Jump to content

Fridge moan....again!


Scaramanga
 Share

Recommended Posts

We love nearly everything about our U3 Cartagena and one of the main attractions was the big fridge freezer. However and yes I know this topic has been covered to death but I’m having my moan about it. Come the summer months the cooling efficiency of this fridge(freezer is fine) is woefully poor to the point of food going off after a few days. I know it doesn’t help with the awning being on the same side as the vents but we try to vent as much fresh air through the awning as we can to help the fridge. I’ve also fitted the dometic cooling fan kit with the addition of 2 120mm pc cooling fans in the top vent all linked to a temperature controller to try to help in cooling but to no avail. Aswell as a small enclosed pc fan inside the fridge to try to circulate the cool air. Even my Peltier cool box chills better in the awning!(just thank god that keeps my beer cool!) I’m at the point now of contemplating getting a 3 way 40litre coolbox to keep in the awning during the summer months to keep perishables from....well....perishing too quick. It’s ashame the likes of dometic can’t come up with a caravan fridge that is lightweight enough that works on similar principles to the likes of a domestic style fridge. 

 

Anyway apologies for the “heard it millions of times before” mundane post but gotta vent my frustrations somewhere

Link to comment
Share on other sites

when you're talking about the summer months , is this a regular summer or the heat wave we had. We were away  then and  the temperature in the caravan was still in the 30'+ at 11 pm. We only buy enough fresh food for 3 days max and a neighbour on site said that we should buy cool box to plug in the outside plug, which we may do. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have exactly the same issues with the 190litre  Dometic RMD8551 in our U3 Pamplona. I have come to the conclusion it is not the fridge at fault but incompetence in the Bailey design.

 

I’m at site at the moment so don’t have my paper calculations to hand but from memory, the fridge is mounted in a “standard” 600mm deep enclosure but (IIRC) the fridge protrudes only 552mm back from the front face of the enclosure. Thus the gap between the back of the fridge and the caravan wall is 48mm.  Dometic specify in their installation manual that this should be 20mm.  The required “chimney” effect of air flow up the back of the fridge over the heat exchangers is not achieved. Adding fans will help a little but not cure the fundamental problem.

 

I’m trying to find a way of introducing a 28mm thick spacer “plate” via the vent louvres and attaching it to the inner wall of the van to reduce the gap. I want to find a way of achieving this without having all the grief of taking the fridge out to attach a plywood or similar “plate” to the wall.

 

I do recall a thread a few months ago by a U4 owner who forced Bailey and Dometic to do performance tests which resulted in his dealer doing this modification. I think they used a “kit” devised by and issued by Bailey.

 

I also think this is the reason why our fridge fails to maintain a pre-cooled temperature when towing.  Everyone blames the car power supply (especially with Euro5 and 6 “intelligent” alternator controls) but I’ve just disproved that one using a recording voltmeter to measure the voltage drop across the heater element terminals on a 4 hour non-stop journey. This remained virtually constant throughout but the fridge temperature rose from a (mains) pre-cooled 4.1 degC to 10.4degC - which also suggests Dometic insulation is pretty poor!

 

But then, that’s another issue.

 

DrBob

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I share your frustrations Scaramanga, the Dometic fridges are erratic in performance (when they do perform) and a constant concern even during our moderate UK weather.

 

Or maybe I just have a bit of a lemon or a Friday Special.:(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It’s currently 22 degrees inside the caravan 20 degrees outside.  I have now currently resorted to removing the bottom vent cover  and have a electric fan about 18 inches from the bottom vent blowing air inside. Honestly it’s ridiculous! No heatwave anymore either.

 

DrBob, I did read somewhere on here previously about the fridges being incorrectly fitted and someone had actually fitted Kingspan insulation board behind their fridge to close the gap to  get the airflow gap to what the manufacturer recommends

Edited by Scaramanga
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our U4 fridge worked well in France last month until the temperature was up to 42!

We put a fan on our camp kitchen blowing onto the bottom vent which helped until the weather cooled to a reasonable 30 ish.

I thought about getting the Dometic fan kit fitted. One of the technicians at our dealer suggested removing the vent grills, which is very simple on the U4.Th7s will give more airflow.

We had a Unicorn Vigo 2 before this one, its fridge was fine until the temperature hit over 30 then it was not as good. The fan trick was a big help.

We hired motorhomes on our 2 Australian trips, they have Waeco 12v compressor fridges which are brilliant!

I guess more expensive and a bit heavier than the absorption type.

Hyundai Santa Fe+Bailey Unicorn Cadiz

Mini Cooper convertible -fun Car!:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well if you believe the climate change people then Europe is facing hotter summers and supposedly so is the UK . So you’d think a compressor style fridge would be the way to go

Link to comment
Share on other sites

:goodpost:DrBob.

 

Would love to hear if you come up with a solution.

 

(I posted a reply to this already but it failed to show, recently I have had a problem with my posts not showing up on here, damn the gremlins :ph34r:)

Edited by Sea&Sand
Link to comment
Share on other sites

27 minutes ago, Scaramanga said:

Well if you believe the climate change people then Europe is facing hotter summers and supposedly so is the UK . So you’d think a compressor style fridge would be the way to go

Climate change must have been going on for some time then,remember the  summers of 75 and 76 hot for months,not a mention of climate change back then.I for one am not convinced on climate change.You certainly cannot trust experts or the government.Fifteen years ago we were told diesel better for the climate,oh wait, no we were wrong petrol is better.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In hotter Euro climes a lot of the larger campsites offer a fridge hire service - these are compressor fridges that live in the awning. I wonder whether this will become the norm in the UK in the future.

Land Rover is now back towing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

29 minutes ago, Guzzilazz said:

Compressor fridges are way more power efficient than absorption fridges...

 True, but they  are not silent like the absorbent ones.

John.

 

 

Never ask a man if he comes from Yorkshire. If he does, he'll tell you. If he doesn't, why humiliate him?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, Leedslad said:

 True, but they  are not silent like the absorbent ones.

John.

 

 

Ah, that old chestnut again...  The rattle of a blind on a night with a gentle breeze is worse!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, DrBob said:

I have exactly the same issues with the 190litre  Dometic RMD8551 in our U3 Pamplona. I have come to the conclusion it is not the fridge at fault but incompetence in the Bailey design.

 

I’m at site at the moment so don’t have my paper calculations to hand but from memory, the fridge is mounted in a “standard” 600mm deep enclosure but (IIRC) the fridge protrudes only 552mm back from the front face of the enclosure. Thus the gap between the back of the fridge and the caravan wall is 48mm.  Dometic specify in their installation manual that this should be 20mm.  The required “chimney” effect of air flow up the back of the fridge over the heat exchangers is not achieved. Adding fans will help a little but not cure the fundamental problem.

 

I’m trying to find a way of introducing a 28mm thick spacer “plate” via the vent louvres and attaching it to the inner wall of the van to reduce the gap. I want to find a way of achieving this without having all the grief of taking the fridge out to attach a plywood or similar “plate” to the wall.

 

I do recall a thread a few months ago by a U4 owner who forced Bailey and Dometic to do performance tests which resulted in his dealer doing this modification. I think they used a “kit” devised by and issued by Bailey.

 

I also think this is the reason why our fridge fails to maintain a pre-cooled temperature when towing.  Everyone blames the car power supply (especially with Euro5 and 6 “intelligent” alternator controls) but I’ve just disproved that one using a recording voltmeter to measure the voltage drop across the heater element terminals on a 4 hour non-stop journey. This remained virtually constant throughout but the fridge temperature rose from a (mains) pre-cooled 4.1 degC to 10.4degC - which also suggests Dometic insulation is pretty poor!

 

But then, that’s another issue.

 

DrBob

On my present Swift the fridge to wall gap is about 35 mm (on my previous Bailey it was over 50 mm!). There is a recommendation (from the manufacturers) of 20 mm max! In both cases I made up a strip of hardboard shaped to be approx. 5 mm clear of the fins & pipe work thereby greatly reducing the gap. A bit of DIY skill needed here but it's worth it! This was attached to a thin alum. 'L' shaped strip which was then held inside the vent surround by 3 screws. I'll try to get a photo in the near future.
This proved effective especially in hot weather, & the fitting of a fan then had even greater effect. The removal of the fine mesh panel fitted to Thetford & now Dometic fridges doesn't help either : first thing I removed! If the weather gets toooo hot (promises, promises LOL) removing the grills works wonders- which just goes to show how much restriction they cause on their own.
Another poor design feature (now on my Dometic as well) is the lack of a proper exterior exhaust outlet. (Bet they saved several pennies doing this!) This terminates (as Thetford always have) inside the grill (but at least THEY didn't have a choice) so all the fumes have to find their own way out! The hot air can't fail to have a warming effect on the adjoining fins so I've made a baffle that clips around the chimney & directs the flow away from the fins & towards the grill.

 

When it comes down to it the fridges (like everything else in modern 'vans) are made down to a price. What really annoys me is that they get progressively gimmickier at the cost of acceptable performance. But apparently this is Ok as people like flashing lights &  gimmicks, more importantly it helps sell 'vans.

 

Bring back the Electrolux fridge designs  of 30 years ago, I say, they actually worked! (But they didn't have any, apparently essential, flashing lights- just reliable manual switches).

 

Amazingly cheap (approx. 1/2 the price!) portable 3-way fridges actually work, so that rather makes the point don't you think?

 

3L auto Nissan Terrano, 2004 & Swift Elegance 530, 2018. As Leonardo da Vinci once said: 'If you find from your own experience that something is a fact & it contradicts what some authority has written down, then you must abandon the authority & base your reasoning on your own findings' ie: use your common sense!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My father had a Rapido motorhome with the previous model fridge freezer to ours and in the 10 years of ownership  he never had a issue at all with cooling.

 

ive fitted internal temperature sensors in our fridge.

 

caravan temp: 24 degrees C

fridge temp: 14 degrees C

freezer temp -4 degrees C

Edited by Scaramanga
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Scaramanga said:

ive fitted internal temperature sensors in our fridge.

 

caravan temp: 24 degrees C

fridge temp: 14 degrees C

freezer temp -4 degrees C

 

As someone has just said - the older fridges seem to work much better.   In my 18 year old van I have an Electrolux RM6270 in it.   During the recent hot spell when I was away the caravan temperature was 34C and by mid-afternoon the freezer box was down to -8C.   By early morning after the temperatures had cooled down the freezer box was reading around -18C.   Even after towing home on a cooler day (4hours) the freezer was still showing -6C

Citroen C5-X7 Tourer+Avondale Rialto 480/2
https://jondogoescaravanning.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well I think I now know the reason for my high fridge freezer temperatures. After trying everything on mains to cool the fridge, it’s been hovering around 15-16 degrees and that with the drop in ambient. I have now switched it to gas and the temperature is now falling steadily. Which now leads me to believe  that the 230v heating element has died or is dying

Edited by Scaramanga
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Leedslad said:

 True, but they  are not silent like the absorbent ones.

John.

 

 

 

Also don't run on LPG .

 

Dave

Jeep Commander 3. 0 V6 CRD

Isuzu D- Max Utah Auto

Elddis Crusader Storm 2000 Kgs, Unipart Royal Atlas Mover .

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our Australian hire campers had a sticker recommending that the fridge was turned up at night to avoid noise. We tried it resulting in a puddle on floor next morning!

Needless to sayit was kept at constant temperature after that!

A lot of nights we had the living area aircon working due to high temperature,  so fridge could not be  heard!

Hyundai Santa Fe+Bailey Unicorn Cadiz

Mini Cooper convertible -fun Car!:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi

 

A couple of things here. We have in the past had fridges that have resembled slow cookers with internal temperatures of 18 C when the outside temperature was 30+.

 

Here are our "answers" after numerous discussions with Dometic

 

1) There are two types of fan - one is a Dometic part costing around £50 - we fitted this. The other - like computer fans - we fitted those too - link here. They are larger fans and I operated by simple on/off. Here's my blog link to both.  If you do not have fans fitted, remove the outer vent covers. You might find that a fan heater blowing cool air into the bottom vent area has a massive effect. We found that two fans at the top blowing hot air out and the Dometic fan at the bottom sucking cool air in was the best solution.

 

2) Voltage - overseas voltage can dramatically affect the cooling capability. A drop to around 215 volts - common in Italy - has a massive effect on cooling. See below for an  extract from the Dometic website. A cheap to buy volt meter will help you confirm this. I have only experienced this issue once in the UK at a rather dated caravan site.

 

3) In very hot weather, use gas for the fridge. It "copes" a lot better. We had to run on gas in Italy for over a fortnight, but it is much more efficient. Turn the setting down at night or revert to electric overnight.

 

4) If buying a new caravan, get one with the new Dometic 10 series fridge. I can confirm that even at +42 in the sun, the fridge is cold, too cold if anything, and on electric too.  The RM 10 is the dog's danglies.

 

5) Bin the fridge and get a 12v compressor one - they are the same type (compressor) as your fridge at home but designed for caravans, motorhomes, boats etc. VERY efficient. Like your fridge at home, they do make a noise though, but we fit these to the VW vans that we convert.

 

Russ

Dometic.jpg

11 hours ago, Scaramanga said:

Well I think I now know the reason for my high fridge freezer temperatures. After trying everything on mains to cool the fridge, it’s been hovering around 15-16 degrees and that with the drop in ambient. I have now switched it to gas and the temperature is now falling steadily. Which now leads me to believe  that the 230v heating element has died or is dying

 

No, unlikely. The gas "system" is powerful and efficient. The electric element less so and 12v is the lowest of the three

 

Russ

Online blog and travels, although sometimes there is a lack of travel due to work!

 

It's an uncharted sea, it's an unopened door but you've got to reach out and you've got to explore.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, Scaramanga said:

Well I think I now know the reason for my high fridge freezer temperatures. After trying everything on mains to cool the fridge, it’s been hovering around 15-16 degrees and that with the drop in ambient. I have now switched it to gas and the temperature is now falling steadily. Which now leads me to believe  that the 230v heating element has died or is dying

 

Think you beat me to it ..... Cooling on Gas in hot weather ...

It may be that your installation isnt helping matters but ditto flick out & remove the grill vents.

We have found Gas Cooling is vastly superior to even good mains electric, poor mains struggles and 12v tries to maintain the starting temp or will cool a little en-route.

Doubt its your element - try gas.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, montesa said:

 

Think you beat me to it ..... Cooling on Gas in hot weather ...

It may be that your installation isnt helping matters but ditto flick out & remove the grill vents.

We have found Gas Cooling is vastly superior to even good mains electric, poor mains struggles and 12v tries to maintain the starting temp or will cool a little en-route.

Doubt its your element - try gas.

Thanks

 

yes it’s what I did. This morning the fridge was  at 2.5 degrees and freezer down to minus 10 on gas. Maybe dodgy voltage on the site is a posibility? I’m not sure?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have this issue. Fridge is not too good on electric but good on gas. 

Watching the thread with interest. 

Mike 

KIA SORENTO KX3 2012 Bailey Pageant Limousin SERIES 7 1700 kg

volvo xc70 D5 se

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the UK, "dodgy" voltage is unlikely to cause any issue.

 

Electrolux were the bees knees.

 

Russ

Online blog and travels, although sometimes there is a lack of travel due to work!

 

It's an uncharted sea, it's an unopened door but you've got to reach out and you've got to explore.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, KontikiKid said:

In the UK, "dodgy" voltage is unlikely to cause any issue.

 

Electrolux were the bees knees.

 

Russ

Actually true the RMD8551 sounds a alarm if it detects low voltage so can rule that out. 

 

Tried on electric again this afternoon and had to resort back to using gas as the temperature in the fridge and freezer started to climb.

 

Anyone with the same fridge freezer there is a good discussion about it here:

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...