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Old 06-08-2016, 04:25 PM   #1
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Dometic Refrigerator 4223 in A122S

Bought a slightly used A122S last year and am trying to get it ready for camping. The Dometic fridge is not cooling using electric power. The unit is plugged into my house electricity. Lights, fan, stereo are all working. Flipped both DC & AC switches to on, set thermostat to 2; left it to cool overnight. Did not cool at all. In fact, it felt on the warm side.

Just changed the 20 amp fuse in slot #5 to see if this helps. Did not detect any cooling yet.

What am I missing or doing wrong? Any advice?
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Old 06-08-2016, 06:00 PM   #2
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I've had 2 small RV fridges, one in a Coleman pop-up, and one in my current 2014 Rockwood A122 (no -s or -bh).
These fridges (high-walls have different fridges) are not thermostatically controlled. The knob for the AC works like a dimmer on your house lights - it controls how much power goes to the electric coil heating the refrigerant. The same for the knob for the propane - it controls how much propane is going to the small burner. The burner/heater runs continuously when on - the knob controls the amount of heat going in. There is no adjustment on DC.


On all the small fridges I have seen, the higher the number the knob is set at, the greater the heat going in, and the colder the fridge will get. My fridge is always set at "5" or above for the 1st couple of days - then things will start to freeze and I'll back off to a lower number.


I recommend a battery-powered wireless outside thermometer ($10 at Wal-Mart). This way you can tell what your fridge is doing without opening the door.


The other way is that the chimney - the round vertical stack - gets quite warm after the fridge has been on for a few minutes. I put my hand against it. When the fridge has been going for a few hours at max, it will be hot to the touch.


As far as trouble-shooting on AC - the AC portion plugs into a wall socket inside the fridge compartment. You need to check for power at the socket - either with a voltmeter or a nightlight. These are GFCI sockets, or downstream from a GFCI socket, so if there is no power, reset the GFCI button. GFCI receptacles can go bad, and not reset. Or pop every time you plug something in.


The receptacle that the fridge plugs into will be powered by a circuit breaker on the panel, not a fuse. Fuses are for 12V. Reset the circuit breaker. You will have a max of 4 circuit breakers, and often just 1 or 2.


Hope this helps
Fred W
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Old 06-08-2016, 07:15 PM   #3
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Great info....
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Old 06-08-2016, 07:45 PM   #4
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A few things.

The manual says to never use two heat sources among the AC, DC and propane at the same time.

Unlike at home, you now have two electrical systems, 12V DC and 120V AC. You need to differentiate between them The 20 amp fuse is on the DC system, which is the least energetic source for cooling the fridge. Make sure the camper is plugged in and the circuit is energised. Test the cooling with the AC switch only and turn the "thermostat" to the highest setting. The chimney will be obviously hot if it is working and the warm air will be felt exiting the compartment even with the cover on.

In addition to the power meter or nightlight that Fred mentioned above, a handy tool to have around is a receptacle tester. It will tell you if the circuit is hot and also if it is wired correctly or misconnected. You can unplug the fridge then test the circuit from the outside of the camper.

Something like this.

Eclipse Receptacle Tester - Standard Outlets
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Old 06-08-2016, 10:22 PM   #5
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Thumbs up

This is great! Thanks for the info, being new to A frame camping I am sure this will come in handy in the future.









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Old 06-09-2016, 01:09 PM   #6
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heat element

Quote:
Originally Posted by pgandw View Post
I've had 2 small RV fridges, one in a Coleman pop-up, and one in my current 2014 Rockwood A122 (no -s or -bh).
These fridges (high-walls have different fridges) are not thermostatically controlled. The knob for the AC works like a dimmer on your house lights - it controls how much power goes to the electric coil heating the refrigerant. The same for the knob for the propane - it controls how much propane is going to the small burner. The burner/heater runs continuously when on - the knob controls the amount of heat going in. There is no adjustment on DC.


On all the small fridges I have seen, the higher the number the knob is set at, the greater the heat going in, and the colder the fridge will get. My fridge is always set at "5" or above for the 1st couple of days - then things will start to freeze and I'll back off to a lower number.


I recommend a battery-powered wireless outside thermometer ($10 at Wal-Mart). This way you can tell what your fridge is doing without opening the door.


The other way is that the chimney - the round vertical stack - gets quite warm after the fridge has been on for a few minutes. I put my hand against it. When the fridge has been going for a few hours at max, it will be hot to the touch.


As far as trouble-shooting on AC - the AC portion plugs into a wall socket inside the fridge compartment. You need to check for power at the socket - either with a voltmeter or a nightlight. These are GFCI sockets, or downstream from a GFCI socket, so if there is no power, reset the GFCI button. GFCI receptacles can go bad, and not reset. Or pop every time you plug something in.


The receptacle that the fridge plugs into will be powered by a circuit breaker on the panel, not a fuse. Fuses are for 12V. Reset the circuit breaker. You will have a max of 4 circuit breakers, and often just 1 or 2.


Hope this helps
Fred W
Also check resistance of heating element. Mine went out and a replacement made it all better.
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Old 06-09-2016, 02:13 PM   #7
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Fridge beginning to work!

Not sure why...but the fridge is beginning to cool down. This time, I only flipped the AC switch on. I also located the GFCI receptable near the fuse box and flipped that off and on several times. I wish the "manual" was clearer about only switching on one electric switch at a time. Most places, the electric switches are referred to as "A and B" as in "To terminate electric operation---turn switches (A and B) to the Off position."

Thanks, everyone, for your help!
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Old 06-09-2016, 04:18 PM   #8
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Seriously these trailers are very confusing . ..due to so many 12 volt/120/propane units tucked in a such a small area. One thing i have learnt through 20 years of camping is purchase on of those 120 glow recepticals...a simple plug in glow plug of sorts ...that i use both in and out of our 122...to monitor if and when the campsite hydro goes for a dump...

D-mo
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Old 06-15-2016, 12:09 AM   #9
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I had what sounds like similar problems with my T12RBST. I was trying to run the fridge on 110V, and shortly after plugging in, the fridge would cause a breaker and/or the GFCI to trip. I reset both and the same thing happened a couple of other times. After that, there was a time they did not trip but the converter fan ran erratically (on and off, variable speeds). All this time only the 110V switch was turned on. The 12V switch was off, and of course the propane was not running. Then I tried again a few days later, and the problem spontaneously cleared up. I don't know why, but the fridge has been working correctly since then (several weeks now) when I have had it turned on.

The cause of the earlier problems could have been unrelated to the fridge itself. I suspected for awhile that maybe the converter was screwy due to an undercharged battery, but that was really grasping at straws. Now the converter runs fine and battery works as intended.
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