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Old 07-31-2014, 01:53 AM   #1
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1974 31' Sovereign
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Question Noob Airstream Owner, can't get fridge to work

Hello Friends,

I just purchased a 1974 31' Sovereign and I can't get the fridge to turn on!

It was working when I bought it two days ago...

When I switch to electric nothing happens. When I switch to gas it lights and the transparent indicator turns a nice blue, but still nothing....

Here are a few pic of my fridge.

Thanks for the help,
C
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Old 07-31-2014, 05:46 AM   #2
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It will take a few hours, even overnight, before you can notice the cooling. There is no compressor, or noise to listen for. Be sure to keep the coach relatively level any time it is on.

John
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Old 07-31-2014, 06:03 AM   #3
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I had that fridge before I replaced it with a newer version. Go outside and open the access door. You should be able to see the flame on gas and should feel the piping in the back getting warm to hot. These fridges work on evaporation of ammonia gas by using a fairly small heat source of either a pilot light flame or a 110v heating element. As John mentioned, they take a good day to cool down adequately, and generally make no noise.

On electric, make sure the fridge is plugged into an outlet (should be one behind the fridge) and verify that there is power to it. After a while you should feel some heat as well. Sometimes the elements burn out and can be replaced. On mine, the element had burned out and was essentially rusted in place. Thats why I replaced the fridge, so I could run on electric.
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Old 07-31-2014, 07:45 AM   #4
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It uses ammonia. If you have a leak you will smell unless it has dissipated.

There are several sites describing the "absorption" method these fridges use.

If you need help finding let us know...
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Old 07-31-2014, 09:46 AM   #5
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The refer must be level. Especially front to back in the coach.
Check for level on the freezer floor.
Is the gas thermostat set to at least 5 on the dial?
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Old 07-31-2014, 05:07 PM   #6
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You all are fantastic! All hope is not lost. I'm going to leave it on overnight and cross my fingers. I thought I would have heard a compressor or noticed a temperature change relatively quickly.

Thanks again! I'll let you know what happens.
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Old 07-31-2014, 11:52 PM   #7
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To speed up things you can put already Cold items in. We have a small fan that circulates the air inside. It helps ! We put in rear of fridge near the coils. Make sure Fridge is level!! The ammonia most be level for best performance. If in the sun you may have tough time getting max cooling.. Also check that the roof vent is not obstructed.
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Old 08-01-2014, 12:24 AM   #8
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There's a metal plate in the freezer, watch the temperature of that, it's on the cooling coils and will tell you what's up. That plate is what you level the trailer to.
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Old 08-01-2014, 11:43 PM   #9
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Sooooo. Do we have chilliness yet?
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Old 08-02-2014, 03:34 AM   #10
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1974 31' Sovereign
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Noob Airstream Owner, can't get fridge to work

We have reached chill status! Thank you all for the emotional and educational support.

It took all day but the fridge is working like a dream.

Thank you again for your tolerating my noobness.

-C
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Old 08-02-2014, 07:49 AM   #11
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Glad it works!!!
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Old 08-02-2014, 08:26 AM   #12
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Glad it worked!
Now you know the first thing you have to do when you're planning a camping trip with your Airstream. Turn on the fridge a day in advance.

Don't worry, we've all been noobs in the beginning, and most of us still are in areas we've yet to confront. These trailers have myriad ways of challenging us. Also just as many ways to delight us.
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