Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-29-2012, 05:47 AM   #1
4 Rivet Member
 
Davis's Avatar
 
1996 34' Excella
Americus , Georgia
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 307
Refrigerator not getting cold enough

I have a Dometic RM3804 in my 91 34ft trailer. I have owned the trailer for 9 years and have had issues with refrigeration performance the whole time but this past weekend was by far the worst.I actually had to throw out the contents when we got home due to spoilage.
The refrigerator works fine in cooler temps but suffers during the summer.

The ambient temp was around 95 deg outside and the fridge was on 50-55deg and the freezer was 15 deg .

Things that I have done in the past to help with this are installing a roof vent exhaust fan and install a 12volt fan in the fridge that attatches to the coil to circulate the air .These two things seemed to help last year but not this year.Also I replaced the circuit board last year as well.

Is it possible that the cooling unit needs to be replaced ? I hate to replace the entire refrigerator due to having to modify the cabinet unless if that is the best solution. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
__________________

__________________
1991 Airstream Excella 1000 34ft (SOLD)
1994 Chevrolet Crew Cab dually 2WD 6.5td
2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 1500 2WD 5.3
WBCCI # 10219 Georgia Unit
AIR # 5131
Davis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 06:41 AM   #2
Vintage Kin
 
slowmover's Avatar
 
Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 7,583
Images: 1
Subscribed. Look forward to how a 21-yr old reefer can be diagnosed, maybe fixed. I had questions about the one in our '83 SS but sold it prior to a go-through.

Is the airflow from bottom to top still "strong"? Sealed sides, all that, done previously?

.
__________________

__________________
1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 9-cpm solo, 15-cpm towing
Sold: Silver Streak Model 3411
slowmover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 07:38 AM   #3
Rivet Master
Airstream Dealer
 
Inland RV Center, In's Avatar
 
Corona , California
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 16,499
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Davis View Post
I have a Dometic RM3804 in my 91 34ft trailer. I have owned the trailer for 9 years and have had issues with refrigeration performance the whole time but this past weekend was by far the worst.I actually had to throw out the contents when we got home due to spoilage.
The refrigerator works fine in cooler temps but suffers during the summer.

The ambient temp was around 95 deg outside and the fridge was on 50-55deg and the freezer was 15 deg .

Things that I have done in the past to help with this are installing a roof vent exhaust fan and install a 12volt fan in the fridge that attatches to the coil to circulate the air .These two things seemed to help last year but not this year.Also I replaced the circuit board last year as well.

Is it possible that the cooling unit needs to be replaced ? I hate to replace the entire refrigerator due to having to modify the cabinet unless if that is the best solution. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Does the inadequate cooling happen on LPG or electric?

Andy
__________________
Inland RV Center, In is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 08:53 AM   #4
4 Rivet Member
 
Davis's Avatar
 
1996 34' Excella
Americus , Georgia
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 307
The cooling problem is on both LPG and electric but seems worse on LPG.

The cooling unit was replced bt previous owner back in 2000.

There is no blockage in airflow at the bottom access door or the roof vent. Although there is alot of open space in the cabinet behind the refrigerator in this trailer which some owners say could cause problems.
__________________
1991 Airstream Excella 1000 34ft (SOLD)
1994 Chevrolet Crew Cab dually 2WD 6.5td
2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 1500 2WD 5.3
WBCCI # 10219 Georgia Unit
AIR # 5131
Davis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 10:10 AM   #5
Rivet Master
Airstream Dealer
 
Inland RV Center, In's Avatar
 
Corona , California
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 16,499
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Davis View Post
The cooling problem is on both LPG and electric but seems worse on LPG.

The cooling unit was replced bt previous owner back in 2000.

There is no blockage in airflow at the bottom access door or the roof vent. Although there is alot of open space in the cabinet behind the refrigerator in this trailer which some owners say could cause problems.
The cooling should be the same regardless of the heat source. However, if the LPG pressure is low, or the burner orifice is partially clogged, then the cooling in the LPG mode would be less than the electric mode.

That is also assuming that the reefer was level, if not, then that can cause the same poor cooling.

If you have done everything by the book, then not what you want to hear, but the cooling coil is kaput.

Andy
__________________
Inland RV Center, In is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 12:02 PM   #6
4 Rivet Member
 
Davis's Avatar
 
1996 34' Excella
Americus , Georgia
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 307
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
The cooling should be the same regardless of the heat source. However, if the LPG pressure is low, or the burner orifice is partially clogged, then the cooling in the LPG mode would be less than the electric mode.

That is also assuming that the reefer was level, if not, then that can cause the same poor cooling.

If you have done everything by the book, then not what you want to hear, but the cooling coil is kaput.

Andy
Thanks Andy,
I did adjust the regulator last year to 11 psi and that made a difference in the burner flame but still not cooling good on either power source.

If I wanted to replace the entire refrigerator unit is there a model available that would not require modifying the cabinet ?
__________________
1991 Airstream Excella 1000 34ft (SOLD)
1994 Chevrolet Crew Cab dually 2WD 6.5td
2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 1500 2WD 5.3
WBCCI # 10219 Georgia Unit
AIR # 5131
Davis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 12:06 PM   #7
Rivet Master
 
TouringDan's Avatar

 
1966 24' Tradewind
1995 34' Excella
Lynchburg , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,472
Andy

By kaput, do you mean that the coil has lost its ammonia charge? If that is so, then I would think that it would not cool at all. If there is not a leak then there is ammonia in the coil and it should work. If there is a leak, then all the ammonia will leak out so there can be no refrigeration, I would think. I am not sure that there is not an air flow problem.

Davis

I would operate it on electric, and do some temperature measurements and look at an airflow problem.

15 degrees in the freezer sounds fine to me, but 50 is way to warm in the fridge.

I have had issues with my fridge also. Warm weather is tough. Mine works fine sometimes and other times, not so well. I just returned from 4 days of boondocking, and it worked fine. I checked the temperature one time and it was 37 degrees. The cream for me coffee was fine and the beer was cold. No need to buy ice. I did not check the freezer temp.
Good luck. You are not alone.

Dan
__________________
TouringDan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 12:09 PM   #8
Site Team
 
azflycaster's Avatar
 
1975 25' Tradewind
Dewey , Arizona
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 12,127
Images: 62
Blog Entries: 1
The RB2820 is very close according to this chart:
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...8ZW66Q&cad=rja
__________________

Richard

Wally Byam Airstream Club 7513
azflycaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 12:56 PM   #9
Rivet Master
 
1977 Argosy 24
Currently Looking...
Milltown , Wisconsin
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,069
I would take off the top roof vent and look down the hole. In my 1964 Avion the factory riveted a screen on the inside of the trailer under the air shoot that ducts the warm air to the roof vent. The screen was about 90% plugged when I finally found it. I removed the screen and my 48 year old fridge works just great now.
__________________
ventport is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 01:26 PM   #10
4 Rivet Member
 
Davis's Avatar
 
1996 34' Excella
Americus , Georgia
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 307
I did remove the roof vent when I installed the exhaust fan. The screen was clear. I have even had a small electric fan at the bottom to push the air but that did not solve the problem.
At one time I was told that Airstream had too much dead air space in the rear of the fridge unit and that it would not vent properly that being said it would not matter whether or not I replaced the cooling unit or the refrigerator but there again I am not sure on that theory either.

I do know that it operates ok in cooler months and suffers greatly in the summer. It will maintain temps below 40 in the lower section when the ambient temps are below 85 deg.

Any ambient temp over 85 deg the refrigerator starts to get warmer in the lower section. All doors close good and door gaskets are intact. Have even tried the dollar bill drag technique and there was no problem.

Is there any way to check the cooling unit for flow problems ?
__________________
1991 Airstream Excella 1000 34ft (SOLD)
1994 Chevrolet Crew Cab dually 2WD 6.5td
2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 1500 2WD 5.3
WBCCI # 10219 Georgia Unit
AIR # 5131
Davis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 03:58 PM   #11
New Member
 
1994 30' Excella
Pensacola , Florida
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 3
I have a similar problem in that my unit cools fine on electrical, however on LP it starts to warm. Is there an adjustment for the LP burner on these systems?
__________________
mjdsquad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 04:23 PM   #12
4 Rivet Member
 
Davis's Avatar
 
1996 34' Excella
Americus , Georgia
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 307
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjdsquad View Post
I have a similar problem in that my unit cools fine on electrical, however on LP it starts to warm. Is there an adjustment for the LP burner on these systems?
Last year I had to adjust the regulator at the propane tanks to increase the pressure to 11 psi.and that helped the flame be a little taller.
__________________
1991 Airstream Excella 1000 34ft (SOLD)
1994 Chevrolet Crew Cab dually 2WD 6.5td
2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 1500 2WD 5.3
WBCCI # 10219 Georgia Unit
AIR # 5131
Davis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 05:13 PM   #13
Moderator
 
DKB_SATX's Avatar

 
2017 26' Flying Cloud
1976 Argosy 28
Alamo Heights , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,401
Images: 1
Blog Entries: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Davis View Post
Last year I had to adjust the regulator at the propane tanks to increase the pressure to 11 psi.and that helped the flame be a little taller.
Not to be intentionally nit-picky, but for future reference of people reading this thread, the gas pressure on the output side of our LP regulators is usually specified in inches of water, NOT psi.

11 inches of water is about 0.4 psi.

DKB
__________________
David

Zero Gravitas 2017 Flying Cloud 26U | Il Progetto 1976 Argosy 28 Center Bath | WBCCI# 15566

He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire. Sir Winston Churchill
DKB_SATX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 05:36 PM   #14
4 Rivet Member
 
Davis's Avatar
 
1996 34' Excella
Americus , Georgia
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 307
Quote:
Originally Posted by DKB_SATX View Post
Not to be intentionally nit-picky, but for future reference of people reading this thread, the gas pressure on the output side of our LP regulators is usually specified in inches of water, NOT psi.

11 inches of water is about 0.4 psi.

DKB

My mistake . Sorry about that.
__________________

__________________
1991 Airstream Excella 1000 34ft (SOLD)
1994 Chevrolet Crew Cab dually 2WD 6.5td
2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 1500 2WD 5.3
WBCCI # 10219 Georgia Unit
AIR # 5131
Davis is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:02 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.