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Old 09-30-2016, 10:12 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Paul GA View Post
Unfortunately end users beat their heads against the wall and spend more money to cure faulty Dometic products. When a company states that 50 degrees is acceptable for a refrigerator and claim no issues...
I disagree. I've had 2 Dometic fridges in a pop-up and an A-frame. The fridges themselves work great. My pop-up had an installation with a different style grill that allowed a good convection air current to set up without a fan.

The A-frame install, not so good. But once the installation was corrected to provide proper air flow, the A-frame fridge works well and very efficiently. The installation problem is both a Forest River and Dometic issue.

The Cool Cat in the A-frame (a Dometic air conditioner and heat pump) works quite well also. It cools the low wall A-frame in all weather with a low current draw (runs well on a 15 amp circuit).

I have found the technical info I needed on the Dometic web site and here on the forums to fix all my issues.

just my thoughts, yours obviously differ
Fred W
2014 Rockwood A122 A-frame
2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan
camping Colorado and adjacent states one weekend at a time
last trip: Black Hills and Custer State Park
next trip: Utah 5 national parks
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Old 09-30-2016, 10:20 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by mjpallone View Post
Sounds like you have a real problem with your fridge. It should easily maintain a cold temperature especially after 24 hours on 120V. One of our friends discovered their fridge wasn't maintaining proper temperature and discovered is was not installed correctly at the factory. They had to work with Dometic to identify the issue. The insulation was missing and it was installed improperly. Forest River paid to have a new Fridge installed correctly. The install was overseen by Dometic technician. The new fridge works great.
WOW! I'm having some problems and Dometic is telling me to check the fan on the back of the uit. I can't see or hear a fan.....I'm frustrated!
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Old 09-30-2016, 10:37 PM   #13
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WOW! I'm having some problems and Dometic is telling me to check the fan on the back of the uit. I can't see or hear a fan.....I'm frustrated!
They're wanting you to check a fan that is on the back of the unit. Look up from the outside it's on top of the black tube that goes back and forth. It's thermistor controlled but unless it's hot outside it won't come on anyway.
If you are lucky FR left a big open area above the fridge holding hot air and boxing that in will help. Proper installation above fridge should be flush with back of fridge all the way to top vent.
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Old 09-30-2016, 10:50 PM   #14
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WOW! I'm having some problems and Dometic is telling me to check the fan on the back of the uit. I can't see or hear a fan.....I'm frustrated!
You should be. There is no fan on the back of the 4223 - and the tech should know it. Or at least look it up if he is not familiar with the model number. There is no control board or thermostat, either. It is a continuous run 3 way small fridge for pop-ups and A-frames. It does not cycle. The installation and operating manuals for the 4223 are available on-line.

As I said in my other posts, in most low wall A-frames, the fridge coils are not getting enough cooling air passing over them. The coils are mounted very close to the back of the fridge, and the grills and installation in the A-frame tend to create stagnant hot air in the fridge back compartment instead of air flowing over the coils. When the fridge is working, you need to feel a steady flow of warm-to-hot air coming out of the top vent - and not just from the chimney.

Fred W
2014 Rockwood A122 A-frame (with 4223 Dometic fridge)
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Old 10-01-2016, 12:50 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by pgandw View Post
My first step was to insulate the compartment with Reflectix. I curved the Reflectix to guide the hot air out the top vent. In studying the top vent, I realized they were actually part of a Dometic installation kit for the 4223 fridge. The engineer at Dometic who approved or designed those vents should be fired or worse. They make it very difficult for the needed air flow to set up and cool the fridge coils.
Fred, if it's not too much trouble, could you post a photo of this installation? I'd appreciate seeing how / where exactly you placed the Reflectix. Also, where did you get power for your fan? Photo of that? Thanks for your input and your consideration of my request.
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Old 10-01-2016, 10:29 AM   #16
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Fred, if it's not too much trouble, could you post a photo of this installation? I'd appreciate seeing how / where exactly you placed the Reflectix. Also, where did you get power for your fan? Photo of that? Thanks for your input and your consideration of my request.
There's more information in this thread: I'm liking my A-frame fridge. The thread is currently near the top of page 3 in the A-frame forum.

I originally got the ideas from threads on another pop-up forum. These were further developed with help and leading from Tom, Bensinc, and Big Red Camper in the linked thread.

I was replacing my converter at the time, and I wanted to use a lighted switch. So it was easiest to power the fan from the "everything" circuit, and run a single wire power lead from the switch to the fridge compartment. I just used the common (negative) from the fridge DC wiring.

In retrospect, the switch inside the camper is a waste. I run the fan full time when the fridge is on propane or AC. The fridge efficiency is so much greater with the fan on. And the fan only draws 70ma. The only time I would likely turn the fan off would be the fridge getting too cold on lowest setting when camping in near-winter weather.

The fan switch would be better located close to the DC mode switch in the fridge compartment. I do turn the fan off when towing and fridge is on DC. The air flow while towing at highway speeds is plenty to keep the fridge cool - it will pull below freezing unless I leave the fan off during pit stops - even in Texas hot 90 degree heat. I expect to add the switch in the fridge compartment this fall.

Fred W
2014 Rockwood A122 A-frame
2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan
camping Colorado and adjacent states one weekend at a time

Pictures of the Reflectix:
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Old 10-02-2016, 10:21 PM   #17
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Thanks for the photos, Fred. This is very helpful.
My experiments this week show that the fridge is indeed cooling down to at least 40 degrees, but very slowly (both AC and propane) and only at the highest settings (on propane). I'm probably going to follow your lead and add the insulation around the back of the unit first and add a fan too.

BTW, do you have a link to the brand/model for your wireless thermometer? I am using a household refrigerator unit for my tests, but the wireless thing would be much better.
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Old 10-03-2016, 09:22 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by mherte View Post
Thanks for the photos, Fred. This is very helpful.
My experiments this week show that the fridge is indeed cooling down to at least 40 degrees, but very slowly (both AC and propane) and only at the highest settings (on propane). I'm probably going to follow your lead and add the insulation around the back of the unit first and add a fan too.

BTW, do you have a link to the brand/model for your wireless thermometer? I am using a household refrigerator unit for my tests, but the wireless thing would be much better.
Mherte

The wireless thermometer was a battery-powered household unit from Walmart. Cost around $10. Updates once a minute. Uses AA in transmitter and AAA in receiver. I am still on original set of batteries. I put batteries in and put transmitter in fridge during trip prep. Remove batteries when I return home. Now that fridge is dependable, my primary worry is to make sure the temp doesn't go into the 20s for too long, and freeze everything inside. Wife is still not convinced, and prefers using our coolers and ice.

The 120mm ball bearing computer case fan came from Best Buy - again about $10 - and had a 4 pin plug for motherboards already on it. Since I build my own computers, I found a 2 pin matching plug to take the fan direct to the power supply when there isn't a motherboard header. I had to look up which two fan wires were power, and ignored the fan speed control wires. My fan runs continuously at 1200 RPM at 12V, no temp or speed control. It's very quiet - I can barely hear it running if I'm outside by the fridge vent. The Fantastic Fan makes a lot more noise, even on low setting. At 70ma for the fridge fan, I'm not concerned with power draw.

I left enough extra wire to pull the top vent out about 6 inches, which is all I need to access the top switches. More than that, and I have to disconnect the plug first - behind the lower vent. Last time I disconnected the plug and the live power pin contacted the copper propane pipe. This blew the fuse for the circuit the fan is on. Which is another good reason for the fan power switch in the fridge compartment, not inside the camper.

hope this helps
Fred W
2014 Rockwood A122 A-frame
2008 Hyundai Entourage
camping Colorado and adjacent states one weekend at a time
2 pics of Palo Duro (Amarillo, TX), and 2 pics of Black Hills (Custer SP and Wind Cave NP)
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Old 10-03-2016, 11:58 AM   #19
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The 140mm fan i bought came a wired on female connector that normally attaches to the male on the motherboard. And a male connector pigtail. I used the pigtail so the grill can be easily taken off by sliding the connector apart. It is very fine wire so solder it well and use some shrink tubing for strain relief.

I doubt whether 120mm or 140mm would make much of a difference in fridge performance.
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Old 10-10-2016, 08:00 PM   #20
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Well, so far so good - the fridge seems to be working properly now. Here's what I did:
Pulled out the refrigerator and cleaned the flue. It actually was not clogged, but since I'd taken the thing out, it was for "good measure".
When I re-installed it, I lined the upper portion of the compartment with Refletix.
I added a 140mm fan ($4.99 at Fry's Electronics) controlled by a push button switch.
Total cost including insulation, fan, switch, switch bracket, misc. screws about $35.00 and about 8 hours - including shopping for materials and drinking one glass of fine California wine.
Bottom line: 120VAC cooled the unit to 40 in about 16 hrs. Switched to propane and it's holding that temperature as I type. Even better the settings are lower than I've been using.

Thanks to all who contributed, especially Fred W.

Photo notes: Photos don't show the insulation which I completed too close to dinner time to spend taking pictures! Suffice to say it looks similar to what Fred did.
The last shot shows my linked tie-wraps that allow prevent the vent cover from falling and breaking the fan wires.
Finally, although it's not likely to get electrocuted from mounting the fan switch the way I did, it's always important to disconnect the shore power cable before drilling into or pulling the outlet off the wall. (I was able to drill the plate while it was in place, but had to pull it in order to mount the bracket because I couldn't get the nut in place. An alternative to pulling it off would be to mount the switch bracket with a sheet metal screw.)
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