fridge question

I was wondering if anyone had some experience in trouble shooting fridges. The fridge in my rv is not getting cold on either gas or electric. Any help or suggestions on what might be the problem or were to start would be appreciated

Gary B

Senior Member
fridge question

HI drmtnbk, welcome to the forum, give us a little more imformation, brand, model, age, is it automatic or manual switch over etc. With more to go on you'll get some responses. Here is an excellent site to check also

:) :laugh: :cool: :bleh: ;) :approve:
fridge question

1.) Is the unit level?
2.) Is the flue clean? This could even effect operation on electric.
3.) Are the vents clear of all obstructions? Leaves, spider webs, mouse nests, & road dirt can hamper cooling.
4.) Does the gas burner light? You could have seperate problems with the gas burner and the electric heating element.
5.) If all the above check out, your problem is most likely a bad cooling unit. They can be repaired or replaced, but are expensive and if the refrigerator is more than a few yeas old, probably not worth the cost.


Senior Member
fridge question

If your getting a little cooling, you might also want to make sure your not overloading the frig with too much stuff inside it. That will make it cool a lot less, since there is not as much open air space inside. Just a thought. Sounds like ya got something else that might be wrong, but Ed's comments seem to be right on. Oh, forgot another thing. Make sure your board is functioning correctly. If the mother board is bad, you make be getting the same kind of problems described.
fridge question

First of all thanks for all of the great info!!! The unit is not cooling at all. The unit is level and the gas burner lights. The outside vent is clear of all debris. The unit is in a 1979 dodge tioga and is what appears to be a duratherm. It is a manual switching device.


Senior Member
fridge question

With a unit of that age there is a strong possibility that the cooling unit has leaked and has no coolant any more. The coolant used in RV absorbtion refrigerators is ammonia and usually if it has leaked there will be at least a faint ammonia smell, either inside the box or in the back of the unit. Another sign that the coolant leaked out is a yellow power residue in the rear of the unit. I hate to bear bad news, but I suspect that is the problem. A twenty five year old unit would not be worth the price of replacing the cooling unit, if you could find one.
fridge question

HI drmtnbk,

Just before last summer, I went to load up for a trip to the local beach, and as I opened up the door to the fridge, the smell of ammonia almost knocked me out. Anyway, after posting on this forum, I received great answers from all of these guys. What I discovered, was that the cooling unit leaked out all of it's ammonia. I ordered a new/rebuilt one from Wick at Wick was great and very helpful. I got the unit very quick and after the new install, the icebox started freezing within minutes. One of the first things that I was told was to upgrade to a dinosour control board. Fortunately the previous owner of my 93 Wilderness fifthwheel with the 13ft slide had allready done that. However before the cooling unit failed, I started to have problems with the flame staying lit, so I also changed out the thermocouple and after all was said and done, everything has worked great. I hope you get this thing fixed. Consider too, with a cost of a new fridge $800.00 to $1200, the cooling unit was around half the price of a new one. Good luck.