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Old 03-12-2006, 06:21 PM   #15
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1972 29' Ambassador
1968 22' Safari
Tyler , Texas
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Posts: 116
Remorse--what's could be wrong?

Originally Posted by Vince Brach
I couldn't resist crowing about this--I am amazed! I finally got around to working on the OEM Dometic refrig in my '72 Ambassador. I plan to mostly boondock, so the propane system is all that I worked on (cleaning). The quaint flint striker lacked a flint, so I broke open a spent butane lighter, retrieved the flint, and installed it in the striker--works perfectly!

I still can't get over how that tiny little flame produces 38-degree cooling and freezing temps for ice cubes! I hope everything else in this tin bucket works as well!
Well, I'm eating my words now. I checked my fridge after a week--NOT RUNNING. The burner is still burning, but there is no cooling going on. The bubble level is right in the circle, too. What could be wrong?

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Old 03-12-2006, 07:14 PM   #16
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1965 20' Globetrotter
Yakima , Washington
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Originally Posted by lewster

Remove the burner orifice and look thru it. Blow some compressed air (ONLY!) thru it to remove any possible obstructions.
My fridge in my '65 Globetrotter quite getting cold last year and it ended up being the orifice was a little plugged, flame still there just not enough to heat it up. So that is what I would look into.

Cory Harrington
AIR 7834 WBCCI 2105/VAC
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Old 03-12-2006, 07:31 PM   #17
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Naples, FL , Hood River, OR
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Originally Posted by jazzman
LEW,I was told to remove my 68 dometic and turn upside down to fix the vapor lock. I removed the wood panel and the floor bolts and 1 large wood screw, but I can't get the unit to move. Is ther any attachment on the oven side? Please help. I also want to use the electric side only, can I remove the gas lines completely?
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Lew Farber...ABYC Certified Master Marine Electrician...RVIA Certified Master Tech ...AM Solar Authorized Installation Center...AIRSTREAM Solar & Electrical Specialist...Micro Air 'Easy Start' Sales and Installations
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Old 04-24-2006, 06:40 PM   #18
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1972 29' Ambassador
1968 22' Safari
Tyler , Texas
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How hot should the coils be?

I'm trying real hard to avoid exasperation with my Dometic refer. The freezer freezes, but the food compartment simply won't cool. The exchanger on the inside gets ice on the right where the pipe comes in (as you look at it) but the fins are hardly cool at all.

Outside, the pipes on the back of the unit are quite hot to the touch and the propane flame is sky blue and vigorous. What on earth could be the problem?
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Old 04-25-2006, 03:56 PM   #19
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Huntsville , Alabama
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Remember that your Dometic has no forced air like your home's fridge does. Off-hand, based on your presentation, I would suspect the door gasket or another thermal leak.

But have you left a thermometer in the food compartment overnight to get straight scoop?

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Old 04-25-2006, 05:07 PM   #20
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1972 29' Ambassador
1968 22' Safari
Tyler , Texas
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I put a little muffin fan in it, blowing on the cooling fins, to see if that would aid the cooling process. NO DIFFERENCE after 24 hr--outside temp 80F, inside 60F.

It may be that the old door seals are leaking cool air, but I put bicycle grease on them all the way around for a "temporary fix" and the result was NO DIFFERENT.

My unit seeems to lack a topside opening for a flue cleaning brush. What I have is a buret brush--basically a test tube brush with a meter-long wire handle. Is there some way to run this up through the flue from underneath?
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Old 04-26-2006, 07:13 AM   #21
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1976 25' Tradewind
Lakeland , Florida
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Turning refrig upsidedown to mix ammonia/hydrogen

I have a 1976 Tradewind with a DM77 refrig. I discovered that the copper wire from the freezer to the gas control was severed as it left the rear of the freezer box. Must have rubbed on the steel box and the copper lost!! I extended the remaining copper wire thru the back of the freezer and reconnected it to the freezing unit. Because this copper tube/wire was severed, I assume there was no thermostat control for the gas operation and the cooling unit over heated and screwed up the ammonia/hydrogen mix. So, as instructed in the Airstream Service Manual, I turned the refrig upsidedown about 5 times over a 5 hour period to get a "better mix" (so I've read), reattached the gas line, lit it, and let it run overnight. The freezer gets to 50 degrees overnight & the refrig to about 70. Does anyone have any idea if I am doing this right? Also, do you know of a reputable Dometic refrig recondition/repair person in central FL? I would like to keep the original refrig if I can. Thanks for any help provided. Don Smith, Lakeland, FL
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Old 05-02-2006, 10:09 PM   #22
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1969 27' Overlander
Colorado Springs , Colorado
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Door seal replacement??

My 39 year old Diometic needs a new door seal. Any iteas on this replacement?

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Old 05-04-2006, 08:12 PM   #23
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1972 29' Ambassador
1968 22' Safari
Tyler , Texas
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Flue cleaning from below

Well, I ran my buret brush up the flue after removing the burner unit--took a good deal of twisting--and let out about half a cup of soot. I put everything back together, fired it up, and 24 hr later--the refer works! I've got 38F below and freezing on top, like I should have--and the cabin is 90F today.

Brushes like mine can be bought from scientific supply houses like Carolina and Boreal Labs/Science Kit, or maybe begged off a teacher friend. Warning: the brush will get pretty bent up, so don't promise it back in pristine condition!
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Old 05-10-2006, 11:48 AM   #24
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1979 31' Excella 500
Sheenboro , Quebec
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Recharging Dometics

Hi Folks,
I have a 79 Excella 500 and the apparently (according to 2 sevicemen who have looked at it) the rust inhibitor has crystallized and blocked the big coil on the back of the fridge. Both told me that I could possibly get it cleaned out and recharged, but said it was almost as expensive as a new fridge. Anyone know of anywhere (preferably in Canada) where this can be done?
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Old 05-10-2006, 02:35 PM   #25
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1988 25' Excella
Sunnyvale , California
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Several in the US...


Sorry to hear the cooling unit itself is bad, as that means more of a challenge. You do still have options, however... There are several shops that advertise rebuilt cooling units for self-installation that might solve problem for less than new box...

Look at for info on new or rebuilt cooling units and how to install in old Dometics. Sounds like it's possible, though freight and customs to get it into Canada could be a challenge. Perhaps some firefighting friends might be able to bring it in on a trip south....

Another alternative is: Cranes RV Refrigerators near San Francisco. THeir website is They will also sell cooling unit, or rebuilt refrigerators. Relatively small shop, and better to deal by phone or in person than trading e-mails...

I have no direct history with either, but they've been around quite a while... Good luck with your quest.

John McG


In Theory, there's no difference between Theory and Practice, but in Practice, there is usually a difference...
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