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Old 02-13-2015, 07:23 AM   #1
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1962 26' Overlander
Defiance , Missouri
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M50 Fridge Venting

I have the original fridge in my 62 Overlander, an M50. It works ok, but it only has a small eyebrow vent, for the burner exhaust. The coils vent into the cabin through a hole in the top of the cabinet, per the original design.

In the summer, the coils get hot and the fridge performance drops off quickly if the outside temp goes above 80 degrees. I was thinking of adding a vent fan in the bottom of the cabinet to assist in the venting. Has anybody tried this solution for this type of fridge? I love the look of the fridge and would like to keep it if possible.
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Old 02-13-2015, 09:28 AM   #2
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1962 22' Safari
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I have a 62 Safari with a M50 as well. The mod that I did was to add 2 computer fans very low noise type, and I put them in the new larger vent on the roof, then I cut a hole in the wall behind the fridg and pulled the insulation out of the wall making the wall cavity as the coil vent, that goes up to the roof. Flue gases still go up the gas flue side of the vent. I then Added a copper hood over the top of the fridge inside the cabin where it was venting and making things uncomfortable in the cabin. I will find the pic to help explan what I did!
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Old 02-13-2015, 12:11 PM   #3
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Defiance, MO that puts you within striking distance of the Air Midwest April Rally, down in northeast cornner of OK.
If you can make it I would be happy to show you what and how I vented our 1962 Dometic fridge. I have by accedently frozen things in the fridge.
check out our blog and you will see some of the Mods and the copper vent hood way better than before. Built in two speeds for the fans, low speed at night very quite and high speed for daytime or a quick cool down.
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Old 02-14-2015, 08:43 AM   #4
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Thanks for all of the information Indy, I really appreciate it. That is quite an impressive mod you did! Looks like it will also allow you to properly vent a new fridge if you ever have to replace the old dometic. One question: is your outside access door louvered to allow air in, or do you draw air in from the bottom of the cabinet (like mine).

Since I'm not particularly handy, I was thinking of just adding a fan to the back of the cabinet, to help draw the hot air out. I understand that it will add a heat load to the cabin, but was thinking that my exhaust fans and/or AC could manage that. If you tried this and it didn't work, that would be good to know.

Thanks for the rally information, unfortunately I will be away on travel that weekend. Would be very interested in attending a future rally though.

Thanks again.
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Old 02-14-2015, 10:16 AM   #5
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You are so welcome,
yes I tred a small fan sold for behind the fridge, it was less than efective it came with a thermocouple switch that never worked for me. It was later I found on the airforums a wiring diagram showing how to wire a switch to give a hi-low-off option with silent computer fans 12v. Thanks Airforums! The back of the fridg was to tight to mount them so that is when I installed them in the roof vent cap area. The fans pulls air across the coils in lue of blowing across the coils. And the copper hood stops the hot coil air from entering the cabin pulling from the bottom of the fridge, the in side cabin air is used, and the sevice door is not louvered but when out side temps are lower I open the service door and prop it open or closed if the outside air is hotter than the inside air.
I know that the the venting of hot air to the cabin was unacceptable for us on our first trip in May in Missouri, hot and humid. In regards to AC and roof vents controlling the heat gain from the fridge coils, first AC means no Boondocking you must have shore power, and the build up of heat while traveling down the road to your next location, you may find yourself saying I wish I had. And the Fantastic Fan is was not enough for us.
The wife and i have spent time in Agusta, MO. The wife partisapates in the spring Arts, she will be there after the Rally in June. I sell jewelery to Robins Nest there in Defiance, MO
And shame on you for saying "if we have to replace the M50"
that is a piece of history that we are so proud of and as you may have sene on our blog, she was brought back to life hopefully to serve another 50 years of good times!
Would love to see some pics of your Baby!
If your in KC area sometime give me a shout, love to give you a tour of our Babe.
Rallys are not for all, but a great way to meet folks with like minds. And great ideas.
PS anything you do to move air across the coil is better than what was IMO.
Good luck. Save travels.
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Old 02-15-2015, 07:48 PM   #6
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Thanks again for the great info. I think I'm going to start slowly on this, by installing a fan under the coils and see if that improves things. If that doesn't work, I'll try the mod you did….

Feel free to let me know the next time you come to the STL area, would love to show you my trailer/fridge. I plan to visit KC in the next few months, will let you know when I will be out there. I've attached some photos of my trailer and the fridge. I do love the M 50 and would hate to replace it.
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Old 02-16-2015, 09:56 AM   #7
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Anytime, she looks nice, the M50 is the first thing people see and comment on "wow so cool!"
I think Airstream started in later years to use a plastic vent hood thing that was on the inside of the trailer wall this was to help with the heat gain and better cooling, that's where I got the idea how to vent up and out, but I had a cabinet in the way thus I went into the wall cavity, unlike airstream I used a copper piece leftover from a copper project I did many years ago it fit near perfect width and hight.
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Old 04-08-2015, 06:49 PM   #8
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An update:

I did two things to my fridge last weekend, I added a small 12V fan under the coils in the back, and I removed and cleaned the ceramic burner nozzle.

I started the fridge last night, this morning the internal temp. was 30 degrees, the cabin temp was 65. Just checked again after returning from work, and the fridge was reading 32 when the cabin temp was 80 (wasn't running my vents or AC).

Not sure how much each change contributed, but the fridge seems to work much better now.
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Old 05-07-2015, 10:06 AM   #9
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62olander, could you post some pics?
My '58 Krefft is painted and ready for assembly. I think these fans could be very helpful for performance. According to what I have been reading just under the coils is the best location and after that just above the coils.
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Old 05-12-2015, 06:18 AM   #10
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My trailer is in the shop for an axle replacement. When I get it back later this week, will take some photos.
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Old 05-13-2015, 08:53 AM   #11
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Thanks, I just installed a new Dexter Axle with Electric Brakes in my '58 Traveler. All went very smoothly, soon comes the wiring just after I get the Refer back in.
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