minor tip - pre-cooling the fridge

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

patsdad

Active member
Joined
Mar 28, 2006
Posts
25
I couldn't run my fridge in my mom's ( steeply sloped ) driveway during a recent trip, but wanted to pre-cool the fridge before we left, and found that stainless steel mixing bowls filled with ice, and then placed ( one in the freezer and one touching the cooling fins in the fridge ) so they were touching the metal fridge parts did an excellent job of transfering the heat, and pre-cooled the fridge to a nice low temp in just a couple of hours. I think the heat conducting properties of the metal bowls is the thing - the fridge was down from 75 to 45 in no time, and all the metal parts of the fridge were nice and cold before we lit it for the return trip.  Hope someone finds this useful -
 

Karl

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Posts
5,154
Location
Elkhart Lake, WI for the summer. Work at Road Amer
Excellent tip (although I prefer to keep my ice cubes for other purposes ;D) You hit on the key item here - the metal bowls touching the metal fridge parts for maximum heat transfer, and very smart of you to not use it when the angle is too steep! Front-to-back and side-to-side are equally important.
 

Blues Chaser

Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2005
Posts
13
Location
Wilmington, DE
Curious - just installed brand new Dometic after death of 16-year old original.  New instructions mention leveling but say "sufficient for comfortable living in unit" or words to that effect.  Have they increased the off-level tolerance?  On those black external level things gradeD 1, 2, 3 etc, what's an acceptABLE TILT?
 

Gasser

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 21, 2006
Posts
173
Location
Ada, Oklahoma
Any problem throwing in a piece of dry Ice to get the ball rolling?  No water to worry with, don't need a bowl and should get it nice and cold in there.  Small piece woiuld not get it below freezing but should get all the metal parts down to temp.  My local walmart carries Dry ice for trips.

Just a thought

 

Karl

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Posts
5,154
Location
Elkhart Lake, WI for the summer. Work at Road Amer
And a very interesting thought too! Wow, some of youse guys are pretty inventive  :)

One thing you might want to consider is placing it in the center of one of the racks so no single area gets too cold, and a small 12V fan to circulate the 'air', as CO2 would sink to the bottom. I installed a computer fan in mine, hooked up to the interior light power (bypassing the door switch so it runs all the time), to even out the temp throughout the unit. Works great!
 

Gasser

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 21, 2006
Posts
173
Location
Ada, Oklahoma
Karl said:
And a very interesting thought too! Wow, some of youse guys are pretty inventive? :)

One thing you might want to consider is placing it in the center of one of the racks so no single area gets too cold, and a small 12V fan to circulate the 'air', as CO2 would sink to the bottom. I installed a computer fan in mine, hooked up to the interior light power (bypassing the door switch so it runs all the time), to even out the temp throughout the unit. Works great!
Great Idea.  I will give it a try on my first outing.

Jeff
 

Jeff

Site Team
Joined
Apr 8, 2005
Posts
8,965
Location
SD/AZ
Gasser said:
Any problem throwing in a piece of dry Ice to get the ball rolling?  No water to worry with, don't need a bowl and should get it nice and cold in there.  Small piece would not get it below freezing but should get all the metal parts down to temp.  My local walmart carries Dry ice for trips.

Just a thought

When we were in Yuma at the Brewer's in Feb and their Dometic gave up the ghost (again) they experimented with dry ice.

It got pretty expensive to keep the refrigerator cool.
 

Gasser

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 21, 2006
Posts
173
Location
Ada, Oklahoma
Jeff /Washington said:
When we were in Yuma at the Brewer's in Feb and their Dometic gave up the ghost (again) they experimented with dry ice.

It got pretty expensive to keep the refrigerator cool.

Well, I bet that would get quite expensive as a sole method of keeping that thing cool as every time you opened the door, all the cold C02 gas would run out onto the floor.  But for pre-cooling the fridge it may be a good jump start compared to the cost of propane or electricity overnite before departure.

 

Riverdog

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 10, 2006
Posts
175
Location
Spokane Valley, WA
Gasser said:
Any problem throwing in a piece of dry Ice to get the ball rolling?? No water to worry with, don't need a bowl and should get it nice and cold in there.? Small piece woiuld not get it below freezing but should get all the metal parts down to temp.? My local walmart carries Dry ice for trips.

Just a thought
I've found using dry ice works quite well.  What I usually do is pre-cool with electricity then if I'm going on a long trip I throw some dry ice in for the day since my fridge tends to blow out during travel.  It works great & keeps everything cool.
 

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
Gasser said:
Any problem throwing in a piece of dry Ice to get the ball rolling?? No water to worry with, don't need a bowl and should get it nice and cold in there.? Small piece woiuld not get it below freezing but should get all the metal parts down to temp.? My local walmart carries Dry ice for trips.

Just a thought

Be careful.  Dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide CO2.  From Wikipedia's article on carbon dioxide:

The U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safey and Health limits brief exposures (up to ten minutes) to 3% and considers concentrations exceeding 4% as "immediately dangerous to life and health." People who breathe 5% carbon dioxide for more than half an hour show signs of acute hypercapnia, while breathing 7%?10% carbon dioxide can produce unconsciousness in only a few minutes. Carbon dioxide, either as a gas or as dry ice, should be handled only in well-ventilated areas

The inside of an RV is not necessarily a well ventilated place.  Carbon dioxide can kill.

Actually a good way to speed cooling is to run the fridge on propane as opposed to 12O VAC. 
 

Gasser

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 21, 2006
Posts
173
Location
Ada, Oklahoma
Well, on our last trip to the lake we precooled our fridge with dry ice.  worked great!!!!.  My wife actually put in too much and we had a little ice in our milk.  The milk was close to the chunk of dry ice.  We kept it in some separate plastic bowls.  There really would be no problem with CO2 gas considering how heavy Co2 is and the short time you will be using it.  Also, an RV is not that air tight.  It really worked well in the freezer.  We only turned the fridge on when leaving and left it on while driving down to the lake.  Once there, we took the dry ice out and let the kids play with it in some water in the sink in our friends double wide trailer.  They thought all the heavy white smoke settling to the floor was great.  Great opportunity to teach some science to the kids.  Can we say sublimation! ;D
 

copnurse

New member
Joined
Feb 28, 2006
Posts
3
We buy margarita mix in a bag, fill it and freeze at home before a trip. The day before the trip we turn on the fridge and put one in the freezer and one in the fridge to help it get cold. The fridge gets cold quicker and you have a tasty beverage when you get to your campsite
 

Gasser

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 21, 2006
Posts
173
Location
Ada, Oklahoma
copnurse said:
We buy margarita mix in a bag, fill it and freeze at home before a trip. The day before the trip we turn on the fridge and put one in the freezer and one in the fridge to help it get cold. The fridge gets cold quicker and you have a tasty beverage when you get to your campsite
Now we are starting to think!!! ;D? I will try that next time.? I may need to make several batches to fill up my 4 door norcold ;)
 
Top Bottom