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Old 01-12-2006, 06:01 PM   #1
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1996 30' Excella
Bowmanville , Ontario
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 86
The Airstream winter repair special...

I have my trailer in for winter repair at Airstream . One thing I want repaired is my fridge which works fine on electricity but will not run on propane. The diagnosis was that the trailer needs a new LP regulator. I sent Airstream an email and asked them if they mean the regulator that hangs off the propane tanks because if so, Airstream replaced it last May when I had problems with my furnace. Airstream said they will see if the manufacturer will replace the $95.00 part but Airstream will still have to charge me the labour. I will be sending the service dept. an email tomorrow asking them why my furnace works just fine if the LP regulator needs replacing. You would think that if the LP regulator is faulty then my furnace wouldn’t work either. This sounds a little fishy and I want to be able to trust the experts at Airstream to fix my trailer correctly. I want to feel that they know what they are doing and charge me fairly. Has anyone else had this problem with their fridge or concerns about their repairs at Airstream?
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Old 01-12-2006, 06:55 PM   #2
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1956 22' Safari
2000 39' Land Yacht XL Diesel w/slide
Crossville , Tennessee
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Yes, I have!
I had a 1996 30' Excella. I was in Vermont at the WBCCI International rally. I was fortunate that I was an early worker, and one of the big wigs at the rally site ran me a drop cord into his office to save our food until Dometic got there.
Now, here's the story. First they left me a note that I needed a regulator, (the one at the gas bottles)as I wasn't at the trailer when they came. The only thing is, I have a little working knowledge of propane, and had installed a pressure gauge in line right before the fridge when I purchased the trailer, and the pressure was perfect. Still, I disassembled the regulator, cleaned it, verified there were no holes in the diaphram, the spring was good and reassembled it. No change. The Dometic people came back a second time at my request. The pressure was at 11.5 inches of water-perfect. No help from them as they said the fridge was toast. Another fellow about 3 rows over had, by chance, had purchased a new computer controller for his, and it did not fix it, so after he purchased a new fridge, offered to sell me the new one for $50!!!!!!! He had given well over $100 for it a couple of days before. Now, when I installed it, the fridge started working fine,and still was this last year when I saw the present owners of the trailer. The computer card should be suspect. Why not give Dometic a call before commiting to the other. Really, unless the regulator has oil accumulating in it, for it to 'go bad' is an unusual occurance.
Give me a land line call if you would like and I will try to explain it better; I am a hunt/peck typer and sometimes do not say what I mean to.
770-228-6678 Please no call after 10:00 eastern standard
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Old 01-12-2006, 07:49 PM   #3
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1988 25' Excella
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I'd try "Control Board" also..

Dometic's have notoriously weak electronic control circuit boards, which are prone to overheating and failing. Usual failure mode is fridge will operate on gas or electricity for an hour or so, and then shut down. Failure to run at all on gas also could be symptom of bad board... Some repair shops might prefer to sell new refrigerator for $1000 or more than do lots of diagnosis and less expensive repairs.

You can search for Dometic and control here, but I strongly endorse 3rd party replacement board (dinosaur?) which is about $115, is self installable if you are OK finding box on rear of fridge via vent door and replacing a circuit board with blade connectors.. Rather than spend the $100 on a second regulator, I'd see if Airstream willing to install different board and that would fix problem...

Dinosaur control boards can be located via Google plus words dometic and rv and refrigerator..

John McG
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Old 01-12-2006, 08:39 PM   #4
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1996 30' Excella
Bowmanville , Ontario
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Thanks for your help... The circuit board makes more sense than replacing a regulator that seems to work fine for the furnace.
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Old 01-20-2006, 07:42 AM   #5
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1956 22' Safari
2000 39' Land Yacht XL Diesel w/slide
Crossville , Tennessee
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Have you any news or info concerning the fridge?
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2000 390 Landyacht XL
1989 29' Excella
WBCCI #6673 jerry Hodge
Have no intention of arriving at the grave safely, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand,throttle in the other, totally worn out and screaming
"WOO HOO, WHAT A RIDE!"
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