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Author Topic: Preparing refrigerator for use in cold weather  (Read 527 times)

Hill202

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Preparing refrigerator for use in cold weather
« on: November 29, 2017, 05:58:46 PM »
I'm going to be spending some time in cold weather. Is there anything that I need to do to prep the fridge? Specifically the vent outside. I know I should not block the vent completely but would it hurt to block some of the openings? Will below freezing temps even hurt the refrigerator?

Thanks

kdbgoat

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Re: Preparing refrigerator for use in cold weather
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2017, 06:24:42 PM »
Cold weather can affect the operation of the fridge. Some have put a light bulb at the bottom to warm the lower section of the fridge. I found something by accident on my old trailer. My fridge was in a slide, and vented out the wall at the top. There was a fan installed by the factory to help move the heat out in warm weather. The fan was installed incorrectly and blew down instead of up. The fridge worked great in really cold weather, but not so well in hot weather. That's when I found it was installed wrong.
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Hill202

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Re: Preparing refrigerator for use in cold weather
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2017, 06:38:35 PM »
The bulb sounds like a good idea. I was thinking trying to capture some of the warm air the compressor puts out. But the compressor is going to shut off sooner or later. If its in really cold conditions, why does it need to vent at all?

Memtb

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Re: Preparing refrigerator for use in cold weather
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2017, 06:53:18 PM »
   Is your refrigerator a residential type or an RV (propane/electric).  Ours is an RV type and have used it many times in below zero weather (over the last 20 years)....and took no special measures.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2017, 07:26:07 PM by Memtb »
Todd and Marianne
Home Base: Winchester, Wy.
Miniature Schnauzers - Sundai, Nellie and Maggie Mae
2007 Dodge Ram 3500,  6.7 Ram 6 speed manual, 4x4
2004 Teton Grand Freedom
2007 Bigfoot Class C

NY_Dutch

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Re: Preparing refrigerator for use in cold weather
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2017, 06:56:20 PM »
LP/electric RV absorption fridges don't have a compressor, and the vent is needed to clear the exhaust fumes from the LP burner and vent the heat from the condenser coils. In cold weather, it can help stabilize the performance if the lower vent is partially closed off. If you have a residential fridge, then no special action should be needed.
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox base plate

Hill202

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Re: Preparing refrigerator for use in cold weather
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2017, 02:18:59 AM »
It's a RV type, LP/electric. I assumed it had a compressor. I forgot about the propane. I definitely don't need to be blocking the vent.

This was the last thing on my list to prep for cold weather.

Thanks for the responses.

glen54737

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Re: Preparing refrigerator for use in cold weather
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2017, 06:47:11 AM »
   Is your refrigerator a residential type or an RV (propane/electric).  Ours is an RV type and have used it many times in below zero weather (over the last 20 years)....and took no special measures.
Same here I had one stop working but it started again with no changes except warming up.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Preparing refrigerator for use in cold weather
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2017, 09:12:44 AM »
NY Dutch gave good advice. Partially blocking the vent can help in extreme cold weather, but that is probably well below 32 F. If you find the fridge is not cooling as well as during warmer weather, put a strip of duct tape over parts of the outer wall vent, leaving at least 25% of it open.  However, do not forget that you blocked it off when the weather gets warmer. Too much heat build-up will also stop the cooling action.

The gas flame is tiny and needs very little air flow for combustion and exhaust.
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NY_Dutch

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Re: Preparing refrigerator for use in cold weather
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2017, 09:02:49 AM »
Yes, the fridge performance problems usually don't start showing up until the temps drop into the 20's F. The reason for partially blocking the lower vent is to help retain the heat from the flame in the boiler. That's the part of an absorption fridge that basically replaces the compressor used in residential fridges in that it causes the circulation action that carries away the heat from inside the box.
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox base plate

Memtb

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Re: Preparing refrigerator for use in cold weather
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2017, 11:25:40 AM »
Yes, the fridge performance problems usually don't start showing up until the temps drop into the 20's F. The reason for partially blocking the lower vent is to help retain the heat from the flame in the boiler. That's the part of an absorption fridge that basically replaces the compressor used in residential fridges in that it causes the circulation action that carries away the heat from inside the box.


     Dutch, I guess we’ve been really lucky. When younger , and got our first 5er (26 years ago), we were very naive (uneducated) to RV issues. We never (knock on wood) had any refrigerator issues in the cold. We do a bit of winter camping, and lived in our old camper through two (2) Wyoming winters (seeing many -20 to -30’s) and had no problems. But, if we do.... at least now I have some ideas on what to try! I hope that I can remember this a few minutes after I hit “post”!   ;D
Todd and Marianne
Home Base: Winchester, Wy.
Miniature Schnauzers - Sundai, Nellie and Maggie Mae
2007 Dodge Ram 3500,  6.7 Ram 6 speed manual, 4x4
2004 Teton Grand Freedom
2007 Bigfoot Class C

NY_Dutch

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Re: Preparing refrigerator for use in cold weather
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2017, 12:13:59 PM »

     Dutch, I guess we’ve been really lucky. When younger , and got our first 5er (26 years ago), we were very naive (uneducated) to RV issues. We never (knock on wood) had any refrigerator issues in the cold. We do a bit of winter camping, and lived in our old camper through two (2) Wyoming winters (seeing many -20 to -30’s) and had no problems. But, if we do.... at least now I have some ideas on what to try! I hope that I can remember this a few minutes after I hit “post”!   ;D

I've had RV's that didn't have any fridge problems down in the single digits or lower, but I've also had a few that did have trouble holding stable temps in the cold weather. My guess is that it depends on the airflow patterns in each installation. A couple of strips of duct tape on the inside of the lower vent is a cheap enough measure that won't hurt anything even if it's not really needed.
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox base plate

 

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