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Propane Refrigerator Repair

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I have a 1984 Toyota Dolphin model 300 that I need some advice on, and would appreciate any help the forum can provide. I've always had issues with the old propane fridge, but usually just ignored it in favor of my 12v edgestar. Now that I'm using the toyhouse a lot more, I need the propane unit working reliably. The unit has the following information labeled on it:

Size: 3.9 cu ft
Model: RM 461

Product No: 9287007

Ser No: 402 8172

Before, it seemed to start up okay but would go out all the time. I don't know if it was from wind or some other reason, but that seems inconsistent with other's experiences. Fast-forward 1 year and now it has even more problems. Yesterday I was able to start it up fine, and from the access panel everything seemed to be working. I shut it down to clean it out, and when I tried to restart it the physical controls started giving me problems.

The main issue is that the safety (labeled "C" on the instructions) and the piezo button (labeled "D") don't work anymore. Pushing in button C and then pushing D doesn't result in the "click" that I'm used to hearing, it just pushes in all the way. There is no flame visible, either from the viewport or from the access panel on the outside.

So there's my two issues:
1) fix igniter system

2) stop flame from going out so often

I like the fridge and I'd prefer to repair rather than replace, but not sure if that's an option. I know so little about these units, and don't have any of the original literature or a repair manual. I've looked through the previous posts on the issue, but most seem to focus on debate of electric vs propane operation (which is something else entirely).

Does anyone know if my unit can be repaired, replaced, or upgraded to a modern unit? Has anyone had luck fixing similar problems? Would an RV shop be the right place to get it looked at, or would they run away from an old unit like that?

I am hoping to find the best solution to fix or replace the existing form. I'm not looking to get radical (such as conversion to solar), but all advice is welcome. Thanks in advance!

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You can go into PPL online parts catalog and find the igniter and push rod but they are not cheap and you would have to know what exactly was wrong.

http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/parts/rv-refrigerators/rv-refrigerator-parts-instr.htm

There are a couple of people who do fridge repair in the bay area who advertise on craigslist

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/scz/rvs/4360500507.html

Oops make that one. Same phone number

Linda S

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i think waiter once had a post about sticking igniter and how to fix it not shure

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Here is the link to my Igniter repair. After this, never had any more problems.

http://toyotamotorhome.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=3499

While you have this disassembled, use a wire brush and clean up the flame tube. It probably has a layer of rust thats blocking the passages, making it easier to get blown out. Also make sure all the covers are installed over the burner are.

One other item to look at, make sure the roof vent cover is OK. These are very susceptible to UV, they get brittle and break. This could allow too much air flow when your driving down the road and blow out the flame.

John Mc

88 Dolphin 4 Auto

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Okay, I was able to fix the piezo lighter based on the referenced thread and started up the system yesterday. Didn't get any cooling after a few hours, so I shut it off. Pretty sure that the guts are bad at this point, looks like I need to replace now :(

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This is the cheapest. You get 100 bucks back after you return the core

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dometic-Cooling-unit-RM461-Only-385-after-rebate-100-issued-for-core-return-/390031439355?pt=Motors_RV_Trailer_Camper_Parts_Accessories&hash=item5acfaf75fb&vxp=mtr

This is a place I have previously bought a cooling unit from

http://rvicebox.com/CUPricing.htm?gclid=CKbMs7D2nr0CFckWMgodAicA-Q

Comes with full instructions and you also have to return the core but with both they send you a shipping label so no cost to you.

Or you could call that guy from craigslist. I do think he repairs them. Ask him if he used to work at Cranes refrigeration. Closed a while back and those guys must have gone somewhere. It was in Vallejo and they were very skilled. Bought from them in the past too

Linda S

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Thanks for the advice, I think I will give that CL post a call. It would be great to work with someone who has experience with these things.

And damn I need my fridge working again, I keep skunkin my nice beers.

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Make sure your frig is level. If its not level, it will not work.

John Mc

88 Dolphin 4 Auto (SOLD)

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And damn I need my fridge working again, I keep skunkin my nice beers.

Got a chuckle on that one...Now that it a serious issue!

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