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Old 03-21-2016, 03:16 PM   #1
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2016 16' Sport
Hilton Head , South Carolina
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Dometic refrigerator failed on first trip

Has anyone here experienced a similar problem?!

We bought our 2016 Bambi Sport 16' in February and recently took it to Florida for a shake-out trip. Refrigerator worked fine for a day and a half. But then the fan began to run 24/7 and the refrigerator started to get warm. For the next two nights we had to turn all the power to the trailer off overnight just to get some sleep, then turned it back on the next morning. By the time we returned home two days later, the refrigerator was barely cool and the ice was mostly melted.

My husband thought he felt warm air coming out of the vent initially. Later, when the fan ran continuously, the air from the vent was cool.

Obviously, it's still under warranty, but our dealer is a 7-hour round trip away, a trip we'd have to make twice... Has anyone experienced something like this with their Dometic fridge?
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Old 03-21-2016, 03:22 PM   #2
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That stinks. Sorry you are having issues with your Bambi.

I am new to Airstreams, but not to small RVs. I can't say I've heard of a similar early demise of a Dometic fridge. The ammonia-based absorbtion system seems pretty reliable to me.

Maybe some things to try?

Do you smell ammonia? That would not be cool, and would possibly indicate a failure of the absorbtion circuit.

Does the fridge have multiple (as in, DC, or AC, or Gas) operating modes? If so, have you tried them all?

Have you tried removing 'all' power from the fridge for a few minutes to allow it to reset?

All I can think of...sound like a trip to the dealer unfortunately.
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Old 03-21-2016, 04:32 PM   #3
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Call Airstream and double check that the reefer is warranteed by Dometic. Answer should be "yes"

Have it fixed locally by a Dometic authorized repair facility near you (the website should help you find one)

There is nothing Airstream specific about the reefer -- any competent RV tech can sort it out.

We had our Dometic AC repaired on the road by an independent shop and there was no charge.

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Old 03-21-2016, 06:12 PM   #4
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No ammonia, operated in both modes but "died" while on shore power. Additionally the fan would not turn off even when turning off the power switch--we had to pull the breaker. Probably would have if we pulled the shore power, but it was midnight in Florida bear country and we weren't keen on a trip outside.
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Old 03-21-2016, 06:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TerriHHI View Post
No ammonia, operated in both modes but "died" while on shore power. Additionally the fan would not turn off even when turning off the power switch--we had to pull the breaker. Probably would have if we pulled the shore power, but it was midnight in Florida bear country and we weren't keen on a trip outside.

Well shoot.

But as 2916 said, maybe a local Dometic dealer can service it? Certainly worth a call to Airstream before heading down the road.

Concur on Fl bear country. Glad ASs have Alum sides after doing many hikes in tents.
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Old 03-22-2016, 01:34 PM   #6
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Dometic Fridge Problems

We have a 2013 25' International in which the refrigerator didn't work properly for most of the two year warranty period. A couple of things we have learned: 1) be sure the thermistor (a small white clip with wire attached) is properly attached to a cooling fin on inside of refrigerator above top shelf. If thermistor isn't attached, refrigerator won't cool no matter if you're running on propane or electric. 2) If running on gas you should be feeling hot exhaust from burner at outside access panel. The problems Airstream diagnosed/fixed during this frustrating period included replacement of an electrical board, reattachment of the thermistor and eventually replacement of the thermistor itself... after eventually finding that the thermistor was not operating properly on an intermittent basis. I recommend getting to an authorized Dometic repair facility, because everything our Airstream dealership did had to be coordinated through Dometic anyway. Regarding the fan... there is an external cooling fan that comes on to cool external fins when temp exceeds something like 85 degrees. That fan can run a lot in warm weather and is rather whiny/noisy. We had an on/off switch installed so we can turn that fan off at night, which makes it quieter for sleeping; and then turn it back on in morning. Good luck to you. We had our first consecutive trips where refrigerator worked properly in late 2015 and early 2016, so are just starting to really enjoy traveling in the Airstream!
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Old 03-22-2016, 02:04 PM   #7
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When you get the fridge repaired you may want to replace that fan with a quieter model and put in an on/off switch. Airstream uses the Dometic fan probably.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f425...lly-11811.html

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Old 03-22-2016, 07:46 PM   #8
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Corolla , North Carolina
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STOP THAT FAN NOISE. Fan is mounted to the trailer shell and the noise is amplified as such. Get two rubber isolation mounts (McMaster-Carr)with the same screw threads and place between the fan and trailer. You won't need the on/off switch as then there will be peace.
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