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Old 08-06-2010, 07:08 AM   #1
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Reefer Madness

No not the smoking kind, our Dometic has been giving us fits. We have a side by side that had worked flawlessly up until we started fulltiming. We loaded it up with cold food, then I forgot to turn on the LP and drove to Phoenix. Turned on the LP when we got there and the freezer worked but the fridge side just wouldn't cool down over the next 3 days. I had an RV tech do a diagnostic and he found the circuit board, electric heaters and gas heater operation all OK. He suspects the coil could be the problem. Driving to Nebraska, the gas didn't want to stay on and eventually the freezer was not freezing. At the campground in Ne. we just moved everything out and turned off the fridge. Yesterday, I turned it back on AC and now both sides are doing what they should. Any advice?
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Old 08-06-2010, 07:36 AM   #2
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If your refrigerator works on AC but not on propane your cooling unit is fine. It sounds like you have some restriction in the gas flow causing a reduced flame output. Check the burner portion of your unit for obstructions, also make sure the valve on your propane tank is open all the way.
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Old 08-06-2010, 08:03 AM   #3
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Not only the main gas valve at tank but the one near the line feed to refrigerator.
You may have air in line to fridge that has to be purge out with attempt relights by burner controls.
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Old 08-06-2010, 08:03 AM   #4
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In the out side section, there are a couple of baffles to remove to get to the burner section. Clean out that with a blower and a vacuum.

ken
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Old 08-07-2010, 03:07 PM   #5
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Dan, have you got it figured out yet???
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Old 08-07-2010, 04:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vegasdan View Post
... but the fridge side just wouldn't cool down over the next 3 days....
Completely normal and fully expected. Absorption refers, like Dometic and Norcold that operate on LP/AC have extremely low heat capacity. That is, they can not absorb much heat but when they do they can go very cold.

What this means is that when you allow 50-100lbs of food to warm, even slightly, it'll take a very long time (like 3 days) before the system can remove that much heat and get things cool again. Very differnent than the high heat capacity of residential (compressor) refers.

Time and again owners fail to recognize this and incorrectly blame the refer - which always tests out perfect, because it is. Frequent and long opening of doors in these models takes hours to recover (unlike minutes in a compressor refer). Loading (or allowing) warm food takes days to recover unlike the residential models which recover warm food in a couple hours. It's the tradeoff made by a low energy absorption refer over a high energy use compressor (residential) refer.

Plain and simple, it's operator error by exceeding the capacity of the absorption refer system.
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Old 08-07-2010, 05:00 PM   #7
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Thank you RVdude. I'll accept the blame.
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Old 08-08-2010, 09:55 PM   #8
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Once you've gotten it cooled down,re-load it with cold food and as said before,don't keep opening the doors.Also,I think that you've got the same fridge that I do,that's the 1292 and if you do,it can be very tempermental about working correctly if you park it more than 1/2-1 bubble off level for even o'nite.They say that it'll work ok with a 3-6% off level,but don't believe that as it's more like 3% MAX.I just went thru that and we thought that we were going to have to get a new fridge and then discovered that they don't make the replacement anymore and it's an off size hole to do a replacement.Also the cheapest rebuilt cooling unit is over $750 and it's a 4 hour replacement job at the dealers..
Mine finally decided it was going to burp the unit and is working great again,but both dealers I went to about it said that it may last two weeks ,2months or forever,but to plan on replacing it soon.
Baby that fridge as it's worth a lot to do so.
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Old 08-12-2010, 09:22 PM   #9
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Sorry for resurrecting an arguably outdated thread.

Quote:
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... We loaded it up with cold food, then I forgot to turn on the LP and drove to Phoenix. ...
Just as a matter of information, what were the high and low daily temperatures in Phoenix? An average will do just fine.

The reason I ask is that at really high ambient temperatures absorption friges work terribly under the best of other circumstances. Worse yet, if you're facing in a direction that exposes the outside of the frig/rv to the direct sun all day, you're lucky your ice cream isn't racing you down your RV's length!

We found out many years ago that when we visited the USA in summer (we live in Canada) we always did our level best to park our camperized van, and now the motorhome, so that the frig is on the north side in the shade. If we can't, we try as hard as we can to extend the awning to shade it.
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Old 08-13-2010, 07:56 AM   #10
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Everyone has been very helpful and I realized I was just pushing the abilities of our refer (I want my milk cold..darnit). The temps in the first day of travel were very high and I hadn't turned on the gas, fist mistake.
Then we plugged into AC for 2 days and the fridge started to recover albeit slowly. Since then it has been doing quite well even though the temps in Nebraska are in the upper 90s. Thanks for all of your reassurances. Dan
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Sorry for resurrecting an arguably outdated thread.



Just as a matter of information, what were the high and low daily temperatures in Phoenix? An average will do just fine.

The reason I ask is that at really high ambient temperatures absorption friges work terribly under the best of other circumstances. Worse yet, if you're facing in a direction that exposes the outside of the frig/rv to the direct sun all day, you're lucky your ice cream isn't racing you down your RV's length!

We found out many years ago that when we visited the USA in summer (we live in Canada) we always did our level best to park our camperized van, and now the motorhome, so that the frig is on the north side in the shade. If we can't, we try as hard as we can to extend the awning to shade it.
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Old 08-13-2010, 12:10 PM   #11
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One thing that I would highly recommened and has been mentioned numerous times in this forum is the addition of auxilliary cooling fans in to the exterior fridge compartment. Several week ago I was concerned about our fridges ability to cool as we were heading to AZ, Las Vegas and Zion NP. Fortunately the temps were we were at in Az were in the 80's while at the national rally. Before we left for Vegas, I had a RV tech install (2) 4 inch computer case fans controlled by an illuminated rocker swithch. Within (2) hours after install, the inside fridge temp had dropped from 39-40 to 36 degrres. While in Vegas and Zion,(112 & 108 respectively), the freezer was -5 and the fridge stayed at 34-35 degrees. Highly recommend the fans.
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Old 08-13-2010, 02:33 PM   #12
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Dan

We have had simular results to JC2 after installing a
Amazon.com: Valterra Products, Inc. A10-2618VP Universal Mount…
It may be eaiser to install one of these
Amazon.com: Camco 42165 RV Refrigerator Solar Vent System: Automotive
you saw at the rally how tight it is in our Fridge compartments.

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Old 08-13-2010, 03:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theberrys View Post
Dan

We have had simular results to JC2 after installing a
Amazon.com: Valterra Products, Inc. A10-2618VP Universal Mount…
It may be eaiser to install one of these
Amazon.com: Camco 42165 RV Refrigerator Solar Vent System: Automotive
you saw at the rally how tight it is in our Fridge compartments.

Dick

It's been my understanding that the quality of item (2) has been less than acceptable to some people as the plastic tended to be somewhat fragile. Item 1 seems to be better built.
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Old 08-13-2010, 03:24 PM   #14
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Installed a solar fridge fan on a former motorhome and it worked great.
Link below
http://www.adventurerv.net/solar-fridgecool-fan-p-1252.html
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