Troubleshooting a Faulty RV Propane Refrigerator

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Does your RV propane refrigerator turn on for a brief moment before shutting off again? The problem might be a frustrating and confusing one, but we’d bet yours is a common and simple solution. In this free lesson, RV expert Dave Solberg teaches you how to troubleshoot a faulty fridge that doesn’t seem to want to keep its cool.

To help get RV refrigerators back up and running, Dave takes you outside our demo camper to show you the inside of a sample burner assembly. He walks you through a quick troubleshooting session, pointing out each of the components that could be to blame for your fridge’s cold feet. You’ll learn what happens when the assembly’s spark ignitor is cracked or the flame sensor probe is covered, and discover the best way to fix whatever issue you find!

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5 Responses to “Troubleshooting a Faulty RV Propane Refrigerator”
  1. kstrail03

    I have a Norcold 1200 that has started making a poping sound at the burner when operating. I have replaced the burner and purchased an LP gas psi gauge to check psi which is within specs. I still have the poping sound. It seems to operate ok for about 1 hr before it starts this poping sound. The burner nevers go’s out and the refg is operating ok (other than the poping) Not sure what else to look for.

    • Customer Service


      Hello, the burner is what I have seen cause this problem before. Usually rust or some sort of debris. Since you have replaced the burner, may have to inspect things around it. Air flow blockage could cause this. The baffle can rust over time, and if pieces fall off and cause a blockage above the burner it will restrict air flow and if air is restricted the flame could pop when more air gets to it. There could even be a blockage on top of the baffle not allowing the exhaust to come out. If you can see the flame, make sure it is steady and not moving side to side or being pushed down. The flame should be straight up. Make sure there are no other restrictions around the burner as well. The problem with checking this is most of the time is you would have to pull the fridge out to remove the baffle and inspect the tube. It could also be the gas valve closing and reopening due to voltage drop or possibly a failing valve. Have you cleaned everything including the orifice? Does the burner tube have any kinks or sharp bends? Let me know if you find problems with any of this, I will do some more research and see if I can find any more information for you.


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  2. Tom R.

    Dometic Refrig Mod. DM2652 works on Electric but does not stay lit on gas? Have gas in line, cleaned burner, runs for short time then goes out. Does not stay lit. Which part needs to be replaced and where can I get it? Thanks

    • Customer Service

      Hi Tom,

      You may need to clean the flame sensor with a piece of sand paper or steel wool. The sensor/electrode itself may be bad. Is it a good solid blue flame? If it is orange, there may be debris at the orifice or in the burner tube. I would clean every thing off before replacing parts and check all connections. The electrode may be bad if the board is not recognizing it. I would replace that before the board, but the board could be bad too. I will post a link to find the parts for that model.

      Hope this helps,

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  3. clementslarry

    I became a member because of this one video. I bought my first RV, travel trailer, last summer from a friend. She and her husband had purchased it in 2011 and unfortunately never had a chance to use it. It has set unused for 8 years. We took it out only once last season and found several things that needed attention and one is the refrigerator. It seemed to work on the electric side but not the propane. I just saw this video and decided to take a look to see if I could figure out what might be the problem. I wish I could attach a photo of the igniter and gas/burner area that was completely incase with a mud dauber nest. I still need to do some cleaning of that area before I try to fire it up but I felt that one free video was worth the investment for a membership! I had cleaned the dauber nest from around the hot water tank but never gave the refrigerator a second thought. I might need to explore some of the other vent covers as well.


Tags: Dave Solberg, Free Videos, RV flame sensor probe, RV fridge maintenance, RV maintenance guide, RV refrigerator repair, RV repair videos