Yes the heating of the surrounding cabinets by the ref. is common. This will happen on both gas and electric. It is a problem of very poor design. First off Airstream violates one of the principle installation requirements of ref. installation, providing a 1 in. rear wall offset. That offset is required to insure adequate ventilation through a natural chimney effect. In the absence of this natural chimney heat is not conveyed up and out but rather allowed to languish around and surround 4 sides of the ref. with heated air. The result Poor Operation.
After have one too many warm beers in mid summer I decided to make some changes. I remove the ref. and install a false wall behind it to provide the desired clearance and insulated the side wall of the cabinets. The insulation is designed to fit tightly against the ref. as it is slid into place thus preventing any heated air from coming in contact with the sides. Plastic sheeting is fitted over fiberglass insulation forming a pillow. The picture shows the sheet metal rear wall and one of the insulated sides. A sheet metal sweep, also in the picture, was also fitted above the ref. to keep heated air from surrounding the top of the freezer.
If you stop by now we can have a cold beer.
WBCCI 12156 AIR 3144 WACHUNG TAC NJ6
2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles