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Who uses the fridge? Concerned about temps
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Mulcheese
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2006 7:07 am    Post subject: Who uses the fridge? Concerned about temps Reply with quote

I finally have the fridge up and running and am looking forward to using it this year for camping. After reading some post it seems that maybe I may need to still use my cooler, for items that need to stay cold, considering the temperature fluctuations.

What are general daytime temps for you on propane, or even 110v but I will use propane?
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mightyart
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2006 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use a small cheap wireless indoor outdoor thermometer. If your fridge will get 30 or below you should be good(on AC or propane, 12 volt just barely keeps it going), the outdoor temp plays a part in how cool your fridge will run, and what setting your using. We also have a cheap 12volt vector cooler for our drinks, and use the fridge for food, never had problems with it, even makes ice cubes without a problem.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2006 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've always heard the fridge is good for a 40-degree differential. So yes, if the air temp is 110 you'll need to rely on something else to keep your milk fresh.
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buspor63
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2006 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The fridge is really not that great of a performer. Overnight, on propane or 120v, mine will drop down to 30. It will frezze ice in the trays. However, during the day, the day time temp seems to be a number of degrees lower than ambient. Its really ineffective if the sun is hitting that side of the bus. For a day trip, I usethe fridge, but for several days i'll use an ice chest.

Your temps may not be too far off for hot, humid day time.

I know the others just posted this info, but I had to show off that I leaned a new trick...copy and paste...hot damn, another technology breakthrough for east tennesse! Next think you know, we will be splitting atoms.

I like to use my fridge for shorter trips. It also puts some extra heat into the cabin, not good if its already 85 outside.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2006 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just got my fridge lit on propane last weekend for the first time in its life (the PO's never even filled the propane tank). Someone in a previous post recommended I click the hell out of the spark button until it lights. That, along with a therapy ball inflator pump with tubing connected to the drain at the bottom is what finally worked. It was around 96 degrees in PA last weekend and my fridge got down to 37. That temperature was taken at the bottom of the fridge; closer to the fins I was able to make ice. I'm taking it to the Jersey shore this weekend (rain or shine) to celebrate my success.

In my previous Westy, an 84, I had problems with milk freezing in the middle of the summer. It seems to me that these little devils have their own personalities, few of which seem interested in cooperating.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2006 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

grunwin wrote:
I had problems with milk freezing in the middle of the summer.


I had the same problem, that's one reason I keep the wireless thermometer in there, it makes it easier to adjust the thermostat.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2006 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have that same thermometer in my house but it hasn't worked very well for me. The wireless sensor worked for a while then gave up the ghost. Batteries didn't seem to be the problem. Do you just tuck it in a drawer when you are on the road?
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2006 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

buspor63 wrote:
Its really ineffective if the sun is hitting that side of the bus. For a day trip, I usethe fridge, but for several days i'll use an ice chest..

That is why I put extra insulation on that side of the bus when I had everything out. That EVIL rear heater made me do all that work, so I thought I should enhance that aspect of the bus. Just yesterday, I put it to the test. That side of the bus was in the sun and combined with the heavy window tint and roof vent, it was still cooler inside the bus than outside in the shade.

buspor63 wrote:
I like to use my fridge for shorter trips. It also puts some extra heat into the cabin, not good if its already 85 outside.

As I have noted to myself on many occasions, these German cars optimized for cold weather. Hot is something they like and why try to make it colder. Hence we have to try to be more thermally oriented. Using ice chests and so on are things we have to do.

BTW: I saw at Pick-N-Save (Big Lots) they had a neat Coleman electric cooler for $20. I was too cheap to buy one, but I think I will go back and get one, now...
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Rodknock
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2006 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can get my fridge down to about 45 on a summer day, and after this weekend when I get that little bastard out and clean and fix the fan, I'll get it colder with propane, maybe. I carry and ice chest because there is no way in hell I am going to get all the food and drinks that need to be kept cold into the fridge. There is just not enough room for the watermelon and the beer. Razz
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Tomswesty
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2006 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got one that really works, Norcold 1.7 cuft. I know most people don't like to use these but they stay colder than the OEM ones and operate on 12Volts. I know you can get them that operate on 110 also.
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CF
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

camping world sells a small fan for circulating the air in the fridge,which in turn will add a extra 10* drop. you can also adda extra fan on the side vent for the extra cool down , the more air that circulates in the back of the fridge the better it works.
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firebug
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can also install a small computer fan above the fins inside, to circulate the air. Two days ago, I tried running my fridge on propane from 3:30pm to 11:00, and it only got down to 58. My outside thermometer was reading 114 durring the daylight hours though.

I have heard of using propane and 110V at the same time to get it cooler faster. Is this possible? If so, does it work?
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peruvian
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CF wrote:
camping world sells a small fan for circulating the air in the fridge,which in turn will add a extra 10* drop.


I've considered adding a battery powered fan inside the fridge. CW has this one and this one. Has anyone used either?
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Raynor Shine
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I added the computer fan on the fins and the new go westy fan on the back, mine will drop to about 35, but havnt gotten lower than that. I found it important to know what & where what i wanted in the fridge before I opnen the door. But, always have the spare cooler. That Norcold looks cool, is that a microwave under the sink?
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 12:57 pm    Post subject: Winston's... Reply with quote

Has that Frigi-Cold fan in it running now, I got one at a good local RV shop. Here's a URL for it:

http://www.americanrvsupplies.com/products/112818983795.html

I installed the GoWesty check valve modification and cleaned out the breather tubes and the drain tube... It ran pretty well for two days on propane, although I didn't take a temperature reading.

With the little fan, on just AC but in the 90's, Winston's upper shelf reads 40 degrees. I've run the refrigerator on propane and will do that tonight when I take him out to the jobsite. Wish me luck!

Best!
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A very interesting subject.

I have been watching the interior temp of my fridge for the past few weeks while running on propane. I have been using a wireless thermometer. Here is what I have seen:

The fridge is effective if the outside temperature is below 75f. It will actually make ice from time to time. The problem seems that for most of us the fridge becomes less effective as the ambient temp increases ( just when you need it the most )

Not surprisingly, my experience shows that the inside temperature of the van is a huge factor in how well the fridge works. Warmer inside the van - warmer inside the fridge.

Above 90f ambient inside van temp the fridge hits the wall and the fridge interior spikes up to well over 50f.

Running my fridge on 110 & propane at the same time triggers the cooling fan in short order. That means that the fins are running hotter. That MIGHT mean that some of the extra heat is originating ( being stripped from ) from inside the fridge ( I am not sure, so far I cannot say that I can relate high fin temp to higher efficiency )

From these posts it appears that some fridges maintain a higher inside/outside temp differential than others while on propane. The best I have seen on mine is about a 30f differential. Others report better performance.

Somewhere I remember a thread where a member noted that the regulator is adjustable. The notion was that the propane fire might have to be "kicked up a notch" to get better cooling... It seems to me that if the fridge works better on 110v the performance must be related to the heater temp generated by the 110v element, therefore the closer the propane heater gets to that value the better the fridge will work on propane. Dometic never seems to mention an ideal heater temp on any source. I can only wonder what the optimum burner temperature is.

During all this temp measurement I have also been doing the same measurements with a portable cool/FREEZER made by Waeco. Extremely effective. I can FREEZE a couple of cubic feet of whatever without regard to outside temp. Or I can cool the box to more reasonable temps with less draw. These coolers work of a Danfloss compressor that seems to be extremely efficient. They are not cheap but very effective. In the portable cooler form they are adjustable to auto-shutdown at about 11.9v for starting batteries or about 10.8 volts for a "house" battery. I have a second battery arrangement which allows a couple of days operation a freezing temp. without recharging input.

Waeco has a very interesting range of devices. Worth a look.
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wiartonallan
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A very interesting subject.

I have been watching the interior temp of my fridge for the past few weeks while running on propane. I have been using a wireless thermometer. Here is what I have seen:

The fridge is effective if the outside temperature is below 75f. It will actually make ice from time to time. The problem seems that for most of us the fridge becomes less effective as the ambient temp increases ( just when you need it the most )

Not surprisingly, my experience shows that the inside temperature of the van is a huge factor in how well the fridge works. Warmer inside the van - warmer inside the fridge.

Above 90f ambient inside van temp the fridge hits the wall and the fridge interior spikes up to well over 50f.

Running my fridge on 110 & propane at the same time triggers the cooling fan in short order. That means that the fins are running hotter. That MIGHT mean that some of the extra heat is originating ( being stripped from ) from inside the fridge ( I am not sure, so far I cannot say that I can relate high fin temp to higher efficiency )

From these posts it appears that some fridges maintain a higher inside/outside temp differential than others while on propane. The best I have seen on mine is about a 30f differential. Others report better performance.

Somewhere I remember a thread where a member noted that the regulator is adjustable. The notion was that the propane fire might have to be "kicked up a notch" to get better cooling... It seems to me that if the fridge works better on 110v the performance must be related to the heater temp generated by the 110v element, therefore the closer the propane heater gets to that value the better the fridge will work on propane. Dometic never seems to mention an ideal heater temp on any source. I can only wonder what the optimum burner temperature is.

During all this temp measurement I have also been doing the same measurements with a portable cool/FREEZER made by Waeco. Extremely effective. I can FREEZE a couple of cubic feet of whatever without regard to outside temp. Or I can cool the box to more reasonable temps with less draw. These coolers work of a Danfloss compressor that seems to be extremely efficient. They are not cheap but very effective. In the portable cooler form they are adjustable to auto-shutdown at about 11.9v for starting batteries or about 10.8 volts for a "house" battery. I have a second battery arrangement which allows a couple of days operation a freezing temp. without recharging input.

Waeco has a very interesting range of devices. Worth a look.
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Don C
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This thread is perfect timing. I am currently in the market for a westy and have been looking at both the weekender and the camper. If the fridge is so ineffective, is there any benefit in getting the camper over the weekender?
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peruvian
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2006 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don C - the fridge is not "ineffective" as much as not infallable. I've never had any food go bad in my fridge (although I don't camp in AZ/TX/FLA temps).

I suspect that the fridge would work as well as one of the $100 electric coolers (found at Camping World, etc) which generally can cool to about 40deg below the outside temp. on 12v. Of course you better have a very strong dual battery set up to ensure that you don't drain your power on your cooler. LP setting on the full Westy assures this won't be a problem Wink
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2006 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So far my Dometic works as it should on all three power sources. Mine never gets the beer cold enough, but it does a fine job of keeping food from going bad. I just put the beer in a regular cooler. What I like is that the bread, cheese etc.. don't get all wet like they would in a cooler. The beer on the other hand can swim in ice water all day long.
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