Need Ideas - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 11-13-2005, 08:45 PM   #15
Trailer: 87 Scamp
Southern New Jersey
Posts: 66
Electric coolers work fine. I turn on the day before to chill then use two freezer packs and it stays cold for two days.

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Old 11-14-2005, 11:33 PM   #16
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Trailer: 1979 13 ft Trillium
Posts: 459
Well, interesting turn of events.....the refer was revived...sort of....It works, but only on propane. So I think I will wait, see how that goes and try to find the broken part before I toss the whole thing out. It's probably a long shot, but I feel lucky??? Anyone know how long you can run a refer on a tank of gas, without using the furnace or stove?

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Old 11-15-2005, 08:54 AM   #17
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Name: Gina D.
Trailer: '77 Leocraft 17 & Former Burro owner and fan!
West Coast USA
Posts: 9,016
Almost forever

I have never run mine NON STOP for this long, but I can usually get 14 days total on a tank with stove and occasional heater.

The heater will be your big draw. I ran a whole summer on my first tank when I bought the trailer. And I use the propane for fridge almost exclusively.
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Old 11-15-2005, 09:35 AM   #18
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Trailer: 1979 13 ft Trillium
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Boy, that is sure good news!

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Old 11-15-2005, 10:57 AM   #19
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Trailer: 84 16 ft Scamp
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If it works on propane but not electric, you've got the expensive part covered. The electric part is just a switch, a thermostat and an electric heater element that wraps around a tube, ususally just above where the propane flame heats.

Any of those parts should be relatively inexpensive and replaceable.

Concerning the propane vs electric issue -- any that I have had work much better on propane than on electric, as if they have been optimized for propane usage.

The only caveat is the trailer, including the fridge, need to be level so the pipes in the back can "burp" and allow the refrigerant to flow. If flow stops, heat builds up where the flame heats the piping. In time a small piece of metal slag can form. Eventually, this will grow then slough off and circulate with the refrigerant. At a specific point in the piping there is a small orifice that the gas flow through, sized per the overall design of the unit. If the chunk of slag gets caught in the orifice, guess what?

Flow stops and the refrigerator quits working. I have read the ideas about turning the fridge upside down causing the burping process to be re-established etc. But I wonder if it also can help to dislodge an offending slag particle from the orifice and hopefully cause it to settle in some crook or cranny where normal flow won't dislodge it again.

Just a thought. Maybe there's a refrigeration guy on the forum that knows the straight skinny on this and can help me get my head screwed back on straight concerning this issue!
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Old 11-16-2005, 01:09 AM   #20
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Head on over to Helpful Links and find the link to Bryant RV in the Appliances section for a really good, simple explanation of the ammonia-cycle RV reefer.

Short answer to turning upside down is that once upon a time in the early days of RV reefers, this sometimes worked, but modern design has "self-burping" over time built in -- Removal and inversion is a waste of time, altho it might be a form of mechano-geek amusement on the way to the dumpster...

BTW, the smell of ammonia around your reefer is a sign of death unless it is accompanied by mouse droppings -- Currently, there is no way to recharge/rebuild a reefer that won't cost about as much as a new one.

Short summary:

Reefer is most robust in the LP mode,
next is the 120VAC mode,
and the 12VDC mode is just to keep it cool with what it has.

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