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Old 05-10-2010, 01:51 PM   #1
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Dometic Fridge Maint?

The gas pilot light in our '71 Safari's original Dometic fridge won't light. It's the original Dometic refrigerator - sorry, I'm not sure of the model - I'll check tonight when I get home. It runs on propane and 120v and has a front single door.

I recently replaced the furnace and hadn't tried any of the other appliances in a while, so once the furnace was installed and working correctly I checked out the fridge. The water heater is next after the fridge.

Although it took 20 minutes, I was able to get the gas pilot light lit on the fridge and the fridge and freezer cooled down properly. I went away for 4 days on business and at some point it stopped working. Thinking that I had used up one bottle of propane, I filled the propane tank and was only missing 2 pounds. Oops. I tried to relight it this past weekend and had no luck in doing so. I'm wondering if the fridge needs maintenance and what would that maintenance be? I've checked the back of the fridge and it looks clean of bird or rodent stuff.

In many threads I've seen mention that these fridges need maintenance every few years. What kind of maintenance do these fridges need?

Thanks!
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Old 05-17-2010, 09:44 AM   #2
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I checked the fridge and it's a RM-60. I have the service manual for my Safari and I'll work through the maintenance section on this fridge and clean it. Hopefully that will resolve the issue of it not lighting and staying lit.
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Old 06-18-2010, 07:04 PM   #3
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I have an update on the RM-60 in our Safari and need your assistance in diagnosing a problem.

My original problem with the fridge was the gas burner wouldn't stay lit, so this past Saturday I cleaned the thermocouple and burner assembly in the fridge then lit the burner. It wouldn't light with by turning the flint (the flint did spark), but it did light with a butane lighter. I checked it an hour ago and it's still lit, so that's progress, however the lower section of the fridge isn't cold. However the freezer has ice in it. I've checked it every day since last Saturday and the freezer iced up within a day. The problem is the fridge isn't cooling down as expected. I have the thermostat knob in the fridge set to 7. Is it possible the thermocouple isn't placed correctly over the burner?

I checked the level of the fridge and it was a little off, so I adjusted the front-to-back level (It was a little off and not in the center bubble of the level).

Any ideas on why the freezer section would be the proper temp (guessing here) and the fridge section not cold? It has been pretty darn hot here all week (in the low 90's).

As always, thanks for your help!
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Old 06-24-2010, 03:27 PM   #4
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I am going through the same problems.
. I ended up goging with option 4.

1. If the freezer freezes and the refrig don't get cold, it might be something to do with the baffle. Our baffle wire had rusted and the baffle fell down.

2. If the refrig works on elec it should work on gas.

3. take out refrig and turn upside down to burp.

4. buy a different fridge.
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Old 06-24-2010, 09:34 PM   #5
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Thanks Jim. I haven't tried running it on electric yet, but that's next on my list of things to try.

What I'm afraid of is that I caused the problem in the fridge a couple of months ago by running it when the trailer wasn't perfectly level. It was pretty darn close, but not perfectly level. I didn't know it had to be perfectly level.

I'm trying to decide between replacing the cooling unit and replacing the entire fridge.
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Old 06-27-2010, 07:51 AM   #6
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I brought Moe home yesterday to work on a few plumbing issues in the bathroom, verify the water heater works properly, clean the fresh water tank and purify the water system and install new clearance light bulbs.

I leveled the coach with the Leveling blocks and insured the bubble level in he fridge was perfectly in the inner circle. Learned a new lesson. put the chocks under the wheels BEFORE disconnecting the hitch from the truck.

First on the list was to run the the fridge on electric. I plugged in the fridge into the household AC around 9am. After an hour or so the freezer got very cold as it had in the past. The fridge area was still lukewarm. Dang-it.

Several hours later while I was working on the bathroom plumbing I heard a gurgle/burp from the area of the fridge. After another hour or two the fridge started getting cold. Around 2 or 3 the fridge was very cold. That's a positive for the day as the cooling unit now cools the complete fridge.

Hopefully I won't have to buy a new fridge before we start our camping later this summer.

I unplugged it around 6 pm and I'm on my way out to the coach to light the gas burner to run it on propane today to find out if it cools properly on propane. I'm hopeful.
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Old 06-27-2010, 08:52 AM   #7
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David......

For me the heat around here is a rear problem. Have you tried venting the frig "compartment" a bit more and that the top air circulation vent is acutally open?
On my old Dometic when working properly, if I put my hand on the "tank" I almost get burned and the further up I go it gets cooler. I usally feel the heat within a few minutes of turning on the frig. A few years ago this was not happening and I was advised by an old hand to take it down a VERY bumpy dirt road or to bang around on the coil with the flat of my hand. I did that banging with my hand several times and it has been working just fine since then........Good Luck......Dennis
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Old 06-28-2010, 09:08 AM   #8
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Dennis,

Thanks for the reply. I checked the fridge vent to the roof and it's clear. I was encouraged that the freezer and fridge worked well when connected to AC.

I disconnected the fridge from 120V Saturday evening in order to let the fridge warm up to test whether the propane would work. I started the propane burner around 1. The freezer was just starting to cool off when we dropped off the Safari at the storage facility yesterday afternoon. The fridge hadn't started to cool off at that point. I'll go back over there tonight when I get off work to check on the fridge (I left it on propane). We'll see what happens.

I suspect that I didn't set the thermostat and assorted adjustment screws correct when I reassembled the thermostat and burner assemblies after I cleaned them a couple of weeks ago.
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Old 06-29-2010, 08:27 AM   #9
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Update on the fridge in our Safari. I checked the fridge yesterday and the freezer section was cold, but not freezing and the fridge wasn't cold. I suspect the burner flame isn't changing to the higher level flame, but that's just a guess. I'm a noob at this, so that's just a guess from observing the flame. Anyone have any idea on what's causing the flame to not change to the higher level?

It worked fine on 120V.

Thanks,
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Old 07-25-2010, 07:33 PM   #10
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Question when should you run the fridge?

If you are keeping your airstream under a car port and plugged in electrically, does it hurt the fridge to have it run on electric all the time or is it best to unplug until you are ready to go camping? Jeff g
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Old 07-25-2010, 08:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffg24 View Post
If you are keeping your airstream under a car port and plugged in electrically, does it hurt the fridge to have it run on electric all the time or is it best to unplug until you are ready to go camping? Jeff g
Just as good to run it all of the time rather than temperature cycle it. I have AC available at my storage yard and run mine all of the time.
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