When you are camping or boondocking or even just living in your RV for a weekend, you need your fridge to work at top levels all the time. Food is not cheap anymore and having it get spoiled by a malfunctioning fridge is never any fun. But the problem may only be with the gas function and not the electric.
This can be a common problem and there are many reasons why your Dometic fridge does not work when switched to the gas function. One may be that the burner is dirty and needs to be soaked in alcohol for a few hours and then dried by using compressed air.
To learn more about the different sources that can cause your fridge to not work right when you need it most, just continue to read our article. It has the information you need to repair the issue and keep your food nice and cold
The first thing you need to do is to not assume that an RV or camping fridge works on the same principle or process a home fridge does. These travel fridges have their own operation style that is tailored made for road travel.
Then because these fridge models can use different power sources, you can find a model to fit your camper or your Class A RV. The basic cooling system Dometic uses is the gas absorption system with cooling units. heat boils a water and ammonia mixture and as the gas vapor rises it moves through a coil system.
Then as it does, the ammonia gas is cooled and turned into a liquid as it makes its way to the evaporator. Then a hydrogen bypass system lowers the pressure and gets rid of the heat and the result is the coolant that keeps your food cool or frozen.
This system can use either propane or electricity to operate and when one goes bad, at least you have a backup power source to protect your food.
Many common sources are keeping your fridge unit from working like it should when it is placed on the gas option. Here is a list of those common sources and quick fixes:
The last item just needs to be cleaned off in most cases or the hinge may need to be adjusted in others. If you have good DIY skills, then solving these issues is not a problem.
If the gas flue is sooted or blocked, it just needs a good cleaning but do it outside so you do not get any dirt in your RV. This can be done by using compressed air at the right levels. If you go too high with the pressure you can ruin your burner.
If the thermocouple is malfunctioning, you will need a screwdriver and a multimeter to test it out. Replacement is the best option here. Then if the burner is dirty or clogged, you will have to remove it.
Once it is removed, you need to soak it in 90% alcohol for several hours then blow the alcohol and dirt out using compressed air. After that is done, you can return the burner to its original position.
To know if the burner is a problem, you need to put your ear up close to the access door. If you do not hear a roaring sound, then the burner is the problem and you will need to use the process just described.
Keep the air pressure well below the 40 psi mark. If you don’t you may end up paying over $50 for a new burner.
When it comes to the gas issue, the most likely suspects are the burner control device, the gas burner, or the gas valve. If they are not malfunctioning, in which case you need to replace those parts, you can clean them up and get the dirt out. This helps the gas move freely and do its job.
When the fridge setting is on automatic, the electrical option overrides the gas option. But when the fridge is not cooling while on the electric setting you should check your connections first.
The GFCI outlets may not be working right so check them out first. If they are, check your circuit breakers to make sure they are not malfunctioning and turned on. If you find no problem with these two possible sources, then the source may be the control board.
When the control board malfunctions you should have a qualified repairman handle the repair task. Don’t try to do this one yourself.
If the freezer is working but the fridge section is not, then the problem may be one of the following 4 sources:
When you have mechanical items and appliances, expect them to break down at some point in time. As you can see, when the fridge is not cooling right on either gas or electricity, the fixes are fairly simple and shouldn’t take you too long to get done.
In most cases, you shouldn’t need a repairman to do the work but in some cases, they are the only option you have. Make sure to know the difference.