Refrigerator vents

Outnabout

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2015
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317
I’m wondering what those you that have replaced the 3 way fridge with a 12v fridge have done with the vents outside. Also, how do you deal with proper ventilation for the 12v? Thanks
 
Wandering Sagebrush said:
Try a Google search like -> site wanderthewest.com “refrigerator vents”. There are a number of threads that cover vents and fans that might help.
Excellent suggestion, this turned up many helpful posts. Thanks.
 
I have the largest Isotherm compressor fridge (130 liter) offered as an option on my 2021 Grandby front dinette model. My camper is fairly easy to access right now. If you’d like pictures of the exterior vent and inside the exterior vent door I can take pictures for you.
 
Jon R said:
I have the largest Isotherm compressor fridge (130 liter) offered as an option on my 2021 Grandby front dinette model. My camper is fairly easy to access right now. If you’d like pictures of the exterior vent and inside the exterior vent door I can take pictures for you.
I would love to see some pictures of it isn’t too much trouble. I have a 2015 front dinette Grandby. I believe I have the larger of the 3-way fridges so I might be able to also fit the 130L. If you have pictures of the fridge installed from the front that would also be great. Thanks again.
 
Not sure I totally understand your question. Are you asking about what to do with the existing vents that the 3 way had? You can keep/use the same vents for the new fridge.
 
Photos of 2021 Grandby FD w/ 130 liter compressor fridge
 

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Vic Harder said:
Not sure I totally understand your question. Are you asking about what to do with the existing vents that the 3 way had? You can keep/use the same vents for the new fridge.
Yes. Also, I have seen that some install diagrams show some kind of vent space under the refrigerator. I assume to draw cooler air to the rear and over the compressor area. Just wondering if those that have these fridges see this as necessary. It doesn’t seem so based on the search results I have found.
 
Photo looking up from lower vent door on outside of camper showing the small supplemental fan FWC installs to increase circulation in the vent path on hot days. It’s controlled by a switch near the camper door.
 

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The ventilation on mine just cools the rear wall of the fridge and is sealed. I don’t see any other ventilation provisions.
 
I did mine a bit differently. I kept the fridge mounted as far forwards as possible so as to avoid bouncy/rough roads making "camper fridge surprise" messes. Note: To maximize interior room in the camper, the fridge is only vented on one side (front of the camper in this picture). The bottom is open to the 3000W inverter compartment below it.

full


In looking at these fridges (ours is a TruckFridge 130L, similar to others of this size) the compressor and fan are on the top right rear when looking from the front. The fan is only 4", and the air flow is pulled from the outside, and blown over the compressor and coils, and exits on the sides and bottom. I figured as long as I created an air tunnel, it would cool just fine. So far so good....

I kept the vent small so as to avoid water intrusion issues. The black vent in this pic is all I have on the outside. I have 1" rigid insulation on the back of the fridge, and made a channel in the foam that allows the fridge fan to pull air directly from this vent.

Pick of the vent and foam from the inside of the camper

full




I installed a super quiet fan designed for home theatre systems on the coils themselves (attached with zip ties) and powered off the same circuit that powers the stock fridge fan.

This is the stock fan, wedged between the coils. Notice the arrows indicating the direction of air flow

full


This is the fan I added.
full


This is where I tapped into the power feeding the existing fan
full


Wired up and ready to go

full




They both come on at the same time. The extra fan blows the air out of the front side vent through another channel cut into foam on that side. The extra fan also has a "high power" mode. This fan is so quiet because it is actually a 12V 75CFM (that's a LOT of air) fan that is "dumbed down" to use 5V via a USB connector, so it runs slowly and quietly on your home theatre amp. I used a 45*C thermistor thermally glued to the top of the compressor and wired to 12V to kick it into high speed mode when the compressor gets too hot.

This is where the fridge lives now

full



With more and bigger vents, this complicated a system may not have been necessary, but it is working well for us.
 
Jon R said:
The ventilation on mine just cools the rear wall of the fridge and is sealed. I don’t see any other ventilation provisions.
Thanks. I’m going to look for 130L and insulate all around. From just looking at measurements and not actually measuring the space it appears there is room on the sides and should be plenty of room behind. I will leave the stock vents as it appears that will provide enough ventilation. I don’t think I’ve ever had any trouble with water intruding through the vents. Thanks again for the pictures.
 
Vic Harder said:
I did mine a bit differently. I kept the fridge mounted as far forwards as possible so as to avoid bouncy/rough roads making "camper fridge surprise" messes. Note: To maximize interior room in the camper, the fridge is only vented on one side (front of the camper in this picture). The bottom is open to the 3000W inverter compartment below it.



In looking at these fridges (ours is a TruckFridge 130L, similar to others of this size) the compressor and fan are on the top right rear when looking from the front. The fan is only 4", and the air flow is pulled from the outside, and blown over the compressor and coils, and exits on the sides and bottom. I figured as long as I created an air tunnel, it would cool just fine. So far so good....

I kept the vent small so as to avoid water intrusion issues. The black vent in this pic is all I have on the outside. I have 1" rigid insulation on the back of the fridge, and made a channel in the foam that allows the fridge fan to pull air directly from this vent.

Pick of the vent and foam from the inside of the camper




I installed a super quiet fan designed for home theatre systems on the coils themselves (attached with zip ties) and powered off the same circuit that powers the stock fridge fan.

This is the stock fan, wedged between the coils. Notice the arrows indicating the direction of air flow



This is the fan I added.


This is where I tapped into the power feeding the existing fan


Wired up and ready to go



They both come on at the same time. The extra fan blows the air out of the front side vent through another channel cut into foam on that side. The extra fan also has a "high power" mode. This fan is so quiet because it is actually a 12V 75CFM (that's a LOT of air) fan that is "dumbed down" to use 5V via a USB connector, so it runs slowly and quietly on your home theatre amp. I used a 45*C thermistor thermally glued to the top of the compressor and wired to 12V to kick it into high speed mode when the compressor gets too hot.

This is where the fridge lives now



With more and bigger vents, this complicated a system may not have been necessary, but it is working well for us.
Thanks for the pointers and pictures.
 
My installation is from the factory, and I have never pulled the fridge out. It is difficult to see the vent fan that can be seen at the top of the outside wall ventilation space without unscrewing the upper fixed vent. That fan may be over an opening in the rear wall of the fridge (top right of the rear when viewed from the front). The fan is controlled from the camper, and the instructions say to use the fan on hot days. I have not used it much.
 
Jon R said:
My installation is from the factory, and I have never pulled the fridge out. It is difficult to see the vent fan that can be seen at the top of the outside wall ventilation space without unscrewing the upper fixed vent. That fan may be over an opening in the rear wall of the fridge (top right of the rear when viewed from the front). The fan is controlled from the camper, and the instructions say to use the fan on hot days. I have not used it much.
I have a fan attached to the upper vent and it controlled from the switch by the back door. I’m giving my 3-way one more chance this summer after I try to do a thorough cleaning of the burner, etc. I am getting weary of coming back to a warm fridge after a day out. The 12v sounds like a fix to that problem. Thanks again.
 
Outnabout said:
I have a fan attached to the upper vent and it controlled from the switch by the back door. I’m giving my 3-way one more chance this summer after I try to do a thorough cleaning of the burner, etc. I am getting weary of coming back to a warm fridge after a day out. The 12v sounds like a fix to that problem. Thanks again.
Personally, I would never use a 3 way fridge again. That was the first thing I did to our old Grandby, replaced the 3 way with a 12v compressor NovaKool fridge. I picked up another NovaKool fridge for my current build. Once you go with a compressor fridge, you will never go back to anything else.

Save your sanity and food before this summer. Just replace it now. I swapped the one in the Grandby and never changed any vents that were factory installed. No issues after 4 years of use and the new owner used it for years as well.
 
M1010 Mike said:
Personally, I would never use a 3 way fridge again. That was the first thing I did to our old Grandby, replaced the 3 way with a 12v compressor NovaKool fridge. I picked up another NovaKool fridge for my current build. Once you go with a compressor fridge, you will never go back to anything else.

Save your sanity and food before this summer. Just replace it now. I swapped the one in the Grandby and never changed any vents that were factory installed. No issues after 4 years of use and the new owner used it for years as well.
Thanks for sharing your experience. It seems like an easy swap and and as you say will most likely save my sanity. Cheers.
 
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