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Old 09-17-2016, 09:42 PM   #1
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A "new" fridge problem?

Just returned from a three-day trip in our 19' where we used propane to cool our RM8551 for the FIRST TIME since we took possession three years ago. The burner came on easily and after driving 6 hours, there was no cooling whatsoever. I let the burner run overnight and at noon, the next day, the temperature INSIDE the unit was 88F (outside was 76F). Ran on 120V last time a month ago and all was well. No smell of ammonia (making me think that the heating element is intact) or any apparent blockage anywhere I could see. Any ideas, I'm stumped. Thanks in advance for any help or ideas.
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Old 09-17-2016, 09:58 PM   #2
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Just returned from a three-day trip in our 19' where we used propane to cool our RM8551 for the FIRST TIME since we took possession three years ago. The burner came on easily and after driving 6 hours, there was no cooling whatsoever. I let the burner run overnight and at noon, the next day, the temperature INSIDE the unit was 88F (outside was 76F). Ran on 120V last time a month ago and all was well. No smell of ammonia (making me think that the heating element is intact) or any apparent blockage anywhere I could see. Any ideas, I'm stumped. Thanks in advance for any help or ideas.
Hi Rich . Just got back from a long trip . We have the same frig and it wouldn't work . It keep trying to light . You could hear the clicking . Anyway was at a campground in Redding and a repair fellow couldn't come out before I was leaving but he gave me some information . He told me to get a can of air like you use for computers etc. also some pipe cleaners from the smoke shop . He said remove the cover where the burner is . Use pipe cleaner to clean burners and use air to blow the pipes out . He said spiders love to get in there and they build webs in there . Make sure you have refrigerator off before you attempt this . Well it worked and fixed it . He also said get a flea collar and screw down back of refrigerator .Spiders hate them . To check your regulator . If you stove top has a nice blue flame and your heater is working alright , your regulator is working and fine . The heater is harder to start then the refrigerator . When I got to kids in Washington their refrigerator wouldn't work .used the can air and pipe cleaner and got their refrigerator to work . We were going camping .the pipe cleaners at the smoke shop are scratchy , so that will get the webs good .Hope this helps
you .this was the first time we have had a problem with refrigerator . Pat
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Old 09-17-2016, 10:47 PM   #3
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Hi Rich . Just got back from a long trip . We have the same frig and it wouldn't work . It keep trying to light . You could hear the clicking . Anyway was at a campground in Redding and a repair fellow couldn't come out before I was leaving but he gave me some information . He told me to get a can of air like you use for computers etc. also some pipe cleaners from the smoke shop . He said remove the cover where the burner is . Use pipe cleaner to clean burners and use air to blow the pipes out . He said spiders love to get in there and they build webs in there . Make sure you have refrigerator off before you attempt this . Well it worked and fixed it . He also said get a flea collar and screw down back of refrigerator .Spiders hate them . To check your regulator . If you stove top has a nice blue flame and your heater is working alright , your regulator is working and fine . The heater is harder to start then the refrigerator . When I got to kids in Washington their refrigerator wouldn't work .used the can air and pipe cleaner and got their refrigerator to work . We were going camping .the pipe cleaners at the smoke shop are scratchy , so that will get the webs good .Hope this helps
you .this was the first time we have had a problem with refrigerator . Pat
Thanks, Pat. My issue is really weird. The flame in the burner works fine but instead of heating the coil, it seems to be warming the fridge. Ugh!
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Old 09-17-2016, 10:54 PM   #4
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Rich is there a blockage in the exhaust/chimney?
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Old 09-17-2016, 11:08 PM   #5
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Rich is there a blockage in the exhaust/chimney?
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Not that I could detect without an R&R of the unit. Screened on top but I'll run compressed air from the bottom to see. Thanks for the thought.
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Old 09-17-2016, 11:42 PM   #6
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Sounds like checking the exhaust path is the right idea since the refrigerator working correctly on 110v implies that the important cooling components are functioning properly. A leak would leave 12v and 110v inoperative as well as propane operations.

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Oh, and that reminds me - I need to clean out the webs in my grill burners - yet again.
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Old 09-18-2016, 12:23 AM   #7
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Thanks, Pat. My issue is really weird. The flame in the burner works fine but instead of heating the coil, it seems to be warming the fridge. Ugh!
You got me . Sorry I can't help . Pat
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Old 09-18-2016, 12:29 AM   #8
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It did work on 120V AC power... but does it now? If possible, it would help to plug into shore power and try it that way (you need hours to know if it's working). If it still cools on AC power then the problem on propane was that the burner wasn't continuing to provide heat; if it no longer cools on AC power then the problem is unrelated to the heat source and was just noticed first when it happened to be on propane.
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Old 09-18-2016, 12:40 AM   #9
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Hi Rich . Just got back from a long trip . We have the same frig and it wouldn't work . It keep trying to light . You could hear the clicking . Anyway was at a campground in Redding and a repair fellow couldn't come out before I was leaving but he gave me some information . He told me to get a can of air like you use for computers etc. also some pipe cleaners from the smoke shop . He said remove the cover where the burner is . Use pipe cleaner to clean burners and use air to blow the pipes out . He said spiders love to get in there and they build webs in there . Make sure you have refrigerator off before you attempt this . Well it worked and fixed it . He also said get a flea collar and screw down back of refrigerator .Spiders hate them . To check your regulator . If you stove top has a nice blue flame and your heater is working alright , your regulator is working and fine . The heater is harder to start then the refrigerator . When I got to kids in Washington their refrigerator wouldn't work .used the can air and pipe cleaner and got their refrigerator to work . We were going camping .the pipe cleaners at the smoke shop are scratchy , so that will get the webs good .Hope this helps
you .this was the first time we have had a problem with refrigerator . Pat
Rich thinking back refrigerator worked on 120 but not gas . Needed the gas to run refrigerator when driving . The outside temps were pretty hot .Pat
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Old 09-18-2016, 04:07 AM   #10
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Three years is a long time for a absorption unit to sit, although used via electric, if the trailer was not level that entire time, there could be a lot of issues. Hopefully you can fix them. Another reason to use propane and electric during your trial period to insure they are operational and install screening on your intake vents. Pests are pesky....
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Old 09-18-2016, 06:46 AM   #11
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From RV Refrigerator Repair 101 https://rv-roadtrips.thefuntimesguid...tor-repair.php


Works on 110 VDC but not on propane, then try this:
  • The first step is to determine if you have a good quality flame. If the flame lights but goes out almost immediately, the thermocouple which acknowledges the presence of a flame may have failed. This device is attached to the main gas valve at the back of the refrigerator and has a tube extending to the vicinity of the gas burner. In most instances, this can be replaced by an owner with some mechanical ability.
  • If the flame stays lit, the next issue is the quality of the flame. Often rust and debris will fall from the vent interfering with the burner system. I personally have experienced this problem twice, causing the burner not to light at all. To fix the problem only requires removing a minimal amount of tin shielding and then vacuuming the area around the burner thoroughly.
  • If the flame fails to light, vacuuming the burner area may clear the port (or jet) of the burner. Worst case scenario, run a very thin wire into the burner orifice to clear debris. Because a small steady flame may not be the proper flame, I recommend cleaning the area with a vacuum in every case of failure.
They have a Utube video showing how to clean the burner.
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Old 09-18-2016, 10:43 AM   #12
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Three years is a long time for a absorption unit to sit, although used via electric, if the trailer was not level that entire time, there could be a lot of issues. Hopefully you can fix them. Another reason to use propane and electric during your trial period to insure they are operational and install screening on your intake vents. Pests are pesky....
If you are speaking to me ,who let their refrigerator sit for 3 years ? Having your refrigerator level is basic knowledge for anyone who has ever owned RV's . Little hard to install screens on the refrigerator vent . Had them on and then found I needed to remove them on refrigerator vent for whatever reason and found refrigerator works much better .must be a reason for vent . Dog flea collar is a lot simpler to discourage spiders . And finally who wouldn't use their electric and gas . 12 volt is useless and always has been . Pat
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Old 09-18-2016, 10:54 AM   #13
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From RV Refrigerator Repair 101 https://rv-roadtrips.thefuntimesguid...tor-repair.php


Works on 110 VDC but not on propane, then try this:
  • The first step is to determine if you have a good quality flame. If the flame lights but goes out almost immediately, the thermocouple which acknowledges the presence of a flame may have failed. This device is attached to the main gas valve at the back of the refrigerator and has a tube extending to the vicinity of the gas burner. In most instances, this can be replaced by an owner with some mechanical ability.
  • If the flame stays lit, the next issue is the quality of the flame. Often rust and debris will fall from the vent interfering with the burner system. I personally have experienced this problem twice, causing the burner not to light at all. To fix the problem only requires removing a minimal amount of tin shielding and then vacuuming the area around the burner thoroughly.
  • If the flame fails to light, vacuuming the burner area may clear the port (or jet) of the burner. Worst case scenario, run a very thin wire into the burner orifice to clear debris. Because a small steady flame may not be the proper flame, I recommend cleaning the area with a vacuum in every case of failure.
They have a Utube video showing how to clean the burner.
Pardlin my advice was from a RV repairman and was very easy to do especially considering I was on the road . My flame would light and then go out and try to keep starting . He felt it was a blockage from my description . Pat
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Old 09-18-2016, 12:05 PM   #14
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Thanks to each of you for your thoughts. I agree that a blockage in the flue is likely by can't imagine what got in there? Once I do a little more investigating, I'll post my findings. Can't do a trial with 120V since my home owner's association sent me a "Nasty-gram" pointing out that RVs are allowed to be parked anywhere. Looks like I'll have to schedule a night in a local campground for this test.
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Old 09-18-2016, 12:20 PM   #15
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Can't do a trial with 120V since my home owner's association sent me a "Nasty-gram" pointing out that RVs are allowed to be parked anywhere. Looks like I'll have to schedule a night in a local campground for this test.
Rich,
With our HOA we've learned if we bring it over Fri nite or Sat morning when their offices are closed and get it back to storage before Mon morning we never hear from them...
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Old 09-18-2016, 12:45 PM   #16
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Thanks to each of you for your thoughts. I agree that a blockage in the flue is likely by can't imagine what got in there? Once I do a little more investigating, I'll post my findings. Can't do a trial with 120V since my home owner's association sent me a "Nasty-gram" pointing out that RVs are allowed to be parked anywhere. Looks like I'll have to schedule a night in a local campground for this test.
Good excuse to go camping.....
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Old 09-18-2016, 02:07 PM   #17
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I never thought about the refrigerator needing to be level while stored, only while set up in camp for operating. If unlevel when stored ruins it, some people who purposely do that should take note. There are those who have parked their trailers sloping down to get water off of the middle of the roof where it sits.
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Old 09-18-2016, 02:15 PM   #18
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I think as long as it is not in operation and off it can be unlevel, but it was mentioned that it had been used on 120v for 3 years and perhaps it was not level then?
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Old 09-18-2016, 03:29 PM   #19
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Can't do a trial with 120V since my home owner's association sent me a "Nasty-gram" pointing out that RVs are allowed to be parked anywhere. Looks like I'll have to schedule a night in a local campground for this test.
12 volt operation would serve the same purpose, if you are willing to wait longer (lower-power heating element) and have enough battery capacity to handle a few hours.
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Old 09-18-2016, 03:35 PM   #20
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From RV Refrigerator Repair 101 https://rv-roadtrips.thefuntimesguid...tor-repair.php

Works on 110 VDC but not on propane....
That's supposed to be 110 VAC (and really should be 120 V AC). The typo is in the original article - it's not Bob's error.
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