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Old 12-21-2018, 02:09 PM   #1
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Dometic RM1350SLM cooling issue on electric, long post

Once again here asking help from the vast knowledge of you all. Problem: brand new (2019 sob 5er) 1350 will not cool the fridge on electric. Camper is level. Doors are sealed well. Got to camp, our maiden voyage, it's 60 degrees outside. Drive three hours to get here on propane, upon arrival the freezer is well iced, the fridge is at 35 degrees. Set up, unit is on auto so it goes to electric. We leave the camper for three hours, and now freezer is still frosty but fridge is now at 47 degrees. Panic sets in, I turn the unit back on propane, and within 4 hours fridge fins are frosty and temp is dropping. We've been at camp on propane for 5 days and all has been well. I don't want to risk a food spoil buy trying electric again. I have read and read but there seems to be conflicting information about possible problems. My understanding is it's possible the 130v fridge heater is not working, which would explain what we're experiencing. NO, I'm not going to take it back to the dealer; our delivery experience with them over PDI issues was less than, and they are three hours from home. I'm pretty handy at things, so fixing it myself is not a problem. Help always appreciated!
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Old 12-21-2018, 02:42 PM   #2
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I don't have any idea when you first fired up the refrigerator but you do know about the frost reduction cycle?

I'll typically see temperatures of 42-44 during this cycle, up from 35 normal.
This only affects the 'fresh' food compartment and may be why you seen good cooling in the freezer.

From the owners manual...
First paragraph is the ACUCS (automatic cooling unit cycling system)
Second paragraph pertains to running the unit in low ambient temperatures. (LAC)
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Old 12-21-2018, 02:44 PM   #3
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2 ways to check if the 120V coil is working.

1) disconnect coil at the terminals and measure resistance. Resistance should be about 80 ohms, certainly no more than 120 ohms, and at least 40 ohms. Dometic manual will have figures for your model. If you have an open (very high resistance) you will get no heat in the chimney, and no cooling in the fridge.

2) set to max cool on AC and feel the chimney for heat after about 30 minutes. Should be warm-to-hot to the touch.

If the AC coil is good, and the fridge is not working on AC, check the voltage at the AC terminals on the control board - both input into the board, and output to the coil.

Then check the voltage where the fridge plugs in. Then finally check AC circuit breaker in panel is "on" - turn "off", then "on".

All the above assumes camper is receiving shore power - the microwave also needs 120V AC. If the microwave isn't working either, you have no 120V AC coming into the camper.

Hope this helps
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Old 12-21-2018, 03:42 PM   #4
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I have to move my thermister up and down. Mine cools colder on propane.
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Old 12-21-2018, 04:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cavie View Post
I have to move my thermister up and down. Mine cools colder on propane.
My Dometic RM1350 doesn't have a sliding thermistor on the fins.
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Old 12-21-2018, 04:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5picker View Post
I don't have any idea when you first fired up the refrigerator but you do know about the frost reduction cycle?

I'll typically see temperatures of 42-44 during this cycle, up from 35 normal.
This only affects the 'fresh' food compartment and may be why you seen good cooling in the freezer.

From the owners manual...
First paragraph is the ACUCS (automatic cooling unit cycling system)
Second paragraph pertains to running the unit in low ambient temperatures. (LAC)
Thanks. Yes, I did read that, but I have no way of knowing how many hours it has on it so far. It's possible it was doing a defrost. I may try 120 now that we're in for the day so I can watch it.
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Old 12-21-2018, 04:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pgandw View Post
2 ways to check if the 120V coil is working.

1) disconnect coil at the terminals and measure resistance. Resistance should be about 80 ohms, certainly no more than 120 ohms, and at least 40 ohms. Dometic manual will have figures for your model. If you have an open (very high resistance) you will get no heat in the chimney, and no cooling in the fridge.

2) set to max cool on AC and feel the chimney for heat after about 30 minutes. Should be warm-to-hot to the touch.

If the AC coil is good, and the fridge is not working on AC, check the voltage at the AC terminals on the control board - both input into the board, and output to the coil.

Then check the voltage where the fridge plugs in. Then finally check AC circuit breaker in panel is "on" - turn "off", then "on".

All the above assumes camper is receiving shore power - the microwave also needs 120V AC. If the microwave isn't working either, you have no 120V AC coming into the camper.

Hope this helps
Fred W
2019 Flagstaff T21TBHW A-frame
2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan
camping Colorado and adjacent states one weekend at a time
Thanks Fred. I do have a DVOM with me.... but the rain showers are still washing over us so I never get enough time with it. Thank you for the specs! That's what I was looking for but saw all kinds of numbers that weren't helping.

Edit: We do have 120. The micro works, the water heater works, and we've been running two electric heaters almost the whole time we've been here. Brrrtr
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Old 12-21-2018, 04:22 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Springerdad View Post
Thanks. Yes, I did read that, but I have no way of knowing how many hours it has on it so far. It's possible it was doing a defrost. I may try 120 now that we're in for the day so I can watch it.
The defrost cycle has nothing to do with total cumulative hours... it's the hours from when turning it on each time after it has been turned off.
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Old 12-21-2018, 04:27 PM   #9
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The defrost cycle has nothing to do with total cumulative hours... it's the hours from when turning it on each time after it has been turned off.
Huh. I missed that one. Thanks for straightening me out.
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Old 12-21-2018, 04:52 PM   #10
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We have a service manual for the 1350 in the library that may help.
Forest River Forums - Downloads - Dometic RM + RME1350 fridge SERVICE MANUAL

Good luck!
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Old 12-21-2018, 05:42 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Platokidd View Post
We have a service manual for the 1350 in the library that may help.
Forest River Forums - Downloads - Dometic RM + RME1350 fridge SERVICE MANUAL

Good luck!
Dang. Didn't even think to look there. Thanks. Fridge is on 120 now, we will watch and see.
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Old 12-21-2018, 07:04 PM   #12
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Also don’t forget the simple things. Is it plugged in and the breaker turned on and not tripped? Just stating simple first
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Old 12-22-2018, 08:42 AM   #13
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After going thru many steps with Dometic tech he proclaimed that 50 degrees was acceptable in their refrigerators. Needless to say the unit was removed and replaced with real refrigerator.
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Old 12-22-2018, 09:23 AM   #14
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These refrigerators are high priced junk. My cooling unit was replaced under warranty and the replacement unit went bad also. Out of warranty now, I removed it and dropped it off at the dealership and told them to dispose of it.
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Old 12-26-2018, 05:00 PM   #15
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These refrigerators are high priced junk. My cooling unit was replaced under warranty and the replacement unit went bad also. Out of warranty now, I removed it and dropped it off at the dealership and told them to dispose of it.
Had to replace my cooling unit as well under extended warranty.. Hopefully mine will fair better than yours, fingers crossed.

Agreed, if this cooling unit goes out again I'm done with it.
I did ad some cooling fans to go along with the stock fans, gotta keep the back side cool.

Hopefully the op of this thread will get his problem corrected and post back.
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Old 12-27-2018, 08:25 AM   #16
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Update

I want to thank all of you and your helpful replies. On our last day and night at camp, we decided to try the fridge on 120 again, set on auto mode. Much to our surprise, it maintained 33 degrees the whole time - 36 hours. Was it doing a defrost when it got warm when we first got there?? Not sure.

A couple of things we noticed though - when it's running on propane only, there are fans that come on and off quite frequently - never heard them on 120. And, those fans would explain why the unit sucked down the battery to nothing in less than two days. With our previous camper, I would go to it 2 or 3 days before a trip and put the fridge on propane so when we would grab it and head out, we could put food in an already cold unit. Not so with this one. Looks like I'll either have to ask for a storage spot with electricity, or pack the Artic and wait till the fridge cools down on the road before we can put it to use. Kinda disappointing.
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Old 12-27-2018, 09:05 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Springerdad View Post
I want to thank all of you and your helpful replies. On our last day and night at camp, we decided to try the fridge on 120 again, set on auto mode. Much to our surprise, it maintained 33 degrees the whole time - 36 hours. Was it doing a defrost when it got warm when we first got there?? Not sure.

A couple of things we noticed though - when it's running on propane only, there are fans that come on and off quite frequently - never heard them on 120. And, those fans would explain why the unit sucked down the battery to nothing in less than two days. With our previous camper, I would go to it 2 or 3 days before a trip and put the fridge on propane so when we would grab it and head out, we could put food in an already cold unit. Not so with this one. Looks like I'll either have to ask for a storage spot with electricity, or pack the Artic and wait till the fridge cools down on the road before we can put it to use. Kinda disappointing.
The fans will also run when switched to 120v electric but not as much, since the electric element doesn't produce as much heat the interior rear refrigerator compartment as does when running on propane. Many of us have changed out those noisy stock fans for better ball bearing computer fans which also increase the airflow, making for better temperatures in the refrigerator. Especially if the refrigerator is in a slide. There are MANY posts on this mod.

Also running a fan INSIDE the refrigerator helps a lot on these big 4 door models. A simple battery operated fan helps and there are also computer type fans that mount to the fins. Many posts on this as well.

Finally, it just isn't the fans drawing your battery down over a couple of days. There are other parasitic drains such as the LP/CO gas detector, radio, some control panels, etc all have 12v to them unless you disconnect the battery. I realize you can't do that when gearing up for a trip but expect to see other 12v draws besides the refrigerator fans.

Yes a storage spot with electric would be helpful as long as the circuit isn't shared by someone else who could trip the breaker by overloading the circuit and ruin YOUR plans.
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