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Old 10-03-2012, 04:41 PM   #1
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Fridge latch

While on our just ended trip in our 17B we found our fridge door coming open and the contents spilled on the floor during travel. Reace suggested cardboard stuffed in the latch but it still opened after several tries. The freeways in California are in bad shape and we did a lot of bouncing! Anyone have a more permanent fix for the lightweight, plastic latch on the Dometic? We eventually used a bungie cord attached to the upper cabinet door and the lower storage bin handles.
Anyone try adding a small, thin plate under the lower part to the latch?

We also had a problem with the water heater not lighting but it fixed itself. Maybe all that bouncing did some good! Reace suggested I still call him to learn how to adjust the igniter in case it happens again. I'll do that before our next trip.

Eric
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:04 PM   #2
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Re: Fridge latch

which model fridge do you have, there are several out there
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:18 PM   #3
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Re: Fridge latch

I never travel with beer, milk, or anything else in the door of the fridge.
Fill up the door of the fridge once you get to your site and drink it all before you leave.
You don't need added weight on the door hinge.
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:11 PM   #4
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Re: Fridge latch

A few weeks ago I noticed the hinges on the fridge door (the 3.x cu ft Dometic) were loose and wobbly. So I took it to an RV tech to have a look see. He told me that when he pulled the trim, all the bolts were slightly loose, and said it must have come that way from the Dometic factory. It cost $18.00, but now the door seems much more secure.

One other thing I have considered is to get a child-proof lock for the fridge. I have a friend who need to put one her fridge at home, to keep the dog out. It is basically a strap that attaches to the fridge door with a plastic latch would go on the side of the fridge. See it here:

http://comfortfirst.com/p-145105-saf...FfBcMgodlGEAdw

not all that attractive, but it seems to me like it would keep the door closed over bumpy roads.

Leon
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:42 PM   #5
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Re: Fridge latch

I travel with our 5 cf fridge door loaded with beer and juice. Never had an issue with it opening on the fly, and the wobbly pops are nice and cold when we hit camp.
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:42 AM   #6
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Re: Fridge latch

I've made other posts regarding this, as we too have had the door come off twice, making a mess and denting the floor. The last time was after having it "repaired" at Trailblazer RV near Edmonton, and then having it come off on a smooth highway. We now put a bungy across the door always. It is easy to do and results in peace of mind. My wife also rides in the trailer for the last few kilometers into remote campsites when the road turns to rough washboard, while communicating with me using a radio. Yes, I know, not recommended, but we are into such extreme sports. . Others have recommended lock-tight to keep the hinges from loosening up. I will apply this before our next trip...then still add the bungy!
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Old 10-04-2012, 03:17 PM   #7
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Re: Fridge latch

We have had our door come off/open on several occasions; the first time being on the second day of a 2 week trip. We noticed it when stopped at a Walmart. We went in and looked around and found heavy-duty picture hangers in the shape of a ‘D’. I screwed one on each side of the refig and ran a line between each, thereby tying it closed. When home, my wife made it a little nicer with nylon webbing. My theory is that the door bounced and unlatched so I bought the lower hinge plate of the opposite side the working hinge is on and installed it. It has about 1/8” clearance with the door so now if it tries to bounce open it will only move a small amount (plus we still have the webbing).

We don’t purposely put much on the door but have found many items shift during the trip and end up in the door. I recently bought a bar that goes across the refig which should prevent anything from sliding onto the door. I used it once and am not sure about it yet.

Ben
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Old 10-04-2012, 05:39 PM   #8
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Re: Fridge latch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett
I travel with our 5 cf fridge door loaded with beer and juice. Never had an issue with it opening on the fly, and the wobbly pops are nice and cold when we hit camp.
Same here. Of course, that is about the only problem I haven't had with the 5 cu ft fridge, although, knock on wood - it has been great since a visit to Chilliwack!
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:46 PM   #9
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Re: Fridge latch

My fridge is older and the door came open a couple of times.

If you are handy, maybe you can easily remove your fridge latch and gently reshape it using a heat gun.

I did this and combined with the fridge bars, we travelled for 3 weeks this summer with canned drinks on the shelf and the door did not come open.

Good Luck
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:51 AM   #10
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Re: Fridge latch

I've got the 5cu ft fridge in my 19 and was bedevilled with the open door syndrome almost from delivery. If you just closed the door it was ALWAYS open when you arrived

I discovered that the little brown coloured latch wasn't fully engaging the metal hoop that acts as its catch if you simply shut the door but it could be manually manipulated after shutting the door to engage a few millimetres deeper after the door is already closed. Bliss!!

Trailer has been to the east coast and back to Canmore this summer and Zero incidents.. door loaded with condiments, milk, maple syrup, moose light lime

I just add that little push to the take off procedure.. furnace off, hot water off, pump off, fridge latch FULLY engaged = happy arrival at my destination
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:16 AM   #11
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Re: Fridge latch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Burloak
I discovered that the little brown coloured latch wasn't fully engaging the metal hoop that acts as its catch if you simply shut the door but it could be manually manipulated after shutting the door to engage a few millimetres deeper after the door is already closed.
This is the sort of little thing that makes all the difference in the world. I'm a trailer-novice, so this is exactly the sort of thing I need.

It's also the sort of thing that might or might not be in the introduction to your trailer you get from Reace, and even if it's there you might or might not retail along with the rest of the land slide of information you get, and might or might not be in whatever documentation comes with the fridge from the manufacturer.

I wonder if there are enough little "factoids" like this that would be worth putting into an FAQ document? Or maybe there is such a document around somewhere?

I'm all for written instructions and detailed manuals, but I guess a lot of people don't read that sort of stuff. Would you find a 10-15 page FAQ of "little tips" useful? Or would you throw it in a drawer without ever reading it and forget about it.
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:04 AM   #12
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Re: Fridge latch

Common sense and some organized procedures are important. When leaving the house I check certain things and insure things are off or on. Likewise in a trailer. Putting a lot of weight 2-3' off the ground in a moving vehicle is an accident waiting to happen. I do not put anything of any weight on the door until arrival. By departure all that weight is now inside of me!!!
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:41 PM   #13
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Re: Fridge latch

We had the fridge come open once during our return from Chilliwack to St. Paul. There wasn't any rough road that day, but we must have hit a bump somewhere. Since that time, I always double check to make the sure the latch is fully engaged, and since I had the door tightened as per my previous post, we haven't had any problems. [knock on wood].

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Old 10-06-2012, 01:09 AM   #14
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Re: Fridge latch

Thanks for all your replies. The child-proof latch looks like a good idea and I will still use the bungie. Plus, keep the weight down on the door shelves! Looks like more items for the drive-away checklist. Great feedback from you all. Thanks!
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:58 AM   #15
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Re: Fridge latch

Hi: holo... This is the first time in 5yrs. that our fridge door has come open. Unfortunately I hit the "Grande Canyon" of speed bumps in ME. and it pulled the 7pin connection too No sense in crying over spilt milk... them's the brakes. Alf
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Old 05-07-2013, 06:50 AM   #16
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Hi: holo... The first trip of the year and we were packing to come home when we noticed the handle of our 5cu. ft. fridge wasn't staying shut. The door's magnetic seal was all that was holding it closed. I removed the handle and the tension spring(smaller than a paper clip) inside it was broken. Of course it's Sun. am. Now what?
Lasso'd the door shut for the trip... but stopped by Myrtle Beach Camping World just to see what's avail." We don't have one but our other store across town has two", was Joe's reply. After getting directions and their CW part#... we headed across town. Cost $35. and while my wife made lunch I replaced the handle. Very good service for a Sunday I'd say. Alf
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Old 05-07-2013, 08:48 AM   #17
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Ours came open once when we first had it, after driving over frost-heaved roads. I just put a cup hook into the side wall panel & used a small bungy (6") from there to the fridge trim. We always travel with the door fully loaded & it hasn't come open again, with this system.
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:40 PM   #18
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Ours came off on washboard roads last summer, without much stuff in the door. I tightened the hinge pins, put a shim in the thumb latch, and backed that up with a bungie. Hasn't happened since; not sure which fix is most effective, but I don't care!
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