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Old 12-08-2021, 12:58 PM   #1
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2018 30' Flying Cloud
Unionville , Ontario
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Refrigerator Fan??

We have a 2018 FC RBT and the performance of our Dometic refrigerator has been somewhat inconsistent. When parked and under electric power it often does not get cold enough to ensure the safety of our food. However, while towing and using propane it generally gets nice and cold. After checking the situation out at length I have come up with some assumptions and questions:

1. The temperature probe may not be working properly.
2. I may need a fan to better evacuate hot air out the roof vent.
3. Something might be blocking the air from properly exiting the roof vent.

Since the fridge seems to cool when towing, I assume that the motion of the trailer is pulling the hot air out of the roof vent. Interesting note - apparently, this fridge in this trailer could come with a fan to blow hot air out the roof. It was an option, and obviously our trailer did not come with this option.

Any thoughts? Am I headed in the right direction?? What is the best way to find the part number for the Ďoptionalí factory fan?

Thank you,

J
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Old 12-08-2021, 01:08 PM   #2
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If you think the stack might be obstructed, then open the external refrigerator panel and check the stack. Use a mirror or a bore scope if need be to get a good view. Bore scopes are cheap and can be purchased online for less than $50.00. I really think a mirror will do the job at no expense.

Thirty foot Airstreams generally vent straight up through the roof of the trailer and don't require a fan. Many shorter units vent through the side wall and do need a fan for good circulation.

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=bore+scope&ref=nb_sb_noss_2
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Old 12-08-2021, 01:13 PM   #3
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Before doing any surgery have you checked to see how well the fridge cools on propane when you're not moving?

If it cools properly on propane, then logic would say that something is wrong with the 120v element and/or the circuit feeding it.

Pretty simple to check the element and wiring. Does't take much corrosion or dirt on the contacts to make a 120v element work at less than full power.

The 120v element just slides into the cooling unit stack and it's possible that it's simply not working properly or that it's just not in the correct position.

Once you know that the venting isn't the problem by running the unit on LP while parked, start the troubleshooting steps to confirm that the 120v element is working.
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Old 12-08-2021, 10:32 PM   #4
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Could be a control board failure.

Get out the multimeter to check electronics.
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Old 12-09-2021, 12:45 AM   #5
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Here is the fan for inside the fridge that some people use to assist with circulation, though that isnít your problem.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...12a028abed3c41

Here are some fans that can assist with air circulation behind the fridge to help vent to the outside. As others have identified, gotta make sure the venting is clear. We have uninstalled our fridge before and itís super easy (6 bolts, 1 plug, 1 propane connector), if you donít want to climb a ladder to check the vent or buy the scope.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...82b01b57fcb899
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Old 12-09-2021, 04:26 AM   #6
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If the unit cools properly on LP but only so-so on electric, my assumption would be that the cooling unit itself works. Same for the thermostat. Likely the control board as well, and that can easily be confirmed by checking for 120v power to the electric element in the cooling unit.

If the unit cools well on LP while on the road, you still have testing to do. Is it cooling better on the road because you're using LP? Or is it cooling better because you're moving and that's aiding the air circulation through the vents?

A little binary testing will answer this, and then you can proceed to troubleshoot either the 120v element or the venting situation.
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Old 12-09-2021, 05:26 AM   #7
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Another thought to eliminate from the assumption basket is youíre not using your fridge in extreme out side temps and experiencing this issue? I assumed this isnít the case because of the time of year youíre posting but the fridge wonít cool to proper temps if itís 100 degrees outside. Iím not sure exactly what the temp ranges are but just wanted to throw this out just in case.
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Old 12-09-2021, 09:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigSxyWhtGuy View Post
Another thought to eliminate from the assumption basket is youíre not using your fridge in extreme out side temps and experiencing this issue? I assumed this isnít the case because of the time of year youíre posting but the fridge wonít cool to proper temps if itís 100 degrees outside. Iím not sure exactly what the temp ranges are but just wanted to throw this out just in case.
Another point to go with this, is the sun beating on the side of trailer with the fridge (will add extra temp).
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Old 12-09-2021, 01:41 PM   #9
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In our 2006 23' the wall plug for the 120 volt heating element was not making good contact. When we were on LP, nice and cold but when we switched to AC the temp started rising. I cleaned the RV wall plug contacts inside the fridge compartment and everything works fine now.
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Old 12-10-2021, 12:26 PM   #10
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Refrigerator Reply

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich W View Post
In our 2006 23' the wall plug for the 120 volt heating element was not making good contact. When we were on LP, nice and cold but when we switched to AC the temp started rising. I cleaned the RV wall plug contacts inside the fridge compartment and everything works fine now.
Thank you all for your considered advice. FYI, I already replaced the factory circuit board and that did seem to make things better. As soon as I get the trailer out of Ďwinter storageí, Iíll blow air up the stack to make sure that it isnít blocked. The result of that test should tell me what the next step should be. Regardless of my test results, I will probably add an external fan right away.

Cheers,

J
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Old 12-11-2021, 08:20 AM   #11
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Hey J,

Referring to your line item 2) in your original post, here's a great evap fan thread! https://www.airforums.com/forums/f42...ml#post2384863 - Brad
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Old 12-11-2021, 08:44 AM   #12
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Meanwhile check out this link to insure your venting is done properly. The space behind the unit is very important, if it is too deep air will bypass the fins on the condenser. Also make sure there is no boxed in dead space that can trap hot air at the top. All of this can be fixed with Styrofoam board and thin sheet metal. Making sure the venting is done to allow proper drafting is more effective than trying to fix a bad installation by adding fans. The installers don't pay much attention to this. https://www.fridge-and-solar.net/fridge_vent.htm
Note: Instead of adding baffles to mine I pulled the fridge and padded the wall with foil backed foam insulation board which brought the clearance to the required depth and also added a bit more R value to help reduce solar gain in the fridge compartment.
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