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Old 08-25-2012, 03:24 AM   #1
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A little "mod" to help the refrigerator...

Sometime back, I realized I needed to do something to help my poor little refrigerator out. Seems it just couldn't keep up with the blazing heat in the desert... especially when, as it invariably happened, I was assigned a space where the sun shone it's brightest, on the side of my RV, the refrigerator was on.

The heat radiated through the exterior wall and the refer could barely keep it's cool... most times, it didn't, it merely kept the contents "cooler".

One afternoon, as I sipped on a lukewarm root beer, I managed to have a flash of brilliance... or at least a hazy idea formed in my head.

If, somehow, I could reflect the sun's intense rays, it might, just might, make the poor refrigerator's job a bit easier. And, I could enjoy a frosty cold drink, on a hot afternoon.

What I did is take one of those reflective, folding dashboard shields and add 4 big suction cups to it. Then I cut out an opening, matching the refrigerator's exterior vent and stuck the contraption on the outside wall, right over the refer.

Lo and behold, it worked... it stopped most of the radiant heat from making it through and the refrig now hums happily away, providing me with one ice cold beverage after another.

Now, if this is a common fix, please don't tell me and ruin my self declared brilliance.. allow me to bask in my admittedly minor triumph over the sun.

If, in fact, I have come up with a novel idea, I hope this may be of some help to others suffering through hot summers, drinking tepid beverages of their choice.
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Old 08-25-2012, 05:05 AM   #2
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I'm not here to bust your bubble, or little light bulb over your head. That was a fantastic idea i can't believe something that simple solved your problem. Enjoy your ice cold drinks
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Old 08-25-2012, 05:55 AM   #3
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Great idea, now add a small fan in the bottom to push air up past the coils and you will be able to turn the refer down a notch or two. I think I will be building a cover for mine too. Often in the incredible hot sun of the Sacramento Valley.
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Old 08-25-2012, 06:12 AM   #4
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Cool idea!
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Old 08-25-2012, 06:51 AM   #5
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Great idea! Alot of us install fans in the fridge chiminy. Lots of threads in here about getting the fridge cooler.
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Old 08-26-2012, 02:48 AM   #6
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Thanks guys, was hopin' this wasn't one of those "Duh, we've all been doin' that for years..." kinda thing. I too was surprised by the difference it made.

I've been considering adding the fan, but I want to power it off the power source for the refrigerator. Right now, there's a single outlet, into which the refrigerator plugs. I'd like to replace the outlet with a standard, two outlet version, so I can run the fan off that source.

Can that be done without putting too much draw on the refrigerator curcuit... or would it be better to use a battery powered or 12 volt fan, tied into the coaches 12 volt system?

Thanks for any advise or tips...
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Old 08-26-2012, 06:41 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unca waldo View Post
Can that be done without putting too much draw on the refrigerator curcuit... or would it be better to use a battery powered or 12 volt fan, tied into the coaches 12 volt system?

Thanks for any advise or tips...
I used a 12v computer slot fan and mounted it to the top of the lower vent opening and had it pointing upward. I wired it into the fridge's 12v power supply and used an ATC fuse inline. It worked great and the fridge always stayed between 34 and 36 degrees!

Here's a pic of what I used and they can be gotten for cheap on ebay. Just search for a computer slot fan..

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Old 08-27-2012, 12:26 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by unca waldo View Post
Sometime back, I realized I needed to do something to help my poor little refrigerator out. Seems it just couldn't keep up with the blazing heat in the desert... especially when, as it invariably happened, I was assigned a space where the sun shone it's brightest, on the side of my RV, the refrigerator was on.

The heat radiated through the exterior wall and the refer could barely keep it's cool... most times, it didn't, it merely kept the contents "cooler".

One afternoon, as I sipped on a lukewarm root beer, I managed to have a flash of brilliance... or at least a hazy idea formed in my head.

If, somehow, I could reflect the sun's intense rays, it might, just might, make the poor refrigerator's job a bit easier. And, I could enjoy a frosty cold drink, on a hot afternoon.

What I did is take one of those reflective, folding dashboard shields and add 4 big suction cups to it. Then I cut out an opening, matching the refrigerator's exterior vent and stuck the contraption on the outside wall, right over the refer.

Lo and behold, it worked... it stopped most of the radiant heat from making it through and the refrig now hums happily away, providing me with one ice cold beverage after another.

Now, if this is a common fix, please don't tell me and ruin my self declared brilliance.. allow me to bask in my admittedly minor triumph over the sun.

If, in fact, I have come up with a novel idea, I hope this may be of some help to others suffering through hot summers, drinking tepid beverages of their choice.
Wow, that is a great idea. It has 3 qualities I love 1) it is cheap 2) it is easy and 3) IT WORKS!!!.
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Old 08-27-2012, 12:35 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by YC1 View Post
Great idea, now add a small fan in the bottom to push air up past the coils and you will be able to turn the refer down a notch or two. I think I will be building a cover for mine too. Often in the incredible hot sun of the Sacramento Valley.
Fan should go in the TOP of the vent to pull the air through not at the bottom pushing. This is not my statement, the fan makers themselves say it's more efficient that way.
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Old 08-27-2012, 07:32 PM   #10
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My Dometic fridge is having trouble maintaining temps in the low 40's inside the fridge so I decided to install a high flow computer case fan. I installed it in the lower vent opening and it really hasn't made much of a difference. Today I decided to get out the ladder and move it to the top vent opening.

When I removed the upper vent panel I felt very hot air inside the case and was suprised to see that wood paneling came all the way up the back of the fridge. I'm not sure if it's there as a weather barrier or if it should have been removed. It sure looks like it cut's down the air flow.

Here is how it looked before installing the fan:



Here it is with the fan in place and running. The fan is moving a lot of hot air out of the vent so hopefully I can get the fridge temps into the mid to upper 30's. Guess I'll know by tomorrow if it works.

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Old 08-28-2012, 05:19 PM   #11
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What a great idea. This summer our fridge will be on the sunny side of the RV in our snow-bird CG. I was wondering about the heat on sunny days making the fridge work harder. I wish you could post a picture of that you did exactly.
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:35 PM   #12
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What a great idea. This summer our fridge will be on the sunny side of the RV in our snow-bird CG. I was wondering about the heat on sunny days making the fridge work harder. I wish you could post a picture of that you did exactly.

Well, it seems as though the one I made, Oh those many years ago, has grown a set of legs and skedaddled... either that, or I left it laying on the ground somewhere. Oh well... I'll make another before next year's season .

I conjured up this little diagram, depicting how I put the original one together. I used large suction cups on the corners, in order to stick it to the wall of my rig. They actually held pretty well, as long as the surface of the wall was clean.

They also held it off the surface of the wall, allowing some air space, so it didn't transfer any accumulated heat to transfer through. I don't know if it made any difference, but that's my theory and I'm stickin' with it.

I'm sure others might find a method of securing it to their rig that suits their needs better...

Anyway, here ya go... hope it works well for you guys.

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Old 08-31-2012, 11:56 PM   #13
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"Cool" idea.

Forgive the pun.

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Old 09-01-2012, 03:28 PM   #14
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Brilliant...
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