EPDM Coatings
RV LED Bulbs offer Sponsored by Spotless Water Systems Sponsored by RV Upgrades width= Composet Products EVDO

Author Topic: Propane stopped serving the refrigerator  (Read 3564 times)

Campfire RV

  • ---
  • Posts: 714
Propane stopped serving the refrigerator
« on: August 20, 2012, 08:36:28 AM »
The propane stopped supplying fuel to the refrigerator while dry camping at Mammoth Lakes this past weekend so much of the food in our ref spoiled and we had to throw away. I had just a little under 1/2 tank of propane in the tank and the gas light on the ref was solid when we left the house. Shortly after setting up camp at the campground is when I noticed the gas light flashing on the ref. I turned off the gas and turned on the generator for a while to make sure the ref would turn over automatically to electric and it worked just fine. I turned the  gas back on and the generator off about 15 minutes later and gas light began flashing again. Has anyone had this problem before and if so what are some of the possible reasons? This MH is still under warranty but the nearest service location for warranty work is nearly two hours away so I would like to see if this is something I could take care of myself or take to a local shop if it will be something simple that won't cost as much as the gas to drive to the service location for warranty work.

Thanks,
Josh 
Josh
2012 Thor Chateau 28Z
2007 Toyota RAV4 FWD/Remco lube pump
Alpha Tow Bar/Blue Ox base plate
U.S. Navy Retired
Good Sam Life Member

Water Dog

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 2356
Re: Propane stopped serving the refrigerator
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2012, 09:00:36 AM »
If your other gas appliances are working Josh, I would suspect the fridge gas valve or a bad connection in the wiring to it first.
Dennis

"Heart is where the home is"
---------------------------------
Dennis & Vici Bernhard
2000 Bounder
1999 Jeep Wrangler
2009 Crestliner Canadian
Home: Roseville, CA

Campfire RV

  • ---
  • Posts: 714
Re: Propane stopped serving the refrigerator
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2012, 09:39:02 AM »
We didn't even try the stove, we did all our cooking in the microwave and campfire. I'll try the stove tonight see if it works. I didn't think about that, that is the reason I asked on here.
Josh
2012 Thor Chateau 28Z
2007 Toyota RAV4 FWD/Remco lube pump
Alpha Tow Bar/Blue Ox base plate
U.S. Navy Retired
Good Sam Life Member

BigDfromTN

  • ---
  • Posts: 393
  • Memphis Area, Ten-O-Cee
Re: Propane stopped serving the refrigerator
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2012, 12:53:30 PM »
The propane stopped supplying fuel to the refrigerator while dry camping at Mammoth Lakes this past weekend so much of the food in our ref spoiled and we had to throw away. I had just a little under 1/2 tank of propane in the tank and the gas light on the ref was solid when we left the house. Shortly after setting up camp at the campground is when I noticed the gas light flashing on the ref. I turned off the gas and turned on the generator for a while to make sure the ref would turn over automatically to electric and it worked just fine. I turned the  gas back on and the generator off about 15 minutes later and gas light began flashing again. Has anyone had this problem before and if so what are some of the possible reasons? This MH is still under warranty but the nearest service location for warranty work is nearly two hours away so I would like to see if this is something I could take care of myself or take to a local shop if it will be something simple that won't cost as much as the gas to drive to the service location for warranty work.

Thanks,
Josh

Is there a reason for turning the gas on and off?

All the modern fridges I have heard of will switch automatic if you set them to the Automatic setting.
Make sure you have gas and the lines bled out.  You can do this by lighting the stove (quickest way to bleed the line.  And then try the hot water heater.  Once these to are working properly your fridge should also.  As mentioned, If you have good gas flow then check the back of the unit for dirty connectors (not likely on a new unit) or possibly a spider web or something around the gas outlet behind the fridge.

good luck!!

Icemaker

  • ---
  • Posts: 972
  • "Nár lagaí na bithiúnaigh do lámh"
Re: Propane stopped serving the refrigerator
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2012, 01:23:00 PM »
Is there a reason for turning the gas on and off?

All the modern fridges I have heard of will switch automatic if you set them to the Automatic setting.
Make sure you have gas and the lines bled out.  You can do this by lighting the stove (quickest way to bleed the line.  And then try the hot water heater.  Once these to are working properly your fridge should also.  As mentioned, If you have good gas flow then check the back of the unit for dirty connectors (not likely on a new unit) or possibly a spider web or something around the gas outlet behind the fridge.

good luck!!

And don't open the tank valve too fast...in fact be VERY slow when you open it [there's a safety device that greatly restricts flow if it trips]....I know from first hand experience...and learned the answer from this forum...
If the stove & water heater work than it has to be a issue at the refrigerator ...could be the gas valve..a lite off issue..bad connection
Mine always gets blown out when traveling..not sure why as My Elandan never did..but is fine after I park...I don't have a 12v heater in this one..

George
George


94 Dolphin DP
99 CRV W/Blue Ox & Patriot Brakes
95 F-150 4X4 4.9
F420661
Fresno, Ohio most of the time

SeilerBird

  • ---
  • Posts: 5199
Re: Propane stopped serving the refrigerator
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2012, 01:29:34 PM »
You should have had Coachnet. You could have called them up and talked to an RV technician about the problem. He might have been able to figure out the problem and saved your food. Coachnet is only $109 per year. No RVer should leave home without Coachnet IMHO.

Water Dog

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 2356
Re: Propane stopped serving the refrigerator
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2012, 02:13:18 PM »
One time when we were out, the dog laid against the switch on the propane detector which was on the cabinet face at floor level. With the detector turned off, it shut down the propane supply and I thought I had run out of propane. Not until I had it filled and it only took 3 gallons, did I finally figure out what it was. Check the switch if none of your gas appliances are working....maybe someone inadvertently hit it.
Dennis

"Heart is where the home is"
---------------------------------
Dennis & Vici Bernhard
2000 Bounder
1999 Jeep Wrangler
2009 Crestliner Canadian
Home: Roseville, CA

Alfa38User

  • ---
  • Posts: 3247
Re: Propane stopped serving the refrigerator
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2012, 03:15:50 PM »
The OP's rig is new, so the propane detector, that (I think) WaterDog is referring to, does not likely have a propane shut-off valve associated with it. This detector/valve combination has not been a requirement for some years now and detectors with the necessary apparatus inside are not readily available any longer.

In most cases, those equipped with this older type of detector that is failing will have to remove/bypass the associated valve and install a new detector before the propane system will be function-able again.

This detectors usually have a finite life of about 10 years (there is usually a date stamped on the back)  so most of them should have been replaced my now.... but not many of us ever think about it until the detector starts causing a problem.


As far as mojavesky13's original problem is concerned, following Icemaker's advise first and then BigD's you should have the problem cleaned up.

But as to the reason the gas went off originally, it is likely that the circuitry failed to detect the flame at one point and thus shut down the cooling,  and lighting the CHECK light. Leaving it on AUTO, will cause the fridge to cycle to 120V or Gas depending on the availability of 120V. Maybe your cleaning will find a reason for the failure, like a cracked detector probe, cob webs etc. (The propane burner normally cycles on and off as cooling is needed.) Just turning the refrigerator itself OFF and then back on should re-initiate the gas lighting cycle.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2012, 03:46:26 PM by Alfa38User »
Stu
Montreal, Canada
Snowbird, SW Florida
Alfa Gold 38 (2000) 5ver

Just Lou

  • ---
  • Posts: 7188
  • I bastardi pensano hanno vinto
Re: Propane stopped serving the refrigerator
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2012, 05:40:01 PM »
One time when we were out, the dog laid against the switch on the propane detector which was on the cabinet face at floor level. With the detector turned off, it shut down the propane supply and I thought I had run out of propane. Not until I had it filled and it only took 3 gallons, did I finally figure out what it was. Check the switch if none of your gas appliances are working....maybe someone inadvertently hit it.

LOL Dennis,

I had a similar experience except I couldn't blame the dog.  It was I who had turned the detector off.

Very embarrassing to have the CG Host drag out the fefill hose for a 2 gallon propane sale. :-[
“You don't write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.” F. Scott Fitzgerald
lou  ---  '97 Bounder 34V (F53 w/tag), '99 Honda Accord EX

Water Dog

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 2356
Re: Propane stopped serving the refrigerator
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2012, 05:53:28 PM »
Very embarrassing to have the CG Host drag out the fefill hose for a 2 gallon propane sale. :-[

Yes it was...! Almost as embarrassing as not remembering that those tpyes of systems are no longer used on the newer rv's, like the one we have now...! ::)
Dennis

"Heart is where the home is"
---------------------------------
Dennis & Vici Bernhard
2000 Bounder
1999 Jeep Wrangler
2009 Crestliner Canadian
Home: Roseville, CA

Campfire RV

  • ---
  • Posts: 714
Re: Propane stopped serving the refrigerator
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2012, 09:39:32 PM »
Thanks for all the great advice and sharing your experiences IRT the propane gas and refrigerator. I took the advice from BigD by opening the tank valve slowly then gave it a few minutes before turning on the refrigerator. I turned the ref to "Auto" and so far there is no flashing light and it has been 60 minutes. In my ref operating manual it mentions that at altitudes higher than 5500 feet that you may experience reduced cooling performance of the refrigerator and you may experience burner outages. Is something that any of you have ever encountered before? I thought everything on RV's today were made for all climates and altitudes. I checked the lights before we left home Thursday and the lights were solid when I had it plugged into the house and when I switched to gas.
Josh
2012 Thor Chateau 28Z
2007 Toyota RAV4 FWD/Remco lube pump
Alpha Tow Bar/Blue Ox base plate
U.S. Navy Retired
Good Sam Life Member

Campfire RV

  • ---
  • Posts: 714
Re: Propane stopped serving the refrigerator
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2012, 08:36:33 AM »
Well, I checked the ref in the MH this morning before leaving for work and the gas was working like a charm. The water I left in the freezer over night was frozen and the refrigerator was cold too. I think I may go out drycamping this Friday night at Lake Isabella to test it out again and see if it happens again, plus it gives me another opportunity to go out in the MH again. ;D
Josh
2012 Thor Chateau 28Z
2007 Toyota RAV4 FWD/Remco lube pump
Alpha Tow Bar/Blue Ox base plate
U.S. Navy Retired
Good Sam Life Member

BigDfromTN

  • ---
  • Posts: 393
  • Memphis Area, Ten-O-Cee
Re: Propane stopped serving the refrigerator
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2012, 09:49:04 AM »
Glad to hear it worked out!!

Not sure about the elevation situation.  We never go that high and would have to travel for days to test it. :P
I seem to remember that certain things on Propane (and other fuels) can have problems above certain elevations due to lower Oxygen content of the air. 

n7qvu

  • ---
  • Posts: 92
  • '98 Bounder 34P Chevy
    • Overgaard, AZ weather
Re: Propane stopped serving the refrigerator
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2012, 09:54:25 AM »
I live at 6600' and often camp at higher spots. My favorite place to camp is at 7800'. No issues for my '98 Bounder. I haven't stayed there, but many folks camp at Green's Peak at 9500'. Never heard them complain. I have heard of issues with propane flow when temps get really cold?

My .02
Jerry Wyatt
'98 Bounder 34P, Chevy P30 7.4MPI
BU-10350, FMCA-F428025
Ham call: N7QVU - Extra/VE
US Army MP(69-71)
Home: Overgaard, AZ

Campfire RV

  • ---
  • Posts: 714
Re: Propane stopped serving the refrigerator
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2012, 10:37:37 AM »
This wasn't the first time I've traveled above 5500 ft. We traveled through Lassen Volcanic National Park and Mt. Shasta back in June and had no problems during our entire two week trip. and they were both higher elevations than Mammoth. 
Josh
2012 Thor Chateau 28Z
2007 Toyota RAV4 FWD/Remco lube pump
Alpha Tow Bar/Blue Ox base plate
U.S. Navy Retired
Good Sam Life Member

Campfire RV

  • ---
  • Posts: 714
Re: Propane stopped serving the refrigerator
« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2012, 10:39:09 AM »
What do you spray on your lines to make sure you don't have any leaks in the lines or at any fittings?
Josh
2012 Thor Chateau 28Z
2007 Toyota RAV4 FWD/Remco lube pump
Alpha Tow Bar/Blue Ox base plate
U.S. Navy Retired
Good Sam Life Member

Molaker

  • ---
  • Posts: 4451
    • WanderLust
Re: Propane stopped serving the refrigerator
« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2012, 10:49:17 AM »
What do you spray on your lines to make sure you don't have any leaks in the lines or at any fittings?
I usually just use soapy water.  But, it sounds like maybe your regulator might not be up to snuff.  Most any propane service could test it for you.
Tom & Joyce and Ditto the "don't tell her she's a dog" Westie
U.S. Navy (Ret)
2014 Winnebago ERA 24' class B

BigDfromTN

  • ---
  • Posts: 393
  • Memphis Area, Ten-O-Cee
Re: Propane stopped serving the refrigerator
« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2012, 10:51:38 AM »
What do you spray on your lines to make sure you don't have any leaks in the lines or at any fittings?

I use a soapy water mixture.  simple Dish Washing Liquid and some water.

Served me well this past weekend.  We got to the camp site and I noticed the fridge had the gas light blinking.  Went and check and the bottle was empty.  Glad I did not have both bottles open!!   Leak was at the outlet of the regulator where the rubber hose connects the reg. to the black pipe at the frame.

Seajay

  • ---
  • Posts: 441
Re: Propane stopped serving the refrigerator
« Reply #18 on: August 25, 2012, 07:50:10 AM »
REMEMBER THIS.   Lp gas will leave a residue on your orifus that produces the flame in your ''refer''.   this jet must be cleaned about twice a year if you use your refer on gas very much.  the hole. in this jet is slightly bigger than a human hair and can be stopped up easily.... DO NOT USE A WIRE TO CLEAN THIS HOLE.   You must unscrew the jet after shutting down your LP system.  Soak the jet in alcahol for about 30 minutes and take a Q Tip, stick it in the back of the jet and twirl it.   Stick the jet back in the alchole and pump the q tip up and down to draw the alcahol thru the jet hole.  You will get a ''varnish'' looking substance out of the jet.   Peek thru the jet and if you see daylight, its clean......  Put the whole mess back to gether and turn on your L>P. gas at the tank.   Because you may have blead the line it may take several tries for the ''refer'' to light off on gas.....

I would bet a six pack this is your trouble if the jet has never beeen cleaned...
This informATION will cost you ten cents and you can pay me the next time you see me.....
remember this ....... if this dont work for you .. I NEVER KNEW YOU......CJ...
Second generation U.S. Navy
Seajay the sailor man
God bless our troops and bring them home safe
God bless our veterans.... All gave some.. Some gave all that we might be free.....

Gary RV Roamer

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 42195
  • We're on the road again...
Re: Propane stopped serving the refrigerator
« Reply #19 on: August 25, 2012, 08:56:42 AM »
Quote
REMEMBER THIS.   Lp gas will leave a residue on your orifus that produces the flame in your ''refer''.   this jet must be cleaned about twice a year if you use your refer on gas very much.

Hmmm. Can't say that I've ever heard of propane leaving a residue on the jets in normal operation. If it did, I would suspect either an improperly adjusted air inlet to the burner (poor air/fuel ratio) or LP fuel that is contaminated with other chemicals. LP itself burns extremely clean and should never leave a varnish behind. It's one of the few advantages of propane over gasoline or diesel.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition
2007 GMC Acadia
Homebase: Ocala National Forest, FL

Icemaker

  • ---
  • Posts: 972
  • "Nár lagaí na bithiúnaigh do lámh"
Re: Propane stopped serving the refrigerator
« Reply #20 on: August 25, 2012, 12:02:53 PM »
Hmmm. Can't say that I've ever heard of propane leaving a residue on the jets in normal operation. If it did, I would suspect either an improperly adjusted air inlet to the burner (poor air/fuel ratio) or LP fuel that is contaminated with other chemicals. LP itself burns extremely clean and should never leave a varnish behind. It's one of the few advantages of propane over gasoline or diesel.

Correct [as usual] ...sometimes a orifice gets plugged but it is not varnish as far as I have ever seen...I have special cleaning wires just for that job...very fine... in a pinch I have taken a strand from a small gauge stranded wire and got the job done...copper wire is softer than the ss of the orifice so I doubt it will scratch or mar the opening...
As a world famous man says ... ".. if this dont work for you .. I NEVER KNEW YOU.." ...
George


94 Dolphin DP
99 CRV W/Blue Ox & Patriot Brakes
95 F-150 4X4 4.9
F420661
Fresno, Ohio most of the time

Seajay

  • ---
  • Posts: 441
Re: Propane stopped serving the refrigerator
« Reply #21 on: August 26, 2012, 02:27:32 AM »
Hmmm. Can't say that I've ever heard of propane leaving a residue on the jets in normal operation. If it did, I would suspect either an improperly adjusted air inlet to the burner (poor air/fuel ratio) or LP fuel that is contaminated with other chemicals. LP itself burns extremely clean and should never leave a varnish behind. It's one of the few advantages of propane over gasoline or diesel.

with respect ..... try this link please
http://www.dinosaurelectronics.com/Gas_Orifice.htm
Second generation U.S. Navy
Seajay the sailor man
God bless our troops and bring them home safe
God bless our veterans.... All gave some.. Some gave all that we might be free.....

Trailer traveler

  • ---
  • Posts: 382
Re: Propane stopped serving the refrigerator
« Reply #22 on: August 26, 2012, 08:29:04 AM »
I have experienced the Norcold refrigerator not working on gas on several occassions after travelling rough roads. The symptoms have always been that when the frig trys to run on propane, it will go through the startup: gas valve clicks open, ignitor sparks several times (sometimes there is a little puff as gas tries to ignite) then stops, ignitor sparks several times and frig locks out with yellow light blinking. The ignitor on our model frig is a single wire rod that sparks to the metal tube at the gas orifice. It is held in place by very flimsy bracket. The cure for this problem has always been to reset the gap between the ignitor and the gas orifice.

Ned

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 23265
  • Ned and Lorna are former full time RVers
    • Have you seen Rolling Stock?
Re: Propane stopped serving the refrigerator
« Reply #23 on: August 26, 2012, 09:09:01 AM »
with respect ..... try this link please
http://www.dinosaurelectronics.com/Gas_Orifice.htm

That article says nothing about propane leaving any residue in the burner orifice.  It merely describes how to clean it.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Want to know what we're doing? http://blog.usabyrv.us

Gary RV Roamer

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 42195
  • We're on the road again...
Re: Propane stopped serving the refrigerator
« Reply #24 on: August 26, 2012, 09:11:57 AM »
Quote
with respect ..... try this link please
http://www.dinosaurelectronics.com/Gas_Orifice.htm

Seajay: I don't see anything at that link that suggests a propane burner needs regular cleaning or suffers from routine varnish build-up.  It describes how to clean one and why you must avoid enlarging the orifice.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition
2007 GMC Acadia
Homebase: Ocala National Forest, FL

Seajay

  • ---
  • Posts: 441
Re: Propane stopped serving the refrigerator
« Reply #25 on: August 26, 2012, 10:40:10 AM »
Once more and then I am through guys...........  Respects to all.... I am just trying to help, not cause an argument.....cj......
I also would strongly suggest that the man read this article before attempting to clean the burner orifice ............. 

try this link    this is where I got my information and this is what I did when my ''refer'' stopped working...
http://www.rvmobile.com/tech/trouble/burner.htm

Orifice. The orifice is the very last component in the propane system before the burner, and has a very precise hole manufactured into it. The orifice and the pressure of the gas passing through it set the size of the burner flame. If one or the other is incorrect, then the flame will not be correct. Usually, if there is a problem, the orifice is dirty. Microscopic debris has accumulated around the hole making it smaller and therefore not the correct size. Also, oil from the propane tank and other propane components can be deposited on the orifice, making it easier for debris to stick to it.

To clean the orifice, first remove it. Sometimes blowing air through the orifice will clean it, but since you already have it out, you should soak it in alcohol or paint thinner (some non-oily solvent) for a few hours to dissolve any oil build up. And, then blow air through it. Do NOT poke anything into the orifice. It is such a precise hole, that you will either accomplish nothing or you will enlarge it and ruin it. There are no orifice bits for RV refrigerator orifices. In fact, there is no apparent logic in the numbering of orifices between manufacturers. A Dometic #58 orifice is roughly equivalent to a Norcold .16 orifice. Sometimes, even after repeated cleanings of the orifice, the flame is still not right and in your heart you feel everything else is right. This is possible. Sometimes an orifice seems to be uncleanable or can be defective. If you can, replace the orifice. If you can't replace the orifice -- keep cleaning. One important thing to note is that if you enlarge the orifice, you will increase the heat output of the flame and ruin the cooling unit Another, rarer problem on metal orifices is that the flow of propane over the years can actually erode the orifice and either make it out of round or enlarge it. In the either case, the orifice has to be replaced.


Nuff said on my part  .......... cj........ GOOD LUCK

God bless the troops that fought in Desert Storm.......
« Last Edit: August 26, 2012, 10:43:34 AM by Seajay »
Second generation U.S. Navy
Seajay the sailor man
God bless our troops and bring them home safe
God bless our veterans.... All gave some.. Some gave all that we might be free.....

Mopar1973Man

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 1909
  • Dodge Cummins Powered / Jayco Eagle Living
    • Mopar1973Man.Com
Re: Propane stopped serving the refrigerator
« Reply #26 on: August 26, 2012, 08:08:32 PM »
I think what SeaJay is talking about is the odorant that is added to propane that might have a oily residue.

An old mobile home that a buddy hauled off had propane appliances and everything but when we open the propane line it had a oil like substance in it but the line smelled of propane. Maybe he's right... ???
Mopar1973Man (AKA: Michael Nelson) located out in the state of Idaho with...
2002 Dodge Ram 2500 5.9L Cummins Turbo Diesel
2000 Jayco Eagle FBS 296
http://articles.mopar1973man.com/members-rides/17-mopar1973man/27-2000-jayco-eagle-296-fbs
2013 BigTex 70TV Utility Trailer

Campfire RV

  • ---
  • Posts: 714
Re: Propane stopped serving the refrigerator
« Reply #27 on: August 26, 2012, 09:25:36 PM »
We just returned from another drycamping weekend trip to Lake Isabella and we had no problems with the gas and the ref. I turned on the gas at home for a couple hours before leaving and the ref worked fine then I turned the gas off before getting to the gas station to fill up then drove to the Exchange to pick up some last minute groceries and turned the gas on again. This time the ref gas light was blinking again so I turned the gas off then turned the gas on slowly and the ref worked great the rest of the trip.
Josh
2012 Thor Chateau 28Z
2007 Toyota RAV4 FWD/Remco lube pump
Alpha Tow Bar/Blue Ox base plate
U.S. Navy Retired
Good Sam Life Member

firehose

  • ---
  • Posts: 69
Re: Propane stopped serving the refrigerator
« Reply #28 on: August 27, 2012, 03:38:52 PM »
These propane fridges seem to require the most effort and maintenance on the RV's.  I had issues with mine, would shut off randomly while running on propane.  It was very frustrating, because it was random.  The fridge would run for several days, then shut off.

What I did, was clean the heck out of the back (outside part).  I took a wire brush, and cleaned the 12 v connections.  I then removed the thermo couple.  It was covered in dirt/dust.  I cleaned that, reinstalled it, and viola!  Fridge hasn't shut off once since then, has been working great.

This will be routine fridge maintenance for me, dust gets in there.  The area needs to be cleaned out occasionally. 

DailyDriver

  • ---
  • Posts: 56
  • Gotta Go!
Re: Propane stopped serving the refrigerator
« Reply #29 on: August 29, 2012, 02:27:21 AM »
Regarding the effects of altitude on a refrigerator....  a couple of weeks ago, we spent the night in Fairplay, CO (elevation 9950').  The old Norcold worked great with no apparent detrimental effect due to altitude, and was kicking out ice cubes as per usual.

The problem with opening the valve too fast sounds perhaps like a regulator malfunctioning. 
35' 1996 Vectra Grand Tour DP
Ken & Jeannie - Jack/Jacey (Silky Terrier/Teri-poo)
Mesa, AZ

"Get your facts straight first, then you can distort them as much as you wish"