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my rv refrigerator gets very warm when I am traveling..propane supply…

Customer Question
My RV refrigerator gets very...
My RV refrigerator gets very warm when I am traveling down the road. I can have it at 40 when I leave and up to 80 when I arrive 2 hours later. Why does it not hold the temp.
The settings do not change, the propane supply is not interrupted.
Submitted: 12 years ago.Category: RV
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Answered in 2 hours by:
8/10/2010
RV Mechanic: Steve F., RVIA Certification replied 12 years ago
Steve F.
Steve F., RVIA Certification
Category: RV
Satisfied Customers: 443
Experience: Journeyman and Master RV technician, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineer. RVIA Technical Consultant
Verified

Since you have a travel trailer I am really wondering whether there is a problem with your 12V system, and/or your charge line from your vehicle is not working properly? The only other real possibility is a problem with the vent. What happens if you unplug your trailer from shore power and measure your battery voltage? Does your fridge start to warm up if you unplug shore power?

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Customer reply replied 12 years ago
The system is not a 12 volt option. only electric and propane. It seems to have good cooling with electricity and a bit slower cool down with propane. I can only use propane when traveling down the road. I know that the propane is a constant supply as the electronic control system would automatically reset (default) if the supply was interrupted. The controls continue to show the chosen temp control so I know that the supply is steady. Both the refrigerator and Freezer compartment warm up considerably when on the road.
RV Mechanic: Steve F., RVIA Certification replied 12 years ago

I realize it doesn't have a 12V energy option, but the fridge controls work off 12V Laughing, so if you lose that, your fridge will stop cooling, regardless of the energy source you have selected.

 

You indicated that the cooling is a bit slower on propane, and since you indicated the 12V supply is fine, we can rule that out for now. But the fact that you switch from AC operation to propane while driving is a clue, plus the fact it cools a "bit slower" on propane. The fridge is the most sensitive appliance in your RV to low propane pressure. It will tend to cool less efficiently if you have a propane problem, which of course can also be an unsafe situation. Also, you will not necessarily be able to tell that by looking at the flame.

If you have low propane pressure, a leak in the system, a damaged flue baffle, or a dirty burner or orifice, this could explain the problem you are having. First, remove the burner cover and blow the burner area with compressed air, then see if this solves the problem. If not, you should have your propane system checked at an RV dealership since it requires special equipment. It is a very good idea to have your propane system inspected annually, in case you haven't been doing that. Since your fridge works well on AC, and less well on propane, coupled with the fact that your fridge stops working properly when you are driving, I think really points to an inefficient propane flame. The RV dealership will check your propane system for correct pressure, leaks, and overall performance. Also ask them to clean your appliances, or at least your fridge, and make sure they clean the orifice.

The other thing that can cause this is a damaged flue baffle. Inside the burner tube is a baffle that is only used by the propane flame. It captures the heat from the flame that is going straight up the baffle and distributes it to the burner tube. If this gets damaged from the flame, which can happen over time, the propane flame will not fully heat the burner tube, resulting in a loss of efficiency. By removing the burner casing, you can reach a finger up the burner tube and feel the baffle. If you give it a shake and pieces of metal fall down, it's probably damaged. Even if it doesn't, it's worth examining. Unfortunately, you have to remove the fridge to access the baffle. After removing the fridge, you will see a piece of wire stuck in the top of the burner tube vent port. This lifts out to reveal the helical baffle. You may find it is damaged, burnt, partially missing, etc. This should be replaced if this is the case.



Edited by Steve F. on 8/10/2010 at 7:51 PM EST
Steve F.
Steve F., RVIA Certification
Category: RV
Satisfied Customers: 443
Experience: Journeyman and Master RV technician, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineer. RVIA Technical Consultant
Verified
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