RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-02-2017, 06:23 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 7
Newbie with questions

so I just picked up a 2004 Flagstaff 208, it was sitting for about 2 years while the vinyl/canvas is in good shape wondering the best way to remove mildew and waterproof? Also the fridge does not work on LP/120v/12v any suggestions?

Thanks
Bhanley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2017, 08:02 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
SeaDog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Idaho
Posts: 8,086
welcome to the forum its a great place to get your questions answered. First the frig will not work unless you have a good 12V source (battery or converter), check your fuses. Use the search box at the top right of the page and put in mildew removal there are many articles on the subject.
__________________
Retired Navy
Jake my sidekick (yellow Lab) 10/04 - 05/20
2017 RAM 2500 CC 4X4 Cummins Diesel
2016 Flagstaff 26 FKWS
AF&AM & El Korah Shrine of Idaho
SeaDog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2017, 09:44 AM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 7
Awesome thanks for the help.
Bhanley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2017, 05:23 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
raspivey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Brazoria County, Texas
Posts: 1,460
That's a three way fridge and doesn't require 12V to run like the bigger units do. Many of the TT / fifth wheel guys have never run into them as they're usually only found in 3 cu ft and below models. Above that, 12V is kind of pointless to try to cool with.

If you're not familiar with RV refrigerators...they take quite a while to cool down. Mine took upwards of six hours to initially get cool and the hotter it was outside, the harder it had to work. Leave it plugged in on 110 for most of the day and see how it does.

If the gas doesn't stay lit, bugs and stuff can get into the burner pipe and plug it up. Wire brush, a little tapping, some compressed air.... may have to play with it a little. Also, I'm not sure what model you've got, but mine required the selector knob for the propane to be depressed to get the burner to light. Not sure if you knew that or not...instructions for these kind of things are hard to come by sometimes, lol.

Stay away from 12V unless you're running down the road or it'll kill a battery pretty quickly.

The gray knob on the left below the red igniter button on mine had to be held down until it lit.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Trailer 002.jpg
Views:	85
Size:	228.2 KB
ID:	143520  
__________________
2015 Chevy Silverado LTZ - HD tow package
2017 Rockwood 2703WS Emerald Edition
raspivey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2017, 12:47 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: 8300 Feet - Rocky Mountains
Posts: 1,437
I'm pretty sure you need reliable 12-volt power to run a "late model" fridge on propane. The 12-volt power operates the igniter...and some fridges have door heaters that run on 12-volt.

Some older fridges have a manual propane igniter...a push button like old gas grills. They don't need 12-volt power to run on propane, but they can be a little tricky to start.

It should run on 120 volt power without problems assuming you have power to the fridge. 120 volt power just runs a heater. These fridges do not use compressors...it's a different technology. As others suggest, check your breakers. But...two other factors come into play. 1) the fridge needs to be reasonably level to function properly; 2) If you are attempting to run the fridge on shore power via a light duty (16 gauge) extension cord, the voltage drop may prevent the element from heating up enough. Be sure to use at least a 12-3 extension cord to connect to shore power.

In the camper, generally 120 volt systems are on breakers, and 12 volt systems are on fuses. If a breaker trips, you must turn it off, then turn it on. It will not reset without first turning it off fully.

Raspivy is right that propane "appliances" fail most frequently because spiders love to build webs in the air mixer tube between the orifice and the burner. Fortunately, it's easy to remove the tube and clean it. You can do a field repair simply by removing the tube and blowing through it...check for spiders first.

The same is true if you have a hot water heater. They do have 12-volt igniters, because, unlike a fridge that runs continuously, the hot water heater runs intermittently and must re-start fairly often.

I had an old Viking that had not been used for boondocking. The fridge ran great on 120-volt, seemed to run well on 12-volt getting to and from the campsite (hooked to the truck), but when I finally went boondocking, the propane was stubborn at first. I cleaned the tube and persisted with the manual push-button igniter, and "banged" on the chimney-like tube. Perhaps there was a bit of rust or dust in there. Eventually - after about one hour of effort - it started and ran perfectly thereafter. Based on that experience, I think that sitting idle without using the propane to run the fridge (as your camper has done) leads to problems. Run the fridge on propane several times a year whether you need to or not.

The good news is that you're trying to run a simple heater...both for 120 volt and propane operation. It's unlikely that the fridge is dead unless the ammonia escaped. Good luck.

https://www.arprv.com/dometic-fridge-how-it-works.php
__________________
Jim & Renee
2020 Jayco Jay Feather X-213
previously 2014 Forest River/Rockwood HW 277
2006 Ram 1500 4WD Crew with Firestone Airbags
Every weekend boondocking in the National Forests or at Lake Wellington
jimmoore13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2017, 04:36 AM   #6
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 7
So I checked the outlet that supplies power to the fridge and it's not getting power. The camper is plugged into my house all of the 12v lights are working but the GFCI in the camper trips right away.
Bhanley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2017, 02:24 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: 8300 Feet - Rocky Mountains
Posts: 1,437
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bhanley View Post
So I checked the outlet that supplies power to the fridge and it's not getting power. The camper is plugged into my house all of the 12v lights are working but the GFCI in the camper trips right away.
If the GFCI trips, there are two possibilities.
1) They wear out. Replace the GFCI and see if it trips. A $10 experiment, and you'll have a new GFCI. If that fails...
2) Unplug the fridge from the GFCI-protected circuit in the trailer, and plug it into the extension cord from the house. If your house is wired correctly, it will have GFCI protection on exterior outlets. If not, run the cord to a GFCI protected outlet in your bathroom or kitchen.
Does the fridge run without tripping the home's GFCI? If so, let it run overnight and see if it gets cold, and look for your problem in the trailer's wiring.

Meanwhile, if the fridge is not tripping the home GFCI, and replacing the GFCI in the trailer does not solve the problem, track down the short (or power leakage to safety ground). Most likely, the jacket on the 120 volt wire is damaged somewhere.

Isolating this will be a chore, because, a properly wired circuit will have only one GFCI - first in line - and it can have several additional outlets downstream...all protected by the same GFCI. Then it becomes a process of elimination. Figure out which outlets are dead, and work backwards from the end of the line. Pull each outlet, disconnect the wires from the outlet, cover ends with wire nuts, test. As you work your way back, wire nut the ends of all wires connected to the outlets, and methodically keep testing. When you successfully disconnect the damaged wire from the circuit, the GFCI will no longer trip. The last piece of wire you isolate is the culprit. If you get all the way back to the GFCI, and it still fails, the problem is between the GFCI and the panel. Replace that wire.

If the fridge has a "dedicated" circuit (it might) it gets easier, because the fridge is probably very close to the breaker panel, and no process of elimination is needed.

I'd guess that the jacket on the wire has been breached by a too-tight staple, chaffing as it goes though a hole, or a factory-installed screw or other fastener that wore its way through the wire's jacket. That's a very real possibility, because the FR guys drove a screw right into the fill pipe for my fresh water tank. Eventually it leaked so much I'd lose half the water. I also just responded to a thread where a cabinet drawer slide screw blew a circuit when the owner just tried to snug up the screw. As he tightened, the tip penetrated the wire, made a short, and made a mess of the circuit. It can take years for a problem like this to reveal itself.

If you find damaged wire, it's best to replace it rather than just try to fix it with wire nuts, etc. It's dangerous to "bury" a junction like that, especially in an environment where vibration can loosen the wire nuts and create a bad, high-resistance connection that might "fuse" (melt) and possibly start a fire.

Good luck.
__________________
Jim & Renee
2020 Jayco Jay Feather X-213
previously 2014 Forest River/Rockwood HW 277
2006 Ram 1500 4WD Crew with Firestone Airbags
Every weekend boondocking in the National Forests or at Lake Wellington
jimmoore13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2017, 02:27 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: 8300 Feet - Rocky Mountains
Posts: 1,437
P.S. Some older homes don't have GFCI outlets anywhere. If that's the case, you can buy a short extension cord that has built-in GFCI. That would be a good addition to your shore-power setup, because if the camper develops a serious electric problem while connected to your home, it won't damage the home or create a shock hazard when you are working around the camper.
__________________
Jim & Renee
2020 Jayco Jay Feather X-213
previously 2014 Forest River/Rockwood HW 277
2006 Ram 1500 4WD Crew with Firestone Airbags
Every weekend boondocking in the National Forests or at Lake Wellington
jimmoore13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2017, 07:53 AM   #9
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 7
Ok so I tried unplugging the fridge from the camper and plugging it into my outside gcfi on my house and it trips that right away. Could it be a bad ground on the fridge unit?
Bhanley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2017, 11:57 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: 8300 Feet - Rocky Mountains
Posts: 1,437
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bhanley View Post
Ok so I tried unplugging the fridge from the camper and plugging it into my outside gcfi on my house and it trips that right away. Could it be a bad ground on the fridge unit?
This is not a comprehensive description of a GFCI, but fundamentally, what the GFCI does is detect current on the "safety ground" wire...the wire that's typically bare inside house wiring. House wiring has a black-jacketed wire (hot), white-jacketed wire (common), and bare wire (neutral or safety ground).

There should be zero current on the safety ground. If the GFCI detects current there, or a "dead short" on a two-wire connection like a toaster (say it's plugged in and you drop it into a sink full of water), the GFCI trips. It's not that simple, but that's what you need to know to try to figure out what's going on with the fridge.

The 120 volt ac in the fridge runs a heater. The problem is that the circuitry in the fridge is somewhat complex, because the heater can run on 120-volt AC or 12-Volt DC. Those power sources need to be isolated.

So, if you aren't an electrician, I suggest the following. With the fridge unplugged, AND THE BATTERY DISCONNECTED, you can examine the 120-volt cord, including where it connects inside a metal box where it ties into the main controls and power handling circuits for the fridge. If you don't find something obvious - say a loose screw or something like that - it's time for a pro to look at the fridge.

You could pop the cover(s) on various electrical connections and take a peek for something obvious, but given the care needed to avoid mixing 120-volt and 12-volt power supplies, and given all the wires coming from the control panel and thermostat in the fridge, and given that what may have failed is a component that you can't test, I'd recommend extreme caution. If you see an electrical device that's obviously "fried," you might try replacing it, but any experimentation without pretty good understanding of what you're doing is risky and could ruin the fridge.

It seems possible - even likely - that you could pull the fridge and bring it in for repair. This will leave you with a functioning camper during a period of time when the shops are backed up with repairs.

That means, disconnecting the gas line and plugging the end of the gas line to prevent a leak. (Test the plug with a spray bottle of soapy water...look for bubbles). A hardware store could supply you with the type of fitting you need to plug the end of the gas line. It also means marking the wires and connections (with labels or masking tape), disconnecting the 12-volt power and taping the ends of the wire with electrical tape to prevent a short. Then unscrew the fridge mounts and bring it in for repair. This way you can keep using your camper with a cooler while you wait for repairs/replacement.

Also, price a new replacement fridge and be sure to notify the repair shop/RV dealer that you're only willing to invest a reasonable percentage of the price of a replacement in fixing the old one...say about half the cost of new. But brace yourself. A new fridge runs $600 to $1100 depending on size!

The good news is that you don't have a 120-volt electrical problem in your camper. Replacing wire could be a real nightmare involving dismantling parts of the camper interior. Replacing or repairing the fridge is not cheap, but it's easy by comparison.

Good luck. I hope you find something obvious. If you or a friend have some basic knowledge of electricity, you could get lucky and fix it yourself. If you are forced to replace, you might want to upgrade to a "fancier" model.
__________________
Jim & Renee
2020 Jayco Jay Feather X-213
previously 2014 Forest River/Rockwood HW 277
2006 Ram 1500 4WD Crew with Firestone Airbags
Every weekend boondocking in the National Forests or at Lake Wellington
jimmoore13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
newbie

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

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:22 PM.