RV Dometic Fridge Not Working – What To Do?

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Traveling with an RV is like seeing the country from a home on wheels. Like every modern home, the refrigerator is a necessary appliance. And like every appliance, you’ll have a fridge quit working from time to time. If your Dometic RV fridge isn’t working, there isn’t any need to panic. We’ve researched this model appliance from numerous professional resources, so that you’ll be able to determine what the cause of the malfunction is. And how to fix it.

The Dometic RV refrigerator might not be working for the following reasons:

  • The unit is not level
  • The fridge is too hot
  • Improper ventilation
  • Tripped circuit breaker
  • Low/out of propane

Now that we know the most common reasons why your Dometic RV fridge might not be working, we’ll go into more detail on how to troubleshoot each one. You might also be wondering how you can reset the Dometic fridge, or how long this unit can run on a battery. For the answers to these questions and more, read ahead in this post to see what we’ve discovered.

Two young men carrying refrigerator for New Year party in front of their camper trailer, RV Dometic Fridge Not Working - What To Do?

Troubleshooting your Dometic RV refrigerator

As we outlined earlier in this post, there are a number of reasons that your appliance might not be working properly. Here, we’ll examine each one that we mentioned, so that you can safely work your way through them.

The unit is not level

In order for the Dometic fridge’s compressor to properly operate, the appliance must maintain a certain degree of level. If your fridge is leaning more than just slightly out of level, you’ll need to correct the problem. Doing so is easy. A professional leveler can be purchased inexpensively at any hardware store, and you don’t need to be a pro to use one properly.

Set the level so that it goes side to side on the top of the Dometic fridge. Make sure the bubbles in the level are centered. If they are not, you can adjust the feet. Do the same with the level front to back.

Of course, you’ll also want to make sure that your RV is parked on a level spot. Even the slightest incline can throw the level off, resulting in your appliance not cooling properly.

The fridge is too hot

Parking your RV in a spot where the fridge is in direct sunlight can cause the unit to heat up. This can impact how well your Dometic will cool its contents.

Also, you will want to avoid placing too many hot leftovers inside the fridge at once. The heat escaping from your food can rapidly warm up the inside of the fridge, making it take longer to cool the inside of the Dometic down to proper temperature. Rather than immediately placing leftovers inside of the appliance, allow them to cool naturally down to room temperature before placing them inside the fridge (with food safety in mind, of course).

Modern Camper Van 12V Refrigerator. RVing and Food Storage Theme

Improper ventilation

Blocked or dirty vents will prevent your Dometic from working properly. Make certain that the vents have no obstructions. Should they be obstruction-free, carefully examine the vents for dirt and debris. Routinely clean the vents to avoid buildup, and keep your appliance running efficiently. 

Tripped circuit breaker

If you’re able to run your Dometic off propane, but not off electric, then you could have a power issue. Check your breaker to see if it has been tripped. If you’re running the electric off of battery power, be sure the batteries are fully charged.

Low/out of propane

Should your appliance operate on electricity, but isn’t functioning on the propane setting, then you will need to check your level of propane. Is the tank nearly empty? Refill it at your earliest convenience. Until then, only use the Dometic on electric or battery power.

How does a Dometic RV refrigerator work?

This appliance is considered to be an absorption refrigeration system. Tubing throughout the inside of the Dometic refrigerator has liquid ammonia running through it. As liquid ammonia is extremely cold, the passage of this element quickly chills the copper tubing, thus resulting in the interior of the fridge having a very cool temperature.

How do you turn on a Dometic RV refrigerator?

If you’re planning on leaving in your RV soon, you’ll want to be certain that the refrigerator is on and cooled prior to setting out. It’s recommended that you plug into the electricity at home 48 hours prior to leaving. This will ensure that your Dometic is cooled to proper temperature before you leave.

The “on” switch for the Dometic is most commonly located on the top of the front face of the unit. Press the button on, then set it to “automatic” mode. This will make your fridge toggle in between propane and electric power, as needed. Of course, be sure that your propane tank is full and that your electric components are operational prior to leaving.

How do I reset Dometic?

  1. Disconnect all electrical power to the appliance.
  2. Push and hold the ‘fridge reset’ button for ten seconds. This is located on the front control panel.  
  3. Let go of the button, wait ten seconds, then press the button again and release it.
  4. After another ten seconds, press and release the button again.
  5. After five more seconds, repeat steps 1 through 4.
  6. Reconnect electrical power.

If you’ve never dealt with your RV’s electrical system before, consult a professional before doing so. As with anything electric, severe injury or death can occur if you make a mistake. So please proceed with caution.

Where is the fuse on a Dometic fridge?

The Dometic fridge has a 5 amp fuse. This fuse is located on the back of the appliance, inside of an insulated piece of black tubing. The tubing is located less than six inches from the chimney. By sliding the tubing back, you’ll expose the fuse. The only way to remove it is to cut it free. If you’ve never done this before, it’s best to have a professional examine it and replace it. This will help avoid both injury to yourself and damage to your Dometic appliance.

How long will Dometic fridge run on battery?

Under typical circumstances, you can expect your Dometic fridge to run for six to eight hours on battery power. If you plan on running your appliance for this long, make certain that your batteries are fully charged and functional.

Is Dometic a good brand?

This brand of RV refrigerator is one of the top-rated models in production. They are durable, long-lasting, and relatively easy to maintain. With proper use and care, you can expect a long life from this brand.

Is Waeco and Dometic the same?

Dometic is the parent company of Waeco. Recently, Dometic merged the branding of Waeco under the Dometic name. However, in Australia, Dometic still operates under the Waeco name.

Is Dometic or Engel better?

Both brands have strong consumer reviews and are known for their dependability. While Dometic is better known for larger RV refrigerator units, many travelers looking for a compact fridge will gravitate toward Engel. 

In Closing

Two young men carrying refrigerator for New Year party in front of their camper trailer, RV Dometic Fridge Not Working - What To Do?

Keeping your food cool indoors is a needed convenience for the RV traveler. While your refrigerator might go on the fritz from time to time when you’re on the road, it’s good to know that the most common causes can be easily identified and remedied. 

If you found this post on the Dometic RV refrigerator to be helpful, we believe you’ll enjoy reading the following posts on recreational vehicles:

33 Best RV Furniture Online Stores That You Need to Know About

How To Keep RV Cabinets And Drawers Closed When Traveling

What Bathroom Accessories Should You Get For A New RV?

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