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Old 04-30-2020, 11:32 PM   #1
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Question Fridge: Something to Watch?

I have a Norcold N611RT. Been kinda hot here in Tucson the last few days getting over 100. Fridge is running on electric and was working fine on #3 until recent. I noticed a jump in the temp from 40 to 50. It coincided with the change in temps so I bumped it up to #4 and achieved 45. I pushed it to #5 about 30min. ago and still sitting at 45. Is it the heat or is the fridge on its way out? Produce keeps very well at 40, lasting a surprisingly long time. It usually spoils otherwise.

Is there any reason I shouldn't be running it maxed out in this heat? Will I damage it? Is there anything I can keep an eye on?

TIA
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Old 05-01-2020, 12:19 AM   #2
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We recently had this problem in Saint Augustine Florida with our whirlpool refrigerator. The refrigerator was not cooling, but the freezer was real cold.
The problem was the throat that goes between the freezer and the refrigerator had iced up preventing the flow of cold air from the freezer to the refrigerator, and had to be defrosted. Now because we didn’t want to lose all our food, we put what we could in the freezer and the rest packed in ice in the sink while I used a hairdryer to melt the ice in the canal that goes between the freezer and the refrigerator. After this, the unit worked fine. It’s almost like years ago when refrigerators had to be defrosted once a month. Good luck
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Old 05-01-2020, 12:30 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. I checked your suggestion and have no throat between the two spaces. I have what I believe are coils behind the freezer wall and the old style fins in the fridge.
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Old 05-01-2020, 12:42 AM   #4
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Ours is a residential refrigerator and that’s how I did it. Both my kids have what I believe is your refrigerator in their campers. They were just telling me how they adjust the temperature. They said there is a little metal slide with a wire on it attached to the fins inside of the refrigerator, by sliding that up and down on the fins determines the temperature. I hope this helps you, I know what you’re going through. Good luck
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Old 05-01-2020, 01:11 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by suenmike View Post
Ours is a residential refrigerator and that’s how I did it. Both my kids have what I believe is your refrigerator in their campers. They were just telling me how they adjust the temperature. They said there is a little metal slide with a wire on it attached to the fins inside of the refrigerator, by sliding that up and down on the fins determines the temperature. I hope this helps you, I know what you’re going through. Good luck
Thank you. There is no 'slide'. I have what seems to be a sensor 'clipped' to one of the fins wired to a connector that comes from the light.

I'm headed north tomorrow. Absent of complete failure, I'll just observe what happens after I get out of this heat.

Thanks again.
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Old 05-01-2020, 01:33 AM   #6
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That’s it, that clip is what my kids have on Their refrigerator fins. I have seen them slide it up and down to control the temperature. I believe sliding it all the way to the top is the coldest
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Old 05-01-2020, 01:34 AM   #7
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The clip slides up and down on the fins
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Old 05-01-2020, 01:45 AM   #8
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The clip slides up and down on the fins
NICE! Which direction please? Up or down to 'decrease' the temp? It would seems closer to the freezer would be coldest anyway. Should I slide it to the bottom?

Thank you.
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Old 05-01-2020, 01:53 AM   #9
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I believe up is for cold, but do not let the clip rise above the fin, make sure the entire clip stays in contact with the fin. What position on the fin is the clip now bottom middle or top?
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Old 05-01-2020, 01:59 AM   #10
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Moving the "clip" thermistor is for the fridges that don't have a cooling setting like yours does.

Absorption fridges loose efficiency as the ambient temperature goes above 90 degrees. Fridges with a roof vent (like yours) rely on natural circulation (NC) to remove the heat from the "condenser" on the back of the fridge. Those who camp frequently in 90+ degree temperatures often install a 120 mm computer cooling fan or two to assist the NC cooling on the back of the fridge. They can be wired with a simple on/off switch or a thermal switch or both.
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Old 05-01-2020, 08:34 PM   #11
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Yeah... Swamp coolers can only do so much; when the temperatures start getting serious.
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Old 05-01-2020, 11:07 PM   #12
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Never heard of an absorption fridge referred to as a swamp cooler.

A swamp cooler is an evaporative cooler or air conditioner that works by evaporating water and is very different than the typical RV absorption refrigerator that needs heat (typically supplied from propane or electricity).
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Old 05-02-2020, 12:11 AM   #13
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RV 'Fridges work on the same principle.
(Just don't ask me to explain. It )
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Old 05-02-2020, 02:44 AM   #14
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No. Swamp coolers are not the same as absorption refrigeration.

Swamp coolers when used in dry climates (think desert-like) can cool a house effectively, but would not get cold enough to function as a refrigerator and especially a freezer.

RVs either have absorption refrigerators (traditional RV propane fridge) or more recently residential-type that use a compressor, and thus are electric only. These two are very different, but neither has much in common with swamp/evaporative coolers.


For what it’s worth, the problem described in this thread with absorption refrigeration is but one reason I think RV absorption fridges will be replaced with electric-only compressor refrigerators that work just like the ones at home.
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Old 05-02-2020, 11:22 AM   #15
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Please... I never said that they were the same: only that they share the same principal.
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Old 05-02-2020, 11:50 AM   #16
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Spin it any way you want Bob.

I guess they both share the same principle in that they make things cooler. So does dumping a bucket of ice water on your head, but I wouldn’t call that a swamp cooler either. Unless it was at Spurrier Field.
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Old 05-02-2020, 02:30 PM   #17
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isn't that some sort of challenge?
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Old 05-04-2020, 01:28 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by The_Breeze View Post
Thank you. There is no 'slide'. I have what seems to be a sensor 'clipped' to one of the fins wired to a connector that comes from the light.

I'm headed north tomorrow. Absent of complete failure, I'll just observe what happens after I get out of this heat.

Thanks again.
It was the Tucson weather. Fridge is fine. She struggled in the heat, as I guess most would.
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Old 05-06-2020, 06:14 PM   #19
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Re: Fridge not cooling in hot weather

Another thing to consider is the voltage your camper is getting. When the weather is hot and everyone is running air conditioning, the voltage to your RV may drop below acceptable levels. This may cause the refrigerator, running on electricity, to be less efficient. When we’ve had this happen and our refrigerator warmed up inside, switching to gas seemed to help. So you may want to try that if you have a gas/electric fridge. We have a voltmeter plugged into one of our outlets which we check regularly. Running on low voltage can also cause damage to some things in the RV.
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Old 05-06-2020, 07:40 PM   #20
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To the OP, you may want to look into an additional fan kit that will help with cooling, particularly if your unit exhausts out the side but even roof exhaust can benefit from it. I have been thinking about a kit from ARPRV but haven't been able to convince myself yet.


https://www.arprv.com/index.php
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