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Old 09-15-2015, 06:01 PM   #1
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Location: Colorado
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So I'm dry camping at 10k+ altittude and my

Dometic fridge keeps check lighting. I'm pretty sure it's an altitude issue. I made sure the gas adjustment knob/screw was turned all the way up. Anybody have a mod or fix for that? It does work at 5680'

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Old 09-15-2015, 07:56 PM   #2
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Can you take off your panel by the burner and see if more air flow? It helped me with a similar issue with hot water heater.

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Old 09-15-2015, 08:02 PM   #3
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that altitude your probably way too rich; if that is an appropriate phrase for a propane system?
Hondaman's idea is good. I know on mine there is a little 1 inch swing door you can swing open to see that the burner is lit. Maybe if that was held open more air would get into the burner? Not sure!
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Old 09-16-2015, 08:34 AM   #4
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No swing door but I will give the panel removal a try next time.
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Old 09-16-2015, 11:49 AM   #5
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I had the same problem a couple of years ago while visiting my brother in Breckenridge Colorado. The fridge wouldn't light and I was getting explosion noises from the burner assembly when it was trying to ignite. I contacted Dometic about the problem and their response was "We never heard about this type of problem; take it to an RV repair shop to be fixed - it's broken".

The fridge worked fine at lower altitudes so I decided to disassemble the shielding on the burner unit to see what was happening. Once the covers were off, the problem was obvious. Dometic has a 1" air gap between the gas jet and the mixing pipe leading to the burner assembly. While looking at this, I realized that it looked very much like the burner assembly on my gas grill but the gas grill, which burns much more gas than the fridge, had an adjustable opening to control the gas/air mixture. At tihs point, I realized what the problem was. At low altitudes, air pressure keeps the propane jet confined enough to properly enter the mixing tube while at 10k' altitude, the propane was spreading out so much that most of it was going around the tube into the combustion chamber. When the gas concentration reached a critical ratio, it exploded when lit by the igniter.

My solution was to make a shield that fits between the gas orifice and the burner tube. The shield is about 60% of a tube and is attached to the existing sheet metal using a screw that was already in the right place. This completely solved the problem. I also checked the burner after it was lit and verified that the flame was still a nice pale blue color.

The minute amount of propane that's burned by the fridge doesn't require that full 1" air gap. I've rechecked the burner assembly at low altitudes and it still looks good so I left the shield in place so I don't have problems at high altitudes again.

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Old 09-16-2015, 11:51 AM   #6
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Cascade Idaho
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Fridge problem

I have had the same problem at times. Found out when dry camping if the DC voltage drops below 11.5 Volts or so the fridge stops working. I was told by Norcold that at high altitudes the refer will not work well, but it does OK on AC power.
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Old 09-16-2015, 01:10 PM   #7
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How about a picture?
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Old 09-16-2015, 01:30 PM   #8
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Living at 7,000 ft., my frig. also has been very slow to cool down unless plugged into shore power. Thanks for the info, I never considered the thinner, less oxygen as the cause.
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Old 09-16-2015, 01:58 PM   #9
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Never been that high before but would love to.Good luck am sure you will find the answer here
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Old 09-16-2015, 03:36 PM   #10
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Had a similar problem with the Water Heater at high altitudes, but not the frig. I simply crack open the exterior access panel to the WH and tie it in place with a twist-em attached to the locking tab. Only need about an inch at the top to solve the problem.

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