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Old 05-15-2015, 10:20 AM   #1
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2008 25' Safari SS SE
Bend , Oregon
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Refrigerator not running on propane

We have no problem with the refrigerator when we are hooked up to electric but it will not work with propane. We have had the flue cleaned, the regulator replaced and finally my husband cleaned the orifice. We thought that finally did the trick and headed out but refrigerator stopped running again until we plugged in. Any suggestions? My husband thinks we may have gotten some bad propane and we might need the tanks emptied and cleaned. Boondocking is out till we figure this out!

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Old 05-15-2015, 10:26 AM   #2
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Wichita Falls , Texas
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When switching to LP do you hear the electronic lighter clicking?

What setting is the fridge on LP? On when mine is set on 3 and the temp is 40deg from running on electricity the fridge won't light until it needs to start cooling down.


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Old 05-15-2015, 10:35 AM   #3
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Could be air in the line. Cycle the on/off switch every few minutes and see if it will light.
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Old 05-15-2015, 11:14 AM   #4
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Hi from AZ. . . I like the 'air in the lines' idea. Try turning on all burners on stove, the turn reefer to LP. . . that worked for us. . . regards, Craig
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Old 05-15-2015, 11:23 AM   #5
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If your water heater, furnace, stove, and oven are all working normally on the propane, your propane should be ok.
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Old 05-16-2015, 11:21 AM   #6
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2004 28' Safari S/O
Colchester , Vermont
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Same happened to us once while traveling across Texas. Called a local guy...he figured it out. Apparently, where the thing fires, was too far off. He adjusted the tube..all is well.
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Old 05-16-2015, 11:36 AM   #7
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Kooskia , Idaho
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There are a lot of possibilities that could cause the problem, unfortunately. Some have been mentioned above.

I would look at cleaning the contacts on the main circuit board with a contact cleaner and plugging and unplugging them several times (board from wires that is). The other thing which is critical is the location of the spark electrode to the flame location. If it is not correctly positioned the flame sensing feature will think it has gone out and try to re light, but only 3 times until it goes to lockout. Then it will not try again until the power has been shut off and cycled on again (the eyebrow switch which controls the refrigerator that is). There is no thermocouple as such on these units, only a flame sensing feature of the ignition electrode. It must be properly positioned to keep things going. A Dometic service manual will give the specs on the position.

But these problems can be tricky and hard to isolate. My hope is that you can find the problem soon and go camping again.
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Old 05-16-2015, 11:42 AM   #8
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Not trying to insult you, but is the valve at the tank in the on position after latest fill up? Is there an in-line cutoff switch in the fridge compartment? If so is it in on or off position? A lot of people have made costly and time consuming DIY fixes when it was something simple like this. Myself included.
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Old 05-16-2015, 12:06 PM   #9
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cutoff partly shut, kink in line to fridge, if the fridge is at the end of the line of propane appliances, it may not get the correct pressure to stay running. Regulator might need changing or have a tech check the fridge feed line for 11 inches water column, iwc.
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Old 05-16-2015, 12:34 PM   #10
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AirSkeen....I had a similar problem with my refrigerator last year. I would first light the burners on your gas range to get the air out of the system. If the flame on the range burners is normal (blue) you probably do not have a bad load of propane. I would unplug the refrigerator’s 120 volt plug from the trailer supply receptacle in the refrigerator compartment to make sure the unit knows it should be in the propane mode. If the start is unsuccessful it waits a predetermined period of time and tries the start sequence again. If unsuccessful for a number of tries, it stops and lights the trouble light on the refrigerator panel. If you listen at the access panel on the outside of the trailer you should hear the igniter making noise while it tries to start the unit. If you are not getting the sound of the igniter you can try to unplug the igniter and then plug it in again. I would also make sure that the screw holding the ground wire to the refrigerator frame is tight. I was unable to get my igniter to fire. I first tried to replace the igniter ($19.35 + 7.75 shipping) on my refrigerator and that did not solve the problem. I ended up purchasing a new electronics module ($87.21 + $25.00 shipping from Dometic) and that solved the problem. Dometic has a high minimum shipping charge so I would try a different supplier if I were to do it again.
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Old 05-16-2015, 12:43 PM   #11
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Wimberley , Texas
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Besides all the above checks, confirm that while hitched and TV running and no shore power that you're still getting 12v from the tow vehicle, in order to keep your house battery juiced up. If house battery isn't being recharged then it eventually peters out so can no longer light the fridge burner, until you connect to shore power again and the on-board charger brings house battery back up to full charge.
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Old 05-16-2015, 01:58 PM   #12
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Boulder , Colorado
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We have had this problem twice in the past year. Both times the circuit board had to be replaced. Seems to be a notoriously faulty Dometic part based on my internet research.

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Old 05-16-2015, 05:29 PM   #13
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Bad propane?

What is bad propane? Honestly, I've been filling and emptying with use propane tanks on my trailers since 1972. I've never had "bad propane." I think your problem is with the pilot light. Does it stay lit? Can you confirm that with visual inspection? If it doesn't stay lit, then the thermocouple will not open the valve that allows propane to flow. And that's a good thing. You know the joke about the parachutist falling without his chute deploying? As he plumets towards the ground, he sees a guy coming UP towards him at the same speed. When the guy gets close he shouts: Hey! Know anything about parachutes? And the guys says:

No! Know anything about propane RV refrigerators?
"Of the gladdest moments in human life, methinks, is the departure upon a distant journey into unknown lands... A journey, in fact, appeals to Imagination, to Memory, to Hope,—the three sister Graces of our moral being.’
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Old 05-16-2015, 07:01 PM   #14
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There is no pilot light or thermocouple on the 2008 refrigerator the OP asked about. It is electronically controlled and lights the main flame automatically on thermostat demand.

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