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Old 07-18-2002, 12:07 PM   #1
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refrig cooling problem

My 1971 safari refrig freezer compartment works great but the refrig lower area does not get any colder than 49 F ?
Anyone have any ideas? I already replaced the electric heating element.
Thanks in advance for your thoughts
Steve
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Old 07-18-2002, 12:18 PM   #2
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fridge temp's

How long has the fridge been on? it often takes a about a whole day for older fridges to get cold enough. If it is really hot outside it will only get so cold. You can put a small battery operated fan on the bottom to circulate the air more evenly. Check out some of the fridge sites listed elsewhere on this site, 2 I can think of off the top of my head are www.bryantrv.com www.rvmobile.com

John
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Old 07-18-2002, 12:23 PM   #3
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What model refer do you have?

Is it an electronic thermostat or a mechanical one?

Does it act the same way on gas as on electric?

How old is it?

When you replaced the heating element how rusty was the heat exchanger and piping on the back?

Answers to your questtions will abound with a bit more info!
so tell us more!
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Old 07-18-2002, 10:24 PM   #4
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refrigerator more info

Thank you all for your interest.
Here are the facts that were requested
1971 Dometic RM 60 original
Manual thermostat
Very little rust
I have had the refrigerator working for 5-6 days ....level....with the freezer working great and the lower portion not getting colder than 49 F. The outside temp has ranged from 60 F to 75F.
I have tried both electric and LP.
Steve
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Old 07-19-2002, 05:15 AM   #5
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Based on my recent experience you need to brace yourself. Your refer is not long for this world. I had the same symptoms in my rm2806 and finally one day after checkig it in storage I smelled the ammonia. The leak is usally in the cooling box that is attached to the freezer. As it cools moisture collects in the cooling box and has no where to go or evaporates slowly when you shut down from a trip. This moisture eventually has its way with the piping in the cooling box and rust eats through a spot. A slow leak will act the way yours is acting. Being that you are in mequon, I know Roskopfs (sp??) is good at appliances if they are still there. I would have a pro check it out but I think think it is going to be time for a new fridge. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
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Old 07-19-2002, 08:43 AM   #6
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Steve ,Bret is more than likely right mine is showing the same symptoms, but has been for more than 3 years. I did have some luck by repairing the door seal i can now maintain somewhere somewhere around mid to lower 40 degrees F. Also with the help of a circulation fan at the bottom of the fridge! But as Bret pointed it is going to fail , question is when. I also talked with RV moblie and they said the same thing , Good news is RV can fix the old element for around $ 300. Hope this helps. Tom
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Old 07-19-2002, 01:43 PM   #7
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Dometic fridge

Hi Steve,

My 71 Trade Wind has the same fridge. The previous owner had the cooling system/burner assembly overhauled, and now the fridge works great. (Usually)
Although, on a recent trip to baja, where it was very hot outside, I could not keep the pilot lit. I checked everything after returning home, and the fridge ran great for 4 days, kept temperature and made ice cubes in the freezer compartment. Had not had a problem since.
I now always bring an ice box with ice or blue ice, keep the food in there, get the fridge going, and then transfer things once we arrive at the destination and the fridge is cold. Cumbersome, but safe for food and humans. i use the extra ice for iced tea durig the day, and Margaritas after dark....
You might go to www.gasrefrigeration.net ( I think) and see if they can help you. They specialize in old RV fridges. I am not sure if they ship, though. I think the old fridges are worth fixing, especially since it seems that he new ones have plenty problems as well, and never really fit very well as replacements. My RM60A is a good size for us, and even though not fancy, lately has been a very good unit. I no longer have the electric heater hooked up.
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Old 07-19-2002, 03:51 PM   #8
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refrigerator suggestions

Thank you all for your quick and helpful replies. I'll try to check out the web sites and get more info.
Steve
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Old 08-25-2002, 04:35 PM   #9
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Ref question

I'm sure most of you Airstream experts are going to laugh at this question. However, here goes. Is it ok to travel with the gas ref operating? I read somewhere that some states don't allow this. We are still fixing our 1971 Safari for the road and this question keeps coming up. Thanks for any advice, after the laughter dies down.
Dan
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Old 08-25-2002, 05:32 PM   #10
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Try This First

Before you give up on the refer turn it off for at least one day. Take the whole thing out of the compartment.

Get some help and turn it up side down, let it sit for a few minutes turn it right side up and let it sit again then do it again.

While it is out you can plug it in to elect and try it. Sometimes they get a blockage of liquid and will exhibit the symptoms you have. Especially if they have been operated out of level. Make sure it is level.

Ciao, Brian
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Old 08-25-2002, 05:43 PM   #11
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Dan ~

It's best to cool your fridge down the night before, put your cold/frozen items in and then turn it off once you are ready to hit the road & while driving. It's insulated well enough to stay cold as long as you don't open the door a bunch.

You know all those little signs at the gas stations regarding open flames & smoking? Imagine pulling in there with your propane pilot light on in your fridge...won't explode everytime, but once would ruin your day!

Shari
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Old 08-25-2002, 06:06 PM   #12
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Running fridge while on the road

Depends on where you live and what time of year it is. Based on 3 successive trailers with Dometics, the fridge will not stay cold enough through more than a couple hours of driving in Texas summer heat (102 today and not a cloud in the sky). There isn't a whole lot of insulation in an RV refrigerator.

That was the problem that the 3-ways were supposed to solve. I had a 3-way in my Scamp and it would keep the box pretty cold. Only problem was remembering to turn it off during meal stops since it really pulls the battery down fast.

I drive with it running on gas if the temperatures are T-shirt weather. I do turn it off when refueling unless I can get an end pump where I can keep the fridge 30 feet away from the pumps and everyone else.
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Old 08-25-2002, 06:19 PM   #13
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I also towed and now drive with the gas on. It has been a part of the pre fuel stop to turn it off prior to pulling into a gas station.

As to the newer 3 ways, my understanding is that they have been re-designed to require the voltage from the 7 way connector as well as an additional line and ground ( making it a 9 way connector) so to only run on DC when the alternator is running. I think this is done by monitoring the input voltage as wel, and not running at less that 12 VDC input, therby stopping the battery drain issues.

Many states have diffrent rules, and all tunnels require the gas to be off before you pass thru them. So I would check where you live and take the proper precautions.

You will get many diffrent opnions regarding this issue if you bring it up in a group!
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