That #$@*ing Fan is Driving Me Nuts!
Our Keystone Cougar 276RLS trailer came equipped with a Dometic model DM2652LBX refrigerator. It does a pretty good job of keeping our food cold or frozen but has one annoying little quirk that drives me crazy at times.
In the backside area, between the cooling unit piping is a small cooling fan controlled by a thermal switch. Anytime the sun shines full on the fridge side of the rig or if it is very warm outside this little cooling fan cycles on and off. It’s a good feature as it aids the natural convention of air up the fridge chimney and out the roof vent. But…
There are two problems with it. One it is quite loud and two it cycles on and off a lot, like every 30 seconds or so. This combination can make it extremely annoying when we are sitting outside on a quiet evening. The other day I had enough of it and decided to remove the fridge and see what I could do.
How to Remove My Dometic RV Fridge
This wasn’t my first rodeo when it came to working on the RVs refrigerator. A few years ago I had to replace the heater element when the fridge stopped working in electric mode. At that time, it took a bit of research to figure out how to get her out of the wall for access to the guts of the beast.
Disclaimer: Working with electricity and LP gas can be dangerous. Performing the modifications detailed in this blog posting may void your warranty. The following is for educational and entertainment purposes only and should not be taken as instructional. If you decide to do the same modifications I’ve done then research and beware of the risks involved. I accept no liability. You have been warned! – Ray
With the previous experience and a quick reread of my own blog posting it only took me maybe ten minutes to have the Dometic fridge out and ready for a look see. The first thing was to turn off the LP gas supply and disconnect the AC power to the fridge. I choose to keep the 12-volt power on and just be careful when removing the feed wires from the fridges 12-volt input connector. I then taped them up to prevent any short circuit.
Next step was to take out a total of 8 screws. 4 are found behind the plastic clipped in control bezel, two at the very bottom front corners, and two more on the rear metal frame corners accessed from the outside. (See accompanying video for greater details)
Finally, I carefully loosened the LP gas line using two crescent wrenches to prevent any excessive twisting of the gas line. The fridge was now free to slide forward into the rig’s interior.
I’m lucky to have a wood tool box that is almost the perfect height to slide the fridge onto. It even has handles on the side to help position the fridge to work on.
Replacing the Noisy RV Fridge Fan
The OEM fan in my Dometic DM2652 fridge is a typical desktop computer case fan, (ADDA model AD0912UB-A71GL). I sourced a much quieter and slightly larger Antec brand case fan at Radio Shack to replace it with. Since it is a larger diameter fan I had to modify the mounting a bit. I used some steel strapping used for hanging plumbing pipes. Since it is very bendable and full of holes it was easy to use it to mount the new fan using the screws and holes from the original.
Another issue with the original setup was it would short cycle. Meaning the fan would come on for only around 30-40 seconds and then shut off for roughly the same. I believe this is due to the thermostat switch being mounted almost directly in the fan air flow. I decided to move the thermostat to another area of the piping away from the direct fan air flow.
Using an IR temperature gun, I located one of the hotter areas and placed the clip-on thermostat there to make sure it triggered the fan on when extra cooling is required.
The new fan has rubber grommets to reduce vibration and I added some silicone rubber to the nuts and bolts so they stay in place. As far as the electrical hookup goes there were only 2 wires to connect up for + red and – black. A little bit of solder and electrical tape and I was in business. No more irritating fan noise!
Video Detailing Fridge Fan Modifications
I’m extremely happy with the new whisper-quiet RV fridge fan. I can’t hear it at all now. The new fans air flow isn’t rated as high as the original, but I believe it will be sufficient for our needs. Being RV snowbirds, we migrate north in the hotter months so avoid camping in extremely hot weather. Also, our fridge isn’t confined in a slide out like some so has a nice tall chimney stack leading to a rooftop vent. This gives a little better convention cooling.
I’ll monitor the fridges performance and add a second fan if necessary or look into a solar powered roof vent fan. If you find yourself routinely RVing in hot weather you might want to look at upgrading to multiple fans to improve cooling.