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Old 08-30-2018, 01:00 PM   #1
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Question Running fridge in sub-zero (Fahrenheit) temps

What should I do to protect my fridge when winter camping?

I will be wintering in NH, where temperatures frequently fall below -10°F. I've been told that the coolant could freeze, damaging the unit. How do I protect against this?

I live full-time in a 2017 Grand Design, Momentum Fifth-Wheel with a 4-door Norcold PolarMax™ (Model 2118) Fridge/freezer. It is capable of running on propane but I expect to be on electric unless the campground has a power outage.

I'm sure that someone has discussed this problem before in iRV2 but I couldn't find any relevant threads. Thanks for any help or pointers!
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Old 08-30-2018, 01:45 PM   #2
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It might have a cold weather kit already installed on it. My 2014 ORV did.

I spent a handful of -10F nights in my trailer. The fridge was the least of my concerns.
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Old 08-30-2018, 09:58 PM   #3
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Some place a trouble-light behind the frig, and/or block off the bottom vent opening.
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Old 09-01-2018, 10:27 PM   #4
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Cold Weather Kit uses a 3A fuse and 12V DC to a heater which is controlled by a temperature switch


The refrigerator is equipped for low temperature operation. The refrigerator will operate in temperatures down to 0° F with the cold weather kit provided if connected.


Operation in temps below 0*F........60W bulb in lower section of outside compartment
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Old 09-04-2018, 04:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ken02802 View Post
I will be wintering in NH, where temperatures frequently fall below -10°F. I've been told that the coolant could freeze, damaging the unit. How do I protect against this?
I dealt with this when I was in Chicago in the winter--the refrigerator suddenly just stopped working.

I used a hair dryer to warm up the area behind the refrigerator, as well as a little electric cube heater, and sure enough, it started working again.

Then I think it happened again.

So I did as suggested here and put a trouble light in there to keep it from getting too cold. And if it was running on electric, I put cardboard over almost all of the vent.

That was several years ago, and since then, if the temperature is going to drop below about 10 degrees above zero, I put the trouble light in there, and I haven't had it stop working again, even down to 10 or more degrees below zero.
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Old 09-05-2018, 07:54 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by oatmeal View Post
I think it happened again.

So I did as suggested here and put a trouble light in there to keep it from getting too cold. And if it was running on electric, I put cardboard over almost all of the vent.

That was several years ago, and since then, if the temperature is going to drop below about 10 degrees above zero, I put the trouble light in there, and I haven't had it stop working again, even down to 10 or more degrees below zero.
Thanks for the feedback.

I was thinking that partially blocking the vents would be OK if I'm running on electric. Adding the trouble light makes sense too.

I'm pleased to hear that you had a positive experience at 10 below.

If nothing else, this winter will be an adventure for me!
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