RVRC GOLD: All About Refrigerators

Learn all about your RV’s refrigerator in this RVRC GOLD LIVE class with Dave Solberg.

THIS EVENT IS ONLY AVAILABLE FOR RVRC GOLD MEMBERS

In order to view the live class, be sure to visit this page while logged in to your GOLD member account.

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73 Responses to “RVRC GOLD: All About Refrigerators”

  1. Brian Volman

    Looking forward to this… hope you speak to my specific trailer.

    Reply
  2. Ralph

    Ticket 16556 Generator starts & runs ONLY if I hold the start switch. As soon as I release the switch if shuts off. Is it the “Mother Board” or maybe the switch? It happens both at the Generator and inside at the kitchen switch! Thanks!

    Reply
  3. Floyd

    Ticket 16558 Need to do something about the ice maker leaking water into unit while forming minimal ice cubes.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi Terry. We would like to help with this. Can you give us a little more detail on what the issue is. Also the make and model.
      Thanks
      Jean-RVRC Video Membership

      Reply
  4. Clayton

    What service does the refrigerator normally need? I had a “large Chain Company” charge me $150 to service it but I they couldn’t (wouldn’t) tell me all that they did, just that it was done according to the manual.

    Reply
    • Roger

      Kinda late but did you solve the problem? Two things that will cause this problem. The propane burner element is not properly doing its job or the “Candy Cane” electric heating element is not heating.

      Reply
  5. Liz

    Dave’s smarter in his pinkie than most RV “professionals” … Love to learn from him and the crew at RVRepair Club! Thanks!

    Reply
  6. phylana

    Are these videos available for reviewing? This one kept cutting out. Thanks! Great resource!!

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello,

      Yes, the video is available to watch after it airs. Log into your account and it is located under the Blog section, in the gray menu bar, about 1/4 of the way down the page.

      Thanks,

      Becky
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply
  7. bscharf

    In this video Don referred to Down loads for Trouble shooting refrigerators, using Multi-meters, and a third refrigerator download (I missed its name). Where are these located?
    Thanks

    Reply
  8. robert6178

    Cools but not anough. If I put a fan on the outside and direct the air up the back of the unit then I can get the fridge to stay in the 30’s and freezer around 0. I installed one of the solar powered fans made for that purpose but it will not get the temp below 55 during the day and it is close to that first thing in the morning. Any suggestions?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Robert,

      Have you tried both modes of operation, 120-volt and LP and does it do the same on both? If you can put a fan in the back and get proper temperatures, it seems you have an issue with the back of your refrigerator? Not sure what “solar fans” you have installed, however the only fans that actually work are the two 5-7” 12-volt fans that are connected to the upper cooling unit tube just under the condenser coil. Anything lower has to much blockage inside the cabinet to work. These fans can only be installed by removing the refrigerator! I would also suggest checking the roof vent? If your refrigerator is not in a slide room it has a vent on the roof that is designed to let the hot air from the cooling unit out. This should be checked periodically for dust and debris. If it’s clogged, the hot air will not get out and the refrigerator will not cool sufficiently. See the attached photo and check out the video on the site. I would also suggest using an air compressor and air gun to clean out the back cavity of your refrigerator compartment. Open the lower vent, use safety glasses, and blow out the burner assembly, up into the back cavity to get all the dust off the cooling unit and inspect the area to make sure no insulation has fallen into the space between the cooling unit and the sidewall. This needs to be open to allow the hot air to vent out to the top and since you have good cooling with a fan directed at this vent, it seems you have some obstruction there?

      Thanks,

      David
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply
  9. Joe

    Electric and gas refrigerator. Freezer works great on gas or ac. Frig will only cool to 58 degrees on gas or ac. Any ideas why frig will not cool when freezer does so well.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Joe,

      Most likely you have a blocked cooling unit?
      An understanding of how the refrigerator operates is necessary to conduct troubleshooting. A solution of water, sodium chromate, and ammonia is held in a vessel and then passes through a liquid heat exchanger at the bottom of the pump tube. The heat source (gas or electric) heats the solution and creates vapors that lift the solution up the tube to the evaporator fins. When operating on gas, the solution is heated with a flame from the burner assembly. When operating on 120-volt electric, a heating element on the pump tube heats the solution and from there, both modes operate the same through the cycle. On both modes, the thermistor inside the refrigerator located on the fins senses the temperature and calls for operation and starts the sequence. On gas, the module board located on the back of the refrigerator opens the gas valve which you should hear a click, then sends a signal to the spark igniter which will create a series of sparks trying to light the LP/air mixture in the burner assembly. On 120-volt mode, the module board closes the power circuit to the heat element and it heats the solution.

      As the solution gets hot, it travels up the pump tube to the condenser fins and freezer evaporator at which time it separates and basically draws the heat out of the freezer and then the refrigerator compartment. The solution makes its way back to the liquid vessel by gravity through the cooling unit tubes to start the cycle over again. If the refrigerator is operated in an unlevel condition, the fluid pools in the tube at a corner and will get hot and start to flake and eventually create a blocked cooling unit which does not allow the solution to pass through and it will not cool on either mode. This is a common issue as RVers plug their rigs in at home on the driveway to get everything ready for the trip not realizing the driveway is slanted and the unit is running out of the recommended 6 degrees side to side, 3 degrees front to back. Both Norcold and Dometic provide a bubble level that shows acceptable level to operate. See the attached diagram of the cooling unit and the bubble level.

      I would suggest conducting a 24 hours cold test. This is a method where you connect a power cord directly to the cooling unit and let it sit and cool for 24 hours. This will bypass the control module and all other settings and just run wide open to check the cooling unit. If it cools, the module board is defective. If it doesn’t, the cooling unit is blocked. Check out the video on the site.

      Hope this helps,

      David
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply
  10. wayne7

    wondering how too run on inverter while driving. Can’s find the inverter switch.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi Wayne,

      To provide more troubleshooting information on how to run your inverter while driving we need the make, model, and year of your RV and the inverter model. There are several types of inverters, smaller ones that just power the TV stuck inside the entertainment center or larger models that run the refrigerator and other items as well as properly charge the batteries when connected to 120-volt power. Most inverters are automatic switching on when there is no 120-volt power and then drawing from house battery power to provide 120-volt power to the designated appliances. The only “switch” they would have is on the the inverter itself for on and off.

      Thanks,

      David
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply
  11. ladymas22

    I am a new member today. I am unclear about all your types of service. Can you tell me if you have a service where a member can ask any question about their rv at any time and get an individual answer within a certain time period? Please advise before I explore your site further. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello and Welcome to the membership!

      Yes, you can send a question to our experts by scrolling all the way to the bottom of our website and click on the Contact Us section of our website. Fill out the form and that will send us an email. Please make sure that the question has as much detail as possible including the year, make, and model of your RV. Once we recvie the email we will send to our experts. The response normally takes around 2-3 business days.

      Thanks,

      Becky
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply
  12. harolddennis

    every so often the propane won’t ingnite, if I disconnect and reconnect the groud wire to igniter it will work for a while then stop again

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello,

      To provide more specific troubleshooting information we need to know the make, model, and year of what appliance you are trying to get the igniter to work?

      Thanks,

      David
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply
  13. Bruce Klassen

    (2014 Winnebago View 24J) Whenever I plug into a GFCI protected power source, the breaker or outlet trips. Otherwise, all systems seem to work just fine and all my outlets show proper polarity, If I lift all the neutrals off the neutral buss bar and turn on each circuit breaker one at a time, only the refrigerator circuit trips the GFCI at the source. Fridge supply outlet and AC heating element tests fine. I’m at a loss. Any suggestions. Thanks so much!

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Bruce,

      What test did you perform on the heating element? What I have seen most often is the heating element gets a small short internally. The best way to check for this, remove the plugs for the heating element off the board and check for continuity from the heating element wire to the different points of metal on the fridge (a good ground). Move the element around back and forth while checking. It can be very slight but that is all a GFCI needs to trip. If the heating element is bad, it should only trip when you try to turn the fridge on electric. If the fridge is off but trips the GFCI, there could be a bad board or bad wiring. Check every thing on the back of the fridge including insulation of wires and a good ground.

      Hope this helps,

      Dan
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply
  14. byarddragon

    My Nor Cold refrigerator is just barely cool. Repair person recommended replacing with a home/apt under counter refrigerator. He said if not opened refrigerator & freezer would stay cold 8-10 hours without Elect. After Nor Cold removed he said to close up the rear 2 vents to out side. Is this all correct?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello,

      Without being able to physically test your cooling unit on the existing refrigerator, I can’t tell if it needs to be replaced or just has some other issue? Does it not cool on both 120-volt electric and LP? If it cools on one and not the other, it’s probably something simple and inexpensive. The cooling unit can get blocked if the unit is run in an unlevel position for a period of time such as a driveway. The cooling unit heats a solution that turns to a vapor and travels up the tubes to the evaporator in the freezer section and a series of chemical reactions of the vapor changing back to a liquid and such draws heat out of the freezer and then the refrigerator. That liquid needs to travel back down the zig zag tubes by gravity to get back to the liquid vessel and start the process again. If it’s out of level, the liquid gets stuck in on of the corners and starts to flake and can become solid and block the flow of the liquid/vapor and then it will not cool efficiently. Your dealer would have needed to conduct a cooling test of just the cooling unit over 24 hours to verify this? If you do need a new refrigerator, the residential type will only work on 120-volt power so you need to be plugged in at all times, or have a large battery bank with an inverter? I’m still a fan of the RV refrigerator if they are run properly! An RV refrigerator will also stay under 40 degrees for over 6 hours with the door shut! Check out the vidoes we did on the Norcold model!

      Hope this helps,

      David
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello,

      You can use propane while traveling to keep the fridge running. If you are just taking a short trip, within a few hours, you can get the fridge cold at home the day before and turn it off when leaving. It will still be pretty cold when arriving at the destination. If you are taking long road trips you can leave it on the cool down the fridge. You just have to be careful when traveling for a few reasons. First you have to be very careful when pulling into gas stations to refuel. You would have to pull over before entering the gas station or at a place far from the pumps to turn off the fridge before pulling up to the pump. Operating the fridge on gas has an open flame on the outside and if fumes from the gas pumps make it’s way into the compartment could be very dangerous. You would then have to turn the fridge back on after filling up, away from the pumps as well. You also have to pay attention for tunnels, you aren’t allowed having open propane containers let alone an appliance running off of propane when traveling through most tunnels. You would have to pull over before entering and turn off the tanks and then re open after passing through. This will cause the fridge to go into lockout so you would then have to turn the fridge off and then back on after restoring the gas pressure. Other than that, you are able to operate gas when traveling. You just have to use caution.

      I hope this was helpful!

      Dan
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply
  15. Dennis Gee

    Refrigerator does not work on electric but does work on gas. Flashing lights on panel indicate a bad heater element. what can be done to fix this problem.

    Reply
  16. jennysally1219

    Voracious appetite for learning. New to RV ownership, particularly a Toy Hauler

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Sutton!

      Would you be able to elaborate on the issue you’re running into, as well as the year, make, and model of your RV? Then I’ll forward this to our expert!

      Sincerely,

      Jessica
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply