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  • Well surprise Im Off Topic

    I need some advice. I been looking through the google and internet for information on Propane Fridges. I have a 1983 Bigfoot camper . The fridge is a swedish one. (I thought they only made Saabs and big Hootered Honeys??) anyhow it starts lights well and works for about 15 hours then stops?? Then immediately will relight and work like well??14 to 15 hours it seems. I have One new propane tank and a older one connected together with no leaks. (I also have a co2 sniffer in camper) I was wondering if the blue mark on the (looks like paint) Tee connector from the two tanks means it has a leak> The guy at the trailer RV centre that sold me the new Man Escape Hatch cover that fit like Sh.... ( he said the paint mark means it leaked or is leaking but i didnt hear anything?) Said he would do a propane inspection for $110 dollars. After watching him stagger around my camper break my door (i fixed it) then tell me oh you could dance on the roof of a bigfoot camper? Well when my fat arse was up on it it suire didnt seem happy making crunchy noises and such so I was very carefull to spread my cheekks and didperse the Load a bit LOL. Any how i had to hammer out the old cover hammer in the new one? I think i will have to remove it again and sand a Bunch to get a better sliding fit and maybe grease the aluminumn hinge? Anyways long winded got a contract job. Was up so high yesterday I darent look down working as a Millwright at a grain plant (Yuch)

  • #2
    Safe way to check for gas leaks is soapy water slopped all around the connections, bubbles mean leaks. Spectacular way is to check with a flame!

    Regards Ian.
    You might not like what I say,but that doesn't mean I'm wrong.


    • #3
      Originally posted by madman
      I need some advice. I been looking through the google and internet for information on Propane Fridges. I have a 1983 Bigfoot camper . The fridge is a swedish one. (I thought they only made Saabs and big Hootered Honeys??) anyhow it starts lights well and works for about 15 hours then stops?? Then immediately will relight and work like well??14 to 15 hours it seems.
      Check it's not set to Swedish daylight saving time.


      Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.


      • #4
        I don't really know much about this stuff but would suspect the following if it were mine.

        Maybe low on refrigerant or a vapor lock developing after it's on awhile. You know they don't like false starts or not being run for more then a few minutes at a time. If you turn it on for a minute then turn it off for a minute and back on it may not work.
        - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
        Thank you to our families of soldiers, many of whom have given so much more then the rest of us for the Freedom we enjoy.

        It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.


        • #5
          Blondes in Volvos.........

          Husqvarna hotties.......

          Soap test quick and cheap.
          Last edited by hardtail; 06-25-2009, 09:47 AM.
          Opportunity knocks once, temptation leans on the doorbell.....


          • #6
            If you have a cover for the gas cylinders, put it over them (and the tee connector) and come back in a day, remove it slowly and sniff inside the cover for gas odor.

            The soap bubble test is good. The flame test would probably do no harm with a slow leak, but if the leak is slow, it probably would not work.

            It would take a large leak to drop the pressure enough to cause the refrigerator to stop working or the pilot to go out. I doubt that is the case. More likely some kind of stoppage. I had fits with a water heater in a trailer that had been disconnected for a while. Insects had made a home in the gas line and their leavings got into the regulator. It would run for a while and then the pilot would go out. It had to be disassembled and cleaned to finally fix the problem. Always plug gas lines when they are disconnected.

            Final thought, it's been a while since I have had to buy one, but a new tee probably would not cost as much as his test. But I would go to another RV place, this guy sounds flaky.
            Paul A.
            SE Texas

            Make it fit.
            You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!


            • #7
              Ah yes....campers and motorhomes, I remember them well.

              When I worked at one dealer out on the "left coast" we had an Itasca franchise, and it brought in many, many customers. Unfortunately, neither GM or Itasca wanted to pay anybody to fix their abominations, and the customers had no intention of paying either. Of course, as mechanics, we had the tools and the training to handle almost anything that needed to be addressed, from an engine replacement to shower curtains. One thing became quite evident early on. If you worked on camp trailers, fifth-wheels, or motorhomes, you did it for fun, because nobody was going to pay you for your trouble.

              I did a few motorhome projects in between paying jobs, just to pass the time, and of course, to learn new, and possibly useful skills. I recall the coach manufacturer was always blaming failures on the chassis builder, and the latter likewise. Get involved in one of these squabbles, and you would go hungry.
              Independent RV shops were no better. They loved to hang the shingle out front so they could masquerade as a franchised dealer. Few were, and almost none of their employees were "factory trained"...Most were high school drop-outs. The reason these guys didn't have skilled people is the same as it was in franchised dealers. Nobody wanted to pay the help. So, they had to resort to hiring dopers and guys with bad driving records because they would accept the wage, under the table, and show up for work...most of the time.

              Aside from that, your refrigerator probably isn't being vented properly or the carbon monoxide sensor is tripping. Ineffective venting causes it to "overtemp" and shut down. Same goes for the carbon monoxide sensor...over time the gas builds up and the system shuts down.
              You're lucky in one respect. Many people have been killed by carbon monoxide poisoning in the past. Your high quality Swedish refrigerator saved your life. If you can find one, have a real professional take a look at your fridge.

              Escape hatches, for some reason, never fit worth beans, and never worked well either. They were meant to be used once, and then replaced. disposable.
              When I worked in a County fleet shop, we had a bunch of cut-away buses (that's the ones that have the cab of a van on the front, and a big 'ol fiberglass and cardboard body on the back) NTSHA required each one to have a minimum of one escape hatches. Though the bus chassis was always overloaded, we seldom had problems with them, but the body was another thing. Two weeks in service, and nothing fit. Bus doors would jam, and sometimes fall off, wheelchair lifts would malfunction constantly, and every damned escape hatch would leak like a sieve, especially since the dim bulb drivers mistook them for roof vents. (Nothing destroys a blow-molded plastic hatch faster than holding it open in a 60mph slipstream.) My boss, another dim bulb, paper shuffler, politician, told me to lock the hatches shut, and seal them with RTV sealer. I refused, and he threatened me with insubordination.
              After dealing with functional idiots for fifteen years, I came back with the suggestion that he issue that order in writing, and sign it. That way, when somebody gets killed or injured because the escape hatch was disabled, they would know who to come to..... I never heard another word about it.
              Your best option would be to carefully remove the offending escape hatch, and replace it with a brand new one, taking care not to distort the frame, and make sure it's properly sealed to the coach. (The original was peobably installed by an illegal alien making $2 an hour, or a high school drop out doper.) Usually, a person who takes some measure of pride in his work can install one in a reasonable amount of time, with it working perfectly nearly every time.
              No good deed goes unpunished.


              • #8
                Lazy thermocouple or mis-directed flame, not enough flame (can usually adjust this), weird draft park where it is?
                Cheers, Bob


                • #9
                  Go to to find the answers on your fridge. There's many possibilities, one of which is low gas pressure due to a faulty regulator. That site shows you how to check the gas pressure.

                  Do NOT assume that the pressure is OK! My RV fridge quit working and I discovered that my year-old regulator was bad. Installed the old one (I never throw anything away!) and found it to also have low output pressure, on the order of 3" W.C. instead of the specified 11".


                  • #10
                    Hmm. You say it runs for many hours, etc. Does it do any cooling during this time?
                    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


                    • #11

                      Yes the freezer gets very cold nuff to freeze water I gotta get it going thanx Mike


                      • #12
                        Blowing out?

                        Flame looks blue stove will light all 4 burners and fridge runs then a day or 2 later when i check it again its out. i do hammer down the Highway at anything from 60 to 80 miles an hour. BUT even going 60 it seems to keep going? Thermocouple/? thanx Mike


                        • #13
                          I think your in BC, there is a guy in Enderby that works on propane fridges and one other guy I think is Ashcroft. I have had no luck with Enderby. re problem might be low voltage. Some fridges need power to operate. If it does you should also look for heating element in the door seal and shut it off. It's for high humidty areas and that is not here. Co sniffers draw close to 1/2 amp. Re fridge very important to keep level is applies even if on electricity.
                          Does it run good on electricity?


                          • #14
                            I worked in the retail propane industry 20 yrs ago but have forgotten most of the service stuff. My 2 cents: Need to determine if it is a supply problem or appliance problem.....If other appliances run well, especially the stove at full go, then I would suspect appliance (don't rule out CO2 sensor). Does the refrig have an electrical drawing? Check for limit swithces in the drawing.

                            I know, not much help. Also, it is my experience that it is difficult to find "qualified" service people in the the retail propane industry. If I couldn't fix the problem myself, I would go to RV dealer.