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Old 06-04-2019, 06:00 PM   #1
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Help: Fridge not turning on

Hi. Iím 3 days into an 80-day trip with the kids, currently at Badlands National Park. The Dometic fridge in my 2019 Globetrotter stopped working when I switched over to propane from electric or vice versa. I was also about to defrost it, as Iíve seen the ice build up on the fins over the last few days.

Checked circuit breakeróno result. Took a multimeter to the terminals in the back and have 3.x volts for the electronics and 13+ volts for the heating element.

Is there a fuse Iím missing between the power controls and the power leads? I canít find one and donít know where to look.

Thanks.
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Old 06-04-2019, 07:27 PM   #2
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Got a lead (pun intended) for an in-line fuse from the user stevejones and his wife SewStream. Iíve got stuff on ice for tonight and since I canít get a fuse tonight anyway, am enjoying my time with the kids. I will check the fuse tomorrow morning, updating with pictures afterwards if that is in fact the issue...
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Old 06-05-2019, 08:55 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nryn View Post
Hi. Iím 3 days into an 80-day trip with the kids, currently at Badlands National Park. The Dometic fridge in my 2019 Globetrotter stopped working when I switched over to propane from electric or vice versa. I was also about to defrost it, as Iíve seen the ice build up on the fins over the last few days.

Checked circuit breakeróno result. Took a multimeter to the terminals in the back and have 3.x volts for the electronics and 13+ volts for the heating element.

Is there a fuse Iím missing between the power controls and the power leads? I canít find one and donít know where to look.

Thanks.
Hi nryn,

We're very sorry to learn about the issue you are having. Please send us a direct message with your contact information and the last 6 digits of your VIN so we can share it with our Customer Service and Technical Support team. We look forward to helping you get this resolved.

You can also reach Airstream Customer Service and Technical Support at*customer_support@airstream.com*

Thank you.*
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Old 06-05-2019, 10:09 AM   #4
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Something is wrong with your measurements. The electronics should be getting 12 volts from the batteries and the heating element should be getting 120 volts from shore power. Are you reading the wrong scale?

You must have good batteries to run the fridge on propane or shore power. The control board runs from 12V.

The control boards have been known to go bad in the newer trailers and the replacement boards have also failed. One member went through three boards before purchasing a Dinosaur brand board to replace the failed board the factory supplied under warranty. If AS sends you a new board, ask if it has a better failure rate than previous boards supplied under warranty.

Al
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Old 06-05-2019, 09:59 PM   #5
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Al and Missy, I spoke with Dinosaur about 5-6 months ago and they did not yet have a replacement board for this particular model fridge. Iíll call them again tomorrow and see if that has changedóit would be great if it did because from everyone I spoke with, it seems like getting a replacement board is going to be the hard part. But my readings are correct. I was not taking readings off the 120AC plug, I was taking readings off the board. The Globetrotter has a 3-way fridge and the panel in the back is showing power to the fridge and reduced power (~3.5V) to the board (no power now because I took the inline fuse I mentioned out).

Airstream inc, I got a call back from Dave today and am in dialogue with him. Dave at Airstream (and a few others I spoke with) think itís the board. When I opened the panel to take readings from the terminals, it smelled faintly like an electrical fire (the kind of smell you get right before a hair dryer bites the dust). I checked thoroughly and there was no fire or smoke or anything like that.

AirstreamInc, If there is anything that can be done to get me a replacement board en route, I would really appreciate it. Otherwise Iím looking at a dead fridge for the next three months of travel with the kids.
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Old 06-06-2019, 11:21 PM   #6
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Quick update—sure ain’t easy to get a service appointment these days. The biggest logistics issue, though, is not going to be service, it’s going to be getting a new board. The 3-way Dometic fridge in the Globetrotter is pretty new.

BUT Coachnet got me into an authorized Dometic service center—tomorrow (!)—and about 50m from my current location and on my way to my next destination. AND my dealer back in MI is priority overnighting a board that they happened to have in stock. I was (and am) determined to not let a bad fridge ruin a trip—I’ve never traveled with a fridge before and can live without it. But boy would it make things easier over an extended trip to Alaska. So I’m cautiously optimistic. At the very least I’ll have the issue diagnosed and can start the warranty process and maybe get Airstream to expedite sending parts to me. But after yesterday—maybe 2/3rds of a day of troubleshooting, calling, and making arrangements, I’m turning my attention to the thing that matters—showing my kids the national parks.

Thinking through this, I’m guessing something on the board fried when I turned the fridge back on after defrosting and that blew the fuse. That’s just a guess though. Hopefully the service center can sort it out tomorrow. Will update soon.
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Old 06-06-2019, 11:39 PM   #7
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Sorry to hear of your troubles. Looks like you're lining things up well and will hopefully be "back on the road". No trip would be complete without some unexpected adventure right?

Wishing you the best of luck that things work out tomorrow.
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Old 06-07-2019, 06:36 PM   #8
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Thanks man.

Another quick update: everything went like clockwork today. Got to the Dometic authorized service center just as UPS was dropping off the new board. Had lunch with the kids while they worked on it. Then got a call.

The service center did everything they were supposed to do and more. They called Dometic and went through everything with them. They isolated the fridgeís power from the trailer and couldnít get it to respond. Dometic is pretty emphatic that the fridge is dead. The board was fried too (huge black spot on the pins) but the current theory is that it took something out internal to the fridge. Itís not clear what did it. All I did was turn the thing off for an hour or so to defrost then try to turn it back on. So I suppose some investigation is in order.

The tech said that the fuse in the 12V panel is a red herring. It has nothing to do with the fridge as far as they can tell.

Spoke with Airstream. They said theyíll take care of me. Ordered new fridge from Dometic and with luck it will be here and installed on Thursday. If the fridge does in fact arrive on Thurs, we wonít miss a beat on our trip. And if it doesnít, weíll stay another day.

Weíre on dry ice and all smiles here, camping at Rafter J at the moment. Itís my first site with full hookups and the campground is amazing (though stormy right now). Everyone has been incredibly helpful.
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Old 06-07-2019, 07:31 PM   #9
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Good to hear! Glad things are working out for you.

Al
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Old 06-12-2019, 04:39 PM   #10
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Another update: thought we were all good for a fridge replacement tomorrow but when the service center called for tracking information today they found out Dometic didnít ship the fridge on Monday. DometicĎs reason: only Airstream can purchase this model fridge. Bummer.

So the new plan is to have Airstream arrange to have a fridge shipped to an Airstream dealer in Missoula, where I have a service appointment on July 2. We may have to cut our Glacier NP stay short but Iím willing to do that since weíll still have a lot of trip ahead of us. The daily ice routine is not terribly inconvenient since we are at campgrounds that carry ice (at least so far) and we can live with it for the next few weeks.

More as this unfolds!
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