Dometic stove doesn’t light at higher elevations

TerenceTerence Member Posts: 5
edited May 26 in Products and Accessories
Hi fellow Tab owners!

We purchased a 2021 Tab 320 S last fall and have run into an issue with our Dometic gas stove. It wouldn't light when we were at 4000+ ft above sea level. It seems the gas wouldnt flow despite multiple attempts, and a lot of Googling. It was working fine up until we got to that elevation so it seems the altitude appears to be the issue.

 When we returned to lower elevation, ~1000 ft above sea level, it started to work again as per normal.

So, my question to the group is... is this normal or do we have a defective Dometic gas stove?

Thanks in advance for your advice!

(Title altered for search purposes.  Moderator)
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Comments

  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Moderator Posts: 7,570
    Did the Alde work on propane?
    Sharon / 2017 [email protected] CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan / Westlake, Ohio
  • TerenceTerence Member Posts: 5
    Yes the alde worked on the propane at the higher elevation. I also tested using another propane tank as well in case that was issue - and that didn't resolve the malfunctioning dometic stove. 
  • VernaVerna Administrator Posts: 6,817
    @Terence, with all the warranty paperwork you received with the purchase of your [email protected] 320, there was one for Dometic. Give them a call to talk to their tech support to see if they have any suggestions for you. Of course, those of us with the 2021 [email protected] 3320’s would love it if you reported back here with Dometic’s answer. 

    Thanks in advance
    Verna, Columbus, IN
    2021 [email protected] 320S  Boondock “The [email protected]
    Towed by a white 2019 Ford F-150 4x4 Supercab, 3.5L V6 Ecoboost “The Truck”
    [email protected] Administrator
  • TerenceTerence Member Posts: 5
    I spoke to the Tab tech team and they mentioned that this is something that happens, but I didn't see this altitude issue mentioned anywhere in the dometic manual - hence my curiosity if other owners have run into this issue at all when traveling.

    I'll try to contact Dometic directly and see what they say. Regardless, I'll keep folks posted on what I learn!
  • OyajiOyaji Member Posts: 30
    My Dometic stove in my brand new 320S worked  great at 600 ft. altitude, didn't work at 5600 ft. altitude, and now that it is back to 600 ft. altitude, still doesn't work.  Nor is is covered by the [email protected] warranty, as I understand it.  What a disappointment that [email protected] would install such a piece of junk in its trailer!
  • VernaVerna Administrator Posts: 6,817
    edited May 22
    @Oyaji, Dometic has their own warranty. As I told Terrence, you need to contact Dometic. 
    Verna, Columbus, IN
    2021 [email protected] 320S  Boondock “The [email protected]
    Towed by a white 2019 Ford F-150 4x4 Supercab, 3.5L V6 Ecoboost “The Truck”
    [email protected] Administrator
  • OyajiOyaji Member Posts: 30
    I'm not interested in warranty work on a $200 stove about which there have been numerous complaints.  I'd rather replace it with another model if I can't fix it.  With that in mind, I went out to my trailer today to see if I could fix the stove by dismantling the lines and checking them for obstructions.  But having spent three weeks at elevation 600, the stove worked after I opened the valve at the propane bottle s-l-o-w-l-y as recommended in another thread.  I might add that my portable camping stove, which I took with me to cook greasy and smelly stuff outside, worked perfectly well at elevation 5600, as did the Alde.  Then again, the Alde and the camping stove are designed to work at high altitudes--I take it the Dometic isn't.  But I will give it another try when I go back to the high plains next month, and I will open the valve s-l-o-w-l-y.
  • CindydziCindydzi Member Posts: 3
    edited May 23
    We are also experiencing the same problem. We had no problems for four days traveling across the country. Now here in Colorado above 5000 ft the stove will not work. The Alde is working fine. 
  • Denny16Denny16 Member Posts: 3,292
    edited May 23
    If the Alde is working, gas is flowing correctly in the trailer to the appliances.  The stove issue might me a loose thermocouple connection, which keeping the stove from lighting.  I had a stove (not in the TaB) thst was working sometimes, and then not.  It was the thermocouple connection, which was loose.  This is dependent on the gas jet air mixture and any pressure valve in the stove is working correctly.
    cheers
    2018 TaB400 Custom BoonDock, Jeep Gladiator truck, Northern California Coast.
  • tabiphiletabiphile Member Posts: 318
    Dometic's other RV products have been known to require an orifice change to operate properly at higher altitudes. Granted, an expectation that the unit was properly spec'd is a given but contact with Dometic seems unavoidable to get to the bottom of this.
    Careful use of the regulator really is a thing but it seems like a long shot if the orifice is not sized properly.
  • runaway30runaway30 Member Posts: 81
    I found this interesting comment on Dometics web site looking at there stoves for sale.
    I think its likely a better stove will need to be installed due to the number of people having this problem.

    Customer review:
    I bought this cook top to use in a van camper build. I found a review by Stewardorng posted after my purchase who said his cook top would not work above 4,500 feet altitude - a fact which was disclosed when he contacted Dometic customer service. This limitation is not addressed in the product's description nor the manual. After confirming the altitude limit with Dometic, I returned it to the Third Party Seller. My issue is not with the altitude limit; it is with the omission of the limitation in the product description and manual. I live above 5,900 feet in Colorado and will camp mostly in the mountains and would not have purchased it if I knew. It appears to be a fine product for use at lower altitudes.

    I think its worth getting in touch with them to verify this.
    I suppose the next step is to see what model of stove will replace the original stove.
    i live at 6000 feet and plan to do lots of camping at elevation so this needs to be resolved.
    My 2021 Tab 400 is stored indoors several hours away at a low elevation so I cannot test it at the moment.

    It is interesting that on my first trip last winter I left from a low elevation and stayed at basically sea level and the stove worked great.
    On my next trip I picked up the  camper brought it home to 6000' for a 2 days to prepare for the trip.  I did not use the stove at that time.  On our first night in Hawthorne NV at 4300 feet the stove did not work.  The rest of the story is already documented.
    It seems like a call to Dometic to verify this is the next step.

    Runaway30

  • johnfconwayjohnfconway Member Posts: 179
    Our 2020 [email protected] 400 is stored outside of garage at 6100 ft. elevation. At least in the hot season (starting now) we only seek higher elevation. Our cooktop has worked fine at elevations up to 10,000 ft.
    Variation in performance for products that see a lot of variation in ambient temp., elevation, barometric pressure, etc. is probably more common than manufacturers let on. It can be frustrating. While we have a functional stove top, we have a $1700 2-way fridge sitting in the garage awaiting installation. In our case, the Norcold 3-way could not get the job done. RV shops "know how to fix that". "Add more fans". We decided to cut our losses and get a 2-way (Isotherm) with a high probability of working well boondocking in summer heat at relatively high elevation. Technical people tend to want to "try one more thing" on your dime. To often you are behind $1000 on labor before you test the highest probability solution (which looks a lot less expensive at that point).
    2020 [email protected] 400 BDL towed with 2019 Nissan Frontier Pro-4X  Silver City, NM
  • CrabTabCrabTab Member Posts: 320
    edited May 24
    When we first started backpacking (deep into the last century) we purchased white gas stoves like our Svea 123 and later a Coleman Peak 1 because of the altitude and/or temp issue with canned gas. I still carry one today simply because we have it and it still works.

    I know this doesn't cure the issue here, but food for thought if you're considering a secondary stove for cooking outside the [email protected] anyhow...
    2019 320 Boondock Edge
    36.8N  76.0W

  • VernaVerna Administrator Posts: 6,817
    nüCamp is aware of the stove issue and I will share info as it becomes available to share.

    Verna
    [email protected] Forum Administrator 
    Verna, Columbus, IN
    2021 [email protected] 320S  Boondock “The [email protected]
    Towed by a white 2019 Ford F-150 4x4 Supercab, 3.5L V6 Ecoboost “The Truck”
    [email protected] Administrator
  • CharlieRNCharlieRN Member Posts: 222
    CrabTab said:
    When we first started backpacking (deep into the last century) we purchased white gas stoves like our Svea 123 and later a Coleman Peak 1 because of the altitude and/or temp issue with canned gas. I still carry one today simply because we have it and it still works.

    I know this doesn't cure the issue here, but food for thought if you're considering a secondary stove for cooking outside the [email protected] anyhow...
    Good to know that I'm not alone in having a decades-old Svea that also still works.
    2021 [email protected] 320 S Boondock / 2008 XC-90 V8 Sport - Phillies Territory
  • runaway30runaway30 Member Posts: 81
    I just got off the phone with Dometic about my stove not working.
    I told them my story and they thought it was odd that the stove did not work for a week and then one day suddenly started working.  Its not broken or it would not have started working they say.
      For a refresher I did not have gas at the burners. 
    The Alde was working on gas and the bottle was full. 
    I swapped out several new tanks that were full no change. 
    I left the burners on for long periods and tried to light the burners for what seemed like hours.

    When I mentioned that I had picked up the camper at sea level in warm temps and took it up to 6000' and freezing temps, his response was there's your problem.
    It is clearly stated in the owners manual that the stove will not work above 4500'.
    And this is proven by the fact that once we reached low altitudes and warm temps in Arizona it came back to life.
    His feeling is its a combination of lack of air at altitude, and freezing temps that may affect the stoves performance.  But he was quick to say this may not always be the case sometimes it may work.

    So I will carry my camp chef Everest in the future, and I am curious if it happens again if warming a tank will make a difference.
  • NorCalMikeNorCalMike Member Posts: 46
    That is pretty ridiculous nuCamp would spec a stove that won't work above 4500'    Is that a new model?  Same one as on new 400?
    2022 [email protected] 400 Boondock coming August, 21;  2019 Honda Ridgeline
    Sonoma County, CA
  • runaway30runaway30 Member Posts: 81
    NorCalMike I have a 2021 400 Boondock came off the line end of Dec 2020.
    I get the feeling that the stove is hit or miss at elevations above 4500.  I think the right conditions need to be present to affect it.  I am just guessing here but below freezing and high elevations may be two of the variables.  
    I find it interesting that johnfconway has had no issues at elevation.  I wonder what the nighttime temps were for him.
  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Moderator Posts: 7,570
    What are the 2021 stove model numbers for the 320 and 400.  @runaway30 - John Conway has a 2020.  There were major revisions with the 2021 models including a stove with an electric igniter.
    Sharon / 2017 [email protected] CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan / Westlake, Ohio
  • runaway30runaway30 Member Posts: 81
    Sharon_is_Sam I do not have access to my 400 as it is in storage several hours away with all of the manuals.  I do see what appears to be the same model with the glass top on the Dometic website.  It is listed as the D21sec.  
  • rh5555rh5555 Member Posts: 311
    edited May 28
    We've never had issues with our stove at altitude, but I have to think that the problem involves the safety interlock that stops gas flowing unless it senses heat or the knob is pressed in.  Something to do with low atmospheric pressure that doesn't allow the safety valve to open when you press the knob.
    When someone has a misbehaving stove, could they try this:  Try heating the flame sensor (little pin to the side of the burner) of a burner that you've turned onto low with a flame (butane lighter would be best) and see if that frees up the gas flow.
    Roger and Sue Hill | 2020 [email protected] Boondock ([email protected]) | 2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 2L | San Juan Island, WA
  • TerenceTerence Member Posts: 5
    Thanks for all the comments so far - really appreciate all the info here.

    I have a 2021 Tab 320s (we took delivery in Aug 2020). The Dometic manual says D21. I'm not sure whether it's the same model being used in the Tab 400.

    Like some of the others here, I am equally disappointed that this stove doesn't seem to work above 4500' - it seems like a known design flaw/defect - and I'm surprised that it hasn't been addressed before by either Nucamp or Dometic.

    In my Dometic operating manual, there is no mention of an altitude limitation and so I'll continue to press for a meaningful response from Dometic and keep folks posted. 

    @Verna, thanks for your message - please let us know if NuCamp is able to help owners resolve this obvious defect.  When I spoke to a tech at Nucamp, it seemed that they were aware of similar complaints from other Tab owners so I have a feeling this is not an isolated issue...





  • berggerbergger Member Posts: 306
    We have a 2021 400 live at over 10,000 feet elevation and our stove works perfectly.  I believe you have the same stove.  I've used all types of gas stoves at high altitude and have never had a problem with any of them.  Something must be wrong with you stove or the system feeding the stove.  I'd ask NuCamp for a new one. 
    2021 [email protected] 400 BD  "Vixen Gail" 
    2018 Nissan Titan Pro 4X "Big Bird"
    Leadville Colorado
  • ColoradoSunColoradoSun Member Posts: 109
    edited May 28
    We've used our stove at elevations over 8,000 ft multiple times. It tends to be a bit difficult to light the first time after setting up camp but after that it  lights easily. I think it just requires getting air out of the gas lines initially.
    2021 [email protected] 400 BD, 2020 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab
    SW Colorado
  • NorthIsUpNorthIsUp Member Posts: 123
    I live at altitude, but nothing like Leadville, CO. I know of a BBQ contest there that reeks havoc on teams trying to cook briskets. Back on topic, I have found that I need to tighten the hose to the propane tank very tight to maintain the pressure. Give that a try. When it's feeling tight, tighten it a bit more. Really. 
    Jean & Arnie  No. Nevada
    2019 [email protected] 400 BL
    2003 Toyota Sequoia retired
    2021 Toyota Sequoia

  • SebNickSebNick Member Posts: 1
    I have a new 2021 Tab 320s Boondock. I live at sea level and stove would only light if given a slow turn of the knob at the tank to start the flow. Over 4,000 feet elevation the stove would not light on two different occasions, regardless of how the tank was opened, the gas turned on, etc. Spoke to Nucamp, the dealer I purchased it from, another dealer in the Denver area, and Dometic and received no answers. Customer service at Dometic said they would be surprised the stove would work above 2,500 feet elevation. So now what?

    I took the trailer down to a local propane provider who changed the hose from the tank to the regulator and the stove now works above 4,000 feet! The hose is not an easy on, easy off type hose and requires a wrench to remove. No big deal. The hose has a male connection on one end that attaches to the female opening on the tank.

    Since I had complained to Nucamp about the issue I let them know what is now working. Maybe they have contacted you if you have had a complaint? 
  • rh5555rh5555 Member Posts: 311
    I wonder if your Propane provider did something to the regulator when they changed the hose (maybe intentionally).  Hard to see why a hose replacement would change anything...
    Roger and Sue Hill | 2020 [email protected] Boondock ([email protected]) | 2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 2L | San Juan Island, WA
  • TerenceTerence Member Posts: 5
    I spoke with Dometic today. It took a few tries to get through as their wait times are pretty long.

    The rep told me that it is a known issue but that there was nothing they could offer me to solve it. They recommended that I contact TAB or my dealer (which I already did, and they routed me to Dometic). I asked why they didn't publish this altitude issue in their operating manual if they knew of this issue but she has no comment.

    @SebNick thanks for your tip. I'll look into that solution. We don't live at high elevation so its not easy for us to test until we hit the road again.

    @bergger that's interesting - I'm glad it works for you. Nucamp said it was a known issue and routed me to Dometic directly...
  • berggerbergger Member Posts: 306
    I still think there is an issue with your stove, or I've just been lucky all these years.  Whether I'm backpacking, truck camping, grilling in the backyard, using the different stoves I've had in past or current trailers I've never had any issues with the numerous stoves at altitudes from 5000 feet to over 11000 feet.  Strange and it must be frustrating for you.  I still would lobby for a new stove and if that still does not work it has to be something in the gas line.   
    2021 [email protected] 400 BD  "Vixen Gail" 
    2018 Nissan Titan Pro 4X "Big Bird"
    Leadville Colorado
  • OyajiOyaji Member Posts: 30
    In earlier posts, I complained that my Dometic Stove in my 2021 320S didn't work at 5600 ft. altitude but worked at 600 ft. altitude.

    Last week, I had the stove at 7400 feet altitude, and guess what--it worked!  And yes, I did open the gas valve s-l-o-w-l-y.  

    Go figure.  
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