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Old 08-04-2008, 06:14 PM   #1
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1982 28' Airstream 280
Venice , California
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 73
RM 3807 Refridge-I-hate-ya

Expensive, complicated and fragile. Gee, i wonder why there's a whole forum dedicated to these RV fridge boxes!

My 270 motorhome restoration is coming along very nicely (I even put in a photo below of my new sink and vanity, of which I'm quite proud...). But I have been waiting to attack my fridge until now. It's the tri-mode 3807 and it doesn't work on any of the three modes. I've read the forums and the manual and am sure i'm attempting to operate it correctly. Some diagnostic info:

It doesn't even get marginally cold after being on for hours.
In auto, in AC/Gas or in Gas, there is no chill.
The panel lights are all working correctly.
The check light stays on most of the time, but not all
There is no pilot light
I have used compressed air to blow out the area around the pilot light (de-spidering, as I've read).
There is gas in the propane tank.
The stove burners work perfectly well.
I've just purchased this RV and have never had the fridge working.
The previous owner is not available to answer any questions.
It appears clean and in good condition, save for the crappy wiring in the access panel (see photos).

I don't want to spend $1500 for a new one and I have to have it working in 7 days. I know I can go and buy the circuit board for $129. But is that what's likely wrong? Any other ideas?

Thanks, guys and girls...

/dalefox
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Old 08-04-2008, 10:41 PM   #2
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1972 Argosy 20
youngstown , Ohio
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 72
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I can sort of feel mine going away the more I read about the things..
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Old 08-04-2008, 11:38 PM   #3
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Elgin , Texas
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 800
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalefox View Post
Expensive, complicated and fragile. Gee, i wonder why there's a whole forum dedicated to these RV fridge boxes!

My 270 motorhome restoration is coming along very nicely (I even put in a photo below of my new sink and vanity, of which I'm quite proud...). But I have been waiting to attack my fridge until now. It's the tri-mode 3807 and it doesn't work on any of the three modes. I've read the forums and the manual and am sure i'm attempting to operate it correctly. Some diagnostic info:

It doesn't even get marginally cold after being on for hours.
In auto, in AC/Gas or in Gas, there is no chill.
The panel lights are all working correctly.
The check light stays on most of the time, but not all
There is no pilot light
I have used compressed air to blow out the area around the pilot light (de-spidering, as I've read).
There is gas in the propane tank.
The stove burners work perfectly well.
I've just purchased this RV and have never had the fridge working.
The previous owner is not available to answer any questions.
It appears clean and in good condition, save for the crappy wiring in the access panel (see photos).

I don't want to spend $1500 for a new one and I have to have it working in 7 days. I know I can go and buy the circuit board for $129. But is that what's likely wrong? Any other ideas?

Thanks, guys and girls...

/dalefox
Dale,

I fixed my own RM 3807. At first I upgraded to a dinosaur circuit board. Didn't make much difference, even with the board set to the coldest setting.Make sure your 12-volt connection at the base of the fridge is good - if you don't have that, you won't get too far. You're probably looking at a new cooling unit. Not cheap, but cheaper than a new fridge. Sometimes the lines rust through and then you have dangerous ammonia seeping into the trailer. Another possibility is that there is a blockage somewhere in the line that is chemical buildup created after years of use. Sometimes you can "burp" them - remove the fridge and turn it upside down and leave it for a day or so in order to dislodge the obstruction. If it still isn't working, it's time for a new cooling unit. I've had mine running for the past three weeks hooked up here at home - temperatures inside the trailer easily 120 - the freezer has a healthy layer of frost in it, and the drinks in the fridge are nice and cold.

Member "John_HD" did a nice step by step pictorial (complete with beer ) here.

Good luck!
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Old 08-05-2008, 01:13 AM   #4
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Naples, FL , Hood River, OR
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,278
dalefox,

Several things to check before you go and get a new unit.

First, are your heat sources working properly? Do you get a nice strong blue flame on LP, and does your 120VAC heating element get hot when on the AC setting (the round boiler tube will get hot to the touch in about 15 minutes)?

If so, there is a good possibility that your control board is functioning, but your cooling unit is NOT responding to the heating action and warming the refrigerant (ammonia, hydrogen and sodium chromate). Remove the unit and check all around the cooling unit for yellow staining...an indication of a refrigerant leak!

Also, if the trailer has sat idle for an extended period, there is a better chance that the sodium chromate salts (used as an anti-corrosive in the refrigerant) has crystallized in one of the smaller tubes of the cooling unit and it is now blocked. If this is the condition, you need a new cooling unit.

While I have participated in a 'burping' procedure, the unit in question was working and cooling , but not getting cool enough. The 'burping' action loosened the partial blockage, and the unit regained it's cooling power due to the now unrestricted flow of the refrigerant within the cooling unit. I don't feel that this will work for you, but you have nothing to loose in trying it as it is basically a free procedure.

At best, the blockage will dislodge and the unit will work (until the hard crystalline sodium blocks another tube) and at worst, it will do nothing and you'll have to replace the cooling unit. Many are available....some with warranties. Keep us posted..............

Good Luck!
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