Eating ice-cold crow

We arrived Thursday in Balzac, just fifteen miles north of Calgary, at two o’clock in the afternoon. We were pleased to find the Airstream repair facility, Bucars RV, is one-quarter mile away on the same service road as our campground, Whispering Spruce Campground. Bucars RV is celebrating their fiftieth year as Calgary’s premiere RV dealership.

Regrettably for us, they no longer are an Airstream sales dealer. But fortunately they still offer service on Airstreams. Did we mention our refrigerator has become a large two-door freezer? No matter what temperature we request, the refrigerator section goes to below freezing. Too bad we aren’t keeping beer in the fridge — it would be ice-cold.

Bucars told us we could bring it in Friday morning and they would check it out. We entered as they opened the doors at 0830 hours and the service writer wrote down Debbie’s description of the ever-cooling machine. You can only browse a small RV store and showroom for so long, especially if there are no Airstreams in the showroom. We met the few other people in the waiting room, read a little, and enjoyed excellent and free wifi service and complimentary coffee. And after 3.5 hours were advised the work was complete.

The results? Our refrigerator, according to all the tests, is completely within Dometic (the manufacturer) specifications. The temperature sensor and control board test exactly as they are supposed to according to the Dometic factory guidelines and the technicians’ training. Jim was not entirely gracious in handling this wonderful news. A week ago we sampled peanut butter spread on frozen celery sticks. Our lettuce and bell peppers have been touch and go. Actually, the bell peppers were gone. And we no longer have an automatic cooling control refrigerator.

We have for the past week been manually cycling the refrigerator completely off whenever the temperature approaches freezing. When, after three or four hours, the refrigerator again climbs to 45 degrees Farenheit, we have turned the refrigerator on again. It has not made any difference what temperature setting we select. The refrigerator temperature, after just a few hours, dives toward and below freezing. So Jim asked the Service Manager the rationale for charging us $75 to tell us the refrigerator is just fine. Keith, being perfectly reasonable, asked what Jim wanted.

Jim stated we only want the temperature control problem corrected. Keith replied Bucars had performed all the Dometic factory-recommended check-out procedures for this model refrigerator and the refrigerator did not display any malfunctions in these tests. Further, Keith stated, Bucars wasn’t even billing the entire labor they had expended on the tests. And if Jim wanted to bring the refrigerator back in on Monday for further testing, and if Bucars performed repairs on the refrigerator, then Bucars would credit the $75 against the cost of repairs. Finally Keith said to Jim, more than once, “I’ll be here all day tomorrow, if you want to talk to me.”

What would Jim want to talk to Keith about? Jim was so upset he could hardly talk. We took our RV back to Whispering Spruce Campground, set it up, and had a nice little lunch. On our drive to Calgary this afternoon for a little touring Jim said, “I am trying to reconcile what happened this morning at Bucars with what I expected and wanted to happen. I think they did exactly what they were supposed to, they apparently could not have done more, and it’s just too bad we didn’t let the refrigerator go all the way to super-freezing to take it to them this morning. Our fault, darn it, for not having more experience with refrigerator breakdowns.”

Okay, it does appear Jim needs to talk to Keith in the morning. And since the fridge still isn’t working Jim needs to offer a sincere apology, but won’t be eating crow. But if he did, it would be really chilled.

Jim and Debbie
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4 responses to “Eating ice-cold crow

  1. Like taking your vehicle to the dealer for a problem that never shows itself while the technician is looking at it, Dometic has learned the trick!!!

    Rich Luhr has had problems lately with his fridge too! I’m sure you have read about it. They just cleaned the thing and it seems to be working.

    Hopefully the Dometic has learned it’s lesson and will act properly!

    • Barry,
      We haven’t had much internet for weeks, so arrange to briefly get on-line and back off again. Unfortunately, way behind on reading Man in the Maze and looking fwd to catching up.

      I had the same thought, it’s just like a car problem. Irksome, even intolerable at times. Then disappears at the dealership? Yep.

      It is functioning predictably, at least. Cools smoothly all day, and holds temp (in off mode) at night darned well. Only casualty is the ice cream consistency. The ice cream stays almost constantly like soft-serve ice cream. Not a terrible thing, except when the carton freezes to the bottom of the freezer. There are worse problems, eh?


  2. Greetings. I am now a pop-up, weekend camper. I have read that the 3-way refrigerators, when running on 120 v will use a thermostat to control cooling, but when on 12 v or propane, there is no thermostat in play, but just a constant heat source, which can cause freezing in on 12 v too long. Maybe you are running on 12 v too much. Maybe that is why the tech is saying everything is working normal.

    • Norman, Huge congratulations on your camper! Great news, I’m so glad to hear it and look fwd to hearing more. Now, about that job thing. . . Just kidding.

      On the t-stat, we since have learned our Dometic refrigerator DDC instead of mechanical t-stat. The fridge’s main control board senses fridge temp then operates either the gas burner or the electric (120v) heating element, according to which mode we are in. Worked perfectly in either mode for three years. Now it is cooling even more. A little difficult to complain about — we always wished it would cool just a little more. Now it cools excellently and we are, so far, manually toggling it. Generally it is off all night and on only during the day.

      Thanks for the suggestion. I really appreciate it, and do look forward to hearing more about your camper and adventures.


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