Refrigerator and hot water heater question

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

chaajoad

Well-known member
Joined
May 29, 2006
Posts
322
Location
Poulsbo WA
This is basic stuff so forgive me if I bore everyone. It's 2:30AM and I'm crashing after posting this. There's a Royal fridge In my Bounder and it runs both on propane and electric. I tried it on electric awhile back and it started chilling just fine - from this forum, I know it can take awhile. The questions are:

How do I get it working on propane? Remember, I have no manuals. I searched online for a bit and find nothing. It seems weird but is there a pilot light for the fridge? Can I run it on propane overnight before a trip to get it cool? Does it cycle on and off like a home fridge to keep the temperature stable?

I know these are BASIC but any help is appreciated.

We are close to our first overnight trip ... pretty exciting. But I won't get out of the driveway unless mama has a hot shower and cool diet Pepsi.

Danny Wright
Poulsbo WA

 

JohnSandyWhite

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 9, 2005
Posts
209
Location
England
:) Hi Chaajoad. Perhaps this might help? :- >> How A Reefer Works <<

WATER HEATER LOCK OUT - SPARK PRESENT BUT NO GAS

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CONDITION
SOLUTION


Gas pressure incorrect

Low voltage
Blocked main burner tube
Blocked main burner orifice
Loose wires on E.C.O.
Loose wire connections on solenoid valve
Loose valve wire on wiring harness

Defective E.C.O.
Defective circuit board
Defective solenoid valve
No gas to solenoid valve
Dirty connector on circuit board

Set inlet pressure at a minimum 11" W.C. with two or more appliances running
Correct power supply - 10.5 VDC minimum
Clean burner tube
Clean or replace orifice
Secure wire connections
Secure wire connections
Repair wire on edge connector or repair wiring circuit board harness
Replace E.C.O.
Replace circuit board
Replace coils or solenoid valve
Correct gas supply
Clean edge connector



WATER HEATER LOCK OUT - GAS PRESENT BUT NO SPARK

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CONDITION
SOLUTION


High tension lead wire loose
Electrodes loosely attached to main burner
Improper electrode gapping
Dirty electrodes
Wires loose in electrode porcelain
Cracked porcelain on electrode
Defective circuit board

Secure wire connection on circuit board
Secure electrodes to main burner
Re-position spark gap to 1/8"
Clean electrodes
Replace electrode
Replace electrodes
Replace circuit board



WATER HEATER LOCK OUT - GAS AND SPARK PRESENT

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CONDITION
SOLUTION


Gas pressure incorrect

Low voltage
Poor electrical ground
Electrodes out of flame pattern
Electrodes sparking to screw fastening burner
to flue tube
Dirty electrodes
Partial obstruction in main burner
Partially obstructed main burner orifice
Improper air adjustment

Flame spreader on main

Manifold no aligned with main burner
Partially opening solenoid valve
Defective circuit board

Set inlet pressure at a minimum 11: W.C. with two or more gas appliances running
Correct power supply - 10.5 VDC minimum
Secure electrical ground
Re-adjust electrodes
Adjust electrodes

Clean electrodes
Clean main burner
Clean main burner orifice
Adjust main burner air shutter approximately ? open or greater
Adjust flame spreader so that it is square to the end burner tube out of alignment of the main burner
Re-align solenoid valve with main burner
Replace solenoid valve
Replace circuit board



EXCESSIVE OR INSUFFICIENT WATER TEMPERATURES

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CONDITION
SOLUTION


Bypass kit valves not set properly
Thermostat not seated against tank
Defective thermostat

Place valves in proper position
Reseat thermostat
Replace thermostat



ERRATIC BURNER FLAME OR SOOTING

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CONDITION
SOLUTION


Low gas pressure

Poor gas supply
Improper air adjustment

Poor main burner alignment
Mis-aligned burner flame spreader

Blocked burner orifice
Obstructed main burner
Obstructed "U" tube
Obstructed exhaust grille

Set inlet pressure at a minimum 11" W.C. with two or more gas appliances running
Replace gas supply
Adjust main burner air shutter approximately ? way open - flame should be mainly blue and quiet
Adjust valve and main burner alignment
Align flame spreader so it is square with end of burner tube
Clean orifice - DO NOT enlarge orifice
Clean main burner
Clean "U" tube
Remove obstruction



NO SPARK AND NO GAS

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CONDITION
SOLUTION


No voltage
Dirty edge connector on circuit board
Defective thermal cut-off
Defective ON/OFF switch
Defective circuit board
Defective thermostat

Correct power supply - minimum 10.5 VDC
Clean edge connector
Replace thermal cut-off
Replace switch
Replace circuit board
Replace thermostat



INTERMITTENT IGNITION - FAILS TO IGNITE

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CONDITION
SOLUTION


Cracked electrode ceramic
Chattering or fluctuating thermostat
Insulation on electrode wire cut or damaged
Ground screw at top of circuit board not tight

Loose ground wire on valve
Poor ground at electrodes

Replace spark electrode
Replace thermostat
Replace electrode
Tighten ground screw - if stripped, replace with larger screw
Tighten ground wire screw
Loosen electrode attachment screw and retighten

 

Ned

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Posts
25,107
Location
USA
Danny,

On the top of the refirgerator should be a control panel with some push buttons.  One is the on/off and the other switches between gas and auto.  On auto, if AC power isn't present, the refrigerator will switch to gas automatically.  If the burner fails to light, there is a Check lamp that will light.  Turn the unit off, then on again, to cycle the burner until it lights.  If it doesn't light after several attempts, then either it's not getting propane or there is a problem with the unit.

There is no manual pilot light, it's completely automatic.

It will cool overnight, but 24 hours may be needed to reach minimum temperature.  It will cycle to keep the set temperature.  On our Royal, there is a button on the right of the control panel that lets you choose one of 5 settings.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
73,932
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
What year Bounder do you have - the controls on the Dometic Royal fridge have changed some over the years.  The instructions Ned gave should work for anything newer than about 1996 or 1997. Older models may have a button to manually select between LP and electric (AC).    Real old ones have a pilot light that is manually lit to use LP mode.
 

Ned

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Posts
25,107
Location
USA
Ours is a 1997, so Gary is correct that the older models may be different.  Our 1995 Itasca Spirit did have a pilot light that was lit with a push button inside the refigerator box.  I don't recall if that was a Dometic or not.
 

chaajoad

Well-known member
Joined
May 29, 2006
Posts
322
Location
Poulsbo WA
As always, thanks for the info, folks!

It's a '99 Bounder. There are buttons to toggle between gas and electric. I'll open the LP and run the fridge on gas overnight to see how cool it gets. I know about "assuming" but can I assume the batteries have nothing to do with cooling the fridge? And can I also assume that if the LP runs out, nothing bad happens - the fridge just returns to room temp? Does the fridge take a lot of gas or ...?

Thanks -

Danny Wright
Poulsbo WA
 

Alaskansnowbirds

Site Team
Joined
Mar 11, 2005
Posts
2,969
Location
Camp Verde, AZ
chaajoad said:
As always, thanks for the info, folks!

It's a '99 Bounder. There are buttons to toggle between gas and electric. I'll open the LP and run the fridge on gas overnight to see how cool it gets. I know about "assuming" but can I assume the batteries have nothing to do with cooling the fridge? And can I also assume that if the LP runs out, nothing bad happens - the fridge just returns to room temp? Does the fridge take a lot of gas or ...?

Danny,

You need the batteries to run the fridge on LP. The fridge uses 12DC to run the control board in the fridge.

Yes, if the LP runs out the fridge will just get warm.

No, the fridge uses very little gas. It will use less LP than anyother thing in the RV.
 

Lowell

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Posts
2,221
Location
Tempe, AZ
You also need the battery if your water heater is remotely started and you have no electrical hook-up.
Jake
 

JohnSandyWhite

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 9, 2005
Posts
209
Location
England
chaajoad said:
Does the fridge take a lot of gas or ...? 

:D To put things into perspective on LPG useage. On our old 1988 Coachmen Classic. A tank of LPG would last us between 12 and 14 weeks for cooking, reefer and perhaps a little heating now and again. When we bought our Newmar and completed out journies around the USA. We filled up on around January the 6th 2006. We had 2 or 3 weeks cooking, reefer and only once or twice heating. When it arrived in the UK in February we have had the reefer on full time and cooked breakfast. We ran out of LPG 2 weeks ago.  ;D
 

chaajoad

Well-known member
Joined
May 29, 2006
Posts
322
Location
Poulsbo WA
So ... let me see if I got this straight ...

If the 12v batteries are needed to power the fridge on LP, can I assume that leaving it on propane overnight to cool it down will discharge the coach batteries? I've read other posts that say it takes a good long while to get these fridges cool so I can't imagine running the engine all night to cool down a six pack and some sandwiches  :)

I have an appt. for an electrician to install 30 amp so I can use shore power and it won't be an issue in a few weeks. Until then ... can I run it all night w/o the battery going dead?

Is it common to be anxious before going out on the first over-night trip? I keep trying to think positive but I read some of the horror stories ... to me, the only way to do it is just jump in with both feet and each time will get easier and more routine.
 

JohnSandyWhite

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 9, 2005
Posts
209
Location
England
:) Hi chaajoad. Once the Reefer is up and running. It uses only a small amount of 12 volts to keep it running. It just operates igniter when it first fires up and the solenoid to open the gas valve when it is called for. It will eventually run down the battery but over a fairly long period of time depending on how much charge is in the battery. Overnight should not be a problem.  :D

>> HERE << is how they work.  ;)
 

Karl

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Posts
5,154
Location
Elkhart Lake, WI for the summer. Work at Road Amer
Is it common to be anxious before going out on the first over-night trip? I keep trying to think positive but I read some of the horror stories ... to me, the only way to do it is just jump in with both feet and each time will get easier and more routine
Heck, if you didn't get anxious, you wouldn't be human. Start worrying about everything that could  happen, and you may never get out of bed ;D Most problems (consider them challanges) will be minor and easily fixed. Some may require a professional, but many things can be handled by yourself - maybe with a little assistance from our Forum members. Yes, you'll read horror stories; we all have them, but the rv life is, in general, a very easy and enjoyable experience. Go for it! :) 
 

chaajoad

Well-known member
Joined
May 29, 2006
Posts
322
Location
Poulsbo WA
I was out messing with the rig today. I'd like to take out first overnight trip this weekend - a whole 20 miles away! So a few more questions -

I'm still a bit confused on the frudge/propane thing. When running it on propane, is everything automatic or does a pilot light need to be lit? I tried it today and got the "check" light with no discernible cooling. The oven worked fine. If I'm using shore power, does the fridge automatically go to electric? Another reminder - I have no manuals.

I'm sure the answer to this is duh-simple but I've looked the rig over top to bottom and can't figure out where a hot water heater is or how to get it fired up. Ditto with the furnace. Thoughts? Ideas?

STILL waiting for my Woodall's RV book from Amazon. It was shipped Friday ... I'm thinking there will be answers there. The Bounder "owner's manual" might be the most useless thing I've ever seen.

Before the end of Sept. we're planning an RV trip to Victoria B.C. island. Thanks to the price of gas, the ferry is running a 1/2 off promotion - so gas is $3.10 but the ferry is half-off. Guess it all evens out.

Danny Wright
Poulsbo WA
 

Tom

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2005
Posts
48,722
Danny,

In most cases it's all automatic. Assuming that the propane is turned on, the CO detector doesn't sense anything bad, shore power is plugged in and switched on &/or 12V is present, the refridgerator should run on 110V. If 110V is missing, the refridgerator should automatically switch to LPG. No need for you to light any pilot light - usually it's electronic ignition.

Don't expect it to cool in a short period of time - let it sit for a day, or at least overnight.
 

Tom

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2005
Posts
48,722
chaajoad said:
....can't figure out where a hot water heater is or how to get it fired up. Ditto with the furnace.

The water heater is usually integral to the hot water tank. If you look on the outside of the RV you should find several grills - one is behind the refridgerator, one is behind the hot water heater and one may be behind the furnace. Open the grill(s) and make sure there are no spider webs in the burner tube. Blow out with air if you see any.
 

Karl

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Posts
5,154
Location
Elkhart Lake, WI for the summer. Work at Road Amer
Danny.
What Tom said is true BUT there should be a switch labeled "AES AUTO" that must be on for automatic switching. If it's off, it will only work on propane. The reason for this is you don't want your fridge to drain the batteries through the inverter when you don't have shore power; you'll want to run off propane.
 

chaajoad

Well-known member
Joined
May 29, 2006
Posts
322
Location
Poulsbo WA
Karl & Tom -

I'm still pretty clueless BUT ... I'll try to ck all this stuff and look for the AES auto switch and see what's up with that. I just received my Woodall book and just glanced through it but it kinda seems as if fridge, water heater and furnace all need pilot lights lit. I still haven't tried the furnace but probably should before the weather cools off.

SO complicated at this point ...

Danny
 

Shayne

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Posts
4,324
Danny  don 't get so frustraded.  Go out have a good time and if you have a problem at a CG, just talk to other RVers there and tell them you are new and need help.  10 to 1 they'll be more than happy to help you.  Never seen it fail yet.  Please don't make this a chore, if you do, it will make you miserable.  Enjoy ,enjoy, enjoy. Thats the name of the game.,Its really easy once you get going.  Only way to make it hard is if you make it that way.    Go enjoy
 

Karl

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Posts
5,154
Location
Elkhart Lake, WI for the summer. Work at Road Amer
Danny,

In almost all cases, the pilot lights are lit electronically. Two exceptions may be an older water heater that has a 'standing' pilot light which you must light manually; the other is the oven in your range - manual pilot light too. The furnaces and refrigerator should be automatic (DSI -Direct Spark Ignition) provided by each units' control board.
 
Top Bottom