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Old 03-02-2024, 12:56 AM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 23H
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THOR #9717
Troubleshooting 2020 FE 23H Refrigerator

2020 Freedom Elite 23H refrigerator will not turn on.

House battery ON
Propane 3/4 full, open
Fridge set to AUTO

Light inside fridge is on. Have tried powering off, wait 10 min, powering on, waited 30 min, nothing happens. I don't hear any clicking like a pilot light but then again my hearing isn't great.

Any suggestions?

Just FYI, this is a new-to-me RV that has already had a lot of issues fixed. Someone dumped it off at a dealer. I bought it as-is, and trying to get it working right.
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Old 03-02-2024, 01:06 AM   #2
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Shaun's Next Repair!

That's a standard Dometic LP/120 VAC fridge.
It does need 12 VDC to the control board to work in either case which it evidently does as indicated by the interior light working.

Your 3 position switch positions are:
OFF - in the middle - no cooling
GAS - will always use propane to cool
AUTO - Uses 120 VAC if available, otherwise will use propane to cool.

When cooling by propane you should hear a "click, click, click" as the controller sparks the digital ignition to light the propane flame. It will go through several cycles trying to light the propane and then FAIL with an amber "check" light (blinking, if I remember right). You have to turn it OFF and then back to GAS or AUTO to reset it.

Sometimes there is air in the gas lines and it helps to light and run the propane stove burners for a few minutes to bleed it out.

So does it cool on SP?
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Old 03-02-2024, 01:13 AM   #3
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LOL, yep, working my way down the list. I think this is the last big repair then it's good to go. Thank you for always offering advice, very much appreciated. Anxious to drive from Florida to Maine in my new home.

I have no way to plug it into shore power at the moment. I just know it won't turn on whether the generator is on or off. It's set to AUTO, the check light turns on for a couple seconds when powering up then disappears. I read that's normal. Not hearing the clicking sound though but I am near a busy road. The inside of the fridge and freezer is warm, dry, and silent. When I put my ear up to the exterior of the RV where the panel is directly behind the fridge, I do hear something, it sounds like it's on. But from inside the fridge there is nothing happening.

Do I have to wait a long time to notice the fridge kicking on and getting colder? Should I just leave the battery on overnight with propane on and check it in the morning? Update 8:40pm EST: Freezer is cold! Fridge below, still nothing. Going to wait a couple hours, I think these things are just slow.

*Found several blogs and websites dedicated to this topic. I should've googled this first. Will try some troubleshooting steps and update this thread in case anyone else has the same issue.
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Old 03-02-2024, 02:33 AM   #4
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Update: There is a white tube that is just held into a plastic slider (barely) on the side of the interior of the fridge. That controls the temp inside. Mine became dislodged and was laying on the lower shelf. This is why the freezer was cooling down but the fridge was not. I also learned these things can take several hours to cool. So there is nothing wrong with this fridge, just a failure on my part to familiarize myself with how it works. All is good.
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Old 03-02-2024, 12:56 PM   #5
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You are now the resident expert on the FE 23H.
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Old 03-02-2024, 02:39 PM   #6
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Yes, they take forever to cool down. Those that turn them off when between trips normally turn them on 24 hours before they start loading them for the next trip. The noise you hear through the outside vent is probably the propane flame.
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Old 03-02-2024, 02:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaunUCF View Post
Update: There is a white tube that is just held into a plastic slider (barely) on the side of the interior of the fridge. That controls the temp inside. Mine became dislodged and was laying on the lower shelf. This is why the freezer was cooling down but the fridge was not. I also learned these things can take several hours to cool. So there is nothing wrong with this fridge, just a failure on my part to familiarize myself with how it works. All is good.
A small battery operated fan inside the fridge will cut the cool down time. Had one for the adsorption fridge in our Sunseeker a few years back.

https://www.amazon.com/refrigerator-...r+fans+for+rvs
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