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Old 09-07-2013, 07:30 PM   #1
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Bad Refer? Or Just Too Hot to Be Cool? Help!

I picked up the trailer from storage and it was about 105F, so I assume it was at least that inside the trailer. We closed up the fridge, set it for "LP" and motored on up to Tehachapi 3 hours away. When we got here, the indicator on fridge was still "60" and it didn't appear to be cooling. It is now 5 PM and still on 60.

2012 unit, Dometic, LP & 120V model.
-All fuses seem ok. Everything else works
-LED control lights for fridge are on
-Set for coldest operation
-The external fan is running
-Plenty of propane (tested with the stove)
-Oddly I can't hear a burner going though.
-No visible loose wires in the access hatch
-Worked fine last time out
-Current temp outside is 88F.

Assuming the air in the fridge was 105F when I closed the door, how long would it take to cool below 60 so that the gauge would start to read like 59, or the usual 40?

We used to live in a cool climate where it was 40 at night. We'd plug the fridge into house current the night before leaving and never had an issue. Now, the trailer is stored away from home, so I can't pre-condition the fridge.

Do you think it is working, but taking a long time to get below 60? Any way for me to know if the LP burner is on?
Thanks
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Old 09-07-2013, 08:03 PM   #2
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On the back of the frig, inside the rear vent, take the sheet metal cover off the burner assembly area. If the burner is working you will see it burning, with a nice blue flame. Even with the cover in place you should be able to hear it burning.

105* is hard on everything. It may take a while to cool down.

John
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Old 09-07-2013, 08:23 PM   #3
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It's been said that it takes 24 hours for an RV fridge to get down to temp, of course it depends on the starting temp.
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Old 09-07-2013, 08:54 PM   #4
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If you can't pre-cool the fridge before leaving, you might want to load the freezer with ice when you pick it up, then give it a day to stabilize temps.
Give it more time to cool before deciding if it's working. You may need to pack a cooler and rely on that for a day or so before loading the fridge. On our last trip, I forgot to turn on the fridge the night before, and it was only around 75 or so. It took a full day to get down to operating temp, and I threw in a couple of ice packs in the freezer.
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Old 09-07-2013, 08:56 PM   #5
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I can't here my fridge run at all. Stick your hand in the fridge and feel the aluminum fins. They should be very cold.

Is there food in the fridge? It will take a lot longer to cool down loaded with food than if it is empty.

I would put a bag of ice in the fridge to help it cool down. I always freeze a gallon jug of water the night before and then put it in the fridge when we leave. Also make sure that the food that you put in the rv fridge is cold.

I used to have problems keeping my old fridge below 40 in hot weather. When I installed my new fridge, I took great pains to make sure I had baffles in place and proper sealing in accordance with the installation instructions. There is a thread in the fridge section FYI. I keep my fridge on setting 2 and it stays 34-37 degrees. Even when it was in the high 80's it was never over 38 degrees.

Good luck, Dan
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Old 09-07-2013, 09:16 PM   #6
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Not sure if your model has it, but ours has an LP gas petcock on the bottom of the trailer directly under the refer.

If you have one of those, be sure that the arm is in-line with the tubing. If it is at a right angle to it, then it is off.
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Old 09-07-2013, 09:23 PM   #7
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If the fridge is on the sunny side of the trailer it will cool even slower.

doug
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Old 09-07-2013, 09:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandlapper View Post
On the back of the frig, inside the rear vent, take the sheet metal cover off the burner assembly area. If the burner is working you will see it burning, with a nice blue flame. Even with the cover in place you should be able to hear it burning.

105* is hard on everything. It may take a while to cool down.

John
Yes. I turned the external fan off, and when I listen I can hear the burner. So, it IS working, but really taking a long time to get cool. Now that I know it is on, I can relax a bit. We're done for the day anyway.

Lotsa good tips about pre-conditioning with ice - thanks everyone. After I posted this, we ran out to town and picked up some ice to put in the freezer.

All good. Sunset is nice, the desert is cooling down beautifully. The windows are open, a breeze is blowing, we got some cold drinks, we are the only ones in the CG, the stars are coming out. Man o' live - it's good to be in an Airstream!
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Old 09-07-2013, 09:41 PM   #9
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Here in Texas we are at 101 and higher. I fired up a day early and it took over 24 hours to get close to safe in fridge, but freezer was at Zero.

We put water and it froze in 10 hours. Stayed frozen even on our trip to camp. Been keeping up with Grandkids opening all day!

This is with our addition of dual fans.

So far so good .....
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Old 09-07-2013, 10:36 PM   #10
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I'll betcha it's just a time thing--the fridge just hasn't been on long enough in all that heat.

I do have a question, tho. A couple of you have mentioned "fans". Where are these fans? On the back of the fridge blowing over the coils? The reason I ask is that I've got fridge wows of my own (new cooling unit on the way).

Jim
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Old 09-08-2013, 06:02 AM   #11
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I mounted 3 of those 12v pancake fans near the top of the "chimmney", just under the top vent, to help exhaust the heat. I also constructed a baffle back there to close up the space. There is some good reading on here about frig problems and some cures.

Due to the nature of the Airstream design there is way more space behind the the frig that it needs to exhaust properly. Baffles and fans help to get the heat out.

John
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Old 09-08-2013, 08:15 AM   #12
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If you have the front dinette 25' as we have, there are two ventilation doors for the fridge compartment (there is a conv/microwave over the fridge so no vent chimney in the roof).

When hot outside I prop open the upper door, or both doors, and that definitely helps the cooling air move through the compartment. I use a couple of those large bendable cable ties for props, the center under the compartment latch and the ends propped just inside the door frame. Close the doors for rain or high wind, or travel.

doug
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Old 09-08-2013, 08:38 AM   #13
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I prop open the doors too. Fan runs less. I am going to do what Sand did - replace fans with better, larger, quieter unit.

The fridge is down to 39 this morning. Yahoo! Everything was normal, just taking a long time.
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Old 09-08-2013, 09:06 AM   #14
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This is with our addition of dual fans.
Did you discuss this here or post photos? I'm about to add fans and I'd love to see your installation..?
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