Question about Dometic RM2652 Refrigerator

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I don't currently have a problem, but have recently heard that one shouldn't leave their refer turned off when it is parked for a long while and not in use - like over the winter. This person said they were told to keep the refer running all the time. I don't know what brand of refer they have, but they had to replace theirs, and were told to run it all the time. Does it matter? Is that advice good or bad? Our 5th wheel is a 1997 and we have never run it full time, just when we are out and using it that way. It has never given us any problems.

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Depends. How often do you travel? Weekly, monthly, once a year?

If you travel frequently, you might as well leave it on. Like all machinery, it likes to run. Start-up and shut-down have costs not necessarily associated with daily operation. When you start it up, there is a shock to the system (the act of heating up - stretching and expanding the system) just as when you shut it down there is a shock to the system (shrinking as it cools). Keeping it on reduces the dampness at the rear of the unit and thus the rust on the exterior as well as the number of times it gets its startup/shutdown shock. There is also something to be said for keeping the amonia solution circulating on the inside. I am not a absorption refrig engineer - I suspect there is benefit to keeping the liquid circulating on the inside of the unit ... though, when these units fail, it is usually attributed to rust blocking the orifice inside the unit. An absorbtion refrig should, in theory, operate forever as there are no moving parts to wear out.

I am on my 4th unit - three Norcold and one Dometic in my 1985 Prowler. We have not taken the unit out 'camping' for more than 15 years, rather, we use it at home for a get-away when it is hot (our house is not AC). Prior to that, we camped at least twice per month April through October. We were ready to go at a moments notice. Now, we keep it full of beverage and snack ready for imprompty picnics and unexpected guests. We usually turn it off in the winter, but not always. We do expect to take our rig out someday in the future ... even though it would be a 'bussmans holiday' for me. It is ready, fully equipped and packed except for bread, milk and eggs.

If you go out once a month for a weekend during the summer and otherwise don't use it ... I would advise you to turn it on a day or so ahead of your departure (to get it running and cold) and secure it when you come home. If you are a frequent traveler ... leave it on during your expected travel season. It will, of course, use electricity (12 volts, 110 volts and or gas) while setting at your storage place. Your frig needs 12 volts for control and it needs either 110 volts or gas to create the heat needed to boil the amonia solution. The 12 volts will come from your battery, even if plugged in.

Keep your battery in good condition. If your battery is original, it is time to replace it. Your battery not only powers your frig and other 12 appliances and lighting in your rig, your emergency brake will not work in the case of break away if your battery is dead. Don't depend on your battery charger to provide a good supply of 12 volts like your battery can. Typically, a battery charger will produce 15 amps of 12 volt power. Your battery will typically supply more than 100 amp hours of power with no outside assistance. Everything just runs better when fully powered by your fully charged battery.

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Posted on Aug 23, 2010

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Actually, "very good advice". For some unknown reason, when a refrigerator is left to stand, an acidic action seems to take place internally. Most of my repairs in Holiday seasons are housesholders that have turned their refrigerators off. What i suggest to the customers is to buy a cheap 24 hour mechanical timer and set it to 1 hour on, and 4 hours off. just enough to keep the system warm and in operation.(The older the fridge is the more chance it has of becoming a problem if left for long periods).

Posted on Aug 23, 2010


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