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Bailey Cartagena Refrigerator


Paul NZ
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Having problems with a Dometic RMD8551  190L 3 way absorption refrigerator in a 2014 Bailey Cartagena caravan.  Can only achieve +7 to 10 degrees C on either 240v or gas and minus 13 degrees C in freezer. Anyone with any ideas please to fix or recommendations of a suitable compressor fridge to fit that space ?
 

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On 05/06/2020 at 04:44, Paul NZ said:

Having problems with a Dometic RMD8551  190L 3 way absorption refrigerator in a 2014 Bailey Cartagena caravan.  Can only achieve +7 to 10 degrees C on either 240v or gas and minus 13 degrees C in freezer. Anyone with any ideas please to fix or recommendations of a suitable compressor fridge to fit that space ?
 

There seems a lot of variability with this model, with some owners having no issues at all and others with recurrent problems including myself. There's a few generic things to consider but no magic bullet.

  • Don't expect good fridge cooling better that maybe 20 degrees below ambient at best
  • Check the van is level, better than 3 deg fore & aft and 6 deg lateral
  • Allow at least 24 hours for cooling
  • Avoid direct sun on the fridge vent side
  • Watch out for an awning on the Cartagena restricting cooling vent air flow
  • The more intense heat of a gas flame is usually better at getting coolant recirculation going
  • Paradoxically initial cooling seems better when not using the maximum setting. Use 3 or 4 rather than setting 5.
  • Check winter vents aren't fitted outside of winter months
  • Check the ventilation tunnel and vent filters are clear of obstructions. There's supposed to be 2-3 inches maximum behind the fridge carcass inside the tunnel to create a good chimney effect and force the cooling air over the heat exchanger.
  • Consider gentle assisted air flow through the vents or even an after-market fan kit such as from Dometic. Too much forced airflow will also prevent the cooling process working properly.
  • Try removing top and bottom vents to see if it helps.
  • Sometimes crystalline deposits can form inside the heat exchanger preventing adequate coolant recirculation. Particularly if the fridge has been run extensively in the past when out of level. There's no solution except replacement of the heat exchanger which is a bolt in replacement.
  • It takes several hours for the temperature to recover if the door is open for a minute or so. So don't keep opening the door to check|
  • Check the temperature sensor is clipped correctly on the fins inside the fridge.
  • Check the door seal for leaks
  • I'm not aware on any compressor alternative apart from free-standing models. Perhaps something for the Australian market, but it won't run silently.
  • Oh and reduce the fridge air volume by filling it while still allowing room for air circulation.

I expect others on here may have better ideas.

Edited by TinShack
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