Refrigerator problem - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-16-2017, 08:47 AM   #1
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Name: Candace
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Refrigerator problem

We've been all over the forums and haven't seen one quite like this. We've got a 2000 Casita, new to us, with a Dometic Americana fridge we presume to be original. It cools great on AC but on propane holds it about 60 degrees on max. We've cleaned out the area around the burner, inspected the jet/orifice - looks brand new & shiny, and we have what appears to us to be a good, blue flame. Chimney definitely gets hot - in fact it seems hotter than when it's on AC - not sure if that's normal. We've replaced the regulator & hoses on the propane tanks and made sure they have gas. We REALLY want to avoid the pain of disassembly/reassembly to get a new fridge through the door - we have the old, smaller back window. What are we missing?
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Old 08-16-2017, 09:22 AM   #2
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Fridge issues

May I suggest going to https://www.casitaforum.com/invboard/
Lots and lots of Fridge issues discussed with fixes.....
I have a 2000 17' SD also..

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Old 08-16-2017, 10:44 AM   #3
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As with many things it might be best to take the trailer to a shop that is Dometic certified and have it checked out.
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Old 08-16-2017, 11:27 AM   #4
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You didn't give a model number, but it's likely your Americana has a #45 orifice, which has a diameter of .082 in. Things you can't even see can reduce the efficiency of the orifice. If you pull it, clean it. Soak it in alcohol and blow it out with air. Don't try to run anything through it. It is very delicate and easily ruined.

It is not unusual for the stack to be hotter on propane than on AC. The method of applying the heat to the boiler is different. You may want to clean the stack and the flue baffle, the twisty thing hanging by a wire in the stack. If the flow through the stack isn't right, it can't transfer heat to the boiler properly.

Also, blow out the burner assembly with air. Spiders seem to be attracted to the odorant used in propane. The cobwebs can really mess up the flow.

Being a used trailer, you have no idea when or if this regular maintenance was done. Per Byron, you may want to take it to a pro, but you may as well learn to do these basic maintenance procedures yourself. These things should probably be done annually.

When you replaced the regulator, did you get one that provides a pressure of 11 inches of water column?





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Old 08-16-2017, 12:04 PM   #5
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Cliff mentioned the baffle. If that has been removed that could cause the issue of little or no heat transfer from the burner. A good inspection and cleaning is in need as suggested.
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Old 08-16-2017, 08:33 PM   #6
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Feedback

We verified the regulator was the correct pressure, removed the checked the baffle and shaft for obstruction - nothing, soaked the jet in alcohol and blew it out. Still no improvement. This thing is making a generator look really good.
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Old 08-16-2017, 08:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccol265 View Post
We verified the regulator was the correct pressure, removed the checked the baffle and shaft for obstruction - nothing, soaked the jet in alcohol and blew it out. Still no improvement. This thing is making a generator look really good.
Did you check for spider webs?
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Old 08-16-2017, 09:16 PM   #8
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What are the outside day and night temps while your fridge is only cooling to 60?
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Old 08-16-2017, 09:32 PM   #9
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The refrigerator requires 11" WC of gas pressure to operate properly . Replacing the propane regulator does not assure that the regulator is set properly or the gas pressure is correct.

The refrigerator in my old Scamp would not go below 55 deg F when on propane . The propane regulator was set at 9" WC.
Raised the gas pressure to 11"WC and 8 hours later the refrigerator was down to 36 deg F
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Old 08-16-2017, 10:31 PM   #10
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feedback2

Yes, we checked for spider webs - used a gun cleaning wand to make sure the flue was clear. The highs are just over 100, lows just below 80 - it's August in Texas. We made an adjustment to the pressure gauge - we'll see in the morning if it had an effect on the fridge.
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Old 08-17-2017, 07:48 AM   #11
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I'll be interested to hear how it works. I know for a fact my fridge would be useless at those temps. Mine starts losing the battle once daytime temps hit the 80s. It only recovers if overnight temps get into the low 60s.

Obviously Casita is in Texas and lots of people have them and you should be able to use your fridge. But conventional wisdom seems to be that you can't expect any better cooling than about 50 degrees below ambient temps out of these fridges. So at 100 degrees...

Do you have any fans above or below the fins on the back of the fridge?
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Old 08-17-2017, 12:12 PM   #12
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feedback3

We adjusted the regulator up and got to 56 degrees this morning, then turned it all the way up and got to 50. Is this as good as it gets in summertime temps? That will be fine for soft drinks, but a bad idea for perishable foods limiting it's utility. How do you guys manage your food storage in the summer? We expect to stay at places with hookups at our destination, but boondock as we travel to get there.

We don't have any fans.

By the way before I forget to mention it, we really appreciate all the help we've received. It's been a great help and we've learned tons!
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Old 08-17-2017, 12:25 PM   #13
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I can't speak for others. I know my fridge would be useless in a place like Texas. I can only get by because while 80s or 90s during the day are common, it almost always drops to at least the 60s at night, if not 50s or even 40s. So while my fridge creeps up into the 40s during the afternoon, it recovers overnight and holds through most of the morning.

But I know my fridge isn't operating at 100% right now. Working on that...

Before I installed my upper vent fan, 80s would be too warm for my fridge, and it wouldn't even recover with a night in the 60s. They make a big difference...
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Old 08-17-2017, 12:38 PM   #14
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You don't list the year, model or size of your Casita.
Ours is a 1999 17' Spirit Deluxe and on our two week trip temperatures were in the 80's and 90's and the freezer section stayed between -4 and +4 and the refrigerator section never got above 39f.
Join the Casita Forum and read the long thread on "how to make your refrigerator work better".
Also REPLACE YOUR PROPANE REGULATOR they are cheap and absolutely must output the correct pressure for the refrigerator. All the other appliances have secondary regulatoors built into them but the refrigerator totally depends on having the correct pressure from the main regulator.
You don't list your gas pressure so I'm "assuming" your just guessing and you can't tell is the flame is correct by looking at it.

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Old 08-17-2017, 02:05 PM   #15
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2000 Casita
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