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Old 06-07-2010, 03:06 PM   #1
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How long to get cold

We went camping here in Georgia last weekend. The OAT was about 90f. It took several hours for the refrigerator to get cold. When we last camped, it was considerably cooler outside and I don't remember this problem.

Is this normal? The refrigerator in question is the original Dometic from 1997 in our Excella.



Craig and Carol
1997 34' Excella 1000
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Old 06-07-2010, 03:15 PM   #2
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Yes, this is normal for an RV fridge. Remember, there is no powered compressor on these. Either a gas flame or small electric heater is all that they run on. They do take awhile to cool off in warmer weather, and will take even longer if you load them up with warm pop. We usually turn ours on the day before we want to load it for camping.


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Old 06-07-2010, 03:26 PM   #3
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Yes they can be slow to cool. We usually turn ours on the day before and pack it with food and beverages that are pre-cooled.


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Old 06-07-2010, 03:40 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Kevin245 View Post
Yes they can be slow to cool. We usually turn ours on the day before and pack it with food and beverages that are pre-cooled.

We also do that. Also if I have meat that is frozen and we will be eating soon, I will put it in the fridge to defrost. That helps cools things.
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Old 06-07-2010, 03:50 PM   #5
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I can top THAT!

Turn the reefer on a day ahead of time, load it with precooled pop, put a frozen pot roast in the refrigerator,

and then chain a happy golden retriever in front of the air intake to fan more air over the condenser.
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Old 06-07-2010, 03:52 PM   #6
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We added a small computer type fan in the outside fridge compartment that blows air up across the coils toward the roof vent and we turn it on in hot weather to add to the chimney effect that these fridges need to operate. It is DC and I was able to tie in to a hot wire in that compartment with no trouble - added a switch and it works like a charm.

Additionally, pre-chilled food as well as a gallon-sized Zip-Loc bag of ice in the drawer of the fridge help when we initially turn it on. The frozen ground meat/hot dog idea is a great one too.

Best of luck!
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Old 06-07-2010, 03:52 PM   #7
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The time it takes for any freg to cool down is a function of 2 things. Temperature of the freg when you start and the thermal mass you put into the freg.

If you precool the freg and precool what yo are putting into it it should be cool right away. If you load it with warm items and have not precooled it it may take several DAYS to cool down.

Just adding a half gallon of soda can significantly raise the temper in the freg even after it has cooled down.

Always buy cold beer and soda.
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Old 06-07-2010, 04:51 PM   #8
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I camped this weekend in KS ant it was hot muggy and very calm. Hot! I packed the camper and packed the fridge last. I turn it on the night before and pack it with cold/frozen goods and also make my ice beforehand. It stayed cold and everything that was in the freezer stayed frozen. I have the fan on the coils to cool it off but it worked great. Stay cool this summer!
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Old 06-07-2010, 05:12 PM   #9
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Pre-cooling is the only way to go. The lower portion works by convection only over the aluminum fins in the upper rear of the unit. There is no forced air--it's working by cooling the fins, cooling the air around the fins, then letting the cooler air drop and warmer air rise. It's gonna take time.

But the good news is you'll have cold while you roll! Cold beer, recommend Coors with the Rocky Mountains turned blue first, is a great way to get going. If you're Baptist, just don't let another Baptist see the beer in there and you'll be fine.

And never go fishing with just one Baptist--he'll drink all your beer!

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