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Old 05-21-2018, 10:41 AM   #1
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Fridge Issues (Dometic RM2351). Levelness?

Hi,

Newbie here with a new Wildwood FSX with Dometic RM2351 fridge.

I'm having problems getting it to consistently work properly.
A few times it has cooled down nicely (freezer very cold) then
warmed up to ambient, with nothing that I have done (I think).
All while on AC power (with gas on, as well).

Even while warming up, there is a bit of heat coming from the
exterior vent, so something is working.

I'm grasping at straws now, as I try to get ready for a long
trip starting tomorrow.

The last thing I tried last night was to lower the hitch to the
minimum in an attempt to get it a bit more level (fore-aft). The
hitch is still probably 6" to 1 foot higher than it should be for
dead level.

The fridge seems to be working since then (but its fooled me before).

Are these things really that sensitive to "levelness"? Is there a
tolerance (fore-aft). Its likely impossible, or at least, very
inconvient, to maintain levelness.
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Old 05-21-2018, 11:14 AM   #2
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A foot too high in the front is quite a bit. RV refrigerators rely on gravity and evaporation and have many little tubes that are CLOSE to being horizontal, but have a slight incline/decline.

If you're not level enough, those nearly horizontal tubes will fill with the liquid on one side and prevent the gravity/evaporative process.

So to answer your question, they have to be pretty level.

Here's a picture:
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Old 05-21-2018, 11:24 AM   #3
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Many R/V refrigerators are absorption type refrigerators and do not cool like residential refers in your house. (although some R/Vs have residential type)

Absorption refrigerators need to be somewhat level but not perfectly level.

With that said, if you are nearing one foot high of being out of level, that is too much, especially if the refrigerator is on a side wall of the R/V. Not as critical if on the back wall, then side to side levelness would be more important.
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Old 05-21-2018, 03:56 PM   #4
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You want to hear something crazy? Good, because it’s going to sound that way.

My wife and I have had trouble with our fridge since the day we got the camper. I think we’ve finally cracked the code, so hopefully this information will be helpful.

We often found that we’d bring the camper to the house, plug it in and cool the fridge off in electric mode. Get ready to camp, pack it up with groceries and turn it to gas before leaving. Staying cold the entire time. After we’d arrive at camp and setup, we’d switch it back to electric.

At some point inevitably over the next 12 hours we’d realize that the fridge would be 60 degrees or even worse and immediately panic about food spoilage.

Our solution….

This is where it get’s weird. For some reason it has worked for us the last few trips following these steps. I’m curious to know if you have the same experience.

1. Bring camper home from storage 48 hours prior to camping.
2. Plug camper into electric and select electric mode on the camper.
3. Ensure fridge cools over the next 24 hours.
4. Prior to leaving, switch to gas mode.
5. Upon arriving, disconnect camper from tow vehicle
6. Raise rear of camper using tongue jack by lowering tongue almost all the way to the ground.
7. Raise nose of camper using tongue jack by raising tongue same angle up as it was down in step 6.
8. Level camper normally and switch to electric mode.
9. Enjoy non - spoiled food.

The idea is to jostle and bubbles that may have formed during travel out.

I know this sounds crazy, but it has worked like a charm for us. I’ve heard that air bubbles can get stuck in the cooling system, which doesn’t allow heat to transfer properly.
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Old 05-21-2018, 04:56 PM   #5
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Yep. That's crazy.

I turn my fridge on the day before we leave (propane). The wife loads it, then we head out leaving it on propane and when we park for the weekend.... we don't touch it.

It gets turned on Thursday night, and gets shut off Sunday night. All the while we're parked, driving, camping, driving, and parking again.
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Old 05-21-2018, 07:19 PM   #6
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We used to start the fridge on AC the night before a trip so it would be down to temp in the morning. The new TT is several feet longer so I wasn't able to get it as level as the old one (a digital level shows about 5-6 degrees). With that much angle, the fridge won't cool down on either AC or gas.

After two attempts in the drive I've switched over to chilling it out in the street in front of the house while we're packing. I bought a small battery operated fridge fan and that seems to help cool things down quicker and it is usually in the low 40's by the time we pull in the CG.

FWIW, I also put a 2 liter ice bomb in the freezer when I first get up. It seems to help speed the cool down but no scientific evidence to support my theory...
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Old 05-22-2018, 04:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by josheaton View Post
You want to hear something crazy? Good, because itís going to sound that way.

4. Prior to leaving, switch to gas mode.
.
Not so crazy.

Your alternative might be to not run the fridge on gas while you are traveling. We put a frozen bottle of water in the fridge and ice packs in the freezer part. Most RV refrigerators will keep your food cold for several hours without any addition of ice.

for nholtz: Levelness matters, but so does how often you open the fridge and making certain that the fridge door is completely closed. We have a family member that closes the fridge so that it 'looks' closed, but it really isn't sealed. Drives me crazy because the fridge warms up quickly when the door isn't completely sealed.
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Old 05-23-2018, 09:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reverse_snowbird View Post
Not so crazy.

Your alternative might be to not run the fridge on gas while you are traveling. We put a frozen bottle of water in the fridge and ice packs in the freezer part. Most RV refrigerators will keep your food cold for several hours without any addition of ice.

for nholtz: Levelness matters, but so does how often you open the fridge and making certain that the fridge door is completely closed. We have a family member that closes the fridge so that it 'looks' closed, but it really isn't sealed. Drives me crazy because the fridge warms up quickly when the door isn't completely sealed.
That is something to try, although my wife usually has it full of food! I may try and see if we could fit a frozen two liter in there to see if that does the trick. The problem may have something to do with switching back from gas mode.
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Old 05-31-2018, 04:29 PM   #9
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Possible Solution

Attachment 174113
Quote:
Originally Posted by nholtz View Post
Hi,

Newbie here with a new Wildwood FSX with Dometic RM2351 fridge.

I'm having problems getting it to consistently work properly.
A few times it has cooled down nicely (freezer very cold) then
warmed up to ambient, with nothing that I have done (I think).
All while on AC power (with gas on, as well).

Even while warming up, there is a bit of heat coming from the
exterior vent, so something is working.

I'm grasping at straws now, as I try to get ready for a long
trip starting tomorrow.

The last thing I tried last night was to lower the hitch to the
minimum in an attempt to get it a bit more level (fore-aft). The
hitch is still probably 6" to 1 foot higher than it should be for
dead level.

The fridge seems to be working since then (but its fooled me before).

Are these things really that sensitive to "levelness"? Is there a
tolerance (fore-aft). Its likely impossible, or at least, very
inconvient, to maintain levelness.
We have had the same unpredictable temperature with our Dometic Model DMR702LB. We found levelness helped, but continued to have continued to have significant temperature swings in the box--sometimes freezing the food and sometimes letting the temp go as high as 55F. The swings were always worst when the frig was loaded, suggesting circulation might be the problem. I considered buying fans to circulate the air better, but have tentatively concluded that engineering might be the real problem.

Ours has these pretty plastic panels on each shelf with rather small square holes every few inches that are mostly covered when food is placed in the frig, thus restricting circulation of air considerably. Our thermistor is fixed in position below the second shelf on the back wall in the photograph.

I monitored temperatures in the box with the plastic shelf panels and the plastic fin protector panel installed and removed when the frig was empty. I found that when the panels are in place, temperature swings were significant--as much as 20F whether on propane or electric. With the top shelf panel removed, temperature didn't vary more than 1-2F on propane or electric.

If you don't have the plastic shelf panels, you've wasted your time reading my post, but maybe it will help someone who has the same plastic panels.

Next week, we are giving it an "on the road" test to see if temps are more consistent when loaded with food. I'll post our results then.

Hope you don't mind lying on your side to view the picture.

Unfortunately, DW loves the plastic panels--says they make the frig look prettier than those ugly wire shelves.
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