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Old 11-25-2009, 09:04 PM   #1
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Fridge Chimney Vent Fan

Hi Fellow Sunliners

I wanted this mod to work a while before I commented on it. This one does work well however I had to move one sensor twice but now all is good.

It is adding a fridge chimney vent fan. It adds more draft thru the ventilation area of the fridge and I can tell inside, the fridge comes down fast and is colder. Iím now right on 32 F inside during summer, at least here in Central Ohio. Claims are by the mfg that is make the fridge like 40% more efficient. I donít know if Iím getting that much but it sure works better that I know.

So here is the mod in pics. I bought about 2 Ĺ years ago the Valeterra upgrade kit. Just never go it on. It was suppose to go on the old camper, but since the new one arrived, well it was destined to be there. It is on page 33 of this Valterra catalog. http://www.valterra.com/files/Valter...RV_Catalog.pdf

So here goes.

First was to mount the fan. These can go in a few places but ideally up top is the best place for them. So I found a way to install it up top. Take the fridge vent cap off. Just peal out the Dicor out of the screw holes and it unscrews right off. Now I also have a sun baked Vent cap so I replaced it too in this process.


Then on the very outer edge, I slit the screen so I could put it back. Here is what is looks like under the screen.


I donít have a pic of just the screen cut but do with the fan installed. Following Valterra instructions, I can just rotate the fan right into the putty tape. The fan is made with a chamfered edge to do this. It holds well.




So I ran the wires down the side and fastened them in place with plastic tubing clips.


Then I folded the screen back and Dicoríed it closed to make a screen seal. Worked good.


Then I added a new Camco fridge cover. They are made of better plastic with better UV protectors. Put Dicor over the screws to keep them from rusting out. And I put 303 protectant inside and out on the cover and the screen hood.


Now down at the bottom for the T stat hook up.

I created my own adjustable location mount and I added a fuse. This thing had no fuse, the wire was the fuseÖ not good. However I found this location did not work as well as I wanted it too. Originally Valterra has a special tape you put on and it melts into a final holding spot. Since I wanted to maybe move it, I made up my own. The sensor does have to be tight up against the pipe.




Being it was 2 Ĺ years since I bought this kit, I put the instructions away in that perfect safe keeping place. So safe, I still canít find themÖ. So I did not exactly remember where they declared to mount it. I found that upper location did not get as hot as the lower location. Figures, it was to easy out in the openÖ. So I moved the sensor down to the bottom and that is where it now stays.






The way this thing works is:

Up in the fan itself there is a normally open sensor, (Thermal disk switch) It is set at 100F and it trips on. When it gets above 100F, that allows power to the fan if power was at the upstream side of the switch. When the temp. drops below 100F, about 90F I think, that switch opens back up and shuts the fan down.

But there is also the sensor down below. The 2 switches are wired in series and both are normally open. So nothing runs until the fridge is actually heated up and doing something. The switch below is also a thermal disk switch at around ~ 130F maybe 140. The 2 T stat's work together to turn the fan on and off as needed. It takes about 30 to 40 minutes of running on electric cooling to get the fan to come on. Then it runs until the fridge stops calling for cold.

Dometic should of put these on from day one they help so much or at least offer them as an option to buy. And Dometic knows about them. On the high end fridges they put 2 fans on at the factory. See here on this one I took a pick at last year. This was at the RV Hall of Fame in Elkhart IN. where Dometic has a display. The RV industry is so competitive that good features at times get cut due to cost per 1,000ís of campers.

These are basically computer muffin fans running off a thermal disk switch on the coil up top.





Well thatís it. The mod works good. EMAN did the solar power one last year and he reported it worked well too. However I do not know if it runs at night time.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 11-27-2009, 08:43 AM   #2
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Nice work as usual, John.

I did the same thing last year right before we headed to buttonwood. Our first trip ever was about 2 weeks prior and the fridge was having a bit of a hard time keeping the freezer at 0.

I added just a pair of 3" computer fans on angle brackets up top and the difference was immediately apparent - we found the freezer at 20 below 0 and I had to turn it down!

I do like their use of the klixon switches for control, I need to do that with mine. Right now it's just an on/off switch near the door that I flip on when it's hot out and turn it back off at night or when it cools off.

And I'm glad to see I'm not the only guy who uses quick disconnects to make a fuse holder

- Frank
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Old 11-27-2009, 09:49 AM   #3
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Nice work John, I added one of the Solar Powered Frige fans that runs non-stop as long as the sun is shining.

I was surprised that even on very cloudy days, I can still hear the hum of the fan running.

I think it costs around $75 and took maybe an hour to install. Hardest part was pulling the caulk out of the screw holes in the top of the Frige Vent Shroud on top of the coach.

I should have installed a temp gauge in the opening to see if it helped that much, but when we installed it, we wre in Death Valley and in triple digit temps, so I'm thinking any type of air movement would help
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Old 11-27-2009, 09:52 AM   #4
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Also

We have also added a

fan to our all electric refrigerator. It is also a computer muffin fan. I tapped into the refrigerators AC power that runs the compressor. The fan only comes on when the refrigerators running though the fan is very quiet. As well I put some old heatsinks on the compressor to improve cooling.

I only allow it to run when we're in a hot weather.

I assume it makes it more efficient but no measurements taken to this point.

We also use the same Walmart remote temperature sensor - $10 to remotely montor the refrige. I also use the same ThermostatI see in your picture for controlling temperature in my motohome and home.
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Old 11-29-2009, 07:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frank

snip...

And I'm glad to see I'm not the only guy who uses quick disconnects to make a fuse holder

- Frank
Ah, you picked up on that! Well, they are as industrial as the rest the refrig compartment. Remember the entire 12 DC terminal strip is right out in the open. I guess they call it RV industrial gradeÖ. This was one of my weaker moments when, OK John it does not have to outlast the TTÖ.

Actual home Heating/Cooling units do that a lot too. My Lenox heat pump is loaded with them.

And I figured you if anyone, would be the PC muffin fan manÖ.

John

PS I actually have a 12 volt muffin fan for inside the fridge. Just never got around to installing it yet
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Old 12-03-2009, 03:26 PM   #6
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This may be a stupid question, but here goes...

If using a muffin fan, couldn't you simply power it from the unit's 12V system? That way, it would come on any time the fridge thermostat activated the system.

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Old 12-03-2009, 04:05 PM   #7
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MI uffin Fan

My refrige is an AC only refrige so there's no 12 volts. I added an old 12 volt converter that runs off the compressor's AC.

The other thing I did was use plastic screening on the refrige's roof vent and wall vent to keep out mosquitos. We found in Labrador that mosquitos can get in at night, nothing is more annoying than a buzzing mosquito, I don't know why they're all not stealth mosquitos.

Actually we even found that one would occasionally sneak down the handle of the vent, where there's an opening.

We never had any trouble during the daytime because of the breezes.
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