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Old 07-14-2012, 05:17 PM   #1
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1972 31' Sovereign
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Refrigerator Heat

While working in my 72 Sovereign I was having trouble cooling the inside. With AC running on high, I could only get the inside down to about 80 deg (it's about 85 outside) and this was underneath an RV shed. Are the AS air conditioners that inefficient? I guess I have the original unit on top, it looks like an antique cover.
I did notice that a lot of heat is coming from the refrigerator vent piece inside the upper cabinet. Is this normal or a sign that something is not working properly.
I have got to be able to cool this unit down more, I can imagine how uncomfortable it would be out from the RV shed in the record temperatures we have had here in Louisiana recently.
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Old 07-14-2012, 06:44 PM   #2
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That is not normal Performance. I am in FL and mine is in a steamy enclosed garage. When I turn on the AC it takes about three minutes before it really gets going with the cold air but after that the temperature drops. It has gotten 21 degrees colder than the outside temp. I have a 25' with an 11000 btu unit.
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Old 07-15-2012, 06:11 AM   #3
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Thanks, I wonder if the freon is low. Does one check and refill the freon similar to a window air unit?
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Old 07-15-2012, 07:25 AM   #4
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A 72 unit would be on the old system of freon, should be more efficient, I would check the temp of your enclosure at roof level, the a/c might be working in much higher temps than you are seeing inside. New units have higher btu's, for your 31' same size as my unit and it has two a/c either one can make it comfortable in the shade. 11,500 and 13,500.
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Old 07-15-2012, 08:22 AM   #5
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A/C and frig

I just sold a 1987 32" Excella and am woking on a 1996 Soverign, 21'. Both have the same heat above the refrigrerator. Called Dometic and it is normal. I installed a fan in the regrigerator outdoor compartment in the 32' to help on really hot days (Dometic assured me that was a fine idea.

Both A/C units are Dometic/Penguin. No way to add freon, unless retro-fitted by an A/C tech. Both had dirty coils and are now running much better after cleaning. One coil is under a metal cover and must be removed. Put a towel on the floor under the A/C unit, just in case you miss and get a buit inside. Dont forget to clean th einside filters and replace if getting old.

I made a 2'x3' plywood board with a 1/6 x 3' attached to it. I covered that with carpet. I use it to span two ribs for working on top. The 1x6 helps to level the board to the curved top of the unit.

The A/S trailers are at best very poorly insulated. That contributes to the cooling and heating issues.
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Old 07-15-2012, 08:27 AM   #6
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Your AC should be doing better. My 75 TW with a 13.5K Carrier did very well at the International Rally this year. With temps of 100+ in full sun and no awnings (too windy) the trailer maintained mid 70s even during the hottest time of the day. The new curtains we had made we able to keep the sun out which was a big factor in keeping the trailer cool.
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Old 07-15-2012, 08:44 AM   #7
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After you make sure your a/c is working properly, I installed a small computer fan in the fridge compartment to force the warm air up and out of that area. It not only made the scoop area cooler, the fridge now gets about 5 degrees cooler as well.
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Old 07-15-2012, 10:28 AM   #8
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Remember your AC unit, if an original '72, is 40 years old now. Nothing lasts forever. I doubt that you have a 40 year old AC unit in your home in LA. Might be time to just replace it with a newer unit, and not fiddle around for long with the original one.
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Old 07-15-2012, 11:43 AM   #9
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Overlander63

Please provide details and possibly photos of your installation of the computer fan. I suspect others would like to see a 5 degree drop in their refrigerator temperature.

My fridge is about 32 degrees in the morning, but by the afternoon it is in the high 40's when it is really hot outside in the mid 90's, so a 5 degree drop would be real welcome.

Dan
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Old 07-15-2012, 12:00 PM   #10
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Hey Dan,
that wouldn't be from opening the door repeatedly for beer? Just joking, but that is of course a factor.
Lilgeezer,
I am sure that a 40 year airconditioner should still work like new if coils are clean and fan is working. Freon is one of the most volatile gases there is; by that I mean that if there is any leak in the system you will very soon have none left, therefore zero cooling.
Al
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Old 07-17-2012, 08:53 PM   #11
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#5: Soon I'll pull the cover off and check the coils condition. Regarding the insulation, I was getting a lot of heat gain through the Vista windows, so I cut some foam insulation to fit. I also plan to eventually tint all the windows. Thanks
#6: I'll keep that Carrier unit in mine for a possible replacement, if I can't get this old unit to do better. Also, you have a really fine looking trailer.
#7: Good idea about forcing the hot air out the roof exhaust. It really heats the area up. For some reason the thermostat was installed inside the cabinet near the refreigerator exhaust.
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:19 PM   #12
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In general the test to run is to put a thermometer in the cold air outlet on the A/C and measure the temperature compared to the ambient indoor temperature. There should be a 20 degree drop. If there is, the air conditioning is working fine and your problems are elsewhere (weatherstripping, insulation).

If not check the cleanliness of the coils.

In general the old units do not leak freon, and if they work at all, work as well as new units.
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:27 PM   #13
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Hey Dan,
that wouldn't be from opening the door repeatedly for beer? Just joking, but that is of course a factor.
Lilgeezer,
I am sure that a 40 year airconditioner should still work like new if coils are clean and fan is working. Freon is one of the most volatile gases there is; by that I mean that if there is any leak in the system you will very soon have none left, therefore zero cooling.
Al
This is why I keep beer in an ice chest instead of the fridge (that and the fact that 32F is a nice beer temp!)
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:37 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by TouringDan View Post
Overlander63

Please provide details and possibly photos of your installation of the computer fan. I suspect others would like to see a 5 degree drop in their refrigerator temperature.

My fridge is about 32 degrees in the morning, but by the afternoon it is in the high 40's when it is really hot outside in the mid 90's, so a 5 degree drop would be real welcome.

Dan
Details on the fan. 12 volt, 110 volt, wheren did u purchase it, how did you mount it. Here in Central Kali, it gets 100+ degrees, so any help on the frig is welcome. Mine was running 48 degrees on AC with outside temp 88F.
Thank you,
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:39 PM   #15
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This is why I keep beer in an ice chest instead of the fridge (that and the fact that 32F is a nice beer temp!)
I will drink to that!
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Old 07-18-2012, 04:41 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
In general the test to run is to put a thermometer in the cold air outlet on the A/C and measure the temperature compared to the ambient indoor temperature. There should be a 20 degree drop. If there is, the air conditioning is working fine and your problems are elsewhere (weatherstripping, insulation).

If not check the cleanliness of the coils.

In general the old units do not leak freon, and if they work at all, work as well as new units.
I'll rmv the cvr and ck the coils, I know the temp diff is nowhere cls to 20deg. It's more like cool air coming from the unit.
Also, the fan is noisy and is always running when turned on (the fan does not stop when (if) temp setting is reached. And, I've noticed that the cooler air is hard pressed to get out of the mid bedroom, esp to the bath area. Thanks.
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Old 07-18-2012, 06:20 AM   #17
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That is good advice with the thermometer at the duct. I believe the fan running all the time is normal too. My ac unit is noisy when running. The compressor kicks in and out but the fan always runs. If you clean your coils and the unit does not cool, it probably does need replaced.
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