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Old 03-21-2014, 08:53 AM   #1
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How long does your food stay cool?

I have been working for over a year trying to get my refrigerator to run on gas while traveling and the last repair shop I visited told me I have been wasting my time and the refrigerator is working like it was designed. They even called the manufacture which I had also done but the manufacture told the repair shop it was not intended to run on gas while traveling for reasons I will not get into as that is a whole other issue. I have had it into three other repair shops and talked face to face with a manufacture representative and I was never told it was not designed to run while traveling. I am now being told that if my refrigerator is 32-34 and I do not open the door during the day my food should be below 40 after a 5 or 6 hr travel day. I have never seen it below 40 after a day of travel as the temperature rises approximately 2 degrees per hour or more. It has been up in the 50s on a hot day after driving for 7 hours. If you drive with your refrigerator off I would like to know if the temp remains in a safe range and what make of refrigerator you have? I am trying to determine if my refrigerator has an issue or we need to look at installing an inverter. I will add that the refrigerator works great on gas or electric while not traveling.
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Old 03-21-2014, 09:13 AM   #2
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There is no way that it can not run while under way if the proper shielding has been installed around the LP burner and the flame adjusted proper unless the vent has been installed facing forward.
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Old 03-21-2014, 09:29 AM   #3
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In my experience it may or may not keep the flame going while traveling. That all depends on how fast we're going and what the winds are. We always leave ours on gas while traveling, because it'll light up whenever we stop for anything, but most times it stays lit. Since we seldom travel more than a few hours without stopping for something, this works out well. One of these things uses very little propane even while trying to re-light if it does go out.

Another thing that really helps is we put a layer of water bottles in the bottom of the freezer and let them freeze solid before leaving. It takes a little capacity out of it, but will 'flywheel' temperatures in both sections.
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Old 03-21-2014, 01:57 PM   #4
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If you have a Dometic refridge that runs on either LP or 12v (not gasoline, as your post kind of suggests), and you are having difficulty getting the LP function to work while underway, I think it was probably not installed properly, and the repair shops you are talking to are copping out. Our previous coach had no problem running the Dometic fridge on LP while underway. (Our current coach has a residential fridge.) If I were in your shoes, I would continue to seek the proper solution. Art may be onto t a solution RE the vent installation (above post).
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Old 03-21-2014, 03:09 PM   #5
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I suspect the repair shop guy lied. Both Dometic and Norcold designed their refrigerators for use while underway. Successful LP operation depends upon how the frig was installed and adherence to the mfgrs. installation instructions.
If a service shop does not want to repair a problem, they will not do a good job if pressed to accept the job.
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Old 03-21-2014, 03:12 PM   #6
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We always run ours while on the road with no problem. Ice in the freezer (I throw a bag of ice in there for the road), it stays well below freezing and the fridge stays below 40 and above 32.

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Old 03-21-2014, 03:15 PM   #7
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We've never had a problem using our Dometic on gas when traveling. It actually cools Better on gas then on electric. Good luck and hope you get it straightened out.
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Old 03-21-2014, 03:26 PM   #8
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We still run our original Norcold that is 27 years old while driving and it is always cold.
We are full timers and the fridge is at 34 degrees right now. One thing is try to keep it full-that will hold its temp better.
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Old 03-21-2014, 03:51 PM   #9
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We don't drive with the fridge turned on out of habit and never had a problem, but it's important to have it well stocked and cold before departure. I would be more concerned in hot weather, but an RV fridge not designed to operate while driving - I don't know
A thermometer with remote readout definitely gives you peace of mind .
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Old 03-21-2014, 05:22 PM   #10
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What brand and model is the refrigerator? Maybe someone with the same refrigerator & model would be able to help answer the questions or at least provide some input.
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Old 03-21-2014, 05:35 PM   #11
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Well the only time I have a issue with the temp in the Norcold is if my gang grandkids, puts too much stuff in there and the air can't circulate. Always travel on LP even when it hit 120 in Vages. Ya know these things arn't like a house ref with a fan to blow the air around in there. First thought try it without too much stuff, or try one of those batt operated ref fans that Camping World has. Oh ya my ref is 10 years old and we spend the winters in it in Florida. Good luck
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Old 03-22-2014, 05:45 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by 1ciderdog View Post
What brand and model is the refrigerator? Maybe someone with the same refrigerator & model would be able to help answer the questions or at least provide some input.
STRANGE!! All this discussion and no one has a clue as to make/model or what it's mounted in. Neither has OP joined the discussion
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Old 03-23-2014, 03:56 PM   #13
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I would like to thank everyone for their responses and I will try to answer some of the questions that have been posed. The unit is a Dometic RM1350 and it is in a slide in a 2012 FW. I have had it in two repair shops and talked to various technicians and they have installed various baffles to try and divert the airflow. I was up in North Indiana last summer and I had a Dometic tech look at it and he could find nothing wrong but he did replace the seals as we thought it might be leaking around the doors. That turned out not to be the case and we confirmed that this last trip from Florida when I rigged it to run on a portable generator. DW and I ask the Dometic tech what would be our next step if the seals did not work and he said we would have to get a new refrig. I have tried putting air conditioning filters in the two opening to disrupt the airflow, which had no effect. One technician recommended by Dometic had me cover completely the bottom and top vents and that had little to no effect as I got over a 10 degree rise from Atlanta to Orlando. Only the two repair shops actually did up work orders and that is where we are now. I have to take it back in and get everything documented so that whatever fix we come up with I can submit it to my insurance for payment. One of the problems and frustrations with getting this fixed is after anything is done the unit has to be pulled up to 2 hours to check the fix and the repair shops will not pull it.

I have used frozen water bottles and blocks of ice but I do not want an “ice box”. I want this $4000 refrig to operate the way it is designed to do. I could put an inverter in but that is another costly repair I would have to pay for and does not fix their problem.

I agree with all of you that it should run on gas while traveling and that is what I want. Out of all the times I have talked to Dometic and all the other repair shops when I talked to this last repair shop was the first time the safety issue came up. I believe it could be a safety issue in certain environments but that should not be a factor in my problem. I have a request into the manufacture of my unit and I am scheduled to go back in this next week so I will see what they come up with.
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Old 03-23-2014, 04:13 PM   #14
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This sounds more like the RV manufacturer installation issue. Like there is something to do with the upper venting maybe.
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