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Old 06-30-2019, 08:53 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
1974 27' Overlander
Seattle , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 13
1974 International Refrigerator Not Chillin'

I have a 1974 International ( 27' long, with the VIN starting "127B4", which is how I'm told the International series can be associated with the Overlander, since there is no forum for Internationals made prior to 1980 ).

The unit’s refrigerator just very recently stopped refrigerating reliably. Electric power works for all other trailer functions. The trouble-shooting section for the 1974 SERVICE manual (as opposed to the "Owner's Manual") states on its p. 95 that one possible issue (No. 10 of 13 ) could be "Break in Electrical Circuit" , and that possible remedies could be "Check fuses, switches, wiring" etc.

Sounds possibly simple enough, until I find that I can't tell WHICH fuse is dedicated to the refrigerator, AND what the proper rating for this fuse should be ! The image in the "OWNERS Manual" of both the "Univolt" Low Voltage Distribution Panel ( p. 65 ) AND the list of the "Fuses and Circuit Breakers" ( p. 67 ) also offer no clear indications of what to do, though amps are listed for all fuse locations. I'm assuming here that the Univolt circuit board located underneath the cookstove is the only location for circuits I have to work with (another thing which is NOT clear in either manual).

Help is Appreciated !

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Old 06-30-2019, 05:57 PM   #2
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 5,607
Images: 1
Hello from Colorado: The "International" designation back then referred to the "fancy trim level" of Overlanders. I do believe the majority of the mid seventies were built as Internationals as they were popular. My 75 is an International trim level. Your trailer is certainly an Overlander 27' first. I might add Airstream had created the "Excella" name in the late seventies and used it for many years. Airstream is building an International model now.

I do not know if your fridge is the original or not. The fridge needs a heat source to cool. The heat source can be from propane or from 120v AC current. The old fridges need their pilot light lit. Put your fridge in "gas" mode and if necessary light the pilot light. Wait several hours and see if the freezer compartment is getting cool. If the boiler is hot but no cooling, an ammonia leak is possible.

The fridge also works on 120vAC. Saves propane. There is a cord and outlet in the back of the fridge compartment accessible from the maintenance opening on the outside of the trailer. Plug in the trailer to shore power and verify there is 120vAC at the fridge outlet. If not, you may have a tripped breaker in the power distribution box. Most Airstreams of that vintage have three AC circuits. AC generally powers the outlets and the air conditioner. Turn all breakers off, then turn them all back on to reset them. Now, if you have good voltage at the outlet, plug in the fridge and see if the boiler is getting worm. Takes a while. If not, then there may be some problem with the heating coil.

Newer fridges use 12vDC to power the gas igniter, and maybe an vent fan. Older fridges don't have any 12vDC power needs.

Hope this helps...

WBCCI #8607
VAC Region 11

Link to my 1975 Overlander Improvement Journal:

Link to our 1976 Renovation Project:
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