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Old 07-17-2011, 02:27 PM   #1
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Question Refrigerator not cold enough

I have a 1985 Sovereign my Dometic Refer is a 2001 . The freezer works but the fridge won't keep cold enough when it gets hot outside . I ran it at night on gas and in the morning temp outside was 62 deg. refer temp was 34. When outside temp got up to 84 it was 55deg in refer . I have herd of people putting cooling fans in the back of the fridge to blow air out of the vent . I will need to check the gas pressure after I find a water colum guage .But is this a typical Airstream problem ? I hate to buy a new fridge and end up with the same problem . I'm looking for sugestions . Les form Toledo
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Old 07-17-2011, 02:39 PM   #2
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I got good results here!

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f313...ml#post1010578

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Old 07-17-2011, 07:10 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info I do want to check my gas pressure and Will install some type of fans either solar power or 12volt . Les
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Old 07-17-2011, 07:21 PM   #4
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Two gallon-sized Zip-Loc bags of ice in the lower fridge drawers (or one bag in one of the drawers) help an awful lot too, as does one of those 'inside the fridge' air-circulator fans.
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Old 07-17-2011, 08:57 PM   #5
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Check the outside door and roof vent for blockage and see whether the problem is specific to either gas or electric operation. Also check the door seals as if they are failing there will be a great deal of heat coming in through them.
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Old 07-18-2011, 07:42 PM   #6
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I'm also closely monitoring my fridge, my novice .02$

Agree with airflow improvement on outside coils. I added a small 120V fan blowing up, it helps. Agreed, not ideal, best would be to pull air, not push it as someone else stated.

Interior fan, agreed, will be testing that one big time in a few weeks.

Check burner if using gas, just did it yesterday, nice blue flame.

Get a digital video camera and point it up in the backside tilt the screen to you and with a strong flashlight examine the nether reaches of the back of the unit, might be supprized. I saw dust bunnies on my unit at the top with this technique.

Monitor interior temps and possibly exterior temps with an infrared temp gun on fixed points of your unit. Consider temp log book, data works only if you record it. I don't have baselines to share yet, but the temp gun has MULTIPLE uses in monitoring tires,hubs, brakes even spotting a missing cylinder on a engine by shooting the exhaust manifold at each cylinder during warm up.

I know others will have additional thoughts, that's a good thing.
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Old 07-23-2011, 05:49 AM   #7
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Hi I have been battling this issue for years and finally a few weeks ago I found a producr that worked.
I did install a roof vent fan which helps. What really worked for me is a dual fan unit that is 12 volt and I hooked it up to the interior light of the fridge. It attatches to the cooling coil fins via alligator clip which also acts as a ground. It only took about 5 minutes or so to hook it up.This has brought my temps down from the 50 deg range to 42 deg at the peak part of the day when it is 95 deg outside.I found this fan unit on Ebay and was around 15 dollars.
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Old 08-02-2011, 07:34 PM   #8
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Today I installed a solar fan on the back of my refer. up near the condencer fins to help move some air out of the top vent . I also checked gas pressure and it is 11 inches water colum . Next step is inside cooling fan will do that tomarrow . i did pull unit out of trailer to install solar fan . Les
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Old 08-02-2011, 07:56 PM   #9
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I assume that the cooling in the reefer box has diminished over time until all you can get is freezer?

Over the years I have had this problem as well as some of my camping friends. The solution that has worked for me every time is quite simply remove and clean the burner as per the instructions. Although the flame may look blue and appear to be functioning, they do get a little dirty which will impeade thier abilty to heat properly, thus provide proper cooling in the box. The instructions for cleaning say to remove the burner assembly from the trailer, blow out with low pressure compressed air, clean burner tube with Q-tip and alcohol, reassemble. When re-lit the flame should have sort of a "roaring" sound to it. Try this before spending money on fans.
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Old 08-02-2011, 08:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drag'nwagon View Post
I assume that the cooling in the reefer box has diminished over time until all you can get is freezer?

Over the years I have had this problem as well as some of my camping friends. The solution that has worked for me every time is quite simply remove and clean the burner as per the instructions. Although the flame may look blue and appear to be functioning, they do get a little dirty which will impeade thier abilty to heat properly, thus provide proper cooling in the box. The instructions for cleaning say to remove the burner assembly from the trailer, blow out with low pressure compressed air, clean burner tube with Q-tip and alcohol, reassemble. When re-lit the flame should have sort of a "roaring" sound to it. Try this before spending money on fans.
+1 on the above for sure..........took me twice of cleaning on my original 88 frig to get it working on this particular road trip. For instance today in Cortez, Co the outside temp was 95 but the fridge was 34.......

Try to keep the outside of the fridge in the shade someway, yes I have a fan installed on the floor of the compartment blowing upwards. A HUGE THING TO DO is to tap on the tubing that runs from the condensor fins, the thing way up there at the top, out of this that goes to the fridge side......TAP ON THIS.................

God bless..............Dennis
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Old 08-02-2011, 08:20 PM   #11
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On edit:

I assume that the reefer is running on gas. If the problem is due to running the reefer on electric than I would assume that the heater element or thermister is bad.

Additionally, if the surface temperature at the roof vent exceeds the temperature of the heater or burner the natural convection will be spolied. To over come this I will crack the access door to allow for additional cool air into the compartment. In extreme conditions I agree with a small fan to force excess compartmental heat out.
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Old 08-02-2011, 08:22 PM   #12
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There is always the Snyder Reefer Kit

RV.net thread

Pics of Snyder Kit in Class C

Reefer Efficiency

VALTERRA

--------------------------------

Main Link to Study:
Reefer Vent Design How-To

---------------------------------

from RVMobile.com

Temperature

The operating temperatures of a refrigerator should be 0 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit (preferably 0 to 5 degrees) in the freezer and approximately 38 degrees in the crisper area of the main box. These should be considered the normal or desired operating temperatures. However, if you "max out" the thermostats or hot wire the refrigerator you should be able to get temperatures down in the low thirties (or even in the twenties depending on the conditions of the day and many other factors). The freezer temperature won't fluctuate very much, however. If a refrigerator is left unopened for days, the temperature of the freezer will actually rise slightly because the thermostat sensor only monitors the main box and calls for cooling only when it needs it.

Don't put too much emphasis on how cold your refrigerator can get. If you have a thermostat that cuts the cooling cycle off at 34 degrees and all you really desire is the normal 38 degrees, why give it another thought? The important thing is that your refrigerator maintain the desired temperature.

Why they don't put degrees on thermostat knobs

You will find numbers, arrows, hash marks, and probably other things used as markings on thermostat knobs, but you won't find any indication of what degree a certain point on the knob will give you. This is because the thermostats in RV refrigerators are not that precise--nor do they need to be. As long as a thermostat can keep your refrigerator at a reasonable temperature, it is doing it's job. If your neighbor's refrigerator maintains a temperature of 38 degrees on a setting of 2 and you have to turn your thermostat to 4 to get the same temperature, there really is no problem.

How long does it take for the refrigerator to get down to temperature?

An empty refrigerator should show signs of cooling (a definite coolness to the touch) in the freezer within one to two hours after being started. The lower box should get down to temperature within 6 to 8 hours. Overnight is the best way to get a refrigerator ready. A refrigerator filled with warm food will take considerably longer to cool down, because the cooling unit has to remove heat from the food before it can reach the desired temperature.

.
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Old 08-02-2011, 08:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodfox45 View Post
I have a 1985 Sovereign my Dometic Refer is a 2001 . The freezer works but the fridge won't keep cold enough when it gets hot outside . I ran it at night on gas and in the morning temp outside was 62 deg. refer temp was 34. When outside temp got up to 84 it was 55deg in refer . I have herd of people putting cooling fans in the back of the fridge to blow air out of the vent . I will need to check the gas pressure after I find a water colum guage .But is this a typical Airstream problem ? I hate to buy a new fridge and end up with the same problem . I'm looking for suggestions . Les form Toledo
Since childhood we have always made room for a few frozen items to go into the TT fridge, such as water-filled milk jugs. After the other cold items go in place and the reefer is at op-temp, it is disposable.

A battery-drive shelf fan isn't fancy but seems to help, we had one last for months across the heat of full-timing in Texas in 2007.

I much like the solar powered set of fans above, but the most important aspect is clean burner operation followed by proper venting and aided by fans (as in above posts).

There are other threads on refrigerator operation, many in fact, that will lend themselves to your problem.

Start by checking airflow at the reefer exhaust vent. Sometimes spiders or birds or just a few twigs and leaves can cause a problem.

.
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Old 08-02-2011, 09:00 PM   #14
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There is a thermistor on the refridgeís internal aluminum cooling fins in the main refridgeís food box. The vertical level of the thermistor changes or adjusts the temperature of that section (compartment). (But maybe not the freezer part). Adjust it up to make the box colder and down to warmer. Make small adjustments and calibrated positions with a thermometer. It takes time and the outside temperature may influence the degree of cooling. That thermistor is meant to balance the freezer/food compartment temperatures. Itís not magic.

You can read this tip in the service manual, but if you donít have one maybe you can find a manual on line. That thermistor often times get moved accidently when filling the refrigerator. If this works, I suggest you tape it down so is doesnít move.
Good luck.
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