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Open Roads Forum  >  General RVing Issues

 > Fridge not cooling

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ivbinconned

highway 16

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Posted: 07/18/21 08:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well slight cooling.
Kids bought an 04 Rockwood tent trailer. It has a small 3 way Dometic fridge mod number RM 4223.
Product # 00921130220. Serial 24300093
Type C40/110

We got the pilot lite working but it will not lite fully.


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Old-Biscuit

Verde Valley

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Posted: 07/18/21 09:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

2004 vintage.........

Is it LEVEL?

Does it cool on AC?

Have they gone thru and fully cleaned the burner assembly,,,,,orifice, burner etc

Service Manual

Pg 8 Operation
Pg 11....burner cleaning


There is NO 'pilot' ....the Flame that lights IS the main flame


Is it time for your medication or mine?


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mr_andyj

Georgia

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Posted: 07/18/21 11:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Are you saying that the flame is not right, or it is not cooling? If no flame, then of course no cool.
Did u answer if it will cool on AC?
First thing to check is for bugs. Dirt dobbers or other bees can nest in the propane areas and cause a no flame situation, check your propane furnace while you are at it.
Many other things can cause a no-flame, including a bad thermocoupler, or one that has been knocked out of place.
2004 is old enough that if the previous owner did not be very careful to never run the fridge while not level, that the fridge cooling unit is ruined. It might seem to cool a little bit, but will be so ruined inside that it will never run like new.

ivbinconned

highway 16

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Posted: 07/18/21 12:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the manual.
It does not have electronic ignition so is it not the pilot that I see. And it would burn all the time?
What do you mean by “AC”?

aftermath

Washington State

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Posted: 07/18/21 01:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

AC means alternating current which is what you get when plugged in. Some fridges operate on gas or AC. Some older ones operate on gas, AC or DC which comes from your battery.

The fridge is not like the one in your house. You have an absorption system that requires a closed circuit in which refrigerant circulates. The circulation is caused by heat which is where the flame comes in. If your fridge requires the lighting of the pilot lite, then this is it. This is all the flame you need. It does not "come on" like a water heater does.

Now, you also need patience. Once the pilot is lit, it might take hours to get things to cool down. Depending on the ambient temperature outside, it might take a day. If it never cools down then you have a different issue.


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Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 07/18/21 02:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ivbinconned wrote:

Thanks for the manual.
It does not have electronic ignition so is it not the pilot that I see. And it would burn all the time?
What do you mean by “AC”?


The main burner and "pilot" are one in the same on non electronic manual ignition RV fridges. When you light the pilot, you are lighting the main burner. Flame should be small when T Stat is not calling for cooling and when the T stat calls for cooling, the flame should get bigger.

"AC" is abbreviation for Alternating Current, in other words, commercial electrical power, shore power, wall outlet power, shore power.

Does it cool better when switched to 120V?

ivbinconned

highway 16

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Posted: 07/18/21 02:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes ok.
On 110 it does not cool. But there is power at the plug.
The tiny blue flame was burning from 8 pm till 8 am this morning. Top of chimney was hot to the touch but the fridge did not cool. Well perhaps slightly. Temp was 60F.
I shut off the propane dial and turned on the ac. With in 3 hours temp went up 15 degrees.

Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 07/18/21 02:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ivbinconned wrote:

Yes ok.
On 110 it does not cool. But there is power at the plug.
The tiny blue flame was burning from 8 pm till 8 am this morning. Top of chimney was hot to the touch but the fridge did not cool. Well perhaps slightly. Temp was 60F.
I shut off the propane dial and turned on the ac. With in 3 hours temp went up 15 degrees.


Fridge cooling unit most likely is dead, possible clog or has leaked. Typically when leaky you will easily smell the Ammonia when fridge is being operated, it is industrial strength Ammonia and often will leave yellow residue traces around the leak point.

Clogs inside the tubing happens when fridge has been operated out of level which creates crystallization, those crystals are not reversible and not repairable.

Some folks have had limited success of dislodging clogs by turning fridge upside down (AKA Burping the fridge).. It is not a permanent fix if it does work, it will eventually fail again.

Permanent fix is to replace cooling unit or fridge, either way, $800 for cooling unit plus labor or $1200 or more for new RV fridge..

Or might be good candidate for a home fridge conversion with an inverter and upgraded battery bank for less coin than a cooling unit..

JRscooby

Indepmo

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Posted: 07/18/21 03:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

From what I have seen few absorption fridges in RVs are in a cabinet shaped for good operation. The hot air from both coils and flame/heating unit must not pool at top of chamber. And all air must be guided past the coils to pick up as much heat as possible.

Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 07/18/21 03:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JRscooby wrote:

From what I have seen few absorption fridges in RVs are in a cabinet shaped for good operation. The hot air from both coils and flame/heating unit must not pool at top of chamber. And all air must be guided past the coils to pick up as much heat as possible.


While what you mention is true, OP is talking a 2004 RV, I suspect that if incorrect cabinet design is at the heart of the issue, someone would have corrected that by now and I highly doubt that the previous owners would have put up with a completely non functional fridge so many yrs (17 yrs is a long time to put up with a non functional fridge).

17 yr old fridge not cooling on gas or electric, most likely operated out of level more than once, yeah, cooling unit is most likely shot by now.

Shame the previous owners did not disclose the broken RV fridge.

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