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Old 07-25-2021, 02:04 PM   #1
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Stupid Question #5 from first-time owner--Dometic dual mode refer

Based on pics in the manual of the front control panel of the refrigerator, I think I have a dual mode gas/AC unit, RM2351/2451/2551, DM2652/2852. I haven't tried to use it on the gas mode, but powering the trailer up with AC, the unit cools very slowly--over a period of 3-4 hours, only the freezer tray got cold to the touch and the refer compartment was definitely NOT cold enough to chill my beer!. My guess is that the AC power function is very inefficient at cooling since I presume this not a compressor unit but an absorption system that uses AC current to heat the generator instead of propane and I could feel heat venting from the upper vent grill. I also presume that it won't operate on battery (i.e., no shore power) since I don't think I have an invertor in the camper. Bottom line, sounds like it works but needs a long lead time to cool the interior.

Is the white PVC line in the first pic a drain for when the freezer defrosts?

Lastly, I tried to remove the exterior grills and couldn't figure out how to get them off. Tried turning the "buttons" on the grills but they really weren't coming loose and didn't want to break them. There are what appear to be slots for a flat-blade screw driver at the bottom of each grill. Do these simply pop off? Or do the buttons turn and release somehow?
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Old 07-25-2021, 02:13 PM   #2
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It can take hours for a fridge to cool down. I usually run mine on gas when heading to the campground then switch it over to AC when plugged in. Ours have taken most of a day to chill when in the sun.


Yes that hose is a water drain for the freezer and condensation.


Turn those button screws 90 degrees with the slots pointing up and down then the bottom of the grill should pop out to allow you to pull down a little and away. There are a couple tabs at the top holding the top side in.
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Old 07-25-2021, 02:13 PM   #3
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Drain hose is from the Food Compartment Drip tray under the FINS
*Freezer is sealed....no connection to food compartment or outside
*Freezer has NO drain

Vent/access cover...turn the latches 90*F than pull cover off

Absorption fridge.......takes 12 hrs to FULLY cool freezer THEN food compartment
Freezer section FIRST then when it is down to 10*F the food compartment can be Fully cooled to 40*F or lower
Takes Time...cause it is an Absorption Process. Ammonia has to be heater/vaporized/cooled then supercooled by interacting with hydrogen gas then Absorb heat from freezer then food compartment

Also slow to recover if you put unfrozen food in freezer, warm food in food compartment or stand there lookie louing with doors open

Gas can be a little quicker to start cooling down but in the end both electric and gas provide essentially the same heat transfer


Actual model of fridge will be listed on label inside food compartment side wall
*those models all work basically the sam just different sizes/temp control
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Old 07-25-2021, 07:04 PM   #4
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I generally try to turn on my fridge 24 hours before I depart. It is usually nice and cold by then. It takes a while.
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Old 07-25-2021, 07:39 PM   #5
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just a little trick i use to cool fridge down quicker, have some frozen jugs of water from your home freezer, put them in the camper fridge/freezer; will help cool down quicker
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Old 07-25-2021, 07:51 PM   #6
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Fridge takes 24 hours to reach cool temperature. Make
Sure your thermistor is adjusted appropriately. The way these are designed, they cool the freezer section before the fridge section, that’s why the freezer cools quicker.
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Old 07-25-2021, 08:06 PM   #7
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3 - 4 hours to cool on gas ain't bad. I'd say it's working fine. Remember the expansion/ contraction refrigeration cycle takes time to work. It can take a brand new compressor fridge 2 or 3 hours to get to operating temperature
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Old 07-25-2021, 08:28 PM   #8
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3 - 4 hours to cool on gas ain't bad. I'd say it's working fine. Remember the expansion/ contraction refrigeration cycle takes time to work. It can take a brand new compressor fridge 2 or 3 hours to get to operating temperature
OP stated 3-4 hours to start getting freezer cold to touch

over a period of 3-4 hours, only the freezer tray got cold to the touch and the refer compartment was definitely NOT cold enough to chill my beer!.

Which is pretty standard for an absorption fridge.
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Old 07-26-2021, 11:10 AM   #9
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When I pulled the outside panel off I discovered the fridge wasn't plugged into the AC outlet. Probably explained why it didn't work too well when the gas was not on.
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Old 07-26-2021, 11:14 AM   #10
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When I pulled the outside panel off I discovered the fridge wasn't plugged into the AC outlet. Probably explained why it didn't work too well when the gas was not on.
I think you figured it out!
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Old 07-26-2021, 11:18 AM   #11
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When I pulled the outside panel off I discovered the fridge wasn't plugged into the AC outlet. Probably explained why it didn't work too well when the gas was not on.
Did you just buy the RV? I wonder if it was unplugged for a reason?

I usually plug mine in the night before I'm going to leave, and it's fully cold in the morning. Also when you park, if the refrigerator side is in the sun, put an awning out if you can. Sun beating down on the side will warm up the refrigerator. I also think that functions better on gas than electric, but as long as you can keep it in the shade electric does a good job. As others mentioned, putting cold items in like frozen jugs of water will help it cool down quicker as well.
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Old 07-26-2021, 01:33 PM   #12
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When I pulled the outside panel off I discovered the fridge wasn't plugged into the AC outlet. Probably explained why it didn't work too well when the gas was not on.
That would definitely slow down the cooling! I'm sure my frig was working on VAC because the freezer compartment was cold and I could feel heat flowing from the upper exterior vent. After learning from the responses here as to how long it takes an absorption refrig to cool down, I'm no longer worried.
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Old 07-26-2021, 01:42 PM   #13
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I also think that functions better on gas than electric, but as long as you can keep it in the shade electric does a good job.
Wonder if the reason gas seems to work better/faster than electricity is because you're usually on gas when hauling, which would make for greater heat removal from the vents?
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Old 07-26-2021, 08:38 PM   #14
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Actual model of fridge will be listed on label inside food compartment side wall
*those models all work basically the sam just different sizes/temp control
Thanks for this info. Looked and found the sticker says RM2351, so basement model. Good enough to keep stuff cold for a long weekend hopefully. I know now from the responses to give a good 24 hours to pre-chill and help it along with freezer packs for a quicker chill.
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