Casita Travel Trailers have been using the Dometic RM245 refrigerator for the past 25 years in every floor plan and model. The antiquated technology of this refrigerator has given many Casita Trailer owners plenty of headaches. For better or for worse, the refrigerator has been discontinued and Casita Travel Trailers currently does not have an alternate option. Still, this refrigerator will continue to plague current owners for some time.
If you own a Casita, your first question might be “How do you turn on a Casita Trailer refrigerator?”
The Dometic RM245 refrigerator has an easy-to-read display at the top of the refrigerator. The very first button on the panel is the “on/off” switch. Simply press the “on/off” switch to turn the refrigerator on.
Read on to find out more about the operation and trouble shooting of the Dometic RM245.
Refrigerator Panel Operation
After you’ve turned the refrigerator on, you have the option to change the settings. You can change the power to AC, DC, or gas (propane). After that, press the button that corresponds to the cooling level you prefer. Levels are from 1 to 5 with 5 being the coldest.
Press the button until the display lights up below the number that you prefer. If the outside temperature is hot, you’ll want to use number 5. In addition, be sure to turn on the AC fan. The switch is located on the left side of the entryway as you enter the trailer. We bought a hanging thermometer so we know what the temperature is inside the refrigerator.
Be sure to switch the power according to your needs. It’s important to note that if you use the DC power for any length of time, you’ll run your battery down.
A couple of times, I accidentally bumped the switch over to DC and discharged the battery so that nothing worked in the trailer. The lights didn’t even work. The panel is very close to derriere height, so I’m sure I butt-bumped it.
After that, we bought a clear cover (frige guard) from Little House Customs and put an end to that problem.
Now that we’ve covered DC power, let’s look at your other options. You can use AC power when you are plugged into shore power. We plug into our 120v power at home and switch the power to AC the day before we leave for a trip. That way, the refrigerator is pre-cooled. I highly recommend that you do this as well. You can also use AC power when you are plugged into electricity at a campground.
If you are not plugged into AC power, your option is to run the refrigerator on gas. Once the thing is cooled, it runs great on propane. Be sure your propane tanks are filled and that the gas is turned on at the bottle.
There is a debate among RVers regarding the safety or running your refrigerator on gas while you are traveling. In California, it’s against the law to run the refrigerator on propane at the gas station. I won’t discuss the safety issues here. If you want to know more about that, check out this article from RV Miles.
Common Refrigerator Problems
As I mentioned, the Dometic RM245 is a 25-year-old design. As such, it has a myriad of problems. Here are some of the problems Casita owners have experienced with this refrigerator:
- Propane not delivered to the refrigerator
- Refrigerator on DC power – battery drained
- Electrical plug disengages from the socket
- Exterior louver falls off
- Door falls off hinges
- Door trays break
Propane Not Delivered to Refrigerator
Sometimes you’ll find that you forgot to turn the propane on. This is an easy fix.
You’ll know that propane is not being delivered because you’ll hear the igniter click repeatedly. After a while, the check light will come on.
You could have an issue where your propane tank is empty or there is an air bubble in the propane line. In this case, run one of the burners on your stove (be sure to light it). This is an easy way to see if your tank is empty. The burners won’t light if the tank is empty. If you have air in the line, you can flush out the air by running a burner on your stove.
Refrigerator on DC power – Battery Drained
I mentioned this earlier. If you leave the refrigerator on DC power, you will eventually drain your battery. Most people say it takes about 2 hours. I’ve never timed it. The power panel runs on electricity, so the refrigerator won’t work if you completely drain your batteries. If you have lead acid or AGM batteries, you might ruin your battery. You will be very sad.
The Electrical Plug Disengages from the Socket
The electrical plug is located plug behind the lower outside access panel. Some Casita owners have reported that the plug fell out after travel. This is probably one of the easiest fixes and one of the first things you should check if your refrigerator does not turn on. One Casita owner purchased the Evermark Perfect Plug, which solved the problem.
Exterior Louver Falls Off
Some Casita owners have reported that the exterior louver fell off the trailer. They say that a travel trailer goes through earthquake forces on the road. The louvers shake loose. You can get a replacement from Casita.
Refrigerator Door Falls Off
It’s best not to place too much weight in the door refrigerator trays. In some instances, the hinge cracks and breaks. Then the door falls off. Little House Customs has the hinge replacement parts to fix it. This part will also prevent the hinge from breaking. If you don’t want to fix it yourself, Little Home on the Road will fix it for you.
Refrigerator Door Trays Break
Again, if you overload your refrigerator door trays, you run the risk of breaking them. Casita sells replacement door trays if one breaks.
We had a situation where the mount that holds the tray on broke. We looked for a replacement door, but could not find one anywhere. My husband riveted the tray to the refrigerator. We lost the ability to move the trays, but now it’s not going anywhere.
Interested in reading about other Casita Travel Trailer issues?
These are some ways to fix common problems with your Casita refrigerator. If you have a more complicated problem, reach out to Casita or to Little Home on the Road for help and guidance.