Dometic DM2652 RV Refrigerator Repair

Oh Oh, things are melting!

The other day I went to get a couple of ice cubes for my “Happy Hour” beverage and splush instead of ice I hit cooled water. Weird, I thought to myself. Maybe I had left the door slightly open on the freezer but checking the fridge section I noticed its temperature was also low.

First thing I did was head outside and pull off the fridge’s external panel. I felt the flue and piping and everything was dead cold, not normal!

Dometic Fridge Model DM2652LBX

Next step was to troubleshoot the problem. First thing I did was switch the fridge from electric mode over to LP gas mode and see if it would cool. Thankfully it cooled great running off the LP gas, which meant the cooling unit was functioning properly. So I had determined the problem was with the electrical operation.

Disclaimer: Working with Electricity and LP Gas is very dangerous and should be performed by a qualified technician. This article is for educational purposes only and should not be taken as instructional. I’m not a qualified RV Technician. If you decide to do the same repair I’ve done here then research and beware of the risks. Have it checked out by a professional, I accept no liability, you have been warned!

Pulling out my Fluke multimeter I and set to work troubleshooting the electrical circuits. My fridge is a Model DM2652LBX and was able to get the manuals I would need for repairs at the Dometic website. After familiarizing myself with the circuitry I first unplugged the trailer from the AC power and disconnected my battery, so I could start the Dometic DM2652 RV Refrigerator Repair.  I then opened the control board, which is behind a square black cover. This cover is a bit of a pain to remove due to the plastic clips on each side but with a little leverage to them it does release. Behind it you’ll find the control board with a fuse and various connectors leading in and out of the board. Using my multimeter I checked the fuses for continuity and found them to be OK. I re-applied the power and checked for the listed voltages. I had the proper DC and AC voltages throughout the control board.

DM2652LBX - Outside view  DM2652LBX - Control Board area

Next step was to check the electrical element. It should read in the neighborhood of 40-45 ohms, but mine read open. Bingo, I had isolated the faulty part! I was able to acquire the part locally here in Sidney, BC at Peden RV. I have had good luck with Peden and recommend them to RVers in the area. The part number required was 3850644422 (120V 325W Heater Element) and ranges in price from $70 to $120 depending where you get it. Mine was on the highest end being in Canada and on an Island.

DM2652 element #3850644422

Now that I had the part I set about the task of changing it. This is where it got sketchy for me. I had a hard time finding any information on how to actually get the old one out. Lucky for me I hang out in a great online forum for Keystone RV Owners and the knowledge base there is tremendous. I posed the question and got back some great tips and suggestions from fellow RVers who had done the job. It was recommended the easiest path was to pull out the fridge completely to work on it, so this is what I did.

To pull out the DM2652 RV refrigerator you need to do the following:

  • Turn off LP Gas supply, Unplug the AC power and disconnect your DC Battery supply
  • Remove the top plastic header on the fridge front
  • Remove several screws from the top and bottom areas on the fridge front
  • Remove 2 screws from the bottom frame rails on the back bottom corners
  • Disconnect the AC and DC power wires
  • Unscrew the LP gas burner assembly

Once this is done the whole fridge can be slid forward in to the RV. I used a wood box of the right height and was able to slide it right in to that. Once removed from the opening it was a breeze to work on the fridge.

DM2652LBX - Pulled out  DM2652LBX = Flue exposed

To remove the element, I simply had to unclasp the sheet metal boiler covering, pull back some insulation and slide out the electric element. It took a little twisting and coaxing as the element had a bit of corrosion on it. Installing was just everything in reverse.

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My video detailing the Dometic DM2652 RV Refrigerator Repair

Photos taken during the repair

When I got everything back assembled and plugged in I turned on the AC, DC and LP gas. First I checked the operation on LP Gas. It sparked and fired properly and the flame burned a nice blue. Next I set the fridges operation mode to electric and measured the current draw. This was easy to carry out with my EMS-HW30WC Surge Protector from Progressive Industries as it has a digital current readout. It’s display showed an increase of around 3 amps as the element came on. This is roughly what I would expect for a 325-watt element to draw.

I did some last checks, feeling for warmth on the flue, testing the AC voltage reading on the control board and with a thermometer in the fridge. I also sprayed some soapy water solution looking for bubbles around the gas connections to be sure I didn’t cause a leak. All things check out good and the “Happy Hour” ice is solid once again. I hope you found my post detailing my Dometic DM2652 RV Refrigerator Repair useful.

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Dometic Fridge Repair - Faulty Electric Heater Element | Love Your RV! - #RV #Repairs

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  • Jeanette

    Gd evening my rv fridge Mo no dm2652 just stopped working last night doesn’t urn on checked everything and everything is working besides fridge and freezer

  • Ron Thomas

    Nice, blue flame.

    • From the service manual –
      Causes of insufficient cooling in gas mode.
      Flue Baffle
      Flue Tube
      Flue Cap (if equipped)
      Lower Circuit Board

      If a good blue flame is there is sure sounds like a flue problem.

  • Ron Thomas

    I have noticed my refer area is not staying cold when not plugged into 110v. Thus, dry camping is not an option. Freezer is fine on both LP and 110v. Fridge not so on LP, but OK on 110v. Got flame, everything looks OK. Not too full of stuff. Little temperature slide and cord are all tucked in as should be. Seals are so good on fridge and freezer doors – suction can make it difficult to open. I have tested this o-nite, and in 60-80 temps. As soon as unplugged from 110v. – fridge goes fro 33-35 degrees to 50-60 degrees – which won’t keep food safe. Advice welcome.

    • If working on electric that eliminates a lot of things as a cause. Sounds like the flame isn’t hot enough or the flue pipe it feeds is blocked somehow so the boiler doesn’t get hot enough, maybe to much soot in there. Is the flame nice and blue with very little yellow to it? If it is too yellow or orange it’s not burning hot enough. Then you may have a problem with the burner or gas feed.

  • DKWatham

    Sorry I guess our fridge is a Norcold model 1210IM

  • DKWatham

    The campground were staying in blue and main breaker when we turn the main breaker back on refrigerator would not come back on just flashing no AC any ideas

    • Check and see if any fuses are blown on the fridge’s control board.

      • DKWatham

        Sorry I guess its a Norcold fridge model 1210IM side by side we checked the breaker box and did not find fuses in the back of fridge outside

        • DKWatham

          It get electricity the front will flash no ac and beeps constant

        • Sorry, I’m not familiar with the Norcold fridges. Try to search online for the service manual it will give you the troubleshooting steps.

  • Jeff Kupitz

    I have a 2 month old camper with a Dometic DMR/DMC 7 -Series refrigerator. Today I noticed a stained yellow lined on the inside front top of my freezer. When I tried to clean it with a sponge thinking it might just be residue from something I discovered it was extremely hot to the touch. I have tried it in both Electric and LP and it will not go away. Does anyone have any ideas what the problem could be?

  • Stev Ruffner

    i have a dometic refrigerator and the freezer works fine but refigerator does not get cold and i pushed the slide up all the to get it cold but that dont work so what else can i check ?

    • You need to find the service (not owners) manual online with diagnostic tests in it plus troubleshooting info. Could be a bad thermistor or cooling unit would be my first guesses. Good luck.
      The thermistor looks something like this –

      • Stev Ruffner

        thank u

  • John

    hello, I have a dm2652 that has quit cooling on either ac or propane. however, if i turn it on for a couple hrs the absorber and boiler both get hot. There is a slight gergling sound coming from the absorber/boiler area. there is no ammonia smell or yellow powder that can be seen. Is this still a cooling unit failure? thanks for any help

    • Sounds like it. Maybe there is a blockage inside. Here is a link I found to the service manual –
      Least you can test to rule out everything else. Maybe it has a bad thermostat, I would test that for sure.

      • John

        Thanks for the help and direction Ray, ill give it a shot

        • You’re welcome. Let me know what you find.

  • Do Wei

    Good morning Ray, used my neighbors multimeter….dead short. Ordered a new heater element this morning. Fingers crossed. Thanks for your help.

    • Brian M

      The element being shorted explains the fuse blowing again. That is what the fuse is there for – to protect against to much current in the heating element, which a shorted element will draw lots of.

  • Do Wei

    Hi Ray, thanks for your reply. My frig quit working on AC mode as well and work perfectly on LP. When I checked the control board I found a fuse that was blown. I replaced the fuse then I disconnected the heater element leads to the control board and started the frig. Everything started as it should, showing it AC mode on on inside panel. Checked power on board terminals for heated and all good at 120 volt but once I connected the heater leads to the board it blew the fuse again. Any ideas?

    • You’ll need a multimeter or OHM meter to test. The heater element should measure 40-45 ohms in resistance. If it is 0 or very low it is likely shorted and the culprit.

  • Do Wei

    Hello, Would this condition (a bad heater element) blow a fuse on the circuit board?

    • I guess it is possible, but they usually don’t.

  • Well, mine quit working. I have a 2013 Cougar with 2012 components.
    I got fed up buying propane. Checked the fuses and the big one was blown. Replaced that and still nothing. It was getting power, so it had to be the silly element. Bought a new one and decided to suck it up and dig in. I was able to remove and replace the element from the back.
    Good as gold now.

    • Awesome! 🙂





    • I don’t have a side by side so mine had no freezer element what is the model number of your fridge, maybe there is a service manual on the net to find out the info.



  • Russel Hicks

    I have a dometic 3 way refrigerator in my RV . When I switch to 12 very there vis a buzzing noise coming from behind the top front controls
    Any ideas on a fix

  • Russel Hicks

    I have a dometic 3 way refrigerator and there is a buzzing noise coming from behind the top controls when I switch to 12 very any ideas

  • Jim Belanger

    I have a Dometic DM2652 and it works just fine. It is in a 2011 Zinger tow behind camper and is installed in the slide out. My question is that the fan behind the fridge seems to run much more often than I ever expected. It turns on for about 10 to 15 seconds, turns off for 20 seconds and then runs again. This seems to be continuous no matter what the temperature is outside. I don’t want to mess with it because the unit is working fine but it’s just annoying.

    • Mine will cycle like that also but only when it is warm out or the sun is beating on the fridge side of the rig. If it is cooler out it doesn’t run, but I don’t have the fridge in a slide and it has a roof vent so maybe cooling is better. Maybe for slide units they set it up to have the fan run more often.

    • Mark

      Hi Jim, I have the same issue with mine. What is the fix ? Is there a fan to replace ? Would really appreciate any help. It gets to be very annoying at night when we are trying to sleep.

  • David Spackman

    I just replaced a RM2652 with a DM2652, the new one worked for 2 weekends and did the same as the old one. The freezer was cool, and the bottom half warm. Is the new one defective or is the camper causing the problem? The company is replacing with another new one, but I was going to have the techs install, it is 6 screws, gas line hook-up and plug in electric to outlet. I checked all fuses, the gas was lighting, and electric was working. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you,
    Perplexed Camper

    • Matt Willis

      When you have a problem with an rv fridge most people look at the fridge as being the problem instead of maybe being a propane regulator problem. More than once I have tested the gas pressure an seen that is was at 11 inches of water pressure before I started, and after the gas started to flow the pressure would rise and raise the flame which would in turn give me a cold freezer and a warm fridge. That was rare and most of those regulators was on old rv’s I have also had new fridges that were D.O.A. I would also check to make sue any insulation has no fallen on top of the condenser (top of the fridge) Old insulation on the side walls sometimes falls down when the contact adhesives dries out. It is a pain to pull the fridge to find out, But you can get on top on your rv an take the 4 screws off from the vent and look at the top of you fridge and make sure your airflow is clear.

  • Eloy De Luna

    Can the element be tested before going thru the trouble of removing it with the meter? By simply disconnecting the black wires? My refrigerator too works in gas only mode.

    • Yep, you can test it without taking the whole thing apart, just pull off the two black wires that lead to the element and test in ohms mode, should be around 40-45 ohms if the element is OK, if bad it is likely open.

      • Eloy

        Great, but since it’s running on gas at this moment. Can I still disconnect element and test or does refrig need to be completely off and cool to test?

        • Doesn’t need to be cool but you’ll want to make sure the electricity is off. For sure the AC power so you don’t shock yourself, but also the DC 12 volt if you can. If you can’t disconnect the 12 volt battery power just be very careful not to cross any wires or you may blow a fuse somewhere or fry the control board circuits.

  • Hi Deb, I move the slider up higher to get a cooler temperature.

  • ray smith

    hi all I have dometic 3way fridge with heater element problem,,fridge no DM2652RB1-sku9108516245,,-mfg-958527787,these numbers are inside the fridge,,in the book there are four diff,numbers they are rm-2354,,,2454,,,2554,,,2663..i am thinking with the four numbers the one element fits these..fridge fitted dose the heater element i am reading about on this sight fit my fridge,,,the part number I got is for a DM2652LBX FRIDGE,,HOPE YOU CAN HELP ME OUT ,,,,BYE

    • I would think so, here is a pdf showing the part numbers –

    • ray smith (from australia)

      hi ray thanks for your info,but iam having trouble finding a heater element for my dometic
      fridge molel n0-dm2652,part n0- for fridge— could you point me in the right direaction to where I can buy an sent Australia an also cost..tks ray smith..

      • Hi Ray, I would try Ebay, go to Ebay and search the part #3850644422 should be able to find one there and get it shipped to Australia. I see them there for around 60-80 bucks.

  • vajensen

    I need to rehang a door on a fridge that the bracket broke on and wondering the best and easiest way. Do you have to remove the freezer door first or is there a bracket I can loosen to insert the dowels into the holes? Thanks Verl Jensen

  • bobby cu

    I have a Dometic double door fridge and was subject to freezing cold weather last week and the unit quit cooling. I placed a heater in the back to thaw out the cools, left it running for two days, had a heater on the inside as well. It has been 24hrs and the uit still does not cool. I ran it on electric for a while then switched over to LP but no luck. the unit is a 2010. Any ideas?

    • Matt Willis

      This is something that happens to any ammonia refrigerator when the temperature drops below freezing for a length of time. I was told by another rv re builder that below 15 F. is the critical point however it may be above that point. I would shut the fridge off in a warmer climate and let the aqua-ammonia mix go back together then try it again, and Norcold has a fix a cold weather kit for it that should work on the Dometics also, (Norcold Product No. 634913)

  • Matt Willis

    I never liked how Dometic does not give you the option of changing your temp settings on some model. There is a fix for that, someone on Ebay is selling a repair thermister that alows you to adjust the temperature inside your fridge and it only takes a few minutes to install. Just type in Dometic Thermistor Repair on Ebay. and you will have control over you rv fridge settings again.

  • philip vogelaar

    my unit is on electric right now and has auto temperature control but freezes all my groceries in the lower part. Was wondering if there is some adjustment to make it warmer in the refrigerator part.

    • If it’s like my model Philip there is a slider temp control on the top right side of the metal fins in the fridge. It may be jammed up to high.

      • my fridge also freezes everything in lower half, but i don’t have a slide control. how can temp be adjusted?

      • Hey Bill, what is the fridge’s make and model number?

      • Bill

        Ray, I will try to find make and model. all I know now is Dometic, americana.

      • deb

        does the slide go up or down to make fridge cooler?

  • Tom

    I feel comfortable pulling my fridge after your video. I have carbon falling from the flue onto the burner. I have pulled the cover off from the roof and droped a small chain down the flue to clean out any hornet nests and there isn’t any nests in it. It will run on elect. After a day or two I will put it back to propane and then lightly bang on the heat stack and a chunk of carbon will fall on the burner. I have called a couple of RV Techs and two of them are perplexed over the carbon falling on the burner. My unit is still under warrente my RV dealer ship is booked up, so I checked out your video and what a help it is to me thanks. Perplexed in Utah!

    • Hey Tom, glad it helped you. I had a tough time finding much info on it so decided to video it to help others. Cheers Ray

  • Great idea.Thanks for sharing.The design is amazing the wooden style.

  • Roger

    Hello great vide, I believe these RV refrigerator DIY videos might help your friends. Look at FRVTS on you tube. GBYAY Roger

  • august indovina

    my dometic fridge same as one mentioned here 2652 this thing is 1,00.00 any way around this i need replacement i have been liveing in this trailer since i lost everything in hurricane katrina..

  • Matt Willis

    Well you did everything I would have done. I rebuild cooling units for a living, and I ran across the same problem with your model of fridge. You have a very unique model the Dm2652 is what replaced the Rm2652 series and Dometic took a really good cooling unit (excluding the boiler assembly) and made it about 1/3 smaller, the Rm heating element could have been easily replaced without removing the fridge. There has been since the early 80’s an access door to replace the element with ease from the back. Your Dm model does not have that feature. Also I predict the within the near future your cooling unit will be the next to go. I replaced a shorted heating element in your exact fridge months ago and the first hot spell the cooling unit went out. Luck Dometic uses the same cabinet and I replaced the unit with a 606A cooling unit with a boiler tube twice as thick as the original. You should also put a fan on your cooling unit the one I fixed had one to compensate for it’s smaller size.

    • Thanks for the advice Matt. My unit does have a thermal controlled fan, but it’s fairly small and noisy. I was thinking of installing a quieter one with more air flow. We never are in really hot climates so hopefully the cooling unit will last a little longer.

      • Matt Willis

        They put a very small fan on the backs of their new design. The older model worked fine without a fan unless the fridge was in a slide out in that case you still need a fan.. When your cooling unit fails make sure you replace it with a 605A or a 605A cooling unit. the unit will fit in you cabinet and you will not need a fan for it to run properly.

      • Matt Willis

        I have doing allot of research on fans and try looking up They have quiet fans and also two models that have a thermister fan switch built in so no need for extra wiring, they are pretty cool. No pun intended.

    • Matt Willis

      I just wanted to ad this to my previous comment. I have replaced to of these new type DM2652 cooling units with the larger older ones and I have seen some of the DM models have the lager older ones come from Dometic. So all DM2652 do not have the small cooling unit on them. The point I am trying to make is as a rebuilder of cooling unit and also a friend of mine who does the same can no longer switch the small one for the lager one, so where ever you have them repaired try not to put the smaller one in. And these fridges look brand new so don’t let some tech tell you you have to buy a whole new fridge that is simply not true. My CampFridge DIY repair videos online can show you how to swap them yourself.

      • Thanks for the great info, Matt. Like some of the useful tips you give in your videos. Like the bent screwdriver tool.

  • Mike Morris

    Thank`s ,well done video! I`m going to fix mine now. Mine is the same model in 2002 Fleetwood Mallard. Gas works fine ,ac does not. Going to check my level first before I take it apart. Thank`s again!!