Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-28-2016, 11:14 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
mherte's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: California
Posts: 21
Refrigerator does not get cold.

I haven't been able to find a thread on this version of poor fridge performance but I'm hoping someone's already solved this problem and can offer some suggestions.

Our refrigerator is a Dometic model RM4223. Up until this weekend, the only issue has been learning which settings provided the least freezing and the best cooling for each power source. However, on our latest trip, we had the unfortunate experience of sour milk and melted butter etc.

As usual, we had chilled it down using shore power (120VAC) for at least one night before leaving. We loaded it up lightly as most meals this trip were not prepared in the camper, and ran it on 12VDC over the 400 mile drive to our campsite. When we arrived at the RV park, I switched to propane. Then at breakfast time we found the box to be rather warm and some food spoiled. This despite the fact that the flame was lit and the "chimney" was hot. So I switched back to 120VAC, but it only cooled slightly. Going home running 12VDC did not provide much cooling at all.

Today, I bought a refrigerator thermometer, placed it in the fridge and connected to 120VAC. I set the temp dial on '7' (usually we use '5'). After 8 hrs, the temperature inside was about 70 degrees. The "chimney" was hot.

To sum up, it seems that performance is poor regardless of power source.

Anyone had a similar experience? Ideas to restore proper operation?
__________________

__________________
Mike
2013 Flagstaff T12RB
2005 F150 4.6L V8 2WD Supercab
mherte is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2016, 08:57 AM   #2
Head Rambler
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Southwest Alabama
Posts: 3,369
Do you see any deposits in the back of the unit?
Do you smell any odd odors (ammonia) near the back of the unit?

If neither of those you may wan to try cleaning the flue tube and baffle. I'm not sure that'll solve your problem, but it's worth a try.
__________________

__________________
Salem 29RKSS Pushing a 2500 Mega-Cab CTD!
Gotta go campin!
Bama Rambler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2016, 11:28 AM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 62
I have had similar issues. What was the outside temperature? Few weekends ago I put a container of ice in the freezer and stayed frozen all weekend running on shore power. However, when I went to the coast running on propane the fridge was not cool at all. My butter was mushy. However, I didn't run the a/c in the camper during the day and had the fridge run off propane during the day. At night I would run the a/c and fridge on the generator. The temp was in the high 90's and heat index around 106. For me I really think the inside and outside temperature made a major difference.
__________________
glarior is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2016, 01:34 PM   #4
Junior Member
 
bsinc1962's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Dubois, Wyoming
Posts: 10
I had the same problem the second time out. I found that I didn't have the frig level enough to use propane properly.

I leveled the camper using my level on the floor of the camper. The frig in my camper though isn't level exactly to the floor. When I put the level on the frame of the frig it was actually out quite a bit.

I now level the camper by placing the level on the frame of the frig in both directions and haven't had a problem since.
__________________
bsinc1962 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2016, 02:20 PM   #5
Sunstar35F
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 11
Get your Fridge in for service

Sounds like you have a real problem with your fridge. It should easily maintain a cold temperature especially after 24 hours on 120V. One of our friends discovered their fridge wasn't maintaining proper temperature and discovered is was not installed correctly at the factory. They had to work with Dometic to identify the issue. The insulation was missing and it was installed improperly. Forest River paid to have a new Fridge installed correctly. The install was overseen by Dometic technician. The new fridge works great.
__________________
mjpallone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2016, 03:41 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
rracer5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Full Timing It
Posts: 1,598
Quote:
Originally Posted by mherte View Post
I haven't been able to find a thread on this version of poor fridge performance but I'm hoping someone's already solved this problem and can offer some suggestions.

Our refrigerator is a Dometic model RM4223. Up until this weekend, the only issue has been learning which settings provided the least freezing and the best cooling for each power source. However, on our latest trip, we had the unfortunate experience of sour milk and melted butter etc.

As usual, we had chilled it down using shore power (120VAC) for at least one night before leaving. We loaded it up lightly as most meals this trip were not prepared in the camper, and ran it on 12VDC over the 400 mile drive to our campsite. When we arrived at the RV park, I switched to propane. Then at breakfast time we found the box to be rather warm and some food spoiled. This despite the fact that the flame was lit and the "chimney" was hot. So I switched back to 120VAC, but it only cooled slightly. Going home running 12VDC did not provide much cooling at all.

Today, I bought a refrigerator thermometer, placed it in the fridge and connected to 120VAC. I set the temp dial on '7' (usually we use '5'). After 8 hrs, the temperature inside was about 70 degrees. The "chimney" was hot.

To sum up, it seems that performance is poor regardless of power source.

Anyone had a similar experience? Ideas to restore proper operation?

Should the "chimney" be hot when running on 120VAC? Sounds to me like its not switching over properly.

Also, when you plugged it in the night before, was the trailer level? If not, you may have created an "ammonia clog" in one of the bends of the lines. If the ammonia tries to circulate for a long period of time and can't, it will build up and become permanent. Sometimes if you shut fridge down for a few days and try again (after leveling as mentioned above), the clog MAY dessolve and no harm is done.

Good luck & keep us informed.
__________________
"PT Crew Members Since 9/2010"
2011 RAM 2500 HD 6.7L CTD Crew
2014 Sanibel 3250
rracer5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2016, 03:48 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
5picker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: South Western PA
Posts: 1,997
Quote:
Originally Posted by rracer5 View Post
Should the "chimney" be hot when running on 120VAC? Sounds to me like its not switching over properly.

Also, when you plugged it in the night before, was the trailer level? If not, you may have created an "ammonia clog" in one of the bends of the lines. If the ammonia tries to circulate for a long period of time and can't, it will build up and become permanent. Sometimes if you shut fridge down for a few days and try again (after leveling as mentioned above), the clog MAY dessolve and no harm is done.

Good luck & keep us informed.
Yes.
The 'chimney' will be hot whether you are heating with electric or propane.

The boiler portion is the same unit for both and the heating element (AC) or the burner (propane) depending on which is selected, provide the necessary heat.
__________________
_________________________________________
2016 Flagstaff 8529IKBS Diamond Package 5th Wheel
Ford F-Series SCREW 4x4
TST Tire Monitor - Sinemate 3500w Gen.
2016 Nights Camped = 46
5picker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2016, 05:50 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 1,645
Yes I had the exact same problem. It worked on 120V but not on propane despite a high flame and hot chimney. I couldn't work it out and called Dometic. The "Tech" support person gave boilerplate answers for general operations, things in the manual I already new and were of no use. Finally I took it to a independent RV shop. They removed the fridge and said they never really did anything special to it. But it was working. Sorry that this is not much help.

This is what I did that didn't really solve the problem, but it addresses some potential problems.

Remove the chimney top vent and use a mirror and strong flashlight to look down it for obstructions. There is a spiral air mixer inside that can't be removed with the fridge in place. Make sure it is hanging properly from the top of the chimney. If not, pull the fridge and replace. Replace the vent and make sure it is facing with the high side to the outside.
__________________
Tom

2012 Rockwood A122S
2008 Toyota Tundra Double Cab 4X4

Former owner of a 2002 Coleman Niagara GTE
Pooneil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2016, 03:07 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 691
Quote:
Originally Posted by mherte View Post
I haven't been able to find a thread on this version of poor fridge performance but I'm hoping someone's already solved this problem and can offer some suggestions.

Our refrigerator is a Dometic model RM4223. Up until this weekend, the only issue has been learning which settings provided the least freezing and the best cooling for each power source. However, on our latest trip, we had the unfortunate experience of sour milk and melted butter etc.

As usual, we had chilled it down using shore power (120VAC) for at least one night before leaving. We loaded it up lightly as most meals this trip were not prepared in the camper, and ran it on 12VDC over the 400 mile drive to our campsite. When we arrived at the RV park, I switched to propane. Then at breakfast time we found the box to be rather warm and some food spoiled. This despite the fact that the flame was lit and the "chimney" was hot. So I switched back to 120VAC, but it only cooled slightly. Going home running 12VDC did not provide much cooling at all.

Today, I bought a refrigerator thermometer, placed it in the fridge and connected to 120VAC. I set the temp dial on '7' (usually we use '5'). After 8 hrs, the temperature inside was about 70 degrees. The "chimney" was hot.

To sum up, it seems that performance is poor regardless of power source.

Anyone had a similar experience? Ideas to restore proper operation?
See I'm liking my A-frame fridge to understand what I went through and details of my "fixes".

My experiences were wildly inconsistent fridge performance in all 3 modes. Sometimes it would cool great, sometimes not at all. On longer trips, the plywood dividing the fridge compartment from the sink actually got hot. I realized the hot air from the heat source was not getting out of the camper.

My first step was to insulate the compartment with Reflectix. I curved the Reflectix to guide the hot air out the top vent. In studying the top vent, I realized they were actually part of a Dometic installation kit for the 4223 fridge. The engineer at Dometic who approved or designed those vents should be fired or worse. They make it very difficult for the needed air flow to set up and cool the fridge coils.

Anyway, the insulation and air guides still did not consistently set up the convection flow (cool air in bottom vent, hot air out top vent) the fridge needs to operate correctly. Like you, I got a remote temp gauge to try to figure things out - mine will work in the minivan while towing.

It turned out that installing a computer case fan to blow air out the top vent was the fix. A couple of others led the way in the linked thread. I found a 120mm/12V/0.07A/440CFM/1200RPM ball bearing computer case fan at Best Buy for $10. I tie-wrapped it to the 2 bottom slots in the top grill on the aft side of center.

Unbelievable results:
- on DC (I use DC mode when towing), air flow of the moving A-frame is sufficient, fan is off, and the fridge will easily pull below freezing at highway speeds for more than a couple of hours. I use pit stops with the fan still off to let the fridge warm back up to prevent freezing contents. There is no way to regulate the DC power to the fridge.
- on AC, I use the fan. Normally have to set fridge at 3-4 (7 point scale) to keep it from freezing. Temps are generally good at 32 - 36 degrees, even in 90+ outside temps. I will start initial cool down with dial set at 7, takes 3-4 hours to pull down below 40 from 82 degree summer temps in my garage.
- on propane, I use the fan. Dial is set from 1.5 to 3 (5 point scale) to keep it from freezing.

While the insulation and ducting helps, the fan is the key to getting the necessary air flow going through those pitiful excuses for vents. With the right air flow, the fridge is a great way to keep food.

Fred W
2014 Rockwood A122 A-frame
2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan
camping Colorado and adjacent states one weekend at a time
last trip - Black Hills, Custer State Park
next trip - Utah 5 National Parks (Capital Reef, Zion, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon, Arches)
__________________
pgandw is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2016, 03:24 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 223
Unfortunately end users beat their heads against the wall and spend more money to cure faulty Dometic products. When a company states that 50 degrees is acceptable for a refrigerator and claim no issues...
__________________

__________________
2016 Flagstaff 27VRL with overloaded tires from factory
2015 Chevy Silverado
Paul GA 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




» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




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

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:19 PM.