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Old 05-22-2006, 01:42 PM   #1
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1979 23' Safari
1968 22' Safari
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Dometic Refrigerator help needed

Hi Guys - re vintage airstream restoration.
Our fridge does not work, I suspect that there may be a blockage in the system of the absorbtion type cooling unit.
On inspection the big pipe at the bottom of the rear of the fridge which comes out of the absorber vessle and dissapears up the flue above the gas heater - is squashed/kinked. This looks like it has been there since new? should this be a free flowing pipe or is there meant to be a restriction in it?

Access to get the fridge out is almost impossible without removing most of the kitchen! any tips on this too??

Thanks for any assistance.
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Old 05-22-2006, 02:39 PM   #2
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Normal

That pipe normally has a series of depressions as they come from the factory. Probably to slow down flow in the pipe.
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Old 05-22-2006, 06:26 PM   #3
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UK,

The piping found in absorptive refrigerators like yours (and ours) have many folds, dents, depressions and bends in them to facilitate the magical process of getting cooling from heating. There are also pipes within pipes that you can't see to facilitate the direction and flow of the refrigerant. You don't necessarily have a blockage just because there are dents in your piping.

There are many factors that might be causing your non-op situation. have you tried to run the unit on both AC and LP? Do you get any heating at all when you touch the lower coils and the large cannister at the back of the unit after running it for at least an hour or two?

Let us know what the model and serial # of the unit are and try both heating sources and let us know how you make out!
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Old 05-22-2006, 08:46 PM   #4
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tip 'er over

hi- one thing you might try, recommended in both the service manual and by RV fridge techs, is turning the unit upside down a few times, letting it stay upside down for a bit. Apparently this re-distributes the ammonia to the way it's supposed to be- or something like that. You could also turn your entire coach upside down, if that's easier! they are a bear to get out, if you are not intending on gutting your kitchen anyway. best of luck- tim
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Old 05-22-2006, 09:03 PM   #5
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Help..

Quote:
Originally Posted by tphan
hi- one thing you might try, recommended in both the service manual and by RV fridge techs, is turning the unit upside down a few times, letting it stay upside down for a bit. Apparently this re-distributes the ammonia to the way it's supposed to be- or something like that. You could also turn your entire coach upside down, if that's easier! they are a bear to get out, if you are not intending on gutting your kitchen anyway. best of luck- tim
Actually there's an easier way to do this..Just hook your trailer up to the tow'er and, take it for a ride..Travel over a few, light bumps might bring it back if that's all it needs. This helps break up and settles the ammonia crystal back where it belongs. I've had several service tech swear by this method..
Of course, most problems are rarely this easy to fix~
iF this works, great..Otherwise, you still did your trailer a service by taking it for a spin..
I would suspect you have other issues that bear looking into..What else can you tell us about your problem??
ciao
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Old 05-24-2006, 03:33 PM   #6
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Unhappy Dometic Refrigerator

Hi - thanks for all your assistance.
The Dometic is RM66E and impossible to locate a 110v unit here in the UK.
It definately does not work on electric as some wire has burned out and it has been turned on Gas and left for hours... nothing.
Unable to take out the trailer and shake it all about as we unfortunately bought a wreck from a dealer in the States in Charlotte and we didn't know it as he didn't tell us.. another issue in itself! we have tackled most problems in the trailer but this one is the major factor. We need to do some more work to the trailer before we dare tow it.

Removing it must be a major skill... we can see the screws but can't get to them, this means that the adjacent cupboard on one side, and gas oven, piping etc., on the other side has to come out... yes, a gutting of the kitchen it seems and don't really want to face that on top of all the other problems.
We think it may be useless to try and fix... might have to use a coolbox instead. The fridge itself is clean inside and shows not much sign of use but I guess they are all like that. It is a mystery...
Perhaps turning the airstream on its' back might solve more than one problem!
Thanks to all our friends across the pond that are trying to help us... this one has got us beat!

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Old 05-24-2006, 07:54 PM   #7
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Are you speaking of your '64? I have a '63 that had the same problem and it did not clear up by towing but, after I took it out of the unit and stood it on its head a couple times and connected a temporary gas line to it, it started to cool. That was 5 years ago and it is still working fine. It was a gas only Dometic model.
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Old 05-24-2006, 08:00 PM   #8
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My .02 , I know my fridge works better after I have towed the trailer for a while. It'll get to 45 to 50 in the drive but when driving it drops to 35 to 40.

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Old 05-25-2006, 05:57 PM   #9
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Actually...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwightdi
Are you speaking of your '64? I have a '63 that had the same problem and it did not clear up by towing but, after I took it out of the unit and stood it on its head a couple times and connected a temporary gas line to it, it started to cool. That was 5 years ago and it is still working fine. It was a gas only Dometic model.
The 64 has only been on the road once since I picked it up..At this point, the only function I've tried on the frig has been the electric cooling, which works perfectly. Great for beers...lol
The gas function was tried once and, upon smelling propane gas coming out from under the unit floor, I turned it off. (I suspect the PO drove a nail into the floor, thereby hitting the gas line in the process.)
ciao
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