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Old 07-17-2016, 10:18 PM   #1
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Another Frig not working properly thread

Finally got to take a long tour with the Clipper 17FQ and for course the frig, the one thing that really needs to work properly to the boss happy ain't doing it. It is has a Dometic frig. here's the story... before leaving (have a digital thermometer inside of it) the temps were always in the mid 20's or low 30's. this was sitting in its storage area plugged into its own circuit. All seemed good, checked to see if the gas side would light but never left it on gas beyond checking for ignition. Since leaving home it has only cooling when on electric, down into the 20's and 30's and the freezer gets below 0 but after a day of travel the frig into the low 50's and freeze is in the 20's. I have checked and the burner is lighting, just like it did at home and has a good blue flame. At first I thought that the flame might be getting blown out while traveling down the road but after fashioning a temporary baffle to shield it the temps were even higher when we parked that evening.

I need suggestions on what to do or look for since we are only on the first week of a several week outing. I am getting real fed up with this thing and am about ready to strap a generator on it to keep the food and milk cold.

Ideas ?, comments ?, suggestions ?
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Old 07-18-2016, 11:53 AM   #2
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One thing to try is to unplug or turn off the 120 volts to the fridge when parked and let the gas take over and see if it works when parked. If it does, then something is happening going down the road.
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Old 07-18-2016, 11:58 AM   #3
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What the temp of out side air ? over 90 and the unit will have trouble keeping up .also as many others will chime in adding a fan to the back side to help with air flow will help . when running down the road you may have issue with air circulation
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Old 07-18-2016, 06:30 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. The temps have been in the high 90's here so I know that will have some affect on the cooling but it has 2 - 120mm computer fans that have run constantly since we left home so I would think air flow should be OK. I tried using only gas with it sitting over night and the temp was again up to the 50's in the frig part of the unit.

There was a mobile RV repair guy in the camp ground this morning and I had him take a look and he said it was air flow and to remove the baffles I had added when I put the fans in and to remove the bug screens since they were also restricting the flow of air. I removed both the baffles and the screens and now it won't even cool on electric. And now that I have put the baffles back it still does not appear to be cooling even on electric but then I did just put them back so I need to give it more time.

And now to add insult to injury every time we turn on the exhaust fan in the bath the sewer smell runs you out of the trailer. At least there is a little help by opening a window before turning it on.

I am beginning to get really fed up with this camping thing. I got rid of the last unit because of never ending frig, water heater and AC problems and bought a new unit expecting it to give service for a few years at least before something failed and this is what I get.
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Old 07-18-2016, 06:49 PM   #5
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With regard to the smell make sure you have plenty of water in the toilet covering the ball valve and ensure that the traps in the kitchen and bath also have water in them.

I think your fridge is the direct vent type similar to the type installed in slide outs. I would make sure the thermistor had not come loose from the cooling fins (inside the fridge) and the outside cooling fans were pushing air in the correct direction. I would also put a cool can inside on the lowest shelf to circulate air and then run a 24 hour test on propane without opening the fridge door and see what your inside temp is. Let us know what you find
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Old 07-19-2016, 01:03 PM   #6
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Good air flow is critical. Make sure the DC voltage fans and are not running backwards. If they are reverse power connections. Vents should not be covered up. Also, if fridge was running okay on electric and not gas check to make sure you can hear the flame even though it looks okay. Make sure your LP pressure is at least 11HG at the fridge. Remove and clean the gas orifice with brake cleaner or alcohol and bow air through it. DO NOT run anything through the orifice as it will be damaged. Make sure the flue is clean and the flue baffle is okay.
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Old 07-19-2016, 05:14 PM   #7
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We have a 17fq and our fridge acted about the same. Added fans and added some insulation in the voids beside the unit. Then used some of that foil duct tape to seal it off. We have started loading it the day before leaving so we dont lose any cold air before hitting the road the next day. It still loses the battle running down the road. Like you I think it is getting blown out by all the traffic passing us. Including the semis.
I have noticed the floorplan has the dinette and kitchen on opposite sides from the current layout, putting the fridge on the curb side. That tells me we are not alone. Even though it is always lit when we stop how many times was it out? Or it just isnt burning like it should. That is what I will be checking next.
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Old 07-20-2016, 07:41 PM   #8
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OK sorry to take so long to reply but wifi campground connects have been worse than poor lately.

The fans are running in the correct direction as you can feel the air being pushed put the top grille. I turned it on to gas sitting at our last campsite and the gas still would not cool the unit. Temps continued to climb until I turned the electric back on. The freezer seems to try to hold some cold when on gas but is still heats up from the 0 or -0 temps it gets down to when on electric but I fell that is mostly the frozen foods holding it down.

Yes, like you the back I insulated around the box before we left home. I did that after I discovered you could see light looking down the side of the box. We had let the frig get cold before we left home and all the food that was put in it was taken directly out of the frig at home so it would not have to cool anything down. Left home happily thinking all was good and then at the first stop to find the temps in the 50's is somewhat depressing.

As I said it seems to do OK on electric but on gas it is a failure. I feel that these RV refrigerators are just plain junk as there are WAY to many threads about cooling issues on this forum alone.
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Old 07-20-2016, 08:25 PM   #9
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the systems aren't junk . gas absorption systems were the first type of refrigeration out there .My dometic works great and hasn't varied in temp that was noticeable since i turned it on april 8th 2015 and it's been running ever since . from below freezing outside temps to some days in the 90's . whats going on is bad install at the factory , bad cooling units being produced . what ever it is something is wrong that is not very obvious to see . i wish i had the magic answer but all i can do is speculate on what may be the problem . seems some have great success with adding fans others don't . maybe they left out the side insulation , or ????
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Old 07-20-2016, 09:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by northstar1960 View Post
the systems aren't junk . gas absorption systems were the first type of refrigeration out there
Oh I agree with that what is junk is the crap Dometic and Norcold are pushing off on the RV community. Back when I was way younger my folks had a camper whose frig was tough as nails, always cold. As long as the modern consumer continues to accept what they put out it won't get any better.
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