dometic RV fridge how to and troubleshooting guide

Dometic RV Refrigerator Troubleshooting Guide

RV Refrigerators may not be the same as home fridges; there are variations, especially for recreational vehicles.  For instance, the RV fridges cooling system is different from a regular fridge. Maintaining and repairing your RV’s fridge may be complicated than you may expect. To troubleshoot your Domestic RV refrigerator, you should know how it works, how to operate it correctly, and solving various issues when they occur.  

How Dometic RV Refrigerator Works

The fridge works through a merging of heat and reactions between water, ammonia, and hydrogen gas. Heat boils the ammonia-water mixture, and ammonia vapor rises, moving along the cooling system. The vapor condenses into a liquid that finds its way into the evaporator.

 The unit continues to circulate ammonia and water while using small amounts of propane to chill the fridge. Electricity heats the initial ammonia and water mixture that turns into vapor. The ammonia vapor later recombines with water vapor and drips into a pool of liquid water ammonia mixture.  

Why is My Dometic RV fridge not Cooling?

  • One issue that may cause your refrigerator not to cool is failing to park your vehicle at a level. An RV fridge is different from other refrigerators; its heat is drawn out and absorbed by a chemical solution, depending on gravity to move through the coils.  So, the RV fridge needs to be at a level for it to function correctly.
  • Again, check if the burner orifice is clean. A dirty orifice will have a weak flame, which won’t help cool down the RV fridge. If the orifice is dirty, clean it well, and the flame will become blue and robust.
  • Lack of proper ventilation in hot weather- add extra fridge fans for adequate ventilation.

How to Reset a Domestic RV Refrigerator

Press the + button while holding the on/off mode button for 3 seconds. Later, press the on/off again to turn off the system and complete the process.

Dometic RV Fridge not Cooling on Electric

If the fridge fails to cool, there may be tripped circuit breakers on your RV fridge. Try reset the tripped circuit breakers on the refrigerator and run the fridge on electricity again. If there are no tripped circuit breakers, the electrical refrigerator heating element may be faulty and requires replacement for it to work on electricity.  Test for voltage in the heating element while it’s hooked up. If there is a voltage on one wire but not the second, then the element may be burned out, creating a break in the voltage path. You should take your RV to a qualified dealership and have the issue addressed by professionals.

Dometic RV Fridge not Cooling on Gas

There are some reasons why your Dometic Rv is not working on gas, which includes;

  • Having low-pressure gas or no gas at all, check your gas pressure and refill it if necessary.
  • Clogged burner jet-  clear all the dirt on the burner or rust that interferes with the burner system
  • Congested burner nozzle-  clean the dirt on the soot on the nozzle and try setting the fridge on gas.
  • Clogged hose pipe-try cleaning the pipe with a small thin wire to clear off the debris or even vacuum
  • Blocked or gas flue with soot- clean all the dust and soot on the gas flue, and the fridge should work.
  • Broken or dirty magnetic seal on the fridge door – clean the seal on your fridge, regulate the door hinge for the seal to be well-positioned.

Dometic Refrigerator Troubleshooting no Power

The refrigerator may lack power if;

  • There is a blown fuse to the fridge or blown fuses in the refrigerator’s power module-  you need to buy other fuses and replace them, but if you can’t, ask for professional help.
  • A problem with the wiring leading to your fridge can cause the issue- call a technician to check this for you.
  • If running the fridge on batteries, the voltage may be low, and thus you require to replace the batteries with new ones.

Dometic RV Fridge not Cold Enough

The reason why the RV isn’t getting cold enough may be an issue with your refrigerator; try some tips out before getting it checked;

  • The cold air in the fridge isn’t getting circulated-  try installing an RV fridge vent fan to increase the efficiency of your refrigerator in air circulation.
  • Check your thermostat inside the fridge. To test if the thermostat is functional, turn the temperature setting as cold as it gets and disconnect the thermistor. If the refrigerator cools, then you have a faulty thermostat and requires replacement.
  • If the tips fail after trying them, take your RV to a qualified technician to examine and solve the problem.

How to Adjust Temp on Dometic RV Fridge

Some signs indicate you need to adjust your fridge temperature, like seeing drips of water coming from the freezer; it means you need to make the fridge and freezer colder. If you also notice ice forming in the fridge unit, you need to set the temperature to a warmer setting.

The fridge’s temperature control is a smaller lever that should go up and down on the same fin. To adjust the temperature to a warmer setting, move the lever downwards and move it upwards for cold temperature.

How to Remove Dometic RV Fridge Door

  • Loosen the upper trim panel by removing two screws on the underside of the plastic. It will expose the door’s upper hinge.
  • Remove the pin by lifting the hinge plate.
  • Lift the upper door off its lower hinge pin.
  • Remove the upper hinge pin for the lower, take the door off the lower hinge pin.

How to Replace Drain Hose on Dometic RV Fridge

Dometic fridge usually has a white corrugated plastic line that becomes brittle with age and can crack or split. If it breaks or splits, the water drips off the evaporator coil to the floor, requiring you to replace it.

Things required

  • 1/2″ clear PVC tube (about 2 feet)
  • Two small zip ties

What to do

  1. Remove the lower access door by turning the plastic fasteners at 90 degrees and tilt the door from the bottom.
  2. Remove the crusty white line and replace it with a ½ clear PVC tube. Try to remove the hose carefully to reserve the sealant.
  3. If the sealant breaks, get rid of it and apply silicone or RV caulk.
  4. Attach clear hose to the drain pan’s nipple and tighten it with a zip tie. Use the other zip tie to hold the hose.

How to Defrost Dometic RV Fridge

If frost builds on the cooling fins for like 3mm thick or more, it’s best to defrost it.

Note:  You should be cautious and never remove it forcibly or use heat to accelerate the defrosting process.

  • Switch off the fridge by pressing the power button for around three seconds.
  • Empty the fridge and removing any items inside like food, ice trays
  •  Open the door fridge to allow air to enter and to prevent the formation of mildew.
  • After defrosting, wipe both cooling compartments dry with a cloth.

Check this too: How to fix a mini fridge that won’t get cold

How to Make Dometic RV Fridge Colder

  • Keep your fridge clean, especially for the condenser and working parts. The refrigerator works well with the free flow of air, but dust and debris interfere with airflow.
  • Try to pack your vehicle and keep the section with the RV fridge under the shade, especially on hot days. If the ambient temperature is hot, a fridge struggles to remain cold. So, ensure inside the RV, it’s cool for the refrigerator to stay cold.
  • Set your fridge at the lowest temperature for it to be colder.
  • Maintain your fridge well and make any repairs that are required. For instance, if having bad door seals, there will be air leaks at the edges of the door, affecting the fridge efficiency.