Appliances, Buildings and Renovations, Food, Heat and Cooling

Make a Propane Refrigerator Run Cooler in the Summer

8 Jul , 2013  

The RV style of propane refrigerator (Dometic-3 way) was not getting cold on the inside. Turned up the thermostat from setting 2 to 4 make it colder, but there was no effect. It was a major concern, since there was a heat wave coming and the frozen vegetables, beverages and steaks would go bad. Also, it was not an option to drive for a 2 hours to get blocks of ice.


Step one- Slide propane fridge into a box

The propane refrigerator was an older model, but was working fine months earlier. So, went over a mental checklist; read manual, check regulator on propane hose, check thermostat, check for cobwebs around cooling fins and check exhaust ports. During the last check on the exhaust port, I noticed the wood siding was really warm to the touch. Thought that was odd, since the manual states the refrigerator must be encased in a metal box, with no combustible materials nearby. The heat must be intense for it to travel through the metal and then to the outside siding.

So, ended up cutting a larger exhaust hole for the heat to escape. Didn’t have much room or a handy saw, so, I had to sketch out a line and use a drill. Drilled holes every 1/8″ with a 1/4″ bit. It took forever, but, didn’t have to worry about striking the cooling fins or pipes on the back of the propane refrigerator. Since it was almost 3 times larger hole, I decided to add a metal heat deflector and a computer fan to help redirect the heat out the hole. Always keep a bunch of computer fans around, they come in handy and work straight off batteries or a solar panel. Fashioned some mounts out of some metal strips and put it just under the refrigerator cooling fins. Wired the computer fan to a simple light switch and 7 amphour AGM battery. The fan could be switched on really hot days and helped the refrigerator cool much quicker.

Soon, I’ll make another video with a few more improvements

Thanks for watching!







Step Two- Slide box, with propane fridge, into IKEA cabinet.

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