Can't get fridge cold

Discussion in 'Propane - Got Gas' started by Lost in Space, May 6, 2007.

  1. Lost in Space

    Lost in Space Active Member

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    This was our second trip with the popup and the first w/o hookups. Had a problem with the fridge, running on propane. Took a bunch of tries to get it to stay lit, first of all. Maybe 15-20 tries. Then it was lit fine but the fridge never got cold. Tried Lo - Med - Hi settings but no chill at all. After several hours of running I finally gave up and shut her down. Fridge works fine on 120V, never tried 12V. Cool weekend didn't have to buy a lot of ice anyway. Does anyone have any ideas what is wrong, or more likely, what I did wrong? Or does this need to go into dealer for service. I have four days left on my 30 day warranty on the NTU popup.

    --------------------
    Dana & Claudia
    The Happy Campers
    '05 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
    '04 Palomino Pony 280

    Edited by - Lost in Space on May 06 2007 17:25:12
     
  2. watermmike

    watermmike New Member

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    On propane the fridge takes aong time to get cold. I hook up to the 110 at least 12 hours befor leaving and run the 12V. while traveling. By then the fridge is ice cold so the propane only has to maintain the cold. I hope this helped.

    Mike <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_happycamper.gif border=0 align=middle>
    Brenda <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile.gif border=0 align=middle>

    1999 Silverado <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_suv.gif border=0 align=middle>
    2004 Jayco Qwest 8' <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle>
    2005 13' Discovery canoe <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_canoe.gif border=0 align=middle>

    I'm not lost
    Its the scenic route
     
  3. LynnAllen02

    LynnAllen02 Active Member

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    We pop up night before we leave, plug the frig into the house power, we have a thermometer inside the frig that we can read from outside the PUP. We pack all but the food...in the am frig is cool enough, I put in the frozen meats, frozen waters, and condiments in frig, we disconnect from house power, we drive for seven hours, frozen stuff keeps her cold while we drive, we get there turn on the propane and she makes it the rest of the week-end.

    Rules seem to be start with her cold, put cold food into her, and keep it cold!

    You don't describe if you did or didn't do those things?

    I have seen people here tell people to hook up gas stove and make sure the gas is running through the system, before lighting the frig, but we don't do that, we light our frig as soon as we get there!

    The frig is warrantied for 3 years I think, my manuals are in PUP now...

    They just called us to sell us an extended warranty on the frig for $187.00 for two years, a new one is about 300.00 I think, so we declined.

    Lynn

    2006 Pony 283*2005 Liberty*Nights camping 2006:14*Nights Reserved 2007:14
     
  4. Lost in Space

    Lost in Space Active Member

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    We kept the food in a cooler, waited for the fridge to get cool. It never did. It was running for like 5 hours and the fins inside the fridge were still warm. So it was not cooling at all.

    --------------------
    Dana & Claudia
    The Happy Campers
    '05 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
    '04 Palomino Pony 280
     
  5. Lost in Space

    Lost in Space Active Member

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    Lynn,
    The 3 yr warranty is only for the original owner. I bought the camper used. The dealer says it is warrantied by him for 30 days from delivery. I will see if that has any validity when I call him about the fridge tomorrow. I still have 4 days left on the 30 days.

    --------------------
    Dana & Claudia
    The Happy Campers
    '05 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
    '04 Palomino Pony 280
     
  6. mercman

    mercman Go Ahead, Be That Happy Camper!

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    L-I-S,

    I think the fridge might need a long time on propane to bring it to operating temp, I was reading that if the fridge(camper) is off level then the coolant cant circulate adaquetly(sp) perhaps that might of been it. Either way definetly bring the camper over to dealer and let him get it cold on propane in front of you.
    I do know that if you run the propane thru the stove first it makes all the gas appliances start better because it gets air out of the system.

    good luck,
    Chris

    01 f-150
    07 Rockwood 1980,
    The official vehicle of the Camping Collies.
    64 Mercury Comet

    Happy To Be The Wondering Wanderer...
    ...as long as I end up with sand in my toes

    Nights Camped 2007 ~ 1 (yeah!)
     
  7. Lost in Space

    Lost in Space Active Member

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    Have run stove more than enough time. The fridge did light up, the trailer was levelled by a level in the fridge to make sure, it just wouldn't get cold, nor even cool, after close to FIVE HOURS of running. If there was no change in temp by then, I figured there just wasn't going to be.

    --------------------
    Dana & Claudia
    The Happy Campers
    '05 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
    '04 Palomino Pony 280
     
  8. mercman

    mercman Go Ahead, Be That Happy Camper!

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    I agree, time to call the dealer.

    Hope it's a simple fix.

    chris

    01 f-150
    07 Rockwood 1980,
    The official vehicle of the Camping Collies.
    64 Mercury Comet

    Happy To Be The Wondering Wanderer...
    ...as long as I end up with sand in my toes

    Nights Camped 2007 ~ 1 (yeah!)
     
  9. LynnAllen02

    LynnAllen02 Active Member

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    We run ours on electric a full 12 hours before we go with frig empty, and it is finally cold in the morning before we go...

    One time when it was over 100 degrees outside, the overnight didn't do it, still hot inside after 12 hours, we filled it with bags of ice and used a fan from the house on the outside. Finally it dropped to cool enough to load the food, but we were worried it was going to be the canned goods for us...I still bring two nites worth just in case anything happens to the frig...it never has, but I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop!

    I think you are saying you ran it on propane for five hours and expected it to get cool, when mostly propane keeps it cool....once it is already cold...and it takes us 12 hours on electric to get it cold...

    I hope it works in the end, and that you get it worked out!

    Lynn

    2006 Pony 283*2005 Liberty*Nights camping 2006:14*Nights Reserved 2007:14
     
  10. austinado16

    austinado16 Proud Starcraft Owner

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    If the fridge works fine on 120v, then you know it's system is working and that you have a propane/burner issue.....in other words, for whatever reason, your burner flame is just not large enough or hot enough to get the boiler to sufficient tempurature to generate the cooling process.

    Since you're under warrantee, take it in and have the dealer handle it. Otherwise, you'll want to pursue things like:
    1) Clean out the chimney over the burner
    2) Clean out the air supply pipe over the burner and next to the chimney (they both get clogged with cobwebs and other debris.
    3) Take a look at the burner flame when you have the control set to high. It should be a nice crisp blue with some good "force", not a weak little wispy flame.
    4) Do a gas pressure test at the test port right before the burner. You want to have .6psi which is 11" of water column pressure on a Manometer. Adjust or replace the propane tank's regulator if you have less.
    5) If your fridge has a filter in the propane line just before the burner, remove it and at a minimum, clean it. Or, just gut it, so it's an open pipe.
    6) Clean the jet oriface in the burner which can get clogged with carbon/soot and produce a weak flame.

    Good luck!

    1987 Starcraft Nova pushing a 1990 GMC Suburban.
     
  11. Lost in Space

    Lost in Space Active Member

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    austinado16,

    I took it to the dealer who cleaned it out good and it now gets a nice blue flame, before it was yellow. Thanks for the info, I am printing out your post and putting it with the camper leterature

    --------------------
    Dana & Claudia
    The Happy Campers
    '05 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
    '04 Palomino Pony 280
     
  12. austinado16

    austinado16 Proud Starcraft Owner

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    Outstanding! I'm glad it was a simple fix.

    Now, if you really want good cold out of it while on propane, here are some simple tips.

    First, get to the RV store, or online and buy one of the little blue plastic RV Refrigerator Fans. They run on 2 D-Cell batteries and you pop the batteries in and place them in the fridge while you're camping. They circulate the air in the fridge past the cooling fins and keep the colder air at the bottom mixed with the air at the top.

    Second, open the lower louvered door on the outside of the trailer, where you access the fridge controls. Look up at the gap between the inner wall of the trailer and the metal coils on the fridge. The wider the gap, the less air you get past these coils. Adding a baffle, which can be as simple as a thin piece of paneling, or tin roof flashing that you could cut with scissors, to decrease that gap to basically zero, will force all the air moving upward to only go past the coils and not bypass them. These coils get hot during operation and it's the moving air cooling them that really helps pull the heat out of the fridge and make nice cold.

    I just did this to mine. The job amounted to taking a jigsaw and a scrap of 1/8" paneling, and cutting it the width of the louvered door (about 19" long) and then making it about 2-1/2" deep because that was how much gap I had.

    I test fit it, marked on it with a marker so I could see where certain things were touching it....like the chimney and part of the coils, and then I trimmed those areas further with the jigsaw. Once I was happy with the fit, I screwed it in place with 3 screws, to the wood just at the top of the louvered door opening. So, it's easily removed if need be, and it isn't in the way.

    There was already a metal shroud at the top of the fridge's upper fins, so I left that in place.

    On the max setting, I had low 40's in under 2 hours and ice in the icecube tray a few hours later. After about 24hrs I was in the low 30's.

    Email me directly if you'd like to see a photo.

    1987 Starcraft Nova pushing a 1990 GMC Suburban.
     
  13. ptuner

    ptuner New Member

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    austinado16,
    would you please send me pix of your refrig mod?
    thank you

    ptuner120@sbcglobal.net

    Modesto, Ca
     
  14. austinado16

    austinado16 Proud Starcraft Owner

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    ptuner, you've got mail. I included photos of the Manometer (propane pressure test gauge) that I made for a couple bucks, instead of buying one for $115+

    ______________________________________________
    1987 Starcraft Nova pushing a 1990 GMC Suburban.
     

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