Refrigerator won't get cold on propane - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 05-07-2018, 05:26 PM   #1
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Refrigerator won't get cold on propane

I just got back from a 2 week trip and about half the time I was boon docking. While in campgrounds with hookups the refrigerator worked great on electric. But, as soon as I went in the boonies, the refrigerator refused to get cold. I had plenty of propane and was in the Mississippi River region, so elevation wasn't an issue. Is there any where I can look for a solution? BTW: this was the first trip after a very cold & long winter with my 2014 17B stored in my driveway in Wisconsin.
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Old 05-07-2018, 05:33 PM   #2
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Low Gas Pressure to the refrigerator
If I remember correctly the refrigerator requires 11 WC inches

GB Disclaimer : I do not own an Escape so my 3 way RV refrigerator may not operate in the same manner as yours
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Old 05-07-2018, 05:45 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by sharonm3394 View Post
I just got back from a 2 week trip and about half the time I was boon docking. While in campgrounds with hookups the refrigerator worked great on electric. But, as soon as I went in the boonies, the refrigerator refused to get cold. I had plenty of propane and was in the Mississippi River region, so elevation wasn't an issue. Is there any where I can look for a solution? BTW: this was the first trip after a very cold & long winter with my 2014 17B stored in my driveway in Wisconsin.
Try to turn on refrigerator and go to the back , remove cover and make sure there is a little flame . Otherwise it will just keep clicking and can't start . That means it needs a little cleaning . Happened to us when we were on the road . We were lucky cleaning burner with a pipe cleaner and canned air . Must of been a spider web in ours . Pat
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Old 05-07-2018, 05:49 PM   #4
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Hi Sharon
A good starting point would be to see if the burner is operational.
To do this remove the lower outside fridge cover, at the base of the chimney there will be a cover plate held in place with a phillips screw, remove the screw and metal cover/shroud. There could be some dust, cooled spiders or a lot of other stuff that has fallen down the chimney and is impeding the proper operation of the burner. After a quick cleaning try starting the fridge on propane and see if you get a nice blue flame.
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Old 05-07-2018, 08:54 PM   #5
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Hi Sharon
A good starting point would be to see if the burner is operational....
After a quick cleaning try starting the fridge on propane and see if you get a nice blue flame.
It should look like this
Fridge stopped working.. Any Thoughts?
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Old 05-08-2018, 08:08 AM   #6
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Sharon,
Some of the causes that have been mentioned in the past are: mud daubers or spiders in the flame area, a failed propane regulator (located next to the tanks), propane igniters in need of adjustment, weak or failed house battery or a clogged exhaust flue.

Before starting anything I would operate your cooking stove and be sure that you are getting a strong flame on all burners simultaneously. If not, I would swap out the propane regulator for a model made by Marshall.

Also check that you have an operable battery and that you have power coming to the refrigerator. One of many methods would be to try the furnace, it will test gas and electric at once.

Removing the shield around the burner that has been described is a good starting point. Then you can tell if there is any effort to start the ignition process. Some pipe cleaners work well in getting at the burner tube and a larger brush will get up the flue. You may not see or feel any obstruction but it is still good to clean the area. There maybe some additional shields to remove, depending on your refrigerator model. You can get pipe cleaners at your local vape shop. Blowing out the area with some of that "canned air" is a good idea.

There are one or two igniters over the burner, if you hear clicking but no ignition they may have gone out of alignment and are not able to ignite. They are easily adjusted. It should not be necessary however.

Some of these tests are a two person operation, one to press the controls on the refrigerator and a second to observe the process through the outside access door.

Worse case is a failure on refrigerator electronics, however the model of refrigerator in a 17 has been very reliable.
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Old 05-08-2018, 07:42 PM   #7
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I'm in the Madison area, and if I can be of assistance, PM me. I did bring back my legacy Casita refrig for 110V use with some replacement parts, but RV refigeration is not my specialty. I've also cleaned the orifice, successfully.
I may be of assistance.....or not.
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Old 05-20-2018, 12:14 PM   #8
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fridge on propane

I was finally able to look at the fridge. I removed the shroud and cleaned the line with a pipe cleaner and narrow brush. There is only a small red glow but no flame. And, there is no clicking sound. I'm guessing it's the ignition. But, would love a second opinion. Thanks. BTW: I have a 4.2 cf Dometic, not the standard one that comes with the 17B.
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Old 05-20-2018, 01:37 PM   #9
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The clicking is the igniter, which stops after ignition. the red glow is the flame, but with poor propane flow the flame can be small or large and with a small flame, little cooling. It also takes awhile to cool down, like over night. I turn mine on electric, cool it down and then switch to propane for on the road cooling.
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Old 05-20-2018, 04:28 PM   #10
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First, can we confirm what model of refrigerator you have. The RMD 8551 is a 4.3 cu ft, do you have a model different than this? If so, what?

Can you confirm that the gas is working on other appliances, both the stove and the furnace?

Here is a photo of a working flame, notice the nice peaks on the light blue area. The red glowing areas are the igniters. They will not glow red unless there is a flame below making them hot. If you look at this area with bright sunlight shining into the compartment you may not be able to see the flame. It may be necessary to hold a shroud around the opening to get a good look at the flame.

Any audio or visual alerts on the refrigerator?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Refrigerator Flame.jpg (89.1 KB, 46 views)
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