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Old 05-31-2013, 07:16 PM   #1
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Dometic fridge help?

Hi - good news - we're camping again this weekend!! Bad news - Dometic fridge is not cooling down. Have gone from auto to propane, turned up to 5 and it's still reading 60. Fridge is pretty full including cold food and some ice packs we traveled with. Any thoughts??? Thanks!!
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Old 05-31-2013, 07:20 PM   #2
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Also - I noticed some dripping outside near the city water. Felt with my fingers it's a drain - is that a drain for the fridge or AC condensation?

Should also mention we're plugged in to shore power and everything seems to be working including lights in the fridge and readout numbers.....

Should I open the fridge-freezer doors as the ac is cooling off the interior pretty well?
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Old 05-31-2013, 07:21 PM   #3
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I should also mention there is no manual for the fridge in my AS bag of manuals. :-(
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Old 05-31-2013, 07:25 PM   #4
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How long has it been on? It can take quite a while to cool off. You can feel the walls in the freezer and see if they're cold.
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Old 05-31-2013, 07:36 PM   #5
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Thanks Daveswenson - the inside of the freezer walls feels cold (not freezing, but cold to the touch). So I'm guessing its just going to take a while to get from the 90s (as it was sitting in storage today) to something cool enough for food. It's been on for about an hour now and still reading 60. If it would just say 59 I'd be happy knowing its moving in the right direction!!! Thanks though - any other thoughts on the dripping near the city water? I'm thinking it must be the ac condensate...
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Old 05-31-2013, 07:36 PM   #6
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Leave the doors closed, if the temp inside the trailer is warmer than inside the fridge.

I always turn on the fridge the day before we leave to let it cool down. Mine may take 4-5 hours, or longer, to get cold.

You might improve the cooling if you open the exterior access hatch behind the fridge, to increase the draft.
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Old 05-31-2013, 07:38 PM   #7
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Thanks A W Warn. We'll leave the doors closed.


Should we go back to auto setting or will propane alone cool it faster?
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Old 05-31-2013, 07:45 PM   #8
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my guess is propane would be faster
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Old 05-31-2013, 07:45 PM   #9
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'on for an hour'............

That is your problem. Any RV absorption fridge should be on at least 8 hours prior to use to allow the unit to cool down properly. These units are extremely inefficient and take huge amounts of time to get the cooling process working. Further, you should only place pre-frozen or chilled food in them, even when they are operating at their normal temps.

Also, for every minute that a fridge door is open, the ammonia/hydrogen cooling unit requires one hour to replace the cold air lost while that door is open. This little factoid compliments of a one week tech certification and training course that I had the pleasure of attending from Dometic.

These fridges work nothing like a residential fridge that will get cool in an hour. Leave it alone and report back in the morning and hopefully the temps will be in the 30's by then.

Next time you take a trip, pre-freeze a few gallon water jugs and place a couple in the freezer and a few in the fridge during initial start-up. They will help the unit cool down much faster.
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Old 05-31-2013, 07:57 PM   #10
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If you are near a source where you could purchase a small block of dry ice you may be able to get the fridge cold faster if you put some in the freezer. Our local grocery sells it.
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Old 05-31-2013, 08:01 PM   #11
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Excellent info! Thank you guys so much v. I'll check with the office an see what they have for ice. I'm guessing dry ice may be out of the question here but maybe some bagged ice cubes would help.

Thanks again. So much to learn!!! Next time:

1) level the trailer
2) relieve all WD tension for hitching
3) fire up fridge night BEFORE the trip!
4) make ANOTHER contribution to Air Forums!
:-)
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Old 05-31-2013, 10:41 PM   #12
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Ok. Fridge just hit 59!! We are making progress!! No dry ice but ice bags at the office here so we have the critical stuff in the cooler on ice and the fridge is finally getting colder.

Thanks again for all your help!!!
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Old 06-01-2013, 05:53 AM   #13
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And we're at 40 degrees this morning! Thanks again everyone!
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Old 06-01-2013, 06:36 AM   #14
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Great to hear the good news! One of my "favorite mods under $100" was a $10 remote thermometer from Walmart. It has a large display that shows indoor temp and outdoor temp via a remote sensor. I put the remote sensor inside the refrigerator rather than outside the trailer. This helps me monitor the temperature inside the refrigerator and I don't have to open the door. I also replaced the incandescent festoon bulb in the refrigerator light fixture with an LED bulb from www.led4rv.com to help keep the temperature from increasing inside. This little thermometer has been a real education by seeing what the effects are of having the door open or putting warm leftovers back inside.
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