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Old 06-08-2018, 10:54 AM   #1
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2016 27' Flying Cloud
Olympia , Washington
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Refrig Won't Switch from Electric to LP

2016 AS 27 FB with Dometic Refrig: Before going on a trip, I start the refrig using the trailer's 110 VAC for a day or two. Upon disconnecting the 110 VAC upon leaving, the refrig's meter shows the light having gone from electric to LP. Problem: the refrig's pilot light won't light, so no refrigeration. I'll stick my head in the refrig's opening on the outside of the trailer and see no pilot light. Occasionally, the pilot will light after several hours of travelling --- usually it won't.

I've tried flipping the switch on the inside of the refrig to specify LP only. Still no pilot light.

I've tried turning the refrig off before disconnecting the 110 VAC, then disconnecting the power cord, then turning the refrig back on and switching to LP. Still no pilot light.

Throughout all of this, I can turn on the stove, so the LP tanks are on and are feeding the stove sufficiently, so LP is available and the LP system in the trailer works in general.

Issue: What steps to take to get the refrig pilot light to light promptly upon disconnecting 110 VAC?
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Old 06-08-2018, 11:53 AM   #2
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2007 22' International CCD
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Next time, open the fridge outside door, and then pull the 120 volt AC power to the AS. Immediately observe what the fridge is doing near the burner assembly. The pilot light ignition electrode should start sparking, the gas valve should open with a click, and the flame should come on and stay on after a couple sparks. The sparking should then cease, and the gas valve should not click closed again. Getting the flame lit might take 1-2 tries. If it fails on the third try, the control board quits trying, and might indicate an error.

If it does not act like that, you may have a control board issue. Look into the threads about "dinosaur boards" for a better control board replacement if you determine you need one.

The ignition should be properly positioned in the flame, because the board uses conductivity between the flame and the ignition electrode to ground to sense 'flame on'. If the burner assembly is not well grounded, it's going to be intermittent. Make sure all the fasteners around the board, pilot flame, mounting brackets, etc are clean and tight.
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Old 06-09-2018, 09:17 AM   #3
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On my 2011 22FB the propane would light but wouldn’t actually “work” and would fail. Turned out to be propane pressure was too low and I had to adjust the regulator using a manometer.
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Old 06-09-2018, 09:23 AM   #4
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2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Hi

Never rule out spiders colonizing the flue or parts of the burner assembly .... Sometimes a good cleaning is all it takes to get this sort of thing running again.

Bob
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Old 06-09-2018, 11:48 AM   #5
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Lewisburg , Tennessee
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some times a good cleaning with a soft brush and compressed air to get spider and dirt dobers, wasp, bugs the lightly tap the line and pilot to loosen carbon and dirt
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Old 06-09-2018, 11:56 AM   #6
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2007 25' Safari FB SE
Folsom , California
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Replace your control board. About $125 to replace and install. My 25 FB Sarfari Dometic did the same thing. Good luck.
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Old 06-09-2018, 12:08 PM   #7
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2008 30' Classic S/O
Hampton Beach , New Hampshire
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Run all the LP Devices

Here's a less expensive option to digging deep in the pockets and replacing boards etc... Try simple first and then go progressively deeper.

Run all your LP Devices at once...run the furnace, stove, hot water on LP. While they're running then start your fridge on LP only. Listen closely you should here the ignition clicking on... Try it multiple times if necessary... This has worked for me...

This appears to clear the lines and all is normal. Hopefully it'll work for you too!

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Old 06-09-2018, 12:11 PM   #8
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2015 30' Classic
Saint Augustine , Florida
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fridge prop inop

I just went through an issue with mine(as in 3 wks ago). All the issues seem to differ just slightly enough that it's something other than what the other guy did, so I'll tell you my story. My fridge had been working fine on both 120 V and Prop then on the last trip, all of a sudden, it wouldn't stay lit on prop; so no fridge on the road. Watched the you tube videos on cleaning the flame pipe and flu ( excuse my untech vocab). I knew from the sound after getting my head in the compartment that the flame was lighting and would just seem to go out about 60-70 secs into the duration of being lit. So something was telling the circuit or the igniter that it should shut the flame down. In my case, I removed all the wind shrouds protecting the flame and blew out everything with the compressor. Tried again and this time got about 2 mins out of the flame before it went out; but I knew I was getting a head's up on the problem. Did the entire exercise again; blew everything out, tapped all the rust out of the flu and re assembled. Voila' ! Fridge is now working fine on prop also.
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Old 06-09-2018, 08:40 PM   #9
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Falmouth , Maine
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The pilot tube can also clog from impurities in the propane. It can be fairly easily removed with a small wrench. Clean it with carburetor cleaner and try it again.
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Old 06-09-2018, 10:06 PM   #10
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2018 16' Sport
Clearwater , Florida
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My brand new 2018 Bambi won’t switch from electric to propane either.
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Old 06-09-2018, 11:03 PM   #11
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There is a round coil of wire tube like structure wrapped is blue or black plastic mounted to the gas supply. There two wires attached to each end of the coil.

Look at the ends of the coil and see if there s small ring on one end. This holds the coil in place.

If that wire ring is not there, pull the coil up and away from the mount it is on and put the coil back on, but only after inverting the end of the coil first.

Try to start the fridge.

If it still does not work, put the coil back like you found it and order the new board.

All the best.
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Old 06-10-2018, 09:23 AM   #12
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Snoqualmie , Washington
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Have had this happen several times on my 2010. Ends up if i turn the fridge off and on enough times - it eventually starts. One time i must have turned it on and off nearly 20 times (~10 minutes) before it went. Only happens occasionally - so could be different if it happens all the time.
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Old 06-11-2018, 12:27 AM   #13
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Long Beach , California
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I've noticed our 2017 25 FB has a difficult time if the trailer isn't level.
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Old 06-11-2018, 04:36 PM   #14
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2014 23' Flying Cloud
Rhinebeck , New York
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Cool Anyone see a pattern here?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wdcgator View Post
My brand new 2018 Bambi won’t switch from electric to propane either.
Our 2017 Bambi Sport has the same issue. Funny (not really) our 2016 23D Imternational Serenity ALSO had similar issues. We went smaller thinking the system component problems would be less difficult. Not so.

Why do Airstream TT’s have such problems? We had three units in Europe. Much less expensive with very simple systems. All were functional all the time. We may just move on to another brand. Still love the look but being uninterested in problem solving Airstream’s have begun to irritate us. TBD of course.

Adam and Ros in Rhinebeck, NY
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Old 06-11-2018, 06:20 PM   #15
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2011 22' Sport
Portland , Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Geuss View Post
Our 2017 Bambi Sport has the same issue. Funny (not really) our 2016 23D Imternational Serenity ALSO had similar issues. We went smaller thinking the system component problems would be less difficult. Not so.

Why do Airstream TT’s have such problems? We had three units in Europe. Much less expensive with very simple systems. All were functional all the time. We may just move on to another brand. Still love the look but being uninterested in problem solving Airstream’s have begun to irritate us. TBD of course.

Adam and Ros in Rhinebeck, NY
Chances are that any RV that uses Dometic as a supplier, which many many do (at least in the US), could run into this. AS doesn't make the water neater, nor the fridge, nor the A/C, nor the power converter/charger or inverters, or any of the other pieces that consume electricity or propane. They buy them from the same suppliers as anyone else might. I doubt AS does enough volume to get any (many) "custom" engineered products from Dometic.

In the case of these water heater issues, the ones that are due to defective control boards...its the luck of the draw. Plenty of us have AS that don't have these issues, or some of us have had different issues. The only part that comes in as it relates specifically to AS is how they respond to solving the problem.

The way this usually works, for any industry that assembles "systems" from widgets made by someone else, is that ultimately the "warranty" (see Tommy Boy) goes back to the company that made the failing device...in this case, Dometic. AS replaces the part (or pays a dealer to), and eventually the broken part goes to Dometic and AS gets compensated for the replacement (or it is washed out in the overall supplier contract and nothing is actually returned to Dometic). The part that may be attributed to AS being "premium" is that some owners report that AS reimbursed them for the Dinosaur replacement boards...which means AS is likely eating that out of pocket and it isn't covered in their supplier contract with Dometic.
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Old 06-12-2018, 08:24 AM   #16
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2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Hi

Actually it's even a bit worse than that. Those who did *not* have a problem never get on and post " hey, I didn't have a problem with my control board ". Those who do have an issue are highly likely to post. They don't just post when they have the issue. They are quite interested in talking about it for years and years after the fact.

The flip side is the expectation that " Airstreams are perfect, they cost a lot so that must be true ". Well, none of that is correct. They are relatively cheap compared to a lot of RV's out there. Equipped with high(er) end parts they would indeed be even more expensive than they are. They make them in low volume / by hand. That is *not* the way you make every part off the line "perfect".

Is this all something that just happened overnight? Well maybe it is. I can very definitely remember this same conversation taking place (multiple times) in the late 1950's and early 1960's. If it happened overnight that night was back a bit before then ....

Bob
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Old 06-12-2018, 08:34 AM   #17
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Hi Adam Geuss,

We are very sorry for the issues that you are having with your 2017 Sport. Please send us a direct message with your contact information and the last 6 digits of your VIN so we can share it with our Customer Service and Technical Support team.

You can also reach Airstream Customer Service and Technical Support at customer_support@airstream.com

We look forward to helping you get this resolved. Thank You.
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:26 AM   #18
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2017 26' Flying Cloud
Tampa , Florida
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On my previous RV, the fridge wouldn't light or stay lit due to carbon build up in the orifice. A service man just ran fine wire through the orifice.
I understand that's discouraged now that orifices have a jeweled opening, but I purchased a set of "cleaners" at Ace hardware that were very fine wires with an abrasive surface. About $6.
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