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Old 06-21-2021, 05:02 PM   #1
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Refrigerator not cooling enough

Dometic refrigerator in my 2012 Airstream flying cloud is not cooling. The electric is on, so I presume it's not a fuse issue. The temp light says shore power and 60. The AC is running fine so there is no problem with shore power. Today is our first day out since 2019 so I read another post and made sure that all of the propane appliances were firing -water heater, burners and refrigerator on gas, then I turned off the refrigerator and turned it on again. I can make it run on propane or electric but it doesnít reduce in temperature on either. It worked fine on shore power the last three prep days. Help please! Itís 91 outside! Thx!!!
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Old 06-21-2021, 05:12 PM   #2
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Bummer! Good research and clues . . . just a guess or two . . . FWIW.

Maybe the thermostat in the fridge's control system has gone bad?

Suggest disconnecting from shore power, turning your Use/Store switch to Store, flip off both the 120-volt circuit breaker and the 12-volt circuit breaker for the fridge, and wait 5 minutes. Then connect to shore power, flip on both circuit breakers, and check the fridge again. Disconnecting all the 120v and 12v power should enable any control board "wild cards" to reboot, as best they can IMO.

You can always put a bag of ice in the fridge to keep stuff cold, or use the ice chest you already have, or buy a new cheapo foam ice chest.

Good luck,

Peter

PS -- There may be some helpful clues in the Fridge sub-forum? https://www.airforums.com/forums/f425/
PS2 -- Look inside the fridge's exterior mechanical space, for any inline glass fuses which might have blown. Odd-ball fuses like this can be all over . . . either OEM or added by a previous owner, if any.
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Old 06-21-2021, 05:24 PM   #3
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Not sure which model you have but look at this doc https://myrvworks.com/wp-content/upl...ce-Testing.pdf look at page 3 for a bypass test that will run the system wide open.

The chimney above the burner on gas or electric will be hot to the touch even on the outside of the steel chimney. Maybe a bit over 100 degrees. Is yours hot'ish to the touch?

Unit level per owners manual?

Go buy ice.

Gary
Keep the feedback coming.
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Old 06-21-2021, 05:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fotoman1527 View Post
Dometic refrigerator in my 2012 Airstream flying cloud is not cooling. The electric is on, so I presume it's not a fuse issue. The temp light says shore power and 60. The AC is running fine so there is no problem with shore power. Today is our first day out since 2019 so I read another post and made sure that all of the propane appliances were firing -water heater, burners and refrigerator on gas, then I turned off the refrigerator and turned it on again. I can make it run on propane or electric but it doesnít reduce in temperature on either. It worked fine on shore power the last three prep days. Help please! Itís 91 outside! Thx!!!


with thanks to any who review this and have a similar situation, I am happy to report that the temperature has started going down. The lesson I learned is that you should wait a bit until after putting it on shore power to see if the temperature is going down. What remains confusing is that I thought the refrigerator would default to propane while we were driving and yet it was at 60 when we stopped two hours later.
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Old 06-21-2021, 05:57 PM   #5
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These little fridges do best when they are full, so if you need to stash some canned goods in there to fill it up, that may help.

Maggie
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Old 06-21-2021, 05:58 PM   #6
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The gas system must be operational, valve on, bled etc. then the unit can successfully switch to propane.

I highly recommend a simple remote digital indoor outdoor thermometer. Put the transmitter in the fridge and the receiver somewhere. At home during prep cool down it goes in the house and monitor cool down. On the road itís in the truck cab. In camp itís usually in the kitchen.

I start mine at least one day before expected fridge loading and my 2007 has a roof vent and I run a small personal fan pointed straight up blowing heat out the top a bit more.
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Old 06-21-2021, 06:05 PM   #7
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. . .
. . . should wait a bit until after putting it on shore power to see if the temperature is going down.
. . .
Really?

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Old 06-21-2021, 07:38 PM   #8
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check thermistor position

Another consideration regarding how cool/cold the unit will get is related to the physical positioning of the thermistor, it is attached to the fins that are inside the unit. The higher (closer to the top) the thermistor is placed, the colder the refrigerator should get. I have had the thermistor slide down on longer towing trips, or due to packing stuff and inadvertently causing it to slide down, resulting in an unexpected rise of the internal temperature. Something to double check.
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Old 06-22-2021, 02:51 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by 1StreamDream View Post
Another consideration regarding how cool/cold the unit will get is related to the physical positioning of the thermistor, it is attached to the fins that are inside the unit. The higher (closer to the top) the thermistor is placed, the colder the refrigerator should get. I have had the thermistor slide down on longer towing trips, or due to packing stuff and inadvertently causing it to slide down, resulting in an unexpected rise of the internal temperature. Something to double check.
Thanks for the picture. Truly worth a thousand words to a newbie. The plastic thingy that is supposed to stay in place on mine has always been loose. It is plastic, so replacing it would, at best, be temporary. Velcro holds it in place now. And i can still move it when I want to. Need it colder in summer or when parked in the sun.
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Old 06-22-2021, 05:55 AM   #10
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Thanks to all!

I really appreciate the quick responses and shared wisdom. The unit is now working fine! I think the answer, mentioned by several of you, was to bleed the propane system. In preparation of this trip, our first in 18 months, we had of course tested the refrigerator on shore power. No issues. What I had not done was to bleed the propane system by firing up all the propane-fired equipment. Once I did that as part of my assessment and repair process the system started working. Hopefully with that day one cobweb wiped away it will continue to work. Good lesson learned. Sure glad I don't have to start out a very long trip with a visit to the AC tech! Thanks again all!!!! Happy trails!
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Old 06-22-2021, 10:04 AM   #11
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Maybe someone will correct me - I'm far from the most experienced on this forum - but I also think that for the fridge to run on Propane the main power still needs to be set to "Use". That's a mistake I made once, so my family's disappointment...
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Old 06-22-2021, 11:44 AM   #12
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Thumbs up

Of course . . .

Use--->batteries on--->12 volt power--->fridge controls powered--->propane valve opens--->ignitor/sparker sparks.

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Old 06-22-2021, 01:42 PM   #13
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Our thermometer is the AcuRite 00986 Refrigerator Thermometer.

There may be others.
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Old 06-22-2021, 02:15 PM   #14
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Refrig not cooling

I added 2- 8 inch computer fans to the upper access door on my 23 FB. I wired it to the load side of the thermostat on the condenser line. Blank off the louver with 22 or 24 gage sheet metal and cut two opening for the fans. I tried to upload the fan video's but not allowed.
You can get the fans at most computer stores 8 inch 12 VDC.
Makes a world of difference in hot weather. I don't get the error light anymore.

Good luck
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Old 06-22-2021, 02:21 PM   #15
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I added 2- 8 inch computer fans to the upper access door on my 23 FB. I wired it to the load side of the thermostat on the condenser line. Blank off the louver with 22 or 24 gage sheet metal and cut two opening for the fans. I tried to upload the fan video's but not allowed.
You can get the fans at most computer stores 8 inch 12 VDC.
Makes a world of difference in hot weather. I don't get the error light anymore.

Good luck
Interesting.

How about a photo of the interior?
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Old 06-23-2021, 07:47 AM   #16
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Having a small fan inside the refrigerator helps with keeping the temperature down to. Just make sure there is clearance on the sides where to air an circulate.
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Old 06-27-2021, 06:42 PM   #17
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It also helps to baffle (cover up) the area of the opening that is not in the path of the fan's discharge. This helps to maximize the airflow over the coils that the fan is trying to cool. I can show you my installation at the rally in Lebanon. Just look for an Airstream 2007 20 SE with the number 4334.

I find it interesting that the Airstream engineers believe that heat does not rise but goes sideways on these two side-vent refrigerator models.
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Old 06-27-2021, 06:48 PM   #18
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In our Dometic, it wouldnít cool when on propane. On one of these posts I read that the little chimney behind the fridge needed to be cleaned out occasionally. I used a rifle barrel cleaner, cleaned out a little dust/soot in the chimney, and it has run great ever since. No more than 30 mins to pull the fridge out, clean it, and slide it back in.
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Old 06-27-2021, 06:54 PM   #19
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I have the Dometic 8555 and planning to add vent fans, in fact I started a thread on it. Our recent trip in temps of 80-90 during the day the fridge did borderline OK during the days and great at night. The freezer stayed very cold all the time, even the ice cream did not suffer a bit.
Looking inside mine I guess this is the thermistor? It's at the very bottom of the lower set of fins (upper set is in the freezer)
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Old 06-28-2021, 05:02 AM   #20
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Same Here

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1StreamDream View Post
Another consideration regarding how cool/cold the unit will get is related to the physical positioning of the thermistor, it is attached to the fins that are inside the unit. The higher (closer to the top) the thermistor is placed, the colder the refrigerator should get. I have had the thermistor slide down on longer towing trips, or due to packing stuff and inadvertently causing it to slide down, resulting in an unexpected rise of the internal temperature. Something to double check.
That thermistor thingie was causing me so much angst I considered replacing the fridge. Spoke with Dometic and got nowhere. Did the thing suggested here and BINGO!
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