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Old 11-14-2011, 06:33 PM   #1
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Mothball strange smell from fridge

When I run my fridge on gas, I get a moth ball odor and there is some sort of tube above the fridge with a dipstick like thing in it that smokes a bit. What is this dipstick thing???? and , what is this smell??? I have tried to find this out and have had no luck.
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Old 11-14-2011, 06:42 PM   #2
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Um, does it smell like ammonia?
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Old 11-14-2011, 07:00 PM   #3
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When I run my fridge on gas, I get a moth ball odor and there is some sort of tube above the fridge with a dipstick like thing in it that smokes a bit. What is this dipstick thing???? and , what is this smell??? I have tried to find this out and have had no luck.
That 'dipstick thing' should be the wire that holds the spiral baffle at a pre-determined position within the flue tube. It should only be accessible from the top of the fridge when it is removed from the trailer or thru the roof vent.

If a fridge of your age (if it's original), chances are that there is not much left of the very important spiral baffle due to heating and corrosion. Also, the flue tube should be brushed out on a regular basis to stay clean. the smoke you are seeing is a result of a dirty flue tube, badly worn spiral baffle or dirty and malfunctioning LP burner. It should be attended to ASAP to prevent a potential fire in the flue tube.
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Old 11-14-2011, 07:06 PM   #4
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If that's the original unit, you've done well. Replace it.
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Old 11-15-2011, 12:42 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info lewster. There is the soot in the pipe I cleaned out. The spiral baffel is still in tack. I think the main problem I have after reading your reply, it that you say it should only be accessable when the fridge is removed. I have a hole in my countertop that looks like it was drilled with a hole saw. I did not know if it was original or if someone drilled it later for a service short cut. I guess I am smelling a bit of smoke because the hole should not be there. If I cover it up, the smell that comes out should vent in the floor below??? I really appricate all the help and any more help you have. I am living in it full time ioght now driving south.
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Old 11-15-2011, 12:53 PM   #6
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Have you checked for real live mothballs? A PO had stashed wax paper cups (how long has that been) with mothballs in them behind the wraps to help expel vermin on my '73.. Barring the real thing - have you used the cook-top and confirmed it isn't in the batch of propane?
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Old 11-15-2011, 01:28 PM   #7
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Make super sure that the smell is not "AMMONIA."

If it is, that's saying the reefer cooling coil is leaking.

Be aware that should it really let loose while your in the trailer, that the fumes can be very lethal.

Have someone with you, and watching you from a distance, when you check out that possible issue.

Andy
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Old 11-15-2011, 02:24 PM   #8
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... I have a hole in my countertop that looks like it was drilled with a hole saw. I did not know if it was original or if someone drilled it later for a service short cut. I guess I am smelling a bit of smoke because the hole should not be there...
It sounds like the hole is letting combustion gasses vent directly inside the coach through this hole. this is not safe. There should be an upper vent above the fridge with ducting leading to it. (See http://www.airforums.com/forums/f425...uct-54262.html for a photo of an owner-built replacement duct) The air comes in through the bottom and exits through the top vent.

It would be OK while running the fridge on AC power, though. I, however, like the ability to run on propane when AC is not available.
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Old 11-19-2011, 12:07 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the replys. I could not find the complex working of the fridge in the owners manual and could not find anything on the forum. I will think of a plan soon with all the new found knowledge.
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Old 11-19-2011, 06:06 AM   #10
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A little soot in the pipe is normal. A lot of soot means an unclean burning flame ie. an incorrect mixture of gas and air. Check for a spider web in the burner tube between the tip of the burner and the start of the tube where it attaches to the valve with a compression nut.

Regardless of any problems, if you are running any LP appliances, install LP and CO detectors in your camper.
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Old 11-19-2011, 09:31 AM   #11
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Online fridge info

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Thanks for all the replys. I could not find the complex working of the fridge in the owners manual and could not find anything on the forum. I will think of a plan soon with all the new found knowledge.
Check out rvmobile.com for some really good schematics and explanations of how RV fridges work.
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