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Old 02-25-2013, 10:29 AM   #1
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5 Cubic Ft Fridge Performance in 23 models

I'm looking at a 23C or 23D and see they use the 5 cu/ft fridge with the two side vents. Is the upper vent baffled correctly to expel hot air effectively or does it require the fan to be running all the time?

Have you been satisfied with the performance of the 5 cu/ft fridge?

One of my requirements to upgrading to a larger trailer was a 2 door fridge. But I can't afford the 25 foot AS and would also have to buy a new tow vehicle to pull it. We like the 23 floor plans.The main fridge area of the 5 cu/ft seems as large as the 2 door 6cu/ft but the 6 cu/ft has a larger and separate freezer. We are used to a 4 cu/ft fridge in our Casita but hate having to open the fridge door wide open letting all the cold air out to get to something in the freezer.

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Old 02-25-2013, 11:10 AM   #2
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Kelvin, we used to own an Egg too!

And before we moved up to the 25, we had a 2011 23FB.

The refrigerator in the newer ASs leave a bit to be desired, IMO.

This model which touts an ECO friendly design, also suffers from that concept. The unit is entirely automatic, and you can't adjust the temps, so you're at the mercy of the outside temps, and yes, the infernal fan.

We had our dealer install a shutoff for the fan so we could get a decent night's sleep. And yes, the fan (without the shutoff) seems to run all the time, but it's necessary to keep the temps down.

Good luck in your hunt!
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Old 02-25-2013, 12:55 PM   #3
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We are looking at a couple of 23, 2011 and 2012. I think they have a fridge fan switch but I certain will check.
Is it possible to baffle the top of fridge vent compartment with Reflextix to funnel the hot air out the top vent better?
Is there a void back on top that needs be filled with fiberglass insulation? This is a mod on the Casita forums with those fridges.

Thanks

Kelvin
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:05 PM   #4
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Another useful modification (in addition to the off switch for the fan) is conversion to quieter computer fans. I have no direct experience with this (I have the old-fashioned roof vented fridge that doesn't need fans) but I've read several threads about it.

Note that computer fans vary widely in their RPM and noise, it would be important to choose an ultra-quiet computer fan to get the best bang for your buck.
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Old 02-25-2013, 02:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
We are looking at a couple of 23, 2011 and 2012. I think they have a fridge fan switch but I certain will check.
Is it possible to baffle the top of fridge vent compartment with Reflextix to funnel the hot air out the top vent better?
Is there a void back on top that needs be filled with fiberglass insulation? This is a mod on the Casita forums with those fridges.

Thanks

Kelvin
I don't think you need to worry about any mods, Kelvin. And the switch is not that difficult to instal yourself. Mine was in warranty, and I made an issue of the noise. Others have also.

Don't know wether you're thinking about a new or lightly used, but I would prefer the OEM fan over the computer version, just to keep Dometic's warranty effective.
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:08 AM   #6
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So there is no refrigerator fan switch on the late models? I remember seeing one in a 2010 FC 20. Where are the fridge fan switches on the 23C and 23D?

Also, my understanding is the fridge temperatures are regulated by moving the thermistor up and down on the metal fins inside the fridge. Has anyone placed a thermometer inside their fridge to get a reading with the thermistor in the factory location? I use a thermometer that has an outdoor/indoor feature and a wireless sensor which I velcro on the inside fridge wall and I can monitor the fridge temps even as I'm driving along. I prefer the fridge to run colder than 37 degrees just so there is spare capacity on those hot days driving through the midwest when its 100F.

Kelvin
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:49 AM   #7
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Our fridge has two vent doors on the side because the conv/micro oven is mounted over it. In sunny weather I prop open both vent doors and open the street side awning to shade the area. (Don't let it rain inside.)

That helps a great deal, but I also put a little inline lamp switch on the wire to the fan, so I can shut it off at night if I want to. I would caution about shutting off the fan without venting well as things can get very hot in there, may be a fire hazard.

doug k
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:19 PM   #8
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We have a fan at the back of the 4 cu/ft fridge in our Casita and it doesn't help. I've let it run hours and the inside temperatures didn't do any better with it off. Luckily there is an on/off switch provided and I leave it off. What is necessary is good baffling. I don't think any RV manufacture follows Dometics installation practices. If the side wall is to far away from the fridge plumbing there needs to be baffles installed to direct rising air to go over the plumbing and the evaporator fins at the top. With a top vent the rising air can continue without modification but with a fridge with a side vent, such as the 5 cu/ft a baffle at the top of the fridge compartment must be installed to redirect air out the side top vent. The fan should draw air from the bottom vent.

What takes a toll on RV fridge performance is humidity. When its humid the fridge works harder.

It would be nice if the 23C or 23D had a fridge fan switch but it doesn't appear to have one.
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:45 PM   #9
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I am a light sleeper and cannot sleep well with the fan. Eventually I will install some kind of inline switch but for now, I unplug one of the wires at night. Fortunately that is easy to do. I strikes me as ridiculous that a company like Airstream cannot work out a better solution. At least install a switch inside. I have a 2011 23ft Flying Cloud. The manual refers to other models with an inside switch. Why did AS omit the switch on my model???
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:17 PM   #10
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My 2014 FC 20' has a switch for the fan. The manual says you can shut it off if the noise annoys you when using the patio outside. It does not say that the refrigerator performance will be compromised, but of course it would, or they would not have the fan there to begin with. The fan takes about .55 amps too, which is a significant energy drain.

My first modification to the brand new trailer was to substitute a quieter, more energy efficient fan in place of the original. My new one takes .3 amps and is almost dead silent. However the one I had does not move as much air. I am looking for a better one now. The real problem is that the propane flame vent heat is dumped right into the compartment directly and when on propane a lot of extra heat is generated. When on 120 volts the new quieter fan was just fine, but on propane, it was marginal.

So, the next thing I did was to take a double 3" aluminum dryer vent elbo and fit it so the heat from the heat and fume output of the boiler tube went directly to the outside ventilated cover, and now does not heat up the inner compartment at all. That makes the entire system work better, and I have a quiet fan, and less battery draw.

My refrigerator (a 4 cu ft one) keeps everything nice and cold, in the range of 34 F all of the time as set up by Dometic. My freezer keeps ice cream nice and hard. It has been in the 90's here the past few days, and I am out on a trip, so I know it is working right. I am boondocking, so propane is the energy source.

So, although I am not real happy that AS did not do a very good job of venting the refrigerator (the old gravity venting was great) I do find that at least my 4 cu ft refrigerator is working very well in keeping things cold, even in the hot weather we have been having.
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Old 07-24-2013, 11:58 AM   #11
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Frig fan

Thanks for your info on the frig fan. Can you tell me the brand of the .3 amp fan? Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by idroba View Post
My 2014 FC 20' has a switch for the fan. The manual says you can shut it off if the noise annoys you when using the patio outside. It does not say that the refrigerator performance will be compromised, but of course it would, or they would not have the fan there to begin with. The fan takes about .55 amps too, which is a significant energy drain.

My first modification to the brand new trailer was to substitute a quieter, more energy efficient fan in place of the original. My new one takes .3 amps and is almost dead silent. However the one I had does not move as much air. I am looking for a better one now. The real problem is that the propane flame vent heat is dumped right into the compartment directly and when on propane a lot of extra heat is generated. When on 120 volts the new quieter fan was just fine, but on propane, it was marginal.

So, the next thing I did was to take a double 3" aluminum dryer vent elbo and fit it so the heat from the heat and fume output of the boiler tube went directly to the outside ventilated cover, and now does not heat up the inner compartment at all. That makes the entire system work better, and I have a quiet fan, and less battery draw.

My refrigerator (a 4 cu ft one) keeps everything nice and cold, in the range of 34 F all of the time as set up by Dometic. My freezer keeps ice cream nice and hard. It has been in the 90's here the past few days, and I am out on a trip, so I know it is working right. I am boondocking, so propane is the energy source.

So, although I am not real happy that AS did not do a very good job of venting the refrigerator (the old gravity venting was great) I do find that at least my 4 cu ft refrigerator is working very well in keeping things cold, even in the hot weather we have been having.
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