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llilibel03 Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:23 pm

I wanted to create a safe place to ask those stupid questions, the answers to which, admittedly, might be found with a few hours of archive searching.

I'll start- do you leave your dometic running on propane unattended when you go for day long or longer hikes?

shagginwagon83 Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:29 pm

Glad this thread was made. I left my domestic fridge unattended for 8-12 hours at a music festival in the 90 degree heat. On the third day I woke up to it making some strange noises so I decided it was time to turn it off.

My question. My latch is broken on my Westy stove top. Is there anywhere that sells replacement latches?

fxr Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:33 pm

llilibel03 wrote:

I'll start- do you leave your dometic running on propane unattended when you go for day long or longer hikes?
I can't think of a good reason why one shouldn't. Back in the day, many household fridges were gas fridges, left on 24/7.

JudoJeff Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:34 pm

I've run my fridge on propane for weeks, no big deal.

Zeitgeist 13 Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:36 pm

Just leave your van running so you can leave the fridge on 12v. You're welcome.

Paulbeard Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:40 pm

shagginwagon83 wrote: On the third day I woke up to it making some strange noises so I decided it was time to turn it off.


Could be the fan blades hitting the cooling fins or piping at the back. A good fix is to pull the fridge and replace that fan with one or more better quality muffin fans that do a better job without exposed blades.

CanStan Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:44 pm

llilibel03 wrote: do you leave your dometic running on propane unattended when you go for day long or longer hikes?

Last year I went on a 7 week road trip with my Westy. I started the fridge on propane the day before I left, and the only time it was shut off over that period was when I had the tank refilled (every 12-13 days). Lots of times we were gone all day and I was never concerned. To be fair though, it was a '90 with the auto-igniter on the fridge, so if the pilot light ever went out, it would relight and not spoil our food.

photogdave Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:44 pm

I've left my Dometic fridge running for more than a week non-stop many times in multiple vans.
Last time was four days at MogFest. It even made ice in the infamous Sheridan heat, which I was able to put in my water bottle every morning. 8)



Jon_slider Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:11 pm

Not only do I leave my fridge on propane all the time, I also drive while it is lit.

Tip, to make ice more quickly while driving, first light the pilot, then switch to alternator. The pilot stays lit unless you turn the gas off, and the driving adds heat to the compressor, making the fridge colder while driving than it would be on gas alone.

the above dual simultaneous mode does not work with the auto igniter models

CanStan wrote: with the auto-igniter on the fridge, so if the pilot light ever went out, it would relight and not spoil our food.

not correct
your pilot light will not flow gas if the thermocouple goes cold

what the auto igniter Will tell you, because it keeps snapping non stop, is that the pilot light IS out and you need to hold the override button to get it lit again

Paulbeard wrote: shagginwagon83 wrote: On the third day I woke up to it making some strange noises so I decided it was time to turn it off.
Could be the fan blades hitting the cooling fins or piping at the back.

true!

the fan at the back of the fridge will come on when it gets hot inside the van, such as when parked in the sun. I agree it makes for a rude awakening if you don't know what the noise is :-), and that it can be reduced by changing to a different fan, and or repositioning if the blades are making contact..

the fan is still noisy, even when the blades are not hitting anything..

kamzcab86 Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:01 pm

Jon_slider wrote: what the auto igniter Will tell you, because it keeps snapping non stop, is that the pilot light IS out and you need to hold the override button to get it lit again

Point of clarification: The '90-'91 Dometics use electric ignition with an auto re-ignite feature (as Dometic calls it). It does, in fact, do its re-ignite job, provided there is adequate propane flow; if there is not, it will sit there and <click, click, click> indefinitely, regardless of your override attempts.

As for the original "stupid" question, I run mine on propane non-stop on most trips, after the first day (procedure: AC > run engine, flip to DC > reach camp site, flip to LPG until returning home).

CanStan Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:14 pm

kamzcab86 wrote: Jon_slider wrote: what the auto igniter Will tell you, because it keeps snapping non stop, is that the pilot light IS out and you need to hold the override button to get it lit again

Point of clarification: The '90-'91 Dometics use electric ignition with an auto re-ignite feature (as Dometic calls it). It does, in fact, do its re-ignite job, provided there is adequate propane flow; if there is not, it will sit there and <click, click, click> indefinitely, regardless of your override attempts.

Correct. If you run out of propane completely, the igniter will just keep clicking away. But if, for example, a gust of wind were to blow the pilot out, the thermocouple will still be warm, and the igniter will light it right away. No override needed. I've experienced it a couple times on super windy days with the fridge flue facing into the wind. Every now and again I would hear a single "click" as the pilot reignited.

Jon_slider Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:22 pm

CanStan wrote: kamzcab86 wrote: Jon_slider wrote: what the auto igniter Will tell you, because it keeps snapping non stop, is that the pilot light IS out and you need to hold the override button to get it lit again

Point of clarification: The '90-'91 Dometics use electric ignition with an auto re-ignite feature (as Dometic calls it). It does, in fact, do its re-ignite job, provided there is adequate propane flow; if there is not, it will sit there and <click, click, click> indefinitely, regardless of your override attempts.

Correct. If you run out of propane completely, the igniter will just keep clicking away. But if, for example, a gust of wind were to blow the pilot out, the thermocouple will still be warm, and the igniter will light it right away. No override needed. I've experienced it a couple times on super windy days with the fridge flue facing into the wind. Every now and again I would hear a single "click" as the pilot reignited.
wow, you could blow me down with a feather!
Thanks for the education
I did not know about the re-ignite feature...

I wish my electronic fridge had it.. it would just click away... if I drove with the fridge lit

I could drive fine with the non electronic, and the pilot would stay lit

go figure

CanStan Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:02 pm

Go Westy and others sell an aftermarket auto-igniter. I found one on ebay for about $30 I think. There was a post here a while back about someone who successfully retrofitted their early Dometic with one. A worthwhile upgrade I would think. I once had an early fridge pilot blow out, and didn't notice until all the food had spoiled!

Jon_slider Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:35 pm

the blue fridge LED upgrade helps keep track of the pilot...
http://www.biztek.com/k6acj/westfalia_info.htm

Merian Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:31 pm

people have Dometics that work on propane???? :?:

E1 Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:46 pm

Define "work." :wink:

kaalualu Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:47 pm

16 years off grid living, Dometic running the whole time...in a structure. Boats use em too.
Hey, that really was a stupid question, and ya must be lazy too. Hence the title.

E1 Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:54 pm

I consider myself to specialize in lazy, with stupid a distant second.

SCM Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:07 pm

Another dumb question: do all automatics lack a mechanism to prevent the shifter from being accidentally bumped from "park" into "neutral" when the key is nowhere in the vehicle, or is that just how mine works?

Jon_slider Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:17 pm

would
"Yes!",
be a stupid answer?

I like answering stupid questions.. LOL
that means Im not that smart, right?

on a more serious note
I was taught that
There are no stupid questions, stupid answers otoh...Yes!



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