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Old 09-19-2015, 12:18 PM   #1
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Refrgerator fan

My new 2014 FC20 has the same refrigerator fan as all recent Flying Couds I believe. Some are automatic but mine has a manual on/off rocker switch on the left just inside the door, which is lighted red when on. When I brought the unit back from the dealer, it worked fine for a week. Now the red light does not illuminate, and the fan is not coming on, even with temps. above 80 F.

Anyone else with similar problems? At what temp. should the fan come on?

I have checked the fuses, and the fridge and all other 12v items work.

Thanks for any insights.
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Old 09-19-2015, 01:15 PM   #2
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We had a 20 with the manual switch. It also has an automatic switch in series with the manual switch near the fan that is triggered at a set temperature in the fridge compartment. The manual switch cannot turn the fan on by itself, only turn it off such as at night for quiet when sleeping.

When you brought it home from the dealer the temp's were probably hotter and/or the compartment was facing the sun, triggering the auto temp switch. So I think it's operating normally.
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Old 09-19-2015, 01:19 PM   #3
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If the red light on the rocker switch is not on, you have some issue with the 12 volt power to the switch. You will need to trace the source of power to the switch itself. When the switch is on the red light should illuminate. The thermostat and the fan itself are after the switch and are not coming on because there is no power to them. When you get the switch and light to work, the rest of the system will most likely be fine.
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Old 09-19-2015, 01:24 PM   #4
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If you have a thermistor of some sort after the switch, if that thermister is not closing because the outside temperature is not hot enough, I wouldn't think that switch will illuminate because there is no ground source for the circuit with the thermister open.

Could be wrong..... no schematic to look at.
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Old 09-19-2015, 06:03 PM   #5
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Our light is lit when switched on. Fan comes on later when set temp is reached.


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Old 09-20-2015, 05:24 AM   #6
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Thanks all. With regard to idroba and subfan1's replies, I do remember the red light staying on all the time previously, even without the fan kicking in. Also, the guy who gave me a walk-through when I picked her up, said that I could not defeat that always-on red light mode (when the switch is On off course).

After I get back from this family camping trip (the first!), I will see if the switch is getting power. The fuse is fine, and I even took it out and reinserted it yesterday, just to be sure. I think I heard a click like a relay when I put the fuse back in. Is there a circuit board between the fuse and the rocker switch for the fan? I don't think my owners manual is this detailed. Not sure if the Dometic fridge manual shows what is (I assume) an Airstream fix for an overheating situation. TBD.

Fortunately the weather is in the 70's . . .

Thanks again for the feedback.
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Old 09-20-2015, 08:01 AM   #7
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It helps to prop that access door open a few inches to let the air heated air out more easily. I put a prop in ours that we can fold back into the compartment when it rains or towing; the fan kicks on much less. By the way many of us have installed quiet computer fans to replace the noisy factory fan.
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Old 09-20-2015, 04:01 PM   #8
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There may be other things on the fused circuit other than the refrigerator fan, like the refrigerator control board itself. They could have a relay which clicked when the fuse was removed and replaced.

I think you will find some problem in the wiring between the power and the switch itself. Slight possibility of the switch, but I doubt that.

This is the sequence: Power to the switch. When the switch is on, the red light will be on no matter what the fan thermostat desires. The switch with light allows the fan to turn on as necessary. When the switch is off, the fan cannot turn on.

With the switch on, power is available to the thermostatic fan switch which is in the upper right hand corner of the refrigerator, screwed to the last fin of the upper cooling unit. If that thermostatic switch (not adjustable) says it is hot enough, it turns on the fan. If the switch with the red light is not on or no power is going through it, the fan cannot turn on or work.

Dometic says this is an acceptable cooling system for their refrigerators when used with two side wall vents. Airstream uses it on some of their models.

My personal feeling is that it is a poor system, taking more power when boondocking, causing noise and adding complexity to what would otherwise be a gravity cooling system with a roof vent, used for many many years successfully on thousands and thousands of Airstreams, and still used on many Airstream models. But I do not design or engineer Airstreams.
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Old 09-23-2015, 04:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idroba View Post
[snip]
I think you will find some problem in the wiring between the power and the switch itself.
[snip]
Like a bad inline 1 Amp fuse on the hot leg to the switch, accessible from the lower exterior door to the refrigerator compartment (or pulling the switch off the wall) . . .

Will get a new fuse tomorrow.

Thanks for the advice . . .
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Old 09-24-2015, 01:18 PM   #10
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Confirmed -- 1 Amp 250 volt (to match original) glass fuse installed and fan is working. If this one fails, further research may be required. I just recalled that we had a power failure at the campground I was staying at about when the fuse blew, so maybe we got a power surge when a truck hit a nearby pole and took out the neighborhood transformer?

Will look into a quieter computer fan as mentioned by dkottum.
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Old 09-24-2015, 05:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
It helps to prop that access door open a few inches to let the air heated air out more easily. I put a prop in ours that we can fold back into the compartment when it rains or towing; the fan kicks on much less. By the way many of us have installed quiet computer fans to replace the noisy factory fan.
Curious about your prop -- I guess your main entry door (when open) does not overlap the fridge top door which you have propped open? My FC20 entry door overlaps almost entirely and must compromise the air flow even with the fan running. If I could prop the top fridge door open/up all the way, that would help. A small magnetic contact catch up high?

Either way the bug protection of the screening is lost . . .

Yup, the old design with a contoured flue cap way up high was far superior, and allowed leaving the fridge on while traveling (except in theory when pumping gas). Many years of doing just this in my old 25' . . .
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