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Old 05-16-2024, 09:53 PM   #1
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Default dometic fridge in my 1998 pleasureway

Hi, Just bought this and am having difficulty getting the fridge temp right. It has a 1 to max settings. I tried on 3 and way too cold. Set it on 1 and same problem. This is on electric. Also should I put it on 12v when I am travelling. I printed of the manuel but it is not really helpful. Thanks to any help
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Old 05-17-2024, 03:52 AM   #2
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I'm assuming that you have a fridge that is 3-way -- 12v, 120v, or propane. I had same issue with mine and it appears to have been the thermostat. (I replaced the thermostat and the problem, so far, appears to be resolved). Most on this list agree that the 12v option on these fridges is only powerful enough to hold the temperature when you are on the road. I use it when I'm driving and I refrain from opening the fridge very often. It does draw a lot of power on 12v so you don't want to leave it there for hours if you stop somwhere.
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Old 05-17-2024, 12:26 PM   #3
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On my van, the 12 volt part of the fridge is powered ONLY when the van is running. When you turn the van off, no 12 volt. It has a 125W 12 element so it does a good job of cooling when on 12 volt. The 120 volt is 175 watt and tends to freeze the food if the thermostat is set to high.
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Old 05-17-2024, 01:54 PM   #4
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Default Fridge

Thanks for the informative replies. Any camper I ever had did not have 12v so I really didn't know about the driving thing. Also being as it is an old fridge it wouldn't hurt to change the thermostat. Hopefully this will work. My last motorhome had a 2 way and I lost food travelling in hot weather. In four or 5 hours everything thawed. The 12v should be better
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Old 05-17-2024, 10:23 PM   #5
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My 2018 PW Lexor has had this problem from day one. Even at its warmest setting on AC it may freeze liquids if left for a couple days. The DC and gas can’t hold at all in warm temperatures especially if the reefer is on the sunny side.
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Old 05-18-2024, 06:25 PM   #6
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From what I remember (dangerous!). Absorption fridges can have a cooling ceiling of as high as 60º from outside ambient temp. Can of course be lower depending on age, etc. That would mean if the outside temp was 80º you could get as low as 20º inside fridge. Thermostat control mitigates this so you don't end up freezing everything inside. But it also means that if it's 100º outside, you would only be able to get it down to 40º with fridge thermostat set at max. Also as you get above a certain outside temp (~80º I think) that 60º window begins to narrow. Many install fans behind the fridge to better cool that area. Compressor fridges also have a max (where they run continuously). It's higher I believe but there also is an upper limit to cooling efficiency. However a correct install would have a vent (usually fan driven) from the inside of the RV to draw cooler air from the cabin to the back of the fridge, creating a cooler ambient temp than outside. You can't do this with an absorption fridge because it has to be isolated from the cabin due to its propane fueled component.

We usually plan our trips to travel through hot weather but always have a cooler final destination in mind. That appears to work for us. But I don't think that we've ever carried raw meat in the fridge. Usually prepared meals that we have frozen when we leave. They act as frozen blocks in the fridge. Other options would be to buy raw meat once you arrive in cooler climates. The only think that's ever spoiled on us has been milk but even that has rarely happened.

However........everyone has a different approach to travel/camping that works best for them.
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Old 05-20-2024, 11:18 AM   #7
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I gave up on the fridge temperature controls and installed one of these:

I installed it inside the fridge with the fridge power wire being controlled. This worked OK but it did control the whole fridge including the power indicator lights. A more elegant solution would have been to locate the correct wire in the fridge circuit to interrupt. The thermostat itself performed temperature control very well.

I set the hysterias at 1*F and the temp at 34. Do make sure to protect the unit from licquids, it is not water proof.
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Old 05-23-2024, 04:57 PM   #8
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I have a dometic three-way and it has been rare that it has ever been too cold, but I would wait until you hit some real heat before making any changes or repairs.

I also run it on 12 volt when I am driving. But if I were to leave it on 12 volt it would draw down my Coach batteries in a matter of hours. Mine is also a newer model which has an automatic power selection. If 110 is available, it runs on 110. If not, it looks for propane, if no propane it goes to 12 volt. When I am traveling I manually switch it to propane if I am stopping for lunch or more than just an hour. It also has a safety feature where it will not run on propane for 10 to 15 minutes after the engine has been turned off. This is to prevent having an open flame while you might be refueling your vehicle.

One last point, I have added auxiliary fans, a small pair inside the fridge, circulate the cold air, and four larger computer fans create a forced air flow Tru the void behind the fridge. The inside the fridge fan runs all the time, but the fans for the void space are run on a thermostat attached to the fridge coil. These are very low draw so they do not impact my power usage.
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Old 05-26-2024, 05:20 PM   #9
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