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Old 07-22-2016, 09:05 PM   #1
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Swift 145RB fridge not cold enough

We are new to RVing. we bought a very nice 2013 Jayco Swift 145RB 16 ft TT. Literally used once - kitchen and bathroom never used.

I have it connected to the house electric to test air conditioner and other electrical components, but the Norcold fridge isn't cooling well at all.

I've had the fridge on and set to 5 (The coldest temp, for about 30 hours. The fridge did get down to 40 degrees after about 20 hours, and the freezer got colder than that. All seemed well. Now at after about 30 hours (and still left on 5 continuously) the fridge has warmed up a bit and there is water at the bottom of the fridge. The freezer isn't as cold, so it appears the freezer thawed a bit and dribbled into the fridge.

I have not tried running it on propane. I probably won't be dry camping anytime in the near future. We prefer the enjoyment of RV camps.

Am I doing something wrong? Missing something?

I know this is an old topic, but I'm disappointed so far with the operation of the fridge. It takes forever to cool down and appears it isn't reliable. I'm still going to have to carry around an ice chest to keep things cool.

Thanks for the help in advance.
Cody and Lisa in Texas. :-)
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Old 07-22-2016, 09:34 PM   #2
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I place a small battery operated fan in our fridge which helps to move the air around. Also make sure your trailer is close to level while the fridge is running. Third, depending on your model fridge, there should be a tray under the fins to catch the dripping water. Sometimes the drain for this catch tray gets mucked up and needs to be cleaned.
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Old 07-22-2016, 09:53 PM   #3
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We had a similar issue with the fridge in our 195RB though I don't think it was quite as bad as what you are describing. You may want to install a fridge vent fan to improve the air flow across the condenser unit on the back of the fridge. After installing one on our unit the performance of the fridge was greatly improved. If you search for fridge vent fan you should find some threads related to that topic.
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Old 07-23-2016, 07:52 AM   #4
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Thank you both very much!
I'll check all of the things mentioned.
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Old 07-23-2016, 08:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttavasc View Post
We had a similar issue with the fridge in our 195RB though I don't think it was quite as bad as what you are describing. You may want to install a fridge vent fan to improve the air flow across the condenser unit on the back of the fridge. After installing one on our unit the performance of the fridge was greatly improved. If you search for fridge vent fan you should find some threads related to that topic.
and we have the same fridge..And it tends to overcool on propane and electric. We have had it exposed to outside temps of 85 at the most. Outside temps I suppose could be the culprit

Something is amiss with the fridge. I'd say your situation is not to be expected

Once we had it on propane and it failed to cool cause duh we changed the propane tanks.
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Old 07-23-2016, 09:24 AM   #6
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I think the fridge may be working correctly. (Although a vent fan would definitely help.)

Here is what I think:

1) In my newbie ignorance, I now realize that the fridge performed better when I had the A/C running in the trailer, and the inside temp was cold. I'm in Galveston county, so the temps here have been in the high 90's.

2) I thought dripping was a sign of failure, but it came with a drip pan to sit under the fins, and appears to be part of the normal process. (Opening the door allows warmer air to rush in, and probably causes condensate on the fins.)

3) The freezer keeps ice frozen, and today the fridge shows 40 degrees. When I would open the fridge the racks and inside didn't feel that cold, but it is so small that's a poor test. (That's why I put the thermometer inside.)

I'm going to install a vent fan, and I think it will be fine. I might stick a few frozen bottles in the fridge when I first turn it on, to help out.

When I hook up to the trailer I'll turn the fridge on, put frozen bottles inside and let my battery run the fridge while towing, so I can get a jump start before arriving at the campsite.

If any of this sounds kooky let me know. I appreciate all of the help. :-)
Before long I'll be an RV expert too.

Cody
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Old 07-23-2016, 09:55 AM   #7
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No not kooky We did 9500 miles on our first outing and used the freezer as a ice repository for running during the day. We did not use propane when traveling. We turned off the fridge.
Our ice was water frozen in soda bottles. While there was melting there was no dripping. I threw out that drip pan. I need the space in the fridge
We were in the desert, Dry with temps in the mid 80's,

Haven't had the trailer in high 90s with matching humidity. That might be a factor.
Those conditions will never happen here in Maine.

The A/C definitely turns our little TT into an icebox all itself within five minutes even at 8000 BTU.

Come to think of it the frozen lettuce and A/C being on coincided
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Old 07-23-2016, 11:02 AM   #8
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If I read right the fridge is empty. I think you'll find that when it's filled with food and has time to cool everything, you'll get a more steady temp reading since opening the door won't have such a dump of cold air leaving and warm air entering. And as others said, circulation will smooth out temp levels greatly. So what I'm saying is, you'll be happier when you are actually using it, unless there really is something wrong with the unit.
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Old 07-24-2016, 10:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cody&Lisa View Post
I think the fridge may be working correctly. (Although a vent fan would definitely help.)

Here is what I think:

1) In my newbie ignorance, I now realize that the fridge performed better when I had the A/C running in the trailer, and the inside temp was cold. I'm in Galveston county, so the temps here have been in the high 90's.

2) I thought dripping was a sign of failure, but it came with a drip pan to sit under the fins, and appears to be part of the normal process. (Opening the door allows warmer air to rush in, and probably causes condensate on the fins.)

3) The freezer keeps ice frozen, and today the fridge shows 40 degrees. When I would open the fridge the racks and inside didn't feel that cold, but it is so small that's a poor test. (That's why I put the thermometer inside.)

I'm going to install a vent fan, and I think it will be fine. I might stick a few frozen bottles in the fridge when I first turn it on, to help out.

When I hook up to the trailer I'll turn the fridge on, put frozen bottles inside and let my battery run the fridge while towing, so I can get a jump start before arriving at the campsite.

If any of this sounds kooky let me know. I appreciate all of the help. :-)
Before long I'll be an RV expert too.

Cody
Ideally you want to turn it on the day before you leave if possible. The absorption-type fridges take longer to cool down and to react to changes in temperature when in use. We usually turn ours on in the morning the day before we leave, then pack our initial load of stuff into the fridge in the evening so it can adjust and settle in overnight. We stuff the freezer full including a few frozen water bottles and don't overfill the main compartment as you want some circulation there.

Ours is electric/propane only - no battery - so we do run it on propane while traveling and then switch back to electric when we have shore power. We can easily keep our thermometer in the mid-30's - that will drop to the mid to upper-40's while traveling as I think the heat does not exhaust out the side very well going down the highway at 60, even with the vent fan.
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Old 07-25-2016, 08:42 AM   #10
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Thank you all very much! Some great tips here. It looks like the fridge is working, and I will take the advice and kick it on in advance so it can be ready when we hook up. Also will be installing a vent fan. I can see that the top of the fridge is hot, and could use some ventilation. (Maybe even an inside fan too.)

Thanks again!
Cody & Lisa
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