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Old 07-18-2015, 07:59 PM   #1
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Refrigerator acted weird...

Had a great week in the cool Northern mountains of NM. About 8300 ft elevation. The days were a cool 70 degrees and the nights just under 40. We were only using battery power and of course propane for the fridge. Every morning, the fridge would be off with the "Check" light turned on. The first morning I thought the propane bottle was low so I switched to the other tank, re-started the fridge and after a few tries, all was operational again. But the next morning, same thing! This happened every night/morning. No problems running when the weather started warming up but at some point during the night, the cold weather gremlins would sneak in and shut down my fridge. I've camped in cold weather before but have usually been plugged in to 120V. Does anyone on here know if maybe the propane would stop flowing around 38-40 degrees? All seems to work fine otherwise. Any other ideas would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 07-19-2015, 05:41 PM   #2
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Propane shouldn't stop at that temp. Not in my experience anyway. I've had a fridge go offline when the battery is getting too low. Sometimes just a low battery will cause it to fault. I watched it go once when the battery was low and then the furnace kicked in and drew more load - fridge clicked to fault right away. This may also explain why when in shore power at low temp you have no issue. Just my two cents.


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Old 07-19-2015, 05:44 PM   #3
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The fridge and furnace controls are 12V. There are safety features to prevent propane accidents. If the 12V gets below a threshold, they will go into failsafe mode.
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Old 07-20-2015, 09:40 AM   #4
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I had plenty of 12V power left. I was able to re-start the fridge each morning without any additional battery help. Like I said, kinda weird. the re-start would take a few times to be successful but each time the fridge ran all day until the gremlins showed up during the cold nights. Thanks for the input, still not sure why this happened.
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Old 07-21-2015, 12:34 AM   #5
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Another issue that will fault your fridge is if your unit is not level the ammonia will eventually over time settle and cause the furnace to cut out. Fridge would be more sensitive in the cold is my experience. Had this happen to me and the level wasn't that far off but happened at night. Just speculating


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Old 07-21-2015, 08:57 AM   #6
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The level is a good point. We started out level but didn't end that way because of all the rain. We didn't notice too much until the last day but I think your observations on being perfectly level might be what was to blame...maybe?
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Old 07-23-2015, 07:46 AM   #7
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The battery will lose volts in the cold also. Sun comes out warms things up. Back up an running. It's has to be pretty cold for propane not to work. It's liquid state is -44* my cents


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Old 07-23-2015, 08:55 AM   #8
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What brand is your refrigerator?
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Old 07-23-2015, 01:58 PM   #9
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Dometic brand...I'm thinking CDNWhiskey had the most palatable answer. Our level was good on the first day but apparently the rain allowed the ground to change just slightly. Nothing terribly noticeable but the ammonia build-up probability seems to make sense.
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Old 07-24-2015, 09:05 AM   #10
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You might try blowing and vacuuming all dust and debri from the combustion area and then reset the spark gap. I was having trouble with my Norcold staying lit above 5500 ft. (the owners manual says it needs to be plugged in at altitudes over 5500 ft.) After cleaning and gapping it stayed lit at Taylor Park, CO. altitude 10,000 ft. Hoping it will do so again this year.

I don't think your Dometic suffers this same shortfall that Norcold does however it's not hard to clean and gap and it costs you nothing to try. Good luck to you.
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