3 way fridge - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-12-2015, 10:13 AM   #1
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3 way fridge

I picked up an original 3 way fridge for my 72 boler the other day. Some guy had it and said it was working. Plugged it in and got nothing.....any thoughts? Are these things fixable?

David

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Old 08-12-2015, 10:26 AM   #2
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Most RV fridges are "absorption" systems that generally require several hours to a whoile day to produce cold temperatures. They aren't as quick to chill as "compressor" systems. That is, of course, it still works at all...
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Old 08-12-2015, 10:28 AM   #3
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Just plugging it in will usually get you "Nothing". These refrigerators are basically silent and slow in operation. I suggest that you plug it in, make sure that it is level, set the temp for 120VAC to max, put a 1 gallon container of water inside, check it's temp, and close it up. In about 2 hours check the back of the boiler cover for heating. If it's stone cold you will need to check the 120VAC circuits and the heating element. If it's warm to hot, come back tomorrow and check the waters temp.

In the meantime, check on-line and get the installation and operating manuals for the specific refrigerator.

If it cools on 120VA it means that the cooling circuit is good and checking on LP gas would be next. If it hasn't been used in a long period or if the flame won't stay ON, read up on periodic cleaning of the vent tubes and the LP gas jet in the manual you just downloaded.

The good news: If it works on any of the three power sources, the other can usually be repaired.

The Bad news, if the cooling circuit has leaked down it's terminal, there is no way to just "Recharge" these and an entire rebuilt cooling circuit may be needed.

BTW: If there is an ammonia smell inside or outside, it's bad news, the cooling circuit has ruptured.

Let us know what happens.
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Old 08-12-2015, 10:43 AM   #4
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ok, I will try those steps again.....I had it plugged in last time for about 3 hours and did not feel any heat at the back of the fridge...but I will give it another go and see what happens.

If I cant get it working what do people recommend for a modern solution? Is there an affordable option out there for a newer propane fridge that fits the same space?
David
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Old 08-12-2015, 10:58 AM   #5
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Small 3 way refrigerators start at about $600, but you can usually find good used ones for under $200, just have the seller plug it in and show that it works before buying.


I'd opt to try to find used one less than about 10 years old with the "Curved" not "Square" boiler covers. They are a lot less sensitive to being permanently damaged by out-of-level operation.


When I sold the 40 y.o. Dometic out of my Hunter I had it set up and operating for buyers to see it work and got a god price for what has become a necessity for those doing restorations of canned ham trailers.
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Old 08-12-2015, 11:06 AM   #6
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What is the model number of your fridge?
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Old 08-12-2015, 11:09 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by David Tilston View Post
What is the model number of your fridge?

Not sure, I will check when I get home and post later
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Old 08-12-2015, 11:15 AM   #8
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The data plate on an old Dometic is usually on the bottom of the door frame. You have to open the door to see it.
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Old 08-13-2015, 12:33 PM   #9
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You may find that 12 volt d/c is required to power the circuit board, which lets you select your mode of operation. A/C , DC or Propane. My ref. in the rv requires dc power, to power the control panel.
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Old 08-13-2015, 12:50 PM   #10
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Make sure the fridge is LEVEL. Not doing so will damage the fridge.
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Old 08-14-2015, 02:32 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
Make sure the fridge is LEVEL. Not doing so will damage the fridge.
True, although see above. Dometic says that the fridges built after about 1988 with round boiler insulation are much less picky about uprightness in operation than the old square ones were.
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Old 08-14-2015, 02:47 PM   #12
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The other good news about the later (curved) covers is that, while they can stop cooling while if being operated substantially out of level, shutting them down for 12 hours, and then restarting, it will usually recover from any problems.


This had been known to happen when shutting the refrigerator off when parked on a very steep incline or driveway. Per my personal experience with a RM-2193 on my somewhat steep driveway.
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