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Old 05-14-2012, 07:01 PM   #1
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Default 189FDS 2013 Refrigerator troubles

My wife and I have just returned from our first camp out with our new FunFinder model 189FDS. We typically dry camp (no hook ups) so battery life (battery drain) is important. I had already changed out the standard interior lamps for LED lighting. After our first night out our single 12 VDC battery was dead. Fortunately we own a 1Kw generator and recharged for the next day. By the time it was time to break camp the battery was dead again. I have yet to perform a full energy audit but here is what I found so far. The refrigerator, model DM2652, does not provide control over the heating coils that surround the freezer door frame. When powered by propane this frig is still consuming 1.3amps of 12VDC power 24hours a day. If you have an upgraded model fridge this power drain is controlled by the CLC (climate control) button. Turn this off to conserve power. I found the wires involved and installed a disconnect device to fit my needs. The second issue I have is with how this refrigerator has been installed on the 189FDS model trailer. Other models may or may not have this same issue. The refrigerator condenser located on the back side near the top of the refrigerator has been boxed in on 3 sides with no escape path for the heat to travel. The outside vent panel provided for this purpose is located below the cooling fins. There is a 12VDC fan wired to an overheat sensor which, under normal conditions, should never be activated. On our outing this fan came on all the time causing an annoying sound and again draining our limited 12Volt power source. We were camped near the beach so it was cool from late afternoon till mid morning. This overheat fan ran during much of this time. I plan to open up this area near the top of the ventilation box but fear that this may weaken the wall in that part of the slide out. I suspect that wall integrity is why the manufacture (cruiser) installed it the way they did. Does the manufacture read posts on this blog? They do not provide email access to inside personnel or I would not have made a public announcement of this poorly engineered installation.
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Old 05-14-2012, 10:28 PM   #2
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How long should the battery last with frig running on propane?
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:36 AM   #3
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There should also be a vent on the top of the trailer to exhaust the heat. Should work kind of like a chimney, air flows into the panel you have removed in your pic and out the vent on top of the trailer. Any chance there's some obstruction preventing the proper air flow?

There are also solar powered vent covers with a fan that improve air flow available. Kind of pricey about 100 bucks or so, but being solar powered it won't drain you battery.
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Old 05-16-2012, 07:23 PM   #4
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Default LED Lighting

Dear experienced campers. We have just ordered a new 189FBS which has a different floor plan, so maybe we will not have the same problems. Please post whatever you find out and any solutions which would be helpful for the rest of us.
Also, can you post the link for the interior led lights you bought? I have found only very expensive ones with no idea as to quality. Thank you
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Old 05-16-2012, 10:04 PM   #5
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Default Battery/airflow

The battery should only be required to ignite the propane flame and run the lamp inside when the door is open. Battery life is all about how much drain the entire system has. Reducing the power requirements from all devices will extend the battery life. This door heater was the most demanding item in our trailer, next is the lighting. LED lights require .2 amps over the original bulb at 1.5 amps. I will be writing about the 3 different LED lamps I chose and how they compare with the original bulbs.

This model trailer 189FDS has the frig located in the slideout. Great for extra space but the roofline is lower than the full height available for units that are installed in the trailer's exterior wall. There is no outlet above this because the roof surface (slider) must enter under the frame seal of the slider. I suppose they could develope a spring loaded roof panel that would flatten as the section is slid inside the trailer body. The difficulty then becomes keeping the rain from entering when the slider is open.

Any other owners of this particular model with comments or suggestions?
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Old 05-17-2012, 11:37 AM   #6
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Default Refrig door heater

Dear Experienced Campers-
Please explain why a refrigerator would have a "door heater." Sorry if this is a dumb question, but I want to be able to disable it on my new FF once I take delivery, or would disabling it be a bad thing?
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Old 05-17-2012, 11:45 AM   #7
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The following is what I did to our trailer for the same problem

1 Filled the cavity above the refrigerator with insulation, this helped
with the noise problem.

2 I used a piece of aluminum flashing to make a curve shield across
the top of the opening to deflect the air outward through the cover.

3 Replaced the fan with a larger one which will move more air.
Also replaced the thermocouple. They can sometimes be a little
"finicky". Make sure it is making good contact.

After doing this I found that the fan usually only ran when the refrigerator was running.
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Old 05-17-2012, 04:43 PM   #8
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Default Re: Battery/airflow

Quote:
Originally Posted by Experienced campers
This model trailer 189FDS has the frig located in the slideout. Great for extra space but the roofline is lower than the full height available for units that are installed in the trailer's exterior wall. There is no outlet above this because the roof surface (slider) must enter under the frame seal of the slider. I suppose they could develope a spring loaded roof panel that would flatten as the section is slid inside the trailer body. The difficulty then becomes keeping the rain from entering when the slider is open.

Any other owners of this particular model with comments or suggestions?
I didn't even think about it being in the slideout, that does make things much trickier. Any possibility of running the fan off of a small solar panel?
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Old 05-19-2012, 02:52 AM   #9
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Default The fan

The fan does not consume much battery but it is noisy when the environment is otherwise quiet. Also the fan is there as a safety to prevent overheating. When the frig installation is properly engineered there is little or no need for it to run. Still I will be looking for a quieter fan probably from a computer cooling application.

The heater around the freezer door is there to prevent condensation from building up. Without this heater you may see water droplets around the freezer door. Worst case would be the freezer door becoming frozen shut but not likely. We camp in the Southwest where it is mostly dry. I have disconnected my heater. Upscale models provide a switch right on the control panel. It is labeled CLC and referred in the manual as a climate control switch. So it is intended to be switched on/off.
Happy camping
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Old 05-19-2012, 11:38 AM   #10
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Thanks for the info on the freezer door heater. I am going to be interested to see what refrigerator model my new Fun Finder has when we pick it up in June.
Still looking forward to hearing the name of the manufacturer and model number of the led dome light bulbs you installed inside the trailer.
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Old 05-20-2012, 01:45 AM   #11
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Default LED lighting - a short study

I have just posted my findings on LED lighting. Look for my posting " LED lighting - a short study" under modifications, repairs, maintenance.
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Old 07-11-2012, 05:54 PM   #12
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Default FDS fridge

I movced the cooling fan up about 5 " if yu go to a larger fan you have to kep in mind the static pressure a fan can deliver not just CFM. Reason being is it may not have enough pressure to reach the area you want to cool. I am looking at adding a cooling vent in that dead zone above the stock vent. Here is a link for the vent..
http://www.iboats.com/Attwood-Flush-...-view_id.47926
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Old 07-12-2012, 01:28 AM   #13
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Default Adding a vent

Adding a vent was my solution of choice. While installing it I found there are steel cross bars above the factory installed vent. I thought this might be the case so I choose several 2.5" round vents with a steel support plate. I just completed my install and will take a few photos explaining what I did and what I found. Doug
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Old 07-13-2012, 12:03 AM   #14
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Default vent

I figured there would be some structure ti help support the slide out box. I had planned on just doing 3 or 2" holes and use the attwood vent to cover. If you get a chance definitely post some pics
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Old 07-17-2012, 03:40 PM   #15
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Default Re: The fan

Quote:
Originally Posted by Experienced campers
Upscale models provide a switch right on the control panel. It is labeled CLC and referred in the manual as a climate control switch. So it is intended to be switched on/off.
Happy camping
My fridge (Dometic 2652) doesn't have the switch on the control panel. Instead the switch is located in a recess beneath the upper trim panel at the top of the fridge. It's not noticeable at all unless you're hunting for it.
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Old 08-05-2012, 05:49 PM   #16
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I have the same FF 189FDS model and frig model 2652. I first installed a switch in the panel below the frig which allowed me to shut off the fan for periods of time because it was driving me crazy. I later replaced the fan with a much, much quieter one - Noctua NF-P12 which is 0.09 amps, 1.08 watts and CFM is 54.3. The original Sunon that came with it is 0.4 amps, 4.7 watts and 75 CFM. I was willing to sacrifice the CFM for the silent fan.

I have also found the air flow increases greatly when the top vent cover is removed temporarily.

I have not been able to locate any climate control switch in the area below the top panel cover as someone suggested.

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Old 08-08-2012, 07:53 PM   #17
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Default 1889 fridge

I did not find that switch on the top lanel either but looking at the schematic I don't think there is one on this model. If yu learn othjerwise please advise
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Old 08-09-2012, 11:25 AM   #18
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Default climate control Switch

I did not find a switch on Mine. I looked at the wiring diagram and located the wire. A white cable with 1 black wire and 1 red wire. The black wire is secured to a grounding post. I loosened the post, removed the black wire and retightened the post connections. Be sure to tape up the bare terminal (black wire). Check that everything is working before heading out on your next adventure.
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Old 08-09-2012, 12:24 PM   #19
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Default Experienced campers, what kind of trailer and fridge?

I have a Dometic 2351 in my X-139, and supposedly there is no door heater. But I want to make really sure. I have not found any switch or any light. Experienced campers, you said yours had no switch, either. What kind of trailer do you have, and what model fridge?

Thanks!!
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:25 PM   #20
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Default fridge heted seal

looking at the 2351 and 2652 the only heater I find is 120v which means the only time this would work is when hooked up to shore power. on the 2351 the only heater component listed is pn 3850644455 (120v 175w) and on the 2652 3850644422 (120v 375w). Have you validated that that circuit was actually 12v before you unhooked the ground? and everything works? if so I'll give it a shot, and may call factory and chat with a Tech. Woldn't be the first time schematics and parts are jacked up thats for certain.
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