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Old 07-29-2016, 09:03 PM   #41
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It happens that I did the 120mm size fan.

I installed it similar to the posted method, and only as a "just in case" mod.

It also happens that I tested it with the very high 90s temps recently, and even though I did not record scientific data, the results were very good and a significant improvement was made. It's worth it!
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Old 07-29-2016, 09:14 PM   #42
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Excellent Glad it worked out. It would be nice if these types of mods would be standard in our fridges, but I guess that would give us all nothing to do then . Enjoy.
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Old 08-08-2016, 07:24 PM   #43
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Ok before I start I have hated refrigerators since I owned sailboats. They are grossly overpriced and generally poorly made junk.
Now I have that out of my system I have only one word for anyone who want a real refrigerator.
ENGEL.
Mine is the size of a good size ice chest and they come much larger. Mine has been running pretty much full time for ten years. It only has one moving part. The system is called a Sterling Engine. It will run on 12v or 110v and if you have it plugged into both if the 110v goes out it will automatically switch to 12v. It's not just a fridge but will freeze a gallon jug of water hard as a brick over night all the while only using 3.2amps.
When I had it on my boat with the doors closed the interior of the boat would be well over 90* and my beer would be about 32*. How much happier could I be.
I love my camper and my ENGEL makes it that much better.


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Old 08-09-2016, 10:26 AM   #44
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Hello Cantxsailor -


Glad you have found a product you like. Not sure I want to add another item to haul around with me on my camping trips so I'm glad some of the folks in this forum were able to help me get my fridge operating at a high level.

If you are experiencing similar cooling issues with the fridge that came with your aframe, read through this thread. You'll find that there is a pretty quick modification that can be made to your fridge to make it work well in extreme high temps. The fridge will get as cold as you want it to.....freezing if you desire! This is the single best modification I've made to date for my aframe.


One other advantage to this mod over obtaining a secondary cooling product like the ENGEL is that you'd also be able to take advantage of using the propane option on your camper fridge as well if you make this mod.


Best regards,


Terry
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Old 08-09-2016, 03:13 PM   #45
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cantxsailor,

I really don't agree that RV fridges are poorly made or junk. There are fridges and there are fridge installations. Folding campers installations are typically substandard due to the inability to vent the fridge upward. That is not the fault of the fridge.

It is also easily overcome with a small piece of reflectix for a baffle and one or two off the shelf computer fans. A single 140MM computer fan draws substantially less 12V power than a stirling engine (0.5 to 2.87 amps) and I would guess it is quieter. While the fridge found in low side campers doesn't draw any power when operating on propane.

It's good you've found something that works for you and these may be a alternative for those with good solar systems, but please don't overplay the drawbacks of less expensive standard RV fridges.
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Old 08-11-2016, 10:22 AM   #46
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Big Red and Pooneil

Thanks for the details on the fridge exhaust fan installation. We decided to use our A-frame in lieu of a hotel in returning my daughter to Baylor next week. With Waco temps, I figured I needed to install the fan to make sure the fridge would keep food safely.

I had some 120mm sleeve bearing fans from my computer building days, but found a 120mm Insignia ball bearing fan at Best Buy for $10. The Insignia draws 70ma with a rated flow of 40cfm at 1200 RPM. Current was half what my sleeve bearing fans drew.

I never would have thought of mounting using tie wraps to the grill without you guys, so thanks. The tie wraps work great. I found a 4 pin to 2 pin fan cable in my box of computer parts, and used that to run the fan at full 1200 RPM.

I put an automotive LED lighted switch in near the CO detector. This meant only one wire to the fridge compartment; I tapped the 12V negative at the fridge, installing a new wire nut with the 3rd wire. I put the fan on the miscellaneous 15A circuit, since I had a bus bar for power distribution on that circuit from when I installed the PD converter. A negative connection to the switch for the LED from the common bus bar completed the install.

Started the fridge last night on AC at 8PM. Ambient garage and fridge temp was 82. At 3AM (7 hrs later), the fridge was at 29, garage was at 74. Dialed back the fridge to 4 and left for work. I think this is a great mod. My only concern is that performance without the fan may be reduced by the stationary fan partially blocking air flow. I did move the fan as close to center as I could, while still having it over the open grill slots. And the fan only exhausts into the bottom 2 slots of the upper vent, the top slot is free and clear.

The blue LED on the switch is way too bright - brighter than the night light. I will be installing a resistor in the negative leg of the switch LED circuit. I will start with 1K and go up from there until I get the brightness reduced.

Again, thanks for leading the way.

Fred W
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Old 08-11-2016, 05:26 PM   #47
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Hey Fred,


Thanks for the recognition but I only followed the direction and advice from others on this mod. Credit goes to Tom and Bensinc who were very helpful in responding back with information and pics and also to you as well with the reflectix baffle information.


It does go to show that if I could complete the mod, anyone can!


Terry
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Old 08-11-2016, 07:53 PM   #48
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Home tonight at 6pm. Garage was stifling and 89. Fridge is holding 36 with knob at 4 all day. I think we'll do OK in Waco.

Now to dim the LED in the switch.

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Old 08-12-2016, 04:46 PM   #49
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Completed the install of the fan. Temp was holding between 30 and 33 with the AC dial set on 4, fan on.

Have turned the fan off to see how it goes. Heat is coming out of top slot instead of bottom 2 slots of top grill, which is what I wanted with the fan off.

Put a 100K resistor in series with the LED to get brightness down to a tolerable level. 1K and 10K didn't do much. Resistor is in the 3rd wire negative connection, which powers the LED only. The 2 positive wires are input and output from the switch.

A great mod, thanks for the ideas and how-tos.

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Old 08-14-2016, 04:55 PM   #50
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Question for all of you that already done the fan mod: Do you leave the fan on while towing? Or is there enough air flow from forward speed? Or since DC runs the full 160 watts continuously, is that enough cooling combined with the vehicle movement?
Leaving for Waco, TX tomorrow. Fridge is packed and already down to 39 degrees. Backed off AC cooling to #4 (fan on) to hold it in the 30s till departure in the morning.

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Old 08-14-2016, 05:19 PM   #51
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hey Fred,


I have only gone on one short camping trip since I made the mod. I just drove to the camp site using DC and left the fan off until we arrived. I'd think that the air movement driving 60 mph would provide pretty good air flow over the coils.


I'd start off without the fan running and set the fridge at level four running on DC. If the fridge starts to struggle, kick it up to level seven and see if that works.


I'll be interested to hear about your results on a long trip to see if you needed the fan while on the road and if you did use it, what impact it had.


Terry
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Old 08-14-2016, 05:20 PM   #52
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Just caught something in your post.......am I understanding that DC runs the fridge at max....level 7 all the time?
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Old 08-15-2016, 04:14 AM   #53
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My understanding of reading the Dometic manuals and previous ownership of a pop-up is that the DC coil has no adjustment. The 4223 installation manual states the DC coil is 160 watts, like the AC coil. This means current draw on DC is a nominal 13.25 amps, but cooling should be just as good as AC on full.

AC is easy and cheap to regulate with an SCR device (same as a household light dimmer) so most fridges have a knob to regulate AC. DC is not so easy to regulate.

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Old 08-15-2016, 03:24 PM   #54
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All ready made fans for yor fridge

Also there is fans already made for the fins on the inside and for the back of the fridge check the photos out. Go to RV Cooling Unit Warehouse.com or you can find them on Ebay.
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Old 08-15-2016, 03:41 PM   #55
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Thx for this.....d -mo
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Old 08-21-2016, 09:17 AM   #56
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Did some testing - but not enough - on our trip from Colorado Springs to Waco and Palo Duro State Park in Texas.

Departure day was cool (60s and 70s) until we got to Amarillo. Fridge was holding at 29 - 34 degrees on 12V, no fan. Fridge temp would climb during stops - I was turning it off to avoid freezing contents. The theory that the air flow at highway speeds will provide sufficient cooling is correct.

From Amarillo to Waco, temps were in the 90s. Again, while moving the fridge would hold 29-34 degrees, no fan. At one stop, turned fridge off and temp shot quickly up to 40. Started turning on fan during stops, and temps held steady at 36 or less.

In Waco at campground for 5 days, ran fridge on AC with fan on. Had to set dial at 3 to prevent freezing.

Departed Waco for Palo Duro Canyon State Park, temps in 90s. Ran fan during stops. Fridge held 33-36 entire time. Had a 1 hour check-in plus another half hour setting up. Propane/CO/low voltage alarm went off shortly after plugging in shore power (before I moved fridge to AC). Reset it twice, the third alarm reset itself. No more alarms after that.

From Palo Duro to Colorado Springs, tried to run fridge on propane. Flame blew out after a couple of hours. Measured voltages at home with TV attached - noted car voltage starts out at 14, quickly drops to 13.2. But RV has 13.2 at the battery even with fridge running on DC and running lights on.

Conclusions:

- fan mod is critical to decent fridge performance. Without it, there just isn't enough air flow across the cooling coils when the camper is sitting there.

- While on the road, fan is not needed. But fan should be turned on during stops.

- Fan dramatically increases fridge efficiency. Both propane and AC can be dialed back to half power or less.

- Have to do more testing to be sure, but my TV will not do anything more than trickle charge camper batteries. During stops, the fridge will deplete batteries fairly quickly if left on DC (13.3A), and this charge will not be replaced while driving.

- I need to put a fan switch in the fridge compartment. The one inside the camper is pretty useless. I will be using the fan just about all the time when camping.

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Old 08-21-2016, 08:04 PM   #57
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Question for all of you that already done the fan mod: Do you leave the fan on while towing?
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2008 Hyundai Entourage
Nice trip report.


While it is probably not needed when driving, I run my fan because it's already on from chilling the fridge while at home. It draws so little power it doesn't matter.
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Old 04-04-2017, 11:33 AM   #58
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Question to all... Is it possible to wire the fans up to a thermometer in the fridge so that the fans will automatically kick on if the internal temperature rises above say 40 degrees? It seems this would provide a worry free method of engagine the fans but I'm not a wiring guru either.
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Old 04-04-2017, 11:57 AM   #59
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Question to all... Is it possible to wire the fans up to a thermometer in the fridge so that the fans will automatically kick on if the internal temperature rises above say 40 degrees? It seems this would provide a worry free method of engagine the fans but I'm not a wiring guru either.
You could.

You'd simply need an adjustable 12v thermostat/switch like *THIS* one to wire to the fan. the probe would need to be fished into the refrigerator compartment. (probably through the drain tube or interior light wire routing)

My worry free method is if the refrigerator is on, the fans are on.
Quality bearing fans are quiet. You'll never hear 'em.

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Old 04-04-2017, 12:01 PM   #60
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You could.

You'd simply need an adjustable 12v thermostat/switch like *THIS* one to wire to the fan. the probe would need to be fished into the refrigerator compartment. (probably through the drain tube or interior light wire routing)

My worry free method is if the refrigerator is on, the fans are on.
Quality bearing fans are quiet. You'll never hear 'em.

Holy wow! Ask and you shall recieve!!! I swear some of the electrical stuff out there is like black magic. I appreciate the info for sure. I also really like your point as well being as it falls more in line with the K.I.S.S. principle.
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