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Fridge running on propane
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Drew N
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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2021 12:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Fridge running on propane Reply with quote

DanHoug wrote:
the exhaust tube gets super hot so if there is dust on it, it will smell. i'm really happy with the 'header wrap' insulation i added. have my fridge going now and the heat reduction to the interior is significant.
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=742402&highlight=

plus, the exhaust temp is hotter, reducing condensation at the flue vent and pretty much eliminating the Acid Rain condensate sliding down the back side of the exterior wall..... the REAL reason Westys kitchen wall rusts out.


I will totally do the header wrap when the time comes to pull it. That's a great idea!
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bobbyblack Premium Member
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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2021 1:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Fridge running on propane Reply with quote

The fridge pull is not all that difficult. I've had my '87 fridge out a few times, it was an hour one evening after work, and some slight mods, then back in the next evening after work. Maybe three hours total. I'd do that ASAP, Dan's wrap mod is awesome, and do pull out all that fiberglass insulation, its just gross, and then as he recommends, get a vacuum on the floor back there, and stuff any holes with stainless scrubbies if you can't do anything else right away, rodents and snakes find that kind of hole a no-brainer to mess your holiday up real bad.
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cmayna
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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2021 7:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Fridge running on propane Reply with quote

Yes,
If you haven't used the propane function on your Dometic for awhile, it's far easier to run it off of AC for an hour plus, then try propane. I wrapped my exhaust pipe a couple years ago, which helped a lot.
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If I'm not working on the camper or my '50 Chebbie truck, I'm either fishing with the wife or smoking Salmon.


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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2021 11:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Fridge running on propane Reply with quote

DanHoug wrote:
the exhaust tube gets super hot so if there is dust on it, it will smell. i'm really happy with the 'header wrap' insulation i added. have my fridge going now and the heat reduction to the interior is significant.
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=742402&highlight=



header wrap is a great idea.

Drew N wrote:

I will totally do the header wrap when the time comes to pull it. That's a great idea!


i did the header wrap PLUS boiler combustion chamber insulation:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/402086953738

i replaced the fiberglass under that tin shield with the ceramic blanket and wrapped the exhaust pipe with that before wrapping it with header wrap.

can't have too much overkill Very Happy

after running the fridge in the shop for a few hours i could grab the exhaust pipe. it was running about 89-95* depending where i checked.
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gprudenciop wrote:

my reason for switching to subaru is my german car was turning chinese so i said fuck it and went japanese.......
[email protected] wrote:
most VW enthusiasts are stuck in 80's price land.

Jake Raby wrote:
Thanks for the correction. I used to be a nice guy, then I ruined it by exposing myself to the public.

Brian wrote:
Also the fact that people are agreeing with Skills, it's a turn of events for samba history
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PDXWesty
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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2021 11:13 am    Post subject: Re: Fridge running on propane Reply with quote

Not sure if anyone else already posted this, but here's a link to the Dometic manual from the technical archives. Has trouble shooting steps.

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/archives/manuals/87wes...Manual.pdf
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jayinduluth
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2021 9:18 am    Post subject: Re: Fridge running on propane Reply with quote

I had an interesting problem with running my fridge on propane this past weekend.
Friday, got the fridge cooled down on 110, turned gas on, waited like a half hour, then successfully lit fridge on first try, no problem, only pump 6 times, hold down button while indicator light gets brighter.
Saturday morning woke up and the fridge temp said it was 22 (ambient temp outside was low 50's), wife didn't like that it was so cold, so I adjusted the temp in the fridge a little bit. Hour later saw that it was still like 24 in there, so I adjusted it a little more, probably for a total of 25% off full. Next time I checked the temp, it started going the wrong way, it was 39. I checked the indicator light, it was out, felt the vent and flue, not warm.. so it went out. I tried relighting, didn't light. Took a bike pump to the bottom pipe/vent thinger and got the fridge to at least go POOF, but not light, so I shut it all down, propane tank, switches on fridge etc and then went for a drive. about an hour later, I turned the propane back on, went and had a couple beers, came back, pumped 5-6 times, held button down and it lit first time, gave a couple extra pumps. Temp in fridge was 57, outside temp was low 60's. A couple hours later fridge got down to mid-30's.
Definitely seems that my fridge needs to "relax" in between attempts to light.
I still have not taken the fridge out, which might make lighting easier if this happens again.
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Dampcamper
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2021 12:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Fridge running on propane Reply with quote

In some parts of the world that bit of heat from the fridge helps to keep the condensation down in the van overnight. "It's a dry heat", and extends my camping season.
The vent pipe shouldn't be very hot behind the fridge, it is a "coaxial" arrangement (at least on the ones I have had) where the fresh air (intake) surrounds the hot air (exhaust) going up the middle, the purpose being of course to reduce fire risk.
This arrangement, along with the fact that LPG vapors are heavier than air, is why you have to sometimes pump a lot: You have to establish the flame long enough to get a chimney draft going up the center pipe so fresh air will come down through the outer tube to fill the void/keep the flame burning. If the chimney is not heated enough the flame will starve for oxygen and go out, leaving a pool of propane vapor in the bottom of the whole assembly. This will usually not light without pumping a lot of fresh air into it, it is kind of like a flooded engine.
Presumably the 120 volt AC preheat gets things warm enough that the draft starts easier.
The fins on the back are rejecting the added heat from the flame (or electrical heating element) that was introduced to the refrigerant, I suspect most of the warmth rising behind the cabinet is off of those.
The name plate on the Dometic 182B gives a BTU rating of 600-650 for the LP function, this is equivalent to appx 175 watt-hours of heat. Some of this goes up the flue pipe, the rest goes into the cabin. As I dimly recall, the DC heater runs about 7 amps (=appx 84 watts) or about half as much heat, with virtually none going up the flue pipe. Don't know the 120 volt number but suspect it is in the same range. So it is kind of like leaving a light bulb on in the van to keep it just a bit warmer.
But I can see where this is undesirable as you move south.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2021 1:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Fridge running on propane Reply with quote

jayinduluth wrote:
so I adjusted it a little more, probably for a total of 25% off full. Next time I checked the temp, it started going the wrong way, it was 39..


there is a jumping off point with the "thermostat" when it's on propane, at least when i was futzing with it on the bench it seemed to be that way.

if i choked it down more than a tiny bit, it killed the fuel flow. pretty sure when they are on gas only (not 12-120v) the knob is suppose to be wide open
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gprudenciop wrote:

my reason for switching to subaru is my german car was turning chinese so i said fuck it and went japanese.......
[email protected] wrote:
most VW enthusiasts are stuck in 80's price land.

Jake Raby wrote:
Thanks for the correction. I used to be a nice guy, then I ruined it by exposing myself to the public.

Brian wrote:
Also the fact that people are agreeing with Skills, it's a turn of events for samba history
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Californio
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2021 1:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Fridge running on propane Reply with quote

The knob controls the size of the flame. To light, keep it wide open, let the thermocouple warm up, then adjust downward as needed. You should be able to turn it down the whole way (counterclockwise) and the fridge keeps running. There's a big difference in temps if you change the setting.
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crazyvwvanman
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2021 2:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Fridge running on propane Reply with quote

The fridge flame only has 2 sizes, pilot and full burner.
The thermostat knob affects how much time it spends on full flame.

The thermostat knob setting also controls how often the 110v AC heating element is powered on, if the mode selector switch is set to 110v AC and the fridge has AC power.

The thermostat knob setting has no effect on 12v DC mode.
In 12v DC mode the 12v heating element runs 100% of the time that the fridge has 12v power available to the element.

Mark

Californio wrote:
The knob controls the size of the flame. To light, keep it wide open, let the thermocouple warm up, then adjust downward as needed. You should be able to turn it down the whole way (counterclockwise) and the fridge keeps running. There's a big difference in temps if you change the setting.
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