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Old 12-28-2020, 03:58 PM   #1
Weekend Camper
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Missouri
Posts: 65
Question Dometic Fridge stopped working in cold weather? Ideas?

We took our 2011 Zinger camper out this weekend. We've never really used it much in cold weather before. We had the camper plugged in at home the night before we left, and had the fridge set to run off of propane to cool it down faster. When we got to the camp site we switched it over to AUTO so it would run on the AC power from the camp site. It worked fine the first night and the next day...but on the second night it got down to around 31 deg at night....and when we woke up in the morning the fridge and freezer were both warm!

It was set to "AUTO", but I switched it over to "GAS" in order to see if that would get it cooling again. A few hours later.....things were starting to cool off again.

Would the cold weather at night cause issues when it was running on AC power? I haven't done any troubleshooting on it yet....but I thought I would at least ask and see if anyone had any ideas as far as wear to start. One strange thing I did notice is that the fan that I can usually hear cycling in and off every few minutes when things were working normally.....was constantly on in the morning when the fridge wasn't cooling.

Any ideas?
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Old 12-28-2020, 06:32 PM   #2
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could be that the electric heater in the coolant tank quit. Mayber a quick ohm test to see. Make sure to remove power from RV first. Ohm meters don't like to see voltage when testing ohms.

Or its possible that all coolant was heated to a gas, and the orifice was frozen up.
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Old 12-28-2020, 07:35 PM   #3
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Some years back there was a guy on the forum from out west. I believe it was MT.
He was living in his rig that winter. Brrrrr.
I remember him posting that his fridge quit working. it was finally figured out that an RV fridge doesn't work after it gets to cold.
But I really don't think 31 degrees is cold enough to stop it. We have been out in colder temps then that, an no problems.
Let us know what you find out on it.
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Old 12-29-2020, 08:45 AM   #4
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Here is a little more info for you. Hopefully it will help.
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Old 01-03-2021, 05:51 PM   #5
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Well, I did a little more troubleshooting. After the camper set for a few days, I went ahead and hooked it back up to 120v power and turned the fridge to AUTO (gas was off)..it was around 5pm. Later that night I checked the fridge, and it was cool and the freezer felt really cold...everything was working like it was supposed to.

I checked it in the morning...and it was NOT cold. The AUTO light was still lit, and everything had power. I turned the fridge off, opened the fridge, and let everything air out.

A few days later, I did the same thing. This time, after being on all night long it was still cold in the morning. The temps at night were in the 30's....nothing below that.

So at this point I know it's not a fuse and it's not the GFI outlet.

It's definitely an intermittent issue that happens when it's running on 120v power, but doesn't happen with it's running on propane.

Could this be a control board issue? What kind of troubleshooting can I do not in order to narrow things down and find the issue?
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Old 01-03-2021, 06:30 PM   #6
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This manual may help you. https://rvrefrigeratorrepair.com/wp-...ervice-AES.pdf

There is a phone number for technical help.
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Old 01-05-2021, 05:33 PM   #7
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My refrigerator at home was warm after I got back from week trip. I had set the furnace thermostat to 50 degrees. An article from the Chicago Tribune said, "Combination refrigerator-freezers and freezers with automatic defrost systems are sensitive to the air, or ambient, temperature surrounding them.

As the ambient temperature rises, the refrigerator`s compressor runs more, to maintain the storage temperature in the fresh-food and frozen-food compartments.

As the ambient temperature falls, compressor operation decreases.

When temperatures fall below 60 degrees, the compressor will not operate long enough to maintain low storage temperatures in the freezer compartment.

This is because the fresh-food compartment contains the primary sensor, which is quickly satisfied at low ambient temperature.

The lower the temperature goes, the worse the problem becomes.

At about 38-to-42 degrees Fahrenheit, the compressor will not run at all. "
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Old 01-05-2021, 06:12 PM   #8
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Yes that works for refrigerators with compressors. Most campers have a heat absorption refrigerator that does not have a compressor. But some have a "Residential style" refrigerator and they would have a compressor. If it runs on propane and 110 then its a camper style.
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