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Old 06-07-2021, 08:10 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
n/a , Minnesota
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 8
Dometic RM1303 - freezer cools, but not fridge?

Yes, it's an early AES model (1984). And yes, I know how much people despise them, what with all the stupid things that can go wrong. But I'd like to get it working if possible - a trailer is only original once!

This one's a bit of a problem child. It has at least three issues.

1) Previous owner said it wasn't working on electric, only gas.

Their solution was to disconnect it from AC to force gas operation, and forget about the problem.

My plan is to dig in for some diagnosis this weekend. From what I've read, I wouldn't be surprised to see a bad heating element, a board issue, or perhaps both (the former causing the latter).

Regardless, it's VOM time!

2) Previous owner swore it always worked on gas, but yet it struggles to stay lit.

After a little time spent with the manual, I'm anticipating an iffy thermocouple. Again, something to be investigated further this weekend.

Out of a dozen or so attempts, I did get it to stay lit once, and it ran for several hours. Which is when I discovered the third - and most puzzling - problem.

3) The freezer gets cold, but not the refrigerator.

It took 2+ hours for anything to become noticeably cold (normal?). That first sign was the plate in the freezer getting cold and developing frost (again, normal?). But even after 4-5 hours, nothing in the fridge was showing any signs of dropping below room temperature.

As I understand it, the ammonia cooling system in these is all one circuit - so if one part's cooling, everything should be cooling (especially since the freezer is at the top, and the heating element at the bottom)... right?

Your thoughts and experiences are welcomed :-)

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