I’m normally pretty good about periodic maintenance. But even though my Airstream Owner’s Manual advises me to clean the refrigerator’s flue & burner every year, I’ve only done it twice in seven years, and then it was only done because the 43 year-old fridge stopped cooling while running on gas. Just such an occurrence happened on our trip home from the beach the other day. Fortunately though, no beer had to suffer during the 10 hour journey.
Oddly, while Dometic has a service bulletin which does a fine job of addressing how to clean the burner, it makes no mention of the flue. To clean the flue, I use an old baby bottle brush wired to the end of coat hanger. While whistling “Chim chiminey, Chim chiminey, Chim chim cher-ee…” the flue gets swabbed out from an access hole located in the cabinet above the fridge.
After that, the service bulletin is an excellent reference for everything else.
Here’s my fridge’s burner barrel along with what emptied out of it. Note how small the gas orifice is in the inlaid picture.
Of course not all the rust falls into the burner. Knowing this, Airstream designers in 1967 added an exterior vacuum cleaner outlet to aid in the cleanup.