Fridge not working... Is it worth trying to fix it? - Fiberglass RV

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Old 09-02-2008, 02:47 PM   #1
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Trailer: 1982 13 ft Burro
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I bought a used Dometic RM 2190 2 way (LP and DC) fridge to put in my 13' 1982 Burro ($100 for the fridge, $50 for shipping). It replaced the ice box that came with the Burro when I bought it in the Spring. Please no lectures on buying something without making sure it worked properly in the first place.

I had it installed ($150 to install) by a guy off craigslist who works on RV's.

.....and it doesn't work.

At first it seemed to work on DC, but I have no use for the DC part, I want it to run on LP. When I try to start it on LP the igniter does not get the pilot to light despite all my efforts. I was shown by the craigslist RV installer guy how to light it manually with a lighter. OK.... It gets the pilot lit and you can feel the heat around the pilot and the exhaust. I let it run for a couple hours, checking it periodically and the pilot box is still hot but the inside of the fridge has not gotten cold. If I feel the metal fins inside the fridge they have no temperature change from normal. I checked and it does seem that the fridge is level.

What else can I do? I don't want to spend anymore money on this unless I know it will work. I thought I read somewhere that you can turn the fridge upside down to get the ammonia to mix and that helps some people. Can someone tell me if this can help, how long do I keep it upside down, do I need to take some precautions? Is this a good idea? Is there something else I can do? Should I just cut my losses and buy a new fridge?

I have almost no mechanical, electrical or gas (no laughing!) skills so.....please....speak(type)....slowly.... for me!

Thank you!


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Old 09-02-2008, 02:54 PM   #2
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Trailer: 17' Casita
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Make sure trailer is level.

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Old 09-02-2008, 03:00 PM   #3
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I second the vote...use a bubble level inside the fridege to make sure the fridge is level not the trailer..found this out by trial and error
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Old 09-02-2008, 03:55 PM   #4
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If it works on DC then half the battle is won already...If the box itself is in good shape its worth the effort...On this site in the documents section there are check out procedure manuals for this type of refrigerator...If it has been lit by match too many times the piezo ignition igniter can be fouled and not igniting, or air is present in the lines and you need to purge the air out of the supply lines to the box and out of the pilot control and pilot lines...this take a few minuets be patient. Leveling is critical to older dometic products as mentioned by others. Access to the pilot burner is easy...Truly if it will run on DC its worth it.

I have bought 7 of these boxes on craigslist and they all were salvaged and put right...I got a beautiful box that was problematic and it turned out there was pieces of chard paper in the burner box...

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Old 09-02-2008, 10:00 PM   #5
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Trailer: 1976 Trillium 13 ft
Posts: 983
I 4th the comment on leveling. I thought that our Dometic fridge on our 76 Trillium didn't work after I purchased it. I tried a few times to get it cool and it wasn't working. Our fridge isn't quite level in the trailer so I discovered I have to use the level in the fridge on the shelf below the freezer. Once that's level it works well.

The other trick I have read about time and again on this forum is pulling the fridge out and turning it upside down or even rolling it in the yard.
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Old 09-05-2008, 02:39 AM   #6
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Trailer: 1975 Trillium 13 ft / Chevy Astrovan
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When we bought our trailer, the old Dometic frig didn't cool. So I used it as an icebox for our first camping trip, but after a nice ride on a bumpy road, it started working just fine. The jostling achieved the same result as removing the frig and turning it.
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Old 09-06-2008, 03:08 PM   #7
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Trailer: Scamp 13 ft
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I don't have anything to add on the fridge problem, but if you still have the icebox I might be interested in buying it. I live close enough to pick it up, send me a message if you would.

Craig Simmons

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