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Old 08-18-2016, 11:05 AM   #15
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I would check the the propane system pressure with a manometer.
Another simple check would also be to remove and clean the gas orifice. There could have been some dirt/debris entered during assembly.
A third item which I would check is the installation of the refrigerator itself. The PO of our trailer had a new refrigerator installed but overall it always struggled to cool properly and consistently. Through an installation manual I found that there should be no more than 3/4" of space between the back of the refrigerator and the back wall, 0" of clearance on the sides and top. I pulled the refrigerator, built a false wall in the back and reinsulated around the other sides.
The refrigerator works well in all conditions now.
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Old 08-18-2016, 11:10 AM   #16
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When did they stop making 3 way refers? I remember them back in the 70's, but new stuff is only 2 way, because of the big electrical hit running the 12 v heating element.
It can't be a ammonia issue for it runs on 110v. So it must be a controller module, burner fuel mixture or a propane supply issue.
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Old 08-18-2016, 12:35 PM   #17
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I had our 2012 FC down in Uvalde Texas for the past two weeks (before the rains) with outside temps in the day on the order of 102 and lows in the upper 70's, sitting in full Sun. Running on gas, freezer temps stayed in the 7 to 10F range and fridge temp was usually in the mid 30's in the daytime and 32ish at 6AM. Of course, putting a couple trays of water to make ice cubes put the freezer temps into the 20's for awhile. (temps monitored with remote reading temp sensors). That's sort of typical for our summertime outings. With two AC's running in different combinations, the inside temperatures were on the order of upper 70's to very low 80's depending on what was running when.
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Old 08-18-2016, 01:55 PM   #18
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Misprint. I think it is 11 in. water column.
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Old 08-18-2016, 02:15 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Misprint. I think it is 11 in. water column.
Yep - should maintain 11" WC when you have several appliances running or more than 11" wc and less than 13" wc static condition.
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Old 08-18-2016, 02:38 PM   #20
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We had similar issues in our 2009 28' International. Definitely ran cooler on AC than on propane.

It was recommended that we add a refrigerator chimney fan for very hot days, but this did not help. Then we were told that that one fan was not enough, and we went to three fans. this definitely helped, particularly on the very hot days.

But while traveling on hot days, we found that the gas was blowing out (expecially with crosswinds.) To fix this, a baffle plate of aluminum was added between the outside vent and the burner. So far, in 15,000 miles of travel, this has done the trick, and it has only blown out once.

We are now in the habit of checking every time we stop. The outside digital thermo on the Dometic does not necessarily give the correct inside temp when the gas burner blows out. You must turn off the reefer and then turn back on, and all of a sudden you will get a correct, much higher reading, if the burner had been blown out. Checking each time you stop will let you know how often it's blowing out, as well as re-starting to give it a chance to work while you're going down the road.

If you still have problems after following the suggestions here, definitely bring the coach to your dealer and ask that Dometic take care of it. Or take it to your dealer straightaway and explain the problem and ask them to fix it for you.
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Old 08-18-2016, 05:17 PM   #21
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Thermistor

The Dometic refrig in our 2013 25' had similar little/no cooling problems when we first got the trailer. One of the issues was the thermistor, which is a plastic clip on a wire that connects to a cooling fin inside the refrigerator at the top. If the thermistor is not attached, the refrigerator will not cool properly no matter whether you're using gas or electricity. At first it was discovered that the thermistor wasn't attached. Later on after extended testing by LA Airstream it was discovered that the thermistor was not functioning properly on an intermittent basis. After it was replaced the refrig has worked well on either gas or electric. In very hot (100 degree) outside temps it stays in the high 30's to very low 40's in daytime and goes right down to 32 at night if set on highest level (5). We don't see any difference in performance between gas or electric except that it seems to take a little longer to get down to routine operating temp on electric.
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Old 08-18-2016, 10:10 PM   #22
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When the fridge is running on AC there is no burner noise. Correct?
We are also having subnormal performance on our current trip. In the past the stuff would be near freezing in the main compartment and lately it is barely cooling. AC or Gas same performance. The freezer is working normal.
Is there a maintenance routine I should perform ? We have a 2013 International.
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Old 08-19-2016, 05:51 AM   #23
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The gas flame heats the coils in the chimney. The electric heater wraps around the coils from the other side. Electric will always work as long as the ammonia gas system is properly charged and the trailer is level. Gas flame won't be effective if the chimney is plugged even if you have a good flame. What you are finding is pretty typical of a plugged chimney. You can try blowing it out with compressed air from the bottom. Also blow out the flame tube since particles land on the little burner and disrupt the flame. If you are handy you might try disassembling the chimney to clean it. This usually requires removing the complete fridge as I recall. Maybe better to let a Technician look at it. If you are low on refrigerant the whole unit has to come out to be leak-checked regardless.
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Old 08-19-2016, 06:43 AM   #24
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My old 86 still cools about the same on both. I've added an old fan from a computer that blows up the back. I only turn it on when hot and the sun is baking on the side.
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Old 08-19-2016, 11:57 AM   #25
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I would recommend this wireless digital thermometer. This will give you both Fridge and Freezer temps.
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Old 08-19-2016, 12:57 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDONA View Post
When did they stop making 3 way refers? I remember them back in the 70's, but new stuff is only 2 way, because of the big electrical hit running the 12 v heating element.
It can't be a ammonia issue for it runs on 110v. So it must be a controller module, burner fuel mixture or a propane supply issue.
You can still get 3 way fridges. They were never made in the larger sizes though and still aren't. The trend towards larger fridges has meant that most RVs have a fridge larger than the largest 3 way fridges being made. Yes, the only difference is the controls plus the presence of another heating element and the 12v terminals.

Another fact to consider is that the popularity of electronic spark ignition has eliminated the main problem with running the propane burner on the road because now it no longer matters if it blows out occasionally.

And finally.. in the sizes and situations where a small 3 way fridge makes sense, a Danfoss (12v compressor cooled) fridge now makes even more sense.
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Old 08-23-2016, 08:20 AM   #27
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we have the same problem this last weekend in our 68 Overlander. I will check the chimney and go from there.
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Old 11-24-2016, 01:46 PM   #28
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"Level" means really level

Closing the loop on this. I had Dometic look at it and they said it was working fine and that I probably wasn't level enough. I saw in the documentation that the trailer had to be level for the fridge to work on Propane and I thought I was level enough. It was definitely level enough for comfortable camping.

In any case, after I got it back from Dometic, I was skeptical but I parked the trailer in my driveway and fussed around until it couldn't be more level. Sure enough, inside of 24 hours water was freezing in the freezer and the beers in the main compartment was ice cold.
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