Saturday, July 14, 2012

Refrigerator Temperature

The original refrigerator in Wandrin Wagon lasted five years. No longer keeping ice cubes frozen and food cold, it was replaced with a new Dometic -- Model DM2852. From the day it was installed, the inside refrigerator temperature was at 32 degrees -- or colder. No matter what I did, that was the warmest I was going to get the refrigerator. Seemed like the unit was trying to be a two compartment freezer. The fins inside the refrigerator were always iced up. That required a frequent defrosting. That usually coincided with a move of Wandrin Wagon.

The way to adjust the temperature on this model of Dometic is to move the thermistor up or down on the cooling fin. To get the refrigerator colder, move the thermistor up on the fin. To get a warmer temperature, move it down the fin. That was the theory.

After having several RV techs look at the refrigerator over the years, the solution was always a new thermistor or controller board. Neither of which was cheap. I decided that I would save the money and live with a refrigerator temperature of 32 degrees. The location of items in the refrigerator kept most items from freezing.

Four years later (last week), I was crunching on some frozen carrots. It might be time to get serious about a fix. Considering the way the money disappears from my checking account recently, it might be time to fix the refrigerator problem and spend more of those disappearing and depreciating dollars.

Since the internet has lots of answers, a search was on to find a possible fix for the refrigerator that wants to be a two compartment freezer. Came across the answer after just a few searches. The suggestion was to move that thermistor from the outside fin to one more centrally located. That outside fin may not be getting cold enough. When I looked at the fin where the thermistor was installed, I noted there was almost no ice on that fin.

Moved the thermistor to a fin which had a larger ice buildup. The next morning I checked the temperature. 40 degrees. Moved the thermistor up the fin about a half inch. The next morning it was 38. This is great. Sure wish I knew about this thermistor location/function years ago.

You gotta wonder how come there is no mention of the thermistor function in the refrigerator users manual. The troubleshooting guide goes through several solutions for a too warm condition. There was not a single mention of a too cold condition. There is not even a mention of the thermistor and its effect on refrigerator temperature. The logic is that the temperature is preset at the factory at build time. No need for adjustments by the owner.

We know how that worked out.

The great part is that the refrigerator fix didn't cost a dime -- or a trip to the hardware store. Life is great.


  1. That is good to know. So far our refrigerator has been too warm. Our fix was to put a small fan in the compartment behind the refrigerator where the coils are. Worked like a charm. Even on 102 degree days with the sun shining on that compartment, our refrigerator stays cold.

  2. Great information Lloyd. Thank you for letting us all knnow about it.

  3. Well I came to read this because of TOFM's post. So glad I did because I got two suggestions about Fridge temp. problem fixes. Thanks Wandrin andTravelbug. I will keep this in mind when I am blessed with a travel trailer.

  4. Good job tracking that down. Isn't the internet wonderful?

  5. Gotta love the internet for quick access to information. I go there first to research car trouble. The Escapees Discussion Forum "Tips and Tricks" is a great resource for RV troubleshooting. I love the digital age. Just don't take away my actual money! I don't trust cyber-cash.


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