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Old 07-20-2013, 12:17 AM   #1
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2013 30' Classic
Kent , Washington
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Questions about the Dometic Refrigerator in our Flying Cloud

Just when we thought I had the refrigerator figured out, I'm confused all over again.

I appreciate your help (and patience) in answering my questions.

1) Is outside temperature a factor in how long a refrigerator takes to get cold?

2) During a previous trip, the LED display panel had a temperature reading of 32 degrees. We thought it was referring to the freezer temperature. But after reading the manual more carefully, the manual indicates the temperature reading is for the fresh food storage compartment. If so, not sure how our refrigerator could have been that cold! With all that said, how does one control the temperature in the refrigerator? Is that done with the 1 thru 5 setting, with 5 being the coldest.

3) Right now, our LED display panel has a temperature reading of 60, which means the fresh food compartment is not cold enough. We've had it hooked to shore power for about 6 hours. It's never taken this long before to get cold, but then again it was hot in the Seattle area today. So that's why I asked Question #1.

4) Earlier today, the LP light was flashing. Again, the manual indicates it means there was no propane. The propane tank was on, there shouldn't have been a problem. We've been fiddling with the controls, and right now the LP light is no longer flashing. Any thoughts on why it was flashing?

Any other comments, suggestions, etc.

Thanks for your help on this.
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Old 07-20-2013, 12:37 AM   #2
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Propane refrigerators have much more limited cooling capacity than your normal household unit, and this is true if operating on either propane or 120 volt power.

Normally it takes a minimum of 4 hours for an RV refrigerator to begin to cool down, and generally overnight is best. The more you open it to look and the more you fuss with it, the longer it will take...lol.

Yes, the outside temp will significantly influence how long it takes for your refrigerator to get cold. The higher the outside temp, the longer it will take. I always start mine about a day prior to my trips, and load the food in it cold from my home refrigerator. Many cans of room temp. soda, water, or warm beer will take forever to get cold, so best to start with them cold if at all possible. When on the road, buy cold beverages at the market, not ones which have been sitting out on the shelf, if at all possible.

In general once you find a temp setting on the 1-5 knob that seems to keep things cold enough and how you like it, you should just leave it there and forget turning it up and down. Again, the response time with an RV refrigerator is very long and it is best to just leave it alone and not fiddle with it too much. That means change it only about once a day, max, and wait to see the results in 12 to 24 hours.

I don't know about the digital temp readout on your unit, so I can only comment that you can get caught up in digital obsession, thinking that your refrigerator will keep a very uniform temp all the time. In fact, most likely it will not, they tend to float around much more than a household unit will.

Hope that gives you some guidelines to consider.
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Old 07-20-2013, 12:49 AM   #3
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idroba
Yes, that does help! We have been fiddling with the 'fridge quite a bit today, opening, closing, etc. And yes, we did load it with hot soda bottles. Oops!

I think we'll leave it alone now, and see how it is in the morning. Even as I type this, I noticed the LED temperature finally changed from 60 to 56. So it looks like maybe it's cooling. I just have to be patient.

Thank you the mini fridge lesson! Very helpful, and just what I wanted to hear.

THANK YOU!!!
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Old 07-20-2013, 01:15 AM   #4
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It takes a bit of time just to get the LP to light which can result in the flashing "LP". We thought we had a problem with our fridge when we first got our rig. Turned out it just took time for the LP to fill the gas line to the igniter. My ritual to get the fridge running is as follows (probably over kill, but it works for us).

1) First I light the range top burners until they stop 'sputtering' and the burner flame burns evenly, then I turn off the burners

2) Next I start the furnace until it starts to give off heat, then I turn off the furnace

3) Finally I start the fridge and check back in 15-20 minutes to see if the "LP" light is flashing, if it IS flashing I turn the fridge off then back on.

4) If it is NOT flashing I come back in about an hour and touch the back wall of the freezer to verify it is starting to cool down. Once I know it is cooling down I wait 8-12 hours and the temp is reading 38* or colder before I start loading it ip with food

Like I said, probably over kill, but it works for us....
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Old 07-20-2013, 02:03 AM   #5
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Hi, got a new unit ran in shop for 2 wks, found setting to #4 runs best.
we use large ice chest for drinks and freze 1gal drinking water for ice cold water
fill up rest of chest with cube ice.
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Old 07-20-2013, 05:43 AM   #6
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You might try these solutions, too:

==========

We freeze water bottles in the freezer and then scatter them around in the refrigerator section, including a few in the door. This helps maintain the temperature during the heat of the day, and when the propane is turned off for short periods; e.g., when refueling. When the ice thaws, you have ice cold water to drink; or you can refreeze the bottles and use them again.

One neat thing to watch is when the bottles are first taken out of the freezer, and the water is below 32 degrees but still liquid. When the bottle is disturbed (thump it), the liquid water will crystalize right before your eyes -- very cool! Kids think it's magic!

We always keep a case or two of bottled water in the bed of our pickup, and use it for cooking and drinking to avoid/reduce stomach distress and related problems while on the road.

==========

This fan will even out the temperatures inside the refrigerator. We used to have hot and cold areas, and now the whole refrigerator compartment is more evenly cooled. Also, don't pack food items too tightly, as this blocks air circulation. This fan uses two D-cell batteries, which will last over a month.

(I have heard that some refrigerator models already have a built-in fan. If your is so equipped, just ignore this suggestion.)

Camco 44123 RV Fridge Airator - Walmart.com

Note: Propane refrigerators don't recover as quickly as the big ice box at home. It will help to limit how often and how long the door is open. In the summer, my wife acts as the gatekeeper for the refrigerator, and our two teenage granddaughters are not allowed to just stand and stare in the open door to search for snacks and drinks. We keep a cooler with ice for water, soda and cold snacks; and the refrigerator is mostly limited to meal prep "food".

==========

This fan replaces the computer power supply-type fan inside the louvered doors on the outside of your Airstream where the refrigerator heating elements and other parts are located. However, some Airstream models do NOT use a fan to assist cooling. The fan below is nearly silent, as opposed to the loud fan blade noise and electric motor vibrations of the cheap PC fan. If so equipped, the holes in the fan frame should match the existing mounting hardware, so replacing the OEM fan is usually a five minute job.

Amazon.com: Enermax Case Fan Cooling UC-MA12: Electronics

==========

Good luck; hope these suggestions help...
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Old 07-20-2013, 07:08 AM   #7
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We follow all the prior suggestions as well. In addition, we use the frozen water bottle approach to accelerate the cooling time after retrieving our trailer from storage. The larger Gatorade style bottles are perfect and we stuff about 18 frozen ones in the hot frig once home and it cools within a few hours rather than overnight.
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