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Old 09-28-2020, 03:40 PM   #1
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2017 Flying Cloud - Fridge Won't Cool on Electric or LP

I just bought a 2017 FC 19' used from a private party. The fridge won't cool down. The freezer gets kinda cold, but the fridge won't cool down even if it's been plugged in and turned on for several days.

I switched it over to LP to see if that would work and it still won't cool down and then I also get a smell inside the trailer. It smells like something burning, like maybe plastic.

I've read several of the threads here and, though kind of helpful, I don't know many of the parts, door locations, components, etc. that are being referred to when troubleshooting.

My main question is this; are there any YouTube videos on how to troubleshoot this issue? Videos that are made for newbies? I can't seem to find any other than the official Airstream videos about how to turn the fridge on/off and how to switch it between power and LP. No troubleshooting videos.

Absent any videos, does anyone have a website with photos that runs through a diagnositc/troublehooting/fix process? I'm an old Marine who has been hit in the head too many times to really follow directions without videos/photos.

Thanks!
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Old 09-29-2020, 05:30 AM   #2
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Joe

A resource for videos and documents on many RV Topics.

https://myrvworks.com/

In the resource tab links to many fridge docs and lots of videos. Including a how fridges work doc and video.

Darren is a mobile tech but not in your area.

On the outside, open fridge door. Any yellow goop on floor or ammonia smell?

Model number of fridge?
Any codes or lights lit?

Gary
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Old 09-29-2020, 05:37 AM   #3
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Was it cold when you inspected the trailer before buying?
These fridges are notorious for poor performance in hot weather, but I expect that not to be the case for you. Since the heater is working in both modes, it suggests an issue with the refrigerant. Some people have posted suggestions to clear blockages from operating “off level” - you can search for that. Or it may be that the refrigerant has leaked out. That would probably entail a service call.
Based on previous experience, I am not a fan of absorption refrigerators. Waninea39 has a thread about “12V/120V refrigerators” that includes a list of compressor style alternatives, should you need to replace. yours. Check it out.
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Old 10-08-2020, 12:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GCinSC2 View Post
Joe

A resource for videos and documents on many RV Topics.

https://myrvworks.com/

In the resource tab links to many fridge docs and lots of videos. Including a how fridges work doc and video.

Darren is a mobile tech but not in your area.

On the outside, open fridge door. Any yellow goop on floor or ammonia smell?

Model number of fridge?
Any codes or lights lit?

Gary
No goop on the outside fridge floor, no. No ammonia smell, either.

Not sure about the model number or where to get that. I see a few numbers on the different components inside the fridge compartment but not sure which one is the model number. I'm digging through all the paper documentation now to see if there's a model number.

I'm not sure where I'd get codes? Codes like the ones off of a vehicle when you plug that thing to the port under the steering wheel?

The lights that are lit are normal; fridge fan light on the side near the Airstream door is on (FC 19 models have a fan, not a vent, according to the manual). The lights on the front of the fridge show "on" right now because I have it set to run off electric. I have it plugged in via the 30a cord with an adapter that steps it down to a normal 110v plug in my garage.
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Old 10-08-2020, 12:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GetawA-S View Post
Was it cold when you inspected the trailer before buying?
These fridges are notorious for poor performance in hot weather, but I expect that not to be the case for you. Since the heater is working in both modes, it suggests an issue with the refrigerant. Some people have posted suggestions to clear blockages from operating “off level” - you can search for that. Or it may be that the refrigerant has leaked out. That would probably entail a service call.
Based on previous experience, I am not a fan of absorption refrigerators. Waninea39 has a thread about “12V/120V refrigerators” that includes a list of compressor style alternatives, should you need to replace. yours. Check it out.
Yes, it was cold then. But then it was another month before I was able to pick it up after getting all the loan paperwork done. I didn't check it before I left. Cure admonishment for not doing that, I guess.

I've seen a few videos about the new compression fridges and they seem to work much, much better than these absorption models.

It's funny though. I follow several overlanding YouTube channels and they all have these Dometic 12v fridges in the Jeeps and trucks that are running even after 15 years of being banged around back there.
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Old 10-08-2020, 01:44 PM   #6
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2017 Flying Cloud - Fridge Won't Cool on Electric or LP

Ok do you have absorption or compressor type. Please clarify.

I think the model info is on the inside of fridge.

Do you feel heat on the chimney heat shield?

My fridge is running on 120VAC right now and interior fridge temp is 35 degrees F via wireless remote thermometer. Direct full sun on fridge side air temp mid 80’s.
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Old 10-08-2020, 08:50 PM   #7
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GCinSC2, I didn’t mean to muddy the water. OP’s fridge is an absorption unit.
I’m not sure about the Jeep models OP mentioned. An absorption unit on 12V is usually marginal, but other than Engel, compressor RV fridges are fairly recent, as I understand.
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