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Dometic 10.5 fridge


Trevor53
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Dometic seem to have produced a fridge with major problems. The freezer compartment doesn’t keep items frozen towards the door. The interior is unusable except as a bottle store without an additional shelf that is not available, and the controls are so sensitive they are changed by brushing with a tea towel so people have resorted to taping them

over. Dometic hides behind the caravan manufacturers - Coachman & Baileys it seems, who hide behind the dealers we have to deal with. My understanding of the legal position is that our resort is to the dealers who sold the vehicle but I’m deeply unhappy about a £25k+ van being sold with a fridge not fit for purpose. Any ideas about how to proceed? How many others with the same problems? Can we work together to get to Dometic and get some action?

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You are right about the legal position, your contract is with the dealer who sold you the van.

 

Being a Dometic engineer I can say that they do not hide behind anyone and your assertion is totally wrong.

 

As far as items at the front of the freezer , that indicates that there is too much stuff in there.

 

Bailey Prima now list the missing shelves:

 

https://www.primaleisure.com/product/1045324/dometic-rms105xs-fridge-lower-wire-shelf

 

https://www.primaleisure.com/product/1045323/dometic-rms105xs-fridge-door-shelf

 

https://www.primaleisure.com/product/1045332/dometic-rms105xs-vegetable-box-shelf

 

Edited by Brecon
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8 hours ago, Brecon said:

Being a Dometic engineer

Can I ask where a 12 volt cooling fan should be placed on the Dometic RMS 8551 please?

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CB you're obviously an optimist.

 

Anticipating it's going to be hot enough to need a fan on your fridge;)

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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7 minutes ago, Steamdrivenandy said:

CB you're obviously an optimist.

 

Anticipating it's going to be hot enough to need a fan on your fridge;)

Are you lucky enough to have a fridge that works OK in our normal UK weather ;-)

I'm adding one while I have the spare time in preparation for a foreign trip when the Covid-19 situation improve's...

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You can either mount it behind the top vent above the cooling matrix , or at an angle behind the lower vent to blow air across the cooling matrix., or both if you want to.

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5 minutes ago, Brecon said:

You can either mount it behind the top vent above the cooling matrix , or at an angle behind the lower vent to blow air across the cooling matrix., or both if you want to.

Many thanks for taking the time to post this info.

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Sorry - long post!

 

Dometic sell an after-market fan that screws into the back of the fridge at an angle into ready-made holes. It has a clip that attaches a thermostat to the evaporator pipework. In my case the existing pipework really didn't allow the fan to fit properly. Even when fitted loosely it didn't really help. I understand others have had better luck with it.

 

I ended up making a thin aluminium panel with two 12v computer fans mounted on it that drops into the top vent and is held in place by the usual vent cover. It extracts heat from the top vent.

 

There's a fixed 12v feed connector on the back of all the newer fridges that I use to power them. Initially I used a PC variable speed controller in series with the fans with it turned down fairly low. But I found that on cooler days the fridge didn't like the extra cooling - the gas vapourisation/condensing cycle wasn't operating correctly. For a while I managed that by simply turning it on only when needed and the fridge wasn't cooling properly. But of course that usually meant the fridge had already warmed up to 9-10 deg by the time I noticed.

 

Later on as I wanted a retirement project, I swapped the variable speed controller for a simple Arduino that monitored the temperature in the vicinity of the heat exchanger and adjusted the fan speed from zero to about half speed. That has worked fine since doing it.

 

Bear in mind that I find the fridge will never cool better than about 25deg below ambient. The maximum claimed is I think 30C below ambient for the 8551. So 35 degrees ambient still means around 10 degrees in the fridge, rather than the recommended 5 degrees.

 

To get better than this you really need different cooling technology such as a compressor fridge. We now carry a small Waeco compressor 12v/240v chest fridge/freezer. This is used mainly for frozen food in transit and while waiting for the van fridge to cool down upon arrival. After that it goes under the bed. If it's stonking hot we keep the Waeco going in the awning. It will cool to -20 degrees if required pretty much whatever the weather. It's not as quiet at the evaporation models but isn't too noisy in the van if needed.

 

Hope that may be useful for some...

Oh - also note that a few continental sites will loan or rent ordinary domestic fridges for the duration of your stay. Stick it in an awning.

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Hi

 

Could I just check with the OP that this is about the 10 series fridge freezer - the one where the doors will open left or right without any mods? 

 

We have extra shelves and it's cooling performance is outstanding - even in hot italian sun! The freezer is also excellent

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.

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We too have found the Dometic 10 fridge to be excellent.

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Interesting having taken delivery of a Phoenix+ that's fitted with a Dometic 10 fridge my initial experience when used in the UK is not great, freezer section next to useless so I don't have great hopes for when I'm in France.

 

I'm happy to buy the Dometic fan as it should be a nice tidy simple installation but I'm concerned it may not improve the situation which appears to be confirmed above. So before I buy the unit I think I should at least test the fridge whilst in France and have a DIY solution ready just in case to get me through the holiday. As a result I have a few questions:

  • The fan kits do they blow air into the back of the fridge or suck hot out ?
  • Is the Dometic fan kit good, bad or indifferent?
  • Best price & source to buy the kit?
  • How is the external plastic vent panel removed when fitting the kit?
  • Installation looks as if its a matter of screwing fan into pre drilled holes, attaching a plastic box and connecting wires that already have the relevant connectors. Is this correct, there's no drilling or cable cutting etc?

 

Thanks

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14 minutes ago, D-Hill said:

Interesting having taken delivery of a Phoenix+ that's fitted with a Dometic 10 fridge my initial experience when used in the UK is not great, freezer section next to useless so I don't have great hopes for when I'm in France.

 

I'm happy to buy the Dometic fan as it should be a nice tidy simple installation but I'm concerned it may not improve the situation which appears to be confirmed above. So before I buy the unit I think I should at least test the fridge whilst in France and have a DIY solution ready just in case to get me through the holiday. As a result I have a few questions:

  • The fan kits do they blow air into the back of the fridge or suck hot out ?
  • Is the Dometic fan kit good, bad or indifferent?
  • Best price & source to buy the kit?
  • How is the external plastic vent panel removed when fitting the kit?
  • Installation looks as if its a matter of screwing fan into pre drilled holes, attaching a plastic box and connecting wires that already have the relevant connectors. Is this correct, there's no drilling or cable cutting etc?

 

Thanks

Many here will buy a cheap PC fan and install it so it blows over the condenser either permanently switched on or via a temperature sensor via a local 12V source or the connector located behind the fridge.

Many will employ two fans one at the bottom vent and another at the top vent depending on the space available.

The plastic vents have a sliding tab on the right hand side-slide it upwards and the vent will pull out so you can gain access.

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The fridge works well on No.4 setting and keeps everything cool (San Miguel perfect ) .

However the freezer is a different matter. The problem seems to be the evaporator icing up very quickly, I will keep and eye on this and defrost when it does ice up and see if this makes any difference. Also intend to keep produce away from resting on the  the bottom of the freezer, possible by placing cold blocks on the bottom, previously frozen in the house freezer. Basically the freezer section isn't very good.

I note that in Coachman instructions it says that the top vent can be removed to allow heat to escape.

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On 19/07/2021 at 16:39, D-Hill said:
  • The fan kits do they blow air into the back of the fridge or suck hot out ?
  • Is the Dometic fan kit good, bad or indifferent?
  • Best price & source to buy the kit?
  • How is the external plastic vent panel removed when fitting the kit?
  • Installation looks as if its a matter of screwing fan into pre drilled holes, attaching a plastic box and connecting wires that already have the relevant connectors. Is this correct, there's no drilling or cable cutting etc?

The Dometic fan doesn't blow in or out. It fits at an angle on predrilled holes blowing across the fins inside the space behind the fridge. Access is via the bottom vent.

 

My experience of the Dometic fan on a RM8551 wasn't great. I can't say it particularly helped.

 

Not sure where best to buy from now. I would give you my kit but I cannibalised the cabling.

 

On my Barcelona the two vent clips are on the left. They slide 10mm or so then the cover is carefully hinged out part way from the left, then the plastic tongues on the right carefully disengaged before the whole panel is removed.

 

The kit is self contained and generic, fitting several models , there's nothing complicated about fitting. Two screws into predrilled holes for the fan mounting, a plug goes in the 12v on the fridge rear, and a thermostat that clips onto the pipework. I'm pretty sure I posted a copy of the instructions on here a few years ago if you look.

 

As said here and elsewhere almost nothing helps unless the fridge has been installed according to Dometic's instructions. i.e. almost no gap between the fridge fins and the caravan wall, forcing external air between the fins rather than around. them, and top vent above the fridge.

Precool the food, don't over fill and pray.

 

I've been interested to hear if the 10.5 series are better - comments seem mixed, much like the previous generation. Some are happy, some not.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have a problem with mine not being cold enough. 

The freezer doesn't keep anything frozen and even on number 5 the inside is barely cold. 

The Swift panel tells me the fridge is to warm. 

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22 minutes ago, Webslinger said:

I have a problem with mine not being cold enough. 

The freezer doesn't keep anything frozen and even on number 5 the inside is barely cold. 

The Swift panel tells me the fridge is to warm. 

 

Are we talking about the same fridge as the thread is about?

 

What energy source are you operating the fridge on?

 

How long has the fridge been running?

 

Is the van still under any warranty?

 

Is the van new to you? If not has the fridge always been warm or has it just started acting that way?

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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OK

 

So it's probably a different fridge.

 

It's being run on 240V mains

 

After 3 days it's still warmer than it should be.

 

If the van is under warranty it needs to go back to the supplying dealer to sort the fridge.

 

The van is not new to the OP.

 

The fridge has always been like this since the OP has owned it.

 

If the fridge is cooling a bit then 240V is obviously getting to the 240V element. 

 

Absorption fridges only work efficiently in temperatures between 10C and about 25C and recent hot weather, especially if the fridge rear air passage isn't in shade, can cause them to lose efficiency. Some people fit fans in the airspace to move the hot air but it's a balance as to whether it's worth the effort for the few days that we get hot weather in the UK. 

 

If the fridge still doesn't chill in normal weather it needs looking at by a fridge technician to ID the problem.

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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The freezer compartment in the Dometic series 10 (dual handed opening fridge door) in my 2021 Coachman also suffers from items defrosting close to the compartment door. The fridge part is fine and keeps things super cool.

I have tried putting frozen items in the freezer compartment in different ways and also use a piece of white plastic conduit pipe to hold things an inch away from the door, but makes no difference

I also find that the fins on the rear frost up very quickly and gets quite thick. I have tried removing the build up whilst away, but it makes no difference at all.

I have found that placing things like steak, chicken breasts and sausages vertically side by side is better than stacking flat and on top of each other.

My only other attempt at keeping things frozen is to turn items round back to front several times a day.

 

Got to say that this is not much different from our experiences with the previous Dometic fridges we have had in vans. About 5 or 6 years ago, Dometic sent a local engineer to our van several times but all they did was point a digital thermometer into the freezer and declared the temperature within limits. They wouldn’t listen to protestations that the problem was close to the door.

 

If anyone has installed a fan kit and found the freezer operation improved, I would be grateful to hear of it.

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I have been running my fridge on the driveway and the fridge is empty.

On setting bar No.4 the fridge came down to +2oC and the freezer -13oC. The evaporator is clear on both the fridge and freezer.

So the mechanics of the fridge are all well.

Need to monitor more closely when away but I think regular defrosting of the freezer evaporator will be required. Plus two ice blocks in the freezer for travelling.

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