Rv Refrigerator Repair, No 1 Reason Why your Rv Fridge will not get cold

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Andrew Armstrong says:

The best thing i ever done was pull my fire hazard in waiting “No it won’t
cool” out and put it on the curb and replaced it with a GE/with ice maker.
8 years later i have had ZERO problems with the GE. It always cools
perfectly on level ground, going up hill, going down hill, leaning left,
leaning right.

What was funny was all the snickering and rude remarks that were tossed my
way over using a “forbidden” residential style refrigerator in an RV. Go
look at what all the new RV’s are using for refrigerators. That says it
all. I dry camped for five days on 3 house batteries plus 1 15 watt solar
panel and 2 to 3 hours gen use a evening. Not one time did the GE, on an
inverter, pull the batteries dead or to low to use other 12 volt sources
in my RV. And not one time have i had a gen start to recharge the
batteries, as my set up does this automatically..

Why people still insist on fire hazard absorption refrigerators in there RV
is beyond me. Battery technology is awesome, some of the solar panels out
there is awesome. So why not have a awesome “home” refrigerator that keeps
your food at the correct temperature without the risk of burning your RV
down and does not need constant costly repairs or added fans to work
properly. Not to mention the extreme cost difference you will save.

scottntexas says:

No, the freezer is only cool, it does not freeze. In my old trailer i had
to junk the fridge from factory, a dometic, and purchase a compact electric
fridge. Hoping that wont be necessary with this newer trailer. Im moving to
Phoenix very soon, where its triple digit weather much of the year.

Gary Campbell says:

OK after reading and re-reading the paperwork, I’ve come to understand
clearly what they want to do to get the cord up to the eyebrow.
Now, since I’m living out of the fridge now in the desert, I’ve decided to
wait and eat the stuff up in my freezer and then do the switch when my
frozen load is low so if the whole shooting match fails for some reason, I
won’t lose a lot of food.
Thanks again for your site. I’ll get back and let you know how it worked
in about a month’s time.

scottntexas says:

I live in a camper trailer, it is a 1996 Salem Cobra, with a norcold
fridge. Most of the year it works flawlessly, during the summer it barley
works. The freezer stays cool, and the fridge is warm. I live in the
desert, so its not uncommon to have triple digit weather. I estimate my
fridge and freezer are about 6.5 cu. ft. Is it possible to get it to work
in the high heat of the desert? I had an old airstream before this one,
with the same troubles. 

Gary Campbell says:

Matt,
Thanks for your video. I live with a Norcold 8683 gas/ac unit that
continually freezes. I am in the desert and living on propane and manage
it by shutting it off when the interior temp of the lower box gets down in
the 20’s.
Can you advise me as to repair or I love how it keeps everything nice and
cold, but I want to be safe and not have to fool with it. Thanks so much
for your suggestions.

By the way, I also have to replace my black water tank and it would be
great to have a video of something like that to inform people like me to
have to do it themselves because we can’t afford anything else these days.
Regards,
Gary

Ron Davis says:

Hello

I have a Norcold N61X Refer. I live in my 37′ Jayco. Now I saw a wire on
the fins with a clip in my refer. The clip was rusted but the sensor looked
good. Don’t now how to test it. Both the refer and freezer are not working.
I run on 120 volts only.
Do I need a new refer. I hope not I’m on Social Security. Any ideas how to
see about getting this fixed? My rig and the refer is level. Any
suggestions you can give would be great. I live in Idaho Springs Colorado.
It has been snowing.

Thanks

scottntexas says:

By the way, my fride is a 2 way, and i only use the 120v setting.

Gary Campbell says:

Matt, I got the part Thermister for the Norcold. The paperwork is
confusing…
It says drill a 5/16″ hole through the cabinet at locating dimple. Why
can’t I just tape the new wire to the old one and pull it through? Where
is this dimple?
Use a 3/16″ x 16″ rod and push the connector through the cabinet. Not sure
here if I’m pushing the connector end of the new thermister through the
wall of the box?
There was no new clip to clip on the new thermister, any ideas?
Insert changing device, a 30″ x 3/8″ tube in 5/8″ hole (at eyebrow access)
lower cable and find connector through lower door vent door secure
connector and pull up through tube and make new connection.

Can you shed some light on the pushing the connector through the cabinet.

Thanks,
Gary

Lori Hoover says:

We have a ’77 Airstream with Dometic RM100 refrigerator that just started
not getting cold. It was frosted up and we defrosted it and now it won’t
get cold but the freezer works great. Up until that point it would get
super cold. We run it on the electric not on the propane. Thanks for any
help on how to fix this problem.

mark evans says:

How do you put the suggested level in the freezer when at camp and with
food in freezer compartment. Under 3 days, use dry ice.It melts dry as
well.

laronis says:

wow, youtube has become very complicated from the early days. took me
forever to log in. anyway, thank you for the info!!!

Johnny DeBarge says:

matt don’t know if youll see this video about fridge repair but I cant open
the first video

laronis says:

WOW, so complicated I did not even log in my normal name. I am
escalante58.

escalante58 says:

I have a 2009 20’ Van RV with a 2 way (12/120) Dometic refrigerator (does
not use propane). Do I have to keep this RV level when parking also? My
understanding is the problem of keeping the RV level was for propane
refrigerators only and I did not have to worry about it. Thanks in advance.

Matt Willis says:

Well he never lost volume but he ran the rig off level many time
overheating the mix and eventually weakened it to a point it would no
longer cool properly. The same thing happened to another customer with an
older Airstream. He is on his third fridge this one was a 2010 RM2810 No
sign of leakage and he finally admitted he did not even own a level. I
tested it and the mix was weak. Lou I think you burnt the mix. contact me
and I will tell you how to test it. Matt

Jubilee1009 says:

Thank you, Matt. It’s a Dometic DM2652RB Americana RV Refrigerator 2-Way.
Great idea with a regular refrigerator if we can’t get this one to work.

Nazir Stones says:

Hello Matt, The fridge has quit on me twice in the last month, when parked,
This is a 2014 Freelander 30′ RV! Any idea! The ground is fairly leveled

richard83813 says:

matt; have fridges improved since 2-18-2012 as far as needing to keep them
level? am wanting to put 1 in a van, very hard to get those level for a
fridge

Matt Willis says:

Well apparently it was level enough to work for the last 3 years, with that
said I would have to know the make and model of the fridge to tell you
where to start. I can tell you this, If your rv is going to be used as a
guest home behind your house for ant length of time, you should buy a park
model fridge basically a household fridge the will fit in the same place.
Make sure you keep the rv fridge if the cabinet is in good condition. If
you sell the rv you can fix it later.or give a discount.

Jubilee1009 says:

Thank you so very much, Matt!! We’ll sure give it a try and let you know
the outcome.

Matt Willis says:

I don’t exactly understand your question? The moisture problem is easy, as
I said earlier. Unless you own a $5000.00 Norcold Polarmax fridge with auto
defrost. all other rv fridges have a problem with frost/ice build up the
best way to limit the problem is to not put open containers in your
refrigerator/freezer also if you in a high moisture area and open and close
the fridge allot you will get a build up of ice. The other problem could be
a failing cooling unit.

Matt Willis says:

Infact your entire cooling unit is made of steel tubing unlike your
household fridge which uses copper tubing we all know steel rust so why not
use copper? Your Rv fridge uses Ammonia as a refrigerant your household
fridge uses Freon, and Ammonia is like hydrochloric acid to copper and yet
it does not harm steel. By the way household fridges can be as much as 30
degrees of level and still work, that’s why they use them in boats instead
of ammonia absorption fridge.

Matt Willis says:

Here is what happens if you continuously run you fridge off level. I just
had a 91 Servel S820 dometic that the cooling unit was in mint condition (
no rust on the evaporator) and it had loss some pressure but not much. When
I tested the aqua ammonia mix the the ammonia was weak, now this gentleman
has owned this rv since new and obviously he had not used it much or the rv
fridge would have shown signs of corrosion on the evaporator. So how did
the coolant loose ammonia? To be continued.

Matt Willis says:

I tell anyone in a van it it better to get a 12/120 compressor type
refrigerator they are much more forgiving and can run as much as 30 degrees
off level and still work fine. When you get a rv the size of a van people
tend to treat them as a car and forget about parking with their (ammonia
absorption) rv fridge left on. The only pitfall is adding an extra battery
and maybe a solar panel on the roof to keep your 12/120 fridge happy an
running.

Jason Zinn says:

Hi Matt, Are you still servicing fridges in Southern California? Have a
Norcold that needs help and haven’t been able to reach you.

Matt Willis says:

If you see bright yellow powder around the burner then you have a leak and
the cooling unit must be replaced. Don’t believe the tech that tells you it
is not worth fixing, If your fridge looks good and the door seal is in good
shape it is worth fixing. Norcold and Dometic both sell replacement cooling
units, and there are good re-manufactured units out there for less money.
Sibur was the last rv fridge that you could not replace the cooling unit
and they went out of business, I wonder why?

Matt Willis says:

Hello Roger, I also like your site. I also have been developing a training
course that covers everything from safely discharging your unit to
capturing and recycling all of the ammonia mix, it also covers prints for
bending jigs for making your own evaporators, charging wrench, and charging
station, Basically a turnkey rebuilding course that optimizes everything I
have learn in the last 6 years. It’s on hold while I tool up for my new
design of cooling units. Starting with the L1200.

coachmanelite says:

My Norcold refrig works well when it is parked but while driving it creates
condensation in the refrig. Last rip was in the mountains for about 8 hrs
and all cans were covered in condensation. Any suggestions?

Lou DiBello says:

Is this possible indication of blockage at top of boiler pipe? If so, what
would cause this if it was working perfectly and has not been run off
level? Especially sitting level and just being on how would it develop a
blockage? Thanks for any info this is driving me crazy

Matt Willis says:

I have gone as far as I can with re-building cooling units. The next step
is teaching and manufacturing new units, I have R&D enough from doing
chemical analysis of metals to trying every charging method out there
including yours. I believe I can ad something to the industry.

Matt Willis says:

I know what you mean by loosing time over not listening to the people that
re-manufacture these units for a living. Yesterday I went out to a warranty
issue of a customer I had recently installed one of my units in he said it
was working fine when he took it home but by the morning it had stopped. He
had it running when I arrived and he was parked on a incline noticeably off
level with his boiler section way too hot. No one warranties running your
fridge off level.

ccuinhell says:

Hi, I was wondering if you can help, I have a norcold m# 8683 freezer is
super cold, fridge, the aluminum fins are only frosting up on the left side
and doesn’t seem to keep thing as cold as it once did. Thanks if you can
help

Matt Willis says:

Ammonia absorption refrigerators all have the same problem they need the
coolant to be able to flow in a closed loop cycle your evaporator tubes
which pull the heat out of the fridge has to be at a gradual decent to the
bottom. It is the nature of the beast of these types of fridges, so if the
liquid stalls from being too much off level the fridge will not get as cold
or stop working all together.

Lou DiBello says:

Hi Matt, I have a Dometic RM2620. Have had intermittent issuers since last
year, it was manufactured 2009. Last year my service guy removed it and
“burped” it. I had run it off level at some points not knowing at that time
that it was so critical. Anyhow, after burping, it worked fine for rest of
the year. I always left it plugged in when parked/stored. It is level. At
one point is stopped cooling and I parked it with front end down at sharp
angle (burner down).

Jubilee1009 says:

Matt, my 78 year old mother lives in an RV behind our house, I didn’t know
the RV had to be leveled for the refrigerator/freezer work properly, she
has been living in the same RV for the last 3 years. This past weekend her
refrigerator/freezer totally quit. Is there any hope for repairs or should
I look for a new refrigerator/freezer for her? So glad I ran across your
video!

Matt Willis says:

Even though your rv fridge will work on a winding mountain road it still
may struggle a bit to keep temp. All rv fridges have a problem with
moisture, depending on your area climate i.e. near the ocean or lakes there
is more moisture than the desert. If you have open containers or put hot
food in the fridge before it cools down there will be condensation. See if
your thermometer reads the same when you get to your destination as when it
is sitting. Make sure it gets cold on gas and electric.

Matt Willis says:

If your back home and parked try it on AC sometimes driving the flame gets
blown around and goes out but in that case your check light should have
gone on. sometimes the door does not get closed all the way and you get an
air leak. what I would do is make sure your rig is level and try it again
on AC check the temp at the hottest part of the day. If everything is fine
switch to gas and do the same. Let me know if it is cooling properly if not
we can check a few other things.

Matt Willis says:

Just to let a few of you know how bad running your fridge off level can be,
it takes the proper balance of Ammonia, Water and Hydrogen to make your
cooling unit pull heat from the inside of your rv fridge. And since your
fridge does not have a compressor like your house fridge (in fact your
cooling unit has no moving parts), it uses heat to make cold, (either a
heating element or a small flame) and works more like a moonshine still. I
am running out of characters so read my next post

Reddsmorris1 says:

So if your a ful time rv-er and travel all the time then you need to keep
the fridg empty?

Matt Willis says:

My course also covers basic welding techniques how to make charging stems
for Dometics and how to weld new ones and crimp the Norcold type.where to
buy the materials for all the support items, from the hydrometers, site
glass, 5/16 heavy wall stem material, hydraulic crimping, the tool. and
every what if a customer can throw at you. My thoughts on teaching someone
is teach them everything they would need to know and from A to Z

Jubilee1009 says:

Matt, that worked!!! (Big Smile)…freezer is freezing and refrigerator is
cold!! So now to check out the access to the heating elements. I can’t
thank you enough!! thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU!!!

Matt Willis says:

That is a great question, You have a Dometic fridge with an compressor just
like your household fridge, the best thing about that is it can run as much
as 30 degrees off level and still work fine. That is a major plus for these
people that swap out their propane fridges for household one in the bigger
rv’s If you plan on never going dry camping and your fridge is need of a
cooling unit it is something to consider. Although it may hurt the resale
value unless you sell it to some of like mind.

Matt Willis says:

That is a very good question, This will eventually happen to all rv fridges
the freezer section freezes but the fridge does not get cold enough to keep
your food safe. Your cooling unit (the part that actually makes the cold)
is starting to loose its charge.

Matt Willis says:

The degrees on the older Dometics with the horizontal freezer tubes is much
tighter than the newer models, and I rebuild cooling units for a living
there are so many variances to consider when leveling your fridge like only
leveling it in the freezer due to years of your cabinet absorbing moisture
will cause your interior to distort except on the aluminum in the freezer
which will not change, the degrees that are given came from Norcold, which
originally were more forgiving than Dometic

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