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Old 06-03-2012, 06:03 PM   #1
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'73 Sovereign Dometic, dead?

I am the new owner of 31 footer. I spent the better part of the day testing all the appliances and getting to know the rig.

I conquered all but the water heater, and fridge. The gas seems to work to all appliances. I was able to get the pilot lit on the fridge, and cranked the gas thermostat to max... But nothing happened. So I shut off the gas and tried to switch it over to electric....nothing.

I didn't know if it was supposed to hear it kick on like the fridge at home or if it just does its thing silently, but the only sort of response I got out of it was a pilot light.

The plug seemed to work with my daughters Nintendo charger( closest portable plug in devise ). I didn't think to check the switch, but the po said he never had a problem out of it.
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Old 06-03-2012, 06:06 PM   #2
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Tx, when you are on propane with the fridge - just set it on four or five and wait. Takes some time, and then feel the insde of the freezer walls to see if they are getting colder. Thats where you will see if it is working first or not.
The only thing your going to hear is the 'FOOM!' of the pilot light lighting. and the rest is a quiet operation.
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Old 06-03-2012, 06:09 PM   #3
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What about on electric, should I hear a compressor or fan kick on?
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Old 06-03-2012, 06:14 PM   #4
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well, oddly enough, ours does not seem to work on electric either. But we have had a great time working with the propane side. It works great.
From what I know (in my little over heated brain) is that the freezer action does ALL the action...there are no fans or bells or whistles turning on. Just the freezer will generate enough cold to move it down and into the fridge below.
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Old 06-03-2012, 06:37 PM   #5
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There is no compressor, just the heat from the gas burner to here when it comes on, if you are paying attention, as it's very quiet. When run on electric there is an electric heating element the creates the heat, it makes no sound at all. The electric mode takes longer to cool then the propane mode, as the LP creates more heat so it cools faster. Give it about 5 hours and then feel the bottom inside the freezer. If that is not cold you have a problem. If the gas does not work try the electric mode. If either mode cools, the fridge is good and just needs a little service.
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Old 06-03-2012, 06:47 PM   #6
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Rodger that, I'll fire it up tomorrow when I get to work and check on it on my lunch break.
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Old 06-03-2012, 06:53 PM   #7
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It will take the better part of 24 hours to get the refer cold. Electric takes longer than gas. There really is no pilot, just a small burner. You can tell if it is starting to cool down by putting your hand on the freezer floor after 4 or 5 hours.
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Old 06-03-2012, 07:30 PM   #8
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Good lord! How efficient are these refrigerators in comparison to a new all electric fridge?

I don't want to be getting red in the face when my daughter spaces out while grabbing a juice box because she is letting out the sacred cold air!
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Old 06-03-2012, 07:53 PM   #9
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An RV refer is designed to operate both on and off the grid. It requires very little electrical power even when it is on the grid. On average somewhere between 150 watts and 500 watts. Much less than an electric refer for your house.
The two way refers can operate on propane or 120 volt AC power. Most of the new units require 12 volts DC for the control board and ignition.
While they may not be as energy efficient and have the recovery time of a conventional refer, they were designed for a specific purpose. Low energy input refrigeration.
You will find that a conventional refer will not stay cold while driving down the road. Since there is not 120 volt AC power available while on the move in most trailers.
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Old 06-03-2012, 08:41 PM   #10
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In our juice box situation, I will be prone to get a diet soda (7-up) (recommended) - and will place it in the freezer long enough to give it that just above freezing chill.
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Old 06-03-2012, 09:26 PM   #11
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Be X2 sure it's level, fire it up, wait 24 hours.
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:18 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
An RV refer is designed to operate both on and off the grid. It requires very little electrical power even when it is on the grid. On average somewhere between 150 watts and 500 watts. Much less than an electric refer for your house.
Sorry to strongly disagree with you on that statement. RV refrigerators operated on 120 volt power are very inefficient devices, especially considering how small they are. Depending on outside temperatures, the RV unit will take from 150 to 300 watts per hour, and yet a household unit, such as my 36" side by side, 12 year old one takes an average of 100 watts an hour, and newer ones less, in the range of 50 to 60 watts.

So an RV refrigerator will take much more, not less power than the electric one in your house.
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Old 06-04-2012, 06:37 AM   #13
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I just went through the repair of my Dometic, needed a heater for the AC side.

BE SURE THE CAMPER IS LEVEL> The Dometic requires it to operate correctly.
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Old 06-04-2012, 07:38 AM   #14
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I agree with idroba on the comparison of the modern compressor refer with the RV type when it comes to energy consumption. I should have used the word practical instead of giving the impression of energy efficiency.
Some of the newer trailers and especially motor homes have some pretty big refers. Most, as far as I know are still operating on the ammonia based system and have electric option.
And the life expectancy of a residential refer is far superior to an RV type. Not sure if that would remain true if it were bouncing down the road. The modern RV air conditioners don't seem to last.
But with the technology being what it is. What other choice does one have? Running a generator to power even the smallest apartment style refer would be more costly than even the replacement cost of an RV refer every 10 years or so.
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