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Draft from Fridge


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I have read a number of times in a number of places that there should be no draft from outside coming in around the fridge.

I have a dometic 3 way fridge and if I look at the gap between the top of the door and the controls I can see light from outside and obviously when the wind is on that side of the van there is a gale coming through the gap, (OK in Summer not so good in low season). I have asked around and a number of others and they say "oh mine does that, dont worry about it". I am afraid I do worry about it. I could stop the draft by sealing the gap but I don;t like messing with gas appliances.


Can someone give an expert opinion about this. The fridge is due for a service but I would like to know some facts before I have it done so I can ensure it is serviced and sorted.


Can I stress that the gap is through the fridge not around it.

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Guest peter

Ideally the fridge should be completely sealed all round the perimeter where it fits in the furniture of the van, but lazy installers usually don't bother to do it properly. You can seal it with foam pushed in tightly to give you a good seal. It'll also stop all the flies and beasties getting in as well. If you remove the vents on the ouside by turning the buttons, you can get access to do it.

Just re- read your post and I think you will find that the air is getting in around the outside edge. Unless you have a big hole in it, that is.

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Thanks for your prompt reply, the fridge was installed by Autotrail and has never benn serviced so I would think it would have been done properly but I suppose sealer could have come off,


The draft is definetely coming through between the door and the panel with the settings dials on. I can actually see from the inside to the outside through the gap and the top outer grill.

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Hi Cliff,


I've just found a link to a document called " Optimal Installation of Dometic Fridges" which gives all the details you need to know to draftproof your fridge correctly.

Or do you not have installation instructions in your fridges operating manual?





Cliff, you posted your reply while I was typing, the fridge should be sealed around it's rearmost perimeter (as previous post) and you definitely should not be able to see daylight. I had to reseal our's as AT did not do a very good job until recently :'(

Also there should be a baffle sealing the top rear edge of the fridge to the top of the upper vent to force all warm out. Our's was doing anything but this!

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If there's a space around the fridge, when the gas is alight, fumes may/could enter the van interior? I would seal it with tape. When next passing a dealer call in and ask.


We have a draft from around the oven depending which way we are parked (its a safety factor). If not using the oven and its a particularly gale force day I seal the surround with tape, but remove it directly after.




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Guest Tracker

Every van I have ever had has suffered from the same ill fitting fridge problem (apart from the early ones which didn't have a fridge!) and rather than sealing it so tight that it makes it impossible to remove it - soddes law dictating that if you do it will surely need to come out - I simply run masking tape all around the edge gaps, although sometimes the gaps were so big that a strip of foam had to go in first just to bridge the gap before taping it up!


Cheap and simples - jus' like me!

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Guest JudgeMental

If you can see daylight outside from around edge of fridge I can assure you it has not been fitted properly! :-S


In fact it is potentially dangerous as gas from fridge exhaust can find its way back into van.... *-)

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This is a perennial problem; whilst its a simple concept, converters seem to be entirely incapable of installing fridges correctly.


The only 'van I've ever owned that had the fidge properly sealed was my last 'van, a Rapido, and since this was the large fridge/freezer type where the exhaust vented into the void behind the fridge (rather than to an externally mounted exhaust vent) a good job too!


Regardless of the point where the draught is entering your 'van, I wouldn't advise simply sealing the gap between the door and the control panel from the front of the fridge. The symptoms indicate that the fridge is not propely sealed into the mounting, and at a point closer to the rear of the unit.


There are a number of potential problems with this:


i) cold draughts in windy weather

ii) the fridge potentially won't cool as well as it should

iii) the potential for exhaust gas to be drawn back into the 'van (whilst this is unlikely, and I wouldn't panic, it is remotely possible).


It is worthwhile looking at the link on proper installation and sealing provided by Keith, and the advice provided by Peter on accessing the fridge from behind by removing the vent is appropriate.


I've resealed the fridge on every 'van I've had, other than the Rapido. My current Hobby had had an attempt made at following the Dometic guidelines , but it was pretty poor and I've done that as well.


In general, the sides and bootom are usually sealed in some manner (as it is easy), but if they aren't, a bead of silicone sealant, or a length of domestic draught-proof strip will suffice (making sure you keep clear of the gas flue parts). All this should be done at the rear of the fridge.


The problem usually occurs with the rather large void at the top of the fridge, where, ideally there should be a sealed, angled panel from the rear top of the fridge, to the upper surface of the upper vent. You wish!. The fact that this doesn't exist, or is not well sealed, is probably the source of your problem.


If you want the best result, you can make one of these yourself, and seal it with silicone or draught-proof strip on allsides, but, to be honest, doing this from the back post-installation is not easy. (I've made a passable job on my Hobby with aluminium plate, but it was a fiddly job (Yes, I could have asked the dealer to do it, but I think I've done as well as could be expected, and at least I know what has been done).


If there is not a huge space above the top level of the highest vent (in which hot air generally gets trapped), you can get a passable result by stuffing upholstery foam (preferably flame-retardant) tightly into the gap between the top of the fridge and the worktop above. Make sure it is well clear of the gas burner and exhaust assembly, and either tightly "stuffed" or taped in place.


Again, this should be done through the vent, not from the front of the fridge.


The best results come from removing the fridge and installing with a proper fitting kit, but on looking for the previously available Dometic kit on the internet, i wasn't able to find any hits.

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Thanks Cliffy for posting this, and for all the answers, especially Keithl's - the pdf is great.


I'd always thought that the draft was just something that came with the territory because of the vents. I'd even started thinking that it was actually designed that way to warm up the cutlery in the drawer next to the top of the fridge! (lol)


First spare moment I get, I'll be out there with some aluminium sheet and an assorted variety of seals and sealant! B-)



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On our Globecar the fridge appears to be well sealed. At the front of fridge looks like the draught sealer you can buy for household doors and windows, at back of fridge whilst I didn't check it 100% it appears to be sealed with silicone.
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Sorry to hijack this a bit but we have a 'TecTower' which has a Dometic fridge with a separate freezer and an oven atop the freezer. The exhaust vent for the fridge/freezer shares the cool air inlet for the oven. Duh...so if there is a problem with the fridge exhaust, the oven ventilataion brings it inside the van, no matter how good the sealant.


The answer was to ask Dave Newell to fit exhaust fans for use in hot weather and to service the fridge flue. Both have solved the (in my view) design fault.



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