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Old 06-22-2009, 01:49 PM   #1
4 Rivet Member
Davis's Avatar
1996 34' Excella
Americus , Georgia
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 317
Dometic Refrigerator Performance ?

What temps are you all seeing in your refrigerator when the outside temp is over 95deg ?? Just wondering if mine is working normal . I have had a issue with mine since I have owned this trailer during the hot outside temps above 95 deg the refrigerator temp goes up to 50 deg and then during the night it will cool back down to 36 deg and then during the day it will rise again. I also have a fan inside the refrigerator and one blowing air over the external coil.I have seen other Airstream owners leave their refrig.comp. door open and so I know others experience cooling woes as well.
I don`t have any problems when the outside temp is below 90 deg. Thanks for any suggestions.
1991 Airstream Excella 1000 34ft (SOLD)
1994 Chevrolet Crew Cab dually 2WD 6.5td
2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 1500 2WD 5.3
WBCCI # 10219 Georgia Unit
AIR # 5131
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Old 06-22-2009, 04:42 PM   #2
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2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
2012 23' FB Flying Cloud
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Santa Rosa Beach , Florida
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We are currently camped in Jacksonville, Florida, for the last several days. It has been hitting 100+ every day.

The Dometic in our '05 25FB has been doing a little better than yours, but not up to its usual performance. It is set on 5 on the panel. It has hitting 40 and slightly over during the heat of the day, and then drops to mid 30's overnight. Usually, we have to set it down to 3 or 4 on the panel to keep it above 30.

I am writing it off to the severe temps. I hope I'm right.

SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
WBCCI #3628 -- AIR #14872 -- TAC #FL-7
2015 FC 25' FB (Lucy) with ProPride
2020 Silverado 2500 (Vivian)
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Old 06-22-2009, 06:38 PM   #3
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2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 10,477
I have had 40 in the fridge and still cold enough to freeze water in the freezer. This is on the 3 to 4 settings on electric. This might be because Dometic on my model year placed a larger electrical heating unit, which in and of itself caused enough stir to warrant a recall, but perhaps that is why mine still works well in heat on electric mode.

I have often thought of placing a thermostat and fan in the flue to help get air movement, but with my fridge temps as they are, even in high heat, I haven't made the commitment.

One thing I think might help (if you have airflow) is instead of running on electric, run it on LP. You then will create better airflow as you will have a flame and the BTUs I think on LP are better than with the electric heating element.

Give it a try and see if it improves at all. I'd be interested in knowing.
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Old 06-22-2009, 06:59 PM   #4
Rivet Master
1994 30' Excella
Mississauga , Ontario
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,249
I think you are right Eric. Propane has more cooling power(btus) than the electric.
Also running a fan inside the fridge actually adds heat. It takes power to run the fan.
As an aside, when I replaced my control board with a dinosaur P-711 it has the option to change the cooling control on the board so that it will go cooler than the stock settings.
Still if it is really hot out I don't know that it would help. If I set my fridge on 5 you can't get the ice cream out of the tub; it's that cold.
Never did check with a thermostat though.
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Old 06-22-2009, 07:01 PM   #5
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1977 27' Overlander
1973 27' Overlander
1963 19' Globetrotter
Naples , Florida
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I just bought a used Dometic rm2607,the previous owner said it would not cool on propane.I cleaned the orfice ,burner tube and exhaust pipe.It fired right up yesterday and I turned it up to max.Today with it sitting in the sun @ 93 deg. it was 22 deg. in the refrigerator compartment.I thought that was pretty good for a $200. fridge. Dave
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Old 06-23-2009, 04:33 AM   #6
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1996 34' Excella
Americus , Georgia
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 317
Thanks for the replies. When I run the fridge on propane it does not cool as good. I don`t know why that is in this trailer all my other trailers propane would work best in cooling.
I currently have a 12 volt fan and a 120 volt fan in the exterior compartment to circulate air over the condenser. The 120 volt fan helped lower the temp 2 deg so I may look at buying another fan that has more air flow volume and see if that helps if not then I will try the advice of another member and install a fan at the roof vent. In my trailer their is a lot of room behind the fridge . Davis
1991 Airstream Excella 1000 34ft (SOLD)
1994 Chevrolet Crew Cab dually 2WD 6.5td
2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 1500 2WD 5.3
WBCCI # 10219 Georgia Unit
AIR # 5131
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Old 06-23-2009, 05:01 AM   #7
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1978 31' Excella 500
Franklin , Indiana
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I went to a lecture given by Dometic. They told us the absolute limit of cooling is a physical limitation imposed by the height of the coils on the back of the unit. It runs so many degrees per foot. I remember that he said something like 45F degrees lower than ambient for a full size Airstream fridge. He pointed out that the temperature in space behind the fridge is a crucial factor then, so park with that side out of the afternoon sun, pull down an awning to shade it, etc.

He said that a cooling fan blowing across the outside fins does not add anything. It's the natural convective process that occurs with it's chimney effect that's important. I used a fan outside at that time, and I agree, it seemed to add little. What helped me was realigning my fridge door and making sure the gasket sealed well on the lower compartment. I was loosing cold.
Dallas Peak, MD 'That 70's Guy!'
VAC Past President
WBCCI #8481
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Old 06-23-2009, 07:35 AM   #8
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2004 30' Classic Slideout
Fenton , Missouri
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One item I've carried for almost 20 years is a handy battery powered internal refrigerator fan. FridgeCool Fan with On/Off Switch - Item - Camping World

In many cases there are lots of items in an RV refrigerator that tends to create spots that create temperature differentials. You put this on a rack and turn it on. It blows a very small breeze that circulates air within the refrigerator eliminating hot and cold spots.

A set of batteries will last you a minimum of one to two seasons with average use.

Jack Canavera
AIR #56 S/OS#15
'04 Classic 30' S.O.,'03 GMC Savana 2500
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Old 06-23-2009, 08:14 AM   #9
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1996 34' Excella
Americus , Georgia
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 317
Thanks for the suggestion but I am already using one of those with the 2 D batteries inside the fridge.
1991 Airstream Excella 1000 34ft (SOLD)
1994 Chevrolet Crew Cab dually 2WD 6.5td
2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 1500 2WD 5.3
WBCCI # 10219 Georgia Unit
AIR # 5131
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Old 06-23-2009, 07:32 PM   #10
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holden beach , North Carolina
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I am having the same problem on a 2008 RM3762. Call the Demotic troubleshooter today . He said if the ref. is in a slid out then the frig. should be order with fan to get the heat out of the back of the trailer because it doesn't have a roof vent. The fan is on a thermal switch. He said to check and make sure the fan is working. I know this is the opposite of what DpeakMD just said in his post.If this doesn't work I am going to get a dinosaur board where you can lower the thermostat.
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Old 06-23-2009, 08:46 PM   #11
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1976 Argosy 24
Joplin , Missouri
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We find that the fridge does not cool really well in our Argosy in 95 degree heat, it tends to creep up to 50, but this year I discovered a trick to help keep it cool. We always take a case of bottled water, so this year I froze several bottles and put them in the bottom of the refrigerator, and kept more bottles in the freezer so we would have a constant supply of frozen bottles as we traveled. Never had a problem with it going above 35-40 degrees in two weeks, plus we always had bottles of really cold water to drink as they thawed out and were replaced with more frozen ones!
Jim and Sandy

"To know is nothing at all. To imagine, is everything." --Albert Einstein
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