Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-31-2024, 03:58 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2024
Location: SE Michigan
Posts: 8
Furrion 12V Fridge - How cold should it get

Our new camper, 2024 Salem View, which we picked up back in October has a 12V Compressor Furrion Arctic refrigerator in it. When we took it out for a weekend test run, the fridge refused to cool below about 40 degrees. It also got extremely wet and there was about a 1/2 inch of the frost on the rear wall.

We took it back to our dealer and said it didn't cool properly. They ran the official Lippert test and said it worked fine, no problem found, and charged us for the evaluation since it didn't fail the test.

We took the camper out in December and headed south to Florida. The fridge immediately frosted up and it hovered between 45 and 40 degrees, with section of the door where the milk needed to be even warmer. The weather was cold enough that we had to run the furnace almost every night on the trip down so ambient temperature shouldn't have been an issue.

We were using one of those standard mechanical refrigerator thermometers and decided it could be the culprit - so I got one of the ThermoWorks accurate to within 1 degree remote thermometers and ran the little wires through the seals, this verified that the temperature was between 45 to 40 degrees.

I then bought 3 of those battery operated fans and placed them in various places to see if that would help.

After having to throw out most of the dairy and other products that spoiled, I ran several experiments, defrosting the fridge, drying it out, and so forth. I found that if I set the temperature to the coldest setting, the fridge never even got to 40 degrees - it frosted up in a couple of hours.

So I found some 1/16" foam weather stripping and put it around the door opening. The fridge still had frost on the back wall but it was now able to maintain a comfortable 32 to 36 degrees inside. The only problem was that the weather stripping didn't stick all that well to the door frame and I had to constantly fix it.

The camper is back at the dealer with the complaint that the refrigerator seals are bad but ... they only want to run the Lippert cool down test which really only tests the fridge down to 40 degrees and I know it passed that test back in October.

In looking at the manual, it recommends 40 degrees with a low of about 36 degrees. It does say in the specifications that it is rated to go down to 32 degrees. In my opinion, this isn't working as well as the old propane fridges.

For the record, the freezer drops to about -18 degrees, which is far colder than the -4 in the specifications.

So am I wrong to expect the fridge to stay below 40 degrees? Would a Norcold or Dometic do better? I have had bad luck trying to get other Lippert products to work reliably and this feels like it is going to be a similar issue.

Thanks for allowing me to whine.
tbray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2024, 05:21 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2023
Posts: 444
Sorry you're having trouble. We have a 2024 Surveyor with the Furrion 10cuft. 12v fridge and has none of the issues you describe. With the settings indicator about midway, the fridge door is about 38F and the freezer door is about 15F.

Just a thought, try it more in a midway position. Your unit may be freezing up and that could be causing your problems. I know some auto air conditioners do exactly that, when left on the max setting too long.
__________________
2024 Surveyor 252RBLE
2023 F150 Powerboost 7.2KW 4x4 1658PL with a WeighSafe WDH
DJ252 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2024, 11:57 PM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2024
Location: SE Michigan
Posts: 8
I am glad to hear that your fridge is working fine. I seem to be someone who will often get the outlier and have problems. Yes, I have worked in quality control and consistently found a lot of problems during testing.

The manual says to put the temperature control at Max for a few hours and then set it to half way between Mid and Max to reach the recommended temperature.

If I do that, it doesn't get cold, it just freezes up. A few hours at Max the fridge will have a layer of frost on the back wall and the top will be raining water. That's an awful lot of frost and water in just a few hours with the door closed the whole time.
tbray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2024, 06:25 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2023
Posts: 444
I would still try it without going to max first.

I would also use a piece of paper to test the seals.

Dollar bill sized.

Close the door on the paper, there should be some resistance to removing the paper. Move on to the next spot.

As new as your unit is, the seals should be quite pliable but perhaps your doors, or the box itself, was sprung somehow?
__________________
2024 Surveyor 252RBLE
2023 F150 Powerboost 7.2KW 4x4 1658PL with a WeighSafe WDH
DJ252 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2024, 06:36 AM   #5
Retired Army MSG!
 
lazyjj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Sharon, SC
Posts: 598
Quote:
Originally Posted by tbray View Post
I am glad to hear that your fridge is working fine. I seem to be someone who will often get the outlier and have problems. Yes, I have worked in quality control and consistently found a lot of problems during testing.

The manual says to put the temperature control at Max for a few hours and then set it to half way between Mid and Max to reach the recommended temperature.

If I do that, it doesn't get cold, it just freezes up. A few hours at Max the fridge will have a layer of frost on the back wall and the top will be raining water. That's an awful lot of frost and water in just a few hours with the door closed the whole time.
I have a different brand 12V compressor fridge, but all of those that I have seen has a fan behind a panel at the back top portion of the freezer. You should be able to access this fan from the inside of the freezer compartment. I have seen a couple different models freeze up and not cool well as you described due to this fan not running properly as it should. The fan actually circulates air from the freezer into the lower fridge compartment. Our fridge also has a damper control in the back of the freezer compartment that controls the amount of airflow from the freezer compartment into the fridge below. It is just a small knob that turns left and right. I would not have given the dealer one red cent for a unit that is new for any testing they may have done seeing your rig is practically new and should still be under warranty. Hope you get this solved soon.
lazyjj is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2024, 06:39 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2023
Location: Maine
Posts: 472
My experience with air conditioning and refrigeration. Which is extensive. Tells me if the evaporator is icing that quickly it could be one of 3 things

1. The refrigerant charge in the unit is low and the evaporator is not reaching saturation point. Not likely and it’s probably a sealed system so it can’t be checked anyway

2. The evaporator fan is not working to move air across the evaporator.

3. The door gaskets are so poorly sealing that the fridge can’t eliminate the moisture

There is a fourth I guess. IF, your unit has a defrost cycle. Many 12 volt units don’t. It may not be working. Some variable speed inverter type compressor units do but I don’t know if that’s the case with Lippert.

I would start with a low setting and work you way up rather than the other way around
MGD1961 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2024, 07:18 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
Location: Simi Valley CA
Posts: 553
I never put mine on the coldest setting it on #2. Gets cold enough to freeze items. I put a row of water bottles against the back wall to protect the other items in there from freezing. Works for me
__________________
2022 Rockwood Ultra Lite 2608BS
2014 Dodge Ram 6.7
MrPukaShell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2024, 10:11 AM   #8
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2024
Location: SE Michigan
Posts: 8
I stopped by the dealer this morning where the camper is being serviced.

The latest news is that when they turned on the refrigerator, all that came on was the light. Apparently there is something seriously wrong with the cooling system that can't be fixed. So much for worrying about the door seals.

So they have sent the paperwork into Lippert to have it replaced. I just hope that the new fridge arrives before we need to take it camping in 3 weeks. I have a feeling I am getting a new cooler for the food.

For the record, I don't recall ever detecting that there was a fan inside the refrigerator, even though there is a charcoal filter that needs replacing. I thought there should be one. There is nothing mentioned in the troubleshooting guide in the manual either.

Thanks everyone for your suggestions.
tbray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2024, 07:00 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: 8300 Feet - Rocky Mountains
Posts: 2,496
I can't add much, but the discrepancy between the freezer and the fridge hints at the possibility that a transfer air duct between the freezer and fridge cabinets may be blocked.

This is a broad generalization, but compressor fridges generally have a single heat exchanger (evaporator), and it's usually in the freezer. The heat exchanger serves one cabinet or the other (fridge or freezer) and then a duct with a small fan will move air from the chilled cabinet space to the "dumb" cabinet space.

The fact that the freezer is SUPER cold hints that this is the problem. Refrigeration is good, but air exchange is not.


See about 2:00 minutes into video for this air exchange.

Adding to a problem of blocked exchange between the freezer and fridge compartments...
In RV fridges, it MAY be possible to turn off the heater to reduce condensate (self defrost) inside the fridge and drain it away. Similarly, door heaters may be switchable.
Why? If you are boondocking on battery, these heaters will eat your battery alive.
Your experience with frost suggests that you may need to turn on the "self defrost" and "door heat"...see your fridge manual.

If you suspect a blocked air exchange between cabinets, you need a flashlight and a hand mirror to inspect the "duct" between the cabinets. If there's an obstruction, get the RV dealer to fix it.
As for the fridge controls (self-defrost and door heat), if you can't decipher the instruction manual, have the dealer demo these for you...which should have been part of your original walk-through on delivery day.

P.S. There may even be "slide shutters" or similar to adjust/limit the air flow between the freezer and fridge. Fixing an air flow problem may be as simple as sliding a plastic shutter farther open to allow more freezer air into the fridge cabinet.

Those are my hunches. Hopefully they are helpful.
__________________
Jim & Renee
2020 Jayco Jay Feather X-213
previously 2014 Forest River/Rockwood HW 277
2006 Ram 1500 4WD Crew with Firestone Airbags
Every weekend boondocking in the National Forests or at Lake Vallecito.
jimmoore13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2024, 10:02 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2023
Location: Exact Center of CA
Posts: 205
Don't forget to ask for your service charge back! DR
dangerranger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2024, 12:41 AM   #11
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2024
Location: SE Michigan
Posts: 8
I hadn't counted on the whole thing just dying. My normal luck is that it would continue to limp along and I would be frustrated with it. Our dealer is working on getting the replacement before we leave on our camping trip at the end of the month.

The downside is that now I will never know what was really wrong with it, the engineer in me wants to know the "root cause".

For the record, I have looked for a fan in the fridge and never found it. I would have thought that there was one integrated into the controls and the light because there is a charcoal filter that needs to be replaced regularly. Maybe it turned off as soon as the door was opened.
tbray is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
12v, fridge, furrion

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:09 PM.