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Old 03-01-2015, 09:13 PM   #15
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If you can't get things stable, give Airstream a call and see where they want you to go. For all intents any authorized service facility for your refrigerator should be able to look at your fridge and diagnose what is going on. While you have a warranty from Airstream, the fridge also carries a manufacturers warranty. Hopefully that warranty is for the same length of time as is Airstream's. In some cases warranties on some appliance may actually be longer than Airstream's. I found that out on my tank monitor panel which had a 5 year warranty from the manufacturer.

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Old 03-01-2015, 09:18 PM   #16
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What is showing on the little LED screen on the top molding?

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Old 03-01-2015, 09:36 PM   #17
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The display was reading 60 but it's dropping to 53 now. Buttons just don't function. This thing has a mind of its own but as long as the milk stays cold, were okay!
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Old 03-01-2015, 09:36 PM   #18
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(It also has the auto "dot" selected)
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Old 03-01-2015, 09:42 PM   #19
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That part sounds like it is working properly. The 53 should be the temp in the refrigerator section. When you push the button on the right behind the freezer door, it should show a number 1 through 5. Is it doing that?

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Old 03-01-2015, 10:18 PM   #20
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Fridge really needs to be turned on WAY early so it can cool down. We crank ours up a full day before we load it with pre-cooled food from the home fridge. Even on propane it takes on the close order of forever to cool off.

One of those things I read on the forums after I thought ours was not working... 😣


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Old 03-02-2015, 05:01 AM   #21
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Ditto to all of the comments about needing time to cool down the refrigerator. We turn ours on to cool down a day ahead of leaving on a trip. You will also find it cools down and maintains temperature in use better when it is packed full.

We use one of the little battery powered refrigerator fans inside the refrigerator compartment. It circulates the cool air on very hot days, and seems to help in maintaining temperature. They can be purchased at most Camping World or other RV stores. The cost is low.

Another refrigerator trick when on the road is to carry some of the Coleman or other brand freezer packs. Freeze them in your freezer overnight then lay them on the top shelf of your refrigerator the next day before starting out. Cold air descends so the frozen packs help keep the interior air cool.

There are multiple threads on refrigerator cooling issues. Some Airstreamers have added 12 volt or even solar powered fans to the "chimney" behind the refrigerator unit that allows the warm air given off by the unit to escape out the exhaust vent on the roof. The internal battery operated fan solved our cooling issues on hot travel days so I haven't added the external fan.

There are mixed opinions about running the refrigerator on gas while driving down the highway. Some don't for perceived safety reasons. We do. Occasionally the air movement from an 18 wheeler passing will blow out the flame. Almost always the refrigerator pilot will relight but after a few unsuccessful tries it automatically stops and shuts the gas off. Therefore we always check the refrigerator every time we stop. Restarting is easy. Simply do the normal start from the inside on gas.

The problem of the gas flame blowing out on the road can be minimized by cutting a particular "cut to size" furnace filter, sold by Home Depot, to fit just inside the vented access door on the exterior of the trailer behind the refrigerator. I believe I posted a thread with photos of this easy modification a couple of years ago. Another Airstreamer shared the idea with me. There are several "cut to fit" furnace filters sold. If you go this route, make sure you get one that isn't made of paper or a flammable natural substance. The one I bought is blue in color and works well. The structure of the fibers is open enough to facilitate easy air movement while the filter is thick enough to slow fast moving air. On a trip going across the Texas panhandle with 35 mph cross winds and 18 wheelers passing constantly our refrigerator flame never blew out.

We have experienced the freezer door coming open 2 or 3 times on rough washboard roads while traveling and finding the contents on the floor when we stopped for fuel or a rest. My wife solved this problem by applying a couple of strips of painter's tape from the front of the freezer door to the side wall. This seems to be enough to secure the door even if the locking latch loosens during travel and the tape can be reused several times before it won't adhere adequately. I've seen a thread where an owner secured metal loops to the walls on either side of the refrigerator door and runs a long Velcro strip through the loops and across the door when on the highway. I'm intrigued by this solution but so far haven't been permitted to execute it for aesthetic reasons. Don't ask me why the painter's tape passes the visual test.

It took us a few outings to become comfortable with the operation of the refrigerator and learn its nuances. It is all part of bonding with your trailer.


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Old 03-02-2015, 10:53 AM   #22
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Glad to hear the fridge is working, sort of. The highest temp the display will say is 60˚, even if it is 100˚ in there. You, can speed up the process by putting it on gas and/or by putting ice or frozen gel packs in there. We do the latter. We turn on the fridge a day or more before we leave. We start packing it the night before because by then it is cold enough.

I don't know why the buttons don't work, but the rubber covers may be displaced. Try to straighten them. A small battery powered fan inside the fridge will circulate air, but it is not all that effective. Lots of food gets in way of air circulation, but lots of cold food keeps the fridge cold and temps more even. Check the flue for obstructions—birds build nests in it, even at the dealership, and spiders like it too. A fan in the flue works better, but I've never had to use one.

There should be a baffle in front of the gas burner to reduce wind—Dometic started installing them about 10 years ago. I suppose it could have been removed.

The circuit board could be cracked so that some signals from the buttons are not getting through the electronics. Check Dometic's website to see if it explains where the circuit board is so you can inspect it.

We had troubles with ours last year and it turned out the flue was obstructed. Clean it and problem solved.

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Old 03-02-2015, 01:08 PM   #23
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Wow, as a recently new camper and a totally new to Airstream Forum I am really impressed with how you help each other. Hopefully I never need it, but I know it is there and I like that.
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Old 03-02-2015, 01:57 PM   #24
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Colonial also taught me that you can do a complete reset on the reefer. Disconnect all power, turn off the propane and inverter. After thirty minutes reconnect the power. It will take a full day for it to get down.

Introducing warm foods will drive the temp up...but it will resettle.

I had problems on my first trip, and have never had a problem since, with temps running 30-32 degrees.
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Old 03-02-2015, 02:42 PM   #25
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To disconnect all power to the fridge I'd remove the 12 v. fuse and unplug the cord from the 120 v. receptacle in the back of the fridge. You'll still have power for everything else. There should be a gas valve you can shut off near the gas burner—it probably turns 1/4 turn to shut off. The lever on the valve will be perpendicular for shut off and in line of the propane line when open—all gas valves are like that and you can make sure if it was on or off.

Having experienced a balky fridge filled with food, a sick fridge is a genuine bummer. You can't refreeze melted ice cream. These type of fridges are not as reliable as a residential fridge and cost just about as much. Though I've read about how they work, it still mystifies me, maybe because it involves chemistry. In a general sense, it is similar to a residential one—a gas runs around chasing another gas and they expand and contract, picking up the heat from the inside and depositing it outside—it doesn't make it cold, it subtracts heat inside. Like a bomb, knowing the theory isn't much help when you have to figure out which wire to remove.

Larry', we help each other because no one knows everything and when you are new to RV's, the learning curve is steep. But someday you'll be helping people. It is a community.

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Old 03-11-2015, 01:05 PM   #26
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To all; thanks so much for the feedback.

To Larry; I'm brand stinkin new to this and would be seriously lost without this forum. At a minimum its a sounding board to help the process of elimination. There is so much new tech colliding with old tech on these new Airstreams that I find myself constantly victim to not knowing some little trick to make it all work.

As a final update; the next morning after returning home from the trip, the buttons on the panel began working again and full functionality restored. WEIRD! Planning to have it checked this summer at the factory. I suspect a bad connection somewhere.

Also, when we did get the fridge operating that first day (on auto, no indicator light next to LP) it cooled to 30 degrees within a matter of 5 hours. Outside air temp was in the 70's at the time and the contents of the fridge all probably reached 55 degrees. I was really impressed by how well it worked ONCE IT WORKED.
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Old 04-05-2015, 06:15 PM   #27
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In preparation for our first week long trip, I decided I start up the fridge plenty early this time. Propane tanks were reinstalled (I have to remove them for my storage facility) ((nobody else does but it's written right in the lease agreement)) and sure enough... nothing happened. No LED display, nothing. Just like last time. Went right to the stove, turned it on, it flamed out then came back on once fuel returned.

Having let it sit for a couple hours and reading back through peoples comments here, I tried playing with the control panel (inside the fridge) and as soon as I pushed up on it, it clicked on. No coincidence this time and i think previously I got lucky somehow because I never touched it.

Bottom line, I don't control my fridge, it controls me. But as said before, as long as stuff stays cold I'm happy.
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