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Post Info TOPIC: defrosting the frig


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defrosting the frig


I just read Howard's journal entry today and he said you were defrosting the frig.  When we were living in our 5er for a month we noticed that the frost built up on the back metal rack of the frig.  Do you do anything special to defrost...or just take everything out and turn off the frig.  I guess I've  always had  frost free refrigerators.....

Also, how often do you need to do it?

I tried to write this on the journal comments....but for some reason I'm not able to post comments the last few times I tried.

 

Thanks,

Melanie



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Melanie White

2006 Crossroads Paradise Pointe 33' 5th wheel
2002 F250  Crew Cab Lariat 7.3
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Thanks for posing this question, Mel. We're newbies just returning from a long trek and it looks like this is something that needs to be done right now. Probably it needs to be done
a bit more often than in the sticks & bricks.
Pointers, anyone? Thanks, Pat K.

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We just use a hair dryer to defrost the fins and the freezer about once a month.Takes about 15 minutes, just be sure to not get the plastic walls too hot.



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We always turn the fridge off when we move (ya I know it is not necessary but that's what I was taught at Life on Wheels) so it defrosts every time we move. (usually weekly.) All the contents go in a 12v cooler that goes in the vehicle when we move.



-- Edited by igotjam on Friday 20th of May 2011 06:49:14 PM

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We also just shut it off and use a hair dryer. It only takes about 10 minutes. We do it when the frost build up sufficiently. This is different times depending on the humidity. We've been in the southwest the whole winter and have only had to do it once.

A new trick we have been doing is standing a thin plastic placemat at the back. It is very easy to get a big jump on the defrost, just pull off the mat and most of the frost comes with it.

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igotjam wrote:

We always turn the fridge off when we move (ya I know it is not necessary but that's what I was taught at Life on Wheels) so it defrosts every time we move. (usually weekly.) All the contents go in a 12v cooler that goes in the vehicle when we move.



-- Edited by igotjam on Friday 20th of May 2011 06:49:14 PM


 

 While this would work in theory it's not terribly practical.  Unfortunately, you got really bad advice at a really good conference and you should keep your fridge running at all time while you are camping and traveling in order to keep the temperatures of the stored items at a safe temperature.  The time to cool an RV fridge is high and it can take many hours after you stop to bring the storage temps up to a safe level.



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Bill Adams



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The fins on our Norcold 1210 do not ice up unless something is wrong. I' ve had to replace the thermister twice in 3 years.  Both times the fins iced up with over a 1/4" of ice.  After replacing the thermister the fins will just have a very thin frost covering them.

 

From the owners manual:

Although the refrigerator is not frost-free, it is made to limit frost on the cooling fins. At regular intervals, the temperature control system automatically melts most of the frost from the cooling fins. The water from the cooling fins drains into a collection cup that is attached to the back of the refrigerator.

What model fridge do you have Melanie?

Now the freezer is a different story.  The DW is in the freezer all the time to get crushed ice.  The ice maker let's me know when it's time to defrost.  The build-up of ice will eventually block the ice maker from dumping ice and it makes a weird sound.  That's how I know when it's time to defrost.  I turn the fridge off, take everything out of the freezer, grab the hair dryer and melt the ice.  I keep the hair dryer moving so I don't over-heat the plastic and put towels down to soak up the water. Takes about 20 minutes start to finish.  Depending on our location and humidity levels this can be a every 2 month thing or every 6 months thing.



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It's a 2-door Dometic Model #RM2852

The fins in the back didn't get too loaded with ice....we just noticed the frosting and my DH said..."you know you'll have to defrost this if we stay longer".....to which I said "ughh, I don't know anything about defrosting a frig"! Anyway, once we moved down the road to the next campground...it somewhat went away. We didn't use the gas as we traveled....which is a good thing...because I happend to look up RECALLS on my model of rig....(prompted by a friend who had a problem with their Heartland and a recall)....and sure enough...my frig had been on a recall list for a little thing to be put on the gas tubing.
After much investigation...found out that this unit had never had the recall work done and when I called Dometic...they said DO NOT USE YOUR REFRIGERATOR!! IT COULD CATCH FIRE!! I laughed and said.."we just came back from a month's stay in the rig and it worked fine. I guess it's a good thing we didn't use the propane in it! Anyway.....the work will now be done (at no cost to us)...we'll be taking it to the RV sales place where they handle Crossroads just down the road from us.

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Melanie White

2006 Crossroads Paradise Pointe 33' 5th wheel
2002 F250  Crew Cab Lariat 7.3
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Full-timer, here. I find that we need to defrost every few months depending on humidity (which is always high here in Florida!) We turn unit off, empty freezer, and position a small fan. Takes about 15 minutes for freezer. Next, aim fan at fins in fridge. Takes a bit longer, but no biggie. Sop up the water, replace food and turn back on!

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Bill Adams wrote:
igotjam wrote:

We always turn the fridge off when we move (ya I know it is not necessary but that's what I was taught at Life on Wheels) so it defrosts every time we move. (usually weekly.) All the contents go in a 12v cooler that goes in the vehicle when we move.



-- Edited by igotjam on Friday 20th of May 2011 06:49:14 PM


 

 While this would work in theory it's not terribly practical.  Unfortunately, you got really bad advice at a really good conference and you should keep your fridge running at all time while you are camping and traveling in order to keep the temperatures of the stored items at a safe temperature.  The time to cool an RV fridge is high and it can take many hours after you stop to bring the storage temps up to a safe level.


 Help me out here.  The gas is supposed to be turned off at the tank when in transit, right?  I thought the fridge was either 120 volts or gas.  So, is the fridge running on 12 volts when in transit?  I'm the kindergardener here!

Vance



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Vance......it will depend on whether your refrigerator is 2 / way 110 and gas.........or it is 3/way a/c-d/c and gas. there are so many combos now........in fact it could be a/c continuous and switches to the inverter during travel

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Thanks, Mike.  One more thing to check on when shopping.

V



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Things may have changed since I did our research, but as far as using the refrigerator on gas while traveling, that is still an option.  It may vary by states, but the biggest restriction that I know of is having an LP tank opened for use while going through tunnels.  Otherwise, the only other factor is if one is filling one's truck with fuel and a product like a hot water heater on gas creating a flame for ignition.  That factor is not really a factor if the truck one is filling is a diesel.  Diesel doesn't have fumes like gasoline would have.

I know that there are folks out there that will refuse to travel with their LP tanks open.  I guess it just depends on each person's attitude, but mine is influenced by the fact that in my past jobs, I have hauled LPG in both semi-truck and trailer rigs (18-wheelers) and delivered to homes and businesses with a bobtail truck.

Terry



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I used to defrost the freezer using a hair dryer. Then I read (I think on this forum) that using a fan was better because you didn't risk damaging things. I now turn off and empty the freezer. I set a small fan at the open door and the ice melts within 15 minutes. I can then clean things up and we're back in business. The fan works very well. We use our fridge on gas whenever we travel and have never had an issue. I guess its what you are comfortable with.

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Our hair dryer has a low heat setting so it is much like a fan.

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For the fridge, I just turn it off overnight and by morning just about all or all of the ice is gone from the fridge. Since we are sleeping, there is no opening or closing of the door.
For the freezer--we have a top loader- I bought one of those thin plastic cutting board sheets and once defrosted I put that in the very back and put the shelves in then the food. Now when there is buildup on the back, I just remove the food and the shelves and pull off the plastic sheet. Most of the time the ice stays on it and I take it to the sink. If it falls to the floor of the freezer I have already laid another sheet on the bottom which catches everything. Makes defrosting a very easy job. I have been using this method for over 10 years and we're still on our 1st fridge which is 16 years old so having the sheet at the back has not affected either the fridge itself or it's temperature. Hugs,Di

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I watched DH yesterday............blow dryer in one hand, teeny little shop vac hose in the other...............about ten minutes and our freezer was frost free!



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Loved the idea with the thin plastic cutting board sheets. We did that and it really does make it so much easier.

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