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

uncle_bob 07-31-2017 10:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ijustlee (Post 1985833)
..... If I had a base camp with this problem I'd take some cardboard and tape and make a chimney up to the roof and see how the fridge works. ....

Hi

Take a look at the design of the Basecamp. There is not quick and simple way to get from the fridge to the roof. It has full wrap around windows. Blocking the view with a "chimney" isn't going to be popular.

Bob

Gail Miller 07-31-2017 12:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by uncle_bob (Post 1986196)
Hi

Take a look at the design of the Basecamp. There is not quick and simple way to get from the fridge to the roof. It has full wrap around windows. Blocking the view with a "chimney" isn't going to be popular.

Bob

This may be a repeat of things I've already said, if so, I apologize: Got my Dometic Installation Instruction booklet out again. Page 9: Offset Vents (which is what I think we all have). If vents must be offset due to interference of building materials the vent must always be offset towards the flue side of the cooling unit. The vent should be centered over the cooling unit so that the air can flow up and out of the compartment creating a chimney effect. For offset vent applications, PRIOR WRITTEN APPROVAL AND SAFETY CERTIFICATION MUST BE OBTAINED FROM DOMETIC CORP. (Interesting!!) Photo shows the vents considerably further apart than what mine are. Also, regarding type of vent application. When using UPPER AND LOWER SIDE VENT APPLICATION Choose this type of installation when a roof vent installation is not possible. (Note: Roof Vent Application is recommended for typical installations). BAFFLE SHOULD BE ADDED. The refrigerator MUST be equipped with fan(s). Please refer to page 31, some fans are optional and not required. On page 31: Dometic model RM2351, upper and lower side application; fans are optional. Note that some models can be purchased with factory installed fan(s). Others, and I, have measured our vents and they are considerably closer together than the 34" the booklet recommends as MINIMUM ventilation height.

switz 08-01-2017 09:47 AM

Once again, written verification that Airstream did NOT follow a manufacture's written installation instructions. So Dometic is off the hook for any liability with this installation unless the Airstream factory has a letter in their files from Dometic Corporate headquarters approving this Base Camp extreme deviation from the installation specifications.

Gail Miller 08-01-2017 11:38 AM

I posted this under the 'hacks' thread and also posting here. Jazgrass comment: I hope this will show the picture of the little 3x3 freezer packs I've bought to help the lame frig; leaving for NM first week of September.....[/QUOTE]

Jaz, this gave me a thought. I had a 4lb Yeti ice block in my freezer. I put it in the bottom of my BC refrigerator. It had been running for several hours and only got down to the typical ~70 degrees. I wondered if the Yeti ice might help boost the cooling. Left the fridge on all night and at 11:00 a.m. this morning, the box was 34 degrees and the freezer is -8 !!! The Yeti ice has melted to liquid. Shore power only. I also saw on a YouTube video where a guy said that even on shore power, the refrigerator has to use the battery. I keep my BC plugged into shore power, but I don't always have the battery switched turned to 'on'. It has to be 'on' to charge the battery. Yesterday, I had the battery switch 'on' and when I turned the refrigerator on, it was the first time I have ever heard a fan in my refrigerator ???? So ... to others ... is your battery switch turned on?? Sorry, if that is a stupid question. Arkansas temps have been a bit lower the last few days, mid-80's and lower humidity. My camper sits in a carport with a tall roof. I will also monitor my thermometers in the freezer during the day today to see if the increase in outside ambient temp. causes it to struggle more. Leaving the melted Yeti ice block in there.

Gail Miller 08-01-2017 11:50 AM

I watched this YouTube video last night. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEQwReqJcMU Similar application, though his fridge vents are located on the side of his van. He added the two fans. His thoughts on the single fan pushing air up, the design of the top vent, to keep rain out, inhibits the hot air going out that vent. If I put my hand over my top vent, I feel no air being forced out. He also mentions putting a small battery operated fan inside the fridge to circulate air and help even out cooling in the fridge box. I ordered a small fan from Amazon last night. I'll report if that helps. On the YouTube video, I did have to zip past this guys drive to Fry's Electronics for fans/parts and a stop off for sushi on his way home, but, I found the video informative. Of course, others on the forum have said the installation of two fans did not work. This guy bought quieter computer fans. Word now is that Airstream is recalling our refrigerators. Hopefully, that is true and our squeaky wheels are getting some attention. :-)

47WeeWind 08-01-2017 12:46 PM

Marine type 12 volt refrigerator
 
As Switz has mentioned in his earlier post, one possible solution to the Basecamp refrigerator problem is to install a Marine type 12 volt refrigerator in place of the Dometic propane fridge. I chose an Engel 12 volt refrigerator model SB70F to replace the icebox in my 1966 8' long Alaskan camper. The Engel vents to the interior of the Alaskan and does not use any external vent, avoiding all exterior venting and air flow problems seemingly present in the Basecanp design. The 12 volt Engel is powered by a Group 31M Marine AGM battery that has a Reserve Capacity of 185 minutes and a 20 AH rating of 105 minutes. The AGM battery is recharged daily by two 100 watt solar panels mounted above the roof of the Alaskan.

The Engel SB70F is a 12 volt (DC only) 60 quart capacity electric refrigerator. Size matters in an Alaskan. After removing the original ice box, the remaining opening for a refrigerator was 26” high x 20-1/2” wide x 24” deep. Due to the sloped rear top of the empty ice box compartment, a very deep refrigerator could not stand as tall at its rear as on its front, so I had to select a refrigerator that was shorter than 26 inches. The Engel’s exterior dimensions are 19.9” wide, 20.9” tall and 23.1” deep. It‘s built-in dimensions are 18.5” wide X 20.5” tall X 20.7” deep. It easily fits into the empty ice box space. Basecamp owners will have to measure their refrigerator compartment space to select a right-sized 12 volt refrigerator.

The Engle uses a swing motor for the compressor. It has received favorable reviews online, sipping energy although a few people noted a low hum when operating. The swing motor/compressor is very efficient, drawing a maximum of only 2.5 amperes per hour when operating and usually running well under that maximum. Its efficiency ranges from drawing only 0.6 amps per hour in a 77º ambient temperature while running only 25% of the time, to drawing 1.2 amps per hours in a 95º ambient temperature running 40% of the time, to drawing its maximum 2.5 amps per hour in a 113º or higher ambient temperature when running 100% of the time. Since I plan to camp mostly at higher elevations in the dry Rocky Mountain West with lower ambient temperatures, these performance figures are very acceptable for my 200 watt solar system. Your mileage may vary depending on your camping environment.

During the hottest summer months the sun is higher overhead in the sky and the days are longer, beaming more photovoltaic energy down on the solar panels to recharge the battery longer during the hottest season of heaviest draws. So far my 200 watt solar system has proved itself more than adequate. During all my boondocking camping over the past 2 years, the two 100 watt solar panels kept the AGM battery fully charged while I was out jeeping in the Rocky Mountains. The Engel control knob was set at 3.5 out of 5 positions and kept the food and beer inside very cold while also making ice in the small freezer compartment.

To increase cooling retention, both sides and the back of the refrigerator compartment were filled with reflective coated foam board cut to fit in place. The space above and below the Engel was not insulated because they must be kept open for ventilation air flow.

Here is the link to my 2015 refrigerator and solar panel improvement thread for my 1966 8' Alaskan camper:

http://www.wanderthewest.com/forum/topic/11452-engel-12-volt-refrigerator-in-1966-8-nco/

Although not as durable or dependable as framed rigid solar panels, a Basecamp owner might consider installing flexible solar panels on the Basecamp roof to unobtrusively match its curved profile.

I hope this suggestion might inspire a few Basecamp owners to a different thinking outside of the teardrop solution to the refrigerator cooling problems they may be experiencing. Trailer on!


Gail Miller 08-01-2017 02:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gail Miller (Post 1986805)
I posted this under the 'hacks' thread and also posting here. Jazgrass comment: I hope this will show the picture of the little 3x3 freezer packs I've bought to help the lame frig; leaving for NM first week of September.....

Jaz, this gave me a thought. I had a 4lb Yeti ice block in my freezer. I put it in the bottom of my BC refrigerator. It had been running for several hours and only got down to the typical ~70 degrees. I wondered if the Yeti ice might help boost the cooling. Left the fridge on all night and at 11:00 a.m. this morning, the box was 34 degrees and the freezer is -8 !!! The Yeti ice has melted to liquid. Shore power only. I also saw on a YouTube video where a guy said that even on shore power, the refrigerator has to use the battery. I keep my BC plugged into shore power, but I don't always have the battery switched turned to 'on'. It has to be 'on' to charge the battery. Yesterday, I had the battery switch 'on' and when I turned the refrigerator on, it was the first time I have ever heard a fan in my refrigerator ???? So ... to others ... is your battery switch turned on?? Sorry, if that is a stupid question. Arkansas temps have been a bit lower the last few days, mid-80's and lower humidity. My camper sits in a carport with a tall roof. I will also monitor my thermometers in the freezer during the day today to see if the increase in outside ambient temp. causes it to struggle more. Leaving the melted Yeti ice block in there.[/QUOTE]

I checked my fridge at 2:40 p.m. Box is still around 35 degrees, freezer -8. Still has the melted Yeti ice block in the bottom of it. On shore power. Battery switch is 'on'. 80 degrees out; humidity 70%; dew point 69 degrees. Cloudy.

OTRA15 08-01-2017 05:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AirstreamInc (Post 1986722)
Hi Jazgrass,

Thank you for being a Basecamp customer! We're happy to see you received the warranty extension letter. Just a quick clarification on it: We're extending the comprehensive parts and labor factory warranty by an additional
twelve months for all 2017 model year Basecamps, not just ones made before March 9.

We look forward to seeing you out and about on the road and hope you enjoy your trip to NM.

Since you are active on the other BC threads, would you please update us on the fridge's apparent inability to maintain a safe cold temp using the LP gas mode, when the outside ambient temp is hot?

First AS said fans were to be added, then withdrew this fix. Now apparently the solution is a purely static change in the cabinet baffles and vents. How can a fan-free fix defeat the air pressures inherent in a front-mounted fridge (with no flue through the roof), whether from towing or simple head winds at the campsite?

Is the fridge's installation in keeping with Dometic's installation instructions?

Has AS been notified of any Lemon Law returns, or class action lawsuits based on this fridge issue?

Any shareholder actions against Thor?

Thanks

Gail Miller 08-02-2017 11:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gail Miller (Post 1986923)
Jaz, this gave me a thought. I had a 4lb Yeti ice block in my freezer. I put it in the bottom of my BC refrigerator. It had been running for several hours and only got down to the typical ~70 degrees. I wondered if the Yeti ice might help boost the cooling. Left the fridge on all night and at 11:00 a.m. this morning, the box was 34 degrees and the freezer is -8 !!! The Yeti ice has melted to liquid. Shore power only. I also saw on a YouTube video where a guy said that even on shore power, the refrigerator has to use the battery. I keep my BC plugged into shore power, but I don't always have the battery switched turned to 'on'. It has to be 'on' to charge the battery. Yesterday, I had the battery switch 'on' and when I turned the refrigerator on, it was the first time I have ever heard a fan in my refrigerator ???? So ... to others ... is your battery switch turned on?? Sorry, if that is a stupid question. Arkansas temps have been a bit lower the last few days, mid-80's and lower humidity. My camper sits in a carport with a tall roof. I will also monitor my thermometers in the freezer during the day today to see if the increase in outside ambient temp. causes it to struggle more. Leaving the melted Yeti ice block in there.

I checked my fridge at 2:40 p.m. Box is still around 35 degrees, freezer -8. Still has the melted Yeti ice block in the bottom of it. On shore power. Battery switch is 'on'. 80 degrees out; humidity 70%; dew point 69 degrees. Cloudy.[/QUOTE]

Update: Second day the fridge has maintained cold temps; box 34 degrees, freezer -8 degrees. I just took the unfrozen Yeti ice out of it and put it back in the freezer at the house. I will see, if for some reason, that make a difference. Ambient outside temps still unseasonably cool for Arkansas. On shore power, will switch it to propane later today and see what happens.

Gail Miller 08-02-2017 07:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gail Miller (Post 1987289)
I checked my fridge at 2:40 p.m. Box is still around 35 degrees, freezer -8. Still has the melted Yeti ice block in the bottom of it. On shore power. Battery switch is 'on'. 80 degrees out; humidity 70%; dew point 69 degrees. Cloudy.

Update: Second day the fridge has maintained cold temps; box 34 degrees, freezer -8 degrees. I just took the unfrozen Yeti ice out of it and put it back in the freezer at the house. I will see, if for some reason, that make a difference. Ambient outside temps still unseasonably cool for Arkansas. On shore power, will switch it to propane later today and see what happens.[/QUOTE]

Update again: After I took the melted Yeti ice block out, the fridge warmed up to 50 degree, freezer to 0. I turned it all off to let it warm up and will try on propane with another frozen Yeti ice. Blah!!!

uncle_bob 08-03-2017 08:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gail Miller (Post 1987553)

Update again: After I took the melted Yeti ice block out, the fridge warmed up to 50 degree, freezer to 0. I turned it all off to let it warm up and will try on propane with another frozen Yeti ice. Blah!!!

Hi

All of these gizmos need 12V for the control circuits. If you run out of 12V the whole thing stops running. There is probably a cutout around 10.5 V or so.

Since the system is a single coil setup, the freezer and fridge are tightly linked. Put another way, the control system can not run the fridge independent of the freezer. It either puts in "cold" or it does not. It goes into both the fridge and freezer at the same time.

So why all this babble?

The way to get the fridge way warm while the freezer still is doing fine is 1) put more heat into the fridge or 2) put *less* heat into the freezer. Yes, there's more to it than that, but that's the part that you can actually dig into.

Bob

OTRA15 08-03-2017 02:30 PM

Gail, if I may offer a suggestion, I would stop using the Yeti blue ice, as it is just adding another variable into the analysis and complicating things IMO. Also, all of your recent updates are difficult to follow, at least to these old eyes -- FYI.

As Bob just said, if you are not on shore power, your battery must be healthy, so that the fridge's control circuit board does not give out, and turn the fridge off entirely. After charging the battery fully and removing shore power, then waiting an hour, the battery voltage should be 12.7 +/-, and it should remain above 12.5 for a day or two, if the only 12-volt load is the fridge's control circuit board. [IMO]

If the battery voltage gets below 12.2, you will be doing longer-term damage to the battery, so you should plug in to shore power, use a solar panel, or fire up the generator.

As you recognize, the ambient outside temperature is crucial to monitor.

Hopefully more Basecamps will be having their fridges undergo Airstream's newest fan-less "fix," and the company will wake up to the larger design problems, with which it has not yet dealt.

Sorry for everyone's troubles . . .

"Not cool!

Cheers,

Peter

PS -- If you are camping, and need to keep the fridge cold to preserve food, obviously frozen Yeti blue ice -- or plain old store-bought ice -- can provide the necessary chilling effect. It will be harder to keep frozen food solid in the freezer, however.

Gail Miller 08-03-2017 04:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OTRA15 (Post 1987969)
Gail, if I may offer a suggestion, I would stop using the Yeti blue ice, as it is just adding another variable into the analysis and complicating things IMO. Also, all of your recent updates are difficult to follow, at least to these old eyes -- FYI.

As Bob just said, if you are not on shore power, your battery must be healthy, so that the fridge's control circuit board does not give out, and turn the fridge off entirely. After charging the battery fully and removing shore power, then waiting an hour, the battery voltage should be 12.7 +/-, and it should remain above 12.5 for a day or two, if the only 12-volt load is the fridge's control circuit board. [IMO]

If the battery voltage gets below 12.2, you will be doing longer-term damage to the battery, so you should plug in to shore power, use a solar panel, or fire up the generator.

As you recognize, the ambient outside temperature is crucial to monitor.

Hopefully more Basecamps will be having their fridges undergo Airstream's newest fan-less "fix," and the company will wake up to the larger design problems, with which it has not yet dealt.

Sorry for everyone's troubles . . .

"Not cool!

Cheers,

Peter

PS -- If you are camping, and need to keep the fridge cold to preserve food, obviously frozen Yeti blue ice -- or plain old store-bought ice -- can provide the necessary chilling effect. It will be harder to keep frozen food solid in the freezer, however.

Thanks Peter. I'll stop with the updates and wait for AS to come up with a solution for the fridge. :-) :-)

uncle_bob 08-03-2017 05:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gail Miller (Post 1988042)
Thanks Peter. I'll stop with the updates and wait for AS to come up with a solution for the fridge. :-) :-)

Hi

.... at the risk of someplace very hot freezing over first ....:)

I think they have more than one problem with this fridge. Is it two problems or three, I have no idea.

Bob

OTRA15 08-03-2017 06:17 PM

Ditto Bob -- a panoply of problems IMO.

:(

Gail, sorry if I was too negative, it was not my intent that you stop updating everyone. It was more the quick succession of updates -- with what appeared to me to be inconsistent data -- that I personally found confusing. Perhaps others understood your points perfectly.

Anyway, I hope you will continue to update us, as you have been a true champion in seeking to have Airstream, and Thor the parent corporation, fulfill their duty to all Airstream owners to make things right with the Basecamp.

Cheers,

Peter

Gail Miller 08-03-2017 08:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OTRA15 (Post 1988073)
Ditto Bob -- a panoply of problems IMO.

:(

Gail, sorry if I was too negative, it was not my intent that you stop updating everyone. It was more the quick succession of updates -- with what appeared to me to be inconsistent data -- that I personally found confusing. Perhaps others understood your points perfectly.

Anyway, I hope you will continue to update us, as you have been a true champion in seeking to have Airstream, and Thor the parent corporation, fulfill their duty to all Airstream owners to make things right with the Basecamp.

Cheers,

Peter

No, no, I didn't take it as negative at all Peter. The reason I signed off with two smiley faces. My updates probably did get confusing.

Boler77 08-03-2017 08:55 PM

I willgive youmy e-mail address and explainwhat I did.

boler77@me.com

uncle_bob 08-04-2017 09:53 AM

Hi

Slightly (but only slightly) more on topic than my other ravings in this thread:

Sitting here in something that is *not* a Basecamp and *not* running on propane:

Get up this morning and the freezer is busy defrosting it's self. The lower 2/3 is still frozen solid. The top of the freezer is wet (as in liquid water = not below freezing). Temperature is still showing as 33 degrees on the panel. A few hours later it's busy re-freezing the water.

No, I'm not yet again trying to hijack things. :) I'm only trying to illustrate that even the "perfect" larger models with super through the roof ventilation have issues from time to time. Sorting out what is a "normal" problem vs an "unusual" problem is not going to be easy .... (of course my issue could be rain water getting in on top of the fridge ... thus not normal at all ... ).

Bob

Trae and Ann 08-05-2017 05:03 PM

Morning after 14 hours on shore power:
Outside temp 78 degrees 70% hum refrigerator at 41 degrees.

1:00pm:
90 degrees 50% hum refrigerator at 48 degrees.

5:00 pm:
91 degrees 50% hum still 48

Never made it into the safe zone of below 40%.

July 4th weekend at 94 and 70% humidity it was at 54 degrees.

This is NOT cool.... umm you know what I mean[emoji57]. Back to the shop for round 2 of leak fixes back door and under fridge and tackling this. Glad we brought our yeti this weekend!! That works great [emoji106]

OTRA15 08-06-2017 05:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Trae and Ann (Post 1989014)
. . .
Glad we brought our yeti this weekend!!
. . .

Sorry for the continuing problems!

Since the BC fridge issue is taking on a "Best Ice Chest" aspect . . .

:blink:

. . . may I put in a plug for Pelican coolers? Made in the USA and equally good reviews as super-coolers. Yeti is based in the Philippines I believe. Good luck to everyone with a Basecamp fridge issue.

Cheers,

Peter

PS -- Pelican links -- FYI some of the reviews suggest the Pelican latches may be more secure than the Yeti's -- FWIW:
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_in_-...nid=2528832011
http://www.pelican.com/us/en/products/coolers/


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