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In this section we share and discuss various technical advise that help fellow campers in general or regarding specific questions.

Any advice on cooling down an electric fridge compressor?

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15 Sep, 2022 @ 16:01:14 pm
Kashvir
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I have a Defy 240v electric bar fridge in the caravan which worked well for camping during winter months.

Now that Summer is approaching I was considering adding in an exhaust fan to expel heat as I've seen on some YouTube videos.

Looking for advice, suggestions and opinions as to whether it would be necessary.

The caravan does get considerably hot during summer. My concern is burning out the compressor in the middle of a camping trip.

I have included some pictures of the fridge, the vent and the 240v cooling fan.

How many days we live is not important ... what's important is how much we live in those days
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15 Sep, 2022 @ 18:08:57 pm
Paddyandpaul
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If anything the extraction fan should help keep the van cooler. I cannot imagine the fridge will need it for protection though.

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15 Sep, 2022 @ 18:46:11 pm
Chris Boucher
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I've got a double door fridge/freezer in my caravan. The vents on the sided is more than adequate for proper ventilation. I do not see the need for an exhaust fan. But if it would make it yourself feel more at ease - do so.

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15 Sep, 2022 @ 19:35:47 pm
Kashvir
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If anything the extraction fan should help keep the van cooler. I cannot imagine the fridge will need it for protection though.

I closed off the vent on the roof. I just have the single side vent as in the picture. Would that still be fine?

How many days we live is not important ... what's important is how much we live in those days
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15 Sep, 2022 @ 19:43:36 pm
Kashvir
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I've got a double door fridge/freezer in my caravan. The vents on the sided is more than adequate for proper ventilation. I do not see the need for an exhaust fan. But if it would make it yourself feel more at ease - do so.

I don't want to do anything unnecessary. I'm just concerned cos I've closed off the vent on the roof and now have only a single side vent as in the picture. Running the fridge during a hot summers day is my concern. What do you feel though in terms of the fridge running with just a single side vent in hot weather? Also I'm not sure if you said that you had two side vents.

How many days we live is not important ... what's important is how much we live in those days
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15 Sep, 2022 @ 19:43:48 pm
WilSur
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On my old 3B the fridge that wad installed by the pre. owner compressor also packe-up.  The original fridge was small and had a vent underneath to the oudside (same as yours) and the top one was through the roof they cosed it.

I also put a fan at the bottom when I had the fridge fixed, hope that will help.

Oppad na die volgende kamp.
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15 Sep, 2022 @ 20:26:43 pm
Kashvir
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On my old 3B the fridge that wad installed by the pre. owner compressor also packe-up.  The original fridge was small and had a vent underneath to the oudside (same as yours) and the top one was through the roof they cosed it.

I also put a fan at the bottom when I had the fridge fixed, hope that will help.

The reason I closed the top vent on the roof was because of bugs coming through, also the vent cover kept getting loose and falling out. Could be a common issue. This is my second fridge as well. The first fridge just stopped working. Could've been power surge or over heating. Got a feeling that is was over heated. Have you ran your fridge on a really hot day?

How many days we live is not important ... what's important is how much we live in those days
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15 Sep, 2022 @ 20:30:18 pm
JohanMarais
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I have a double door Defy in my Gypsey Regal and I installed 2 computer fans at the top grill (at the side of the caravan). I do not know if it helps, but I am more at ease.

I also got an electronic temp meter which switches on the fans when the temperature behind the fridge rises above 24°C and switches off when the temperature gets to 18°C. These are arbitrary temperatures as I hve no idea what the best temperatures should be.

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15 Sep, 2022 @ 22:46:31 pm
Kashvir
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I have a double door Defy in my Gypsey Regal and I installed 2 computer fans at the top grill (at the side of the caravan). I do not know if it helps, but I am more at ease.

I also got an electronic temp meter which switches on the fans when the temperature behind the fridge rises above 24°C and switches off when the temperature gets to 18°C. These are arbitrary temperatures as I hve no idea what the best temperatures should be.

The two side vent setup like what you have makes more sense for airflow than the roof top vent with a bottom side vent system as mine. The roof top vent doesn't allow for adequate airflow with its design and any modification to it may lead to water ingress. I had bugs coming through and had to seal it off completely.

How many days we live is not important ... what's important is how much we live in those days
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16 Sep, 2022 @ 07:40:43 am
Fred
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I think closing off the top vent was a mistake.  The design is that the hot air caused by the refrigerator rises and exits at the top drawing cooler air in at the bottom vent. This now cannot happen and the cooling will be minimal.  Besides the 'fridge not getting cool enough, I thing you seriously run the risk of damaging the compressor as this will work much longer and get much hotter in an effort to reach the correct temperature inside the 'fridge.  An adequate cooling fan at the back, if you can manage to ensure an in and out flow of air, might solve the problem, but then you will have to endure the constant buzzing of the fan.  Why not rather look at ways to screen the vents with the same type of screening used in the rooftop vents?   I used this on the floor vent of our Sprite too to stop mosquitos getting inside the van, quite successfully.

Het is beter rijk te leven dan rijk te sterven
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16 Sep, 2022 @ 08:05:54 am
JohanMarais
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I have 2 computer fans (not those used in servers) that run simultaneously and there is no buzzing sound.

I have mine also on a separate switch which allows me to switch them off at any time.  

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16 Sep, 2022 @ 08:18:41 am
Kashvir
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I think closing off the top vent was a mistake.  The design is that the hot air caused by the refrigerator rises and exits at the top drawing cooler air in at the bottom vent. This now cannot happen and the cooling will be minimal.  Besides the 'fridge not getting cool enough, I thing you seriously run the risk of damaging the compressor as this will work much longer and get much hotter in an effort to reach the correct temperature inside the 'fridge.  An adequate cooling fan at the back, if you can manage to ensure an in and out flow of air, might solve the problem, but then you will have to endure the constant buzzing of the fan.  Why not rather look at ways to screen the vents with the same type of screening used in the rooftop vents?   I used this on the floor vent of our Sprite too to stop mosquitos getting inside the van, quite successfully.

I'm also starting to think that it was a mistake...

Any idea where I can buy some type of screening?

I will reopen the top vent once I have the screening.

Should I still install cooling fans afterwards?

How many days we live is not important ... what's important is how much we live in those days
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16 Sep, 2022 @ 08:21:51 am
Kashvir
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I have 2 computer fans (not those used in servers) that run simultaneously and there is no buzzing sound.

I have mine also on a separate switch which allows me to switch them off at any time.  

Ya the ones I have are server fans and they howl.😅

How effective are the computer fans? I do have alot of them lying around, I just felt that the 240v fans might do a better job...

How many days we live is not important ... what's important is how much we live in those days
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16 Sep, 2022 @ 09:23:01 am
Fred
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I think a computer fan might be a little small for your purpose but it might still help a bit in your present setup if you decide to keep it.  Remember that if you use one, you have to connect it to a 12V power supply.   A 220V fan might be a bit of an overkill if you open the top vent and will certainly be heard, so if you want to use a fan, I would not advise going too big because of the noise.  Then a computer fan set to blow directly on the compressor might do the trick. Also I would add a switch so that you can disconnect it when not needed such as in winter.  But the fact is, almost all caravan 'fridges works well without an additional fan so perhaps you should just leave it out.

The gauze I think should be available at hardware stores.  I bought mine a long time ago, but I think it is where I got mine. Otherwise enquire at a caravan dealer.  But go for the fiber type, not the metal wire.  This is more pliable and can be pasted in place with contact glue which would make for an easy job.

Do give us feedback afterwards.  This way we learn from each other's experiences.

Het is beter rijk te leven dan rijk te sterven
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16 Sep, 2022 @ 09:32:11 am
Kashvir
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I think a computer fan might be a little small for your purpose but it might still help a bit in your present setup if you decide to keep it.  Remember that if you use one, you have to connect it to a 12V power supply.   A 220V fan might be a bit of an overkill if you open the top vent and will certainly be heard, so if you want to use a fan, I would not advise going too big because of the noise.  Then a computer fan set to blow directly on the compressor might do the trick. Also I would add a switch so that you can disconnect it when not needed such as in winter.  But the fact is, almost all caravan 'fridges works well without an additional fan so perhaps you should just leave it out.

The gauze I think should be available at hardware stores.  I bought mine a long time ago, but I think it is where I got mine. Otherwise enquire at a caravan dealer.  But go for the fiber type, not the metal wire.  This is more pliable and can be pasted in place with contact glue which would make for an easy job.

Do give us feedback afterwards.  This way we learn from each other's experiences.

Thanks for the advice Fred much appreciated. Will definitely post my updates.

How many days we live is not important ... what's important is how much we live in those days
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16 Sep, 2022 @ 09:48:04 am
JohanMarais
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I am not sure how good a job they do. I had to replace my fridge and thought it best to add the fans while there is enough space to do it. The fans are at the top vents and blows air to the outside, i.e. there is now always flow of air when they are switched on.

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16 Sep, 2022 @ 09:54:31 am
Kashvir
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I am not sure how good a job they do. I had to replace my fridge and thought it best to add the fans while there is enough space to do it. The fans are at the top vents and blows air to the outside, i.e. there is now always flow of air when they are switched on.

Yeah so you using them as exhaust fans not cooling fans which blow air directly onto the components. I'm also going to have the fans working to exhaust hot air.

How many days we live is not important ... what's important is how much we live in those days
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16 Sep, 2022 @ 13:34:57 pm
Nico
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Now you guys have me thinking and worrying .........

I closed off the roof vent as, whatever I did, I could not stop rainwater leaking in to the 'van. We had some terrible showers during the latter part of 2021 and early this year and I eventually resorted to Zika Flex on advice from a fellow camper. So now it is closed permanently.

Never checked the temperatures on our double door fridge/freezer though, although in defence, I must say we use the air-conditioner inside during hot temperatures. Hopefully this will help? Will in any case do temps checking during the mass camp next weekend.

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16 Sep, 2022 @ 13:42:14 pm
Kashvir
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Now you guys have me thinking and worrying .........

I closed off the roof vent as, whatever I did, I could not stop rainwater leaking in to the 'van. We had some terrible showers during the latter part of 2021 and early this year and I eventually resorted to Zika Flex on advice from a fellow camper. So now it is closed permanently.

Never checked the temperatures on our double door fridge/freezer though, although in defence, I must say we use the air-conditioner inside during hot temperatures. Hopefully this will help? Will in any case do temps checking during the mass camp next weekend.

I feel that you're in the clear because of the aircon. Don't stress. You're lucky you have the aircon. Just make sure that the cool air can flow behind the fridge area.

How many days we live is not important ... what's important is how much we live in those days
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3 days ago @ 07:26:53 am
Leon
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I closed off the vent on the roof. I just have the single side vent as in the picture. Would that still be fine?

This will work fine.  You can install the fan if you like but I do not think that the fridge will need it.  The vent at the back is more than you need.

GOD IS ALTYD TEENWOORDIG
Sonder Jesus is ek niks! ! ! !
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3 days ago @ 08:42:30 am
Kashvir
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This will work fine.  You can install the fan if you like but I do not think that the fridge will need it.  The vent at the back is more than you need.

Thanks Leon, I'm working on getting the top vent opened again as well adding the mesh / gauze so that insects do not creep through. You see this is my second fridge. I don't want to risk having to replace a fridge again.😅

How many days we live is not important ... what's important is how much we live in those days
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3 days ago @ 10:03:13 am
Leon
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Thanks Leon, I'm working on getting the top vent opened again as well adding the mesh / gauze so that insects do not creep through. You see this is my second fridge. I don't want to risk having to replace a fridge again.😅

The bar fridges are usually cramped in under a counter with very little space or air circulating around them.  Even with the hot outside temp  with the vent at the back the conditions are  mush better than under a counter.

 

GOD IS ALTYD TEENWOORDIG
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3 days ago @ 12:54:18 pm
Kashvir
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The bar fridges are usually cramped in under a counter with very little space or air circulating around them.  Even with the hot outside temp  with the vent at the back the conditions are  mush better than under a counter.

 

You do have a point....🤔

How many days we live is not important ... what's important is how much we live in those days
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3 days ago @ 16:14:28 pm
Fred
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If caravan manufacturers thought one vent was enough, they wold not have gone to the trouble of adding another one at the top.  Think about that.   But it is your van, so do what you want, but I would not start re-inventing the wheel or try proving the caravan people wrong.

Het is beter rijk te leven dan rijk te sterven
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2 days ago @ 07:02:11 am
Leon
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If caravan manufacturers thought one vent was enough, they wold not have gone to the trouble of adding another one at the top.  Think about that.   But it is your van, so do what you want, but I would not start re-inventing the wheel or try proving the caravan people wrong.

The vent at the top is a must when the caravan has a Three way Fridge in it.  Those fridges work with either an element or a gas flame that provides the heat.  Then the evaporator pipes at the back gets more hot than a normal fridge working with a compressor.

The Maia I had was equipped with a large double door fridge similar to one you would use in most house holds.  It did not have any vents to the outside.  It was fully enclosed with a 2cm gap between the fridge and roof to allow the bit of heat to escape there.  Fridge never had any problems working even during December holidays.

So with this small fridge even the current lower vent at the back is an over kill.

GOD IS ALTYD TEENWOORDIG
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2 days ago @ 07:18:23 am
Kashvir
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If caravan manufacturers thought one vent was enough, they wold not have gone to the trouble of adding another one at the top.  Think about that.   But it is your van, so do what you want, but I would not start re-inventing the wheel or try proving the caravan people wrong.

Hot air rises, cold air sinks. A top vent does make sense. Therefore I was working on re opening it. Also the fear of having to replace the fridge for a second time....💯

How many days we live is not important ... what's important is how much we live in those days
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2 days ago @ 07:30:58 am
Kashvir
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The vent at the top is a must when the caravan has a Three way Fridge in it.  Those fridges work with either an element or a gas flame that provides the heat.  Then the evaporator pipes at the back gets more hot than a normal fridge working with a compressor.

The Maia I had was equipped with a large double door fridge similar to one you would use in most house holds.  It did not have any vents to the outside.  It was fully enclosed with a 2cm gap between the fridge and roof to allow the bit of heat to escape there.  Fridge never had any problems working even during December holidays.

So with this small fridge even the current lower vent at the back is an over kill.

You are not wrong. You do have a point. It's just that I have a fear of having to replace the bar fridge again. Also the cooler you manage to keep the components, the longer they last. Its way easier for me to just leave things the way they are right now.... I appreciate your advice as your comparison does make sense too. I'm just thinking that its better to be safe than sorry as I did already lose one fridge.

How many days we live is not important ... what's important is how much we live in those days
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2 days ago @ 13:13:44 pm
Leon
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No problem. Each man does what he feel is best. We all just give some input to the question, what you make with the info is all up to you.

Its like use it or loose it....................... nobody will feel bad about it. As it is your right.

GOD IS ALTYD TEENWOORDIG
Sonder Jesus is ek niks! ! ! !
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