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Old 06-18-2016, 03:40 PM   #1
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Problems with Dometic fridge

Hi - We are relatively new to RVing. We just had our unit out for its third camping trip. The Dometic fridge took about 12 hours to cool to an acceptable temperature, despite being reasonably leveled once in our campsite and having it on the coolest setting. The campsite was only a 2-hour drive from where we store our RV, and we had turned the fridge on before departing. It switched over from gas to electric as soon as we were hooked up, but it still took forever to really cool down.

We did receive some helpful advice by phone from Dometic. They had my husband shift a lever of some sort inside the fridge compartment. (Sorry, I don't know exactly what it was.) But I'm wondering - since we haven't camped much yet - if this is typical, and what the best way is to cool the fridge quickly and keep it at an optimum temperature (we kept having to adjust it all weekend). We plan to take a long RV trip next year, and consistent food storage temp will be more of an issue. Thanks!

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Old 06-18-2016, 04:29 PM   #2
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A couple of thoughts to try:
1. I usually start my fridge cooling down the night before I leave. Then it is ready to go when I am.

2. If that is not possible place some frozen water bottles into the fridge to help cool it down some. This kick starts it a little. Your RV fridge isn't like your fridge at home, it's an evaporation unit.

3. Don't pack the fridge too tightly, the air has to be able to move around it work effectively.

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Old 06-18-2016, 04:38 PM   #3
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12 hours to cool sufficiently is fairly normal.

I do the same as ChipBruce, fire up the fridge the day before leaving.

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Old 06-18-2016, 05:45 PM   #4
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Agree with all above and turn ours on a few days before the trip.
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Old 06-18-2016, 05:53 PM   #5
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I can't fire up the fridge the day before because I live on a hill. What I do instead, is freeze my milk, my lemonaid, and other drinks. I also put frozen food in the fridge that I know I need thawed out and used the first/second day. This really helps cool down the fridge pretty quick.

I found that my fridge runs cooler on propane versus electric. I'm not sure why that is.
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Old 06-18-2016, 05:56 PM   #6
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"reasonably leveled"...maybe it's not good enough? Front to back makes a way huge difference. I work the levelers to 0.0 degrees bubble. Fridge works wonderfully with five fans.
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Old 06-18-2016, 07:42 PM   #7
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Thank you. Those are great suggestions. We store our RV at a dealership, so starting up the fridge a day before isn't really practical. But we will plan to freeze some things ahead of time to get it cooling more quickly. Just glad to know it's not a particular problem with our fridge.

I do think the leveling made it more of an issue on our most recent trip. We couldn't get it 100% level front to back. It wasn't bothersome to us, but the bubble was a little off.
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Old 06-18-2016, 07:57 PM   #8
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Here where I live, it's summertime. I takes a while for the fridge to cool down. Being a little bit off level won't hurt anything. The main thing is, that it needs time to absorb all the heat out the compartment. The best thing to do is put a large bag of ice in the freezer to help it out. Frozen water bottles work too but my wife says they are not good to drink out of after they are frozen because of the plastic. That's probably another subject. If it's hot where you live, I'd go down a day or two before and fire the fridge up like others have said. Just say'n
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Old 06-18-2016, 07:57 PM   #9
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I am not able to cool my fridge before trips and I do the same as stated above and I also leave ice packs in the freezer they freeze as the freezer gets cold. I leave my food in a cooler that I bring from home and unpack after we arrive at the campground. The fridge fans also help. I use the battery ones. I turn to the coldest setting and leave it.
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Old 06-19-2016, 03:47 PM   #10
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RV refrigerators

The Dometic refrigerator you have is much different in its operation than the refrigerator you have at home. It operates on an absorption principal and is not capable of a fast recovery time as many posts before mine have indicated.

The very best way to use it is to put already chilled items into the refrigerator after it too has been run at least overnight to cool it off. If you put cool items in a warm fridge it will simply make them warmer until it catches up to their temperature then it will slowly cool them again. For some items this could be dangerous (chicken for instance).

I recommend against keeping your drinks in there as well because the constant opening and closing of the refrigerator will never let it stay closed to cool off and everything will get warm. Keep a traditional ice chest just outside yoru door full of ice and whatever cool drinks you desire.

Welcome to the world of RVing. I know all this sounds like a pain but you will very quickly learn and it will become second nature.

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