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Old 07-11-2015, 04:18 PM   #1
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Understanding LED on Fridge

I'm enjoying the learning curve since having my new (to us) AS. It is a 2009 25' Int.

I was working with the fridge today. Of course it operates with both gas and electric, as it should. It has a LED display but I cannot understand the meaning of the numbers. What do they mean. The display is shown below. Help please.

Also which cools the quickest, gas or electric?

Thanks!
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Old 07-11-2015, 04:29 PM   #2
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That's telling you it's running on electric (the green dot on the left as opposed to being on the LP/propane side). It's telling you it's 60 degrees Fahrenheit. It may be more than that - I think that's as high as it goes.

Set it for cooling at level 5 and it will get nice and cool over the next 24 hours. 5 is coldest and 1 is warmer.

I don't know if electric or propane is faster. We start ours the night before we leave with ice packs in the fridge and freezer together with some stuff like a cold flat of water, cold foods, etc. By the day we're ready to leave it's nice and cold (in the 30s) and when we get to the campground, we usually go to electric since we're paying for that and don't want to waste propane for it (yes, we're cheap &#128515.
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Old 07-11-2015, 04:33 PM   #3
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I just spent the first two weeks with a 2015 27FB Airstream and love the fridge ť freezer. The controls for the unit are available when you open the freezer door.

There is an On / Off button, a Mode button which moves the ``Dot`` fron Auto to propane and back again and the temperature set button which cycles between 1, 2...5 with 5 being the coldest. When the dot is beside auto it runs on 120 volt power if available or switches to propane if not on shore power.

Propane certainly cools faster than 120 volt power.

Mike
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Old 07-11-2015, 05:01 PM   #4
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Got it. It didn't dawn on me that it might be the temperature of the fridge. Completely understand now.

Also good tip to use ice packs (and other pre-cooled items) to help cool the unit the day prior to travel.

Thanks!
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Old 07-12-2015, 11:53 AM   #5
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I actually give it 2+ days to cool prior to a trip. When we start traveling, only things that have been in the frig or freezer in the house getting cooled or frozen gets into the AS. Works great!!!!
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Old 07-12-2015, 12:45 PM   #6
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Mine will cool down to under 40 in 12 hours. After 12 more hours, it is about 33 on the top fridge shelf.
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Old 07-12-2015, 12:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newmarketca View Post
I just spent the first two weeks with a 2015 27FB Airstream and love the fridge ť freezer. The controls for the unit are available when you open the freezer door.

There is an On / Off button, a Mode button which moves the ``Dot`` fron Auto to propane and back again and the temperature set button which cycles between 1, 2...5 with 5 being the coldest. When the dot is beside auto it runs on 120 volt power if available or switches to propane if not on shore power.

Propane certainly cools faster than 120 volt power.

Mike
Newmarket has it just right--perfect description! BUT--our experience is atypical in that we find that electric cools faster than propane. I know that this is not how it's supposed to be--the propane side is supposed to be more efficient--but it's what we've observed.

Please also note that when traveling, if you've set it to AUTO (recommended as it automatically switches to electric when plugged in to shore power and then goes back to propane when not), the pilot can burn out when you're going down the road and your refrigerator will then not work. This happens especially when it's windy. We're going to be installing a baffle near the pilot in an attempt to thwart this.

Finally please note that (at least on our dometic) the temp gauge does not always reset upwards. We have seen it read 36 degrees when it's actually much warmer. Opening the door briefly and turning it off then on will reset the temp and tell you what's actually going on. It's at this point that you might want to make the setting colder. Since we are usually in warm climates, 4 holds the reefer temp pretty well around 35, but for really hot days (95 and up), the refrigerator struggles even at 5, the coldest setting. If you have an awning on that side, very important to use it.

Our RV refrigerators are not as powerful or as efficient as the models at home. I once read that with these refrigerators, for every second that the door is open it takes a minute to get the temperature back to where it was. So if you open the door for a quick ten second peek, it's a full ten minutes until it's back to the old temperature. None of this holding the door open and deciding what you want to eat stuff!
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Old 07-12-2015, 01:27 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by gecko View Post
Please also note that when traveling, if you've set it to AUTO (recommended as it automatically switches to electric when plugged in to shore power and then goes back to propane when not), the pilot can burn out when you're going down the road and your refrigerator will then not work. This happens especially when it's windy. We're going to be installing a baffle near the pilot in an attempt to thwart this.

It's at this point that you might want to make the setting colder. Since we are usually in warm climates, 4 holds the reefer temp pretty well around 35, but for really hot days (95 and up), the refrigerator struggles even at 5, the coldest setting.
Just a couple of clarifications on the comments above. This is for accuracy, not to be a know it all, or to criticize.

1. There is no "pilot" to burn out (or go out). The refrigerator lights with an automatic spark lighting system each time it calls for cooling. Certainly a misplaced baffle or none can cause the burner to not light, and that is what is happening. The circuit board generally attempts 3 times to light, and if it does not sense that the flame is going, it will shut down completely until manually reset.

Now, older refrigerators (roughly pre 1985) did have a low flame/high flame situation, and burned continuously something like a pilot light, but it was a low flame on the main burner. Dometic also still makes a 4 and a 5 cubic foot (small) model using the high/low flame system and no electronic ignition, but they are pretty rare.


2. The thermostat is simply a temperature controlled switch. It cannot change the capacity of the cooling system. So turning it higher (5 rather than 4) will not matter on a hot day. If it is running flat out on 4 and not cooling well enough, running it on 5 will make no difference. It will still be running flat out. 5 may force it to run flat out even at night and pre cool or overcool the unit to give it a little headroom the next day.

I hope that helps understanding of the refrigerator a little more. Once again, it was not intended as a criticism, only as a clarification.
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Old 07-12-2015, 03:12 PM   #9
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As a newbie, I was recently made fun of on the form for not knowing the difference between a converter and an inverter (not this thread), so I appreciate when someone is professional enough to give accurate information in a gently correcting manner while being sensitive to the various knowledge levels of the readers. Well done.

On a different note, I have hopefully increased the efficiency of our refrigerator while drastically reducing fan noise on our new AS with the following modifications in the picture below. This first picture was the original fan and the second are the new fans.
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Old 07-13-2015, 07:58 AM   #10
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The actual temperature could be higher than 60. That is as high as it goes. We have a thermometer in the refrigerator to get the actual temperature.
We turn the refrigerator on a day before we head out. By the time we pull away it is down to 36 or 38.
When I turn on the refrigerator a day before departure, I turn the "use/store" switch to "use". Then I push the refrigerator button to "on" and "auto". That's all there is to it. Easy.
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Old 07-13-2015, 08:13 AM   #11
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Be sure to defrost regularly for proper operation.
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Old 07-13-2015, 10:20 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idroba View Post
Just a couple of clarifications on the comments above. This is for accuracy, not to be a know it all, or to criticize.

1. There is no "pilot" to burn out (or go out). The refrigerator lights with an automatic spark lighting system each time it calls for cooling. Certainly a misplaced baffle or none can cause the burner to not light, and that is what is happening. The circuit board generally attempts 3 times to light, and if it does not sense that the flame is going, it will shut down completely until manually reset.

Now, older refrigerators (roughly pre 1985) did have a low flame/high flame situation, and burned continuously something like a pilot light, but it was a low flame on the main burner. Dometic also still makes a 4 and a 5 cubic foot (small) model using the high/low flame system and no electronic ignition, but they are pretty rare.


2. The thermostat is simply a temperature controlled switch. It cannot change the capacity of the cooling system. So turning it higher (5 rather than 4) will not matter on a hot day. If it is running flat out on 4 and not cooling well enough, running it on 5 will make no difference. It will still be running flat out. 5 may force it to run flat out even at night and pre cool or overcool the unit to give it a little headroom the next day.

I hope that helps understanding of the refrigerator a little more. Once again, it was not intended as a criticism, only as a clarification.
Thanks for straightening out that confusion! Pragmatically, of course, the results are the same, but it's great to know what's really going on.

Hopefully, the wind baffle will eliminate the problem of the three attempts to light and then you're out! when going down the road. And I suspect that the reason that the higher setting pragmatically works better is exactly as you stated. But it also might be that if there is poor circulation inside the refrigerator, the lower temp shutoff to the full on/full off may keep the cooling unit on longer at 5 than it does at 4 ( in addition to cooling deeper at night to help with "pre-cool.")

Do you have any thoughts on our experience that we cool more quickly on shore power than we do on LP, when we know that the opposite is supposed to be true? Have you found that switching from shore power to LP on really hot days actually keeps the temperature lower for you, or does it just cool more quickly initially?
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Old 07-13-2015, 11:16 AM   #13
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The ultimate solution: junk the 100+ year old super inefficient technology and replace it with a quality marine fridge with a Danfoss-based compressor cooling system.

Cools to temperature in about an hour, holds temperature even in very high ambient conditions, keeps ice cream ROCK HARD ( no more RV soft-serve!) and work 30 degrees off level.

12 VDC or 12 VDC/ 120 VAC operation and virtually silent.


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Old 07-13-2015, 12:15 PM   #14
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The ultimate solution: junk the 100+ year old super inefficient technology and replace it with a quality marine fridge with a Danfoss-based compressor cooling system.

Cools to temperature in about an hour, holds temperature even in very high ambient conditions, keeps ice cream ROCK HARD ( no more RV soft-serve!) and work 30 degrees off level.

12 VDC or 12 VDC/ 120 VAC operation and virtually silent.
Brand recommendation? What about propane? We boondock a lot.
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