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Old 06-26-2004, 07:20 PM   #1
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Refer Madness!

I was about ready to give up on my Dometic (1971 Overlander), because I just couldn't get the the refer running on AC. I got my LP tanks revalved and managed to get the refer pilot going had to manually light it as the little twisting flint striker thing wasn't really striking and my fingers were getting sore. I noticed my wall panel beside the door was only held in place by one screw so I suspect the PO may have done this as well. He couldn't remember much and the striker thingy was hanging loose, so I had to carefully thread it back into place, only to have it not really work.

My questions are:

Is it common for the refer to work on LP and not AC?

and

Is it safe to leave the LP on for any length of time? I remember seeing a horrible pic of a burned up AS because "stupid husband" did something wrong with LP and refer. My workshop where I leave the trailer is about a mile or so from my house so I'm freaking a little about leaving it overnight running.

Also:

Do some leave the refer lit while travelling?

Thanks,

Ken.
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Old 06-26-2004, 07:41 PM   #2
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There is an electric element that heats up the amonnia in place of the gas flame, if it is bad the ref. will work on gas but not electric, make sure you have power to fridge, if you do replace the heating element.

As long as you keep the flue and ref. back area clean you can leave it on indefinetly, household propane gas refrigoraters have been in use for 100 years.

It can be left on while traveling but should have the pilot turned off while refuelling.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TroutStream
I was about ready to give up on my Dometic (1971 Overlander), because I just couldn't get the the refer running on AC. I got my LP tanks revalved and managed to get the refer pilot going had to manually light it as the little twisting flint striker thing wasn't really striking and my fingers were getting sore. I noticed my wall panel beside the door was only held in place by one screw so I suspect the PO may have done this as well. He couldn't remember much and the striker thingy was hanging loose, so I had to carefully thread it back into place, only to have it not really work.

My questions are:

Is it common for the refer to work on LP and not AC?

and

Is it safe to leave the LP on for any length of time? I remember seeing a horrible pic of a burned up AS because "stupid husband" did something wrong with LP and refer. My workshop where I leave the trailer is about a mile or so from my house so I'm freaking a little about leaving it overnight running.

Also:

Do some leave the refer lit while travelling?

Thanks,

Ken.
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Old 06-26-2004, 09:02 PM   #3
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Talking Refer Gladness

Thanks Richard,

I have had it on for 2 hours and have the freezer down to 20F, with the thermo set at 4 (mid). This may not seem like a big deal but I'm doing cartwheels to have a cold fridge without spending $1200 (yet).

I was considering replacing the 2-way with an electric only and then running a generator when necessary, but I will use the LP only for as long as it works. It sounds like LP is safe as long as there are no leaks in the LP line and no pluggage in the flue or back of fridge.

As I have no experience with this, roughly how long would a 30 lb tank last?

I also can't figure out how to clean the flue, but will search other threads.

Thanks again!
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Old 06-26-2004, 09:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TroutStream
Thanks Richard,

As I have no experience with this, roughly how long would a 30 lb tank last?

Thanks again!
A long time.
Sorry I dont have an exact answer for you , but someone will!

Also you need to be sure your flue is clean NOW! Look up the back of the refrig with a flashlight and a mirror towards the roof, you want NO birds nests or Other stuff in there. Also NO pine needles on the outside near the vent, sometimes it gets filled with leaves and gook, check it too!
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Old 06-26-2004, 10:30 PM   #5
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Thanks Richard,

I've shut it down until I get a thorough leak check and cleaning done.

Ken.
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Old 06-27-2004, 09:25 AM   #6
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Propane usage

Quote:
As I have no experience with this, roughly how long would a 30 lb tank last?
The refrigerator flame is about the size of a pilot light, even while in high flame mode. It uses very little propane.

With my International with 20# tanks, I used about 3 20# tanks a year and I used that trailer a lot in all seasons. That usage includes running on propane full time when on the road, water heater use, and some furnace use. I mostly used 120v ceramic heaters rather than the furnace.

In my 25 Classic, I have the heat punp and gas-electric water heater, so I use propane for furnace and water-heater mostly during shower time, the rest of the time, I am on 120v. I run the furnace only because it ducts heat into the bathroom. I still run the fridge on propane while travelling. I have about 7000 miles on the trailer now and I have used 1 1/2 30# tanks so far.
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Old 06-27-2004, 01:13 PM   #7
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The cleaning should address 3 areas:
burner tube assembly
best if you remove it and clean it gently, then blow it out with compressed air
burner flue ( or chimney)
do this while the burner tube is out. rust will other wise fall on the freshkly cleaned burner tube...
refrigerator vent
this is the large air shaft the terminates through the roof. Make sure the duct is clean and free of debris, top to bottom

Doing these steps will most likely give you a very satisfying LP refrigeration experience.

If the electric function is out of order, then you need to check if the heater probe is getting power. If it is, then it's likely burned out. This probe is easy to replace. Find the wires that go near the burner flue, and follw them to the heater element ( probe) Most of the Dometic fridges of your vintage take a 150W probe.
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Old 08-07-2004, 05:43 AM   #8
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OK, I kind of had the same problem. I could not get the fridge to run on AC. I called around and was told to buy a new one. I started reading through the manual-nothing. So I glanced at the schematic drawing. There is a toggle switch located at the bottom of the fridge. When you open your fridge and turn the nob to select ELEC. It ratates a handle that turns the switch on. The toggle was stuck and although the nob turned, it wasn't doing the job. I greased up the nob and cleaned the toggle and I have ice cold fridge. The manual doesn't talk about the toggle at all. Rob
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Old 08-07-2004, 01:34 PM   #9
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Has anyone had the problem with the toggle switch?
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Old 08-07-2004, 02:33 PM   #10
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My "remote" lighter and mode switch is long gone.
I have to open the hatch behind the fridge to light it. My toggle is blocked when the gas valve is on, must turn gas off before activating electric function toggle.
Can't turn gas on with toggle switch on at the same time.
But I have no problems with the toggle switch.
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Old 08-07-2004, 06:14 PM   #11
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Hot reefer vent??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pahaska
The refrigerator flame is about the size of a pilot light, even while in high flame mode. It uses very little propane.

With my International with 20# tanks, I used about 3 20# tanks a year and I used that trailer a lot in all seasons. That usage includes running on propane full time when on the road, water heater use, and some furnace use. I mostly used 120v ceramic heaters rather than the furnace.

In my 25 Classic, I have the heat punp and gas-electric water heater, so I use propane for furnace and water-heater mostly during shower time, the rest of the time, I am on 120v. I run the furnace only because it ducts heat into the bathroom. I still run the fridge on propane while travelling. I have about 7000 miles on the trailer now and I have used 1 1/2 30# tanks so far.
I recently purchased a '72 Overlander International and was pleased that the reefer works fine on gas and electric.

However, I'm a little concerned that for what everyone says is a "little" flame the darn thing sure seems to put out a lota heat!

The plastic cover that covers what I assume is the vent assembly to the roof above the reefer inside the upper closet area really feels hot to the touch (80 degree day). Is this normal? Thanks!
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Old 08-07-2004, 11:36 PM   #12
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A/C,
My counter top above the fridge gets good and warm at the rear, and the inside plastic vent you are talking about get s warm as well, but not hot to the point where you feel it stinging or anything like that. I'd say a little above "warm" is normal?
Anyone else have different advice?
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