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refrigerator won't switch to DC


11 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   amcclaran

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 03:29 AM

Hey All, Its been a while, but I am still alive and kickin- and need a little help. We have a 3-way Dometic on a Northstar. We run the fridge on propane when we are driving and have to check it each time we re-fuel. It is always off (on "Check"). In the 10 years we have owned this camper, we have never seen it switch to DC. Normally, its not a problem. but driving yesterday from Vt into Mi. - it was 106 at the Niagara border crossing. I forgot to check fridge until mid aft and fridge was pretty warm & ice cubes were mostly melted. Thought it was time to see if someone can tell me why fridge doesn't switch to the battery when propane stops. - I assume the propane goes out just because of normal travel & rough roads?? Husband gets a little cranky when the beer isnt cold. and I need those ice cube for my tequila so this is Very Important Help that I am requesting !!
thanks

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#2 OFFLINE   amcclaran

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 06:00 AM

when all else fails, read the manual she says to herself. I now see that DC is not part of the "AUTO" function.
But this issue is getting to be a pain. Guess I should look into replacing the control board as I have been reading on other posts. (this fridge is not part of recall).
One older post said replacing control board was easy, but a website for replacement boards said "this is not a do-it-yourself job" ?? which one??

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#3 OFFLINE   KnightEagle

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 07:35 AM

 may work on one about 1998 We had a ref just like you have. in the top area of the fridge you can get at the board be careful there not alot of room there tight fit with big fingers. But I dont think its all in the board. there is a thermostst in there that also controls when it fires up. On ours the 12v would work by the switch selector but not the gas I had to run wires to the igniter and a 12v source then then to a toggle switch flip on to ignite then off once it does ignite yours it sounds like the switch on yours haas gone bad. just take your time with out see your fridge this is only a quess. May have to clean out the lp tubes near the ignigter just to make sure there clear and close up any drafts near the flame box under the heat tube leave a small amount it does need some not alot. Now if its on one a 2007 could be just the board rough cost over a hundred bucks and no guarantee thats the cause also watch the drafts to the burner area. Once you start having problems with a fridge it will be a money pit. Maybe cheaper in the long run to just buy a new one.  


  :sign0007: I got it fixed!

 

2012 Ram 3500HD DRW. RideRite 5000 Air Bags. Hellwig sway Bar rear. Curt hitch 17000/2550. Engine: 6.7-Liter I6 Cummins® Turbo Diesel Engine Transmission: 6-Speed Automatic 68RFE. 2017 Adventure Alp 116DS 5153+ lb. Reg Cab. Torklift Frame mounts. Ranch Hand Front Bumber, Duel hitch and 4' extension . C.B channel 19 most times. Towing a 16 ft storage trailer with a jon boat inside.

 

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#4 OFFLINE   amcclaran

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 03:05 PM

to be honest, I have never thought before now that I had to do maintenance on the refrigerator, so will take a look & see what I can see.
Today, when we couldnt seem to keep the fridge running on gas, We tried to run it on DC (while driving) and promptly drained the camper battery. WTF?? isnt the camper battery supposed to be charged by the truck while driving?? This is all so confusing.
Last year while we were boondocking for a month, we were charging the camper battery with a generator. The 12V plug-in charge guage would show green as in fully charged, but then a half hour later, it would show in the yellow again. We thought our battery may not be holding a charge, so replaced it, but the same thing would happen with the new battery. The only thing that we know that was using the camper battery would be the refridgerator fan, and an occaisional light. It doesnt make sense to us. I wonder if these issues are related?
suppose we should have someone look at it who knows what they are doing.
But... MotherShip docked in N. Wis after 2 long days on the road from Vt. Happy to be here even if camper battery is dead & fridge is ailing. RAV4 parked in the 'car house' started right up after sitting for a year. Good little car !! It never fails us.
Now for a cold one.

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#5 OFFLINE   Stan

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 05:57 PM

For some reason I thought you were a refrigeration mechanic!! Guess I was wrong.
I have been a tent camper since my Boy Scout days long, long, ago. Now I need to get up off of the cold ground to get a good nights rest, a truck camper seems to be the best choice. I am here to learn as much as I can.

#6 OFFLINE   pscansetzer

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 06:57 PM

to be honest, I have never thought before now that I had to do maintenance on the refrigerator, so will take a look & see what I can see.
Today, when we couldnt seem to keep the fridge running on gas, We tried to run it on DC (while driving) and promptly drained the camper battery. WTF?? isnt the camper battery supposed to be charged by the truck while driving?? This is all so confusing.
Last year while we were boondocking for a month, we were charging the camper battery with a generator. The 12V plug-in charge guage would show green as in fully charged, but then a half hour later, it would show in the yellow again. We thought our battery may not be holding a charge, so replaced it, but the same thing would happen with the new battery. The only thing that we know that was using the camper battery would be the refridgerator fan, and an occaisional light. It doesnt make sense to us. I wonder if these issues are related?
suppose we should have someone look at it who knows what they are doing.
But... MotherShip docked in N. Wis after 2 long days on the road from Vt. Happy to be here even if camper battery is dead & fridge is ailing. RAV4 parked in the 'car house' started right up after sitting for a year. Good little car !! It never fails us.
Now for a cold one.

Now I'm not the expert by far - but here's what I know....the DC operating mode for a 3-way frige is meant to sustain a frige for a three or four hour jaunt down the road to the next camp site as told to me.  You really wouldn't want to ride all day on a long day of driving.  While we are traveling (and we keep our days to about 400 miles +/-) we'll run on propane....for the most of the time.  It seems to work good for us and keeps the adult beverages nice and chilled.  The problems that I have had with the propane was resolved by a simple and detailed cleaning of the burner.

 

Other than that I should bow to the Refrigerator experts.

 

Jim


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#7 OFFLINE   KnightEagle

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 07:39 AM

I found out the hard way these fridges suck down DC like generators suck down propane. Also watch the drafts the sheild by the flame is there for a purpose if yours getting put out while driving check the gap


  :sign0007: I got it fixed!

 

2012 Ram 3500HD DRW. RideRite 5000 Air Bags. Hellwig sway Bar rear. Curt hitch 17000/2550. Engine: 6.7-Liter I6 Cummins® Turbo Diesel Engine Transmission: 6-Speed Automatic 68RFE. 2017 Adventure Alp 116DS 5153+ lb. Reg Cab. Torklift Frame mounts. Ranch Hand Front Bumber, Duel hitch and 4' extension . C.B channel 19 most times. Towing a 16 ft storage trailer with a jon boat inside.

 

ALP116DS2017
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#8 OFFLINE   amcclaran

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Posted 12 August 2018 - 11:51 AM

all good advice. we did take off the outside cover & found a small wasp nest, but didnt seem like it would cause any problems, BUT.... when Tim took camper battery out to take to have it charged in town, he noticed that one terminal had not been tightly connected. Now, with a charged battery & terminals connected properly, fridge is working just fine. We are happy campers! Not sure though, if I will take off that outside cover too often. It has the same cheap, plastic, easily breakable tabs that also hold the furnace cover on. And those broke after taking it off just a few times. 

Weather here in N. Wisconsin is hot, hot, hot & humid! Dog Days of August. Good thing the Big Lake is close by- always good to jump in at the end of the day. Hubby got 2 of his 'toys' delivered from Vt on Thursday- a skid steer and an excavator. Big Mess in the works, but things will get done. Right now, a garden shed going up,. and starting to site for a small cabin which probably wont get started till next visit. It great to be here. Not exactly a relaxing vacation, but its what we like to do.

Thanks all, for the responses to the fridge issue. Its always nice to be able to sign on to this forum and get much needed advice. 


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#9 OFFLINE   Mr Firewood

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Posted 12 August 2018 - 09:53 PM

Our DC has been disabled for years.  Disconnected the DC power terminal.  When dry camping with a NATCOA group and two members woke up to dead house batteries.  No shore power when a propane bottle ran out of gas during the night and the other did not take over or was shut off or empty.


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#10 OFFLINE   dvanceman

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Posted 13 August 2018 - 03:42 AM

 TRY UNPLUGING THE FRIDGE AND THEN PLUG IT BACK IN. ALSO TRY BLOWING SOME AIR AROUND THE IGNITER TUBE LITTLE CRITTERS GET IN THERE AND BLOCK THE FLOW OF PROPANE.



#11 OFFLINE   KnightEagle

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Posted 13 August 2018 - 07:42 AM

I found out from PrencessCraft on our old fridge that 12v shouldnt be used more than 3-4 hours and even on propane once it gets hotter than 90-95 degree's they dont cool all that great. One we had two rotating switches one to switch from shore to 12v and propane other was temp.  Ours would go into shutdown mode. One thing keep in mind we had a second fridge it had similar problems yet the outside temp was still a factor.  Think there was more to it than that had change out the board but that was a different model the board was on one that was 6 years newer


  :sign0007: I got it fixed!

 

2012 Ram 3500HD DRW. RideRite 5000 Air Bags. Hellwig sway Bar rear. Curt hitch 17000/2550. Engine: 6.7-Liter I6 Cummins® Turbo Diesel Engine Transmission: 6-Speed Automatic 68RFE. 2017 Adventure Alp 116DS 5153+ lb. Reg Cab. Torklift Frame mounts. Ranch Hand Front Bumber, Duel hitch and 4' extension . C.B channel 19 most times. Towing a 16 ft storage trailer with a jon boat inside.

 

ALP116DS2017
ALP116DS10.JPG

 


#12 OFFLINE   amcclaran

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Posted 13 August 2018 - 09:47 AM

Am i right that newer refrigerators do not have the DC option?? guess I'm learning why not. 


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