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Old 05-07-2021, 11:01 AM   #1
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Refrigerator vent and heat dissipation

Have 2021 International 27FB with Propane / Shore Power Electric refrigerator.

I have noticed that after running for a while on shore power, the panels around the refrigerator are quite warm. In fact the small cabinet above the refrigerator must be 140 degrees inside!

Outside, I hear a fan running inside the exterior door but do not sense any air flow. I feel heat coming off the roof vent but I get the distinct feeling the roof ventilation chimney is blocked or not operating efficiently.

I would have thought convection would move the heat up the chimney and out the roof so the fan would not have to run 100% of the time.

Third RV with similar refrigerator and this seems different.
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Old 05-07-2021, 11:28 AM   #2
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Pull the rain cap off of the refrigerator chimney and take a look. You'll be able to see any obstructions. It's simple and a dab of sealant on the screws holding the rain cap will be all you need.
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Old 05-07-2021, 11:42 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ETroup View Post
Have 2021 International 27FB with Propane / Shore Power Electric refrigerator.

I have noticed that after running for a while on shore power, the panels around the refrigerator are quite warm. In fact the small cabinet above the refrigerator must be 140 degrees inside!

Outside, I hear a fan running inside the exterior door but do not sense any air flow. I feel heat coming off the roof vent but I get the distinct feeling the roof ventilation chimney is blocked or not operating efficiently.

I would have thought convection would move the heat up the chimney and out the roof so the fan would not have to run 100% of the time.

Third RV with similar refrigerator and this seems different.
Are you sure that your 2021 International has a "flue" for the fridge's propane exhaust gases, and a flue roof cap, like our 1885 25' Sovereign had? I thought that Airstream had dropped this feature many years ago, and now relies only on the louvered vents in the exterior side wall doors near the fridge, for ventilation and heat dissipation.

No mention of the flue or its cap anywhere in the manual IMO:

https://www.airstream.com/wp-content...ers-Manual.pdf

"fridge flue cap" search results are for older models IMO: https://www.google.com/search?q=frid...=airforums.com

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f45...nt-221591.html
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f42...tml#post904697

Good luck,
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Old 05-07-2021, 01:19 PM   #4
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our 1885 25' Sovereign
WOW! That's a collector's item!
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Old 05-07-2021, 01:32 PM   #5
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Talking

Wally's grandparents' first prototype . . .

1985!
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Old 05-07-2021, 01:44 PM   #6
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The picture below is a 2021 Flying Cloud 27 footer. The International has the same exterior configuration. There is a rain cap in the photo for the fridge.
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Old 05-07-2021, 02:17 PM   #7
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Thumbs up

Thanks . . . good to know that Airstream has brought back this great flue feature, which seems to have been missing for many years in many models IMO.
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Old 05-08-2021, 12:10 AM   #8
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I think the configuration depends on the model of the trailer.
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Old 05-08-2021, 06:03 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbrowne View Post
Pull the rain cap off of the refrigerator chimney and take a look. You'll be able to see any obstructions. It's simple and a dab of sealant on the screws holding the rain cap will be all you need.

The aluminum rain cap is riveted on and extensively sealed. Will be a bit of a job to remove and replace.
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Old 05-08-2021, 10:38 AM   #10
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Since your trailer is new (2021) take it to the dealer, I am sure you are still under warranty.
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Old 05-08-2021, 10:56 AM   #11
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The aluminum rain cap is riveted on and extensively sealed. Will be a bit of a job to remove and replace.
Removing the rain cap should not be necessary IMO. When the fridge's propane burner is operating and hot, can you feel hot exhaust gases coming out of the roof flue under the rain cap?

Doubt if the flue is clogged in a new trailer, but you should be able to see the lower end of the flue over the propane burner IMO. With the fridge/burner off, you night be able see up the flue with a flashlight? Snake something soft up the flue to feel for obstructions?

Not sure if a "mud dauber nest" could be the problem, but FWIW these search results may help:

https://www.google.com/search?q=mud+...=airforums.com

Did you buy your new AS down south, in an area which has mud daubers?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mud_dauber

Good luck,
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Old 05-08-2021, 11:01 AM   #12
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The fan if fitted on a trailer will always run on a hot day ( 75+ degrees ), it doesn’t move a lot of air but keeps it moving over the condenser coils
Makes a difference on our 2014 Bambi with side vents. Never seemed to need it on my 96 Excella even in 105 deg weather in Doswell Va
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Old 05-08-2021, 11:07 AM   #13
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. . .
. . . Never seemed to need it on my 96 Excella even in 105 deg weather in Doswell Va
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Did your '96 Excella have a fridge propane burner flue, and rain cap, like our 1985 Sovereign 25' did?

The OP's and tbrowne's trailers, are the first [to these eyes] new Airstreams to have this old and very helpful feature. Short-sighted of Airstream to ever discontinue the flue IMO.
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Old 05-08-2021, 05:26 PM   #14
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The aluminum rain cap is riveted on and extensively sealed. Will be a bit of a job to remove and replace.
But it is worth it. I did when I installed the solar system, only to discover that the heat reflective lining in the fridge vent was hanging, not enough to completely block the natural air circulation but it certainly didn't help.
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Old 05-08-2021, 08:24 PM   #15
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As stated, make sure the draft path behind the cabinet is completely clear of obstacles. My refer did not come with a fan, but I added two, it makes big difference on overall cooling and efficiency. The computer fans use very little DC power.
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Old 05-08-2021, 08:48 PM   #16
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How hot has the exterior air been?
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Old 05-08-2021, 11:47 PM   #17
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Heat Reflective Foils

Our 2018 Flying Cloud 30RB uses a ceiling plenum to circulate conditioned air through 10 ceiling-mounted exit grills. The grills themselves are crappola, putting up way too much resistance to air flow. Removing and reworking the grill covers I discovered here-and-there loose reflective foil also affecting air flow. When I removed for cleaning the four return air grillsónot connected to the plenumóI discovered more of this loose foil, which I trimmed to the edge of each opening. This is just sloppy construction work at the factory.

It would not surprise me, ETroup, if under your refrigerator vent weather cap there was any amount of loose, untrimmed foil. Our A/C return grills need regular cleaning. Remove yours for a soapy cleaning and see if thereís not untrimmed foil blocking air flow. If you discover there is, you can suspect loose foil in other places. Might motivate you to pull you weather cap despite the effort to seal and recap. (Next time Iím up top Iím gonna give that cap a close study, see if Iím motivated to pull, inspect and replace.)
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Old 05-08-2021, 11:49 PM   #18
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Three Rivet Status

When I told Roberta Iíd just reached my 99th post, she suggested I add a self-congratulatory 100th post right away.

What the hey, as they say.

Weíre on our way . . . hurray!

(We raise a gin-and-tonic toast to our fellow Airstream travelers.)
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Old 05-09-2021, 01:26 PM   #19
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Did your '96 Excella have a fridge propane burner flue, and rain cap, like our 1985 Sovereign 25' did?.
Yes; standard for that whole series from 84 or 85 through 2000 on 25' and up. Not sure if the smaller units were different. I don't think they can get good cooling without the flue vented through the roof., and muffin fams are needed to move air through the side mounted vent.
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Old 05-09-2021, 02:06 PM   #20
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How hot has the exterior air been?


80-90 degrees here in central Florida. All the more reason I so not like the heat accumulation around the refrigerator.
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