How to Fix Dometic Fridge Not Cooling Issues? Quick Troubleshooting Guide

Explore how to fix dometic fridge not cooling issues with us in this article. Learn how to identify the common problems and how to troubleshoot your RV fridge.

Before we teach you How to fix Dometic Fridge not cooling problems, you need to identify them. If your RV appliance is not cooling properly, perhaps the power outlet is faulty, or the RV is not leveled properly. Other possible reasons include – overloading, faulty components, damaged thermistor, wrong temperature settings etc.

To fix Dometic RV Fridge not cooling issues, you should examine the power supply and temperature settings, clean condenser coils and vents, do a manual defrost/reset and repair all damaged components.

Dometic RV fridge is a great travel buddy to have when driving or during off-grid camping, especially when it comes to keeping your sodas and drinks chilled for lengthy periods. However, just like any other electronic appliance, your RV fridge could suddenly start malfunctioning and require troubleshooting or repairing.

The rest of this article will shed light on the exclusive details of all common problems and how you can get rid of them with our step-by-step troubleshooting guide.

How to Fix Dometic Fridge Not Cooling Issues? Quick Troubleshooting Guide

Reasons Why Your Dometic RV Fridge Not Cooling Like Before

Before you can troubleshoot your appliance correctly, you need to identify the problems first, right? Let’s go through some of the possible issues your RV fridge might be suffering through.

Damaged Door Gasket: The pliable strips, also known as refrigerator door seals, could be faulty, causing cold internal air to leak outside and warm air to sneak in from the external atmosphere. As a result, your RV fridge is struggling to maintain a steady and cold internal temperature.
Internal Blockages: Sometimes, internal blockages (caused by dirt, debris, dead roaches, food crumbs etc.) within the cooling system can hinder the circulation of refrigerant, leading to poor cooling performance.
Aging Components: For old Dometic RV fridge models that are running longer than 8-10 years, components such as the compressor and refrigerant system may start to wear out, leading to decreased cooling efficiency.
Excessive Frost Buildup: If the evaporator coils, cooling fins and vents are covered with frost and ice, this will in turn prevent efficient cooling.
Wiring Problems: Sometimes, loose or damaged wiring connections can also negatively impact the fridge’s electrical components, leading to tripped circuit breakers and damaged power units. As a result, your appliance will not be able to cool efficiently.
Blocked Airflow: Good ventilation is key for all fridges to maintain the optimum temperature. Insufficient airflow around the fridge can hinder its cooling efficiency. Moreover, the air vents could also be blocked and unable to rotate properly.
Defective Thermistor: The thermistor is a sensor that monitors the fridge’s temperature and sends signals to the control board. A faulty thermistor can lead to inaccurate temperature readings and cooling
Control Board Malfunction: The control board is the brain of the fridge’s cooling system. An unresponsive or faulty control board can disrupt the cooling process and will require immediate replacing or repairing.
Wrong Thermostat Settings: Sometimes, if the temperature settings on the fridge are not appropriately set in accordance to the contents put inside the fridge, the cooling process may not work out effectively.
Incorrect Leveling: For efficient cooling, the refrigerant of your RV fridge relies on gravity to flow through the system. If the RV is not leveled properly, air bubbles can form within the refrigerant lines. Consequently, these air bubbles can prevent proper circulation of the refrigerant.

How to Detect if Your Dometic RV Fridge Isn’t Cooling Properly?

Good question! In this subsection of this article, we are going to highlight some of the common warning signs and symptoms that indicate your appliance is unable to maintain the optimum cold temperature required. Let’s begin!

Excessive Moisture / Condensation: When you open the fridge door, you may notice water dripping from the upper cabinet along with condensation on the food packages and soda cans. 
Warm Temp: Does the internal temperature feel warmer than usual every time you open the fridge? If the temperature inside the fridge compartment feels like 35°F or less, it indicates your fridge isn’t cooling properly.
Food Spoiling Quickly: Where’s that stinky stench coming from? If the inside of your fridge smells like dead animals and your perishables are spoiling too early (even before the expiry date), it’s certainly because of warm temperature issues.
Exterior Too Hot: Does the back of your fridge exterior feel burning hot to the touch? That is because your fridge is overheating in the quest to maintain a cold temperature.
Compressor Noises: Hear those loud buzzing sounds coming from the back of your appliance? That’s the compressor. It’s producing such strange noises because of overworking and running non-stop without any breaks.
Increased Bills: If your electricity bills have increased for no apparent reason, perhaps your fridge is overworking to circulate cold air, thus consuming more power.

How to Fix Dometic Fridge Not Cooling on Electric Issues on Your Own?

Now that you’ve detected the symptoms indicating your fridge is not cooling properly and also figured out the possible problems, you should try out some of these troubleshooting methods by yourself before calling in a professional repairman. After all, why spend the extra bucks if you can handle it yourself?

Examine Power Supply: The first step is to ensure that your fridge is getting a sufficient and stable amount of power supply from the electric outlet it’s plugged into. Moreover, if the circuit breaker for the fridge is tripped, you’ll need to get it repaired by a professional technician immediately.
Level Your RV: Any RV fridge, if not leveled properly, will not function optimally. If your RV is tilted or parked on an uneven surface, it will definitely hamper the cooling performance. Therefore, use a leveling tool to ensure the RV is balanced. You can also raise or lower the rollers and leveling legs accordingly.
Adjust Temperature Settings: Double-check whether the temperature settings on the fridge control board are appropriately configured. Most fridges have a default temperature setting of ‘4’, if it’s lower than that, you should increase it right away. Remember, the ideal internal temperature should be 40°F or above.
Clean the Rear of the Fridge: If the back cooling unit (which is composed of the condenser coils, air vents, motor fan, dripping pan etc.) is smothered with dust and debris, that may impede cooling efficiency. Begin cleaning right away using a brush or a vacuum cleaner.
Inspect Door Gasket: Blocked or loose door seals can lead to cold air leakage, making your fridge work harder but less efficiently. Check whether the fridge door closes tightly or is there a gap between. You will need to replace the gasket seals for any damage, wear, or gaps to fix the cooling issues.
Ensure Proper Air Flow: Make sure that there is enough space of at least 2 inches around the fridge for proper air ventilation. Also, you should not store boxes or anything heavy on the top space. Cramping the area around the fridge can prevent heat dissipation and affect cooling.
Examine Gas Supply (For Gas Models Only): If your Dometic fridge runs on propane and not electricity, ensure that the gas supply is sufficient. The gas lines should not have any leaks or blockages. Furthermore, double-check that the gas valve is open.
Perform Manual Defrost: You should go for a manual defrost only if you observe ice build ups here and there inside the fridge. You may also notice frost at the back unit on the cooling fins. For a quick defrost, take everything out from the fridge, pull out the power cord to turn off the appliance and then allow all the ice accumulation to thaw for 30 minutes. Don’t forget to collect and remove the excess water afterwards.
Repair Damaged Components: Unfortunately, there’s nothing much you can do if any of the internal components such as the thermistor, fan motor or coils are damaged for good. You will have to get them either repaired by a professional repairman or permanently replaced with new ones. If your Dometic RV fridge is still covered under warranty, you should contact their customer helpdesk for a free repair service.

How Do I Reset My Dometic RV Refrigerator?

Believe it or not, a simple reset can solve most of the problems of your appliance, especially if it stopped cooling and not working properly. It takes a couple of minutes and is super simple. You don’t have to manually reset as most Dometic refrigerator models typically come with a designated reset button. Some RV models may have it inside the fridge on the door or even near the compressor at the very back.

How to reset dometic rv fridge?
Follow these 3 simple steps to successfully reset Dometic RV Fridge:
Power Off
Disconnect your fridge from all power sources and empty out the insides. Don’t forget to turn off the power at the circuit breaker.
Press Reset Button
Take help from the User Manual Booklet to locate the reset button. Once the fridge is all empty, press and hold the reset button for 10 seconds.
Switch On
Wait for 10 minutes. Now, power on your fridge and adjust the temp settings from the beginning.

Remember, after a successful reset, you should not put the foods back in right away. After making adjustments to the temperature, you should wait for at least 24 hours for the internal temperature to be optimum and cold enough and then put everything back inside.

5 Tips to Help Your RV Fridge Cool Efficiently 24/7

5 Tips to Help Your RV Fridge Cool Efficiently 24/7

With regular maintenance and care, you will never have to witness the nightmare of your delicious foods spoiling quickly because your fridge can’t cool effectively. Follow these useful maintenance tips to extend the lifespan
of your RV appliance and keep it running smoothly.

Tip #1: Clean the Interior: You must regularly clean the fridge interior, including shelves, drawers, egg trays etc. Always clean spilled drinks in the fridge and remove spoilt food promptly to increase bacterial growth.
Tip #2: Clean the Exterior: Don’t neglect the back unit when it comes to cleaning. Always clean the air vents, the condenser coils and all other crucial components to prevent buildups of moisture, dirt and debris. Also, always keep an eye out for mice and roaches infestation at the back. Use insecticide sprays if necessary.
Tip #3: Ensure Correct Food Placement: If you mindlessly put foods here and there, the internal temperature will not be able to circulate evenly throughout, rather fluctuate frequently. Therefore, arrange and store food contents correctly in a way that promotes proper airflow inside the fridge. Refrain from overloading your fridge, as it hinders the cooling process.
Tip #4: Regular Usage: If your RV fridge isn’t used for extended periods, consider running it on a regular basis to maintain its functionality. Also, don’t open the fridge door frequently and unnecessarily as this enables warm moisture to sneak in.
Tip #5: Annual Professional Inspection: It’s wise to schedule an annual inspection with a professional technician. They can perform a thorough check of the fridge’s components, ensuring everything is in working order.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Does My Dometic RV Fridge Work Fine on Gas But Not on Electric?
If your RV fridge works fine on propane gas but not when plugged into an electric socket, some possible reasons for this include – blown fuses, short circuit, insufficient AC power supply, faulty electric outlet, damaged wiring set, bad heating element etc. It will be hard to detect which one it is without prior knowledge and experience. Hence, seek help from an expert technician.
Does an RV fridge Need a Battery to Run on Electricity?
In the case of a residential fridge unit, no you don’t really need a battery to run on electricity. The unit only requires 120 volts of power from the shore power.
How Long Do Dometic RV Refrigerators Last?
Under normal circumstances, a Dometic RV fridge typically lasts for 8-12 years. Nevertheless, with proper care and regular maintenance, you can extend the lifespan to 15 years or more.
Why Does My RV Fridge Work on Electric But Not Gas?
If your fridge is working on 120V AC or 12V DC, you should examine the propane level on the gas tank and see whether the gas valve is open or not. Also, the burner tube should be clean and free from all kinds of lint, hair, dirt and debris.

Final Thoughts

With the help of our troubleshooting guide, you can solve most of the common RV fridge issues on your own. But, there are going to be complicated problems that require the attention and expertise of an RV technician, especially when it comes to rewiring, repairing and replacing.

If you’re not much of a tech geek and can’t figure out what exactly is wrong with your appliance, simply go for a hard reset and adjust the temperature settings from scratch. Then observe for two more days to see if the issues have resolved. Otherwise, grab your phone and call an electrician.