Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-11-2018, 04:20 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 15
Ammonia smell in the refrigerator.

As we were getting things ready to head out of our ladr campground we were assalted by the strong smell of anmonia coming, we think, from the fridge (no cleaning supply related). We decided to check it caregilly when we get home but we wonder, What could it be?
__________________

martinak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2018, 04:27 PM   #2
Rollin' With The Changes
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Yuma, Arizona
Posts: 872
Quote:
Originally Posted by martinak View Post
As we were getting things ready to head out of our ladr campground we were assalted by the strong smell of anmonia coming, we think, from the fridge (no cleaning supply related). We decided to check it caregilly when we get home but we wonder, What could it be?
I believe that the smell is a warning that something is wrong...

Someone here will have the scientific answer soon!
__________________

__________________
JohnD
Took the 3:10 to Yuma...(Arizona)

"I toined left at Alba-koi-kee!"
JohnD10 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2018, 04:28 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
SeaDog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Idaho
Posts: 4,736
If you smell ammonia the cooling unit is leaking. look around the cooling unit and see if you see any yellow power on the coils this is where the leak is.
__________________
Retired Navy
Jake my sidekick (yellow Lab)
2017 RAM 2500 CC 4X4 Cummins Diesel
2016 Flagstaff 26 FKWS
AF&AM & El Korah Shrine of Idaho
SeaDog is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2018, 04:43 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
W5CI's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Carlisle, Arkansas
Posts: 1,035
If you are smelling Amonia, the Ref is Dead. you can replace the whole unit or replace just the cooling unit. Good luck as I have been there
__________________
Cedar Creek 30RLBS/TrailAir Hitch/ MORryde 7K IS/Disc Brakes/ PI PT-50 EMS/ RV Flex Armor Roof
2015 RAM 3500 DRW 6.7 Cummins 3.42/ Garmin 760RV
40 Gal TransferFlow fuel tank/ TST 507
Amateur Radio W5CI 2017 Days Camping 77
2018 Days Camping 7
W5CI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2018, 06:11 PM   #5
Site Team
 
wmtire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Northeast Louisiana
Posts: 17,054
Yes, ammonia smell on a RV absorption refrigerator is not a good sign.

This link may help understand.

http://www.rvdoctor.com/2001/02/rv-a...oling.html?m=1
__________________
2011 Flagstaff 831 RLBSS

My fondest childhood memory is thinking that $20 was a lot of money.
wmtire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2018, 06:23 PM   #6
World Wide Wanderer
 
wahoonc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Sprung Leak, NC
Posts: 1,411
Cooling unit is toast. You can get a replacement (better quality) for about half of what a new fridge costs. If you are mechanically inclined you can do it yourself.

Get the "Amish" unit.

Aaron
__________________
Aaron & Rhonda
wahoonc & Airangel60

2016 Coachmen Concord 300DS
2015 Fusion Hybrid following along
wahoonc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2018, 06:42 PM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 77
As others have said - if it's not dead, it's definitely not long for this world.

When you get your new one, an ARP may help you - it shuts down the boiler if it detects a fast rise in temperature (which is caused many times by running it more than about 3 degrees off level for a long period of time).

I installed one in mine when I got my trailer this spring. www.arprv.com , if you're interested. Ran about $200 shipped, but I figure that's cheaper than a new fridge.

Wasn't too hard to install, once I figured out the instructions, which could definitely use a revision. Oh, and wear gloves when you install the temperature sensor; the thin metal shielding the boiler unit will play havoc with your hands / forearms.

As they mention on the website, even though Norcold & Dometic have addressed boiler overheat issues to some degree (see: recalls, a few years ago, as a result of fires (!), their device gives even more protection.

They also have add-on modules that control auxiliary fans, etc. Mine vents through the roof, but if it were a side vent (in-slide), I'd probably spring for the upper or upper / lower fan versions.
Reprise is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2018, 12:19 PM   #8
Rollin' With The Changes
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Yuma, Arizona
Posts: 872
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reprise View Post
As others have said - if it's not dead, it's definitely not long for this world.

When you get your new one, an ARP may help you - it shuts down the boiler if it detects a fast rise in temperature (which is caused many times by running it more than about 3 degrees off level for a long period of time).

I installed one in mine when I got my trailer this spring. www.arprv.com , if you're interested. Ran about $200 shipped, but I figure that's cheaper than a new fridge.

Wasn't too hard to install, once I figured out the instructions, which could definitely use a revision. Oh, and wear gloves when you install the temperature sensor; the thin metal shielding the boiler unit will play havoc with your hands / forearms.

As they mention on the website, even though Norcold & Dometic have addressed boiler overheat issues to some degree (see: recalls, a few years ago, as a result of fires (!), their device gives even more protection.

They also have add-on modules that control auxiliary fans, etc. Mine vents through the roof, but if it were a side vent (in-slide), I'd probably spring for the upper or upper / lower fan versions.
I met the couple that invented the ARP at a camping rally a couple of years ago and attended his seminar with a demonstration.

I was going to have him install his setup, including the fans, but he ran out of the supply he brought with him.

He was supposed to be at another rally I was at recently and was going to have him install it there, but they cancelled coming to the rally.

Might just buy it and put it in myself...although I'm not good with electrical stuff.
__________________
JohnD
Took the 3:10 to Yuma...(Arizona)

"I toined left at Alba-koi-kee!"
JohnD10 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2018, 02:14 PM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnD10 View Post
I met the couple that invented the ARP at a camping rally a couple of years ago and attended his seminar with a demonstration.

I was going to have him install his setup, including the fans, but he ran out of the supply he brought with him.

He was supposed to be at another rally I was at recently and was going to have him install it there, but they cancelled coming to the rally.

Might just buy it and put it in myself...although I'm not good with electrical stuff.
I'm not either, and I had just gotten my TT, on top of it. But I was successful!

The instructions make it more complicated than it is. In a nutshell...

Kill all electrical power before starting, of course...

- Run the temp probe to the boiler tube, clip in place (supplied)
(this is probably the worst part, and it's not even a wiring step)

- Plug in the (2) male 'bullet' connectors from the probe wiring, to the two female on the ARP (polarity doesn't matter)

- Remove one +12v wire supplying the fridge control board; connect to the ARP.

- Connect the one switched +12v from the ARP to that (now vacant) terminal on the fridge control board

- Connect the one -12v from the ARP to ground (either new or shared w/ the fridge is OK)

If you get the version with fans, it's a little more complex, but you gain additional control re: when to turn one / both on (IIRC), some additional diagnostic controls / modes, etc. Still easy, in my book - you're talking 2 wires for each fan, and they connect to the ARP, if I'm not mistaken.

You'll still want to go over the instructions specific to your fridge type, but if I were hooking this up again, I could probably do it in 15min time in my own trailer. I went very slowly & carefully, and it took me about an hour, total.
Had to stop in the middle & make one trip out to a marine store to get a pack of 'dual' male/female terminal connectors(Ancor #230613), as FR connected 2 x 12v wires for power in my Grey Wolf (to one board terminal, loosely twisted together; I decided to spend the few pennies / seconds that FR didn't to fix that, even though it wasn't part of the actual 'install').

The ARP people do supply terminal connectors with the product, as well. I also purchased their recommended relay for $5 (it's a special type), and wired that in, although there was an existing in-line relay elsewhere on the fridge as well.

I mounted the display / control module in the outer compartment for the fridge; if I want to see the fridge temp, put the ARP in bypass, test, etc. - I just take off the outer panel door. Wasn't important to me to be able to view the monitor inside the trailer 24/7 - if that ever changes, it's easy enough to run longer wiring & relocate.

ARP's position is that if you install this on an absorptive fridge when new, you'll likely have the fridge for the life of the rig. Or, at least you won't lose the cooling unit portion of it, which is the main component. If the fridge already shows signs of ammonia leakage (yellow residue on boiler tubes, etc.), it can't 'undo' that damage.

Not sure if the recall actions from both Norcold & Dometic a few years back sufficiently addressed those issues; perhaps they have. ARP thinks 'not', which isn't too surprising...else there'd be no need for their product.

I felt it was worth the extra investment, as I like to have my fridge running throughout my trip, and I can't control terrain en route.

I'd take pictures of all of this to show you, but the trailer is at the dealer, being worked on (and I've been notified that FR is not going to authorize repair on my roof issue, or replace my cabinet facings - but that's a separate thread).
Reprise is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2018, 03:48 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
DouglasReid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Maurice, LA
Posts: 1,712
Quote:
Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
Cooling unit is toast. You can get a replacement (better quality) for about half of what a new fridge costs. If you are mechanically inclined you can do it yourself.

Get the "Amish" unit.

Aaron
X2000^^^ I did this to my previous camper and if you follow the instructions it will cool better than a brand new reefer for a fraction of the cost.
__________________

__________________
2012 Wildcat Sterling 32RL, Maxxis 8008s Load rating E, TST 507 TPMS w/ Flow-thru Sensors & Repeater, Reese Sidewinder 16K Pin Box
2008 Chevy Silverado 2500HD CCSB LTZ Diesel, Futomo Oil Drain Valve, Turbo Brake activated in Idaho Rob Heavy Tow Tune, 39 gal Aux Tank W/ Fuel Pump transfer, Air Lift Loadlifter 5000 air bags.
DouglasReid is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
refrigerator

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




ForestRiverForums.com is not in any way associated with Forest River, Inc. or its associated RV manufacturing divisions.


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:36 PM.