Saturday, January 9, 2010

RV Refrigerator on the Blink

Our Motorhome has a Dometic refrigerator that is about 20 years old. Thursday night around 11:00 pm we noticed that the freezer was self defrosting. For a freezer that is not frost free this is not normal. Something was wrong and had to be seen to quickly even though it was 14 degrees outside with 20 to 30 MPH winds. What were our options at 11:00 pm under those conditions?

First we turned the refrigerator switch off then removed the contents of the freezer and finish the defrosting using a hair dryer. We turned the switch back on and set it to a cooler setting then it had been on. We waited almost an hour to see if the freezer was starting to get cold again. Problem not solved at this point.

Ok since the freezer is not working what should we do. Thaw and cook all the meats that were frozen? Run to Wal-Mart and buy a big ice chest and bags of ice in hopes to save the meats that were thawing? Go out into the cold night and try to find the problem?

James bundled up to avoid frost bite and ventured out into the cold. He has his tools stored in one of the basement bays and needed to get his electric tester to troubleshoot the refrigerator from the outside. He unplugged the refrigerator and tested the outlet for power which showed not having a current. James tested the outlet once more and found there was a current so he checked again and there was no current. Ok faulty outlet, maybe some water had gotten into the outlet housing and caused contacts to become out of place.

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James plugged the refrigerator into one of the outside outlets that are on the side of our motorhome. Within a few minutes the freezer started to create frost on the damp areas inside the freezer. Problem temporary solved. We will wait until the weather warms up a bit before James replaces the faulty refrigerator outlet.   

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KarenInTheWoods and Steveio said...

Ohhh good temporary fix and great troubleshooting! Most folks would just give up and bring in their rig to a repair shop. And sad to say, some repair shops would take advantage and say the whole fridge was shot just because it was old... demanding a complete replacement. Kudos on your ingenuity till you can figure out the outlet problem!~

Gypsy said...

I would have just sat there and cried! Glad you figured a way out of a disaster, even if it's temporary.