Installed quite fans for the fridge!
This is long post, so I apologize in advance!
So our new 2019 International Serenity was custom built & we finally got it in April. Made it out the for the first time 2 weeks from the post date.....great experience.......except for one thing.....the refrigerator fan noise.....OMG I just want to tear it out of the trailer!
I read a few post here about it and it seems to be an issue and it was the same here. You can hear it outside and even more horrendously inside! Sounds like a buzzsaw.
So I did some research on what is in the trailer and what the options could be to attack this issue.
Well our fan is the same one as everyone else's which is the Rodale POS. I did some research on why they picked it....well first it is 12VDC, second is the CFM it delivers....around 105CFM which is pretty good overall for a 120MM fan.....and it's sound level is rated around 45dBA which if you look at all the charts:
says that 45dBA is like a "quite room".......well that may be all well and good.....but when you have nature or basically "no sound" like late at night.....that amount of noise which is directly coupled to the trailer my as well be a washing machine during the spin cycle......
So a few people have tried Silenx and I looked at their specs......and sure enough, like others have reported.....these fans are super quite as advertised.
They are rated at 15dBA per fan and deliver around 75CFM and cost around $22 which is extremely cost effective to the end game which is QUITE!
Clearly more than one is needed to meet or exceed the OEM fan specifications.
Keeping in mind that these are computer fans and for the most part will be out of any direct "weather'....they should survive for many years to come.
The one thing that really irritates me is how AS doesn't custom cut and size the wires....so there is a ton of bundle slop wire.....which one could argue is a "service loop".......but having 4 feet of excess wire for the fused hot lead in my mind is just lazy.
If you choose to do this modification, the GOOD NEWS (if you have a newer trailer and even if you don't) is that the connector they use is the WEGO 221 series:
These connectors allow the large gauge wires from the trailer to be spliced to the smaller fan wires of whatever fan you choose without any soldering. All you have to do is strip about 3/4" of the insulation and open the "lever", put the wire in and close the lever.....done.
These connections are solid and very hard to pull out......like anything, possible if you try hard enough.
The only other "issue" is that the fan "thickness" is NOT the same as the POS OEM fan, so look at the images and you'll see I used the provided "course" screws that come with the fan and then replaced the 2" long #8 screws to #8 1" screws to put into the back side to add additional support to ensure the fan is properly secure to the mount points. (See images for clarification)
You'll need a Y splitter to feed both fans without modifying them:
In the 2 pack, you'll use one cable to feed the fans, the two female side feed the fans, the other splitter will be "cut and modified" to create the link into the WEGO connectors. You cut off one of the females to feed the male of the fan Y connector and the bare wires get hooked up to the trailer.
This leaves zero modification to the AS connections and to the fans and can easily be "reverted" if needed.....all you are doing is replacing a noisy fan for two very quiet fans.........and get your sanity back.
Everything else is 8" tie wraps from Lowes and black 1" square tiles with adhesive to shore up the wiring and final connections.
See the images for the installed results....but more importantly watch the video of it running. You will see I said nothing during the video capture......and that they are running off the refrigerators normal operating conditions......you can hear the wind, traffic and even with the camera up near the fans with both spinning at FULL speed......you can barely hear them.
Going inside......it is EXTREMELY quite.....and exactly as Airstream should have done in the first place.......IMO.
YMMV....hopefully this gives some confidence to make your trailer quite.....or just as an FYI of how good the fans are.
One question I'm sure will be asked.......can I just use one fan? Answer is mostly likely "yes".....but you'll be losing about 30CFM of exit exhaust to cool your fridge.....and may take longer to cool down...so yes is the answer....but I'd do two as I have done just for the reasons of..........well......math.... ;)
The link below shows the video of the fans working. I guess there is no video renderer with this site.
Noisy refrig fan
Very nice job! I just did a similar mod on our new 2019 FC 25. That original fan was awful. Great posting and FANtastic pictures.
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