Mate with an odd caravan fridge problem

Submitted: Tuesday, Jun 10, 2014 at 13:30
ThreadID: 108199 Views:1795 Replies:4 FollowUps:0
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Mate has a Dometic fridge in his caravan. Both freezer and fridge sections run perfectly on 240v at home but when camping and on gas the freezer section is fine (actually freezes) however the fridge section never gets cold enough (only down around 9 degrees when the ambient temperature is nice and cool, and worse when it's hot outside). Van always level and heat dissipating vents have been checked and are clear.
Any suggestions on what he should be checking?
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Reply By: HKB Electronics - Tuesday, Jun 10, 2014 at 14:15

Tuesday, Jun 10, 2014 at 14:15
If it runs ok on 240V I would suggest you may have a problem with
the gas thermostat part or the burner, partial blocked get etc.

Cheers
Leigh

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Reply By: Ozhumvee - Tuesday, Jun 10, 2014 at 21:26

Tuesday, Jun 10, 2014 at 21:26
We had the same problem with a Dometic fridge in the slide on from new, after several visits to different "experts" involving checking and replacing gas bits and thermostat the consensus was that the actual refrigeration unit needed to be replaced, something about there being a partial blockage or insufficient refrigerant. The big black pipe bits which is a major part of the unit. Ours was under warranty otherwise it might possibly cheaper to replace the whole fridge.
Ours seemed to be ok on mains as well initially but we found after a bit of experimentation that when it actually worked ok on mains the weather had been cooler.
Peter
1996 Oka Motorhome

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Reply By: Erad - Wednesday, Jun 11, 2014 at 11:40

Wednesday, Jun 11, 2014 at 11:40
I had a total loss of cooling with our caravan fridge. It ultiimately turned out to be a loss of coolant, but a friend had suggested the following procedure before I went out and bought the new fridge:

1 Disconnect the 240 V from the caravan. Ensure that the gas is turned off.
2 Disconnect the 12 V connections from the rear of the fridge.
3 Undo the screws from the fascia and slide the fridge partially out of its hole.
4 Disconnect the gas line.
5 Slide the fridge out all the way and turn it upside down. Leave it that way for at least 24 hours.
6 Turn it back on its feet and leave it for at least 12 hours.
7 Turn it on (240 V) and see if it works. If it does, it was a vapour lock and your mate will be smiling all the way to the bank. If not, he will not be happy because new caravan fridges are hideoulsy expensive. You can get them regassed but there is no guarantee.

Mine was dead and I got a new fridge. When I pulled the heating elements out of the old fridge, I finally saw a lot of yellowcake around the furnace area. Until then, I was doubtful if me remedial efforts could have been better.

To check if the 12V and 240 V electric elements are working, get a multimeter and measure the resistance on each. Make sure that the 240 V is disconnectedSwitch the fridge from 12 V to off and then back again and see if the resistance changes. The resistance of the 12V element is 1 ohm and the 240 V element is 300 ohms.
AnswerID: 534174

Reply By: PeterInSa - Thursday, Jun 12, 2014 at 11:51

Thursday, Jun 12, 2014 at 11:51
I agree with Leigh's and above comments, but first I would replace the Gas regulator as these tend to block up over time, and reduce the amount of gas to the frig, ditto the flexible hose. The 2 stage regulator costs around $50.

Am not sure if these are required to be replaced by a Gas fitter.

Peter
AnswerID: 534236

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