Fitting fridge fans to a motorhome or caravan

Motorhome and caravan fridge fans
  • Vento 12v fridge fans
  • Ease of fitting
  • Value for money
4.3

Summary

These 12v fans have been fitted to help the motorhome fridge stay cool when in higher ambient temperatures.

Have you fitted fans to your caravan or fridge? Drop us a line by completing the “Leave a reply” box, below!

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User Review
4.57 (23 votes)

Fitting fridge fans to a motorhome or caravan – why on earth would anyone want to do that? The refrigerator in a motorhome or caravan is usually a different type to that found in a domestic home. The majority of fridges in motorhomes and caravans are “absorption fridges”. Most domestic types are “condensing fridges”. However, back to the motorhome and caravan world.

Many motorhomes and caravans will have two exterior vents (white grills) located behind the fridge cabinet. The lower one helps to draw in cool, fresh air from outside. The cooler air then rises and passes through the cooling fins on the fridge, expelling to outside via the top vent. In average conditions, such as the UK climate, this will work well and not cause any hardship. However, in hot conditions, the fridge may not cool as well as might be expected. This is partly due to the amount of heat generated by an absorption fridge whilst it performs the cooling process. Consequently, this heat must escape via the “top vent”. However, when the ambient temperature is high, this simple function is more difficult.

The Kon-tiki has a Dometic RMD 8555 fridge as standard specification. This did not perform it’s cooling function very well overseas. Maybe this was due to outside temperatures of over 30 degrees C? We initially installed a Dometic fridge ventilator, primarily as this item is a “Dometic” product. The Dometic user manual for the fridge states that fitting this fan will not invalidate the fridge’s warranty. This item was professionally installed. Details of our Dometic fridge ventilator is available here on our review page.

However, it was clear that more work needed to be done to keep the fridge cool in during hot weather. With this in mind, we fitted a set of “Vento 12v fridge fans”. It is quite surprising that such items are available, “ready-made” for purchase. This suggests there are lots of motorhomers and caravanners with a poor performing fridge.

You may of course build you own fan system with fans, a thermostat, cabling etc, but I preferred the one stop shop approach. Expect to pay around £30.00 for a set of Brummer 12v fans as below.

Vento 12v fridge fans

What’s in the box? Two fans with mount, control box and some wiring.

Fitting fridge fans to a motorhome or caravan – know how!

First thing to do when fitting fridge fans to a motorhome or caravan is to test the fans prior to installation. This is easy to do by connecting the fans to a 12 volt plug. Bingo – the fans are fully functional!

Fitting fridge fans to a motorhome or caravan

Before fitting fridge fans to a motorhome or caravan, test the fans are working correctly!

Next task is to remove the upper exterior vent. On this Dometic vent, two lugs slide out of position. The vent can be popped free of the housing.

Remove a Dometic fridge vent cover

The outer vents cover need to be removed to allow access.

With the upper vent cover off, the fans were placed in the approximate siting position. A hole is then drilled through to the interior of the motorhome. This allows the power lead for the fans to be fed through. (Note – some people wire the fans directly into the fridge’s 12v supply, so if this is your choice of action, you will not need to do this.) We chose not to wire the fans directly to the fridge’s twelve volt  supply, hence we fed the wire through to the interior of the ‘van. Check your fridge handbook/manual – as if you “tamper” with it, you may invalidate the warranty. Also remember to seal any holes. The back of the fridge must be sealed to the motorhome to prevent any waste gasses from entering the habitation area.

Fitting fridge fans to a motorhome or caravan

Exterior vent cover off…

With the wire inside the motorhome – in our case in a locker above the fridge – the cabling was connected to a switch and a 12v supply. Time to switch on and test – jackpot – the fans are working.

The Vento fans come with their own mounting frame. This frame is then secured to the motorhome with two screws. The exterior vent cover was replaced and bingo, job done.

On a similar theme, have a read of this article about the Dometic ventilator kit.

Fitting fridge fans to a motorhome or caravan – the downsides!

This short video allows you to determine the noise of the fans.

A small consideration, the fans do make a noise. In reality, the fans are likely to be running during the daytime, when temperatures are higher. It’s also worth noting that the fans are rates at six watts. This is about 1/2 ampere when using the van’s 12v supply.

 

2 Comments

  1. Phil robertson August 1, 2016
    • MV - Motorhome Voyager. August 1, 2016

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