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Old 09-12-2016, 08:49 PM   #1
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Some Reasons RV Refrigerators may not cool right

After we bought our '88 Itasca I read where the installation of baffles to guide the air over the coils was good so I did that. What I didn't do was read the installation instructions at the time.
Now the old unit is gone and we bought a new Norcold N611V. The old enclosure needed some repair so I got to reading the installation instructions for the new unit and investigating what needed to be done. This got me to thinking about the old unit so I grabbed the old instructions and read then while measuring the enclosure. The old unit was not installed properly from the factory as there was was too much room around the coils on the back of the fridge. I wonder how many other rigs have there fridges improperly installed?
I have one more baffle to make tomorrow for the rear to take up and excess 4" there. I already closed up the side clearance by installing foam board there and made a baffle to take up about 3 1/2" over the fridge.
I ordered an ARP with 2 fans this evening and will install it to hopefully prolong the life of the fridge and increase the safety factor.
It might be worthwhile to inspect your unit for a properly installed fridge.

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Old 09-12-2016, 08:55 PM   #2
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Good advice. I agree that most absorption refrigerators are installed incorrectly. The RV mfgr. often does what is convenient.

2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom USQ40JD, ISC 8.3 Cummins 350, Spartan MM Chassis. USA 1SG, retired;PPA,Good Sam Life member."We the people are the rightful masters of both the Congress and the Courts - not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow men who pervert theConstitution. "Abraham Lincoln"
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Old 09-12-2016, 08:56 PM   #3
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Seems to be a common problem. Refers installed in slides with both lower and upper vents in the wall seem to suffer the most.
2008 Bounder 38P F53 24/30K V10, 2013 Kia Soul Basic 6 speed manual, Ready Brake Elite tow system (previous equipment 1996 Pace Arrow Vision w/Acme Dolly)
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Old 09-12-2016, 09:58 PM   #4
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Dometic and Norcold have specific installation instructions that give dimensions for enclosure opening and clearances required. Also if fans or baffles are needed.

RF MFG.s FAIL miserably in following those simple installation instructions either because they just ignore them, not know about them or fail to insure they are followed.

Then when an RV Fridge fails to properly cool blame is immediately placed on fridge

And dealers don't have a clue ---they jury rig something to try and make owner happy
When all they need to do is download the Brand/Model specific installation instructions and make the necessary corrections

Baffles top/bottom if clearances are too wide so air flow (draft) can be properly directed.
Fan(s) as needed to increase draft
Dead Air Spaces closed off

RV Absorption Fridges have been in commercial use since 1920s quite effectively
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Old 09-15-2016, 04:54 AM   #5
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Mine a 1982 Dometic 100, if I don't have the MH level it don't work very well. I get the MH level and it works like a charm, but only has worked on propane.
1982 Pace Arrow 30ft.
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Old 09-17-2016, 01:27 PM   #6
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Just finished up the ARP install along with the baffles and insulation to make the enclosure comply with the mounting instructions for the new fridge.
Make several changes to my plan along the way that took me extra time.

Also I had removed the aftermarket fans from inside the old fridge and mounted them in the new fridge. I did not use power from the inside light as it is powered off a control boards between the 2 compartments and wires are extremely small. I did not want to drill holes in the new fridge to run power to the fans so I ran a wire down the condensation drain to the outside access hatch, where I hooked it in to the fan circuits from the ARP. Not the best but I did put a 2 amp fuse in line so should not have any problems. Just have to monitor the setup to see how it works.
I had replaced the floor of the enclosure and added another floor below it for a compartment to store stuff in. Wife says it is for shoes! LOL. Need to finish that up and am going to do a couple of other things.
I need to stop thinking about what I can do or add to the motorhome and take it on the road again.
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Old 09-24-2016, 05:19 PM   #7
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Rockwood definitely got it right with mine back in 91. Had zero problems with the fridge since I moved in over a year ago. Wish I could say the same about the generator.

1991 Rockwood A1270
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