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Old 08-11-2017, 11:33 AM   #121
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Originally Posted by FricknFrack View Post
. . .
. . . EVERY BC that has left their dealership has had the exact same problem with the refrigerator. They said AS HQ has been denying the problem all along . . .
. . .
Thanks for the report.

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Old 08-11-2017, 12:44 PM   #122
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Originally Posted by FricknFrack View Post
Just dropped off my BC at the AS dealer for the refrigerator fix. They told me they are 4th largest BC seller in the country and EVERY BC that has left their dealership has had the exact same problem with the refrigerator. They said AS HQ has been denying the problem all along, although the warranty dept at HQ acknowledged the issue to me on the phone. They say their fix with fans and better insulation around the box has fixed every one of their BCs - will see...
The fix that I got at Jackson Center included baffles and no fans. The AS service department told me that the modification that I received was exactly what was being done on current production models.

I can understand the frustration being articulated by the dealer. As of last week, my dealer had been sitting on 3 Basecamps with fridges that won't cool reliably. They are waiting for an effective fix. My dealer knows that the most recent fix is not effective at temps above mid 80 degrees.

As for AS's fix including fans, I was told that the mod did not utilize any fan other than that which comes on tne fridge.

There is no question that bth the diagnosis as well as a solutionis a moving target.
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Old 08-11-2017, 12:52 PM   #123
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Originally Posted by Troutboy View Post
Bob, what you are seeing is air short circuiting, the reason that both switz and I made the baffle and closed off portions of the exit vents.

If hot air is being forced out the lower vent, that also means that same hotter air is crossing the soils and won't remove as much heat.

If you provided pictures, maybe we could help you design a baffle?

Or maybe ask the dealer to do something with a baffle?
Thanks for the suggestion. I'm not clear on whether the baffle you are suggestion would be different from what was installed on my BC during our visit to Jackson Center. It was my understanding that they installed sheet metal that was designed to route heated air directly from the heat source to the front exhaust vent. I was under the impression that the rest of the cabinet was now insulated from that heat source by both the sheet metal (baffles?) and insulation
that was added to the sheet metal.

I have avoided moving the fridge out of warranty concerns so I don't know if any external pics would reveal much.

Thanks,

Bob
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Old 08-11-2017, 01:01 PM   #124
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As a followup to the readings I posted yesterday while the fridge was running on 120V, (48 degrees in box, outside air 91, exhaust air from top vent 113, air being forced out the bottom intake vent 105); the readings after 16 hours on propane are 39 degrees in box, outside air 89, exhaust air from top vent 131, air being forced out of the bottom intake vent 109.

I'm thinking that the box is under 40 because of cooler mirning temps. By 5 pm, we should be about the same high temp as yesterday at 5 pm and I will recheck everything then.

BTW, the surface temp of the top (vertical face) of the propane shroud was 171 degrees in direct sunlight with ambient air temp of 89.
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Old 08-11-2017, 02:34 PM   #125
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. . .
BTW, the surface temp of the top (vertical face) of the propane shroud was 171 degrees in direct sunlight with ambient air temp of 89.
That'll do it! Most AS fridges have louvered exhaust vents which are under the awning, and exposed to unlimited ambient air. Even if the ambient air is approaching 100, most AS fridges with flues through the roof can handle this fairly well, because there is no additional solar gain at play. Contrast this time-proven location with the report above!

The propane cover is indeed a source of intense radiant heat just inches away from the front of the Basecamp. Say no more . . .

Thanks again, Bob, for reporting accurate and important data points.

Peter
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Old 08-11-2017, 03:15 PM   #126
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With respect to the comment by an Airstream dealer that the latest fix (the one that I got while at Jackson Center) was what Airstream has settled on, I spoke to AS today and was told that they are still working on a definitive fix.

AS has all my data including the new info that both vents are exhausting heat and that there is about 15 degrees difference between exhaust heat on 120V vs. on propane with propane being higher (both readings at 89-90 degrees outside temp). They also know that I got a surface temp of 171 degrees on the cover of the propane shroud with direct sun and 90 degree ambient temp.

Part of the delay has been mild temperatures at Jackson Center. If my data are representative, they will need mid 80 degrees in order to repeatedly compromise cooling. They have been looking at my reporting over the past 2 weeks or so as a baseline from which to proceed.
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Old 08-11-2017, 04:12 PM   #127
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Thanks Bob for quantifying what is going on -- pretty much what everyone's worst fears were -- suggesting that at a minimum any fix must include one or more baffles and maybe multiple fans.

Re-designing the Basecamp to get the fridge over to one side, with a flue through the roof, would of course solve the problem completely, but who wants a perfect solution?



The Bandaid-after-Bandaid approach is sure testing everyone's patience and faith in Airstream and Thor, the parent corporation.

Thanks again for the data.

Peter

PS -- Adding a fan or two will change the need for battery power while boondocking of course. A second or third battery and solar panels would probably be a good (free?) upgrade IMO.
Just a note of interest. My sister is in Colorado right now camping in her small Jayco camper. She has a Dometic fridge, side vented. She said it didn't cool on propane on her two day trip there. I want a Vitrifrigo fridge
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Old 08-11-2017, 11:15 PM   #128
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Since the Dometic fridges are now made in China, I wonder if they have cut some corners in the quantity and type of insulation in the units.
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Old 08-12-2017, 06:11 AM   #129
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Just a note of interest. My sister is in Colorado right now camping in her small Jayco camper. She has a Dometic fridge, side vented. She said it didn't cool on propane on her two day trip there. I want a Vitrifrigo fridge
Is it possible to order a Basecamp and delete the standard fridge? The Vitrifrigo has some good specifications.
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Old 08-12-2017, 08:06 AM   #130
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Just a note of interest. My sister is in Colorado right now camping in her small Jayco camper. She has a Dometic fridge, side vented. She said it didn't cool on propane on her two day trip there. I want a Vitrifrigo fridge
It is true that the failure rate of RV fridges doesn't bring much comfort to anyone trying to understand the basis for the problems we have encountered with cooling on hot days. I have heard of or read about all manner of fridge failures over the years.

That said, we had a Dometic three way in our recently sold Tioga Class C that is still going after 14 years while a friend of mine went through 3 Dometics in 5 months in his new travel trailer.

Our fridge operates fine until it gets hot outside. Our old Class C fridge operated fine all the time, but it had a large roof vent; the coils could cool as needed.
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Old 08-12-2017, 08:14 AM   #131
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Since the Dometic fridges are now made in China, I wonder if they have cut some corners in the quantity and type of insulation in the units.
It wouldn't surprise me to hear that the failure rate of Dometics has crept up in recent years what with industry attempts to stay profitable or competitive through cost cutting measures.

Still, the pattern with the Basecamp cooling problem when it's hot outside appears to point to a pretty simple scenario where the fridge gets overwhelmed by hot air failing to exit the coils/cabinet area. I doubt that many other current RV fridge installs result in air exhausting the vent at 135 degrees.
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Old 08-12-2017, 09:33 AM   #132
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.......

BTW, the surface temp of the top (vertical face) of the propane shroud was 171 degrees in direct sunlight with ambient air temp of 89.
Hi

Which is why you don't want to make a "chimney" out of plastic or route the chimney against plastic .....

Bob
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Old 08-16-2017, 07:45 PM   #133
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Vitrifrigo fridge

Where do you buy a Vitrifrigo fridge?? I emailed the company and asked about a possible dealer in Arkansas and never heard back from them? Do you just order it online?? I really don't have the patience to wait for AC to come up with a 'possible' solution for this Dometic thing!!
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Old 08-17-2017, 05:08 AM   #134
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Arkansas is probably a tough one, the only places that carry them are serious boat dealers, yacht marine stores, those kind of places, whether it's Vitrifrigo or NovaKool. So expect to pay $250 shipping on top of the fridge price. Or plan a trip to a port area and pick it up.
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Old 08-17-2017, 05:13 AM   #135
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Where do you buy a Vitrifrigo fridge?? I emailed the company and asked about a possible dealer in Arkansas and never heard back from them? Do you just order it online?? I really don't have the patience to wait for AC to come up with a 'possible' solution for this Dometic thing!!
Are you prepared for the 12-volt electrical consumption it will require, especially in hot weather? Full research will save you misery down the road IMO.
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Old 08-17-2017, 06:34 AM   #136
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Where do you buy a Vitrifrigo fridge?? I emailed the company and asked about a possible dealer in Arkansas and never heard back from them? Do you just order it online?? I really don't have the patience to wait for AC to come up with a 'possible' solution for this Dometic thing!!
I found mine through a wholesaler, who then directed me to run my credit card through a local retailer (but I ported the fridge out of the wholesaler's warehouse myself, about 4 miles from my house). If you feel like taking a jaunt down to Texas for this purpose, PM me for details. However I'm fixin' to hit the road, so it might be a bit of time before I can respond.

I'm currently running pre-trip trials on our Vitrifrigo and I'm very pleased. Our rig has been sitting in our driveway prior to departure, and I've intentionally left it off shore power. With only the Fantastic running, daytime temps inside the rig have been in the range of 100 to 105 (we're in the Deep South), and the fridge has maintained temps in the 30's. We have 300 watts of solar and 300 amp hours of lithium batteries, and even with the heaviest possible demand being imposed by the Vitrifrigo, the solar alone has been able to keep up with it (we can also charge our lithium bank from shore, generator, and alternator when needed).

When I head north, I'll have a poorer solar angle, but I also won't be facing the severe heat we have here, so it will be interesting to see how the solar - fridge balance works out under those conditions.
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Old 08-17-2017, 06:55 AM   #137
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Are you prepared for the 12-volt electrical consumption it will require, especially in hot weather? Full research will save you misery down the road IMO.
Would probably change batteries to lithium ion batteries ... I don't know enough to really discuss that, but I'm studying it
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Old 08-17-2017, 06:57 AM   #138
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I found mine through a wholesaler, who then directed me to run my credit card through a local retailer (but I ported the fridge out of the wholesaler's warehouse myself, about 4 miles from my house). If you feel like taking a jaunt down to Texas for this purpose, PM me for details. However I'm fixin' to hit the road, so it might be a bit of time before I can respond.

I'm currently running pre-trip trials on our Vitrifrigo and I'm very pleased. Our rig has been sitting in our driveway prior to departure, and I've intentionally left it off shore power. With only the Fantastic running, daytime temps inside the rig have been in the range of 100 to 105 (we're in the Deep South), and the fridge has maintained temps in the 30's. We have 300 watts of solar and 300 amp hours of lithium batteries, and even with the heaviest possible demand being imposed by the Vitrifrigo, the solar alone has been able to keep up with it (we can also charge our lithium bank from shore, generator, and alternator when needed).

When I head north, I'll have a poorer solar angle, but I also won't be facing the severe heat we have here, so it will be interesting to see how the solar - fridge balance works out under those conditions.
Thank you. Keep us posted. There is a big Marina in Heber Springs, AR, I'll call them and inquire about the Vitrifrigo.
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Old 08-17-2017, 06:59 AM   #139
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Arkansas is probably a tough one, the only places that carry them are serious boat dealers, yacht marine stores, those kind of places, whether it's Vitrifrigo or NovaKool. So expect to pay $250 shipping on top of the fridge price. Or plan a trip to a port area and pick it up.
We have some marinas in Heber Springs, AR. I'll check there first. They might at least know.
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Old 08-17-2017, 07:58 AM   #140
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Here is where we purchased our two Vitrifrigo units in March of 2016:

DP150lBD4-S @ $2,200.00 which is 5.3 cu ft (1.0 cu ft freezer and 4.3 cut refrigerator)
DP2600IBD4-F @ $1,915.00 which is 8.1 cu ft (2.1 cu ft freezer and 6.0 cu ft refrigerator)

The optional magnetic stainless steel door panels were sourced locally by the installer. Both units have the same power consumption of 65 watts, 5.28 amps 12Vdc, 0.76 amps @ 120Vac.

Sure Marine Service Inc.
5320 28th Avenue NW Seattle, WA 98107
Phone: 206-784-9903 Fax: 206-784-0506

The freight charge for both units was $373.65 to Paradise, TX which is about 35 miles Northwest of the Dallas Ft Worth airport.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Vitrifrigo DP150i Dimensions & Data.pdf (866.3 KB, 32 views)
File Type: pdf Vitrifrigo DP2600 Dimensions & Data.pdf (586.5 KB, 17 views)
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