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Old 10-22-2004, 08:40 AM   #1
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Question Dometic Refrigerator...Hooked up wrong????

Have 1977 29' Airstream. My father was replacing the refrigerator and got as far as hooking up the propane for the new 3 way dometic. He got sick and passed away. A friend of the family is trying to finish hooking it up. The electrical cord from the refrigerator he wired into the panel that is behind the couch. It works all right, BUT 12 volt battery keeps dying and I have to drag out the battery charger fairly often. I have already replaced the battery with a new one 2 months ago. I am not sure, but I think he may have wired the refrigerator to the battery instead of where it should go. I don't have a clue. I live in Friendswood, Texas. Just south of Houston. Is there someone that could come over and look at the trailer. It is sitting in the backyard. I don't even know where to start looking to hire someone. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Carol Payette

carolpayette@houston.rr.com
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Old 10-22-2004, 11:29 AM   #2
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Carol,

I'm far from an expert on fridges, but I thought I'd respond since nobody wiser has responded to you so far. In general, I think you'd need a lot of batteries to get it to work off 12v. I don't know anyone who powers their fridge with batteries--but that's not to say that it's not done. Most rv fridges run off propane, which is preferred (particularly for operating off the grid). In fact, older fridges (like mine) only operated off propane. Otherwise--if you have an electric-only fridge, you're going to probably need hookups to operate. But if you don't boondock, that's not such a bad deal--though you will probably want take a cooler along for when you hit the road.

Sorry about the loss of your Dad. Enjoy the trailer in his honor.

Mary

PS Carol--just noticed you posted your phone number. I'd suggest editiing it off--this forum is open to everyone.
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Old 10-22-2004, 11:37 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carol Payett
Have 1977 29' Airstream. My father was replacing the refrigerator and got as far as hooking up the propane for the new 3 way dometic. He got sick and passed away. A friend of the family is trying to finish hooking it up. The electrical cord from the refrigerator he wired into the panel that is behind the couch. It works all right, BUT 12 volt battery keeps dying and I have to drag out the battery charger fairly often. I have already replaced the battery with a new one 2 months ago. I am not sure, but I think he may have wired the refrigerator to the battery instead of where it should go. I don't have a clue. I live in Friendswood, Texas. Just south of Houston. Is there someone that could come over and look at the trailer. It is sitting in the backyard. I don't even know where to start looking to hire someone. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Carol Payette
281-482-8005
carolpayette@houston.rr.com

Carol,
Check the selector switch on the front panel and see if it is set to gas, electric or 12V. If is is set to twelve volt, then change the setting to gas if you want to run it on propane, or electric if you are plugged in. In addition to that, the newer style fridges and AC units use a small amount of 12 volt power to run the electronics and this will drain a battery unless you are plugged in to shore power and your battery is being recharged as needed.

Mark
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Old 10-22-2004, 11:38 AM   #4
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Carol - the Dometic customer relations person I talked to about our older model highly recommended our local Camping World as a source for problem solving or getting work done. They may not be the least expensive place to have your fridge worked on, but supposedly reliable. There is an #800 number for Dometic (I just can't put my finger on it at the moment). If you use the "search" button above and put in Dometic Customer Service or Dometic 800 number, you might find it. Or maybe someone else will respond here. Anyway, the Dometic people do have lists of your local reliable Dometic dealers/service centers.
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Old 10-22-2004, 12:45 PM   #5
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Dometic Refrigerator...Hooked up wrong????

Greetings Carol!

Welcome to the Forums!

Condolences on the passing of your father.

You might try checking the manual that should have come with the refrigerator. I have had three coaches with the Dometic 3-Way RV refrigerator and have been absolutely thrilled with each of them. What you need to check is the operating instructions for the AES (Automatic Energy Selector) - - I believe most if not all of the recent model Dometic 3-Way RV refrigerators have this feature. You will probably find a control panel with an AES label just above the refigerator door - - a light should illuminate above the fuel type being used by the refrigerator at any given time. Basically, when set to use the Automatic Energy Selection feature, the refrigerator will search among its available sources - - I believe that it starts with 120-Volt AC and if that isn't available, then it searches for LP Gas, and if that isn't available, then it selects 12-volt DC. I would suggest checking the following:
  • Is the coach connected to 120-Volt AC? (are other 120-Volt AC appliances operating?)
  • Is battery a Deep-Cycle RV Marine and has it been checked recently for dead cells?)
  • Are the LP tanks full and the valves open?

Once you have verified that all fuel sources are available, you might want to try something that I have learned from using these AES refrigerators. Once in a great while the AES seems to get "confused". When this has happened on my coach, I turn off the refrigerator using the control panel and allow it to stay off for at least 30-minutes - - this usually seems to result in the control resetting itself, and the unit then properly selects the fuel. While I haven't gone this far since the method above has worked with my unit, my next step would have been to turn off the Univolt and disconnect the batter negative terminal - - and repeat the 30-minute reset cycle. I have only had this happen three times in the more than 20 years since I purchased my first coach with the 3-Way refrigerator, but the reset has worked each time.

My suspicion is that the 120-Volt outlet may need to be replaced for the refrigerator, or the circuit breaker may be tripped on that circuit. I am also wondering whether there may be enough air in the LP line that is keeping the pilot from lighting (AES will terminate LP use after X number of tries to light the pilot) - - I know that the few times I have operated my current 3-Way Dometic on LP it has been necessary to allow one of the range-top burners to operate for a few minutes before the refrigerator would select LP (usually following refilling of the LP tanks).

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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Old 10-23-2004, 03:58 PM   #6
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Dometic Refrigerator...Mary thanks for the input...How do you edit your post?

Mary,
Thanks for the reply. How do you edit your post so that you can remove your phone number. I have tried and can't get back into the post.
Thanks Carol

Quote:
Originally Posted by fireflyinva
Carol,

I'm far from an expert on fridges, but I thought I'd respond since nobody wiser has responded to you so far. In general, I think you'd need a lot of batteries to get it to work off 12v. I don't know anyone who powers their fridge with batteries--but that's not to say that it's not done. Most rv fridges run off propane, which is preferred (particularly for operating off the grid). In fact, older fridges (like mine) only operated off propane. Otherwise--if you have an electric-only fridge, you're going to probably need hookups to operate. But if you don't boondock, that's not such a bad deal--though you will probably want take a cooler along for when you hit the road.

Sorry about the loss of your Dad. Enjoy the trailer in his honor.

Mary

PS Carol--just noticed you posted your phone number. I'd suggest editiing it off--this forum is open to everyone.
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Old 10-23-2004, 09:51 PM   #7
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Down in the bottom right hand corner of each message, you can see an icon for "reply"--if you wrote the message, there's also an icon that says "edit." You can click this and it will let you go back into the edit screen (just like when you first wrote it), so you can cut or add to the original text.

I didn't mean to be a busy body on this--but I've been hassled by an online aquaintance who started sending threatening emails to me. It was really frightening. Generally, the folks online here at the forum are super--but the forum is searchable through Google, making it open to the entire universe of Interneters (though it makes one wonder what kind of person could possibly get freaky over a fridge). Remember--you can always share numbers by private message!

By the way, I didn't realize that your fridge worked off three kinds of power--how very cool (hahaha, that was an unexpected pun)! Now our fridge (1961) works only on propane, it's really tricky to light, but when it goes, it really works great! In fact, I was able to keep all of our frozen goods frozen when hurricane Andrew struck last year! A good fridge is one of those lovely little luxuries that makes camping so much fun!

Mary

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carol Payett
Mary,
Thanks for the reply. How do you edit your post so that you can remove your phone number. I have tried and can't get back into the post.
Thanks Carol
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Old 10-24-2004, 10:41 AM   #8
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A big thank you

Mary
Thanks for the information..I really appreciate it. I have removed my phone number. And I think I found out what I was doing wrong. There is a push button on the front of the fridge...I wasn't pushing it enough times to select the correct setting. I just left it on Auto and assumed it would choose. You have to choose Auto AND AC.

Thank you so much.
Carol

Quote:
Originally Posted by fireflyinva
Down in the bottom right hand corner of each message, you can see an icon for "reply"--if you wrote the message, there's also an icon that says "edit." You can click this and it will let you go back into the edit screen (just like when you first wrote it), so you can cut or add to the original text.

I didn't mean to be a busy body on this--but I've been hassled by an online aquaintance who started sending threatening emails to me. It was really frightening. Generally, the folks online here at the forum are super--but the forum is searchable through Google, making it open to the entire universe of Interneters (though it makes one wonder what kind of person could possibly get freaky over a fridge). Remember--you can always share numbers by private message!

By the way, I didn't realize that your fridge worked off three kinds of power--how very cool (hahaha, that was an unexpected pun)! Now our fridge (1961) works only on propane, it's really tricky to light, but when it goes, it really works great! In fact, I was able to keep all of our frozen goods frozen when hurricane Andrew struck last year! A good fridge is one of those lovely little luxuries that makes camping so much fun!

Mary
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Old 10-15-2006, 04:51 PM   #9
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LIghting a Dometic Gas / electric fridge??

I noticed a reference to a LP fridge being tricky to light.
I have recently purchased my first Airstream. It is a '75 land yacht.
The fridge is original LP and electric.

I have been trying to get it to light but no dice.
I have no manual...

Are there some tricks I can try?
Are there alternative waye to light the burners?

Thanks!
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Old 10-15-2006, 05:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwilson
I noticed a reference to a LP fridge being tricky to light.
I have recently purchased my first Airstream. It is a '75 land yacht.
The fridge is original LP and electric.

I have been trying to get it to light but no dice.
I have no manual...

Are there some tricks I can try?
Are there alternative waye to light the burners?

Thanks!
On the frig in my 75 I do this:
  1. Get the air out of the propane line by lighting a stove burner first
  2. Turn the gas/ elec knob to gas
  3. Pull and hold the 2nd knob from the left out
  4. Push in the knob all the way on the left to get a spark
  5. Repeat step 4 untill you see a flame in the glass viewer
  6. Release the knob (step 3) after the blue flame has been on 30 seconds.
If the knob (step 3) does not want to pull out, follow it back to the valve and "help it"
Verify you are getting a spark when you push the knob in (step 4)
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