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August 2018 . . . . Issue #367



Tips to Help Keep the Refrigerator Cool

Tip 1: Exterior Flue Fans


If your travel plans include an extended stay in a very hot climate over 90 degrees F (32 C) daily, the refrigerator may not stay cool enough to keep food fresh.


Installing a couple of 12V computer case fans at the top of the refrigerator exhaust vent on the roof eliminates this problem. Depending on the size of your RV refrigerator exhaust vent on the roof, there may only be room for one large fan.


Some refrigerator designs may require the fan to be installed at the bottom. Avoid this if possible. The fans need to draw the hot air up and out to the roof, not push it up or pull it down.


Some service installers may spin a tale about the best installation, but I have tried both top and bottom vent fan placement. The fans installed in the top of the vent far outperform the bottom location.


The top vent design is a tougher install project and may cost a few more dollars in labor, but well worth it when the temperature hits 110 degrees. If you understand 12V schematics, it is an easy installation.

  • Measure the top surface opening of the refrigerator exhaust vent on the roof. Purchase these small computer case fans locally at an electronics/computer store or online (about $5 each).
  • Install an on/off switch within easy reach for flexibility in colder climates.
  • Do it yourself or contact a local RV repairperson to install the fans at your RV park site.

Caution: Do not allow the RV repairperson to purchase the fans. They do not usually have the correct specifications or understand the reasoning behind using computer case fans over conventional refrigerator vent fans. Computer fans are also less expensive ($5 versus $35) and much quieter.


Note: Unless your RV is less than 20 feet long, ignore the solar-type vent fans, as they do not produce enough airflow to do the job in hot weather.


Minimum specifications to ensure high airflow and low fan noise:


120 mm (5 inch) Computer Case Fan:
Air Flow (FM) 44.03; Max. Noise dBA) 23.5

80 mm (3 inch) Computer Case Fan:
Air Flow (CFM) 28.89; Max Noise (dBA) 20.9


Tip 2: Interior Refrigerator Fan


To assist with air circulation inside the refrigerator, purchase an inexpensive, battery-operated refrigerator fan. Place the fan in the front of the refrigerator compartment on the lower shelf.


It improves the efficiency by circulating the air and reduces the initial cool down time by half.


The fan uses two alkaline size ā€œDā€ batteries that last about two or three months. Choose the cheaper, smaller size "D" battery. The Kroger brand (or any house brand) is made just a little smaller and fit snug but allow the bottom lid to close.


This fan is well worth the battery expense as it keeps food much fresher, especially salad greens, and reduces the moisture buildup inside.


Put this on your maintenance calendar to check every
two months.

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