to stay optimistic but Airstream needs to get it's act together. We paid too much money for these issues.
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Old 07-18-2019, 07:11 AM   #517
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. . .
. . . 2 years without a working fridge . . .
. . .
. . . I'm trying to stay optimistic . . .
. . .


I have a bridge you might be interested in buying . . .



Sorry for the suffering Airstream and parent corp. Thor have put you through.

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Old 07-18-2019, 05:42 PM   #518
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Our trailer is back with the dealer now waiting for service. According to the dealers service department AS and Dometic have come up with a list of things that they want to get checked out. Allegedly they're really starting to take this seriously. <eyeroll>

At this point we're 2 years without a working fridge and several 'fixes' that have only wasted time. I'm trying to stay optimistic but Airstream needs to get it's act together. We paid too much money for these issues.
Have the fixes included swapping out the propane tank cover?
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