Sunday, May 1, 2016

Refrigerator Stopped Working!

About a week ago, I came into the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, where I spent a couple weeks last year and had great weather. This place is so beautiful and is a quiet place to relax and enjoy.

I have been here about 10 days now and the weather has not been cooperating like it did just about the same time last year. There have been several days of overcast, sometimes rainy, cool weather. During the first week, there were some violent winds that kept everyone inside.

I think it was the second day I was here I noticed that my Dometic refrigerator was not working. Panic set in, since these units are very expensive to replace or to have worked on. I checked to be sure that there was propane in the tank and that both tanks were turned on, just in case one was low. Usually I can go outside and hear it light up and start cooling, but with the wind, I couldn't hear anything except wind noise.

I gave it a few hours and checked again - the temperature was still going down. I sat and thought about all the things it could be. I knew I had propane and I didn't smell any of the tell-tale ammonia smell that everyone talks about when the cooling system blows up. The only thing I could think of (that didn't cost lots of money) was that possibly the wind was just not allowing the burner to kick on and stay on.

Hoping that the wind was the culprit, I just tried to keep myself busy until the wind calmed down about 9 PM. Then I went outside, crossed my fingers, and put my ear to the outside panel where the burner was. YES!! I could hear the burner going - and hopefully cooling the fridge!

It took a while to cool the unit down, but I was so happy it was working again. I guess my theory about the wind turned out to be the problem. I knew the wind was blowing on that side of the RV, but I have experienced high winds in the past with no problems. It must have been just the right angle to get into the vents on the outside panel.

So if you have high winds on the refrigerator side of your RV, and your fridge stops working, don't panic and call the RV repair man until the winds are over! Luckily, it was late in the day, so I wasn't going to call anyone until the morning.

I'm just so happy my fridge is happily cooling along and keeping my food fresh!


  1. I have seen some RVers tape a piece of card board over most of the vent openings until the wind dies down.

  2. Betty, thanks for the wind explanation and Robert thanks for the tip. I've been in the ABQ area and have been having big winds too. Good to know.