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Old 11-08-2018, 02:06 PM   #1
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Refrigerator trouble.

We have a 2015 Forest River Blue Ridge 3125. It has the Domestic refrigerator single door unit. The freezer part is working excellent. But the refrigerator part isnít cooling like it should. Itís just barely below room temp. I have had it plugged up for 2 days. The slider is all the way up to coldest setting and the prob is in place. And ideas?
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Old 11-08-2018, 02:41 PM   #2
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Lots of posts on this topic. Generally, if freezer is working, fridge should be too.

Fridge should have some cold food in it from the beginning. An empty fridge wont cool (or wont cool well). If you start with cold, you're just asking the fridge to keep the food cold. You're not asking it to cool the food.

Also, fridge should not be overloaded. Fridge needs air circulation inside to work well. You may want to install a fan inside to increase this air circulation.

Hope that helps.
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Old 11-08-2018, 03:17 PM   #3
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Ok. Thank you.
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Old 11-08-2018, 03:38 PM   #4
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Having a fan to circulate the air is a big help. Something like this works well:
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B002N5W8Q4

Also,. we usually turn ours on at least three days before we want to use it, including turning on the circulation fan. It is always down to temperature then, when we load it.
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Old 11-11-2018, 10:03 AM   #5
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It makes me wonder: IF these fans work so well why doesn't the RV fridge manufacturers build them into the fridge units?
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Old 11-14-2018, 05:26 PM   #6
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It makes me wonder: IF these fans work so well why doesn't the RV fridge manufacturers build them into the fridge units?
Depends on your camping situation. Fans use battery power. Not everybody wants another parasitic drag on their battery. Running the fan wires may/may not cause more air leakage. The fan takes up space in the fridge and may not do any good if the fan's airflow is restricted by the way the fridge is loaded.

I do not use a fan inside my Dometic fridge. I do use fan(s) in the back to increase fridge efficiency. My newest A-frame fridge comes with a fan in the back as part of the install. However, it is noisier, consumes more power, and is less efficient than the computer case fan I installed on my previous A-frame fridge.

The 2 A-frame fridge installations I have experience with did not meet Dometic installation requirements (available on Dometic web site). And the Dometic vent grills may be rain proof, but they couldn't pass wind in a hurricane. The combination of poor installation and Dometic vent grills cause the fridge heat to collect in the top of the compartment, blocking cooling of the cooling coils.

I will say the fan pushing air out the upper fridge vent makes all the difference in fridge performance. Without a fan, the fridge was very inconsistent at cooling. With a fan on the upper vent, the fridge cooled under all conditions, and cooled down much faster.

But before I installed the fan, I fixed the installation to meet Dometic requirements. I pushed insulation into the gaps on the side of the fridge and sealed the gap with furnace duct tape. I also sealed the gap at top of the fridge with Reflectix and tape. I made a curved air path to the vent from the cooling coils using Reflectix and tape. And I adjusted and added to the baffle so it met Dometic specs. Finally, I added some pipe to the chimney exhaust so that the heat would go directly to the exhaust vent.

just my experiences
Fred W
2019 Flagstaff T21TBHW A-frame
2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan
camping Colorado and adjacent states one weekend at a time
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Old 11-14-2018, 05:49 PM   #7
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The Dometic RV fridge in my 2007 Roo, had no fans.
Neither does the one in my 2016 Tracerair.
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Old 11-19-2018, 10:28 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by pgandw View Post

I will say the fan pushing air out the upper fridge vent makes all the difference in fridge performance. Without a fan, the fridge was very inconsistent at cooling. With a fan on the upper vent, the fridge cooled under all conditions, and cooled down much faster.

But before I installed the fan, I fixed the installation to meet Dometic requirements. I pushed insulation into the gaps on the side of the fridge and sealed the gap with furnace duct tape. I also sealed the gap at top of the fridge with Reflectix and tape. I made a curved air path to the vent from the cooling coils using Reflectix and tape. And I adjusted and added to the baffle so it met Dometic specs. Finally, I added some pipe to the chimney exhaust so that the heat would go directly to the exhaust vent.

just my experiences
Fred W
2019 Flagstaff T21TBHW A-frame
2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan
camping Colorado and adjacent states one weekend at a time
X2

Until you have camped on a 100 degree day and went to the frig to get a drink that was 37-45 degrees, You don't understand how important this mod is.

And Fred nailed the two important aspects of it.
  • Eliminate Dead Airspace area's by using baffles to route air over the coils and out the exhaust
  • Proper placement of the fan(s) to pull the hot air out. Yes, you can get some improvement by pushing air in the bottom vent but the best efficiency is made by pulling hot air out the top vent and creating that vacuum so cooler air is sucked in the bottom.

I had a fridge that wouldn't keep anything cooler than 40 degrees lower than outside temps. 100 degree day, 60 degree contents in the frig and ice cream melting in the freezer. Put two computer fans on the vent and did a little baffle modification and I had a huge improvement inside the fridge and no more soft serve. Had to turn the thermostat down to keep from freezing stuff in the fridge if it wasn't 85 or hotter.
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Old 11-20-2018, 01:11 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pgandw View Post
Depends on your camping situation. Fans use battery power. Not everybody wants another parasitic drag on their battery. Running the fan wires may/may not cause more air leakage. The fan takes up space in the fridge and may not do any good if the fan's airflow is restricted by the way the fridge is loaded.

I do not use a fan inside my Dometic fridge. I do use fan(s) in the back to increase fridge efficiency. My newest A-frame fridge comes with a fan in the back as part of the install. However, it is noisier, consumes more power, and is less efficient than the computer case fan I installed on my previous A-frame fridge.

The 2 A-frame fridge installations I have experience with did not meet Dometic installation requirements (available on Dometic web site). And the Dometic vent grills may be rain proof, but they couldn't pass wind in a hurricane. The combination of poor installation and Dometic vent grills cause the fridge heat to collect in the top of the compartment, blocking cooling of the cooling coils.

I will say the fan pushing air out the upper fridge vent makes all the difference in fridge performance. Without a fan, the fridge was very inconsistent at cooling. With a fan on the upper vent, the fridge cooled under all conditions, and cooled down much faster.

But before I installed the fan, I fixed the installation to meet Dometic requirements. I pushed insulation into the gaps on the side of the fridge and sealed the gap with furnace duct tape. I also sealed the gap at top of the fridge with Reflectix and tape. I made a curved air path to the vent from the cooling coils using Reflectix and tape. And I adjusted and added to the baffle so it met Dometic specs. Finally, I added some pipe to the chimney exhaust so that the heat would go directly to the exhaust vent.

just my experiences
Fred W
2019 Flagstaff T21TBHW A-frame
2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan
camping Colorado and adjacent states one weekend at a time
Hi Fred,
Are you saying that your experience has been that the refrigerators were not installed by the coach maker to the refrigerator manufacturer specs? If so, that's not very comforting.

My Forester has a dark full-body paint that seems to make the air conditioner and fridge work hard to cool properly.

I've done some modifications to help the AC and want to modify the fridge also.

May I pick your brain??

Adding a fan(s) to the lower area doesn't look too difficult. To add the upper fan(s), it appears the cover on the roof will need to be removed/replaced. Do you have a photo of the modifications/baffle you speak of and the fans used? If not, I'll just do what seems right. Thanks.
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Old 11-20-2018, 05:36 PM   #10
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Hi Fred,
Are you saying that your experience has been that the refrigerators were not installed by the coach maker to the refrigerator manufacturer specs? If so, that's not very comforting.

Adding a fan(s) to the lower area doesn't look too difficult. To add the upper fan(s), it appears the cover on the roof will need to be removed/replaced. Do you have a photo of the modifications/baffle you speak of and the fans used? If not, I'll just do what seems right. Thanks.
I have an A-frame, which uses side vents for fridge ventilation. So tie wrapping a computer case fan directly to the upper vent is a very simple install for me. Perhaps a "pusher" fan will work better for you.

I will post pictures of my mods at the earliest opportunity.

The new A-frame came with a plywood baffle. I downloaded the Dometic installation/operating instructions for my model fridge and saw Dometic wanted a box baffle with the top inside corner a specific distance from the cooling coils.

Forest River (as do most of the RV manufacturers) pays its assembly line folks on a piece work basis. The more RVs they complete, the more they get paid. So the fastest person in the group paces the others, and not all tasks get completed. Things like pushing insulation into voids, and adjusting the baffle are tasks that can be omitted and nobody will care. You can see the same carelessness on the wire joints - except that the appliances all get tested and an electrical non-connection will fail things. Plumbing is also sloppily done, but again testing at either the dealer or the factory will reveal leaks.

Fred W
2019 Flagstaff T21TBHW A-frame
2008 Hyundia Entourage minivan
camping Colorado and adjacent states one weekend at a time
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