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Old 07-29-2017, 10:43 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by Bborzell View Post
We showed up at Jackson Center this morning. In addition to the fridge issue we took the opportunity to get a few other small issues addressed.

My service tech was Joel. If you should show up for service at Airstream and you draw Joel, you should have a good day. He is everything that today's service folks have failed to aspire to. Thoughtful, attentive and skilled are three important attributes and he has them all.

The fix considered that the fridge creates heat that fills the cavity between the unit and the front wall. Much at that heat fails to exhaust itself through the forward vent because it has the upward path which heats up the counter top.

As I understand the issue, AS engineers got together with Dometic engineers and decided to limit the volume of space available for the heat to fill. Instead of adding fans (Joel pulled the noisy fans that were initially added) Joel placed deflectors between the fridge and the forward vents. They also insulated a top deflector that is supposed to eliminate the hot countertop.

In effect, the design should fill the considerably smaller space which has been created by the deflectors. In addition, itappears that the deigners sought to take advantage of the expansion of the heated air to drive movement from the fridge through the deflectors andout the vent.

By the time we were walked through the fix by Joel, the fridge had cooled fromthe low 50s to 43. Two hours later it was at 40 and, after 3 hours on the road, it was 37.

Joel says that ours ws the first to get the redsign in the service department. However, all the new BCs are seeing the mod.

Tomorrow, we will get more heat and I will continue to monitor temps. So far so good, and no fan noise.
So 'Joel' is at the Airstream factory in Ohio and this is what AS did on the 2018 Basecamp to fix the fridge problem? Why is AS still sending out fan kits if this is the fix. Please keep us posted on how this works on your continued trip. Grrrr
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Old 07-29-2017, 10:55 AM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gail Miller View Post
So 'Joel' is at the Airstream factory in Ohio and this is what AS did on the 2018 Basecamp to fix the fridge problem? Why is AS still sending out fan kits if this is the fix. Please keep us posted on how this works on your continued trip. Grrrr


Good to know and will be sure my AS dealer is on board with any modifications to the fix before they get started - don't need to make multiple trips to try to fix this problem
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Old 07-29-2017, 10:59 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by FricknFrack View Post
Good to know and will be sure my AS dealer is on board with any modifications to the fix before they get started - don't need to make multiple trips to try to fix this problem
My thoughts exactly. I spoke with Gretchen at AS on the 7/17 and she is sending fans to my dealer. I don't want fans if fans aren't the fix.
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Old 07-30-2017, 08:44 AM   #74
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It didn't work...

Where to start?

When we left Jackson Center, after the fridge fix, the fridge had been on shore power for the amount of time that transpired between Joel buttoning up the fridge after the fix and when we pulled out heading for northern Minnesota.

The fridge was sitting on 43 degrees and within a couple of hours, it was 37. Things were looking good.

By the time we got to Madison, Wisconsin, it had crept up to 43 and by last night when we pulled into northern Minnesota, it was sitting on 48. The glitter had faded and we tossed the food.

We plugged in at our friends place in Minnesota about 8 pm and by 8 am this morning, the freezer was on 0 and the box was 36.7.

A few takeaways from this series of unfortunate events...

After 4,800 miles and a week on the road, the fridge debacle has not diminished our satisfaction with the rest of the Basecamp. All the systems work as designed, it tows like it isn't behind the Jeep (no, really), the Thermarest pads make the sleeping surface work well and it just plain fits all of our original expectations as well as our real life needs.

That said, the fridge does not work reliably on propane; period. It didn't work as originally designed, it doesn't work with the added fan fix and it doesn't work with this most recent fix. I don't know whether driving at highway speeds actually exacerbates the cooling deficiencies, but I highly suspect this to be the case.

Contrary to our eastern leg which was quite hot >90 degrees most of the time, the trip from Jackson Center to Minnesota has been much cooler, but still the fridge can't provide venting needed for adequate cooling under propane.

Here's an interesting thought. If you start out your driving day after the fridge has been sitting overnight on 120V and has reached 37 or so degrees, one would think that the box would be able to maintail a food safe level of 40 degrees for up to 4 driving hours even if it has no power to it; just like a not particularly efficient ice chest. So, maybe the propane part of the equation actually creates the temp rise while driving as the pilot flame introduces heat that would otherwise not be there. So, if you are on the road and can get adequate cooling while plugged in and need to drive <4 hours os so, you might be better off turning off all power to the fridge while driving; just a thought.

As frustrating as the fridge thing has been, I believe that this will pass after AS has enough real world feedback to overcome the shortcoming of the modeling that lead to the original fridge install design. Lacking any contrary info, I am back to thinking that someone needs to try a 2 way fridge that is either 120V or 12V, but not propane.

People who drive no more than a few hundred miles a day probably won't even know that they are heating up the cabinet while on propane. The real failing will come with boondockers who go days without 120V power to bail them out. I'm guessing that the percentage of Basecamp buyers who end up totally off the grid is going to be similar to the percentage of FWD SUVs who drive off road.

I just went out to recheck the fridge before hitting "send" since the trailer has been sitting in full on morning sun onto the front end. It has actually dropped another .7 degrees.
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Old 07-30-2017, 10:05 AM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bborzell View Post
. . .
. . . I don't know whether driving at highway speeds actually exacerbates the cooling deficiencies, but I highly suspect this to be the case.
. . .
Bingo!

Sorry for your continuing problems. The fix here is a total re-design which gets the fridge over to the side of the BC including a flue through the roof IMO.



Good luck all!

Peter

PS -- At the risk of belaboring the point, the problem is not all that complicated.
Most experienced RV folks can understand it intuitively.
[Click on arrows in quotes to go to these posts:
Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

The gotcha with my "nutty theory" is that it also is TV dependent. Pull the trailer behind a pickup with a tall shell on it and you get one situation. Put it behind a Mini Cooper and you have very different flow. In between those two are a whole variety of cases. Convection is *not* very powerful in terms of moving air in a situation like this. Small changes can be important.

Bob

Bob
Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
. . . I suspect the "airflow in motion" with some TV's is down over the front of the trailer regardless of the propane cover or even without the bottles.
. . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
Thanks Bborzell . . .
. . .
. . . Moreover, this "solution" does nothing to cover uncle bob's questions about air pressures/vacuums on the front of the Basecamp while towing.
. . .
Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
Bob, the frontal air pressure/vacuum issues you raise demand that the fridge vent move entirely to the side IMO. Yes, a total redesign . . . IMO.
Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
. . .
Even when parked in a campsite, a decent wind blowing on the front of the Basecamp will easily reverse the convection, and push the exhaust air back into the fridge's mechanical space!
. . .


PS2 -- The worst part of this torture IMO is that Airstream seems to keep coming with fixes that are ill-informed, inconsistent, subject to recall in a day or two. Etc. Etc. Etc. . . .
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Old 07-30-2017, 11:14 AM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bborzell View Post
Where to start?

When we left Jackson Center, after the fridge fix, the fridge had been on shore power for the amount of time that transpired between Joel buttoning up the fridge after the fix and when we pulled out heading for northern Minnesota.

The fridge was sitting on 43 degrees and within a couple of hours, it was 37. Things were looking good.

By the time we got to Madison, Wisconsin, it had crept up to 43 and by last night when we pulled into northern Minnesota, it was sitting on 48. The glitter had faded and we tossed the food.

We plugged in at our friends place in Minnesota about 8 pm and by 8 am this morning, the freezer was on 0 and the box was 36.7.

A few takeaways from this series of unfortunate events...

After 4,800 miles and a week on the road, the fridge debacle has not diminished our satisfaction with the rest of the Basecamp. All the systems work as designed, it tows like it isn't behind the Jeep (no, really), the Thermarest pads make the sleeping surface work well and it just plain fits all of our original expectations as well as our real life needs.

That said, the fridge does not work reliably on propane; period. It didn't work as originally designed, it doesn't work with the added fan fix and it doesn't work with this most recent fix. I don't know whether driving at highway speeds actually exacerbates the cooling deficiencies, but I highly suspect this to be the case.

Contrary to our eastern leg which was quite hot >90 degrees most of the time, the trip from Jackson Center to Minnesota has been much cooler, but still the fridge can't provide venting needed for adequate cooling under propane.

Here's an interesting thought. If you start out your driving day after the fridge has been sitting overnight on 120V and has reached 37 or so degrees, one would think that the box would be able to maintail a food safe level of 40 degrees for up to 4 driving hours even if it has no power to it; just like a not particularly efficient ice chest. So, maybe the propane part of the equation actually creates the temp rise while driving as the pilot flame introduces heat that would otherwise not be there. So, if you are on the road and can get adequate cooling while plugged in and need to drive <4 hours os so, you might be better off turning off all power to the fridge while driving; just a thought.

As frustrating as the fridge thing has been, I believe that this will pass after AS has enough real world feedback to overcome the shortcoming of the modeling that lead to the original fridge install design. Lacking any contrary info, I am back to thinking that someone needs to try a 2 way fridge that is either 120V or 12V, but not propane.

People who drive no more than a few hundred miles a day probably won't even know that they are heating up the cabinet while on propane. The real failing will come with boondockers who go days without 120V power to bail them out. I'm guessing that the percentage of Basecamp buyers who end up totally off the grid is going to be similar to the percentage of FWD SUVs who drive off road.

I just went out to recheck the fridge before hitting "send" since the trailer has been sitting in full on morning sun onto the front end. It has actually dropped another .7 degrees.
This is all SO disappointing!!! Yuck!!!
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Old 07-30-2017, 12:19 PM   #77
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Hi

Based on power failures on a number of fridges over the years ..... the magic "four hour" number has a bunch of notes attached to it. In most cases the "time to destruction" on the refrigerator section will be much shorter. A tightly packed freezer section probably will make the 4 hours ...

Bob
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Old 07-30-2017, 03:25 PM   #78
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As pointed out this is not rocket science. If I had a base camp with this problem I'd take some cardboard and tape and make a chimney up to the roof and see how the fridge works. Then I'd figure out how to make one that looked acceptable or get the factory to provide it. Or get the factory to refund me a few grand and I'd build the fix myself. The fridge will never work right unless you have good heat removal from the coils. Running on propane adds more heat to be removed so maybe an electric compressor type fridge would be the best way to go. This is another example that makes me wonder if there are any real engineers at Airstream? They seem to just have designers that draw pretty pictures. Kind of sad.
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Old 07-30-2017, 03:55 PM   #79
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We installed the Vitrifrigo marine DP150iL in our 2015 23D and the DP2600 in our 2014 Classic. The link below also has smaller models listed and one should be right for the Base Camp. These are freon based refrigerators with a 12Vdc DanFoss compressor which has a tiny inverter that can be plugged into shore power along with the trailer and makes the 12Vdc for the fridge. Thus there is no propane flame heating up that tiny space.

http://www.vitrifrigo.com/us/us/boat...s_and_freezers

We used three computer style fans and a blanking plate in our 23D top refrigerator vent to force the air movement in at the bottom and out at the top air vent. This system worked well while we had the stock Dometic installed along with a power switch turn the fans on and off manually. When we did the upgrade to the DP150iL, we put in a small relay so the fans cycle with the DanFoss compressor.

That literature above also shows split systems where the freon compressor could be mounted in a better heat dissipation location similar to the split A/C systems in a home.
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Old 07-31-2017, 08:36 AM   #80
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After reading the probl ms with BC, I have been scared off on my purchase unless someone can assure AS has fixed the problem on the new ones.... so it goes.
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Old 07-31-2017, 09:12 AM   #81
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Originally Posted by ijustlee View Post
..... If I had a base camp with this problem I'd take some cardboard and tape and make a chimney up to the roof and see how the fridge works. ....
Hi

Take a look at the design of the Basecamp. There is not quick and simple way to get from the fridge to the roof. It has full wrap around windows. Blocking the view with a "chimney" isn't going to be popular.

Bob
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Old 07-31-2017, 11:44 AM   #82
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Hi

Take a look at the design of the Basecamp. There is not quick and simple way to get from the fridge to the roof. It has full wrap around windows. Blocking the view with a "chimney" isn't going to be popular.

Bob
This may be a repeat of things I've already said, if so, I apologize: Got my Dometic Installation Instruction booklet out again. Page 9: Offset Vents (which is what I think we all have). If vents must be offset due to interference of building materials the vent must always be offset towards the flue side of the cooling unit. The vent should be centered over the cooling unit so that the air can flow up and out of the compartment creating a chimney effect. For offset vent applications, PRIOR WRITTEN APPROVAL AND SAFETY CERTIFICATION MUST BE OBTAINED FROM DOMETIC CORP. (Interesting!!) Photo shows the vents considerably further apart than what mine are. Also, regarding type of vent application. When using UPPER AND LOWER SIDE VENT APPLICATION Choose this type of installation when a roof vent installation is not possible. (Note: Roof Vent Application is recommended for typical installations). BAFFLE SHOULD BE ADDED. The refrigerator MUST be equipped with fan(s). Please refer to page 31, some fans are optional and not required. On page 31: Dometic model RM2351, upper and lower side application; fans are optional. Note that some models can be purchased with factory installed fan(s). Others, and I, have measured our vents and they are considerably closer together than the 34" the booklet recommends as MINIMUM ventilation height.
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Old 08-01-2017, 08:47 AM   #83
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Once again, written verification that Airstream did NOT follow a manufacture's written installation instructions. So Dometic is off the hook for any liability with this installation unless the Airstream factory has a letter in their files from Dometic Corporate headquarters approving this Base Camp extreme deviation from the installation specifications.
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Old 08-01-2017, 10:38 AM   #84
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I posted this under the 'hacks' thread and also posting here. Jazgrass comment: I hope this will show the picture of the little 3x3 freezer packs I've bought to help the lame frig; leaving for NM first week of September.....[/QUOTE]

Jaz, this gave me a thought. I had a 4lb Yeti ice block in my freezer. I put it in the bottom of my BC refrigerator. It had been running for several hours and only got down to the typical ~70 degrees. I wondered if the Yeti ice might help boost the cooling. Left the fridge on all night and at 11:00 a.m. this morning, the box was 34 degrees and the freezer is -8 !!! The Yeti ice has melted to liquid. Shore power only. I also saw on a YouTube video where a guy said that even on shore power, the refrigerator has to use the battery. I keep my BC plugged into shore power, but I don't always have the battery switched turned to 'on'. It has to be 'on' to charge the battery. Yesterday, I had the battery switch 'on' and when I turned the refrigerator on, it was the first time I have ever heard a fan in my refrigerator ???? So ... to others ... is your battery switch turned on?? Sorry, if that is a stupid question. Arkansas temps have been a bit lower the last few days, mid-80's and lower humidity. My camper sits in a carport with a tall roof. I will also monitor my thermometers in the freezer during the day today to see if the increase in outside ambient temp. causes it to struggle more. Leaving the melted Yeti ice block in there.
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