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Old 09-01-2011, 07:34 PM   #1
Air Mobile
2005 25' International CCD
Newport News , Virginia
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 33
Fridge not working with Gas, still works w/electric

We have the stock fridge in our 2005 Intl. Always worked fine until this past week, when we really needed it because of the hurricane. The plan was if we lost electric (which we did) we could always use the LP powered fridge in the Airstream to get us through. Well, I had the battery's fully charged, the LP tanks filled and what do you know, but I could not get the fridge to fire up with the LP. We have never used it much with gas, just when we are pulling somewhere and then we plug in and AC takes over. This time I tried and tried and could not get the system on. We have since bought a small honda generator, but still want to get fridge diagnosed.

Anyway sorry to be so long winded. Can someone suggest some steps I can take to figure out what's wrong. The AS is fairly level, so i know that's not the problem. I am fairly new to the whole Airstream scene (just more than a year), but every jam i have had, when i put it out here, I have ALWAYS gotten excellent advice.

Thanks in advance,


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Old 09-01-2011, 10:51 PM   #2
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Pahaska's Avatar
2005 28' Classic
Austin (Hays County) , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 5,370
Images: 13
You may either have no gas or no spark or possibly a bad thermocouple. I would turn the gas off temporarily and see if you have a spark. Remove the covers around the burner temporarily. There will be an outer cover with 3 screws and then a box over the burner with one screw. You have to finagle a bit to get the box off. Get someone to turn the fridge on while you watch.

If you have a spark, turn the gas back on and see whether it lights and then goes off. If so, either the flame is too low, not on the thermocouple, or you may have a bad thermocouple (not uncommon). You should smell propane if it doesn't light and there is gas.

I have lit my old fridge with a stove lighter in an emergency. Make sure the lighter is lit and held in place before the fridge is turned on so that there is no accumulation of gas.

John W. Irwin
2005 Classic 28 "Sabre-Dog III"
2013 Silverado 2500HD Duramax/Allison LTZ
WBCCI #9632, TAC TX-10
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Old 09-01-2011, 11:08 PM   #3
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2003 22' International CCD
Kiln , Mississippi
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 2,780
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You can do the spark test on a dark night without taking it all apart - Just open the outside cover and look at the area and see if it flashes when starting. Also, if it's quiet you can hear the igniter firing.

When setting up or with the gas off for a long period of time, the gas lines will fill with air and need to be purged. Start the stove and let it run for a a few minutes to purge them. Then try starting the fridge.
Michael & Tina with Layla and Preston BZ
The family has grown.
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Old 09-02-2011, 05:06 AM   #4
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heslinhotel's Avatar
1989 29' Excella
1974 Argosy 26
Youngsville , North Carolina
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 149
Tim S

Had a problem with my Dometric fridge. After reading manual I found that they reccomend you take burner apart twice a year and clean. After removing cover and exposing burner I found a rather large pile of soot/rust had accumulated at burner from the chimney. I vacuumed out debris but burner still did not work properly. It worked when parked but would not stay lit when traveling. I remover burner assembly and discovered that the burner tube was also filled with soot. Dumped it out and cleaned with small bottle brush. Worked fine after cleaning. Due to you living close to coast rust/soot may happen more quickly.
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