1978 Fridge - 17' Boler - Fiberglass RV
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Old 06-13-2006, 07:14 AM   #1
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Trailer: 1978 17 ft Boler
Posts: 23
Well we are still battling the fridge in our 17' Boler. We learned that it would only work if the trailer was level...well just how level is ridiculous! We have been out twice and the fridge worked the first time onecd we were level, the second time once we were level..then we had to move our trailer as we had parked in the wrong spot.... (story in it self) and the Fridge didn't work after we moved! Does anyone know if there is a specific spot to find the level?? We have been using the ice tray in the freezer and the bottom of the freezer but the last time...absolutley no luck! We are so close to hauling that fridge out and putting in a walmart bar fridge special. Any advice? Thanks for listening...
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Old 06-14-2006, 11:02 AM   #2
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Trailer: Love Bug 1974
Posts: 328
Hello, Karen
I've heard that if a refrigerator is not level that the coolant can create a locked place in the coils. The remedy is to take it for a drive on a bumpy road to knock the residue back down. The residue remains inside but allows the refrigerator to cool.

There's many people who can weigh in here that know a lot more about this than I. It just seemed from reading your thread, this may be a remedy. I have no problem with *having* to take bumpy road, it seems the route to all my favs are filled with them!

Good Luck!
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Old 06-14-2006, 11:08 AM   #3
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Being level is required for fridge to operate properly.A solution that I have read here is to take fridge out and turn upside down.
Just food for thought.
Retired Underground Coal Miner.
Served in Canadian Army (1PPCLI)
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Old 06-14-2006, 12:48 PM   #4
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Trailer: 1978 17 ft Boler
Posts: 23
We have taken the fridge out, tipped on all sides and it worked....until the last time...
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Old 06-14-2006, 01:09 PM   #5
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Trailer: 73 Boler
Posts: 159
Some things are not worth the hassle. But a good working 3 way is pretty valuable especially if you want to replace it. If the fridge works good when it works it might be worth taking in to have it looked at. If the performance is lack luster at best i would toss the thing and move on to bigger and better things. A new 3 way is about $900+ the last time i checked .

If your the non boondock type where you are mostly plugged in a 2 way would work fine. I use a 2 way and it works great but i power it with solar as i only boondock.
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Old 06-14-2006, 01:13 PM   #6
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We have taken the fridge out, tipped on all sides and it worked....until the last time...
With my 73 Boler, I took the fridge out, turned upside down and lightly tapped with a metal object, the bends in the cooling tubes, to dislodge any blocks. I turned it right side up and plugged in before re-installing it. It was a temporary measure, as I really would need a new cooling assembly. which may not have been available for appliances this old.

Rick B
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Old 06-28-2006, 10:21 AM   #7
Trailer: 79 Boler 17 ft
Posts: 48
Say Karen: (or anyone for that matter)

When you had your fridge working, how cold did it get? My Dometic RM360 I think is running in a lackluster fashion. While it freezes water in the freezer compartment within 8 hours on 110V, everything in the fridge seems to get just barely cool.

(As for level, I have varied the level from reasonably level to perfectly level, with no change in performance. )

My recollections of RV fridges from my parents trailering days, and from my tent trailer, was that the fridge area could get cold enough to create ice cristals. I am not getting that, so I too am having concerns about the fridge performance.

For me, running on 12V is not as cold as 110V, and when running on gas, the fridge icebox starts to thaw.

I have just taken the thing out, did the old tipsy-turvey thing, and have scrubbed out the gas flue. (Removing a small handful of ash and rust). So far , tipping it over has not improved the 110V operation.

Am I asking too much from an RV fridge to get super cold drinks in the fridge compartment? Anyone have any experiences?
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Old 06-28-2006, 01:06 PM   #8
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Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
Posts: 5,002
The RM360 in my B1700RGH can get the drinks more than cold enough on any of the three heat sources (propane, 12V power, 120 power) if the ambient temperature is not too high. I put thermometers in both compartments, and saw it running as less than full-cold thermostat setting with -18 C in the freezer and +4 C in the 'fridge - both essentially ideal. A refrigerator just moves heat from inside to outside, so it is limited by the difference in the inside and outside temperatures, not just the temperature in the refrigerator (or its freezer compartment).

I made ice rapidly and had to adjust the thermostat to avoid freezing the milk while in the driveway, even on 120 VAC power, then two days later could barely maintain safe food temperatures even on propane, because it was 27 degrees C outside where we were camping. This became a real issue for me while towing, with 12 VDC power, full sun on the trailer, and more important stuff than soft drinks and beer in the refrigerator (although of course we had those too!). Opening the door makes it worse, of course, and I think this effect is even more important than at home, because the volume of the refrigerator is so small.

I, too, find performance (rate of cooling, or lowest temperature reached) best on propane and worst on 12 VDC power. The three heat sources (propane burner and two separate electrical resistance elements) all heat the same part of the system, but don't deliver the same amount of heat.

I don't have a comparison standard for newer or different RV refrigerators, but I notice that we expect them to work in surrounding temperature conditions much warmer than it ever gets in my kitchen at home, so the Boler unit has a harder job than the one at home.

I have done nothing to my RM360 except clean the propane burner orifice and clean the interior, and I doubt (judging from the rest of the trailer) that anything significant had been done in the past, but I really don't know.
1979 Boler B1700RGH, pulled by 2004 Toyota Sienna LE 2WD
Information is good. Lack of information is not so good, but misinformation is much worse. Check facts, and apply common sense liberally.
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Old 06-29-2006, 02:01 PM   #9
Trailer: 79 Boler 17 ft
Posts: 48
Thanks for the comparison. By what you describe you are in the same boat as me. However, I think I am fairing slightly poorer. I decided to splurge and sent it to an rv repair shop to give me their opinion (for 60 bucks), and to see about tuning up the gas side of the fridge. I guess I will find out in about 4 days what the verdict is.
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Old 06-30-2006, 05:50 AM   #10
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Trailer: 1988 16 ft Scamp Deluxe
Posts: 25,584
Would adding a fan inside the refer help? I know some members have added 12v fans to move the air around...seems to me it would help pull the colder air from the freezer level down to the fridge level.

Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
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Old 06-30-2006, 08:12 AM   #11
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Trailer: 84 16 ft Scamp
Posts: 725
If your fridge isn't working it is because the refrigerant is not flowing. This could be caused by:

1) No heat. The propane flame went out.

2) Not level. Those pipes in the back are like a switchback road. They have an even incline over a bunch of switchbacks to allow getting all that pipe in a small space. The liquid has to flow down and the gas flow up.

3) Internal orifice plugged. This is usually caused by operating the fridge in a non-level position for an extended period of time. It is caused by the heat of the flame causing the metal of the pipe to oxidize a bit inside and a small piece of metal flakes off, circulates unitl it hits the orifice, then plugs.

Problem is you are limited in how to deal with 3). Sometimes tapping or turning the unit upside-down will dislodge the particle. Then hopefully it will re-lodge somewhere else besides the orifice. Otherwise the unit needs professional help.

Hope this simplistic explanation helps.
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