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Old 08-04-2020, 07:16 PM   #1
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2005 30' Classic S/O
Logan , West Virginia
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2005 10 cu ft Dometic Refrigerator acting up?

We went on a trip down south where the temperatures were around 90 and the heat index was over 105. The refrigerator never did get below 52 degrees and the freezer got down to 32 degrees but kept fluctuating, the last day that we were there the refrigerator was 78 degrees and the freezer 48. I actually started the refrigerator the day before we left on the gas. It hardly got cold over a 12 hour period. So, when we returned home I left the 'fridge on gas and checked it a couple of days later and the thing was 4 degrees in the freezer and 36 in the fridge. I left it there for a couple more days and it maintained those temperatures. The last three-times this summer that we've gone camping the fridge has been sup-par and hardly operational. I've read everything on this site pertaining to refrigerators and gleaned a little information. I have tried leveling it and also sliding the thermister to the top of the fins. Now, the camper is hardly level and the fridge runs fine. Does anyone have any suggestions or information, it would be greatly appreciated. Regards. Stosh
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Old 08-04-2020, 07:25 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stosh View Post
We went on a trip down south where the temperatures were around 90 and the heat index was over 105. The refrigerator never did get below 52 degrees and the freezer got down to 32 degrees but kept fluctuating, the last day that we were there the refrigerator was 78 degrees and the freezer 48. I actually started the refrigerator the day before we left on the gas. It hardly got cold over a 12 hour period. So, when we returned home I left the 'fridge on gas and checked it a couple of days later and the thing was 4 degrees in the freezer and 36 in the fridge. I left it there for a couple more days and it maintained those temperatures. The last three-times this summer that we've gone camping the fridge has been sup-par and hardly operational. I've read everything on this site pertaining to refrigerators and gleaned a little information. I have tried leveling it and also sliding the thermister to the top of the fins. Now, the camper is hardly level and the fridge runs fine. Does anyone have any suggestions or information, it would be greatly appreciated. Regards. Stosh
I keep my fridge set at the mid setting on the temperature control. That puts the freezer at a 4 F and the refrigerator temp is about 38-40 degrees. That's usually on electric. Haven't measured on gas and those temps are usually when the fridge is empty and has been not been open for about 18 hours or so. I've never moved the thermistor and will have to look where mine is located relative to the fins. I'll have to read up on the thermistor and how positioning makes a difference. At almost 17 years of use, I'm always happy when it fires up each spring. I am a stickler for level running.

Jack
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Old 08-04-2020, 07:46 PM   #3
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Thermister?

Jack, the saying is move it north (up) for colder temperatures. Mine is set at the very top of the fin. Yes, mine also has 15-16 years of age, so I've been wondering if it's getting time to replace it. I will say this when it was empty it performed better. We actually used two coolers to keep our food in and that required the daily purchase of ice. Thanks for the response, I'm sure someone on here has the answer.
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Old 08-05-2020, 07:12 AM   #4
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Stosh, my current Airstream is the longest I've ever owned a trailer. My only comparison was my Hi-Lo which I owned 14 years. That fridge failed shortly after I sold it according to the guy who bought it from me. He smelled ammonia and it apparently started to leak prior to his first trip out with it. Sort of why I celebrate each season when it starts up!

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Old 08-05-2020, 09:26 AM   #5
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My dad who is 93 and a long time airstreamer said he was told years back that the gas will cause crystals and block the tube. He always carried a block of wood in his refrigerator compartment and would bang on the coils each time he used it. Also said they would take the ref out and turn it upside down and bang the coils. May or may not be anything to it but after 2 airstreams he never replaced a ref. I have followed his advice doing both and have never had problems with my 86, yet. Knock on wood.
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Old 08-05-2020, 11:23 AM   #6
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Sounds similar to the performance of my 2004 Dometic. I've noticed warm (low 40s) temps at times while in use and never tracked closely until recently. For years assumed at times it was because we were in and out of the fridge too much as the temps were always great in the morning. However I don't think that is the case.

All of the following is using gas. Last trip all worked well when parked in moderate shade and the fridge compartment was facing North. High outdoor temps 75-85. When we started moving temps went to mid 40s with outside temps 85-90. On the roll home with solid temps in the mid 90s fridge went to 50. Since my return 2 weeks ago I have left the fridge on and check the temp a few times a day. Trailer is sitting in full sun. On highest setting every morning temp is 29-32. On days above 80 temps go low to mid 40s. On 85-90 degree days high 40s in the afternoon and mid 90s we see temps in the 50s.

So the fridge does not keep up on hot days, I put two computer fans on the coils in back and can't tell a difference. I've used an internal fan on and off and no difference that I can detect.

My best guess is the insulation of the fridge is to thin for the capacity of the cooling unit or the cooling unit is not able to keep up on hot days. Not sure how to make it more efficient.

Anyone have ideas?
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Old 08-05-2020, 11:23 AM   #7
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Colder refer

Hope this helps. Put a small (muffin) 12volt fan available thru Amazon and mount to fins in back of refer to push heat up and out vent. You could also put one inside on evaporator. I think you’ll find it will perform better.
Good Luck
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Old 08-05-2020, 11:40 AM   #8
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Interesting thought about insulation. When I installed my replacement Dometic fridge, the instructions said to insulate the compartment, because the extra thermal protection is needed. Could be they don’t do that at the factory?
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Old 08-05-2020, 08:47 PM   #9
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Works better

JC just did this modification on our 2019 25 Flying Cloud. Installed a switch on the outside access compartment to turn it on/off. Pushes the air up the vent while stationary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Konagirl View Post
Hope this helps. Put a small (muffin) 12volt fan available thru Amazon and mount to fins in back of refer to push heat up and out vent. You could also put one inside on evaporator. I think you’ll find it will perform better.
Good Luck
John
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Old 08-08-2020, 10:32 PM   #10
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My 2005 Dometic quit 5 years ago. I discovered Wick at RV Cool just North of Littlerock, AR. He rebuilt all the plumbing with a new style swirl tubing that is must better than Dometic's. He says Dometic has cheapened up the plumbing and it just doesn't work well or last. At the time I ask him if he had many returns? He said non in 19 years. I have since added two computer fans in the top of the vent just to make it easier on the system. Absolutely no problems. Here is his info and he will receive and ship the rebuilt innards from and to you. Give Wick a call he is very reasonable on his prices.
rvcool.com
1-800-515-6823
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Old 08-09-2020, 10:45 AM   #11
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Great information!

Thank you for the information, I went to their web site and viewed the installation process video. Once again, thank you, I may have to make a trip to Arkansas.

Stosh
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