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Old 10-22-2019, 04:15 PM   #1
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Default Dometic fridge quit cooling

Our Dometic refrigerator quit cooling satisfactorily on the road. First night on the road we were on shore power and it was set too cool and froze the contents. It worked ok for a couple of days, but performance keeps going down hill, to the point of keeping contents in the 50s with outside temperature usually in the 60s. We are careful to keep the coach level within reason at all times. I opened the outside compartment and the flue is too hot to hold. Found nothing unusual other than the evaporator cooling fan fell to pieces, but I should not need it with the current cool temperatures. Any ideas/suggestions? Thanks!
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Old 10-22-2019, 10:35 PM   #2
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That is how mine quit on my Leisure Travel Freedom. Had to replace it with the Dometic I think 2354. It took some doing to get it in there. Mine started cold and slowly got warmer.
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Old 10-23-2019, 11:42 PM   #3
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Began on shore power; too cold. At moderate temps your thermostat should be set low. I just left Phoenix and even here had to have my Dometic on 2 to not freeze.

Performance keeps going downhill. Unclear. Are you on shore power when this happens or propane or 12v? Our first night we were on propane with night temps down into the 40s/day70s. Again had to have it on 3-4 to avoid fridge temps in the 20s.

Next 2 days at Petrified Forest on shore. Similar outside temps. Had to keep fridge set at 1 (lowest setting).

So were you always on 120v? Was your flue hot only when you were on 120v?
Or all the time.
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Old 10-25-2019, 12:10 AM   #4
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The first night we were on 120v but always on propane after that. The flue is still hot but the fridge is essentially nonfunctioning, about 60 degrees. The indicator needle on the front is in its normal positioning. We are adding ice to the fridge to keep items cooler. I am almost resigned to purchase a new unit. Hopefully my RV serviceman has a solution when we get back home.
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Old 10-25-2019, 12:31 AM   #5
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So you're dealing with a newer fridge than mine I'm guessing. I think that there are several elements here: 1. the cooling plumbing/transfer tubes, etc.,
2. The heating mechanism, and 3. The control via thermostat, circuit board of the heating.

The fact that it cools fine on 120v would suggest to me that #1 is probably ok. If that plumbing was bad, it wouldn't cool well on any heat source.

When I run on propane on my (older) Dometic, there's really not much of a control. It's always on.........except when the thermostat says that the desired internal temperature is reached, it goes into "low burner" mode where the burner flame is reduced. I'm guessing to a more "pilot light" level. Then when the thermostat detects that the inside temp is warming, it kicks back to the full flame level. So your problem could be faulty thermostat or circuit board (I know nothing about that since my old unit doesn't have one).

Flue getting hot to touch, though, should be a good sign. It's possible that the burner itself is not properly centered. If it were off-center it could be primarily heating the side of the flue and not the boiler tube itself.
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Old 10-25-2019, 12:35 AM   #6
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Clarify my above: if the burner tube is out of center, it still would function properly in 120v mode since that is in a different location. Here's a link to a Dometic document that might help you or your service person:

http://rvrefrigeratorrepair.com/wp-c...ervice-AES.pdf
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Old 10-25-2019, 02:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gksmith View Post
The first night we were on 120v but always on propane after that. The flue is still hot but the fridge is essentially nonfunctioning, about 60 degrees. The indicator needle on the front is in its normal positioning. We are adding ice to the fridge to keep items cooler. I am almost resigned to purchase a new unit. Hopefully my RV serviceman has a solution when we get back home.
Having an indicator needle would indicate an older style fridge without a circuit board, correct?

As this would seem to be an issue when only on LP try it on 120 when you get home or somewhere with shore power.

You could have a dirty and/or corroded burner and/or a dirty flue, for starters.
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Old 10-25-2019, 11:53 PM   #8
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Thanks for the suggestions. We are boondocking in the NE with all campgrounds closed, so no 120 available until we get home next week to test 120. We have definitely been on bumpy roads so burner centering might be an issue. Bumpy roads may have solved our genset problem as it would only run a few minutes at a time when we started and now it runs flawlessly! I theorize something got dislodged somewhere that keeps it from running out of gas. Thanks again!
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Old 10-29-2019, 08:47 PM   #9
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I forgot one thing. Dometic has a spec for the LP pressure at the inlet to the fridge. It has to be within a specific range for it to work properly. I believe it's something like 11.5 inches with half of the other LP appliances turned on. If it's beneath this, the fridge won't work properly. Have your RV guy measure the pressure at the inlet to the fridge. I think there is a port there to attach a gauge.
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Old 10-30-2019, 01:21 PM   #10
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Good thought. I purchased a pressure gauge a couple of years ago to check but had forgotten about it. Thanks for the reminder.
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Old 10-31-2019, 05:46 PM   #11
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Been telling people this for years. Set a rechargeable small fan in the fridge, top shelf & pointed at the evaporator. They take up less space then the worthless Camco one, and most have 3 speeds. I keep mine on low, and change it out once or twice a day with a second charged one. Think about it, ALL residential refrigerators have a fan blowing and circulating the evaporator's cool air. If nothing takes the cold from the evaporator, the sensor thinks everything is cold, and eventually it ices up. I know others talk about the external fan, (Not saying this is a bad idea) but since I did this a year or so ago, I've had NO issues, and at that time I was full timing, often times it extreme heat. Many years ago I was a HVAC Tech, for what it's worth.
Sometimes the simple solution, is the best solution. Shop around on Amazon, about $15. Mine last for 8 or so hours. The one I bought is no longer available, but you should be able to find a similar one.
Good Luck
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