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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Removing the flue baffle, Dometic RM 3663?

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pezvela

San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico

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Posted: 07/21/12 06:25pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

How does one go about getting at the wire at the top of the flue to remove the flue baffle? At least according to the Dometic owner's manual, you pull up on this wire "handle" to inspect the flue and the flue baffle.

The problem is that that wire "handle" sitting on the top of the flue is about two feet below the opening in my roof and there are cooling tubes that prevent easy access to it. I have cooling tubes that are only about six inches below the roof plane, then a gap of about 18 inches and then the flue. Unfortunately, the cooling tubes, horizontally, come to within about three inches of the walls containing the fridge. This means I have three inched to try and work something down there and get the flue baffle "handle". I shudder to think what reinserting it might be like.

How do I get at this thing? I tried one of those loose bolt grabbers with the spring loaded claws but the handle is too thin. It wont grab it.

Assuming I can even get at it, how solidly is it in place? How long is it? How difficult will it be to reposition?

My fridge is cooling just fine on AC but it comes up a good 15 degrees on propane. Didnt use to be like that last year. I've already cleaned out the jet and the burner (flame was fine, already). I also have a Dinosaur board.

bldrbuck

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Posted: 07/21/12 11:06pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have found that if the fridge does not work properly on gas the problem is a dirty burner or orface. Clean these with alchol. Do not probe the orfice with anything. Chances are the flue is not the problem.

NRALIFR

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Posted: 07/21/12 11:54pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You might have to disconnect the fridge enough to slide it out of it's cabinet a few inches. I've had to do that on mine a few times. You have to disconnect the gas line, maybe a few wires, remove a few screws in the back and a few more on the front, then slide it forward.

The wire at the top of the chimney is shaped so that it's held in place with spring tension. To get it out you have to be able to squeeze on the top of the wire loop.

Once you get it out, you need to inspect the bottom end of the baffle to see if it's being burnt off. If very much is missing, it seems to effect the cooling performance.

You also need to clean all the rust out of the chimney. There's a wire brush made for that, or you can do what I've done in a pinch and use a wad of aluminum foil on the end of a straightened out coat hanger. Run it up and down the chimney a few times.

Take the burner and gas jet apart and clean them up. You can use a fine wire brush on the burner, but not the orifice. Soak the gas orifice in alcohol, and blow it out with compressed air.




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F350mule

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Posted: 07/22/12 05:51am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I found a much easier way , if you need to clean it. On my camper the pantry is to the left of my fridge, I just cut an access hole thru the paneling,(you have to push the insulation aside) big enough to get my hand in there and remove the baffle and clean it and the flue with a flue brush. Just cover the hole with a piece of panel when your done. No one will see the hole but you.


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AnEv942

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Posted: 07/22/12 10:30am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One of the few benifets of having a side mounted top vent-easier access...Though the baffle itself is only bout 5" long, with the attached wire rod 'handle' its 31 5/8" long. The baffle extends down and should set 1 7/8" from burner assembly to bottom of baffle. Mine the end is quite burnt and needs replacing-but I dont know how critical or how much performance is actually affected by the gap distance increasing as a result of end burning off.
Its reccommended to clean yearly but I never have. When I last had mine apart I pulled the baffle and noted it burnt off. Was going to order one and a brush (though flue appeared clean)but its on the roundtoit list. A lot of scale/ soot or rust I suspect will affect heat transfer and performance. I doubt a 15° improvment but ya never know.
Dometic service manual pages 13-14http://gasrefrigeration.net/dom_techdata/36044804.PDF
I'd need to look, I dont recall having to unscrew the flue cap as mentioined-, Just simply pulling baffle out-but thats from memory and its been a while...If its just reach -use a piece of wire to grab 'handle', baffle assy just drops in.


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pezvela

San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico

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Posted: 07/22/12 11:15am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm running a test after cleaning the orifice/jet and the burner in the prescribed manner. Alcohol and compressed air. Will let you know what I find.

One thing I am noticing; while the flame is nice and bright blue, looking up into the flue itself, I see lots of bright orange coloration, like something is being torched continuously. I assume this is the end of the baffle?

What about taking a cleaning brush for a large caliber rifle, removing the burner assembly, and going up towards the baffle from the bottom? Is there enough clearance to do any good with even a .22 cal bore bristle?

F350mule, that is a great idea. I'd do it in a sec IF my pantry was on that side. Unfortunately, I have a closet storage over there and there appears to be a partition of 3/4 inch plywood or particle board or something in between.

These dang manufacturers should be putting an access port into the sides of these things, to get at the bugger.

NRALIFR

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Posted: 07/22/12 05:35pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pezvela wrote:

One thing I am noticing; while the flame is nice and bright blue, looking up into the flue itself, I see lots of bright orange coloration, like something is being torched continuously. I assume this is the end of the baffle?


Possibly, it could also be the rust flakes glowing red-hot. A heavy layer of rust inside the chimney seems to inhibit heat transfer into the boiler tube. That's why it needs to be cleaned out.

pezvela wrote:

What about taking a cleaning brush for a large caliber rifle, removing the burner assembly, and going up towards the baffle from the bottom? Is there enough clearance to do any good with even a .22 cal bore bristle?


You could go up from the bottom or down from the top, whichever is easiest, but not without removing the baffle first. Just like cleaning a fireplace chimney; to be effective it needs to be cleaned by the proper sized brush along it's entire length. A 10 or 12 gauge shotgun brush might be the right size, but I don't thing a rifle brush would do much good. A wad of aluminum foil actually does a pretty good job.



pezvela

San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico

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Posted: 07/23/12 12:49pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OK, thanks NRAlifer. I can see no practical way of removing the baffle from the top, short of actually disconnecting the fridge, removing screws and moving it into the cab enough to access it. Do camper mfgrs typically use any type of sealant around the fridge or is it just kept in with screws?

My test last night revealed temp drops of about 47 degrees. Overnight low in my garage was 91 and fridge temp on max was only 44 degrees. The cinderblock garage tends to hold heat.

I believe you said the baffle has spring tension keeping it in place? So, pushing it up from below to a point where I might reach it from above would not work without releasing this spring tension from the handle?

NRALIFR

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Posted: 07/23/12 03:50pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

None of mine were ever sealed in place, just a couple of screws through the bottom plate in the back, and maybe four screws through the front trim inside the camper.

If the flame baffle is "clipped" in place at the top of the chimney, you won't be able to push it up from the bottom. You have to be able to squeeze on the loop at the top of the wire it's hanging from to get it out of the slots it's secured in. After I took mine out the first time, I didn't bother clipping it back in. It will hang in the chimney just fine without clipping it in place, and there's no danger of it falling in.

I'll post a picture of my old flame baffle if you want. I still have it hanging in the garage.



BlkCaribou

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Posted: 07/23/12 06:37pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hello, I hope this is OK to post to this thread as it is not mine but I do believe it pertains. I have the exact same problem with my Dometic 3663. Makes really cold temps on AC and barely 45 degrees on gas. It worked great last season on gas. So I pulled the unit out and found the flue was wide open with no obstructions or scale. The burner burns nice & blue. What I did find was the baffle was a bit burnt away at the tip. Could this be the culprit?

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