caravan refrigerators

General Discussion, tips and questions and answer on Motorhomes & Campervans. Buy and sell below in Vehicles for Sale.

caravan refrigerators

Postby aba326 » Thu Nov 09, 2006 8:31 pm

I would like some help.I have recently completed a half circumnavigation of our beutiful country and during our time in the tropics we had problems keeping our refridgerator cold.A fellow traveller suggested we buy a small computer fan & install it behind the fridge to assist venting.My question is where to position it (ie) top vent or bottom.should it suck air into the van or exhaust out.
I have asked other travellers some suggest the bottom sucking in others say at the top sucking in.
Can anyone shed any light on this matter.
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2006 8:40 pm
Location: Adelaide

Postby Scolers » Thu Nov 09, 2006 8:52 pm

I'm guessing you have a 3 way fridge ... correct? If this is the case then I'm pretty sure that you won't get much better temp settings than 25 degrees below ambient ie. If it's 35 degrees outside the fridge will only cool to 10 degrees ... not the best really.

I can't comment on your literal problem but personally what I would do is buy a WAECO fridge or Engel fridge and put what needs to be kept very cold in that and maybe just use the caravan fridge for vege's and stuff that only needs to be kept 'cool'. This is a common practice amongst caravaners who travel fair distances ... especially up north!

Hope this helps somewhat.

Cheers ...

Apprentice Grey Nomad
Posts: 1469
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2006 4:32 pm
Location: Not in residence

Postby aba326 » Fri Nov 10, 2006 9:29 am

Thanks for your response
.You are right on the money.25degrees difference seems about right.
However some travellers claim a fan marginally improves the efficiency of the fridge.
My immediate problem is I bought the fan but am unsure of location to install for best results.
We do travel with a Engel fridge in the car & use it only as a freezer (it works a treat)we can keep it over -6 matter where we go.They are fantastic.
Another tip is to buy a vacuem packing machine & cryavac your meat and it will keep for months.
I understand also that Waco produce a fridge that fits in to the aperature of the standard 3 way fridge and is operated by a compressor (12volt)
That is also an option for far north travel.(I understand they are expensive)
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2006 8:40 pm
Location: Adelaide

Postby Kramer » Fri Nov 10, 2006 9:32 am

I think these days you can buy fans that are more efficient one way or the other, eg the can blow better than they suck or vice versa depends on thier application. If you are pulling them out of an old computer look at which way it is working and use it that way.
All Your Beers Are Belong To Us!
User avatar
Tree-climbing Mountain Goat
Posts: 622
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 12:07 pm
Location: Gladstone, QLD

Postby Komodo » Mon Nov 13, 2006 10:47 am

It is best to suck the air out.

atmopheric pressure (generally speaking) is 14psi there fore if you suck the air out of an area then theres 14psi of pressure forcing 'new' air into the area. The theory is that the 'new' air will be cooler than the air that has been in the vicinity of the 'hotspot' thus improving the efficiency.

Remember it is easier to compress air than to generate a vaccuum thats why blowing in is less efficient than sucking out.
A place I'd rather be...
Mitchel Road, Bomjinna. Central West Victoria (Jan '08)
User avatar
Grandpa Talks Alot eh?
Posts: 846
Joined: Wed Oct 18, 2006 1:35 pm
Location: Frankston South [VIC]

Postby aba326 » Mon Nov 13, 2006 2:33 pm

Thanks for your response it does make sense.
I would therefore assume put the fan at the top vent & suck the hot air out ??
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2006 8:40 pm
Location: Adelaide

blowing vs sucking

Postby gqpatrol » Mon Nov 13, 2006 10:39 pm

I think blowing was the insinuation.
Captain Camping
Posts: 99
Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2006 8:44 pm
Location: Rockhampton Queensland

Postby tony54418 » Mon Nov 13, 2006 11:36 pm

If you get onto and sift through their yahoo group files (you have to join) there is a file there with a step by step test on what a guy did to get a better temperature with a computer fan. Good luck with it
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2006 3:28 pm

Re: caravan refrigerators

Postby farmer joe » Thu Feb 19, 2009 9:03 am

Make sure you get hold of a 'Climate Class T' absorption fridge. Rated to > 40 degree temperature difference.

Also installation venting, power source etc etc

The article from which the following extract on the climate class rating of refrigerators is reproduced by express permission, Collyn Rivers, Caravan & Motorhome Books, Broome, WA 6725. This article is protected by Copyright.

Climate Class Ratings

I to explain here just what I mean. A number of fridges sold in Australia are marketed as 'tropicalised'. Whilst this is a reasonable description of their design and construction, the term 'tropicalised' can unintentionally mislead those not familiar with fridge technology.

The increasingly accepted European Union (CEN) fridge performance standard, includes so-called 'Climate Classes' in which the most stringent is Climate Class T. And that 'T' stands for Tropical. So in the way that 'oils ain't necessarily oils', a 'tropicalised' fridge ain't necessarily Climate Class T.

There are four (CEN Standard) Climate Class ratings.

Fridges rated 'SN', and 'N' (which stands for Sub Normal, and Normal respectively) are designed and rated to work up to 32 degrees C.

Fridges marked 'ST', (which stands for Sub Tropical) are designed and rated to work up to 36 degrees C. Those marked 'T' (which stands for Tropical) are designed and rated to work up to 43 degrees C.

A correctly installed fridge Climate Class rated fridge can be relied upon to work satisfactorily up to the highest ambient temperature for which it is rated. But once past that temperature, cooling performance is likely to drop off. If, for example, you have a Climate Class SN or N fridge (ie. designed for 32 degrees maximum), but it's 42 degrees outside, the beer in that fridge is likely to be up to ten degrees C warmer.

So if you are planning to spend time in places that are very hot, it is prudent to use a 'T-rated' unit. I have yet to encounter anyone even locally using a correctly installed 'T-rated' fridge that was not completely satisfied with its performance. And I live in the Kimberley which is one of the most consistently hot areas of this country.

Do note that the European Union Standard that includes Climate Class ratings is not obligatory in Australia. Nevertheless Dometic and a few other fridge vendors market fridges in Australia that have the 'Climate Class' rating noted on their compliance plate (which you'll find inside the fridge). Climate Class T fridges were for example fitted in several display Winnebagos on display at the Casino Rally and many CMCA members have recently bought them.

Be clear regarding this: a statement that a fridge is 'tropicalised' does not imply that it meets Climate Class 'T' requirements.

Dometic states that its fridges that do meet the 'T' standard (and are designated accordingly on the compliance plate) are the larger models RM 2453, RM 2553, and RM 4601. The company claims only that its smaller fridges are 'tropicalised'.

Further info in the following links: ... n_tips.htm ... es_two.htm
farmer joe
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 10:11 pm

Re: caravan refrigerators

Postby oldtrack123 » Thu Feb 19, 2009 4:03 pm

Hi Aba
Despite the many experiences to the contrary, correctly installed standard 3way fridges can perform in temps up to 40c ambient temp.Mine will continue to freeze & hold the food compartment @ 3c
YOU do not say what you are using it in, but look for / do the following :-
#1 make sure your door is sealing tight ALL ROUND fridges with a top catch only can have the door spring slightly open @ the bottom loosing cold air.I fitted a shot bolt to the bottom to seal tight.
#2 If it is in a van/mh try to have some air circulation through the van/ mh. It can get very hot inside a closed van.
#3 you need to get the condenser [ the fins] cooled as much as possible.
I did the following:-
#4 fitted a divider between the boiler & the rest of the rear components. this divider extends from the base to above the level of the top of the fridge. It also butts up against the m/h side wall vent[ make sure you have some vent to allow AIR for gas burner.
#5 Fitted a baffle level with the top of the condenser fins & which extended across from the cabinet side wall to the upright divider, it also butted against the mh side vent.
#6 made a shroud to fit a12v fan & direct[blows[ ALL of it's air flows over the fins.[ from the bottom]
#7 Fitted a Jaycar thermostat 70c part #ST3833[ app $5]on top of the fins on the boiler side to control fan.
#8 ensure you have plenty of air inlet to fan & plenty of hot air venting.
This method ensures that the hot air from the boiler does not cross circulate & interfere with the condenser cooling, the condenser has cool air forced directly through its fins.
When the fan is not needed natural ciculation is also greatly improved .
.Do not leave any gaps around the sides or on top of the fridge cabinet where hot air can accumulate.
ONE final point, make sure your fridge is level sideways & front to back.
Operation out of level can lead to poor performance & if long term can cause permanent damage!!
Camping King
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 12:25 pm

Return to Motorhomes & Campervans

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests