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Not Rocket Surgery, OK?

Call Fashion 911  -- Like I even care right about now.

Call Fashion 911 — Like I even care right about now.

The Dog Days of Summer is when I struggle the hardest.  The drudge of the job makes every day blend into the previous one and the heat saps energy and ambition.   With a new  (to us) recreational vehicle there is always something to do. Straightening out the previous owner’s ‘fixes’ and upgrading the Princess Palace seems to be a never ending task.

Anything to do with cool is suspect during the High Summer in the South Texas pucker brush.  Miss Kathy uses the oven or stove sparingly and many times at night – anything to preserve a few degrees of cool.  I wrote once before about the Dometic DM2652 refrigerator and its’ substandard performance. I guess we expect plenty out of fridges and AC units in day after day of 100+ heat but the fact of the matter is we can’t survive out here as oil field gate guards in the Boonies without everything performing up to snuff.

I figured out the thermistor was bad in the Dometic fridge.  After doing a little poking around on the internet it seems like this is a common failure.  Good thing is that the replacement is pretty much unplug the bad one and plug in a new one.  Easy Peasy!  A Dometic OEM replacement thermistor is like $28 if I remember right. I decided to go a different route.

 

Articca Adjustable RV Refrigerator Thermostat

Articca Adjustable RV Refrigerator Thermostat

I ordered a replacement tip with a temperature control dealio on it. As I complained previously, the Dometic DM2652 has no temperature control setting that is user configurable and that sucks.   The best I can figure a bad thermistor makes your fridge do crazy things.  It would rock along for several days at 40-45 degrees and I would think to myself that I could most likely live with that.  Next thing I know it is showing 55 degrees and the ice in the freezer is melting.  The Articca Adjustable RV Refrigerator Thermostat has been in service about 10 days now and I can give it a thumbs up.

Fridge-id!  I can dig it.

Fridge-id! I can dig it.

It cost $24.50 with free shipping and it got here PDQ with well written instructions.  I unplugged the thermistor lead from the control board and snipped the old tip off.  Wire the new one in and slap it on the side of the fridge and you are pretty much done.  I played with it some and a minute adjustment on the dial can vary the temp several degrees.  The temps are now consistently staying within one to two degrees day and night so I am a fan for sure.

Articca Fridge Thermostat at work.

Articca Fridge Thermostat at work.

Well, while I was all OCD on this fridge thing I took the advice of one of our good readers and took it a step further.  Now remembering all the while that I am not an Engineer, let me explain to you how I figger these RV refrigerators work.  They use ammonia to keep your milk from gettin’ all clabbered up.  And they heat that ammonia with either electricity or propane.  If you were on electricity all the time you could have a normal city folk fridge and wouldn’t even think twice but we aren’t so we have to use the ammonia.  Every RV fridge has two vents; one down at the bottom and one on the roof.  I figgered early on that the roof vent was to get rid of the fumes when the propane was fired up and I guess that is true to a certain extent.  The MAIN reason there are two vents is for passive convection cooling.  The cool(er) air comes in at the bottom and runs over those hot black pipes that snake up the back of your RV refrigerator and then it goes out the top.  I know some folks help the air flow along by wiring in a 12v muffin fan from a computer.  My reader said he put in a small 110v fan on a timer and I thought ‘Why hell yeah!  That is a plan right there!’   I ordered a Westpointe 4″ Hi Velocity Fan and a GE Heavy Duty 24-Hour Mechanical Timer. ( Those are Amazon Links Good Neighbors. if you click on them and buy something I get a few pesos that helps keep the lights on here. It costs you not even a nickel extra and I sure do appreciate it!)  I chose that fan because it was all metal and it was a challenge to get it in the small space between the fridge and the bottom vent.  I turned it so it pointed mostly straight up toward the roof and set the timer to run from 6a – 9p.

Small fan and timer

Small fan and timer

Did it help any?   I can’t give you a definitive yes.  I would think it would cause the fridge to not work as hard and therefore last longer.  I can tell you I have never had an RV that the fridge would keep ice cream froze…..never.  Let me tell ya this.  Since I added the fan, the Blue Bell Double Chocolato Ice Cream has gone from a kind of vichyssoise to soft serve consistency.  I will take that improvement.

The Old Girl had a rear ladder that gave me easy access to the roof.  The Princess Palace has no such thing and not being able to get up on the roof or on top of the side was vexing.   I decided to get one of those tinker toy ladders that you push that and pull this and they turn into a step ladder or an extension ladder.  When you are all done you push and shove this and that and they fold up about the size of a big ass suitcase.  It is a Little Giant Alta-One 17′ Ladder System and I am pretty pleased with it. (another Amazon Link- you know what to do.)

Little Giant as an extension ladder

Little Giant as an extension ladder

 

Little Giant as a step ladder

Little Giant as a step ladder

A combination of a bazillion bugs, caliche dust and AC runoff make for a nasty mess in the gutters let me tell ya. Plus it starts to stink mighty bad when all that mess gets to fermenting up there.  One of our morning piddling chores – me and Tuco the Dog – is to clean out those gutters.  The other thing I gotta do is run some EternaBond White Roof Seal Tape  on the front and rear caps of the Palace. They aren’t leaking mind you but I don’t want them to start either.  I had some Eternabond on the front cap of the Old Girl because it was leaking….  that was 5 years ago.  The Eternabond stopped the leak and was still going strong last time I checked.  5 years of exposure to the harshest weather Texas could throw at it and that is saying something.   About the only thing that has got me scratchin’ my head on that Little Giant ladder is the rather prominent claim that it is ‘Designed in America. Made In China.’   Hmmmm. I just don’t really get what they are trying to say there.  The cold fact is it is still made in China and I don’t really care for that as you all know.

The last thing I got to share today is some advice.  Watch out for those damned truck drivers!  I always put an orange cone out even with the awning because those sorry rascals will take your awning OUT other wise.  They still managed to run over the end of my mudporch and never slowed down .  Sorry bastards!

Now, everybody knows we have a big ass Suburban — 2500 4×4 with an 8.1l engine.  It also has a Ranchhand front bumper.  Not a brush guard like you see on most trucks down here but a full bumper replacement.  It looks like it came off a steam locomotive.  What I am trying to say is the big ass Suburban is prominent and not easily missed.  I thought I was safe parking it behind the Palace at the edge of the lease road  –until a few mornings ago.  I had a vac truck come in during the wee hours and as he pulled away he made a straight beeline for the big ass Suburban missing it by inches.  So now I have to put orange cones around the truck just like the phone man does.

 

Tuco the Dog hangin' in the Safe Zone

Tuco the Dog hangin’ in the Safe Zone

Tuco the Dog is not unintelligent.  She chooses the early morning shade of the Safe Zone to hang out.  Just sayin’………

End Note:  Rolling By by Robert Earl Keen when he was still Jr.  From the No Kinda Dancer cd.  Old school. old school. old school.   ‘Cept it never really gets OLD.

 

 

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Not Rocket Surgery, OK?, 9.7 out of 10 based on 10 ratings
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3 comments to Not Rocket Surgery, OK?

  • don

    We’ve got one of those Little Giant ladders; it’s got to be about 10 years old and cost something like $250 but it is hell for sturdy. We both love it. Made in the USA back then but….

    The new thermostat for the fridge sounds like a good idea. I may have to follow that link! Thanks for the recommendation.

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  • Miss Kathy

    Can you hook up one of those fridge/freezer dealios for my car?
    80 mile round trips are reeking havoc on my ice cream delivery service…..

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  • joel

    “If I owned Texas and Hell, I would rent out Texas and live in Hell”

    ~Philip Henry Sheridan

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