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Old 12-07-2010, 09:13 AM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2010
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Refrigerator problem

I have a 1999 National Tradewinds. I'm having trouble with the Dometic refrigerator in the unit. It appears to fire up on both propane and electric but doesn't seem to be cooling. The RV dealership that I took it to for repair say that because it starts, they believe it is working. They said that because it is only around 20 F outside and the refrigerator won't run when it is < 32 F, it is hard to determine if it will cool. I suggested running the furnaces to warm the RV before starting the refrigerator. I had done this at home and the refrigerator didn't cool. Any suggestions or ideas?

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Old 12-07-2010, 09:49 AM   #2
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How long has it been turned on? For it to cool from the point of not being "on" it would need several days of "running". If it does not start to cool down after that, the coil would be suspect. Sometimes it helps to "burp" the unit which requires the fridge be removed and turned upside down for a while, then reinstalled. Others have had luck with this, I have never had the "experience". If your fridge is like mine, a side by side, the new unit is around $4500, a new coil unit is about half of that cost. Good luck to you.

2001 National Tradewinds 7370 300 Cat
2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport
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Old 12-07-2010, 10:51 AM   #3
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If the burner runs (gas or electric) and the bottom of the cooling unit (reached from outside) gets hot, but no cooling inside, your cooling unit has probably failed. That's an expensive repair, but still cheaper than a new fridge.

The fridge should run whenever the interior temperature is below the thermostat threshold, as determined by the thermistor on the cooling fins. It may be that the thermistor is always indicating it is cold enough, but that is a rare failure mode. Usually it simply fails to read at all, which typically means the cooling unit should be running full bore.

You can find service manuals for your Dometic here:
Dometic refrigerators - Download Dometic Manuals
Gary Brinck
Former owner of 2004 American Tradition
Home is in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
Summers in Black Mountain, NC
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