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Old 08-06-2018, 07:29 PM   #1
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2018 20' Flying Cloud
Puyallup , Washington
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Refrigerator Fan - Testing

Hello fellow streamers. We recently purchased a new Airstream last month and I am pretty sure the refrigerator fan in our FC20 does not work. My last few trips I have never heard or seen the fan kick on (the switch is turned on and illuminated). Right now I have both the fridge and switch on and I know for sure it's over 100 degrees in that compartment and yet the fan still has not kicked on.

We have a trip coming up in a couple of weeks and the dealer here in Washington is unable to get me in for warranty work until after our trip to Idaho. I am pretty sure the temps will be well above 100.

My question, is there anything I can do to test the fan myself without voiding any warranty? I did test the switch with a meter and it is indeed working correctly and has power.

Much appreciated!
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Old 08-06-2018, 07:35 PM   #2
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The Fridge fan in my New Flying Cloud is behaving the same as yours. So I am eager to see what folks say.
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Old 08-06-2018, 07:41 PM   #3
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Fan fix

Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeS View Post
Hello fellow streamers. We recently purchased a new Airstream last month and I am pretty sure the refrigerator fan in our FC20 does not work. My last few trips I have never heard or seen the fan kick on (the switch is turned on and illuminated). Right now I have both the fridge and switch on and I know for sure it's over 100 degrees in that compartment and yet the fan still has not kicked on.

We have a trip coming up in a couple of weeks and the dealer here in Washington is unable to get me in for warranty work until after our trip to Idaho. I am pretty sure the temps will be well above 100.

My question, is there anything I can do to test the fan myself without voiding any warranty? I did test the switch with a meter and it is indeed working correctly and has power.

Much appreciated!
Just jump the two terminals on the little dime size thermos switch on back of fridge. Small jumper wire or even a paper clip will work. If fan is good it will come on. I had a bad thermo switch on my fridge in my 2017 23D. I called Dometic and told them I could save them a warranty call if they would send me the switch. 2 minutes to install. Fixed. I also added another fan at top vent to help exhaust hot air out of fridge chamber. Huge difference in fridge performance. Also, prop open both doors for better airflow thru that cavity. Exhausting the hot air out of that cavity is essential. Refrig performs better on propane than electric. safe travels.
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Old 08-07-2018, 08:35 AM   #4
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Hi JakeS and Wrangler,

Please send us a direct message with your contact information and the last 6 digits of your VIN so we can share it with our Customer Service and Technical Support team. We look forward to helping you get this resolved.

You can also reach Airstream Customer Service and Technical Support at customer_support@airstream.com

Thank you.
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Old 08-07-2018, 10:07 AM   #5
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I have not had the opportunity to bring this to the attention of the dealer so they could deal with it under the warranty.
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Old 08-07-2018, 11:31 AM   #6
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McKinney , TX
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I too have a 2018 19CB Flying Cloud & tow with a Frontier SL (2X). I always turn on the fan, and it did not come on until the ambient temp was above 102 on a recent trip. The fridge has always cooled well.

On another note... how do you like towing with your Frontier? sometimes I wish I had more power. Have you done any mountain trips in yours? Thanks!
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Old 08-07-2018, 12:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jkohnle View Post
I too have a 2018 19CB Flying Cloud & tow with a Frontier SL (2X). I always turn on the fan, and it did not come on until the ambient temp was above 102 on a recent trip. The fridge has always cooled well.

On another note... how do you like towing with your Frontier? sometimes I wish I had more power. Have you done any mountain trips in yours? Thanks!

I just bought my trailer last month, so I am trying to identify potential warranty issues to minimize trips to the dealer. My fridge cools well, I just have not seen or heard the fan run. I have not yet towed in the mountains, but I suspect that I will wish for more power when I do.
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Old 08-07-2018, 01:24 PM   #8
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The fan only comes on after the insides riches a certain temp on mine ,above 40 usually
Get yourself a inside wireless thermometer for freezer and bottom unit
They work great and you can monitor the temps without opening the doors
On Amazon for $25 with two sending units
AcuRite 00986a2
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Old 08-07-2018, 02:32 PM   #9
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Guess what. Some newer Dometic fridges don’t have fans. Check out “love your rv” on YouTube and search for his “new fridge video”. He says when his old fridge conked out and he replaced it with the same model, no fan. Call whomever the fridge maker is and ask. Or, heaven forbid, check the manual. All of this is said in fun. ��
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Old 08-07-2018, 03:48 PM   #10
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Gulf Breeze , Florida
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Fridge Fan

I own a 2018 23Fb with almost identical issues. Since getting back to the mother ship is a long haul I worked with Customer service since I work on and understand refrigeration for home and vehicle but not evaporative systems. Understanding how critical the cooling stage function is on the rear fins I checked the temp of the thermal switch and as stated in these threads mine was well over 100 degrees. I checked for continuity of the thermal switch and this was operating as advertised. Tracing the wires I found where the middle connector to the on/off switch that is actuated from inside the camper had fallen off most likely as a result of traveling vibration. The middle leg on the switch powers whatever is supposed to energize when depressed. The LED will still illuminate but that is due to 12v's coming in the switch and running to a ground on the opposite side of the switch making a completed circuit still allows a completed circuit for the light. Until the middle leg is reconnected the fan has no power being delivered. If you are not electrically inclined to safely play around in the back of the refrigeration unit please do not and potentially get bit period. If all wires appear to be connected and you can test for 12v's going into the fan and the thermal switch has continuity, then the fan being inop would be suspect. Again, I understand how to safely test electrical systems but by no means promoting anyone to follow my suggestions if they are unfamiliar with anything for the safety of life and also for warranty issues if the trailer is still under warranty. All the other checking of fuses is fine but if the switch is lit then 12v's is passing through the circuit that also has that fuse designated on the schedule in the fuse panel label or it is suppose to be! I hope this was clear enough to help. Thx
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Old 08-07-2018, 04:37 PM   #11
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We took delivery of a 2018 FC 23CB in May. I too have not heard the fan come on, so I checked several times when the temperature outside was near 100, but I have never seen the fan running. I jumpered the disk thermostat and the fan came on immediately, so I guess the thermostat is faulty, or just for an even higher temperature. Does any know the temperature at which the fan should should come on?
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Old 08-08-2018, 02:42 PM   #12
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Refrig fan performance

Check out "The 23D Thread". It has many suggestions and photos of improvements for better refrig cooling. Some of these guys on this thread are absolutely brilliant. Take a look. Lots of reading, but worth it.
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Old 08-08-2018, 02:54 PM   #13
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Data point:

I did notice one time that my 2007 22' International fridge fan came on (battery switch was in 'use') without the fridge turned on at about 98 degrees Fahrenheit outside air temperature. The fan noise alerted me when I walked by the streetside fridge vents. Mine has two side louvered vents made out of plastic.

Since I don't have a switch for this fan, I unplugged it to save battery power.

Next steps are an inside switch with a pilot light or a better fan controller integrated with the fridge, as well as much better mounts for the fans and better doors ($$).
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Old 08-08-2018, 06:21 PM   #14
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Just wanted to come back and say thanks for all the responses. You all are amazing!
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Old 08-08-2018, 11:31 PM   #15
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Petrolia , Ontario
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Al good suggestions, esp. jumpering the thermostat. If that doesn't turn on the fan check that the hot side actually is hot. My "14, 23' FB has a one amp in-line fuse in the hot side to the snap disc thermostat . Why it's such a light weight I don't know, but don't consider using a heavier one. I had problems with mine until I managed to trace the line back to that and replace the fuse.
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Old 08-09-2018, 03:57 PM   #16
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2018 25' Flying Cloud
Roseville , California
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I was not able to get our refrigerator (2018 FC 25) to get cold at all during hot weather (Sacramento area, so 100+ is common all summer long). Took it to the dealer and they said everything is fine!?!? BTW, I had been keeping the interior cooled to about 78 degrees day and night, hoping it would help. So, while preparing for a trip I started looking around. Couldn't find any fan in the exterior lower refrigerator compartment, but noticed a small fan in the upper compartment. It was quite hot out, and that upper compartment was even hotter, yet the fan wasn't running! So, I tapped a fan blade and it immediately started up; within a couple of hours I got the frig temp down below 40. What I found out is that when the fan is not operating (in warm/hot weather) the frig is useless. On our trip I just checked that fan regularly and gave it a flick when it wasn't running, and all was good. Taking it to dealer in a couple of weeks for a fan replacement. On;y took a year to figure that out!!

Larry
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Old 08-09-2018, 08:15 PM   #17
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I've had several TTs over the years, but this is the first side wall vented. All others vented out via a roof vent and those fridges worked. Of course, absorb units are slow to get started. Keeping them full really helps. In direct sun on 90 deg. days, the fridge would not get cold enough... freezer dropped to around 10, so it would freeze ice, but the fridge compartment never got down to 40 degs. The original fan worked when the 130 deg. thermostat triggered run. I didn't test at what temperature, but I saw it run. So, I made a custom shroud, installed 2 - 200mm fans and a switch inside. I repurposed one of the on/off switches from the Fantastic Fan that I changed so it can be reversed. I keep the fans on when it is hot, basically all the time now. I was able to test 4 days in direct sun and it seems problem solved. In fact, I had to slid the "thermostat" lower on the fins to keep the fridge from freezing.
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Old 08-15-2018, 01:13 PM   #18
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Just a couple of links and comments.

Jumping the stat (located on the cooling fins) is an easy way to make sure it is working. If you're not electrical put a hair dryer on it and give it a couple of minutes on high.

Check the fuse, 1 am usually just inside tucked in. I presume there is an on switch inside the trailer. Mine is right next to the door where the jacket hangers are. I wold also look at the thermistor, the little white plastic delio that attaches to the fins inside the refer. Far right and up is high, tho I've never found a temp difference on the up/down.

If all is square above, maybe look to ow the refer is packed for air circulation. The make small bat powered fans. I'll say it again simply opening the exterior door upper for me) usually vents things sufficiently to allow the fan to cycle off in a few minutes. (great idea/post SilverGate !!)

good posts 8 & 13 by richw46
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f425...ld-136948.html

could not find it but he posted in another thread re how to test the stat in a frying pan with a thermo.

There are a lot of threads online re adding/swapping fans. Just remember everybody's rigs are a bit different and it is easy to over engineer the fan solution IMO

Here is some reading if you're interested. First... the mother thread
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f425...-11811-19.html


http://www.airforums.com/forums/f425...ng-182500.html
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f425/frig-fan-replacement-and-how-to-do-dual-fan-180005.htm
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f425...irstream_Daily

good luck


b
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Old 08-15-2018, 03:12 PM   #19
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2014 19' Flying Cloud
Eugene , Oregon
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Yes, as one ASer said, check the fuse ... so, where is it (?), you may ask. It is located under the inside switch ... yep, probably the last place one would look. Mine has blown only once, so far. Also, we replaced the absolutely disturbing original AS, cheap fan with a much better one. A very easy change. Some owners install two fans. Some owners even put fans pushing upward from the bottom. Trust me ... If your original AS fan was running, you would hear it! Dave
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Old 08-15-2018, 03:43 PM   #20
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Jake... my problem was reverse.

My fan would never stop running. It was a defective thermo (snap) switch that when below 115 to 120F disconnects power, and above the thermo switch, at operating temperature, the fan starts with 12v power connected by the switch.

Mine stayed connected to power 100% of the time, due to the faulty snap switch (there are a number of names for it). I would have to unplug it at night and replug the one connection to keep the fan working.

It was a defective thermo switch which is attached to a cooling fin on the upper back side of the refrigerator. Yours may be different. Airstream sent me a replacement. It did exactly the same. Purchased two on EBay and the replacement, and spare just in case, work fine.

The fuse is easy to 'blow'. Check that first, if yours has one. Mine is on hanging on the wires connected to the fan.

Comments to me are on the thread under Refrigerators: 2014 Dometic Fan Running Full Time when cold.

When they run all of the time, it is a drain on the battery when Off the Grid. If it does not work, the efficiency of your Dometic Refrigerator is poor.

If you do not have a microwave, your refrigerator vents through the roof of your trailer. No issue with a fan. Good luck. My fan also was so noisy, Airstream would not send me one, the manufacturer pretty much wanted too much money... I went to ebay, found a quiet one that cools a computer.

Finally... call me happy, happy, happy. Simple but frustrating with figuring out what you need to do.
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