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Old 10-22-2015, 05:43 AM   #1
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Refrigerator Problem in Cold Weather

I posted this thread last year and am posting it again for those who will make winter trips and may encounter the problem.

I brought our RV home from storage to prepare it for a winter trip. As usual, I started the refrigerator on gas and let it run for an hour or so to be sure it would work properly on gas. I then switched it to auto and it switched itself to electric mode. When I checked it a few hours later the freezer was below 20 F and the refrigerator was below 40 F. My usual practice was to take the ice trays into the house and make ice in the house refrigerator. However, the RV refrigerator was already below 20 F, so I brought some water from the house and put the trays in the RV freezer. Since I wasn’t going to dewinterize the water system until the next day, I didn’t leave the heat on.

The next morning it was about 25 F outside, and about 35 F inside the RV. To my surprise, the ice trays only had a skim of ice and the freezer compartment was 32 F. The refrigerator was about 35 F. How could this be? It was working fine the evening before.

It took a while to figure it out, but the answer was simple. The coach was cold, the refrigerator was losing very little heat to the coach or outside, so the temperature sensor in the refrigerator compartment didn’t get warm enough for the controls to call for the refrigerator to run. The relatively warm water that I put in the ice trays warmed the freezing compartment and it reached equilibrium at 32 F. I turned on the coach heat, opened the refrigerator door, set up a fan to blow into the refrigerator compartment for a while, and it started working normally. In an hour or so the freezer was back below 20 F.

So if the freezer compartment of your refrigerator isn't cooling properly in cold weather, maybe it's just not warm enough in your coach.

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Old 10-22-2015, 06:41 AM   #2
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Dometic "has" a fridge specifically to be used in cold weather.

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Old 10-27-2015, 11:22 PM   #3
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This will help.

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Old 10-28-2015, 06:47 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Cajun Style View Post

This will help.

Makes sense, thanks!

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Old 10-28-2015, 10:21 AM   #5
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This is an interesting video that addresses poor refrigerator performance during very low outside temperatures. It's good information for anyone who may be using an RV in low temperatures. This is a different problem from the one I had. It wasn't all that cold. My refrigerator lower compartment was simply cold enough and it didn't need to run, even though the freezer compartment wasn't cold enough.

The video is from a series on RV refrigerators by Ford's RV Refrigeration Training & Service. If you haven't already, I strongly recommend that every RV owner view the series. You'll learn a lot about your refrigerator.
I strongly recommend
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