Recommended Posts

dustyw8lje,

First of all, welcome to the forum. Now with that out of the way, a bit more info about your fridge and RV when posting a question such as this will certainly get you better answers.

Assuming that the fridge is an absorption type, this is the typical camper style fridge, first of all, I hope that the inside of the RV is now being heated in order for the fridge to start. Now if this the case, what is the inside temp of the fridge? If below the temp that the fridge is set for it will not start until it has been raised to above that level. Place a thermometer inside to verify this. If it is not, you will need to raise that temp before you can expect it to start, and that is assuming that all the lights are working on the fridge control panel and the fridge has been working on the last time that it was supposed to start.

You can leave the door of the fridge slightly open to let the warmer air inside the RV enter the cabinet so that it reaches a warmer temperature, or place a low wattage 120volt light bulb inside, but placed so not to be lying on plastic or any other flammable or melting substance.

Hope this has answered your question, but if not, please give more info and let us know, others will be around to give good advice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, dustyw8lje said:

With outside temp. below 20 degrees, how do I get fridge to start up since I am preparing for trip, and I want to load fridge.

Welcome to the forum. WOW I have never had the fridge to cold before a trip. My main problem has ben to get it cool enough to load. OK if you turn on the fridge, I would start on propane because it will be easier to see if the pilot light comes on. If you don't have a pilot you could just wait for it to warm up. The food you load it with will warm it enough to trigger the gas burner. Especially if you put some bottled water or warm sodas in it. With out knowing more about your RV I bet if you just put it on auto it will come on when needed. 

Let us know what you find out.

Bill

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
manholt   
Quote

Fridge and minus 20 degrees.

Dusty.  Welcome to the Forum!

Is this your first experience with cold winter weather?

I see, you have been a member since 2009....Is this a test?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jleamont   

Now I took this as he is operating a compressor/residential refrigerator :o. I could see a problem getting one of those started with temps that cold, just like the heat pump on the roof a residential refrigerator is not likely to want to operate below freezing due to the cold oil in the compressor. This is one of the main reasons why sealing off the roof vent and side wall vents during a conversion is so important.

If you warm up the coach interior that should suffice, the light bulb behind the unit already mentioned was a great idea in either application, just make sure its not laying against anything combustible like cardboard, most residential refrigerators have the cardboard cover over the back lower portion of the unit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Joe,

If it is indeed a residential unit there may not bee enough room to get anything behind the unit since most are pushed way back against the exterior wall. If your suggestion was to try and warm up the compressor my suggestion would be to lay a hair dryer on the floor blowing in under the fridge. As you said be sure to have it supported as to not burn anything and not block the air intake. Also a small space heater with the blower pointed to the bottom of the unit may help.

However as has been said before leaving the door opened for 5 to 10 minutes may warm the unit up enough to tell whether the unit is just at it temp and doesn't need to cool it down further.  

Herman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, dustyw8lje said:

With outside temp. below 20 degrees, how do I get fridge to start up since I am preparing for trip, and I want to load fridge.

Dusty, Welcome to the Forum!

When it gets this cold the compressor will actually warm the interior of the refrigerator.  The system kind of turns into a heat pump!  If it is an absorption style unit it will work the same way.  Note, It might be advisable to start an absorption unit in the LP mode.  This mode will raise the coil temperature slower - the main reason the absorption units fail is failure of the silver solder joints and the difference of the expansion rates of the materials. 

Stopping at a rest area in winter to get a drink from a vending machine that sets out side in the weather. The bottles never freeze unless the power goes off.

Should the interior temperature of the coach be  bellow freezing - start to warm the coach by what ever means you wish. We always leave the refrigerator doors open while storing.

That action will warm the compressor and raise the interior temp of the fridge.  From there everything should work as expected. 

Rich.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dusty,

Welcome to the Forum. One thing that may help everyone would to let us know what your temperature is inside the fridge. You may or may not have a issue. But what the heck look at all the great idea that have come out.:D

Herman 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys!  I am in Georgia, and due to the big storm, the temp outside is 18 degrees this morning, and threatens to continue the pattern for a week or so...  We are headed to Fla for a month or so, and want to load up the absorption fridge / freezer for the trip.  I found that opening the door worked well.  My concern is that if I load it up at that point, with the outside at or below freezing (particularly the first night out), that the fridge part will cool down, maybe freeze something (I have seen that happen in older units), and the freezer will warm up some.  We have traveled a lot, but this is the first time to deal with a cold-weather startup...  We are in a Tiffin Allegro Bay (wore out our Bounder) and going strong!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wolfe10   

Sounds like keeping the refrigerator part cold enough will be very easy.

It is keeping the freezer part cold enough that could be an issue. 

Here is what we do on the sailboat-- buy 5 pounds of DRY ICE.  Wrap it in newspaper to slow its "cooling" and stick it in the freezer section.  No fuss, no muss. 

At least in our area, even Walmart has dry ice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
manholt   

That's a good thought....only from a Sail boater!  Back in the late 70's, early 80's, my DW would take 2 of her kids skiing in Ruidoso, NM and they would stay at Apache Mountain, right behind the ski lift, all weekend in sub zero weather, over 11,700 feet.  Never had a problem with the Dometic fridge.  She had it on LP!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, wolfe10 said:

Sounds like keeping the refrigerator part cold enough will be very easy.

It is keeping the freezer part cold enough that could be an issue. 

Here is what we do on the sailboat-- buy 5 pounds of DRY ICE.  Wrap it in newspaper to slow its "cooling" and stick it in the freezer section.  No fuss, no muss. 

At least in our area, even Walmart has dry ice.

Good thought Brett !  One could get a Yeti hard side cooler. They are a little expensive, but will keep thing frozen or cold longer then many other makes.

Rich.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, dustyw8lje said:

Thanks guys!  I am in Georgia, and due to the big storm, the temp outside is 18 degrees this morning, and threatens to continue the pattern for a week or so...  We are headed to Fla for a month or so, and want to load up the absorption fridge / freezer for the trip.  I found that opening the door worked well.  My concern is that if I load it up at that point, with the outside at or below freezing (particularly the first night out), that the fridge part will cool down, maybe freeze something (I have seen that happen in older units), and the freezer will warm up some.  We have traveled a lot, but this is the first time to deal with a cold-weather startup...  We are in a Tiffin Allegro Bay (wore out our Bounder) and going strong!

Once again I don't think you will have a problem. Put it on auto, Load it up and when the internal temps rise the refrigerator should start. The thermostats are on the inside of the box so outside temps should have no effect. You will have the furnace on warming the inside of the coach. Just keep an eye on it and let us know how it does.

Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wolfe10   

I believe the concern is that the low temperature in the refrigerator section caused by the very cold temperatures may not turn on the cooling unit enough to keep the freezer section at the proper temperature.

That is why I recommended a small amount of dry ice in the freezer. That will insure that freezer stays cold and allow the thermostat to control temperatures in the refrigerator.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jleamont   
15 minutes ago, wolfe10 said:

believe the concern is that the low temperature in the refrigerator section caused by the very cold temperatures

Do you think the flame cannot overcome the extreme cold on the boiler tube?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wolfe10   
24 minutes ago, jleamont said:

Do you think the flame cannot overcome the extreme cold on the boiler tube?

More a matter that temperature in the refrigerator may not rise enough to turn on the cooling unit (flame) enough to keep the freezer at proper temperature.

Being from S Texas, I can not answer your specific question-- whether the cooling unit will perform properly at below freezing temperatures.  I am sure there are some who can address that condition. Personally hope to continue avoiding below freezing temperatures.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
manholt   

I'll second that ! :D Beg Mother Nature, no more last 2 weeks in Texas, Please!  Flip Flops and T-shirt is the norm. :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very interesting subject. I think we need someone experienced in refrigeration and thermodynamics. Where are you, Ken, TxIceman? Like Brett and Carl, I hope our winter is over.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jim. we came south for our meeting. The reason was it is much warmer in Beaumont than anywhere else. I had thought we should go to Shawnee Oklahoma since that is where our next Rally will be and it could not be much colder then Beaumont. BOY! was I wrong. While it was 27 degrees in the morning here it was 7 degrees in Shawnee. I am glad I was over rule, even if it is cold, but not as cold there.

Burrrrrrrrrrr!

Herman 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
TXiceman   

Herman, Oklahoma is ALWAYS colder in the winter than SE Texas.  500 miles farther south makes a BIG difference.

 

Ken

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now