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Topic: Dometic RM2852 Fridge is warm Freezer is ice cold

Posted By: arcsum68 on 06/26/07 06:12pm

Alright, I have been trying to help the inlaws get their fridge working to no avail.

Its been cleaned to the hilt and still doesnt work.

The strange thing is, the freezer works awesome, we have been using to freeze water bottles to put in the ice chest, but thats really a pain in the rear.

Any suggestions?

Is there some kind of fan or something that should be transfering the cold to the fridge portion?

Thanks in advance for ANY help.


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Posted By: CA Traveler on 06/26/07 06:22pm

Could have a air leak in the door seals. Are the fins in the top of the refer cool? They are cooled by convection from the freezer. Is the freezer at 0 F degrees?


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Posted By: 2oldman on 06/26/07 06:27pm

Sounds like the first stages of failure. Check the coils in back.. if leaking you'll see liquid or dried puffy yellow stuff. Bad news.


Posted By: arcsum68 on 06/26/07 06:29pm

CA Traveler wrote:

Could have a air leak in the door seals. Are the fins in the top of the refer cool? They are cooled by convection from the freezer. Is the freezer at 0 F degrees?


Doors seals are tight, fridge is only roughly 4 years old, nothing in the fridge gets cold (i cant even say if its cool or not).
I believe the freezer is set as cold as it will go, it freezed water bottles in less than a day.

How does the convection work?
Is there anything mechanical that can go wrong?


Posted By: Mont G&J on 06/26/07 06:59pm

Is the RV level?
LEVELING
The absorption design utilizes no mechanical pumps or compressors to circulate the refrigerant within
the system, so proper leveling must be maintained to provide the correct refrigerant flow. Without
proper leveling refrigerant within the cooling unit will collect and stagnate at certain areas. Refrigerators
have a type of cooling unit that utilizes an enclosed pump tube. To ensure proper leveling, the vehicle
needs to be leveled so it is comfortable to live in. When the vehicle is moving, leveling is not critical
as the rolling and pitching movement of the vehicle will pass to either side of level, keeping the refrigerant
from accumulating in the piping.






Posted By: arcsum68 on 06/26/07 07:04pm

Mont G&J wrote:

Is the RV level?
LEVELING
The absorption design utilizes no mechanical pumps or compressors to circulate the refrigerant within
the system, so proper leveling must be maintained to provide the correct refrigerant flow. Without
proper leveling refrigerant within the cooling unit will collect and stagnate at certain areas. Refrigerators
have a type of cooling unit that utilizes an enclosed pump tube. To ensure proper leveling, the vehicle
needs to be leveled so it is comfortable to live in. When the vehicle is moving, leveling is not critical
as the rolling and pitching movement of the vehicle will pass to either side of level, keeping the refrigerant
from accumulating in the piping.


Definitely level, its on a houseboat!

The one in my trailer had that issue, it was very picky and finally just died, I went the inverter/electric route, but they tend to have much longer stays.


Posted By: bldrbuck on 06/26/07 09:30pm

Clean the orfice for the burner. Use compressed air and alcohol, do not probe. I know this sounds strange but it fixed ours.


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Posted By: arcsum68 on 06/26/07 10:06pm

bldrbuck wrote:

Clean the orfice for the burner. Use compressed air and alcohol, do not probe. I know this sounds strange but it fixed ours.


Did that, even purchased the recommended Dometic brush to clean the tubing that leads to the burner. (I think they paid like $30 for the stupid brush)

That was by far the most recommended fix so far, but it hasnt helped.

* This post was edited 06/27/07 09:20am by arcsum68 *


Posted By: John Wayne on 06/26/07 10:17pm

Is the temp. adjustment wire connected in the refig. area? It's the metal thing that attaches to the last fin on the right as you look into the frig. sliding it up on the fin makes the box cooler down warmer.


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Posted By: Hurricaner on 06/27/07 05:22am

Have you operated the reefer while the RV is out of level? Does it do the same on electric?

Sam


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Hurricane, Utah


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Posted By: RJCorazza on 06/27/07 06:06am

I have a similar model to yours, and I have discovered that placing ANYTHING on or near the metal tray looking thing in the freezer will cause the fridge section to not cool.
I discussed this with DW last year. On a recent trip in hot weather the fridge was not cooling well at all. Sure enough... DW stacked ice cube trays on the metal plate. Removing them provided rapid cooling down of the fridge section as before.


Posted By: portscanner on 06/27/07 06:37am

I have a model RM2351 with exactly the same problem. I put a thermometer in it and the temp in the freezer is less than 20F and the fridge hangs around 45-50

RJCorazza wrote:

I have a similar model to yours, and I have discovered that placing ANYTHING on or near the metal tray looking thing in the freezer will cause the fridge section to not cool.
I discussed this with DW last year. On a recent trip in hot weather the fridge was not cooling well at all. Sure enough... DW stacked ice cube trays on the metal plate. Removing them provided rapid cooling down of the fridge section as before.


I dont quite understand what this "metal tray looking thing" is you reference. Would you please provide more info?

Thx!!!


Posted By: RJCorazza on 06/27/07 07:02am

I just checked and I have an RM2607, so they may not appear the same. The metal plate is a functional cooling device (?) in the freezer section. It is about 15" wide by 8" deep and is positioned at about 6" from the top of the freezer.


Posted By: portscanner on 06/27/07 07:47am

If we are talking about the same thing (and I think we are) I have a plate that covers the entire back of the freezer (but I think I have a smaller unit than yours)

I have made sure nothing is touching it this morning. I will check it late this afternoon and post the results.


Posted By: Hurricaner on 06/27/07 08:08am

The plate is the freezer evaporator which is what cools the freezer. Placing something warm on it could slow down the cooling downstream in the reefer evaporator but it should still work. You can have a blockage between the two evaporators and the freezer will cool but reefer will not as the refrigerant can still return through the bypass.

The cure is a new cooling unit.

Sam


Posted By: arcsum68 on 06/27/07 09:00am

Quote:

Is the temp. adjustment wire connected in the refig. area? It's the metal thing that attaches to the last fin on the right as you look into the frig. sliding it up on the fin makes the box cooler down warmer.
Have you operated the reefer while the RV is out of level? Does it do the same on electric?



Good question, I do not know if the wire is there or not, but I will check this weekend. I should have access to the forum while im there, so hopefully I can get some help while I am looking at it.
Im going to check anything that gets mentioned here first.

We have never operated the fridge out of level, I do not believe it to be burned up or anything due to the ammonia being out of level, and it does do the same thing on electric.

Thanks for everyones input!
Dont take anything for granted, im technically and mechanically inclined, but pretty much a noob when it comes to these Dometics.


Posted By: arcsum68 on 06/27/07 09:16am

The fridge does not have any strange smells, liquids or deposits of any kind.
I dont know that the fridge has ever been run with the freezer completely empty, but I will definitely test that out this weekend.

A new unit would work, but this one is only about 4 years old, doesnt that seem like too short of a lifespan?

These things arent cheap or anything.

* This post was edited 06/27/07 09:27am by arcsum68 *


Posted By: Hurricaner on 06/27/07 09:27am

One thing you might try if you already haven't is to turn it off for a few hours and then turn it back on, sometimes they can get vapor locked (for lack of a better term).


Sam

* This post was edited 06/27/07 09:59am by Hurricaner *


Posted By: 2oldman on 06/27/07 09:28am

arcsum68 wrote:

Im going to check anything that gets mentioned here first.
You haven't mentioned anything about my suggestion of checking for leaking coils in the rear of the unit.


Posted By: javaseuf on 06/27/07 09:55am

My 28 years in the RV service business says that you have a blocked cooling unit.
Your description of the trouble is a classic sign of cooling unit failure due to blockage, as someone else mentioned.

With a blockage, there will be no leak so you will not smell or see anything. There are small tubes that go between the freezer and the refer section and pieces of the epoxy coating that line the inside of the cooling unit tubes can flake-off and become lodged in these tubes.

You can remove the refer and "burp" it buy turning it on each side then the top then bottom, for a few hours each side. This will many times dislodge the blockage and return the flakes of epoxy back down to the boiler where hopefully they will remain.

I have used this process many times over the years and many times it has worked. Some it was only a temporayr fix but others lasted a long, long time.

Other than this, the cooling unit will need to be replaced.






Posted By: arcsum68 on 06/27/07 04:02pm

2oldman wrote:

arcsum68 wrote:

Im going to check anything that gets mentioned here first.
You haven't mentioned anything about my suggestion of checking for leaking coils in the rear of the unit.


Sorry, thought I did reply to that, no I do not see any leaking coils nor do I smell anything strange.

Thanks for you input.


Posted By: arcsum68 on 06/27/07 04:04pm

javaseuf wrote:

My 28 years in the RV service business says that you have a blocked cooling unit.
Your description of the trouble is a classic sign of cooling unit failure due to blockage, as someone else mentioned.

With a blockage, there will be no leak so you will not smell or see anything. There are small tubes that go between the freezer and the refer section and pieces of the epoxy coating that line the inside of the cooling unit tubes can flake-off and become lodged in these tubes.

You can remove the refer and "burp" it buy turning it on each side then the top then bottom, for a few hours each side. This will many times dislodge the blockage and return the flakes of epoxy back down to the boiler where hopefully they will remain.

I have used this process many times over the years and many times it has worked. Some it was only a temporayr fix but others lasted a long, long time.

Other than this, the cooling unit will need to be replaced.


I will definitely check that out this weekend and give it a shot, sure sounds like a very possible potential problem. Hopefully tilting it will make it work for awhile, at least it will diagnose it if it does work.
Thanks for the suggestion, I will post the results of my trouble shooting when I get there. (hopefully)


Posted By: arcsum68 on 06/30/07 05:29pm

OK, so I am now hangin with the parents trying to solve the fridge issue. Hopefully ya'll arent having too much fun to help me out. First things first, the clip that is supposed to attach the the last fin, was in fact, not attached. I (hopefully) attached it correctly, there is a wire that goes to the plastic and the other side appears to attach to the fin and holds the wire up. I put that in maximum up position.

There is an on off switch, located below the control panel, that is only accessable by opening the door, no labels or anything. Can anybody tell me what this switch does?

It was turned to off, but the freezer is cold, any ideas are appreciated.

I am on a wireless pci card that I borrowed from work, so I will check back periodically.

Thanks guys n gals


Posted By: hgarraway on 06/30/07 09:04pm

I believe the switch you found turns on or off a heat strip that keeps the door to the freezer from freezing shut but that's not the problem.

I had the exact same experience you are having when I bought a previously owned 4 year old trailer. My freezer was 20 and the fridge was close to 50. The problem was an obstruction in the line, most likely a result of sloppy welding at the factory according to the owner of Trailer Refrigeration Inc. After talking with him I was convinced I could replace the cooling unit myself with one of their remanufactured units which he said would be better than new as they took apart faulty units and rewelded them with greater precision than the factory. I ordered one and it was not hard to install as it came with instructions and the thermal mastic (caulking) needed to swap out the old one. They also offered free phone help. It was a good learning experience which took about two hours to complete. The only problem afterwards was that it froze liquids in the fridge until I got the clip-on thermistor in the correct position on the fins in the frige. The freezer gets below 0 as it should now and it's been almost three years since the replacement. The cost was half that of replacing the refrigerator. The address of Trailer Refrigeration Inc. is www.rvrefrig.com


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Posted By: jwmII on 06/30/07 10:34pm

Typical problem for this time of year. Get some more air moving behind the fridge and up thru the vent at the back. Sometimes just propping open the louvered access door will do the trick. Put a small 12 volt fan back there for a sure method. Also park the coach with the fridge side on the shady side. The heating process along with the sun beating on that side of the coach is hotter than blazes and will affect the cooling. These fridges send the cooling medium to the freezer first and then on to the fridge portion. In hot weather many times after cooling the freezer there is nothing left to go on and cool the fridge. You have 12 volts back there so it is easy to tie in a 12 volt fan. Jack.


Posted By: arcsum68 on 07/01/07 09:17am

Thanks for the advise.

Havent been able to get to it yet this morning, cause theres still snoozers, but I will see how cold it is in a few then check out that vent.

I will probably just remove the vent cover today and see how it goes.

Worst case scenario I will replace the cooling unit myself, thanks for the link.


Posted By: tripledir on 07/01/07 11:03am

Also you might want to make sure the interior light is going off.


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Posted By: arcsum68 on 07/01/07 11:23am

tripledir wrote:

Also you might want to make sure the interior light is going off.


Copy that, it is, half the time it sticks in the off position when you open the door.

The door seals could honestly be better, a dollar bill pulls fairly easily from the fridge with the door shut.

How much resistance should there be?


Posted By: arcsum68 on 07/01/07 11:27am

BTW, after having moved the clip into the maximum up position on the last fin, and removing the vent cover, it does seem to be working a little bit better. Its still not cold, but seems cooler, not sure if I am getting anywhere or just being hopeful.


Posted By: arcsum68 on 07/02/07 08:45pm

OK, the fridge has been burped and reinstalled.

While I was in there we determined that the 110v electric source was never run, so obviously it wasnt hooked up.

Tested all the other components and everything seems to pass.

Did find out that the fridge was one of the recalled ones, so that will have to be taken care of. From what I can tell reading the recall it seems to apply to using the electric heater more than it does using the gas to cool the fridge, could this be part of the problem anyway?


Posted By: arcsum68 on 07/05/07 11:39pm

Well, the fridge still didnt work very well so out it came. It needed to get recall work done anyway so its going in to a shop to have them take a look.
I did hook it up to 110 and it seems to cool much better, so obviously theres a fault somewhere in the gas portion of the fridge, but none of the test indicated which part!?!?

Thanks for all your help, If I get an answer I will post back.


Posted By: arcsum68 on 10/09/07 11:51am

Fridge went into the shop, they did the update and tested it, and everything worked completely fine. At this point the only thing left for it to be is the gas, so we changed out the regulator, and it does seem to work better now, but we still think there is a blockage or perhaps a kink somewhere in the line. It will get cold after a full day, and being on manual so it does'nt regulate itself. Again, I will post back when we finally figure out exactly what it is. The lesson to be learned here is not to forget that low gas flow can cause the issue too.


Posted By: Dancing Bear on 10/10/07 06:32am

We also had (have) a cooling problem with our unit. It would cool down decently then the temp would creep up some. While checking for obstructions I discovered the baffle was missing. Cools fine now - when it stays on. It goes into check mode whenever it feels like it. Next step - a dinosaur board.


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