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Old 08-28-2016, 07:13 PM   #1
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2016 27' International
Estero , Florida
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Fridge just doesn't cool well

Evening everyone,

Our new 27FB International just doesn't seem to want to get cold and stay cold while we are out in about. We have it on auto, and it will only go to 50 degrees, and we make sure the thermostat is clipped to the last blade inside. Then overnight one night it will go to 38.

We have the temp number set to 4 (1-5) are the options. We live in Florida so I am wondering if is heat on the side of the camper. We do have the optional side awning on that side as well.

Any thoughts?

Thanks,

Rich
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Old 08-28-2016, 07:25 PM   #2
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No doubt sun on the fridge side of the camper affects cooling. Try to park with that side north if possible, deploy the awning over the fridge if you have one on that side, and prop open the fridge vent door (a clothes hanger makes a prop) for more air flow (those louvers are very restrictive).
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Old 08-28-2016, 07:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KariRich View Post
Evening everyone,

Our new 27FB International just doesn't seem to want to get cold and stay cold while we are out in about. We have it on auto, and it will only go to 50 degrees, and we make sure the thermostat is clipped to the last blade inside. Then overnight one night it will go to 38.

We have the temp number set to 4 (1-5) are the options. We live in Florida so I am wondering if is heat on the side of the camper. We do have the optional side awning on that side as well.

Any thoughts?

Thanks,

Rich
Well, the standard things to look at are:
  1. Is it level? This can be critical with some models
  2. Is there enough space around the goods in the refer to allow air to circulate completely?
  3. Do you have any of the small 12V fans in use inside the refer? Use of these can make a tremendous difference.
Having said that, you are in one of the hotter states. Ask friends and neighbours when you camp how their results are. 50°F sounds like not-so-good performance.

I think overloading is the most often heard cause of poor performance. How is the interior doing on yours?
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Old 08-28-2016, 07:57 PM   #4
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We recently purchased a 2005 30' BH and on the first outing we ran into the same problem with the fridge. Ended up being due to the fact that the level gauge was off. Once back home I made sure the unit was level and it worked great. In our 81 not being level did not cause the fridge to not cool so that was new to me.
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Old 08-28-2016, 07:59 PM   #5
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Humidity makes for poor cooling also, and Florida has plenty of it.

If you can install 12v fans up top in the chimney, or put a small 110 fan inside the rear hatch/compartment , blowing upward, it will help. There should be an extra 110 outlet where the frig is plugged in.
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Old 08-28-2016, 08:04 PM   #6
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Another thing to check. I've seen a couple of these where the fridge door switch was not moving enough to turn off the fridge light (inside the fridge). I think these are still incandescent lights and will produce substantial heat if on when the door is closed. And sometimes it may shut off and sometimes not.

Close the fridge door very slowly and see if it shuts off.
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Old 08-28-2016, 08:39 PM   #7
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We have a 2012 Classic. We live and camp in Florida. Our refrigerator does as you described and here is my thoughts. Also, we have 2 fans inside. As the temperature rises inside the trailer, the refrigerator temperature rises as well. Nighttime, as the interior cools, so does the refrigerator. Other than trying to keep the inside cooler we haven't found anything that helps with cooling the refrigerator. Awnings deployed in sun seems to help overall. Will be interesting to see if there is a solution presented on this thread.
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Old 08-28-2016, 08:48 PM   #8
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5 is the coldest setting so try that, you can also move the temperature sensor up and down on the aluminum fin its attached to and see if that helps.
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Old 08-28-2016, 08:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KariRich View Post
snip >>> the thermostat is clipped to the last blade inside. << snip >>

We have the temp number set to 4 (1-5) are the options. << snip >>

Any thoughts?

Thanks,

Rich
Slide the clip as high as possible on the blade. It makes several degrees difference on my fridge, top to bottom.
Why are you not setting the t-stat to 5?
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Old 08-28-2016, 09:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
Another thing to check. I've seen a couple of these where the fridge door switch was not moving enough to turn off the fridge light (inside the fridge). I think these are still incandescent lights and will produce substantial heat if on when the door is closed. And sometimes it may shut off and sometimes not.

Close the fridge door very slowly and see if it shuts off.
Doug has a good point. The bulb gets quite hot. We have had a plastic bag melt when it was up against the light fixture.

You can try putting your hand on it when you open the door. If it feels plenty warm, you know it has been on while the door was closed.

And FYI, there is a reason for the bulb to be hot. For Florida in the summer time, it won't matter. But in near freezing weather, the fridge hardly ever has to run. That allows the freezer to get too warm. So the circuit board has a bit of logic that runs a timer. If a certain amount of time goes by (I think 35 minutes for some models), it turns the light on. That warms the inside, which causes the thermostat to trip, which causes a cooling cycle to run. This cools down both fridge and freezer compartments.

We have burned out two of these bulbs in under 300 nights of camping, because we have spent a lot of time where the nighttime temps have been near, even below, freezing.

Also FYI, there is no thermostat or temperature sensor in the freezer compartment.

Besides our cool-weather camping, we've camped in 100 degree daytime temperatures and our fridge has always stayed under 42, usually around 40. So it sounds like your unit has a problem.

Does the food in your fridge feel like it is cold enough? Are items in the freezer frozen solid? There is chance the temperature read-out is wrong. You could check by putting a separate thermometer in the unit.

Another thing: Are you plugged in to shore power? If so, the fridge is using its electric heating element to operate the cooling system. Maybe your electric heat element is not performing well. You could try switching the fridge to LP mode to see if it cools better that way.
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Old 08-28-2016, 09:34 PM   #11
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Hi. We have a 2015 27FB and camp in full Florida sun (with the street side awning extended), fridge set to 5, and have not had trouble maintaining sub-40 degrees in any conditions so far, including a recent 95 degree high humidity stay in the Keys. We do pre-chill the fridge in storage before we head out. So I don't think your experience is normal. Best of luck finding a solution, Joe
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Old 08-29-2016, 11:45 AM   #12
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We set ours to "5" unless we are in moderate weather (70 degrees or less) and camped in the shade. We never use 1-3. As far as I'm concerned, dometic could drop the lowest three of the five position settings and just have "L" and "H". Floridians like us should use "H". Even on "5", on hot days or when the sun hits the fridge side of the trailer directly the fridge reports temps over 40. I always set to "5" for traveling regardless of the weather. When it's really hot and sunny (let's say... driving west on a July afternoon in Texas) we put ice in 1 gallon baggies in the freezer at night, move them to the fridge before take off and put them back up top before bed. Bottom line: ammonia evaporation refrigerators are not too efficient... we only use them because they can be run on propane, not because they are great at cooling.
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Old 08-29-2016, 03:33 PM   #13
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2007 27' Classic FB
La Pine , Oregon
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take a look at Dinosaur Electronics Thermistor Adjuster, we installed one in our Dometic RM3762 and now run the refrigerator on #3 setting we have not seen less than 36 degrees in refrigerator and 0 in freezer, on propane or electric.
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Old 08-29-2016, 05:43 PM   #14
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I added a large 12V slow turning computer fan behind my fridge to keep air moving up the chimney ($10 on eBay) and a battery operated fan inside the fridge. These two small additions made a dramatic improvement. On our 100 degree central Texas days my 8 cubic feet Dometic fridge never gets above 37 degrees inside.
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