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Dometic Refrigerator temperature


adept99

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Thanks to the several people who helped piddle with our refrigerator while at the ECR. Unfortunately, I'd say it needs more than piddling. While doing some online research, it became apparent that while the suggestions made at the ECR were correct as far as they went (Baffles, additional fans, etc) apparently this double door model is plagued with this poor cooling issue. Dometic insists that it is an install issue, while the manufacturers are all insisting that it is a design flaw in the cooling unit. Net effect is that there is a warehouse full of these things somewhere that nobody will install because of the high service call rate.

 

I did find a website for a company called Ford Refrigeration Service that specializes in repairing and upgrading RV style refrigerators. Business must be good, they are running a school / training center as well as doing the actual work on customer units. These folks are located in a really small town in western KY, near Land between the Lakes. I had heard of this outfit as well as the Amish refurbished units but had not followed up on either one.

 

Anybody had any dealings with Ford? They're handy to me, about 3 hours away. I'm going to call them Monday & see what they have to say. I'll let ya'll know.

 

Anything for hard ice cream.

 

Paul & Paula

 

 

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The internet RV forums have a lot of 'chatter' about just this issue,mostly people go to a residential - Samsug ? forget the model # .

Inverter and a battery or two and you are good to go,It is a slide in swap.

These posters have all done the repairs and upgrades and found them wanting.

At the first sign of trouble mine is in the dumpster. Big bucks to replace and the constant fear of a fire as they age is not comforting.

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Paul, I had similar issues with my Dometic side by side refrigerator. I had an ice maker in mine but had quit using it due to the way the water line was run (constant kinks and leaks every time the slide was brought it). I finally took it out but there is actually some sort of heat plate in there that cycles to help release the ice cubes. "They" tell me that even when it is in the up "don't make ice" position that plate is still warm to prevent ice buildup on the ice maker. After I took mine out, believe it or not, I had a noticeable improvement in the consistency of my ice cream. It's not rock hard but it takes an ice cream scoop now rather than just a spoon to scoop it out of the container.

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I think at the next Rally we need to set up test station where a few of us become the testers of the "hardness of ice cream" in order to evaluate the proper working conditions of everyone's freezer :rolleyes: . It sounds like we won't have a problem recruiting "testers" :D

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We "had to go residential" about a year ago when the "demon-etic" sensed that we were about for a 7 mo. "adventure".... RV fridges may not cool very well but they sure seem to know when to let the ice cream run out on the floor.........

 

We said Enough is Enough.........simple, we'll just cram a residential fridge in the hole and we will be good to go..........WRONG!!!

 

Here is the catch with switching to residential refrigeration in a RV.........YOU (not the dealer) HAVE to do your home work.......

 

With the "Energy Star" rating system that all fridges are tested to, there are ways that all of the fridge makers have found to "game the ratings" so to speak.

 

Here is the catch........ALMOST all new residential fridges are built to be installed INTO THE LIVING SPACES OF A HOME......NOT the garage or patio OR ANY UNHEATED OR AIRCONDITIONED SPACE.

 

The VAST majority of new residential fridges actually have a thermo switch that will shut-off the fridge if the ambiant temps exceed 80f OR below 60f.......... just imagine your icecream when the fridge goes into auto-shut-down-mode.........

 

Why do the fridge makers do this......simple......when the fridge shuts off it uses ZERO energy so the Energy Star rating improves during testing.........let the games begin.......

 

Here is what we had to do for TWO weeks.......we visited too many appliance stores and looked at countless owner manuals and IF you read them VERY CAREFULLY you will find the little blurb that says the fridge must be installed in a "habitat space" with temps no lower than 60f or above 80f !!!!

 

After TWO weeks we were getting a bit tired and grumpy of looking at fridge manuals and then............we found THE FRIDGE of our dreams......

 

This fridge manual actually BRAGGED that you could install this fridge in the garage of patio and it will work well at 20f or 110f and it will use VERY little electricity in the process!!!!

 

Our new fridge is all electronic in that it uses a VFD (Variable Frequency Drive) to power up and down the compressor so the power saving are HUGE!!!

 

Unlike most "OFF or ON" fridges, our VFD fridge starts very slowly and then powers down slowly and the energy saving are HUGE compared with other fridges.

 

Here is the true test.......The HIGEST rated load on this fridge is 90W @115 vac but in our actual use I have never seen over 65W at any time and never any surge because a VFD drive starts and stops SLOOOOOWLY......NEVER surges.

 

What does NO SURGE mean to a RV'er.........it means that you DO NOT have to size the inverter for the huge surge loads on most residential fridges.

 

Like all things RV there is a few downsides.........Cost: $455.00 (they would not lower the cost...dang), replacement coverage: 7 Years.....

AND the biggest downside of all the freezer runs at about -10f so you have to invest in a forged steel ice-cream scoop!!!

 

As far as boondocking we have run our 30 ft toyhauler with all LED lights and this fridge TWO weeks and never recharged the two Group 31 bats. and the fridge was happy.........and.......when your fridge is happy....your happy!!!!

 

Cheerz,

 

Dollytrolley

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Well, I'm about to go through withdrawals Rocky. I have enough BlueBell for one last serving...then I am out. :(

OHHH! Pity the next guy with a out of hours log book! Or even a marker light!

 

Big5er get a magnum bar it`ll hold you over LOL

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Well make the best of it and drop it in a tall glass of Dr Pepper.

If it was vanilla I sure would :) A good old Dr. Pepper float...but I had their new flavor, Chocolate Decadence. It's almost like you have died and gone to heaven.

 

OHHH! Pity the next guy with a out of hours log book! Or even a marker light!

 

Big5er get a magnum bar it`ll hold you over LOL

LOL I'll try that cactus, but Blue Bell says it'll be at least a month before their ice cream is back on the shelves...I'm gonna need more than one magnum bar :)

 

COME ON DOLLYTROLLEY!!! Those of us with soft ice cream need a NAME!!!!! :P:):P

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And just to play devil's advocate, at $455 that must be a peanut sized frige. (Not that I'm opposed to paying less and getting more, just sounds really low cost given what it's going to replace)

 

2X - Who makes this wonderful device, is it limited to a single model or is there an entire family line,

 

But thanks for the response in any case.

 

Paul & Paula

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I can't speak to the $455 model, but I can speak for the one I put in last fall. It only cost me $298, so it holds half a peanut (10 cubic feet). It was pure coincidence that the model I most wanted (best fit, and lowest energy consumption ratings) happened to be the cheapest. It doesn't have any of the variable speed stuff, just a mechanical thermostat and a light (LED!!) that comes on when you open the door.

 

I've had no trouble running it at below-zero outside temperatures, and it has run with 90-degree outside temperatures (with the sun shining, that compartment had to be over 100). With the compressor running and the door open, it's drawing 72W; 40W on average. I intend to add an external switch to disable the defrost cycle, but those power numbers include it auto-defrosting. Before I pulled it out, my Norcold refrigerator was averaging just over 200W (on 120VAC--never measured the 12V draw).

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Ok folks.....ok I am a little Sloooow when washing a ton of road grime off the old freightshaker so I did not check the forum till I ran out of suds in 3 5-gal buckets.......Geezers wash sloooow......

 

Anyhow our "dream fridge is...............(drum roll.......).........is...........a Frigidaire, Mode:l FFT1222QB

 

DISCLAIMER.........(everyone has to have a disclaimer, right ??)

 

So here is the deal........Us Oregon / AZ hillbillies were fed up with anything that said RV that melted our Icecream so we took the steps to go WAY beyond "THE DARK SIDE"......... we went ALL THE WAY over to the "COLD SIDE".........so far this fridge has been colder than a Well diggers U-No_what....... at $445 and almost 13 cu ft it has worked very well for us so far.........SO FAR.........so far.......so far.........

Have we tested this puppy.........darn tootin we have left the freezer door swinging from Yuma, AZ to Phx on a 90f day and still had hard Icecream 2 hrs later......

We have parked for several hours at a time on side slopes so steep you had to crawl into the toy box ( unlevel parking with your bubbly-RV refer is a sudden-death event $$$$$) And last of the torture testing is that we dug out a old modified-sinewave 2000 watt inverter run whatever we wanted in the toy box knowing that t was BIG TIME overkill in wattage for the fridge AND we were NOT sure that the VFD would like to be fed modified sine wave power so....... we crossed our fingers and threw the switch and looked for fire and smoke......and looked .....and looked .......for TWO weeks on inverter power and the fridge just stayed frost-bite-cold so.........several months later still no fire and smoke so the hillbilly testing is complete.

 

Here is our only concern..........IF the fridge section is turned down a bit too low sometimes items in the back of the fridge can become a bit frozen........what IF Dr Pepper becomes FROZEN........do Pepper geeks own fire arms......do they become......well you know.......un-happy......or.......what??

So far we have had very well frozen ice-cream and no frozen Dr Pepper .........but be careful when you join............THE COLD SIDE!!

 

Cheerz,

 

Dollytrolley

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David,

 

Danielle has in her mind that in the small MH we are buying the FIRST mod we mak is to replace the Norcold with a residential. It will be small, by requirement. Which model did you use? I like your specs...it might even work well on the two standard batteries this thing comes with. I'm trying to avoid overkill on "dressing up" the electrical system....I'll add some solar,but I'm going to try to live with two 6 volt batteries. I'll modify the electrical so the 1000 watt PSW inverter pick up the refrigerator circuit if I swap it out. We will boondock a fair amount in this...so it has to be efficient. I suppose I can upgrade the battery bank, but I'm trying to avoid that.

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Jack,

 

Here's what I bought: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Magic-Chef-23-8-in-Wide-9-2-cu-ft-Bottom-Freezer-Refrigerator-in-Stainless-MCBM920S1/203012673?N=5yc1vZc3p6#specifications

It was in stock at HD locally, and the price was better than anywhere online. The exact same thing is marketed under several brand names (e.g. http://www.ajmadison.com/cgi-bin/ajmadison/DFF092C1.html), with the same Energy Guide stickers, but not all with an EnergyStar label. One of the interesting things about it is that it's not using R-134a like most small refrigerators--it's using R-600a (isobutane), which does the job with a lower pressure differential and higher flow rate.

 

I had a Norcold N1095--it would have been a perfect fit were it not for a slight bow in the metal sidewalls of the refrigerator. As it ended up, I trimmed maybe 1/16" off one side of the cabinet.

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