We are new to RVing/RVLiving having purchased a 2011 360. The first thing that I found that didn't really work for me was the refrigerator. It is a Dometic 4 door - nice, but I kept noticing condensation and ice on the fins and water on the lower shelves. I spoke to others with RVs and they sort of had the same problem - in one fashion or another. I decided to start investigating on the internet for possible solutions.
I've been an engineer for a long time and thought I had seen it all.......... boy was I wrong. I now understand the technology but cannot, for the life of me, figure out why they designed them the way they are. And the price - we don't even want to go there.
So, being industrious, I started by taking each section of the refrigerator apart (not literally) to determine what drove the designers to use this configuration. Well, it became apparent - there's really no reason. It's just the way it is - built on a design from the beginning of the industry.
Since I have no say in how they are made, at least I can modify my unit to serve me better - no more ice dams on the fins, no more water raining down inside the unit.
NOTE: that little clear plastic piece that sits under the fins (to catch water) isn't always fastened well. That accounted for some of the "rain". Make sure it is securely fastened and the runoff chute is in the drain hole.
It is all about the movement of the air within the refrigerator portion of the unit. There is no way to modify the freezer - other than putting a full size refrigerator in it's place. That is not happening.
I searched and tried different options which turned out to be some rather comical items. A battery operated fan that hangs from one of the shelves. It used 2 D batteries and hummed the entire time it was on. It also made noise if sometime was pushed against it. Like that would happen in a swaying motor home cruising the highways.
Another idea was to put in a computer fan (on a switch - drawing 12V) that was fastened to the shelf (one model actually attached to the fins). Noise was tolerable unless something got into the blade. Again, not a keeper.
At last I found a company www.smartrvproducts.com
that makes a unit that attaches to the top of the refrigerator compartment and has fans in it that blow directly on the fins. The website is a simple and fairly easy to navigate. They say the best solution is usually the dumbest idea, modified.
I went back to the site several times over a couple of weeks - finally I just gave in and ordered it. It came....sat in the box for a week (or two). Finally took it out of the box and read the installation instructions. It sat in the box for another week (my wife says two).
One cool morning I pulled out the carton of eggs and the water on the top dropped onto my warm feet. I made a time to put the fan in. I kept the box and wrapping - fully prepared to send it back.
Took me about 40 minutes to install - used the existing 12v for the interior light. The doors were open the entire time so the refrigerator portion, typically 34 degrees F was closer to 50. I turned it on - very quiet and has a blue light tint. The fins had a couple of ice dams - nothing big but a lot of condensation.
Closed the door and walked away - less than 2 hours later the temp was back to 34 degrees. As everyone with an RV can testify - nothing is slower than a refrigerator to cool in an RV. I checked inside (the thermistor was attached correctly). So, I closed the door again and walked away. A couple of hours later I check it again - the ice was gone and so was the condensation.
Let it run overnight and it's been running ever since - 2 weeks. The refrigerator is now the same temp all over (before there were pockets of cold), the fins are completely clear of ice/condensation.
The blue light - LEDs - take a little getting used to. The units come with or without lights.
No, I don't have any affiliation with company - other than to find a solution to a problem. It's just a good product that I figured someone else might light to hear about.
I'm happy and the refrigerator is cool - LIFE IS GOOD!