Airstream Forums

Airstream Forums (http://www.airforums.com/forums/)
-   Base Camp (http://www.airforums.com/forums/f404/)
-   -   Simple Survey on Fridge Performance While on Propane (http://www.airforums.com/forums/f404/simple-survey-on-fridge-performance-while-on-propane-169937.html)

Trae and Ann 09-09-2017 08:51 PM

Simple Survey on Fridge Performance While on Propane
 
We dropped off today for repairs in TX and told that a bulletin was just released and awaiting parts also that they had been testing solutions here in our climate and that they were days away to the final fix

bikechuck 09-10-2017 09:01 AM

As a potential Base Camp purchaser I wish they offered the choice of either a refrigerator OR no refrigerator with the inclusion of one or two Yeti coolers.

The reports of the Yeti coolers seem to indicate that they work very well and I would prefer that to a refrigerator that works some of the time.

The refrigerator and table legs seem to be the last two big unsolved issues with this trailer. My guess is that someday soon there might be one rather than two sets of table legs that extend up when you want a taller table and drop back down into themselves when you want to set up the bed.

Bborzell 09-10-2017 11:27 PM

Pushing 8,000 miles so far
 
We are on our way home from a 1,200 mile trip from northern California to Astoria OR and back.

We have had temps while driving north at 85+ until we turned toward the coast. As soon as we hit the hotter temps, the fridge went from 37 to mid 40s. When the outside temp dropped to mid to high 60s, the fridge went back to 36.

We have had 3 days of mid 60 temps and the fridge has stayed at 35 degrees.

It should be ckear to anyone who has any experience with this setup that it cannot handle hot outside temps.

OTRA15 09-11-2017 02:04 AM

Good request in your new thread, but not sure why you started a new one. Any "good" reports -- about the BC fridge's operation in higher-than-80F-temps -- would best serve everyone if posted here IMO.

Has anyone successfully operated the BC fridge on propane with the outside air temp registering above 80 Fahrenheit? If so please post details about the air temp, sun conditions, temp at/near propane cover and fridge exhaust vent, and especially the interior temp of the fridge.

Thanks,

Peter


Quote:

Originally Posted by Bborzell (Post 2007082)
Please note whether you have been using it at outside temps above 80 degrees.

There are so many variables involved in assessing the performance of the Basecamp fridge that reports of fridges working without any data on operating parameters is adding little to coming to a clear understanding of the issue.

Such reports might give AS the impression that fridge problems are not consistent.

Once again, the operating principle here is that the fridge cannot handle outside temps above 80 or so befor allowing the box temp to rise above the 40 degree minimum food safe level.

If your Basecamp has been operating in hot temps and/or in direct sunlight where the propane box gets above 150 or so surface temp AND you are seeing 40 or lower degree fridge box temps, it would be helpful to all for you to report that.

Hopefully folks will get in the habit of reporting whether or not they can maintain food safe box levels with the needed comment about outside temps, too.

Thanks.


uncle_bob 09-11-2017 08:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bikechuck (Post 2006682)
As a potential Base Camp purchaser I wish they offered the choice of either a refrigerator OR no refrigerator with the inclusion of one or two Yeti coolers.

The reports of the Yeti coolers seem to indicate that they work very well and I would prefer that to a refrigerator that works some of the time.

The refrigerator and table legs seem to be the last two big unsolved issues with this trailer. My guess is that someday soon there might be one rather than two sets of table legs that extend up when you want a taller table and drop back down into themselves when you want to set up the bed.

Hi

Be careful of what you wish for. Yeti and similar coolers are quite large outside and quite small inside. A significant part of the “inside” gets packed with ice. Think of a fridge that’s roughly 1/2 the size internally vs externally and you have a very rough idea of how it works out.

The first trailer we had was a "ice box" fridge. Yes technology is a bit better now. I still would not recommend going back to that technology.

Bob

Bborzell 09-11-2017 09:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OTRA15 (Post 2007090)
Good request in your new thread, but not sure why you started a new one. Any "good" reports -- about the BC fridge's operation in higher-than-80F-temps -- would best serve everyone if posted here IMO.

Has anyone successfully operated the BC fridge on propane with the outside air temp registering above 80 Fahrenheit? If so please post details about the air temp, sun conditions, temp at/near propane cover and fridge exhaust vent, and especially the interior temp of the fridge all the time.


Thanks,

Peter

Now sure myself. I kept seeing fridge comments in otherwise unrelated threads and started thinking that some folks who are in cooler climates might think that they lucked out and got the Basecamps with fridges that work.

I'm of the opinion that there ain't such an animal except for people who have been banished from warm vacations.

OTRA15 09-11-2017 11:30 AM

Sounds about right. The anecdotal evidence and your spot-on empirical data suggest that the Basecamp's fridge design is inherently defective, at least for high-temp boondocking without shore power.

[ . . . which seemed to be the market niche AS was aiming for . . .:wally:]

Troutboy 09-11-2017 11:44 AM

Are there any really good do it yourselfers that own a base camp that have attempted a mod themselves?

I get it that it's new unit and the design from AS is not good and needs to be fixed by AS.

But I heavenly heard of anyone really trying to get airflow moving the right way to fix it.

Take the 23D for example, a known flaw and many have proposed fixes that work well. Yet AS still designs the same old way.

Part of me feels we need some innovation from the community to get this moving and resolved.

Waiting on AS seems to be a no win situation....

swakyaby 09-11-2017 03:27 PM

Spouse just received a phone call from our AS advisor in Fairfield, CA. Advisor said AS has announced a definitive fix for the Basecamp refrigeration issue. A more powerful fan will be installed. This will of course be a greater draw on the Basecamp's battery. So the dealer will install a 2nd battery at no extra charge. I do wonder about any extra noise a more powerful fan might cause, but nonetheless, I am pleased if this works.

OTRA15 09-11-2017 04:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AirstreamInc (Post 2007323)
Hi Bborzell,

Earlier this summer we issued a service bulletin to enhance the cooling capabilities of the refrigerator in the Basecamp. Your preferred dealer can assist getting this addressed under your factory warranty. Please contact them or Airstream Customer Service and Technical Support at*1 (877) 596-6111, option 2 for additional information.

Please feel free to shoot over a private message if we can be of additional assistance.

Thank you for your recent reply in Bborzell's new thread. Perhaps you could read this entire thread and comment on how the service bulletin, to which you refer above, will fix the Basecamp's fridge problems in hot weather.

Thanks.

Peter

RandyNH 09-11-2017 04:46 PM

I'm thinking, old school 24" window box fan, might just do it.

Gail Miller 09-11-2017 08:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RandyNH (Post 2007350)
I'm thinking, old school 24" window box fan, might just do it.

I tried putting a fan pointing down at the vents and it did not help.

RandyNH 09-11-2017 08:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gail Miller (Post 2007413)
I tried putting a fan pointing down at the vents and it did not help.

When you say "down" at the vents, if that is literally what you mean, then it shouldn't really help. You want to keep and enhance the convection effect, thus if you mean from outside, then you would want remove the propane cover and place the fan under the propane tanks to blow up, across the top vent to help draw the air out and push/carry the hot air away.

If a fan is just pointed at the vents from the outside, it may just "muddy" the air and not allow the proper flow to happen. This is why just adding computer fans won't necessarily help unless enclosed channels are created to control and direct the airflow properly.

The other side to this, is that the drawn and directed air can't be allowed to interfere with the propane side of the rear of the fridge, if too much air passes over this tubing the ammonia can be cooled too much and lose its effectiveness. So one section needs to stay HOT and the other COOL

Gail Miller 09-11-2017 08:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RandyNH (Post 2007431)
When you say "down" at the vents, if that is literally what you mean, then it shouldn't really help. You want to keep and enhance the convection effect, thus if you mean from outside, then you would want remove the propane cover and place the fan under the propane tanks to blow up, across the top vent to help draw the air out and push/carry the hot air away.

If a fan is just pointed at the vents from the outside, it may just "muddy" the air and not allow the proper for to happen. This is why just adding computer fans won't necessarily help unless enclosed channels are created to control and direct the airflow properly.

I did not remove the propane cover. I put a fan on top of the cover and pointed it down at the vents.

Gail Miller 09-11-2017 08:41 PM

Just take the fridge out
 
I swear ... I think I'm just going to have my fridge taken out. I'll have to take it to the dealer, have it pulled. Go back in my pick up and get it. Build a plywood box to store it in and have my neighbor help me get it out of the truck, into the plywood box and put it in my storage area in my carport. THEN, I can use the area where the fridge was to put my Orca ice chest (or two). At least I can monitor ice levels. If I'm gone all day taking photos, then get back and my fridge has failed and ruined my food .... I just don't think there is a fix for this, I really don't. Everyone at work knew my favorite statement was 'you can't fix stupid' and I think this is just too stupid for my level of frustration. :-) I don't think AS has a clue how to fix it, or it would have been fixed a year ago!!

RandyNH 09-12-2017 06:14 AM

Gail, aren't you hours from your dealer? I think you'd be surprised at how easy most of these fridges can come out, you may just want to have a plumber type friend make sure you cap the propane line properly. The doors are easily removable and the fridges themselves weigh very little as they are mostly plastic and insulation. I agree with removing and using ice chests until numerous people actually report whatever fix they come up with actually works. Good luck

Gail Miller 09-12-2017 12:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RandyNH (Post 2007529)
Gail, aren't you hours from your dealer? I think you'd be surprised at how easy most of these fridges can come out, you may just want to have a plumber type friend make sure you cap the propane line properly. The doors are easily removable and the fridges themselves weigh very little as they are mostly plastic and insulation. I agree with removing and using ice chests until numerous people actually report whatever fix they come up with actually works. Good luck

I'm 40 miles from my dealer. I looked up the fridge on the Internet and it says it weighs 71 pounds ... I weigh 100. I bet my neighbor/handyman could help me get it out and he'd probably be able to cap off the gas. I don't have a lot of faith in my dealer's work ... bathroom door seal replaced, then failed again, so I had to replace it myself. Then after some fridge work done, pulling the drain further out the vent, they left the sewer hose tube off and it took me a month to get it back ... I asked them to send it to me on UPS .. finally one of the employees met me here in town so I could get it.

Bborzell 09-12-2017 03:48 PM

The latest on the Airstream Basecamp fridge fix...
 
Just spoke to my dealer (Bay Area Airstream) and to Airstream customer service (Gretchen).Here's what I know about the latest on the fridge.

BAA had an Airstream engineer out last week working on and testing the new fix. It consists of insulation, baffles, a fan and an additional battery.

The report from BAA is that the two Basecamps that got the fix were able to maintain mid 30 degree box temp in 90 degree heat. The fan that is now being used has a different part number from the one that I had installed by BAA, but it appears that the fans are identical other than one having capability for an in line switch. The official fix does not employ a switch to turn off the fan.

I pointed out to both BAA and AS that we lived with the added fan for our seven day trip from California to South Carolina and then to Jackson Center where the fan was removed as the then current fix did not employ a fan (other than the fan that comes standard with the fridge) and that the fan noise was not conducive to a decent nights sleep. It was really loud and much louder than I would expect to experience on a trailer of this caliber.

Gretchen did not know whether the fan noise would be reduced by the insulation and it is not clear to me whether AS considers the added noise during sleeping hours to be "acceptable" to them as a necessary byproduct of the fix. Since AS has chosen to stay with an additional standard Dometic fan, it would appear that they did not consider using one of the silent fans on the market.

I am open to giving it a try, but our experience with the night time noise of the last add on fan was not good. Time will tell.

I also passed on my view that the black plastic propane cover acts as a heat sink in direct sun light (180 degrees vs. 116 on the trailer outer skin) and that any venting fix is going to have to work harder than necessary in order to overcome the high heat retained by the cover. My impression is that AS is not interested in addressing the plastic propane tank cover as an element of the fridge cooling problem. I believe that the original aluminum cover (or a redesigned cover using aluminum) would go a long way toward resolving the venting issue.

I'll be scheduling a trip for the fix within the next week or so.

Gail Miller 09-12-2017 06:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bborzell (Post 2007799)
Just spoke to my dealer (Bay Area Airstream) and to Airstream customer service (Gretchen).Here's what I know about the latest on the fridge.

BAA had an Airstream engineer out last week working on and testing the new fix. It consists of insulation, baffles, a fan and an additional battery.

The report from BAA is that the two Basecamps that got the fix were able to maintain mid 30 degree box temp in 90 degree heat. The fan that is now being used has a different part number from the one that I had installed by BAA, but it appears that the fans are identical other than one having capability for an in line switch. The official fix does not employ a switch to turn off the fan.

I pointed out to both BAA and AS that we lived with the added fan for our seven day trip from California to South Carolina and then to Jackson Center where the fan was removed as the then current fix did not employ a fan (other than the fan that comes standard with the fridge) and that the fan noise was not conducive to a decent nights sleep. It was really loud and much louder than I would expect to experience on a trailer of this caliber.

Gretchen did not know whether the fan noise would be reduced by the insulation and it is not clear to me whether AS considers the added noise during sleeping hours to be "acceptable" to them as a necessary byproduct of the fix. Since AS has chosen to stay with an additional standard Dometic fan, it would appear that they did not consider using one of the silent fans on the market.

I am open to giving it a try, but our experience with the night time noise of the last add on fan was not good. Time will tell.

I also passed on my view that the black plastic propane cover acts as a heat sink in direct sun light (180 degrees vs. 116 on the trailer outer skin) and that any venting fix is going to have to work harder than necessary in order to overcome the high heat retained by the cover. My impression is that AS is not interested in addressing the plastic propane tank cover as an element of the fridge cooling problem. I believe that the original aluminum cover (or a redesigned cover using aluminum) would go a long way toward resolving the venting issue.

I'll be scheduling a trip for the fix within the next week or so.

Does BAA already have the necessary parts to work on yours?

Bborzell 09-12-2017 10:34 PM

They have the battery, insulation and the fan. Not clear on the baffle. I might already have the design from the Jackson Center work. If not, they will order what is needed.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:11 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.