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Old 07-25-2014, 10:56 PM   #113
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We just took delivery of a 2014 International 23D. Our 2013 International 19 had a fan switch near the door. No fan switch in the 23D. The fan fridge fan is crazy loud and stays on for hours even in 58 degree weather. I'd like to install a switch in the fan compartment but I'm not sure which wires to connect to the switch. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

We're leaving for an extended trip in 4 days and don't have time for the dealer to look into the problem. Thanks....sleepless in 23D.
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Old 07-25-2014, 11:41 PM   #114
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I would *strongly* recommend against doing that. Many RV fires have been caused by overheated fridges. The Norcold 1200, for example, has had three recalls due to fires. These are propane fires that usually destroy the whole rig and everything in it (including, potentially, you and your family).

What I did on my fridge was to replace the fans with SilenX fans, which are much quieter.
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Old 07-26-2014, 12:07 AM   #115
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Disconnect battery
Open fridge door outside
Red wire is the positive
Cut it and connect switch
You will now be able to turn fan off, from the outside door compartment.
Good luck


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Old 07-26-2014, 12:50 AM   #116
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Additional information: adding a fan switch.
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Old 07-26-2014, 03:00 PM   #117
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Yup, quiet fans are cheap and easy to install. Makes a big improvement.


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Old 07-26-2014, 11:23 PM   #118
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I ordered a SilenX fan today.

I understand that Airstream put a fan switch just inside the door on my 2013 International 19 so that you could turn off the fan while entertaining on the curb/picnic table side.

Funny thing is that the fan noise is much more irritating on the inside than outside. Also, the thermostat in the 19 seemed to turn the fan on at a higher temp than the one in the 23D, so the fan ran much less even in warm weather.

I wonder why after all these years A/S hasn't gone to quieter fans.
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Old 07-27-2014, 01:52 PM   #119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobRay View Post
I would *strongly* recommend against doing that. Many RV fires have been caused by overheated fridges. The Norcold 1200, for example, has had three recalls due to fires. These are propane fires that usually destroy the whole rig and everything in it (including, potentially, you and your family).

What I did on my fridge was to replace the fans with SilenX fans, which are much quieter.

Adding a fan to an RV fridge has NO EFFECT at all when the discussion turns to fridge fires. They are used to keep the condenser from overheating and degrading the cooling performance of the unit by increasing air flow over the condenser.

I have been directly involved in a few Norcold 1200 fridge fires. These fires are caused by a pinhole leak in the cooling unit, generally located at the boiler (heating) section of the unit. The leak releases highly pressurized ammonia concentrate either directly into the propane flame of onto the hot electric elements at approx. 600 degrees.

The super heated ammonia becomes a highly flammable plasma under 400 psi pressure and causes the ignition. Again, this happens either when operating on LP or electric!

The Norcold recalls focused on installing a high temperature sensor on the boiler tube to remove the 12 VDC from the control board, which then closes the gas valve to HOPEFULLY remove the ignition source.

This recall does NOTHING to mitigate the fire potential when the RV fridge is operating on 120 VAC electric, as a couple of 600 degree heating elements encased in steel tubes and wrapped in insulation retain enough heat, even after power has been removed, to create a combustible environment for the escaping ammonia.

The main point is that ANY cooling fans have NO RELATIONSHIP with any fire mitigation potential.


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Old 07-27-2014, 08:45 PM   #120
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Quote:
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Adding a fan to an RV fridge has NO EFFECT at all when the discussion turns to fridge fires. They are used to keep the condenser from overheating and degrading the cooling performance of the unit by increasing air flow over the condenser.

I have been directly involved in a few Norcold 1200 fridge fires. These fires are caused by a pinhole leak in the cooling unit, generally located at the boiler (heating) section of the unit. The leak releases highly pressurized ammonia concentrate either directly into the propane flame of onto the hot electric elements at approx. 600 degrees.

The super heated ammonia becomes a highly flammable plasma under 400 psi pressure and causes the ignition. Again, this happens either when operating on LP or electric!

The Norcold recalls focused on installing a high temperature sensor on the boiler tube to remove the 12 VDC from the control board, which then closes the gas valve to HOPEFULLY remove the ignition source.

This recall does NOTHING to mitigate the fire potential when the RV fridge is operating on 120 VAC electric, as a couple of 600 degree heating elements encased in steel tubes and wrapped in insulation retain enough heat, even after power has been removed, to create a combustible environment for the escaping ammonia.

The main point is that ANY cooling fans have NO RELATIONSHIP with any fire mitigation potential.


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So then, since the consequence of the fan being off is reduced cooling performance and is not a safety issue, why doesn't Airstream install an on/off switch in every trailer?
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Old 07-27-2014, 09:27 PM   #121
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So then, since the consequence of the fan being off is reduced cooling performance and is not a safety issue, why doesn't Airstream install an on/off switch in every trailer?
I had a 19CCD '06 vintage that had the fridge fan switch. Of course, that fan sounded like a buzz saw when ever it was on, and I replaced it with a pair of much quieter fans secured to the upper vent door....blowing OUT to pull the air rather than push it.

I have seen many, many anomalies in the construction and assembly of Airstreams, and other RVs as well. Why? Only the bean counters at Thor have those answers. Do I generally make corrections/upgrades when asked......absolutely!

And BTW, that fridge fan should be on a thermostatic control and only operating in high ambient temperatures or direct sunlight exposure on the fridge side of the trailer, conditions that are conducive to degraded fridge condenser performance.

Why does Airstream (and other RV manufacturers as well) continue to install a product with known safety and performance issues when other alternatives are readily available?
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Old 07-27-2014, 11:16 PM   #122
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Mine goes on at 65 F on the shady side.
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Old 07-28-2014, 10:57 AM   #123
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Where do you all source the thermostatic switches?
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Old 07-28-2014, 01:14 PM   #124
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Had a fridge fan with switch on my previous trailer, 2009 Casita, with 4 cu/ft fridge. It didn't seem to help and I never used it. The thermo sensor was located too close to the pipe coming out of the boiler so even on cooler days the fan would stay on.

I found some performance increase by insuring the heat had a better way to get out but making a curved Relfletix baffle so heat couldn't build up above the fridge. Not sure how Airstream baffles fridges with side vents but maybe it can be done.

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Old 07-28-2014, 04:37 PM   #125
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Thanks Lewster

Great information. I stand corrected.

Thanks for posting that.
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Old 07-29-2014, 01:36 AM   #126
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Additional notes and comments

Quote:
Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
Where do you all source the thermostatic switches?
I believe the switch that we added is a simple single-pole toggle switch from Home Depot and was attached to a mounting bracket from Home Depot.

Normally, we leave the fan switch turned on so the refrigerator runs most efficiently. We only turn it off at bedtime to ensure a good night's sleep.

Certainly, another option is to replace the OEM fan with a quieter fan as some others have done.

[A side note to interstateflyer (post #113): when you get direct answers (posts #115, 116, & 119) to your questions, it would be nice to say "Thanks", and then let us know what you decide.]
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