refridgerator freezer problems on the road
My wife and I have a Thor Siesta 24ft class C - bought new 2 years ago - still feel like newbies.. We did a 3 month trip to Alaska this summer - loved it! - ran into a problem with the Norcold fridge and I don't know if I was failing to do some maint, or what....
Anyway - all working fine - about 2 months into the trip, I noticed some frost buildup on the back wall of the freezer. There are no fins there - just a white metal plate with some screws or bolts. Naturally, I ignored it. Over time it did seem to be getting thicker. Not solid ice - it felt like rough crystals, but did not come off easily on my fingers.
One morning, we wake up, and the fridge and freezer are warm. And there is a bunch of water on the bottom of the freezer. I think we were running on propane, and the normal lights were on. We were quite level so I did not think that was the problem. We cleaned it up, bought some ice for fridge and freezer compartments, and drove on, hoping it would get cold. No luck. I looked at back of the fridge, and all looked ok, altho I did not really know what I was looking at.
We made some calls - found someone who would look at it - but figured any parts would be hard to come by. Anyway, this guy looks at a couple of things, then opens the cover on the burner, blows on it - we hear a puff like the burner has ignited - presumably there was some dirt in there blocking the gas - fantastic! I pay the guy $20, and we hit the road. I have a better understanding of how it works, and what the various parts are, and we had no more problems for the rest of the trip.
So my questions are:
- what kind of things should I be doing on the fridge during an extended trip like this?
- what should I have done when I noticed the frost buildup on the back wall, and did it contribute to the problem? Do I need to defrost periodically?
- why didn't the water drain from the freezer? There is a tray in the top part of the fridge section that funnels water to the drain hose - it was dry as a bone.
Thanks in advance!