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On a 5 week trip and the 3-way fridge quit working!


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#1 leadsled9

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 04:37 AM

My fridge stopped cooling properly. It has done this before....the problem is that the burner slits become corroded and impede the proper flame. Here is how to fix it. First, remove the single sheet metal screw holding the shroud in place and remove the shroud. There is a small plastic grommet for the red wire...remove that and you can remove the entire shroud. The first picture is the burner assembly still installed. I marked where to loosen with green X's. Use a 5/8" wrench on the fitting while holding the other side with adjustable wrench as in the second picture and loosen the fitting. Use a right angle screw driver to remove the small sheet metal screw holding the assembly in place.

The third picture is what the assembly looks like once it is removed. The only slit still open was the center one....all the others were corroded shut to some degree. It would have been great if I had a small wire brush to clean the slits ...but I'm in the middle of the Colorado Rocky's....so a guy just has to use what is on hand. I found a razor blade works well to clean them out....but it takes a bit more time than if you had a wire brush. The next picture shows the cleaned burner.

I re-installed the burner and tightened the fitting....then replaced the sheet metal screw....re-installed the shroud.....and now the fridge works fine again. Good thing....I didn't want to toss out the steaks and be forced to eat beans.

Hope this post helps someone else out there.

This has happened twice since I've owned my 2008 Hawk camper (once per year)....so I'm going to make it part of my annual maintenance....so I won't have to do it during a trip again.

Attached Thumbnails

  • stove1.JPG
  • stove2.JPG
  • burner2.JPG
  • clean_burner.JPG

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2010 Ford F250 4X4; 6.4 Powerstroke Diesel; Warn 16.5 winch; Airlift Springs; Transfer Flow 47 gal. fuel tank, BDS 4" lift kit, BDS dual steering stabilizer with upgraded Fox 2.0 shocks, Toyo 35X12.50X18 Open Country M/T tires, Pro Comp wheels;  2008 FWC Hawk Camper;  2000 Toyota Tundra.


#2 MarkBC

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 04:47 AM

Wow -- what a timely post for me!
I don't know if my 'frig has the same problem, but I think I'll check this -- at least something to try before I pay for professional help.
I turned it on (in propane mode) a few hours before leaving on my weekend trip, as I usually do, and when I checked it 8 hours later it was just barely cooler. I thought it might be because my truck was sitting at an angle -- not level, but maybe it's what you suggest. It was working a little bit, and it eventually got cold enough, but it took way, way longer than it usually does and it wasn't even hot out.
Thanks for this tip.
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#3 leadsled9

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 05:02 AM

Wow -- what a timely post for me!
I don't know if my 'frig has the same problem, but I think I'll check this -- at least something to try before I pay for professional help.
I turned it on (in propane mode) a few hours before leaving on my weekend trip, as I usually do, and when I checked it 8 hours later it was just barely cooler. I thought it might be because my truck was sitting at an angle -- not level, but maybe it's what you suggest. It was working a little bit, and it eventually got cold enough, but it took way, way longer than it usually does and it wasn't even hot out.
Thanks for this tip.


Mine had the same problem. When cooling it down for the trip....it seemed to take forever. I suspected the burner but it finally cooled down enough so I thought everything was ok. Then after 3 days...it just quit cooling properly. Hope the fix works for you too.

By the way....if you were at too much of an angle....that may have been your only problem. Check the performance on a level surface before you tear into this fix.

If a corroded burner is your problem, here's a picture of the tools you'll need....note the little piece of electrical tape. I used that to tape the tiny screw to the screwdriver for reinstallation. Also a pic of the screwdriver with screw taped in place. My hands were too big to get in there to replace it.

Attached Thumbnails

  • stove_tools.JPG
  • screwdriver with electrical tape.JPG

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2010 Ford F250 4X4; 6.4 Powerstroke Diesel; Warn 16.5 winch; Airlift Springs; Transfer Flow 47 gal. fuel tank, BDS 4" lift kit, BDS dual steering stabilizer with upgraded Fox 2.0 shocks, Toyo 35X12.50X18 Open Country M/T tires, Pro Comp wheels;  2008 FWC Hawk Camper;  2000 Toyota Tundra.


#4 HERR42

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 06:19 PM

i had the same problem.

in addition, the lazy flame was generating a lot of carbon monoxide and was setting off the CO detector!

what i want to know is this:

in the second shot you took, what is the piece you have the CRESCENT wrench on?

what is its purpose?
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#5 leadsled9

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 05:00 AM

in the second shot you took, what is the piece you have the CRESCENT wrench on?
what is its purpose?


I don't know what the part is or it's purpose....it's just a convenient place to hold in order to loosen the fitting holding the burner.
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2010 Ford F250 4X4; 6.4 Powerstroke Diesel; Warn 16.5 winch; Airlift Springs; Transfer Flow 47 gal. fuel tank, BDS 4" lift kit, BDS dual steering stabilizer with upgraded Fox 2.0 shocks, Toyo 35X12.50X18 Open Country M/T tires, Pro Comp wheels;  2008 FWC Hawk Camper;  2000 Toyota Tundra.


#6 MarkBC

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Posted 16 October 2010 - 12:32 AM

Following this advice just saved my trip...or at least saved it from going back to the ice chest era (and you can't keep ice cream solid in an ice chest)!
Thank you leadsled so much! :)

Because I'm a pathological procrastinator I avoided dealing with my doesn't-get-very-cold Norcold until the day before I'm leaving. I turned on the 'frig and it seemed OK-ish...not right, but it got down to an OK temperature. Today -- the day I'm leaving -- I discovered that it wasn't OK anymore, it wasn't cooling down enough at all -- it was warmer than it had been yesterday. :angry: damn me!

I remembered these directions and I found this thread again.
I struggled for a long time trying to get that last screw off (and gave up twice), but I eventually did it with a regular straight phillips driver. I cleaned the slits with the blade of a knife, and they looked significantly wider after cleaning -- Promising! I reinstalled the burner assembly and fired up the 'frig. Triumph! The flame looks totally different now -- strong...and I can hear the 'frig burner run now, and the run indicator gauge on the 'frig is at the far/high end of the green bar! What a joyful sight! (can you tell that I'm happy and relieved? :P )

Maybe some day I'll learn to get things done sooner than later...but not likely. :P
Now I can head south...only 10 hours later than planned. :rolleyes:

Thanks again, man. :)

My fridge stopped cooling properly. It has done this before....the problem is that the burner slits become corroded and impede the proper flame. Here is how to fix it. First, remove the single sheet metal screw holding the shroud in place and remove the shroud. There is a small plastic grommet for the red wire...remove that and you can remove the entire shroud. The first picture is the burner assembly still installed. I marked where to loosen with green X's. Use a 5/8" wrench on the fitting while holding the other side with adjustable wrench as in the second picture and loosen the fitting. Use a right angle screw driver to remove the small sheet metal screw holding the assembly in place.

The third picture is what the assembly looks like once it is removed. The only slit still open was the center one....all the others were corroded shut to some degree. It would have been great if I had a small wire brush to clean the slits ...but I'm in the middle of the Colorado Rocky's....so a guy just has to use what is on hand. I found a razor blade works well to clean them out....but it takes a bit more time than if you had a wire brush. The next picture shows the cleaned burner.

I re-installed the burner and tightened the fitting....then replaced the sheet metal screw....re-installed the shroud.....and now the fridge works fine again. Good thing....I didn't want to toss out the steaks and be forced to eat beans.

Hope this post helps someone else out there.

This has happened twice since I've owned my 2008 Hawk camper (once per year)....so I'm going to make it part of my annual maintenance....so I won't have to do it during a trip again.


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FWC Hawk (2005) on a Ford F250 Supercab, 6.8L gas (2000)

#7 leadsled9

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Posted 16 October 2010 - 02:03 AM

I'm glad the post helped someone.

I can't remember who did the original post about this....but that post helped me with this issue the first time mine malfunctioned.
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2010 Ford F250 4X4; 6.4 Powerstroke Diesel; Warn 16.5 winch; Airlift Springs; Transfer Flow 47 gal. fuel tank, BDS 4" lift kit, BDS dual steering stabilizer with upgraded Fox 2.0 shocks, Toyo 35X12.50X18 Open Country M/T tires, Pro Comp wheels;  2008 FWC Hawk Camper;  2000 Toyota Tundra.


#8 natjwest

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 06:19 AM

Old thread, I know, but leadsled, which fridge are you talking about? My Dometic 3-way (1991 era Grandby, don't have the model number on hand) has the symptoms described here where it'll get cold, but three days later, it warms up. I've done a couple trips like this so far and need to get it fixed soon.
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#9 leadsled9

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 07:08 AM

Old thread, I know, but leadsled, which fridge are you talking about? My Dometic 3-way (1991 era Grandby, don't have the model number on hand) has the symptoms described here where it'll get cold, but three days later, it warms up. I've done a couple trips like this so far and need to get it fixed soon.


Mine is a Norcold N300. Yours may be a different model but it sounds like you have a similiar issue. I would try cleaning the burner slots and see if that doesn't clear up your problem.
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2010 Ford F250 4X4; 6.4 Powerstroke Diesel; Warn 16.5 winch; Airlift Springs; Transfer Flow 47 gal. fuel tank, BDS 4" lift kit, BDS dual steering stabilizer with upgraded Fox 2.0 shocks, Toyo 35X12.50X18 Open Country M/T tires, Pro Comp wheels;  2008 FWC Hawk Camper;  2000 Toyota Tundra.


#10 Smokecreek1

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 04:12 PM

Just went through this two weeks ago (Or/Nev Trips)-costs me some frozen food and a unplanned return trip home to get it fixed! Needed more than field cleaning, got a new igniter and things work again! But again if I kept my maint. and other checks up to date, i'd still be out and about and not just getting ready to start a new trip! My 6 year-old 3way started acting up on the trip before this one, wish i'd of seen this old thread before-better copy it all for the next time it acts up! Now that i'm out and about all the time instead of just vacations and weekends, sure seems like i'm having to learn an allot more fixer up tips and keeper running hints and things, sure glad i found the fwc site a few years ago-can't afford to buy a new pop-up on my retirement check! On to more adventures!
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