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Old 06-24-2009, 02:28 PM   #57
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More bummers!
Is there a chance that the adjustments to the refer put added stress on the side panel?
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Old 06-24-2009, 03:05 PM   #58
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I don't think so - This is actually the 2nd time it came out. Never came out with the old axles....
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Old 06-24-2009, 03:13 PM   #59
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Clearly there are some things going on that are shaking the RV more than it should if things are ripping out. I am not sure though if it could be tires or the axle. Have you tried putting Centramatics on it to help better balance it out? I realize at some point one could keep throwing money at the problem. Your problem is perplexing because I have been down some washboard type gravel/sand roads and have not had similar issues as you've exp and my fridge is now 6 years old.
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Old 07-06-2009, 10:31 PM   #60
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We are currently on thew road going from Waukesha, WI to Reno, NV. We spent a few days in Waukesha with family over the 4th of July weekend. Had a great time. The 50 minute drive from Madison to Waukesha caused no problems with the fridge. In fact, parked in Waukesha at my brother's place we were not quite level and still all was perfectly fine with the fridge.
But as expected, getting on the road yesterday, after about 2 hours, the fridge was already up to 50 degrees from 36. No check light, no nothing.
So, I tried all of the last things recommended to me:
I have that drain tube plugged. I sealed the seam between the plastic fridge walls where it meets the metal mounting flange. I used blue painters tape to seal that. This was the recommendation from Dometic's rep at International. Beyond that he has never heard of a problem like mine.
I pulled the duct cover that draws the hot air out of the top of the fridge, turned both my fantastic fans on medium sucking tons of air through the back of the fridge, across the condenser and out. It actually moves a very respectable amount of air! I did this to prove that it was not a ventilation problem and I think it is 100% safe to say - it ain't a ventilation problem!
What I see in this configuration is that the boiler is still nice and hot to the touch but the absorber coils are cool.
However, Having that vent cover removed allowed me to feel another parameter that I could not before - the outlet pipe from the boiler to the condenser. Guess what... it was also cool to the touch. In fact, If I reach my hand all the way to just beyond the boiler outlet, that also is cool to the touch or at least not too hot at all.
Let the fridge sit for an hour and the condenser gets warm but the fridge temperature does not improve.
Witness the picture of my happy wife Kimber holding the thermometer she pulled out of the fridge this morning - 58 degrees.
As of the start of this writing of this post we were at 65 degrees in the fridge and the freezer is starting to thaw, ice melting. I have once again thrown in the towel. The most perishable things already went into a cooler that we brought along - again. The rest of the stuff in the freezer is going into the brand new electric cooler we just purchased at Wally World.
And at this point I can not express enough the frustration I have with this fridge, my inability to prove that it is anything other than our axles shaking the daylights out of that fridge.
The only thing I can not yet try is running on electric. The demands on the batteries and the charging requirements for the inverter would be too great. Besides, it works all the rest of the time - on gas or electric.
Anyway, I think it is time we take it out to the Nevada desert and aerate the damned thing. I an still going to give Dometic another try. There has to be a reasonable explanation - if not the axles. There has to be.
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Old 07-06-2009, 10:47 PM   #61
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Kimber;

A better placement of your "finger" on the thermometer may help!!

whaaat. Drive safe.

I stumped also.
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Old 07-06-2009, 11:34 PM   #62
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Tim, I haven't seen numbers on someone checking the refer freon coolant level/pressure. I'm sure you did it tho.
I had a drill rig once get a rock that would float in the air standpipe, the driller could not find why he couldn't get any reverse circulation off bottom of the hole, until they took the top head off and managed to blow the rock out. It would float up and block the exit of the pipe, but fall down when they were looking for it. Maybe a floating blockage right at the exchanger oriface. (Probably way off on nomenclature there).
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:14 AM   #63
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Have no fear;help is here

Tim...you need this special tool to fix that damnetic! -Karin
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Old 07-07-2009, 02:13 AM   #64
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Tim, if all else fails...

Boat drinks
By: jimmy buffett 1979


Boys in the band ordered boat drinks
Visitors scored on the home rink
Everything seems to be wrong

Lately, newspaper mentioned cheap air fare
I gotta to fly to saint somewhere
Im close to bodily harm

Twenty degrees and the hockey games on
Nobody cares they are way too far gone
Screamin boat drinks, something to keep em all warm

This mornin, I shot six holes in my freezer
I think I got cabin fever
Somebody sound the alarm

Id like to go where the pace of lifes slow
Could you beam me somewhere mr. scott?
Any ol place here on earth or in space
You pick the century and Ill pick the spot

Oh I know, (I know)
I should be leaving this climate
I got a verse but cant rhyme it
I gotta go where its warm

Boat drinks
Waitress I need two more boat drinks
Then Im headin south fore my dream shrinks

I gotta go where its warm (I gotta go where its warm)
I gotta go where its warm (I gotta go where its warm)
I gotta go where its warm!

I gotta go where there aint any snow
Where there aint any blow
cause my fin sinks so low
I gotta go where its warm


Tim...forth verse seems to be one answer to your problem...

Wow, you've got a bundle of things going on with your cooler/warmer...

To my way of thinking, if it works when stationary, it should work when on the road...so, I'd really check around for something that's disturbing the burner or flame propagation...or disturbing the proper airflow up and over the coils...do you have any unusual fixtures on the roof, around the frig vent that might be screwing up the 'normal' venting process??? Have you checked to see if you have a big mud wasp nest inside the roof vent??? I found one in ours when we first bought it - it was blocking almost half of the vent!!! Just some thoughts...

Road 'bounce' should promote proper gas/fluid flow through the cooling system - provided the burner/flue is working properly...again, that's where I'd concentrate my 'search'...burner airflow when moving...

I also don't think the axles are a contributing factor...our 28 footer has it's original frig that works really great, on, off, the road or upside down, maybe...AND I've put those same #3500 new axles on our rig last year - and in fact, the 'ride' is much 'easier' when compared with the old 'stiff' axles...in about five trips on the new axles, I haven't noticed any evidence of 'motion sickness' in the AS's construction - loose rivets, etc...

I bought one of those fiberglass 'funnel' shaped manifolds that you mount over the upper coils - and has a muffin fan in the top that's controlled by a thermostat...As you have to remove the frig to mount this rig, and the frig continues to work great, I haven't made the effort yet to install it! However, it does look like a good way to improve the air flow in an Airstream's cramped ventilation quarters...a project for a future date...!

Good luck on your mystery...let us know when you solve it...
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Old 07-08-2009, 03:37 AM   #65
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You all are so funny! Karin - if I had that tool, I bet it would be fixed from FEAR! Wow!!!

Mexray, I have a feeling that when the boiler is warm but the outlet to the condenser is not, that also indicates a circulation problem. A hot boiler means that the flame is on and running but ammonia is not moving, right? I am no expert but learning more and more every day!
However, I believe that what Perry says may be a thought... But what could be plugging the pilot tube inside the boiler??? And how does it get free when the unit is off and all thawed out?

I am going to call Dometic again. I saw another '77 with #3500 axles like mine and the same fridge with no problems at all. So perhaps it is just the unit that is bad. New doesn't mean that it is good, does it?
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Old 07-08-2009, 11:15 AM   #66
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I'm thinking that no matter what you do, that refrigerator will not work properly. There's something wrong with it that can't be fixed without taking the whole thing apart and finding the beer can stuffed in there or whatever may be screwed up. Only if Domestic replaces the whole unit or rebuilds it completely, will you have satisfaction.

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Old 05-08-2013, 10:29 PM   #67
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Well, I have been working in this problem still and have had no real progress to speak of. If you read through my first post in this thread, you will see what the basic problem is. Read the whole thread and you will see what I have done so far to try to diagnose the problem.This isn't a simple "my fridge ain't cooling" thread.

After reading all of that (if you do) you may question why I would bother to do one minute more of testing and/or general messing around. The simple answer is that the cooling unit works – and this I proved this weekend with a simple test suggested by a company who would be happy to sell me a new cooling unit, but doesn't want to IF mine still actually works.

Last year before going to the International Rally I contacted a company that we mentioned in the Vintage Advantage Newsletter in a story written by Michael Depraida. His experience with this particular company was far better than mine. Weeks after placing my order for a new unit, I learned that it had never shipped and time was running short to replace the cooling unit. After a few more weeks the company said that they would “Overnight” the unit to me at their cost because it was their fault that it never shipped in the first place AND I was trying to get this done prior to leaving for International. But, alas, the unit was not shipped when the owner of the company caught wind of what the costs of shipping the unit actually were. The unit was not shipped. We'll talk later perhaps about the fun we had getting our refund back!

So, with no properly working cooling unit, we turned on the fridge and loaded the fridge with food. 2 days later, as expected the fridge stopped working within a few hours of hitting the road and did not properly start working again until AFTER we turned it off and fully let it thaw out. Yes, some food was lost but most survived in the cooler we brought along with us.

This last few days I have been doing more research and testing of our fridge. One item I discovered was that our gas pressure on our trailer was a little too high. The fridge requires a minimum of 7 inches of water at the burner, 11 is the normal pressure. I measured the gas pressure and found it to be about 13 inches. Although my pressure was a little high, it was not so high that it should have impacted refrigerator operation. I lowered the pressure to about 11 inches with no load on it and it drops to about 10 inches with the stove burners running fully.

Per the recommendation of the company I am now ready to do business with I did a “Bypass Test” to check the performance of the fridge. The test involves simply bypassing the thermostat controls on the fridge (not the safety controls mind you) and running the fridge while monitoring the temperatures of the inside and outside.

The process of bypassing the thermostat simply involved unplugging the thermistor from the control board that runs the fridge. A thermistor is simply a resistor that changes its output based on the temperature the resistor is exposed to. This cannot be done with an older fridge that does not have electronic controls. With the thermistor unplugged the fridge does not know what temperature the fridge is at and just runs. As long as the flame doesn't snuff out or the boiler doesn't exceed the temperature set by the limit switch mounted on the site the fridge with run.

I started the test running on gas at about 3:00 p.m. and checked its progress every couple of hours. The result, as expected – the fridge worked – damned well I might add. Within 1 hour the freezer was frosty and within 4 hours the fridge temperature was dropping nicely. Outside, the temperature as felt by hand of both the boiler and the absorber coils was warm and lukewarm respectively indicating very good circulation throughout the unit. I let it run overnight just to see what it would do. When I checked it in the morning I discovered the freezer to be frosty cold and the fridge to be at an impressive 13 degrees Fahrenheit.

Obviously, the bypass test was a success – but the trailer was standing still. Tomorrow we will hitch up and drive drive around for a few hours to see what happens and look at how long it takes to fail and also perhaps try to see where the failure occurs within the cycle. It would be a nice surprise if for no reason it started working – maybe that little adjustment in gas pressure somehow did the trick.
We'll see.
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Old 05-08-2013, 11:32 PM   #68
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So there might be a loose connection or intermittent short in the system, pointing to the thermistor area. If it shuts off on the drive, try the drive again with your thermistor bypass going.
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Old 05-08-2013, 11:37 PM   #69
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Are refers like the furnaces (boards go out regularly)?
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Old 05-08-2013, 11:40 PM   #70
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No, it doesn't shut off as evidenced by the hot boiler column. It still has thermal input. When I do our test tomorrow i will be in bypass mode again, so the gas valve will stay open even if the fridge is at the proper temperature.
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