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Refrigerator issues

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Anyone experiencing issues with their RM2454 failing intermittently on propane? When running on propane mine may run for several days or just a half hour or anything in between. This is a new fridge and failing very intermittently same as the original fridge. The fridge runs flawlessly on both 110 volts AC and 12 volts DC. I have checked propane pressure at 11.1 or 11.2 or so with nothing running, checking at the rear main manifold quick disconnect. With fridge, water heater, furnace all running, pressure ranges from 10.6 to 10.9, tested either at the rear main manifold quick disconnect or at the fridge test port. These pressures are in the good range. I have run two number 12awg 12volt supply wires directly to the batteries (through the 20A fuse) both positive and negative. Thus the fridge is not being fed through any of the factory wiring. This has been tested both connected to shore power and not, with and without 110 breaker off. I have run the fridge on both propane tanks both one at a time and both on and switching the changeover valve. The original regulator was changed out by Oliver a year ago and I changed it again during our current trip. The rubber hose under the propane tank cowling that forms a sort of “p” trap has been flushed out with solvent to remove any possible oil blockage. Both the main and eyebrow circuit boards have been exchanged with known working/bench tested boards. And as said before this is a new (now three week old) refrigerator. Thanks for any suggestions or questions! I’m at a total loss as to why two different refrigerators built close to two years apart have the same problem with running on propane!


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Have you checked for debris at the end of the inlet manifold (i.e. just past where the propane mixes with air but short of the combustion chamber)?  Paint, rust, dirt, dust, etc. can all accumulate here and a sensor that is in that area will not left propane to continue flowing.  Using "canned air" or an air compressor you can - gently - blow into this area.  Make sure that you DO NOT blow back into the orifice from which the propane comes out (you do not want to plug this or get anything into this very tiny opening).

 

Bill


2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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Brand new refrigerator. It will run on occasion for days at a time. Original refrigerator had the same problem. Oliver folks tested the original fridge with Dometic directing all of the testing. After a week Dometic said that they couldn’t figure out why it wouldn’t run so they sent a new one. Totally does not make sense. Thanks for any and all suggestions and questions.


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I don’t know Ken. The more I think about it the more it seems like it should be something in the propane supply to the fridge, but it sounds like you’ve done a thorough check from the tanks to the fridge. Ours is either on 110 or propane, haven’t used 12v much and we’ve not had any issues. This is becoming an epic mystery. Mike


Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

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When we had similar problems with our 2454, it was relatively the same. Camping world discovered that the cooling unit had not been properly sealed with mastic.

Could you be so (un)lucky as to have it happen twice?

We checked all kinds of other things along the way... as did camping world. Loaded properly? Yes. We could always see the majority of the fins. Thermister? Easy to change, and essy to adjust buy sliding the slug up and down.

 

Our last big problem with the 2454 was the on button on the eyebrow board. Which, i actually suspect could be your issue. Our button would simply disengage from time yo time, and the fridge would cut out. After running fine for days or hours, the switch no longer made contact, and I'd find a warm fridge.

When your fridge cuts out, does the little yellow light go out?


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Sorry, as questions are coming in I realize that I have forgotten a little detail. I’ve been through this thing for so long old details seem to blur. On the eyebrow, when the fridge “quits” or “fails” all lights go out except the “check” light. At this point the fridge just sets in limbo until I turn the fridge off then back on. I have actually seen it fail and immediately turned the fridge off then back on. It always will turn back on and run great. Sometimes for several days or just a few minutes or anything in between! It has failed while we were taking a propane pressure test at the fridge solenoid test port and saw no pressure fluctuations. Thanks for the input!


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Pretty sure that I never got a check light when the on button lost contact. The whole board went blank.

Darn. That would be too easy.

 

With the bad mastic/ sealing situation, our fridge worked great when we were traveling, or cold weather. As temps warmed up, it would run for awhile, and then quit. I assume that was a lack of exhausting the heat from the cooling unit.

 

Sherry


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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I looked at your profile, thinking mountain oliver might be a clue. The gas absorption fridges sometimes have problems at higher elevations, but I don't think that's likely in your area. Mountains of Colorado, maybe.

 

Since the fridge has already been replaced, i would be zeroing in on the gas, and the burner unit, if that wasn't replaced.


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Completely new fridge. First real boondocking use in our new camper was at Quartzsite last year. I guess that is where I first noticed the problem. With the issue coming and going it’s been difficult to pinpoint. Issue became more noticeable the end of last year while traveling in southwest Texas. This year on the way to Quartzsite I stopped in Hohenwald to have Oliver look at the fridge. Two weeks later I had a completely new fridge. Finally got back on the road and sure enough still had the same problem. Thus all of the trailer input tests, propane and power. Inputs to the fridge all look good. Interestingly, through all of this I have been able to obtain a Dinosaur control board which works with propane but unfortunately does not communicate with the eyebrow board, so the fridge will not work on either AC or DC and I can’t easily control the temperature setting. The Dometic boards work great on AC and DC but have intermittent issues with propane.


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Edit: So you have no issue on propane with the dinosaur board except controlling the temp? Does the dinosaur board have a lock out after 3 tries of ignition failure which it should? If so that's weird since it was replaced but sounds like a control board issue.

 

 

 

If the "Check" light is coming on it sounds like a ignition problem. The fridge will try ignition 3 times before it sends that fault and turns on the check light. Then it is locked out and has to be reset by turning it off then back on.

 

It just sounds like a propane issue to me since they replaced it. I know you said you have replaced the regulator. Which requlator did you replace it with? I have had lots of problems over the years with the model that was supplied on our trailer that looks like this.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Fairview-Propane-Automatic-Changover-Regulator/dp/B06ZY5W3R7/ref=mp_s_a_1_14?ie=UTF8&qid=1550929872&sr=8-14&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&keywords=rv+regulator

 

A few campers ago I started replacing them with this one and have not had a problem with them.

 

https://www.amazon.com/MARSH-EXCEL-MEGR253-Change-Regulator/dp/B00KPR9Q30/ref=mp_s_a_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1550929872&sr=8-5&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&keywords=rv+regulator&dpPl=1&dpID=41R8vvkYz%2BL&ref=plSrch

 

The only other thing I would try is to replace the thermocouple that senses the flame. I know it's new but it just sounds like you are losing the flame or not sensing the flame and causing a fault that way.

 

I'm sure after all this time you have tried a differant propane tank and propane supplier.

 

 

 

 

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Tom & Cheryl 

LE II #305

2018 GMC 2500HD SLT Duramax

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Interesting posts.  All above are working to narrow down possible causes.

 

Looking at all you have done, I can envisionate a possible cause not documented.  Yes you have propane pressure.  This is one necessary quality... pressure.  But of what?  Hopefully 100% of the proper mixture of hydrocarbons we call propane.  It may be good enough to sustain fire for your high volume heater and water heater.  But the refrigerator is much more picky on what it consumes.

 

Said another way, you  may have bad gas.  Either in quality or air/nitrogen mixed in it.   Recommend you borrow a tank from another trailer/friend and see what if it will run on theirs.  That would effectively take gas quality out of the question.

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Tug:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Trailer Tow, FX-4, 4X4, Rear Locker

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Thanks, our three way fridges don’t have a thermocouple. The flame sensing is accomplished through the igniter electrode and fed to the spark coil. Apparently a very low voltage is created in the electrode as it reaches incandescence. Electromagic, I don’t understand all I know about this setup. I have purchased propane from many different sources in different states as we travel. For example, while in Quartzsite,  I buy my propane from the same vendor as everyone else. The most recent regulator is  from Camping World and is different from the factory supplied part. In testing propane pressure/flow, the regulator was able to maintain around 11 inches water as different appliances turned on and off. We checked another Oliver that had all of the propane appliances working ok and it only had a pressure of 8.5 or so inches water! All specifications say that 11 is the target number. When the “check” light comes on nothing else happens. The fridge never tries to restart it just sits there. When I turn the power off then back on it always starts and runs fine. It will run for a few minutes or a few days, or anything in between. Completely random. Thanks everyone for the sanity check questions. They are causing me (and should) to rethink everything I’ve looked at so far. Keep asking! Thanks!


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When the “check” light comes on nothing else happens. The fridge never tries to restart it just sits there. When I turn the power off then back on it always starts and runs fine. It will run for a few minutes or a few days, or anything in between. Completely random.

 

It sure sounds like it is failing on ingition failure. The "check" light will come on after 3 failed attempts of ingition and then lock out the fridge. Turning it off and back on resets it so it can try again. It sounds like the fridge is doing what it is suppose to do when there is a problem.

 

When you get someplace you can play with it, at this point I would open the lower vent and disconnect the trailer RV propane supply and pipe in a separate external tank and regulator and test it eliminating everything in the trailer piping and see what happens. You could have something weird happening like a problem with a hose coming apart on the inside or trash in the system somewhere.


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Tom & Cheryl 

LE II #305

2018 GMC 2500HD SLT Duramax

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It never goes into a retry mode. It will be running and either when it gets to temperature and normally shuts off the check light comes on or as it is running it just shuts down and the check light comes on. It never tries to restart. The only time I have witnessed as retry is when in testing I have closed the little manual valve located on the gas manifold just below the solenoid. When I close that valve, the flame goes out and the refrigerator tries to restart and if I reopen the valve the refrigerator will restart and run. Also, Lee if you are following this, didn’t we witness a failure while checking the propane pressure? Didn’t we see no reduction in pressure at the moment of failure? Basically the fridge just shuts off and the check light comes on. Thanks again for the questions!


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I’m at a total loss as to why two different refrigerators built close to two years apart have the same problem with running on propane!

runs flawlessly on both 110 volts AC and 12 volts DC.

For me this is a very interesting thread. The initial refer was replaced, new unit does exact same thing. I assume both ran fine on ac/dc, you state new unit runs fine on AC/DC. A problem tree diagram - may indicate:

 

1)bad refer, ok, but two different ones, probably not, but possible.

 

2)something not correct in the propane system (do another tree)

 

3)The design of the refer is such that it is very sensitive to "something" in the propane feed - all control components could be working to design intent - but close enough to one end or the other of the specs, (stacked specs all in same direction) that the  intermittent problem is variable - as to what I don't know. You indicate the Dinosaur board (I don't know what this is) works ok on propane, but doesn't coordinate with the controls for AC/DC . I find this interesting - not as sensitive to something in the propane system.

 

Lets assume the refer, as designed and built correctly, works fine in all other real world installations except yours. Lets also assume yours is working to design intent. ( a caveat - are there any document or not, reported issues from the consumer field that are similar to yours, if so, its an area to be investigated) and Lets also assume its installed correctly - the sealing thing from Campers world. It should be verified against the manufactures written instructions.

 

If it were me - I would systematically go through the propane system. Put aside what was previously done. Start from beginning, document each step. I doubt it is the propane itself - but it is possible - especially as you state the pressures are in spec. Transfer what you have to something else, start with ALL new propane material. If problem persists, install a new regulator, one that has a demonstrated a correct working history (If Oliver was inclined, take one off a proven working similar Oliver , install on yours.) Problem persists - replace or verify every piece of hardware between the regulator and the refer.  If problem persists - I would be consulting with the manufacture's design engineers - they should fully understand their products design, and have useful input, given your documented actions.

 

On the other hand, if I could not find - what should be a simple solution, I'd be working an a complete new refer that had a Danfoss or similar design compressor, running on AC/DC and go that route. Eliminate the propane absorption  technology all together.

 

I haven't helped you really, but I hope it helps in some manner.

 

Good luck.

 

As I have to0 often found - the problem is usually the simplest one - staring you right in the eyes. An Occam's razor kind of thing.

 

RB


Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" . Home is our little farm near Winchester TN

2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II - 2018 GMC 2500 Duramax 

"Die young - As late as possible"

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Thanks, you are exactly correct! Oliver, and maybe rightfully so, is extremely resistant to throwing parts at it until it works. That said, Oliver has been more than gracious in allowing me to do just that but in a conservative manner. They have “eaten” certain costs that are in no way their responsibility and that I inten to try to pay back just to be fair about the whole thing. Jason has bent over backwards to help and has stayed after hours doing research as I’m traveling. Due to the extremely random nature of the problem the replace and wait and see approach will take months and I can’t use the camper in the process. If I change one parameter the current test becomes very questionable. This type of open discussion has really helped me in this issue. While in Quartzsite Steve (scubarx) and Lee both helped me in at least two days (we about drove each other crazy) of testing and allowed me to use their working campers as test subjects.

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Ok, new noticed thing. All propane appliances have been working great the last couple days with one tank about half full and one less than half full according to the Mopeka tank gauges. Yesterday I had both tanks filled and last night the fridge failed (shut off) three times. This morning the water heater shut down and restarted twice. I have had very intermittent water heater issues as well for a long time but way more seldom than the fridge so have not tied the two together. Furnace issues like this would be extremely difficult to detect because once the furnace is warm the air output would stay warm for a while. The furnace could fail and restart a couple of times without being noticed. The fan noise would cover the sound of the failure/restart cycle and there are no indicator lights to notify me of any failures. Any thoughts? Probably time to replace both propane tanks to rule out this issue?


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Were it me, I would start front to back propane system review - starting as you said with the fuel itself. . I wonder if the regulator, or something is freezing as the fuel passes , then  thawing. Its a thought. But now with two or more appliances showing propane problems, you can focus on the common denominator.  Good luck

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Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" . Home is our little farm near Winchester TN

2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II - 2018 GMC 2500 Duramax 

"Die young - As late as possible"

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Ken, I think you still have two issues, 1. intermittent problem with the communication between the eyebrow board and main circuit board. ( reason I am saying this is because we were able to cause the refig  to fail when changing the temperature setting on the eyebrow board with flame on and 11” gas pressure at test port) 2. Oil in propane line restricting flow to other appliances.   ( remember we only saw the manometer respond to changes in demand after we cleaned the rubber hose.  Manometer was attached to rear propane port monitoring demand. I would change tanks as someone else suggested.   ) It might be time to do something drastic and remove and clean copper lines, new rubber hose, and a different tank since you are now having more problems with the furnace and water heater.


2015 Oliver Elite II


2016 Chevy 2500 Duramax

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Okay, hopefully a final update. We dropped off our camper at Oliver service on March 8th. The guys have been systematically testing probably a dozen different possibilities causing our fridge issues. We just today (5-7-19) picked up our camper! The fridge has been running for about 8 or 9 days now! It has never run more than 3 or 4 days before. The guys not only solved the fridge issues but performed several other maintenance needs as well. In picking up  our trailer today it was cleaner than when we dropped it off ! (we were on our way home from winter travel out West) We are so thankful for the always extra mile approach and always high standard of quality work these guys do each day! Words alone are so inadequate to thank the guys for their commitment and high quality work! But, thanks to all!

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Oh yeah, I  did forget to mention that! The main and eyebrow circuit boards. These had been replaced several times but apparently Dometic buys these from lowest bidder. They sometimes don’t communicate correctly or are overly sensitive to incoming power etc.? There was one Dometic tech who understood the situation and was able to really think about the problem and knew that they had a set of perfectly matched boards.  These seemed to work. Can’t really explain “electromagic” ! Anyway, thanks to everyone for the input along the way.

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Ken, that’s great news. We’ll be in Nashville Thursday. We’ve been at Table Rock State Park outside of Branson this week, nice park and lots to do in Branson. Mike


Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

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Ken that is really ,,really great news you can now have milk with your cereal. Happy safe travels see ya soon. And we all do like to travel, thanks for the quick pit stop we really enjoyed the visit on the way to DC. Thanks Gary

 

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Gary & Jona

2016 Silverado 2500 Diesel

Legacy Elite II Hull 81 

 

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I have tried to replace the eyebrow and main boards independently before.  In three different cases it did not work.  My understanding from reading on one of the parts suppliers sites is that the boards must be replaced in a matched set.  The reason for this is the firmware within the boards must be compatible for them to communicate properly.  If the firmware is different all sorts of weird things can happen both in the indicator lights and function of the refrigerator.

 

Glad to see it's fixed.  Are you still having issues with the water heater?

 

 

 

- Randy


2018 LE2 STD #365


2018 GMC 2500HD SLT Duramax 4x4

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