Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-10-2004, 09:33 AM   #1
4 Rivet Member
 
sander17's Avatar
 
1996 28' Excella
Okemos , Michigan
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 304
Images: 42
Question dometic difficulties

First trip of the season this past weekend. Learned two things:
1) The refrigerator works a lot better if you use the propane tank that actually has propane in it.
2) While trying to figure out the propane problem, the 115 VAC operation of the 1979 vintage dometic doesn't work worth a hoot.

The freezer seemed to be getting cold, but the lower section stayed above 60 deg F. The fins in the back of the fresh food section stayed warm. The heater was hot to the touch, so I know the thermostat and heater are working. Do the heaters grow "colder" with age? Or is this a "feature" of 115 VAC operation? Another thread suggested that it takes 1.5 days for the refrigerator to cool down on 115 VAC. It is hard to believe that such slow operation is normal.

Once the propane was back on, the freezer and fresh food sections cooled down normally.
__________________

__________________
sander17 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2004, 09:42 AM   #2
Moderator
 
jcanavera's Avatar

 
2004 30' Classic Slideout
Fenton , Missouri
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 7,701
Images: 143
Send a message via AIM to jcanavera Send a message via Skype™ to jcanavera
If you can't get the temp below 60 on electric or gas, then you definately have a problem. Based on the vintage of your fridge, it may be time for replacement.

These types of refrigeration units do take time to cool down. I usually start mine up the night before I leave so that its cold by morning.

Jack
__________________

__________________
Jack Canavera
STL Mo.
AIR #56
'04 Classic 30' S.O.,'03 GMC Savana 2500,'14 Honda CTX 700
jcanavera is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2004, 09:43 AM   #3
4 Rivet Member
 
jaco's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 279
Which Model #Dometic?
2-door, single-door, Frost free?
__________________
jaco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2004, 09:48 AM   #4
Just a member
 
thenewkid64's Avatar
 
1978 28' Argosy 28
Tampa Bay , Florida
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 4,539
Images: 21
Send a message via AIM to thenewkid64 Send a message via Yahoo to thenewkid64 Send a message via Skype™ to thenewkid64
You have to refill those tanks??? I though the propane fairies did that!

The issue with the 120 VAC operation of the refer is not uncommon. The older refer heating elements do get weaker as they age, just like a toaster does. That is all they are is a big toaster type element. What is likely hampering the ability for the refer to get cold is that there has been rust build up on the element or heat exchanger that is inside the galvanized tube. The rust can really insulated the "boiler for the heating element. The flame from the burner rises inside the coil of the heat exchanger, and the rust will normally flake off for the most part. The flame is also much hotter than the electric element so it will cool the refer faster.


Now for the word of advice: If you can live with it let it be. Once you start messing with it you will be disturbing years of rust. Trying to clean it out and replacing the heater could cause the refer to fail sooner rather than later. If it was mine that is what I would do. The 120 volt option is nice, but in the summer I need to use propane to get the best cooling anyhow.
__________________
Brett G
WBCCI #5501 AIR # 49
-------------------------
1978 Argosy 28 foot Motorhome

Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something. -- Plato


thenewkid64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2004, 09:50 AM   #5
Rivet Master
 
LOST , Hawaii
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 2,193
Sounds like the 120v heater is shot if it cools on propane. RVmobile.com is a good place for troubleshooting info and parts.

John
__________________
74Argosy24MH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2004, 10:30 AM   #6
Rivet Master
Airstream Dealer
 
Inland RV Center, In's Avatar
 
Corona , California
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 15,978
Images: 1
The first "LAW" for successful usage of any RV Refrigerator, is that "it must be level, withing one half bubble" when parked.

The hotter the ambient temperature, the more critical that becomes.

The leveling point for RV Refrigerators is "the freezer plate."

Leveling the trailer has nothing to do with the freezer plate.

Fortunately, most all Airstream trailers, when level, the Refrigerator freezer plate is also level.

But, don't bet on it until you have tested yours.

Many owners calibrate the exterior bubble levels to the freezer plate, not to the trailer.

Also, the burner and oriface should be disassembled and cleaned every 2 years, or sooner, if the trailer is in a windy area. If not, you will still see a flame, but it will not be hot enough.

The flue over the burner is steel, therefore it does rust. When the trailer is bounced around, those rust particles get into the burner and oriface, which in turn, reduces the heat of the burner flame.

Andy
__________________
Andy Rogozinski
Inland RV Center
Corona, CA
Inland RV Center, In is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2004, 11:05 AM   #7
4 Rivet Member
 
sander17's Avatar
 
1996 28' Excella
Okemos , Michigan
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 304
Images: 42
Dometic difficulties

Jack: It works ok on propane.

Jaco: 2 door, supposedly frost free according to the manual.

Andy: Everything is level and I have no problems with propane operation. Everytime I start it I cover the burner and tap the flue to shake loose all that
rust. Did Dometic ever switch to a stainless steel flue?

John: I am leaning towards your solution. Getting access to the cartridge heater looks like a risky proposition in-place with lots of skin removal hazards.

Thanks everyone for the advice.
__________________
sander17 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2004, 02:00 PM   #8
Moderator
 
jcanavera's Avatar

 
2004 30' Classic Slideout
Fenton , Missouri
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 7,701
Images: 143
Send a message via AIM to jcanavera Send a message via Skype™ to jcanavera
Quote:
Originally Posted by sander17
Jack: It works ok on propane.

Jaco: 2 door, supposedly frost free according to the manual.

Thanks everyone for the advice.
Glad that the propane side works. Looks like the advice you got on the heater is probably the most logical at this point. Obviously the question is how long will the fridge continue to work?? Nobody knows. I have only had one failure in my entire trailer pulling life. That fridge was on my Hi-Lo and it failed after 14 years eventually developing a leak. I always kept it level so all I can assume is it just wore out.

Jack
__________________
Jack Canavera
STL Mo.
AIR #56
'04 Classic 30' S.O.,'03 GMC Savana 2500,'14 Honda CTX 700
jcanavera is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2004, 04:30 PM   #9
4 Rivet Member
 
sander17's Avatar
 
1996 28' Excella
Okemos , Michigan
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 304
Images: 42
Question Dometic Difficulties--Part 2

Big trip #2: 10 days with the refrigerator running. Traveling over 2000 miles
total with a few stops.
Problem: after 9 days, the refrigerator section starts to warm up (>50 deg),
even though the freezer is still cold and the propane flame is unchanged.
Solution: turn off for 20 min and restart. The fridge cooled back down and
we threw out the spoiled food. I suspect the gas thermostat. The flame
is constant at all settings and the knob turns very hard. This is an RM100
vintage '79 and the manual suggests that if the freezer frosts up, it can
cause problems. It is supposed to have an automatic defrost feature. How
does this feature work? Is it part of the gas thermostat? No electronics seen
in this old beast.
__________________
sander17 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2004, 04:53 PM   #10
Rivet Master
Airstream Dealer
 
Inland RV Center, In's Avatar
 
Corona , California
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 15,978
Images: 1
sander17

Thousands of RV owners experience what you just did.

"ALL" heat absorption type refrigerators that work on gas, must have a chimney.

That chimney is immediately above the burner. Just because you see a flame, does not mean that the flame is correct.

What happens is very simple. You say the first day it was OK. Then out it went. When you towed the trailer, and bounced it around (even moreso with unbalanced running gear) the "rust" in the flue or chimney falls down into the burner "and" oriface.

The fix is also simple. Clean the flue, clean the burner and clean the oriface. This should be on your PM list every 1 1/2 to 2 years.

Fire up the reefer, sit down, relax (with a cool one preferred), and wait about an hour (like Lens Crafters).

Check the freezer and bottom unit, and you should find them working OK.

Make sure the freezer compartment is level, when running the reefer while parked.

Makes a happy Airstreamer, "everytime."

Andy

__________________
Andy Rogozinski
Inland RV Center
Corona, CA
Inland RV Center, In is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2004, 04:03 AM   #11
4 Rivet Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 307
I have the same thing - my Dometic cools very cold in the freezer, but stays at 60F in the main section. The first time I turned it on 3 weeks ago, it cooled down to about 30F, but not anymore. Why is that? I am running it on the electric the whole time. So LP is not an issue.
__________________
Justice - When you get what you deserve. Mercy - When you don't get what you deserve
Grace - When you get what you don't deserve
ipso_facto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2004, 09:24 AM   #12
3 Rivet Member
 
Lee Pace's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 201
Images: 4
Dometic

I must agree with Brett,


Our Dometic has never given us any problems. (electric or propane)

I do keep it as clean as possible, but have never disassembled anything on it.

Ours is a 69 model, I do make sure it is as level as possible.

Don Pace
69 Overlander
__________________
Lee Pace is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2004, 10:38 AM   #13
4 Rivet Member
 
mtpalms's Avatar
 
1971 23' Safari
Joshua Tree , California
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 259
Quote:
Originally Posted by ipso_facto
I have the same thing - my Dometic cools very cold in the freezer, but stays at 60F in the main section. The first time I turned it on 3 weeks ago, it cooled down to about 30F, but not anymore. Why is that? I am running it on the electric the whole time. So LP is not an issue.
Our RM 60 does the same thing, on lp and ac. I believe the best way to fix this is to have the cooling unit rebuilt. As soon as I am able, I plan on taking it to Cool Fun to be fixed. Uwe recommends them and they are the closest of the recommended reefer repair facilities to where I live.

The alternative is replacement. I believe there is a new unit with similar dimensions, or a rebuilt unit is a possibility, but general consensus is to hang on to the original fridge as long as is practicable.
__________________
mtpalms is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2004, 01:48 PM   #14
4 Rivet Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 307
It looks like with me, leveling is an issue. I didn't realize I would be affected even on electric and neglected to park it properly. It's so unlevel now, the matress on my twins slides to the side somehow.
__________________

__________________
Justice - When you get what you deserve. Mercy - When you don't get what you deserve
Grace - When you get what you don't deserve
ipso_facto is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
removing Dometic Refrigerator smily Refrigerators 16 08-18-2010 04:36 AM
Two Door Dometic Refrigerators Models, Parts, Data jaco Refrigerators 10 07-25-2009 05:12 PM
Dometic Fridge door. Antique Pedaler Refrigerators 3 08-05-2008 12:32 AM
Dometic Frig seals replacements davidlaxson Refrigerators 3 12-08-2003 10:33 AM
1977 dometic refridgerator overlander Refrigerators 29 10-07-2002 08:11 PM





All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:49 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.
Modal Click