After running for a year with my modified refrigerator compartment venting and insulation, the Nova Kool compressor fridge is still barely keeping up on a hot day. I had to pull the fridge again anyway (to replace the insulation that I pulled when fixing the drip) so I figured I’d try to add a bit more insulation between the back of the fridge and the outside of the camper. I now have 1/2″ poly-iso against the van wall, a bunch more mineral wool stuffed into various nooks and crannies, and no remaining gaps between the OEM insulation sheets and the fridge compartment. I also added mineral wool and a layer of reflective insulation in the microwave compartment, hoping to keep that a bit cooler also.
On suggestion from a family member , I spaced the fridge out into the isle by adding a 3/4″ frame where the fridge mounts. This frees up space between the back of the fridge and the interior of the van chassis.
So far, it looks like the additional insulation has helped keep the compartment cooler when the van is in the sun, but has not made a difference in the fridges ability to keep cool on a hot day, either with or without the fans that pull air from behind the fridge and push it out above the microwave.
I’ve done a few obvious things, such as checking the door seals with a thin strip of paper & measuring the compressor amperage. I’m sure that I’m getting good temperature data – I have a SensorPush Bluetooth recording fridge temp and humidity. When the fridge is running, there is an obvious draft from bottom to top. The coils are warm, not hot.
I’m out of ideas. Either the compressor itself is bad, cold air is leaking out somewhere, or … I have no idea. I’m stumped.
Update 9/1/2020: Nova Kool decided that it was low on freon and replaced it under warranty with a refurbished fridge.