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Old 01-06-2016, 08:00 PM   #1
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How Cold Does Your Freezer Get?

While in the kitchen section at the mothership yesterday picking up a few supplies (Camping World), I spied a refrigerator/freezer thermometer. And since I've long had a suspicion that my freezer wasn't getting as cold as it should, I decided to pick up one... or 3.

Why 3?

I've got the larger Norcold 1210 double-door model fridge-freezer... and the freezer has 2 compartments. So I bought one for each side, and another for the fridge. These thermometers have a shaded range scale for the recommended temps of each.

Well, my fridge is fine... right where it should be between 35-40 degrees.

My freezer, on the other hand, is nowhere near. Recommended is between 0 and -10... mine is the same on both sides between 15 - 20 degrees.

Temperature outside is only 55 degrees, so that isn't an issue... and the rig hasn't moved in over 2 months, so the 'not level' argument can't be made.

Now I know that these RV models aren't going to perform like residential units, but I now know why my ice cream is rarely rock solid.

So just curious... have any of you checked yours? If so, how cold dies your freezer get?
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Old 01-06-2016, 08:34 PM   #2
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Left side of freezer 2.6, right side 6.4. Box is running 25 but it's 38 outside.


I have mine turned all the way up, or down because I think it's wanting to puke up on me. The box was running too hot last month and all the tricks I know wouldn't make it get down to 40 or so. Electric or propane didn't make a difference so I think the percolator tube is becoming plugged.
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Old 01-07-2016, 10:34 AM   #3
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Which unit did you get? My children (grown) got me this one for my birthday. I haven't used it on the camper yet. But found out my house fridge and freezer were off by a bit.

Also do you have a circulation fan in them? That is on my mod list. Got the idea from another board, I am going to hard wire a computer Hard Drive fan in. The mod I saw has it mounted directly on the cooling fins.

I will have to see if I can find the link to the mod. Several people have done it with great results. It was originally done on a smaller two door unit 8cuft?

Aaron
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Old 01-07-2016, 02:58 PM   #4
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ATC - You did not mention anything if you checked for various reasons why freezer is to warm. The first thing to look at would be the door gaskets/seals for any leakage. Does not take to much of a air leak to great fully affect freezer temps. Also, the most accurate way to check average temp in fridge, is to check temp of a container of liquid that has been in the fridge for at least 12 hours (24 hours better).
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Old 01-08-2016, 09:38 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
Which unit did you get? My children (grown) got me this one for my birthday. I haven't used it on the camper yet. But found out my house fridge and freezer were off by a bit.

Also do you have a circulation fan in them? That is on my mod list. Got the idea from another board, I am going to hard wire a computer Hard Drive fan in. The mod I saw has it mounted directly on the cooling fins.

I will have to see if I can find the link to the mod. Several people have done it with great results. It was originally done on a smaller two door unit 8cuft?

Aaron
The fan makes a world of difference!
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Old 01-08-2016, 10:05 AM   #6
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Ditto on the fan... We have one in the freezer and one in the fridge. Before we leave, my wife puts a battery-operated fan and two blue-ice packs (those large gel packs frozen) into both the fridge and freezer. Depending upon the distance, the fridge and freezer are both cool by time we get to the campsite. Normally takes about 2-3 hours for fridge/freezer to reach their operating temps (<40 degrees for fridge and < 20 degrees for freezer) after we arrive at campsite and connect to shore power.
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Old 01-08-2016, 04:01 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
Which unit did you get? My children (grown) got me this one for my birthday. I haven't used it on the camper yet. But found out my house fridge and freezer were off by a bit.

Also do you have a circulation fan in them? That is on my mod list. Got the idea from another board, I am going to hard wire a computer Hard Drive fan in. The mod I saw has it mounted directly on the cooling fins.

I will have to see if I can find the link to the mod. Several people have done it with great results. It was originally done on a smaller two door unit 8cuft?

Aaron
Aaron

I remember seeing that thread somewhere too. One more of the things on my ever increasing list of got to do.

I've got some incredible computer fans that I have in my spare parts cabinet. I just haven't had a real close look at how to get the power to then.

Jim
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Old 01-08-2016, 05:32 PM   #8
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Thanks for all of the replies...

One thing I didn't mention (but which you can probably guess) is that I have the unit set at it's maximum cooling setting (9). I really wish there were separate controls for the fridge & freezer because... with it set at 9, some of my food in the fridge freezes if let on the top shelf for more than a day (leftover rice, bottled water), yet the freezer won't go below that 15-20 degree range.

Yes, I do use those little Camco fans in my fridge & freezers. Would be nice if the batteries lasted a little longer in them, but since I have a good supply of rechargeable that isn't a problem.




Of course, if someone's got an easy way of rigging up something more permanent, I'm all ears (emphasis on "easy")

Additionally, I have checked all of the seals with the 'sheet of paper' test, and have no issues there. Wondering if I should call the local mobile tech and let him check things.
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Old 01-08-2016, 05:35 PM   #9
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There are 12 volt fans available on eBay that are mounted on an aluminum frame that clip right to the cooling fins. Hook up hot wire to source at interior light and all set
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Old 01-08-2016, 06:18 PM   #10
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There are 12 volt fans available on eBay that are mounted on an aluminum frame that clip right to the cooling fins. Hook up hot wire to source at interior light and all set
That's great for the fridge... but my fridge is fine. I need something for the freezers.

But thanks for the input, it may help someone else.
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Old 01-08-2016, 06:21 PM   #11
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Keeping the fins defrosted should help
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Old 01-08-2016, 09:21 PM   #12
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Thanks for all of the replies...

One thing I didn't mention (but which you can probably guess) is that I have the unit set at it's maximum cooling setting (9). I really wish there were separate controls for the fridge & freezer because... with it set at 9, some of my food in the fridge freezes if let on the top shelf for more than a day (leftover rice, bottled water), yet the freezer won't go below that 15-20 degree range.
I think that's just the nature of the beast. Every camper we've ever owned had the same issue, had to crank it to the max to keep the ice cream hard, then the stuff on the top shelf of the fridge freezes.

We just make sure that the what gets stored on the top shelf can stand the freeze thaw cycles.

I try to keep our meals sized so we don't have left overs. It takes awhile to get back into that mode, at home we usually make enough to have left overs for lunch the next day.

It would only make sense to have seperate controlls for the fridge and freeze. That's probably why we don't have that feature, it makes too much sense.
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Old 01-08-2016, 10:34 PM   #13
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I think that's just the nature of the beast. Every camper we've ever owned had the same issue, had to crank it to the max to keep the ice cream hard, then the stuff on the top shelf of the fridge freezes.

We just make sure that the what gets stored on the top shelf can stand the freeze thaw cycles.

I try to keep our meals sized so we don't have left overs. It takes awhile to get back into that mode, at home we usually make enough to have left overs for lunch the next day.

It would only make sense to have seperate controlls for the fridge and freeze. That's probably why we don't have that feature, it makes too much sense.
Mainly it can't be economically done. If there was a way to separate the freezer circuit from the refrigerator circuit it would be possible but with the chemical solution coursing through one plumbing system it's not doable. It's one series of plumbing with the freezer cooling first and then eventually the refrigerator.
It would take additional piping to reroute the solution to one section or the other and then there would have to be control sensors and then the solution itself would have to be modified for some reason so there isn't too little or too much solution in the circuit at any given time.
We are fortunate they work as well as they do.
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Old 01-09-2016, 12:22 AM   #14
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Aaron

I remember seeing that thread somewhere too. One more of the things on my ever increasing list of got to do.

I've got some incredible computer fans that I have in my spare parts cabinet. I just haven't had a real close look at how to get the power to then.

Jim
It is on the Lance board, on the mod thread which is paid members only. I will see if I can do a cut and paste on the basics. They are feeding a single 12 volt wire in, via the temperature sensor hole, then ground it to the cooling fins on the fridge... I think.

Aaron
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Old 01-09-2016, 06:38 AM   #15
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Tom,

I stubbled on this on youtube, it might be the answer you are looking for.



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Old 01-09-2016, 04:43 PM   #16
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Aaron

I remember seeing that thread somewhere too. One more of the things on my ever increasing list of got to do.

I've got some incredible computer fans that I have in my spare parts cabinet. I just haven't had a real close look at how to get the power to then.

Jim
Found the post. I saw it on the Lance board, there was also a link to the original post on RV.net.

Another thing that will help in hotter weather is a fan on the back side of the fridge to get air moving over the external coils. Valterra makes one that is temperature controlled so it is set it and forget it. Available on... where else... AMAZON!

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Old 01-09-2016, 05:18 PM   #17
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Found the post. I saw it on the Lance board, there was also a link to the original post on RV.net.

Another thing that will help in hotter weather is a fan on the back side of the fridge to get air moving over the external coils. Valterra makes one that is temperature controlled so it is set it and forget it. Available on... where else... AMAZON!

Aaron
Aaron,

I can across a few similar posts last night, some of them were almost comical in their method of getting the wire down the tube. The best on was a piece of fishing line knoted up on the end, then taping a vacumn hose to the bottom of the hose. The fishing line was then sucked through the hose. Whatever works, works.

The solid core wire sounds much easier.

If I get ambitious today, I'll shovel my way out the the trailer and see where the thermister is mounted and shove a piece of bell wire down the tube while i'm out there.

The thermister sounded almost too easy of a fix to get the freezer colder, simple. The pessimist in me says it could make the freezing problem in the fridge worse. The optimistic side of me says that it would make the freezer colder and solve the freezing problem in the fridge by using a lower setting and saving propane at the same time.
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Old 01-09-2016, 06:12 PM   #18
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I went ahead and ordered the fan collection. God only knows when I will get around to working on it. Nothing wrong with the absorption type fridges within their limitations. Main problem, is like a lot of things in the RV world they are poorly designed and built. I still have an old Servel from around 1930 that belonged to my grandmother. It is LP powered and still worked the last time I had it turned on. It is an absorption model. We were using it well into the 1970's on a daily basis in their farm house. I remember replacing the door gaskets on it around 1976 and my grandfather grousing because they had only lasted 45 years.

Today it is 51F and overcast. I am home for the first time in over a week. Been chasing electrical problems at both houses, the barn and fences. The one house one was pretty easy, bad switch. The other I am still tracking. The electric fence one is a PITA. One of the fences is above ground the other is the invisible dog fence. Probably going to have to redo about 800'-1,000' of the in ground one. I can find one end of the break but not the other. The dog had about 17 acres inside the zone, going to cut it back to about 10. Easier to retrain the dog than my FIL, he keeps disking it up with the big plow. He is cutting "fire breaks", don't know why, the ground is so wet I don't think you could get gas to burn if you poured out on the ground and threw a match in it.

The above ground fence is probably the power supply or a sopping wet stick laying against the bottom line. There is close to a mile of that to check. Maybe tomorrow...

Aaron
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Old 01-11-2016, 04:05 PM   #19
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Well this weekend I checked mine. My sister in law left it running when she left to go back to South Dakota. We are going out to Quartzsite come Friday so I left it on.
60 degrees outside, no food in fridg or freezer running on electric on setting #3. Freezer is on first mark below 0. Has two of those marks before it shows -20. So I guess that would be -7.5 degrees or so.
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