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Old 12-19-2019, 05:47 PM   #1
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2020 16' Bambi
Patuxent River , MD
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Refrigerator (refer) circuit question

Newbie here - 2020 Bambi 16RB, purchased just about 2 months ago.
Here's my question: Why does my refrigerator run with the circuit turned off (5th, bottom circuit switch)? I have been tripping a circuit where I store my Bambi and I was about to switch off the main "kill" switch, when I noticed I could hear the refrig. running. I checked the circuit panel and verified the switch is off. I mentioned it to my wife and she asked if the battery could be powering the refrig. separate from the electrical circuit. So, I thought I'd ask the community for some help here. My assumption is either she's right or it's possible the circuit panel could be labeled incorrectly.
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Old 12-22-2019, 09:19 PM   #2
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By "hear it running", she heard the gas burning firing? In that mode, the fridge uses DC power protected by a Buss type fuse only to run the igniter, control board and inside light.
On our 22FB, there's also a fan to circulate air over the coils. It is turned on with a switch on the side of the fridge. I'm pretty sure the fan is also DC.
On a 2 way fridge (A-S specs indicate that's what you have) operating in electric mode, the heating element is powered by AC circuit, which is probably what you mention having turned off.
On a 3 way fridge, the DC to the heating element draws a battery down very fast. That mode is typically only used by someone going down the road who doesn't want to burn propane.
Your owner's manual may clarify all this better for you.
Hope this helps.
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Old 12-23-2019, 07:32 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PorterSA View Post
Newbie here - 2020 Bambi 16RB, purchased just about 2 months ago.
Here's my question: Why does my refrigerator run with the circuit turned off (5th, bottom circuit switch)? I have been tripping a circuit where I store my Bambi and I was about to switch off the main "kill" switch, when I noticed I could hear the refrig. running. I checked the circuit panel and verified the switch is off. I mentioned it to my wife and she asked if the battery could be powering the refrig. separate from the electrical circuit. So, I thought I'd ask the community for some help here. My assumption is either she's right or it's possible the circuit panel could be labeled incorrectly.
I see this is your first post. Welcome to the AirForums!

Your wife is correct, assuming you have the original refrigerator. If the switch/button on the refrigerator set to "Auto", when 120vAC electricity is turned off the refrigerator automatically goes into propane/12vDC mode. (that is when 12vDC powers the control module while propane burns to heat the refrigerant) The only way to turn the refrigerator off is by using the "off" button on the refrigerator.

The refrigerator makes cold by heating the refrigerant, either with a 120vAC resistance heater or by burning propane. I know that sounds backward but that is the way it works. The controls are always powered by 12vDC, in either 120vAC or propane mode.
https://itstillruns.com/rv-refrigera...k-4572467.html
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Old 12-23-2019, 07:50 AM   #4
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The 2020 Bambi comes with a 12v/120v compressor style refrigerator. Not like an absorption refrigeration style in past models. They do not operate on LP. I suppose they could have a 2020 model with 3way refrigerator, but specifications show differently.
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Old 12-23-2019, 10:20 PM   #5
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The 2020 Bambi comes with a 12v/120v compressor style refrigerator. Not like an absorption refrigeration style in past models. They do not operate on LP. <<snip>>
I knew that! My bad
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Old 12-24-2019, 08:35 AM   #6
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I didn't know that! Sorry that my answer was offbase.
PorterSA, how well does that work for you? If there's a freezer compartment. does it actually make ice? Is it a Nova Kool?
The absorption style fridges (propane) are notoriously prone to struggle at higher outside temperatures. If my Dometic fails, I am considering replacing it with a compressor model.
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Old 12-25-2019, 11:48 AM   #7
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Yes, as previously posted, the 2020 Bambi 16RB is electric only. It is tied into DC power (battery), but no option for propane. As this is our 1st AS, we don’t have experience with the 3-way refer, so I can’t really say much about those units. During walk through, the dealer rep said the area for refer exhaust (3-way/propane unit) caused corrosion problems and that is why they switched to the AC/DC unit.
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Old 12-26-2019, 08:38 AM   #8
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Ok I’m confused. Can you Boone dock? How will that work with no propane? My husband and I are FT’ers in our 2017 19’ FC and we rely heavily on propane. Also my question is how do I keep my veggies from freezing? Anyone else having frozen issues over night when cooler temps come?
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Old 12-26-2019, 11:20 AM   #9
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I spoke to our local Airstream dealer and he told me that these newer fridges draw very little current. So, boondocking is possible but I would imagine that for an extended period of time a generator would be useful.


I have a much older trailer with a Dometic fridge. This thing (knock on wood) has been very reliable. If you are freezing things in the drawers I would suggest that you should adjust the temperature inside of the fridge. Get a thermometer and watch it closely. On mine I have a temperature selection button on the front. I also can adjust the thermo-thing attached to the cooling fins inside. It didn't take long for us to find the sweet spot. When we are in very hot conditions I adjust by using the panel on the front. Haven't touched the fin adjustment for years.
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