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3 way refrigerator fan mod


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#1 57Pan

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Posted 21 May 2021 - 09:52 PM

Has anyone added fans to their 3 way refrigerator. Just finishing up a trip thru Arizona and as you can imagine my refrigerator can not keep cool in this heat. I’ve seen diy info on the internet about adding fans, they show both inside and.on outside of the refrigerator. I was liking the idea of adding an exhaust fan or two on the upper outside exhaust vent.
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#2 kmcintyre

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Posted 22 May 2021 - 12:12 PM

If you search the forum I'm sure there's a write up somewhere.  Pretty easy if you can get access.


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#3 larryqp

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Posted 22 May 2021 - 01:21 PM

Many years ago, I had a Scamper pop-up truck camper. I added a small solar power fan in the "flue" area near the coils and it really helped. We were in Moab and the inside of the refrigerator was only 50 degrees, after adding the fan it got down to 40 degrees. It was a kit made specifically for RV refrigerators. Came with fan, small solar panel and all wiring & mounting hardware.


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#4 2Z Bundok

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Posted 22 May 2021 - 10:10 PM

We have added 4" computer fans to both inside and outside.  Outside has inline fuse and button style thermostat that comes on about 90˚F.  Inline fuse is important...some times we like to turn it off.  Inside I rigged, 12V supply for Fridge to a switch cut into controls face panel.  Salvaged PC fan is zip tied underneath bottom rack.  Will try to strategically stock small Fridge and turn on during hot days for interior circulation.  Looking to do more with less.  Results after next trip.


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#5 ski3pin

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Posted 22 May 2021 - 10:55 PM

A couple previous topics on Wander the West -

 

Fridge Fan Install

 

 

Adding a Fan to the Fridge?


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#6 michelle_east_county

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Posted 23 May 2021 - 06:31 AM

On my father's '97 Roadtrek 170 neither the original nor the replacement refer fit to Domestic specs in the too-big enclosure, so we had a shop add insulation on top and sides to fill gaps of an inch or two and make it zero-clearance there. That, and a baffle at bottom of coils to better-direct natural convection past coils, up, and out upper vent rather than having hot air swirl along sides and pool on top made a few degrees difference, and eliminated a warm-to-touch inside countertop and the wall adjacent to the refer sidewall. A small fan for coils had been previously added to replacement refer when installed; that did make for quicker initial cool-down and perhaps 3-4 degrees inside refer or freezer temp when in extreme heat and parked. However, too much general airflow MAY prevent proper heating of area the refer burner is trying to heat and cooling will be limited. This happened when driving on the freeway, apparently due to body shape of Dodge Ram Van on which the Roadtrek 170 was based, with one tech thinking there might be a vacuum on upper vent area pulling too much air through. We theorized further fixes but didn't try it. Parked with the sun not hitting refer side of vehicle and below about 90 degrees, everything was fine. These things aren't easy.

Another thing that kept temp a little more even was a twin D-cell fan that sat in door where drinks might go. Fan and motor were tiny and would surprisingly run a month.

Edited by michelle_east_county, 23 May 2021 - 06:35 AM.

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#7 ntsqd

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Posted 27 May 2021 - 01:30 PM

I added a pair of 80mm box fans on t-stats to our first camper when it had a 3 way fridge in it. I placed them inside directly behind the top vent blowing air out. They helped, but my ice cream still melted. :(

 

I powered them off the fridge itself, so any time the fridge was on they were on. I also had a manual switch to both turn them off and force them on no matter what the t-stats were doing.

 

After the ice cream episode I replaced it with a compressor fridge and haven't looked back. Working at it's best (calcification cleaned out, fans on, etc., etc., etc.) the best that the 3 way could manage was about 40° below ambient. If we lived in the North instead of on this Coastal Desert, and only visited cold places that would likely be fine. Because we do not, that wasn't good enough.


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Thom

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#8 57Pan

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Posted 31 May 2021 - 02:00 PM

Thank you for your responses and the links, I’ve received the fans that I ordered and waiting on a speed controller. Then I will perform my mod adding exterior vent vans on the upper vent. My experience with my 3 way fridge is that it works best on AC or propane in about 80 degree weather or below. 12 vdc is used only when on the road.
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#9 57Pan

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Posted 27 June 2021 - 03:15 PM

Well I installed my 2 fans in the upper exterior vent to exhaust hot air out. I was able to test it yesterday, it definitely brought the temperature down by 10 or 15 degrees, but still not as low as I would like. It was in the triple digits yesterday, so way above normal. This morning I checked it and everything was good, but of course it cooled off dramatically thru the night.
I live in southwest Washington and we are having a record setting heat wave this weekend. Triple digits all weekend long which is unheard of around here.
I’m overall satisfied with this 3 way refrigerator, but realize in real high temperatures it is going to struggle.
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