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Old 04-30-2013, 01:00 AM   #1
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Fridge on LP During Travel Doesn't Stay Cool

We just got a preowned 2008 Classic 25fb. 7 cu/ft Dometic AC/Gas fridge. This model allows you to change the temperature setting from 1 to 5 and it displays the interior temperature on an outside display.

This weekend we went on a 3 day weekend to Missouri. Due to converter issues we ran the fridge on LP while at camp. By Sunday the daytime temperatures had climbed into the low 80s. The fridge was set on 4 and I noticed in the morning the temperature was 36 and by the afternoon the temperature reached 40F. The weekend strarted cool and rainy in the 50s and by Sunday had cleared an warmed up to where I decided to turn on the AC.

On the way home to Texas today, I left the fridge on setting 4. The weather is warming up and the temperatures today were in the mid 80s. The wind was blowing good today. When we finally got home to storage the fridge temperature display showed 54F!

Do you think the wind was blowing out the flame all the time? No fault codes on the fridge display.

On AC the fridge only gets down to 32F on setting 5. During this test the AS was in the shade and ambient temperatures were in the 60s and 70s.

Do I have a defective cooling unit? The PO lightly used this AS. I have a 90 day RV warranty and will have the dealer check it out amongst a list of other issues we discovered this weekend.

Thanks

Kelvin
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Old 04-30-2013, 01:57 AM   #2
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40-degrees F isn't too bad for an RV refrigerator in the warmer months. However, here are a few tips to improve refrigerator performance:

* Make sure the outside fan that helps exhaust the hot air from the back of the refrigerator is on and running. There is a thermal switch that controls the fan, besides the toggle switch inside your Airstream; so the fan may cycle off at night, or if you are camped where it is relatively cool (not sure of exact temperature, maybe below 50-degrees or so). However, in warm weather, this should probably be running all day.

* If your fan is loud or inoperative, replace it with a new, quiet, 12-volt DC, ball-bearing PC fan. See example in one of the links that follows (approximate cost = $14.00).

* If you suspect the burner is blowing out while you are on the highway, there are fixes for this. One quick way is to buy a window-air-conditioner foam filter at WalMart and close the lower, outside door that covers the back of the refrigerator on it so that it blocks the louvers. With the door closed on it, the filter won't blow around and melt or burn; and it will allow fresh air to pass through while blocking strong gusts of wind that might blow out the burner. If this works, there are other fixes that look better and are permanent. This one is just quick and dirty, cheap, and it works.

Duck Foam Air Conditioner Filter: Heating, Cooling, & Air Quality : Walmart.com
(approximate cost = $1.50)

* Add a recirculator fan in your refrigerator to even out the internal temperature.

Camco 44123 RV Fridge Airator - Walmart.com
(approximate cost= $15.00)

* Freeze water bottles and place them in the hot spots in your refrigerator. See details in one of the links that follows.

* Minimize how often the refrigerator door is opened. For example, instead of allowing everyone to get their own drinks and snacks, including teenagers and younger children who stand with the door open while they pause to contemplate their selections, designate only one adult to retrieve items from the refrigerator. Gas refrigerators are notoriously slow to recover lost cooling.


Links with more details on some of the above tips:

* http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...ml#post1015356

* http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...ml#post1015473
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Old 04-30-2013, 04:53 AM   #3
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25fb and above do not have fans on their fridges...
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Old 04-30-2013, 06:43 AM   #4
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This gizmo has helped a lot...

Bob
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Old 04-30-2013, 06:53 AM   #5
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I forgot to mention when we pulled into storage the fridge flame was on. The flue was too hot to touch. So if the flame is blowing out then it is restarting automatically.

There is no exhaust fan on my unit. When you look inside the exterior door fridge compartment there is no dirt. The PO must not have traveled in it much. It looks very clean for almost 5 years old.

I'm not sure the fix to this is internal fans.

I found some other older articles about a Dometic part that is a wind fence.

Thanks for everyone's comments.

Kelvin
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:40 AM   #6
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Question Dometic recall...

Kelvin,

It just occurred to me...has your fridge had the recall done?

Before...


After...


Not only does it resolve the fire danger, but the baffle helps protect the flame from blow-out.

Bob
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:55 AM   #7
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Ours will blow out in high wind/rain, we are not part pf the recall.


Maggie
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Old 04-30-2013, 11:40 AM   #8
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My unit is a 2008 so the fridge could be a 2007 but I doubt a 2006. I'll try to find the range of serial numbers affected.

I notice the fridge is deep inside the cavity due to the curvature of the walls. Does this affect the wind issue? The vented door seems like it needs to be opened up to me to allow more air, the slots seem small.

Our last trailer was a Casita and the burner was much closter to the vent door due to the trailer sides curving down. We never had this issue while traveling.

I guess when I take it to the dealer I'll turn on the fridge with gas the night before and then drive it the 60 to 70 miles to the dealer the next day. I'll put a remote thermostat sensor and see if the temperture matchs the outside fridge display and if the temperatures start to rise.

Between this and several other issues we encountered this weekend our new Airstream is not useable. (Converter doesn't provide correct DC, AC leaks condenstation inside, shower leaks to hallway, water tank leaks, water pump outlet hose leaks). I don't think our AS likes us.

Kelvin
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Old 04-30-2013, 12:07 PM   #9
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Old 04-30-2013, 12:19 PM   #10
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If the sun was on the fridge side of the trailer, trailer closed tight for travel in hot weather and very warm inside, 54 degrees may be within the limits of this type of fridge. A really big deal here is if the fridge and freezer were nearly empty; it will warm up much slower than if there is much frozen stuff in the freezer and well stocked in the lower fridge.

If the past owner or dealer keep the trailer plugged into shore power for long periods, such as storage, the converter and batteries are probably worn out. When in storage or in use for long periods with shore power connected, put the battery disconnect switch in "store" and maintain the battery voltage with a separate 3-stage charger, or install a new converter with 3-stage charging.

The AC drain may be plugged with bugs, or debris. The dealer warranty should repair your leaks, as well as the converter, but be prepared to talk him into upgrading the converter if that's what you want.

doug k
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
Kelvin,

It just occurred to me...has your fridge had the recall done?

Before...


After...


Not only does it resolve the fire danger, but the baffle helps protect the flame from blow-out.

Bob
If my memory serves me mine looks like the before photo.

Looks like the serial number of my fridge is affected when I plugged in the serial number and chose a model number that was close. Busy time of the year for RV repair. They may not be interested in performing the work just now.

I'm comparing my 2009 4 cu/ft Dometic 3 way in my previous Casita. It would maintain upper 30s to lower 40s in warm weather. Only in 100F or more would it climb to close to 50. Of course we didn't open the fridge during this time until we were camped and the AC was running to cool the interior. Humidity seems to cause RV absorption fridges to suffer too.

Kelvin
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:52 PM   #12
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Getting an rv fridge to stay much below 40 in hot weather can some times be a challenge.

One thing that I do is to freeze a gallon jug of water solid. This helps keep the fridge temperature close to 32 on a warm day when the fridge has a hard time keeping cold. When the ice finally does melt, you have some good cold ice water.

To freeze a gallon jug of water, don't just fill it with cold water and put it in the freezer. Fill it with ice cubes, then add ice water, then put it in the freezer.

To help with long term hot weather fridge performance, sometimes I freeze water in the freezer at night then transfer the ice to the fridge during the day to make sure the fridge temperature stays below 40.

I just returned from a weekend camping trip. With highs in the 60's and lows in the 40's fridge performance was great- even set on 50 % cold, I was freezing cream in the fridge.

When juggling the ice is not enough then I will work on improving the performance using fans.

Good luck, Dan
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Old 05-01-2013, 01:28 PM   #13
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I plan to take the AS out this Sunday. I'll turn the fridge on Saturday in storage on electricity and let it switch to gas and go for a 2 hour drive, have a picnic somewhere and then drive back. I have a thermometer that has a wireless sensor so I can monitor the temperature inside the fridge while I'm drive. I'll record the temperature. I still have about two months of my 90 day warranty so the weather should be heating up in the Texas soon for me to get an accurate history. I figured a 7 cu/ft fridge would be easier to keep cool than a smaller fridge.

I'll try to fit in the recall during this time to see if it has any affect.

Thanks

Kelvin
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Old 05-01-2013, 02:28 PM   #14
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The weather isn't planning to cooperate with your test, it seems... Saturday's forecast high on this side of the Metroplex is all of 70F.
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