Propane/Ammonia smell in the fridge and roof A/C

[Joe] Has anyone experienced overwhelming ammonia smell coming from the inside of the refrigerator and/or roof A/C? Our motorhome (1988 Pace Arrow) has been stored for a while, and when we opened it up for use this summer, the smell in the fridge set off the gas sensor! Also, the roof A/C smelled too, although, not as bad. HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Propane/Ammonia smell in the fridge and roof A/C

[rv wizard] I hate to tell you this but you may have a leak in the refrigerator cooling system. Before taking it out camping turn on the refrigerator and make sure it will pull down in the fresh food section. The roof a/c uses a different type refrigerant and usually you will not be able to smell it. Why not try usint the a/c too before taking it out.
Mike C.
95 36&#039 Aerbus
Propane/Ammonia smell in the fridge and roof A/C

[Kirk] I too think that you have probably got a bad cooling unit in the refridgerator. The A/C unit uses freon so the smell isn&#039t comming from there. But the refridgerator uses ammonia as a coolant and it is not normally replacable. Before you have the cooling unit replaced, compare the price to that of a new refridgerator, as there won&#039t be a tremendeous difference. And the new cooling unit won&#039t gaurantee the rest of the refer won&#039t fail, especially if the unit is pretty old.

Good travelin! .........Kirk
Propane/Ammonia smell in the fridge and roof A/C

[Gary B] Hi Joe, the other 2 posts are right on, your cooling unit is toast, I suspect that the ammoina smell in the roof air is really coming from your fridge vent on the roof, as stated the rof ac uses freon R22. If your fridge is in excellent shape and you have modest mechanical abilties you can change the cooling unit yourself, the cost of a rebuilt cooling unit for a 6 cu. ft. refer runs about $550.00 plus shipping etc. a new 6 cu. ft. fridge runs about $1200.00, good luck GB
Propane/Ammonia smell in the fridge and roof A/C

[W.D.] For some refrigerator hints go to There is enough info to give you insight as to what may be the problem and a section in it also shows how to replace the cooling unit if you have a little mechanical ability.
Propane/Ammonia smell in the fridge and roof A/C

[Joe] Hey, thanks to everybody that responded. Unfortunately, I will have to replace the fridge cooling unit. I checked with some local dealers, most will not give a warranty if I install it myself. The lowest price I found with a warranty and installation is $750.00. Guess I&#039ll just have to bite the bullet and get it done. Thanks again.