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Old 01-20-2014, 08:32 PM   #1
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1973 25' Tradewind
prospect , Connecticut
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fridge has not run in 15 years +

OK, i removed the fridge in my 73 tradewind. I plugged it into an outlet and heard nothing? just silence! I assumed its broke,(yes, ass out of u and me) and was going to toss it out of the trailer but i didn't, primarily because its too heavy. So I let it sit there and thaught about it for a few days. I read some of the posts on here and these units apearently do not make noise when plugged in. Who woulda thunk? Its a complete unit, only thing it appears to need from a visual inspection is a door gasket. Seeing how its 20* outside I will have to perform test inside, in basement. How long before it starts to cool down when plugged in and set to max? Im thinking if it works plugged in thats half the battle! They say a refrigerator is the most reliable appliance you have? We'll see bout that!! Dumb question, what is the switch by the propane shut off valve for? Is that the on for electric use switch? if electric works than we will try to mess with the propane.
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Old 01-20-2014, 09:08 PM   #2
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1972 25' Tradewind
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The fridge on my '72 worked on 120 AC when we picked up the rig but was pretty weak. There is a small white junction block on the side of the heater unit. Make sure the wire ends are clean and the screws are snug. Made a big difference.
On electric, at "4" on the knob, I can start to see frost in the freezer in about an hour. Usually have to let it run overnight to reach 40 deg. You can buy small fridge fans to circulate the air better.
If you plan on running on gas, search for threads on cleaning the chimminy, baffle and burner.
Propane works much better on mine but I no longer have the working flint lighter. It's very hard to light the pilot through the access door. I modified the cabinet and added an access door to be able to reach the burner.
If you've still having problems there are lots of threads on getting these fridges working.

Good Luck,
Tom
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Old 01-20-2014, 09:13 PM   #3
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1974 31' Sovereign
Ottawa , ON
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I would NOT run it in the house with it not having run in 15 years. The fluid in the pipes is ammonia, and I believe that to be noxious. When these refers die, they often let go of that gas, and you don't want that happening in your home...!

If it hasn't run in 15 yars, it can wait till the weather warms up a bit, but chances are very good that the cooling mechanism is No Good. It looks original, and original doesn't last for over 40 years, gah-ron-Teed!

Also, if it has sat with the door closed for 15 years, the inside will not be in great shape, either, not just the gasket. Others can give you advice on if it can be rescued, but I would think that there was a mold build-up in it unless it was left open a crack.

The good news: you can purchase a replacement kit for the cooling system, there are a few companies that re-manufacture them and sell them, and they do sell for a lot less than a new refer.

Take your time, read up on it here, you'll see there's more than one way to skin that cat!

Good luck!
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Old 01-21-2014, 04:21 PM   #4
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1973 25' Tradewind
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it's pretty clean inside, the way you see it is how it is/was. no mold, but will get a very good cleaning if it works
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Old 01-21-2014, 05:28 PM   #5
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To Tom Nugler

Have you thought about installing a replacement pizo pugs button lighter for a BBQ? They are available at many big box home supply stores.
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Old 01-21-2014, 07:36 PM   #6
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1974 Argosy 26
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I have the original refer in my '74 Argosy and it works just fine.
The original owner removed it. Because it didn't work.
I brought it home.
With some minor trouble shooting. I determined the electric heating element was bad. Replaced it and walla it cooled down. The next step was the gas side. I found the thermocouple to be missing entirely. Installed a new one.
It worked.
This last December I noticed the gas did not shut off when the flame was out. I thought "I will never find a replacement safety valve". It took about 1/2 hour on the Internet to find and purchase a new safety valve. Which I installed and verified that it functioned properly.
While it had the propane system apart. I did find the inline filter to be plugged up. I could not locate a "low pressure" filter. I found that the filter medium in the old inline filter was totally saturated with an oil like substance, which prevented the normal flow of propane to the burner. I fabricated a new filter medium and installed the inline filter.
The refer worked fine thru all of the testing process. The true test will be next summer.
Judging from your photos. The cooling unit looks in decent shape. You may be lucky. Like I am. And with some tinkering it may just work.
Don't throw it out yet!
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Old 01-21-2014, 07:46 PM   #7
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If you are referring to the switch on the lower left rear corner . When you turn the knob in the lower front of the refer. You rotate it from "gas" thru "off" to "electric". When in the "gas" mode the shut of valve is open. When you rotate the knob to the "off" position. The gas is "off" and so is the "electric". When you rotate the knob to the "electric" position. The heating element is switched on. Look closely and you will see a cam mechanism behind the box that the switch is mounted in.
You have separate thermostats for electric and gas.
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:16 PM   #8
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My frig worked on electric but had not worked on gas for 13 years according to the previous owner. All it took was giving the orifice a good cleaning and now it works fine.
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Old 04-25-2014, 09:09 PM   #9
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1973 25' Tradewind
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Well, I waited till the weather was warmer and decided today was the day to test out the refirdgerator. I plugged ole bessy in and waited an hour. Didn't really hear anything, so I got worried. waited another half an hour, stuck my hand in the fridge and didn't feel anything. I stuck my hand in the Freezer and it felt kinda cold. I looked on bottom of fridge and the knob was on max, i spun it back and forth and back to max cool. I have a thermometor and put it in fridge and noticed the pipes in back were warm, came back in another hour and fridge temp was 31* on max cool!!!!!!! I guess it works on electric, just have to hook it up to propane now to check that? The ignitor does not work on fridge, can I manually light it? or no? How about this, can somebody go through the routine of lighting thier fridge. Im guessing the switch in back goes to the OFF position, turn on shut off valve, and find where to manually light? is that it? Is there some things I should do or check before i try to hook up propane so I dont blow myself up?
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Old 04-25-2014, 11:25 PM   #10
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What is the model number of your refer?
I can post pics of how I light the Model RM 66 in my '74 Argosy.
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Old 06-24-2015, 08:04 AM   #11
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We also did a few repairs to our RM 100 and it is running very well on propane and electric, however, we need to replace the gasket. Now that I found the replacement gasket how do I remove the old one? Others have mentioned screws that hold the gasket in, but we have no screws whatsoever.
I even removed the name plate off of the front hoping to access it from behind the front panel, but no luck, it's sealed.
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