We bought the Dometic fridge ventilator last year following a trip overseas. Back in September, we were in southern Italy where the outside temperatures were knocking on for thirty degrees centigrade. We noticed that, when we were pitched, the fridge was cold, but not as cold as it should be. Similarly, on travelling days, the fridge was always cold enough. This got me thinking that the “fault” must be something to do with the warm air that was generated by the fridge. Perhaps, when parked, this warm air was not escaping quick enough. When moving, the hot air escapes, assisted by the movement of the motorhome.
When we arrived at Pompeii, we were talking to two other motorhome owners who reported exactly the same issues. Later, we spotted a Dutch ‘vanner who had a fan heater set to cool setting, and this was blowing into the lower fridge vent, thus forcing the hot air out of the upper vent.
We always try to park with the fridge on the shaded side of the van, as this will also help the fridge perform when in areas of high ambient temperatures. The Dometic website has further details of other fridge accessories too.
Help is at hand with a Dometic fridge ventilator
A quick Google search confirmed that the warm air may need a hand in escaping. It seems many motorhomers and caravanners fit a couple of computer type fans behind the fridge vents. I am not the most handy in respect of DIY, but I purchased a Dometic fridge ventilator. This fan, when installed, did not affect the Dometic warranty that covered the fridge freezer against defects. The Dometic fridge ventilator kit comes with fitting instructions, a fan, a thermostat sensor and the necessary cabling. There is no simple on/off switch – the thermostat activates the fan when necessary. The fan is now in situ ready for the 2016 touring season and we will of course report back about it’s effect.
Update, June 2016, – back from Italy again and the fridge was once again not cool enough. Outside temperatures were only in the region of 25 C. The van was parked with the fridge on the shaded side. The Dometic ventilator made no difference what so ever to the fridge’s cooling ability.
Update two – July 2016 – we discovered the Dometic fridge fan was installed upside down. We will report back once again with further findings!
Update three – September 2016 – it is imperative the fan is installed correctly!
Dometic advise “the fan should suck the cool air up and push the hot air away”. Also supplied was this graphic.
You may also to wish to read the Motorhome Voyager article about fitting additional fans to the upper vent grill on the fridge – click here for more details!