Dometic RM2202 exhaust vent in Burro 17? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-13-2012, 04:53 PM   #1
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Dometic RM2202 exhaust vent in Burro 17?

How is the refrigerator in my 1998 Burro 17 supposed to vent its propane fumes? I can smell the fumes inside the trailer when the refrigerator is running on propane. Am I missing an exhaust vent pipe? Or, is the cabinet supposed to be air tight. Here are some photos of the cabinet that houses the refrigerator. Two photos are taken from above (I removed the cooktop) showing the black exhaust pipe at the top of the propane burner. It vents to the inside of the cabinet. The other photo is taken from the access hatch. It shows this same burner stack and the fiberboard wall of the cabinet. The fiberboard/fiberglass cabinet is not air-tight. There are many places where fumes from the propane can leak into the cabin of the trailer. Is this trailer missing an exhaust pipe? Is the cabinet missing some sealing material?
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Old 10-13-2012, 05:02 PM   #2
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Jay, my 13' Scamp has an aluminum sheet that covers the area over the refrigerator, and is sealed with aluminized tape over the seams which join with the sides of the cabinets, and the vent opening to the outside of the trailer.
Hope this helps.
Dave & Paula
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Old 10-13-2012, 05:09 PM   #3
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This PDF shows how a refrigerator is supposed to be vented.
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File Type: pdf Gas_Electric Fridge Venting.pdf (125.9 KB, 37 views)
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Old 10-13-2012, 05:11 PM   #4
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Jay I think David is right the back area of the fridge needs to be sealed off completely. When my fridge is running propane I dont smell propane at all.
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Old 10-13-2012, 05:24 PM   #5
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I don't smell it either. The products of combustion should be exhausted with the hot air off the heat exchanger (finned thing) at the top. The back of the fridge should be sealed from the rest of the trailer.
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Old 10-13-2012, 06:00 PM   #6
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Yes, it seems that my Burro is missing a part. I just do not know what it was. There may have been a deflector above the cooling fins? Or, maybe the cabinet was sealed with foil insulation??? Any Burro owners out there that can shoot me a photo of the inside of the refrigerator cabinets?
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Old 10-13-2012, 10:31 PM   #7
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I think you're looking at all there is on a 98 donkey. Pasteboard partition between fridge and undersink area; smaller partition between fridge and left-hand locker in the front dinette. Certainly not airtight. I can see both of your vents in the side. They are exactly where mine are. Never a roof vent; never an attempt at a narrow flue passing the condenser coil. If you are minimally satisified with the performance of the 2202 now, an attempt to baffle the fridge a la Tom's installation bulletin and perhaps the addition of a pair of 12vdc muffin fans on struts behind the upper vent may prevent asphixiation. With that said I think the upper vent is not high enuf as installed.

What I have left of mine is an air-directing sheet metal baffle pivoted behind the upper vent, one muffin fan which draws in behind the lower, and a 2202 which now lives in our basement. In its place I have 70$ AC dorm fridge. Works perfectly on the grid and on the road thru inverter and no fumes. I don't recommend that you follow my lead as I know there are those who value their relationship with their 3-ways. An attempt at getting increased cooling air past the upper coil and improved exhaust of combustion gases is certainly worthwhile.

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Old 10-14-2012, 08:17 AM   #8
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Jack - Yes, it all looks original inside my cabinet too. Hard to believe that there are so many Burros made this way and no one has been asphyxiated yet. Maybe I am overcautious. I will use the info on Tom's bulletin and create a modification to draw fresh air into the lower vent and divert fumes out the upper vent. Also need to seal off the cabinet from the cabin. Maybe use thin foil insulation and foil tape to seal off the area. Do you have a source/model of 12v DC fan that you could suggest?
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Old 10-14-2012, 08:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Moeller View Post
.......... Do you have a source/model of 12v DC fan that you could suggest?

I'd just buy a 12 volt computer fan off eBay or a place like TigerDirect.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=...at=0&_from=R40

One caution, I mounted my first fan directly to the heat exchanger and it failed quickly due to the conducted heat.
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Old 10-14-2012, 09:19 AM   #10
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I'd take it in to a "certified" RV propane appliance technician. Find a small shop that's willing to talk with you and at least run them out to your rig for a quick peek. Something that has the potential to kill/maim you or someone else should not be taken lightly.
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Old 10-14-2012, 10:07 AM   #11
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Steve suggestion you get your your gas lines checked is a good one.

In the file the Tom gave you it shows part way down the various options an install with a piece of sheet metal attached to the top of the fridge at the back thats bent out over the top towards the outside wall of the trailer - that is what Scamp does. Scamp has also completely sealed off the sides of the fridge at the back area as well They also used on mine a piece of arborite to fill a space in the wall between the fridge compartment and adjacent cabinets and used tape to hold it in place. If you do a search you will see that a lot of people including myself have also wrapped the fridge in insulation as well ( I used a foil bubble wrap type), that and adding a small fan help keep the fridge cool when camping in warm areas.
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Old 10-14-2012, 10:23 AM   #12
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Jay, having the range top out may give you access to install a baffled flue and find a mounting position for muffin fans. If you have trouble sealing the compartment from above or thru the vents, it's pretty easy to remove the fridge and work thru the opening. Muffin fans are readily available from Grainger or net sellers on ebay.

Your point is well-taken as is Steve's. Why aren't the combustion gases from the Burro install conducted directly to the outside as is the case with a propane furnace? Should they be? Where is the Dometic bulletin suggesting so? Is there ducted exhaust on fridges installed in other brands of trailers? Where are the technicians who know?

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Old 10-14-2012, 10:48 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Is there ducted exhaust on fridges installed in other brands of trailers? Where are the technicians who know? jack
Jack the Scamp fridges are installed with sheet metal deflector as shown on the FDF file that Tom provided the link to in post #3. The diagram that looks the most like the Scamp install is on page 4 and titled "Almost good venting" and the back of the fridge is completely sealed off from the interior of the trailer. My trailers fridge has run fine with that set up for 20 years and no gas smell at all inside the trailer - I only added a fan & insulation to it recently to help with keeping the fridge cool when running during very hot weather.
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Old 10-14-2012, 11:17 AM   #14
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I've seen the baffle diagrams, Carol. I don't know if your fridge has a welded pipe "Tee" atop the combustion chamber as does the RM2202. This stubby deflector chimney WILL make you think for a minute about the rig as supplied from Dometic and as installed by Burro. As your fridge was presumably correctly installed, you have less to scratch your head about than we do or did (in my case).

As to "smelling" either propane leak or combustion gases, better have a working detector for both propane and CO. Can't smell Mercapton in your sleep or CO any time even if you can smell associated combustion products.


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