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Old 08-18-2014, 12:42 AM   #1
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Disappointed in fridge performance

So we have been camping for a while now and since last Wednesday or so the Dometic fridge has not really been cool. The freezer has been struggling to keep stuff frozen (and is making ice) but the fridge part is just not getting cold. There are 2 small fans in the fridge compartment.

The RV is level and the thermistor is at the top of the fins. Yes the fridge is full and there are a lot of vegetables in the fridge as well as other 'regular' stuff. The fins are wet and barely cool instead of dry and cold. The ambient temperatures have been 96 - 97 deg.F daily and the fridge (in a slideout) is on the afternoon sun side of the RV where it gets direct sunlight. I am in an RV resort and moving to avoid the sun is not an option (park is full) and I cannot shade the fridge side of the RV.

Does this performance seem 'normal'?

We are watching the food closely for spoilage and nothing has spoiled so far despite the 57 - 60 deg. in the fridge compartment.
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Old 08-18-2014, 05:54 AM   #2
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If your fridge is in a slide out, you should have a fan mounted about half way up the back of the fridge. If it is not running, your draft that cools the fridge will be compromised.

MANY folks add a larger (or multiples) fan to increase the "chimney" airflow and therefore cooling efficiency in hot weather.

You should also try to shade that fridge (if possible without blocking the upper or lower vents).
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Old 08-18-2014, 06:02 AM   #3
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Is your unit a (Darker) color? Frig in slide has issues without (better outside fan help). In regard to inside temp of (57-60) our (State Health Inspector) would make a Store (Throw Away) the food Items!! My guess is you have a (Marginal) performing Refer. in a Very Bad environment situation,(Direct Sun,Color of RV,Poor performing Vent in slide)! We have traveled in the Extreme Heat when stopping the Toilet seat was too Hot to sit on,but the Refer.was Cold & Normal! PS, we didn't set on the Refer! Youroo!!
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Old 08-18-2014, 06:32 AM   #4
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Same issue with the Dometic 2652 in the XLR. It's at the dealer right now, scheduled to be fixed (along with several other items on my warranty "punch list.") I'll let you know what they find. I'm thinking it's either the fan or the heating element. We'll see.
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Old 08-18-2014, 08:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herk7769 View Post
If your fridge is in a slide out, you should have a fan mounted about half way up the back of the fridge. If it is not running, your draft that cools the fridge will be compromised.

MANY folks add a larger (or multiples) fan to increase the "chimney" airflow and therefore cooling efficiency in hot weather.
Thanks Lou. I am sure that the fans are working as I periodically hear the "whining" noise that they make. I will double check though and also have been considering the mod to install bigger fans in there but I suspect that I would may have to remove the fridge to do this. Before doing that however I would see what the dealer has to say about it since it is still under warranty.
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Old 08-18-2014, 09:03 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by youroo View Post
Is your unit a (Darker) color? Frig in slide has issues without (better outside fan help). In regard to inside temp of (57-60) our (State Health Inspector) would make a Store (Throw Away) the food Items!! My guess is you have a (Marginal) performing Refer. in a Very Bad environment situation,(Direct Sun,Color of RV,Poor performing Vent in slide)!
I do have the tan exterior but I seriously doubt that would cause this issue since the fridge fails to cool overnight as well. I do believe that the unit is performing marginally because last night before going to bed we took some stuff out of the fridge and left it on MAX. There were some "freezies" (frozen treats) that were in the freezer and not yet solid. I figured that the DW must have put them in just before since they were still liquid. As I type this it is now 7:00AM or so, no sun, 62 deg. and the fans for the fridge are not on. Moreover, the freezer still has ice in the icce trays but the freezies are still not frozen! Needless to say that the fridge is also not cold, and the fins on the back are wet with condensed water. This needs to go to be looked at by the dealer and I will be sending him a message in a while advising of this "new" problem.

I tell you - the Suburban oven is a POC and Suburban wil be replacing the oven after many months of trying this and that. Now the Dometic fridge seems to be a POC as well. I tell you I never had these issues with the Norcold fridge in my old Jayco. Otherwise the trailer is great.
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Old 08-18-2014, 09:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taranwanderer View Post
Same issue with the Dometic 2652 in the XLR. It's at the dealer right now, scheduled to be fixed (along with several other items on my warranty "punch list.") I'll let you know what they find. I'm thinking it's either the fan or the heating element. We'll see.
Thanks. I am looking forward to your feedback, since I also believe that it is a problem with the burner and / or the fans.
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Old 08-18-2014, 09:08 AM   #8
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Another thing to look for is a deflector at the top of space between the fridge and upper vent. These are needed to stop the build up of heat and to get it to exhaust correctly.
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Old 08-18-2014, 09:10 AM   #9
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Have you tried the fridge on propane?

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Old 08-18-2014, 09:22 AM   #10
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Could be leaking door gasket, check with dollar bill. Keep fruits and veggies in closed drawers for humidity control. Also think you have refrigerant problem. Lack of heat at input or cooling problem at condenser at outlet , need balance of both.


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Old 08-18-2014, 11:03 AM   #11
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At the rally the Dometic tech thought the issue with mine might have been the control board. He said he saw them go bad before. FR just replaced the whole unit, so I don't if that was the actual case, but his comments might help point your dealer at something to look at.
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Old 08-18-2014, 02:23 PM   #12
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Thanks to all for the replies so far.

Keith_h - I will look for the deflector the next time I pull the covers off but this is a new trailer and the fridge worked okay before with no changes made to the back of the fridge so if there was a deflector from the factory it is still there.

Dave - Yes, propane was the first thing I tried when it was not getting cold enough since propane is supposed to be more effiicient than electric. It still did not get cold enough suggesting low refrigerant or a faulty burner (?).

Vince - The door gasket is tight. Veggies are in the bins at the bottom but there was also a few veggies (green beans) on the shelves. These were removed last night but this morning the inside of the cabinet was still very humid as evidenced by the water on the fins.

Right now it is 94 outside and the fridge is now at 50 and 10 (fridge and freezer) but there is no direct sun on the side of the slide where the fridge is ... yet.

Kaadk - thanks for the tip on the control board.

Here are some pictures:

Wet fins


Fridge load


Freezer - notice the frost but yet the some of the freezies were not frozen. The ice was frozen though.
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Old 08-18-2014, 07:32 PM   #13
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Wayne my fridge is basically hit and miss. There are days that it appears it's not up to par but after several hours, she's freezing cold. I check it constantly with a lazer temp gun and it's around 36 in the fridge and around 20 in the freezer. Once we move everything from the cooler to the refrigerator, she's holds temp real good. It just takes a long time to cool down. Still haven't baked any cookies in the oven so the jury is still out on the oven. Had an issue with the burners starting the other day with both LP tanks full. Switched tanks and it lit. For the love. Is there ever a day where we get issue free?


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