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Old 10-04-2014, 09:52 AM   #1
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2013 19' International
Cottage Grove , Minnesota
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 5
Using "auto" mode on fridge, gas kicks on when traveling

Hi! We have a 2012 Sport 16. We use auto mode on fridge when hooked up to electric, and it does not trigger pilot. When we unhook to travel, it goes for gas vs. the battery. We hear the pilot attempting to light several times; no go. So, we end up shutting off while traveling. Shouldn't it switch to battery? Is this normal? And, how long should it attempt to light before it actually does? Gas works just fine in stove/heater... so that is not the problem. Thanks!
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Old 10-04-2014, 09:59 AM   #2
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It should light with no problem.
The first time it light may take a few attempts in order tompurge the air from the line.
If after several attempts to light, it does not, you should have the fridge looked at by a qualified technician. It is possible there is anblockage keeping the gas from getting to the burner.
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Old 10-04-2014, 10:03 AM   #3
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2011 30' Classic
2007 25' International CCD
1993 32' Excella
Largo , Florida
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Check to see that you are gettng gas to the Fridge. When you are on auto you are on AC . Unless your Fridge is different than mine there is no 12 Volt option (battery). I don't know weather you can remove the outside access and check to see if the Pizo is appropriately located with your model. Good luck.

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2015 GMC Denali 2500, 4x4, Duramax diesel, Topper, Pro Pride 3 P, Sendel 16" with Michelin LTs, one Yellow Labrador Retriever (AS security)
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Old 10-04-2014, 10:15 AM   #4
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2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
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It should change over from 120 volt to Propane when the 120 volt supply is disconnected. Due to air in the lines sometimes it takes a few minutes for the burner to light but the process is automatic and I think if you just leave it alone, it may work fine. Try that anyway. It will lock out automatically if it cannot light, so there is no danger in leaving it on. If you get to your destination and there has been no cooling, you will need the unit serviced.

There is no pilot light on the refrigerator. When it calls for cooling the spark lighter is activated and the gas valve is electrically opened. The spark then lights the gas and then is turned off when that happens "proving" to the circuit board that the flame has been established. If the flame goes out prior to the unit being cooled enough, the spark re appears to re light the burner. When the thermostat says it is cold enough in the box, the circuit board shuts the gas valve off and the lighting mechanism, until the thermostat says "too warm in here" and starts the process again.
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Old 10-04-2014, 10:19 AM   #5
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2009 30' Classic
Melbourne, FL , Searsport, ME
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Unless you have a 3-way refer, there is no 12 volt cooling capability and you only have AC and propane. On Auto, the default is AC unless AC is unavailable then it will switch to propane. 2-way refers are far more common than 3-way so are you sure you even have 12v capability?

Next, when you are stationary does your propane work? If not, you need to troubleshoot that. If your refer works on propane when stationary but not when traveling, then it may be blowing out. Can you be more specific regarding if/when propane works and when it doesn't?
Fred Stokes
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Old 10-04-2014, 10:20 AM   #6
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Most likely there is are in the gas line and the pilot orifice is very small and will take for ever to pass gas. Take a wrench and crack the flare at the gas valve till you smell gas tighten and try to light.
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Old 10-05-2014, 07:00 AM   #7
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2013 19' International
Cottage Grove , Minnesota
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My 1st post and crazy helpful, thanks all! I get why forums are so popular . My husband verified we do not have a battery option, our last camper did.. So threw us off. Trying your suggestions now..

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Old 10-05-2014, 07:39 AM   #8
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Biloxi , Mississippi
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When I first picked up my new to me trailer it took several attempts to get the frig to switch over to gas automatically. I do not think it had been run on gas for some time. Now it appears to switch over automatically on the first try. I would guess it had air in the lines or even a spider web or two.

Do you know what a learning experience is? A learning experience is one of those things that says "You know that thing that you just did? Don't do that."
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Old 10-05-2014, 09:02 AM   #9
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also, according to the manual, it will try to light for 45 seconds and lockout. You then have cycle the off-on to get it to try again.
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Old 10-05-2014, 10:03 AM   #10
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northern valley , new jersey
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when our gas appliances (refrigerator, range / oven, furnace, water heater) have not run for a while, we have the same issue with the refrigerator lighting up on gas.

we find that taking a moment to light up the three range burners seems to help, apparently by "filling" some or all of the gas supply lines, first.

Joseph & Gabrielle

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Old 10-05-2014, 10:32 AM   #11
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Salt Lake City , Utah
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I have same problem if I run out of propane in both tanks before a refill. I have to turn the fridge "off" and back on again a couple of times to clear the air out of the lines.

Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City
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Old 10-05-2014, 11:02 AM   #12
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I have found that if I light the burners on the stove first thing after turning gas on at the tanks, the fridge and the water heater (on gas) have no problem lighting right away.
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Old 10-05-2014, 03:43 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by lsbrodsky View Post
also, according to the manual, it will try to light for 45 seconds and lockout. You then have cycle the off-on to get it to try again.
True. I get that sometimes. With the fridge doors open, you can really hear when the flame WHOOSHES on and you know you're good to go.
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Old 10-06-2014, 09:25 AM   #14
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2006 22' Interstate
Costa Mesa , California
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Most refers are 2 way (no 12v) rather than 3 way (with 12v). I run my refer 24/7 when driving, camping or just parked so I am always ready to go.
I have a 110w solar panel with about 800amp-hour AGM house batteries. I can't run my refer on 12v so I use the automatic ceiling vent fan to keep the interior from getting too hot so my refer uses less propane. With fan off I go through 5.6 gallons propane every 2-3 weeks and with fan on low with thermostat set around 85 the propane lasts 4-6 weeks depending on temp (normally about 85-90 during day and 70-75 at night).
No option to upgrade a 2way to 3way without replacing entire unit from what I have been told.
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