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  1. #1
    Seasoned Camper Boom 'r Bust's Avatar
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    Fridge Vent Fan - With a Twist!

    So we are into our hot months here in Texas. Back in May I was camping at a State Park in OK. It was about 82 degrees out and my 8CF Dometic fridge was a little warmer than I like. Freezer was hovering in the low 20's and fridge was around 40. I've been watching Youtube many years and have seen several vent fan installs. Looked easy, so when we got home I ordered a 120mm fan from Titan. My plan was to install it in the upper vent. My fridge is in the slide, so no roof vent.

    Got the fan, drove out to the rig and figured 1-2 hour install, right? As soon as I took the vent off it was obvious my plan would not work...

    The back of the fridge (the fins) were nearly touching the back of the vent cover. And to make things worse, there is a solid metal heat shield going about 2/3 of the way up the opening.

    There was no way this fan was going to fit behind this vent cover. I thought about raising the white flag and just installing it in the bottom vent and push the air up. But everything I'd seen said the the biggest improvement come with fans near the back fin (the hot area). So after a few nights of strenuous mental exercise, I came up with this idea... Make the vent cover and fan forever one. Bonded together for all of eternity...

    The first thing I did was look to see how much a new vent cover would cost in case I screwed this up. $45... ok now I've got a safety net.

    So I cut out a section of the cover so the fan would sit flush against the flat portion of it. But this still left half the fan blocked by plastic. So I then drilled holes on an angle (rain protection). All the time I'm doing this I'm thinking $45 gets me back to where I started...

    Now I needed to figure out a simple yet effective way to keep the rain out. I know! A cover for the cover!

    Next I put in some screen material and buttoned it all up with some clear silicone to secure and seal everything. It's not going to win a beauty contest but here are the pics:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Screenshot_20200615-210538.jpg 
Views:	413 
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ID:	27323
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	27324
    Click image for larger version. 

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Views:	454 
Size:	189.6 KB 
ID:	27325

    So 2 weeks ago we went back out for 5 days. It was 86 degrees and little to no shade at our site. This was what our fridge temps were:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Screenshot_20200615-210308.jpg 
Views:	298 
Size:	206.2 KB 
ID:	27326

    Yes, that is 5 BELOW zero in the freezer! Needless to say, I was VERY pleased. Normally I would not show a DIY job that looks, well, so-so at best. But the results made me feel I had to share for those that have a fridge in the slide and no room for the typical fan install.

    Boomer
    2021 Winnebago 2932 5th wheel
    2020 F350 w/7.3 Godzilla
    2018 Reflection 220RK - sold 11/20
    2018 Titan XD 4x4 SL - sold 11/20

  2. #2
    Big Traveler
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    Nicely done. For those who don't understand what the metal shield is, here's a photo of said shield.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Upper Compartment.jpeg 
Views:	207 
Size:	69.2 KB 
ID:	27329

    As Boomer stated, there's very little clearance between the back of the vent cover (the horizontal rows of vent holes protrude into the space) - about 0.5" by my measurement.

    I've been struggling with how to get some fans in there to draw the hot air out, and get them to fit. Boomer's method is excellent, but it does require cutting into the vent and there is of course, the worry about rain getting in there even with angled holes. I know they do make fans that are weather resistant.

    The Noctua NF-A14 140mm High Performance Fan will run at 2000 RPM, exhausting 107 CFM, and the noise level is 32 dB. Two of these suckers are going to be like a vacuum cleaner lol.
    https://www.quietpc.com/nf-a14-ippc-2000

    I like the idea of modifying the vent cover, as there is no other way to affix any sort of high performance fan.

    The only other thing I could think of was to use some radial fans, but they are small 50mm units and they makes lots of noise while not offering that much performance. The 50mm fans could sit in the recess between the rows of the exhaust slots of the vent cover. I measured the area and I can fit 6 of these fans in-between the horizontal vent rows.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	50mm fans.jpg 
Views:	106 
Size:	83.4 KB 
ID:	27330

    In either case, my plan is to add either:
    1) Two of the 80mm radial fans to the lower compartment to direct air up through the channel vent or
    2) Install two of the high performance Noctua fans to intake the outside air on the lower vent cover (where there's no issue of space)

    I will also use a programmable thermostat such as this one:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	thermostat.jpg 
Views:	110 
Size:	72.3 KB 
ID:	27331
    2017 Ford F450 - our kids call her "Big Red"
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boom 'r Bust View Post
    So we are into our hot months here in Texas. Back in May I was camping at a State Park in OK. It was about 82 degrees out and my 8CF Dometic fridge was a little warmer than I like. Freezer was hovering in the low 20's and fridge was around 40. I've been watching Youtube many years and have seen several vent fan installs. Looked easy, so when we got home I ordered a 120mm fan from Titan. My plan was to install it in the upper vent. My fridge is in the slide, so no roof vent.

    Got the fan, drove out to the rig and figured 1-2 hour install, right? As soon as I took the vent off it was obvious my plan would not work...

    The back of the fridge (the fins) were nearly touching the back of the vent cover. And to make things worse, there is a solid metal heat shield going about 2/3 of the way up the opening.

    There was no way this fan was going to fit behind this vent cover. I thought about raising the white flag and just installing it in the bottom vent and push the air up. But everything I'd seen said the the biggest improvement come with fans near the back fin (the hot area). So after a few nights of strenuous mental exercise, I came up with this idea... Make the vent cover and fan forever one. Bonded together for all of eternity...

    The first thing I did was look to see how much a new vent cover would cost in case I screwed this up. $45... ok now I've got a safety net.

    So I cut out a section of the cover so the fan would sit flush against the flat portion of it. But this still left half the fan blocked by plastic. So I then drilled holes on an angle (rain protection). All the time I'm doing this I'm thinking $45 gets me back to where I started...

    Now I needed to figure out a simple yet effective way to keep the rain out. I know! A cover for the cover!

    Next I put in some screen material and buttoned it all up with some clear silicone to secure and seal everything. It's not going to win a beauty contest but here are the pics:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Screenshot_20200615-210538.jpg 
Views:	413 
Size:	334.6 KB 
ID:	27323
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Screenshot_20200615-210323.jpg 
Views:	434 
Size:	211.1 KB 
ID:	27324
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Screenshot_20200615-210302.jpg 
Views:	454 
Size:	189.6 KB 
ID:	27325

    So 2 weeks ago we went back out for 5 days. It was 86 degrees and little to no shade at our site. This was what our fridge temps were:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Screenshot_20200615-210308.jpg 
Views:	298 
Size:	206.2 KB 
ID:	27326

    Yes, that is 5 BELOW zero in the freezer! Needless to say, I was VERY pleased. Normally I would not show a DIY job that looks, well, so-so at best. But the results made me feel I had to share for those that have a fridge in the slide and no room for the typical fan install.

    Boomer
    Nice work around. Did you consider removing that heat shield/baffle to gain access to the fan? I removed my baffle, it was wood, but may install another one with L brackets to the existing framing. Removing it let me see the fan and initially I thought removing the baffle would help with air flow, but it's supposed to concentrate the fan air movement toward the fins.
    2020 Imagine Mk2670
    Tow vehicle - 2020 Chevy Silverado 2500 6.6L Gas

  4. #4
    Seasoned Camper Boom 'r Bust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLexx View Post
    Nicely done. For those who don't understand what the metal shield is, here's a photo of said shield.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Upper Compartment.jpeg 
Views:	207 
Size:	69.2 KB 
ID:	27329

    As Boomer stated, there's very little clearance between the back of the vent cover (the horizontal rows of vent holes protrude into the space) - about 0.5" by my measurement.

    I've been struggling with how to get some fans in there to draw the hot air out, and get them to fit. Boomer's method is excellent, but it does require cutting into the vent and there is of course, the worry about rain getting in there even with angled holes. I know they do make fans that are weather resistant.

    The Noctua NF-A14 140mm High Performance Fan will run at 2000 RPM, exhausting 107 CFM, and the noise level is 32 dB. Two of these suckers are going to be like a vacuum cleaner lol.
    https://www.quietpc.com/nf-a14-ippc-2000

    I like the idea of modifying the vent cover, as there is no other way to affix any sort of high performance fan.

    The only other thing I could think of was to use some radial fans, but they are small 50mm units and they makes lots of noise while not offering that much performance. The 50mm fans could sit in the recess between the rows of the exhaust slots of the vent cover. I measured the area and I can fit 6 of these fans in-between the horizontal vent rows.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	50mm fans.jpg 
Views:	106 
Size:	83.4 KB 
ID:	27330

    In either case, my plan is to add either:
    1) Two of the 80mm radial fans to the lower compartment to direct air up through the channel vent or
    2) Install two of the high performance Noctua fans to intake the outside air on the lower vent cover (where there's no issue of space)

    I will also use a programmable thermostat such as this one:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	thermostat.jpg 
Views:	110 
Size:	72.3 KB 
ID:	27331
    Thanks for the reply and pic showing the heat shield Lexx. It looks like you have committed some grey matter to the same problem...

    Let us know what direction you go to solve the problem. The velcroed cover and angled holes I did has proven to be good rain protection. We've had a few storms pass thru and the inside compartment remained dry as a bone.
    2021 Winnebago 2932 5th wheel
    2020 F350 w/7.3 Godzilla
    2018 Reflection 220RK - sold 11/20
    2018 Titan XD 4x4 SL - sold 11/20

  5. #5
    Seasoned Camper Boom 'r Bust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisopy View Post
    Nice work around. Did you consider removing that heat shield/baffle to gain access to the fan? I removed my baffle, it was wood, but may install another one with L brackets to the existing framing. Removing it let me see the fan and initially I thought removing the baffle would help with air flow, but it's supposed to concentrate the fan air movement toward the fins.
    Yes I did consider it, briefly. I'm not sure removing the heat shield would have freed up enough space for the fan. Plus pulling the fridge just to install some fans was not something I wanted to tackle. My DIY skills are growing, but do not yet include working with existing propane lines. And screwing that up would have been a lot more expensive/dangerous than a new $45 vent cover.
    Last edited by Boom 'r Bust; 06-16-2020 at 06:22 AM.
    2021 Winnebago 2932 5th wheel
    2020 F350 w/7.3 Godzilla
    2018 Reflection 220RK - sold 11/20
    2018 Titan XD 4x4 SL - sold 11/20

  6. #6
    Big Traveler Wicked ace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boom 'r Bust View Post
    So we are into our hot months here in Texas. Back in May I was camping at a State Park in OK. It was about 82 degrees out and my 8CF Dometic fridge was a little warmer than I like. Freezer was hovering in the low 20's and fridge was around 40. I've been watching Youtube many years and have seen several vent fan installs. Looked easy, so when we got home I ordered a 120mm fan from Titan. My plan was to install it in the upper vent. My fridge is in the slide, so no roof vent.

    Got the fan, drove out to the rig and figured 1-2 hour install, right? As soon as I took the vent off it was obvious my plan would not work...

    The back of the fridge (the fins) were nearly touching the back of the vent cover. And to make things worse, there is a solid metal heat shield going about 2/3 of the way up the opening.

    There was no way this fan was going to fit behind this vent cover. I thought about raising the white flag and just installing it in the bottom vent and push the air up. But everything I'd seen said the the biggest improvement come with fans near the back fin (the hot area). So after a few nights of strenuous mental exercise, I came up with this idea... Make the vent cover and fan forever one. Bonded together for all of eternity...

    The first thing I did was look to see how much a new vent cover would cost in case I screwed this up. $45... ok now I've got a safety net.

    So I cut out a section of the cover so the fan would sit flush against the flat portion of it. But this still left half the fan blocked by plastic. So I then drilled holes on an angle (rain protection). All the time I'm doing this I'm thinking $45 gets me back to where I started...

    Now I needed to figure out a simple yet effective way to keep the rain out. I know! A cover for the cover!

    Next I put in some screen material and buttoned it all up with some clear silicone to secure and seal everything. It's not going to win a beauty contest but here are the pics:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Screenshot_20200615-210538.jpg 
Views:	413 
Size:	334.6 KB 
ID:	27323
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Screenshot_20200615-210323.jpg 
Views:	434 
Size:	211.1 KB 
ID:	27324
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Screenshot_20200615-210302.jpg 
Views:	454 
Size:	189.6 KB 
ID:	27325

    So 2 weeks ago we went back out for 5 days. It was 86 degrees and little to no shade at our site. This was what our fridge temps were:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Screenshot_20200615-210308.jpg 
Views:	298 
Size:	206.2 KB 
ID:	27326

    Yes, that is 5 BELOW zero in the freezer! Needless to say, I was VERY pleased. Normally I would not show a DIY job that looks, well, so-so at best. But the results made me feel I had to share for those that have a fridge in the slide and no room for the typical fan install.

    Boomer
    That is a good solution to fan placement that I have been puzzling with. I have three computer fans here I'd like to put to service. They are 3.125" sq x 1". I also have a Stego KTS 011 adjustable temperature switch to turn them on and off. What did you use for a mounting bracket? They look like a manufactured item holding the fans in place.
    https://www.stego-usa.com/products/r...ating-cooling/
    2018 F150 XLT 301a, Screw, 4x4, HDPP, Max tow, Andersen Ultimate w/ Curt Double Lock hitch.
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  7. #7
    Seasoned Camper Boom 'r Bust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wicked ace View Post
    That is a good solution to fan placement that I have been puzzling with. I have three computer fans here I'd like to put to service. They are 3.125" sq x 1". I also have a Stego KTS 011 adjustable temperature switch to turn them on and off. What did you use for a mounting bracket? They look like a manufactured item holding the fans in place.
    https://www.stego-usa.com/products/r...ating-cooling/
    The fan came with some adjustable "L" brackets in addition to a temp wire which will turn the fan on and off and a control switch that has a manual mode with 6? Speeds.

    I attached the L brackets and then zip tied the fan in place. The clear silicone holds the screen in place and seals up my less than perfect cutting skills.
    2021 Winnebago 2932 5th wheel
    2020 F350 w/7.3 Godzilla
    2018 Reflection 220RK - sold 11/20
    2018 Titan XD 4x4 SL - sold 11/20

  8. #8
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    do the fans run continuously or are they triggered to come on with the others via thermostat?

  9. #9
    Seasoned Camper Boom 'r Bust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zenasboy View Post
    do the fans run continuously or are they triggered to come on with the others via thermostat?
    You have both options. So far I have only used the manual mode. I left the small control box inside the bottom vent of the fridge. During setup I just open the vent and select my speed. It draws something like 1/2 amp per fan.
    2021 Winnebago 2932 5th wheel
    2020 F350 w/7.3 Godzilla
    2018 Reflection 220RK - sold 11/20
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  10. #10
    Rolling Along dryfly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLexx View Post
    Nicely done. For those who don't understand what the metal shield is, here's a photo of said shield.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Upper Compartment.jpeg 
Views:	207 
Size:	69.2 KB 
ID:	27329

    As Boomer stated, there's very little clearance between the back of the vent cover (the horizontal rows of vent holes protrude into the space) - about 0.5" by my measurement.

    I've been struggling with how to get some fans in there to draw the hot air out, and get them to fit. Boomer's method is excellent, but it does require cutting into the vent and there is of course, the worry about rain getting in there even with angled holes. I know they do make fans that are weather resistant.

    The Noctua NF-A14 140mm High Performance Fan will run at 2000 RPM, exhausting 107 CFM, and the noise level is 32 dB. Two of these suckers are going to be like a vacuum cleaner lol.
    https://www.quietpc.com/nf-a14-ippc-2000

    I like the idea of modifying the vent cover, as there is no other way to affix any sort of high performance fan.

    The only other thing I could think of was to use some radial fans, but they are small 50mm units and they makes lots of noise while not offering that much performance. The 50mm fans could sit in the recess between the rows of the exhaust slots of the vent cover. I measured the area and I can fit 6 of these fans in-between the horizontal vent rows.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	50mm fans.jpg 
Views:	106 
Size:	83.4 KB 
ID:	27330

    In either case, my plan is to add either:
    1) Two of the 80mm radial fans to the lower compartment to direct air up through the channel vent or
    2) Install two of the high performance Noctua fans to intake the outside air on the lower vent cover (where there's no issue of space)

    I will also use a programmable thermostat such as this one:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	thermostat.jpg 
Views:	110 
Size:	72.3 KB 
ID:	27331
    The radial fans may be a good option. I'm trying to work out a fan solution and I'm thinking about using them. I was originally looking at high flow fans in the 70 - 100 cfm range. I got to thinking about it and there is really not that much space in the area behind the fridge. If you were moving 30 cfm you would probably be circulating the entire area at least once per minute.

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