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Old 06-27-2008, 10:24 AM   #1
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propane freezer cold, fridge hot

Help!
Have an 03 classic with Dometic 2 door reefer and while on propane the freezer gets cold but Refrig does not. Checked burner and seems to be working good. Flame approx 1/2 inch high and blue. Have cleaned etc and still no good. Any Suggestions?
Bob
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Old 06-27-2008, 10:59 AM   #2
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There are some inherent reasons and some maintenance reasons.

There should be a switch across the top of the ref. door that controls a Heater Coil to keep condensate from forming on the door. Make sure that is off.

Dometic wants the back of the ref. to be no more than 1 in off the back wall. This is to insure a chimney effect of air up the back of the box. Airstream does not meet this requirement and thus a large quantity of hot air is trapped behind the box. This hot air also reaches around to both side of the ref. and thus the box is attempting to operate in an abnormally high ambient temperature.

To reduce the area of the box that was exposed to high temperature I removed the box and mad Pillows, about 3/4 in thick, of insulation on each side of the box. I covered the pillows with sheet plastic so as the box was put back in it slide smoothly and maintained a good contact with the box.

I made a sheet metal false wall behind the box to provide the designed spacing. At the top of the box I made a metal lip that kept the air coming up the back of the box from reaching the top of the freezer.

This has improved the operation of the ref. Before this my ref. would get hotter each day as the air around it got hotter and hotter.

Hope the pictures give you an idea of this. They are almost in alignment so you can see the lower section of the false wall at the bottom and the top section above. That thin piece of metal in the top picture is the piece that comes in contact with the top of the box to keep hot air from reaching the top of the freezer.

If you notice a difference between gas and electric operation then I would look at the ref. itself for the source of the problem. If gas is the problem. Your gas flame sound good but the flue may be clogged.

Now for the strange part. Remove the light bulb for a day or 2. I had an SOB that the door was misaligned and the light stayed on. Like the condensate switch I mentioned above 7 watts is a lot of heat.
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Old 06-27-2008, 01:13 PM   #3
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FWIW
We have had the same problem...lower fridge doesn't cool consistently(have thrown away a small fortune in lunch meat, mayo, milk, and other spoilables), and while the freezer freezes, it makes more of a slush than an ice.
We had a Snyder kit installed, and this really helped for a few months. $120.
Went to AS of Arkansas, and they called Dometic to get the answer about the 1" clearance, so they made a baffle to take care of that. No change in the performance, say goodbye to $440.
Went online and found a site(RVCOOL.COM) that described the problem, and defined the cause as the cooling system. We went out to his shop in Wooster, Arkansas and picked up a rebuilt system($480) to be installed by Moix RV in Conway, Arkansas. Moix installed it($460), and after a night plugged in at the local public park(named, I kid you not, Toad Suck Park), we found our fridge to be...42, and the freezer 26...at max setting, plus the door won't quite close without an extra push/kick. Went back to Moix, and they said it should go back to the rebuilder, as it had to be the cooling system. Called the rebuilder, who told me not to be so negative(he was right, however, as I was ready to run something over). So, now we are in the rebuilder's horse trailer lot, hooked up to 30 amp, and waiting for the weekend to unfold, so he can look at it Monday. He did suggest that I might be a tad hasty in my expectations of cooling time.
Now the only thing I can think of that might be an outside factor is the humidity with the heat. It has been mid to upper 80's, humidity probably the same. We had the same heat in Quartzsite, with no humidity, and the fridge worked great...the box was mid to lower 30's, and the fridge was 0 or lower.
mike
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Old 06-27-2008, 04:39 PM   #4
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Hey!
Your info on light was right on. My light does not go off when door closed, so I guess I will buy new assembly or is there an adjustment to the light switch?
You really helped me out.
Bob
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Old 06-27-2008, 05:02 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by rochar3 View Post
Hey!...My light does not go off when door closed...
IF the light stays on when the door is closed, the "low temperature ambient" switch must be "ON"...

basically this switch keeps the light ON all the time, which warms the fridge compartment...

the warmth from the light kicks up the cooling but only for the freezer.

thereby making the freezer area COLDER...

so begin by turning the low temp ambient button OFF (it's the one on the far right) above the door...

IF the interior light remains on, even after turning this feature OFF, the button is malfunctioning...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rochar3 View Post
... freezer gets cold but Refrig does not...
next put a thermometer INSIDE the fridge and give us some temperature data....

there are LOTS of suggestions so far in this thread, but WITHOUT knowing what temps exist...

your fridge may be operating EXACTLY as it is supposed to...

also the fridge needs to be LEVEL,

my experience is that more than 1 inch off from level in warm weather DOES affect cooling.

cheers
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Old 06-27-2008, 05:21 PM   #6
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We had a "warm fridge, cold freezer" in our new replacement fridge, it turned out to be a blockage in the cooling unit. If this is a new fridge, or something has changed with your trailer or fridge since just before it seemed to act up, I would look at the last thing that happened.
For example:
Did you move the trailer? Was the fridge side of the trailer in the shade before, and not now? That will make a huge difference, as much as 10 degrees inside the fridge if it's now in the sun.
Did you raise or lower the front of the trailer? Did you put leveling blocks under one side?
Were you running the air conditioner before, and not now?
Were the roof vents open, and now they are closed?
This one may throw you...Have weeds grown up under the fridge side of the trailer? If so, they may be blocking the draft from the floor.
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Old 06-27-2008, 05:50 PM   #7
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I have saved the best for last.

Remove the light altogether and install a fan. The fan keeps the beer in the bottom tray colder.

Just get a good fan as mine I can hear in the middle of the night when things quite down.
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Old 07-10-2008, 08:09 PM   #8
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warm fridge

Hello, I was in some 90 plus weather this weekend and my fridge was warm. I have a 2004 16' Bambi. We removed the outside covers and it cooled right down. I also decovered I had a fan that looked like the one in your fridge. Mine had broke loose and was not working. Who ever installed the fan had the right idea but did not secure it properly. It isn't woking at all. Do you know where to get another 12 volt fan? Mine was mounted on the out side behind the fridge.
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Old 07-10-2008, 08:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DykeDaddy View Post
Hello, I was in some 90 plus weather this weekend and my fridge was warm. I have a 2004 16' Bambi. We removed the outside covers and it cooled right down. I also decovered I had a fan that looked like the one in your fridge. Mine had broke loose and was not working. Who ever installed the fan had the right idea but did not secure it properly. It isn't woking at all. Do you know where to get another 12 volt fan? Mine was mounted on the out side behind the fridge.
DD,

The 16 Bambi's are notorious for warm fridge and noisy fan problems. I've done several with the Snyder's fan kit and they solve the problem completely.

No biggie to install either!

As 2 air said, the 'low ambient temp' switch is usually the culprit in a 'cold freezer/warm fridge' situation.......but what if YOU DON'T HAVE ONE????? (the LAT switch is detailed in other threads by me)

Door alignment with an interior light on will reduce the interior fridge temps drastically. Another spot to look is the drain hose. The end of this corrugated tube should have a little plug in it with very small holes in it. You WILL loose the cool air from the fridge section without this plug in place. They are available from you local Dometic dealer for a few bucks, and will actually retain the cool air in the fridge compartment.

I would also be suspect of the door gaskets and the seal that they do/don't provide. Use the dollar bill trick and close one in the door, pulling it out slowly with the door closed. You just might find a spot where the bill is way too easy to extract, and this will be another source for a cold air leak that will be the cause of the high refer temps!
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Old 07-10-2008, 08:33 PM   #10
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Yes most RV stores carry them Camping World or other stores . I get them out of old computers they usually are 12 volt and only draw .3 to.5 amps and are free. I put 3 in a friends trailer with a switch to turn them on and off. He loves how good his works since we did this.
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