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Old 10-08-2014, 11:07 AM   #1
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1971 21' Globetrotter
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Fridge Air Intake

Which fridge air intake is better, 1) Hole in the floor down through the belly pan or, 2) louvered intake through the side skins. What is the pros and cons of one verse the other.
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Old 10-08-2014, 11:46 AM   #2
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More of a chimney effect for better cooling if through the floor.
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Old 10-08-2014, 11:56 AM   #3
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I believe that a floor intake is superior.
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Old 10-08-2014, 12:29 PM   #4
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We didn't want a hole in the floor or belly pan, so we opted to louver the fridge hatch. A hot rod shop did the work for us. After 3 plus years, with some of that in fairly hot weather, it works just fine. I also added a solar fan to the roof exhaust vent. Have never had a cooling issue with the fridge.

Chris
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Old 10-08-2014, 12:43 PM   #5
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I have the louvered hatch and have not had issues and I don't have fans either. We usually don't camp when it is real hot. Even if you put a hole in the floor, I would have a hatch to gain access to the rear of the fridge for maintenance etc. Sometimes when it is damp outside I have to start mine from the outside with a barbecue lighter and removing the wind guard cover. You don't want to have to remove the fridge for minor maintenance. I would make it easy to remove because I like things to be accessible without having to tear half the trailer apart.

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Old 10-08-2014, 01:12 PM   #6
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As the fridge will set further into the center then stock I will have an access panel in the partition wall (it will be a sealed door so no fumes in the fuselage) so I will not need an exterior access door. I'm leaning to the floor intake though.
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Old 10-08-2014, 01:13 PM   #7
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I would recommend the hole in the floor and belly pan as the best option for cooling/venting the refrigerator. As Ventport stated, better chimney effect. It is easy to add a 1/8" hardware cloth screen on the floor hole and the for the opening in the belly pan.

As far as fans are concerned if you are buying a new refrigerator as I did they have a factory fan option. If you want to add fans to your existing unit you can buy a temp activated switch or mount a toggle switch somewhere, get super quiet fans and do it your self. Remember it is better to pull the heat away from the source, so mount fans above the refer next to or inside the exhaust chimney.
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Old 10-08-2014, 02:11 PM   #8
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I am not sure how side access is going to make it easy to get to the internals of the fridge. The burner area is the most important and I think it would be hard to access that area from the side. You might want to do a little mock up on the bench before cutting hardware. Convection is going to drive the flow no matter where the lower vent is. The effective area is the key thing. Mass Flow = density x AV where A is the area and V is the velocity. Density is relatively constant so Ain x Vin = Aout x Vout. So make sure the intake area is as big as the outlet area. Turbulance might be worse with the bottom vent and may cause problems if the fridge is used while on the road. Too much flow can blow out the pilot. Also consider bugs and rodents in your design.

You might want a sliding door like I have seen Zep do. You can close the door when the trailer is in storage to keep critters and weather out.

Perry

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As the fridge will set further into the center then stock I will have an access panel in the partition wall (it will be a sealed door so no fumes in the fuselage) so I will not need an exterior access door. I'm leaning to the floor intake though.
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Old 10-09-2014, 08:50 PM   #9
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Hi Kip,

I've noticed that many of the vintage trailers with the side louvered vents have floor damage in that area. If you drive in the rain those louvers must leak! If you do go the side louvered route you may want to consider making some sort of fiberglass pan with a drain that sits below the refer.

On a side note I saw on Melody Ranchs' thread that your GT sustained hail damage?? Nooooooooo , say it isn't so!
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Old 10-10-2014, 11:13 AM   #10
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Hi Kip

On a side note I saw on Melody Ranchs' thread that your GT sustained hail damage?? Nooooooooo , say it isn't so!
Yes it took quite a few hits, mostly on the rear segments. some minor dents in the tempered aluminum crown. I have not addressed them yet due to my travel schedule, leaving town AGAIN on the 19th. My son is going to vidoe me removing some of them and I will post that here on the forums.
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Old 10-10-2014, 12:05 PM   #11
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Someone had posted this in another thread, I think it is relevant here...

The important thing to remember is that every RV fridge has specific requirements as to the shape and size of the rear baffle, which can be found in the units installation manual. Deviating from this plan will almost always result in degraded performance of the fridge.
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Old 10-10-2014, 12:51 PM   #12
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I will be interested in seeing your solutions to the hail dents. I have a few of my own plus some minor impact damage from tornado debris.

Perry
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Old 10-10-2014, 06:17 PM   #13
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Baffling will not be a problem, I can fabricate just about anything I will need
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