Bring the fridge back to life

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tmorrk

Member
Joined
May 11, 2021
Posts
11
Location
Alberta, Canada
We recently purchased a 1984 Jayco Jayraven20. It has been immaculately kept indoors for 10+ years. When it was used it was primarily for sleeping and hardly any of the appliances, bathroom ever used. It is a real time capsule in like new condition. We have been trying to get the fridge (Dometic RM660) to run, with no success. We have removed it, "burped" it, (left upside down for 48 hours) we cleaned the jet and burner tube. We were then able to get the pilot light going. Left it for a few hours and still was not cooling. When on electric, the heating element gets very hot. Either way, the fridge does not get cold. No sign of an ammonia leak. Any advice would be greatly appreciated as we would hate to junk any part of the original pieces in this gem.
 

JudyJB

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Jul 6, 2010
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1,623
At LEAST 24 hours. The fact that you can see a pilot light working and the heating element being hot means it is likely working. And once you confirm that, don't toss in a ton of warm food all at once. Pre-chill and pre-freeze most things you put in it.

These things do not work like your home refrigerator at all, so they need a lot of time to get cold. You will also be shocked at how it takes 12-15 hours to freeze an ice cube tray!

Never heard of "burping" it!
 

John From Detroit

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Apr 12, 2005
Posts
24,811
Location
Davison Michigan
Never heard of "burping" it!

I have (Turning it upside down a time or two) Never tried it however. Nor seen it done.

Check outtside for yellow or rust colored stain/powder liekly on the burner side.
When my favorite RVGIRL (Her work truck license plate) Spotted that she said "NEW COOLING UNIT" A few days later I was her last customer of the day so working together we pulled the fridge, Pulled the back (Cooling unit) off, put the new one on, put it back together and then we went to Supper (She drove I paid) Came home and it was cold. The she went home.
 

Lou Schneider

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Mar 14, 2005
Posts
10,914
The "pilot light" is the main flame and in an auto ignition refrigerator the flame turns on and off as needed. If you have to manually light the flame it changes size in response to the thermostat. It doesn't take much heat to run the refrigeration unit.

The freezer has first call on the available cooling. You should feel it cool down first, then when it gets to it's normal temperature surplus cooling migrates down to the refrigerator fins. Anything that prevents the freezer from cooling like a door gasket that doesn't properly seal can stop cooling from reaching the refrigerator.
 

Utclmjmpr

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Sep 14, 2009
Posts
5,086
Location
Cedar City, UT
SURE,, for $800.00 plus shipping!. I bought an energy star rated Frigidaire brand new for $700.00
and gained an additional 2.5 CF. of internal space..>>>Dan
 

Utclmjmpr

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Sep 14, 2009
Posts
5,086
Location
Cedar City, UT
How "old" is too old?? I have replaced 30 year old seals with out undo problems,, just remove the door,, place it on two saw horses and the job is easy..>>>Dan.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Feb 2, 2005
Posts
73,553
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
The "pilot light" is the main flame and in an auto ignition refrigerator the flame turns on and off as needed. If you have to manually light the flame it changes size in response to the thermostat. It doesn't take much heat to run the refrigeration unit.
In a 1984 it will indeed be a manually lit pilot light on the fridge. The RM660 has a piezo lighter for the pilot flame and is thermostat-controlled. I've owned a couple of that vintage, and they do take a dozen hours to get much cooling. Should be able to feel some chill on the freezer walls within an hour or so, though.

A tiny pinhole leak is very like in a 37 year-old fridge. The hydrogen escapes first and that cuts the cooling substantially, and then the ammonia evaporates and kills the rest. There may not be a yellow sodium chromate residue visible, especially if the leak is not around the boiler areas.

You can get a free service manual for the RM660 at http://bryantrv.com/docs2/docs/rmX60.pdf

If the cooling unit is toast, you can replace hat without replacing the antique box. Replacement cooling units are a bolt-on, DIY job with just basic hand tools. Replacements for the RM660 are available at Ozark refrigeration and other sources. Ozark says about $420 + shipping, but that price may be out of date. $525 at RVcoolingunitwarehouse.
 
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tmorrk

Member
Joined
May 11, 2021
Posts
11
Location
Alberta, Canada
It seems from all of the above posts, all I can conclude is new cooler unit.
Click ingnition of pilot light works fine.
Door seal is perfect...not even a crack.
No yellow residue on back.
I have the original manual for the unit and looked up the service manual.
Thanks everyone for your vast knowledge...really appreciate it.
 

JayArr

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Joined
Jun 13, 2020
Posts
241
Location
Mission British Columbia Canada
I'll second the reccomendation of RV Cooling Unit warehouse. They shipped me a cooling unit for my RM2510 and it was here in less than a week by UPS. That's fantastic considering I'm also in Canada and it was an international shipment. The unit works great and there was no need to send the old one back. Installation was simple and the fridge was back in the trailer and running in an hour.
 
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