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Old 09-24-2012, 12:34 PM   #1
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Refrigerator

Had very good luck with the pop-up on our maiden voyage. My only issue was with the refrigerator not getting very cold. It never got cooler than 40. I've had Dometics in the past with nothing but excellent results. This box is quite small and I'm wondering if I had too much "stuff" in it. I was more "testing" than anything else. I many soda cans along with food and I'd say it was about 90% full. I would not normally put that much in it. Just testing the boundaries. It made me wonder if there is a science to loading it or any other tricks. The unit was perfectly level and turned up to HIGH #7.
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Old 09-24-2012, 04:01 PM   #2
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We were camping this weekend and with the cold front pushing thru on Sat night, woke up to a balmy 49*. Needed to use the furnace!

Anyway, with respect to the fridge, we typically have it set at 5, which after about 10 hrs gets us to 38-40* on our thermometer. Ours is typically half to 3/4 full with some milk, OJ, chocolate (for smores) and ketchup/ mustard / meats.

I plug in the day before and put the fridge on 120V... hookup and switch to 12V for the trip to the CG, and then back to the 120V when we are on shore power. Everything gets loaded from an ICE packed cooler. Kids drinks/iced tea/water stay in the cooler for the weekend (kids would leave the fridge open). I typically place one or two frozen water bottles into the fridge at this time since I am opening it and letting the cold out, figure that may help get it colder quicker,... who knows.
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Old 09-24-2012, 04:25 PM   #3
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If what you put in it was room temp, I would expect it to take at least a day (or more) to cool those drinks down and get the temp in the fridge down. I would pre-refrigerate any soda cans/drinks if possible before putting into the fridge, esp if you are starting with a warm (not pre-cooled) fridge.

Even if we have the fridge nice and cold, with cold food inside, we don't put more than 2-3 room temp soda/waters in at a time. It will warm your cold food right up if you put a bunch of room temp stuff in there. The recovery time on these RV fridges just takes a while.

When we had the smaller popup fridge, we would cool it down 48 hrs before our trip was due to start, or if I got lazy I would turn on the fridge just before hitting the road and put several ice-filled double-freezer-bags (gallon size) in the fridge (one in freezer, two or three in the fridge compartment) to act as a cold-sink. This would cool it down quickly, and keep whatever I needed to put in there cold while the fridge cycled through. Doubling the freezer zippy bags kept it from leaking melt-water into the fridge. With the ice in there, the fridge acts like a cooler and kept everything cold while it was cycling through and getting down to operating temp.
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Old 09-25-2012, 12:08 AM   #4
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Thanks for your replies. Fridge was on a/c for a couple of days before the trip. All food was pre-cooled and even put some frozen chicken in the day of the trip. I could not switch to 12V for the drive because my TV does not have a charging line to the trailer battery but it will for next trip. I agree that the refrigerator is not the place for cold drinks because that is the most frequent need to open the door. Lessons learned. Thanks again for your input.
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Old 09-25-2012, 07:49 AM   #5
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Is the fridge a three-way? I found with our previous trailer (PUP) it worked best on propane, and there needs to be space around the cooling fins for air to circulate.
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:46 AM   #6
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PapaJim, given that you did pre-cool the fridge and your food was already cold when you put it in, that should only help it stay cold. The only other thing I can think of would be if just had it packed so tightly that air circulation was limited.

I'd take it out next time and try it again, being careful not to pack items right around the fins. If it still doesn't cool to your satisfaction, then I'd see about a warranty repair.
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Old 09-25-2012, 10:19 AM   #7
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When we had the old Trailmanor, a popup on steriods, the little refer never cooled great. The big problem is that the refer is very sensitive to air flow in its chimney. Some people install small fans to move more air through the chimney which will help.

It does take a day or so for the system to start working well. Also some people do run them on propane while driving but that depends on your manufacturer's recommendations.
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Old 09-26-2012, 02:34 PM   #8
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Thanks for all your good tips about the refer. I'm sure I had it packed too tight with soda cans, which was actually part of my test. I usually put drinks in an outside ice chest.

Good stuff!
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Old 09-26-2012, 04:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arlee453 View Post

When we had the smaller popup fridge, we would cool it down 48 hrs before our trip was due to start, or if I got lazy I would turn on the fridge just before hitting the road and put several ice-filled double-freezer-bags (gallon size) in the fridge (one in freezer, two or three in the fridge compartment) to act as a cold-sink. This would cool it down quickly, and keep whatever I needed to put in there cold while the fridge cycled through. Doubling the freezer zippy bags kept it from leaking melt-water into the fridge. With the ice in there, the fridge acts like a cooler and kept everything cold while it was cycling through and getting down to operating temp.
Zip lock bags full of ice, as opposed to putting a store-bag ice is KEY. We used just the store bag once, and the ice melted (in the warm freezer) and dribbled water all over the floor. So when we got to our destination, we had a bit of a cleanup to do.
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:13 AM   #10
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A couple of freezer packs in the fridge for pre cool works great. We normally start fridge the day before in the evening and let it cool overnight then load in the morning. Setting 5-6 works fine for 35-40 in the fridge. When it is extremely hot out ( it does get hot in Idaho in the summer), we may start two days ahead of time. We have had to replace the Dometic fridge in our first pup as it only cooled part of the coils inside. So watch for that.

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