caravan fridge

Submitted: Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 21:16
ThreadID: 30786 Views:2351 Replies:10 FollowUps:10
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I have a 3way Electrolux fridge in my van during the night it pull down to 2degrees but during the day it only gets down to 12degrees this is on 240volts .has anybody experienced this and has anybody found a solution to this problem.
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Reply By: Trevor R (QLD) - Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 21:22

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 21:22
Yeah Pojo,

Experienced same with my first c/van. Solution get a 2 way in the second van, now no more hot beer. The 3 ways are (apparently) only good for 30 degrees below ambient temp, so if in hot country you can imagine what the fridge is running at inside a hot van.
My understanding is that they run coolest on gas, so maybe you could try this to see if it's any cooler if not maybe it's time to talk to your Waeco dealer or engel or vitrofrigo ect ect. about a 12v job.

Cheers Trevor.
AnswerID: 154993

Follow Up By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 16:50

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 16:50
I agree with Trevor on this one....we got rid of the electrolux 3 way in the Ultimate camper and I installed a 2 way Engel. It's great!!!!

Just need to make sure you've got your battery situation sorted out; if you plan on being away from 240 volts (or have no gennie), you'll need a double battery set-up so you can get several days before you need to charge them.

Cheers

Roachie
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FollowupID: 409112

Reply By: Darian (SA) - Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 21:41

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 21:41
Yep - as Trev says, gas is definitely the best mode.... and they have to "breathe" well too - circulating air - if the van is hot inside, and its hot outside and you just rely on convected air over the back, it may be too big an ask - maybe a 12V fan to assist ?
AnswerID: 155000

Reply By: AdrianLR (VIC) - Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 22:13

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 22:13
Three things to try:

1. Is the fridge level? Not just the van. Put a small level on the ice shelf of the fridge to check.

2. Is there proper airflow over the condensor? Many installations are poor to start with but get worse if the vents are clogged. If you can get to them make sure they're clean. If not, at least vacuum them from outside. You must have fresh air coming in at the bottom and exiting at the top. If the gap between the back of the fridge and the wall of the caravan is too big then you won't get this happening. It's bizarre that the manufacutrers sometimes get this wrong! A carefully positioned fan to suck air off the top of the condensor can do wonders (however if incorrectly placed will make things worse by cooling the wrong bits)

3. If it's an old fridge then check that the door seal's ok.

If all else fails and you can remove the fridge then take it out, turn it upside down a few times and try again. After a while crystals can form and need to be redissolved

Adrian
AnswerID: 155011

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 13:01

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 13:01
>If all else fails and you can remove the fridge then take it
>out, turn it upside down a few times and try again. After
>a while crystals can form and need to be redissolved

Interesting. I've always wondered why that advice was given. I heard you should leave it upside down for a day or two?

Is it worth doing this as routine maintenance every year or two?

Mike Harding
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Follow Up By: slave - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 16:44

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 16:44
We knew caravan park owners that would 'roll' the fridges from on-site vans around to get them working. Don't know if it worked on newer fridges but on 20 year old ones it did everytime.

Mrs S
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Reply By: Keith_A (Qld) - Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 22:50

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 22:50
12V computer fan for the external fins plus a 12V fan on the inside - works wonders.
As above, Gas provides best result and ensure fridge is reasonably level.
This question has been asked many times. Use the search function at top of screen.
happy camping....................
AnswerID: 155035

Reply By: Member No 1- Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 07:53

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 07:53
is 240v electric heater element correct wattage?
is flue stack clean...Internally -
is condenser clean?
hot air rises so ensure adequate air flow from bottom to top at back of fridge condenser area!
are door seals Ok?
Does it get to temperature on gas?
AnswerID: 155085

Reply By: 4145derek - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 08:14

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 08:14
I have had these problems with 2 Brand new caravans I bought over the last 4 years and have tried it all. Nothing works like it should and computer fans, insulation and perfect levels don't help.

As a Engel wholesaler I decided to fit one of my own products to my van. The SR90E which is a direct fit into the Dometic RM2350 cavity.

Wow ! Great, in 55 mins it pulled down from 29 deg to 7 deg and started cycling.

This weekend I will fit one of my AGM's and a 123w solar panel.

At around a grand the fridge is one of my best self bought presents.

Regards Derek
AnswerID: 155090

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 13:03

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 13:03
You never miss an opportunity do you Derek?

Mike Harding
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Follow Up By: StephenF10 - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 13:26

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 13:26
It IS true that compressor fridges are much better than 3-ways for Australian conditions. The most common complaint you read in caravan forums is "why doesn't my 3-way work properly?". A lot of the problems are due to poor installation but the fact is that a 3-way will struggle in typical Australian hot weather. Their only saving grace is that they will run for a long time on a bottle of gas whereas you have to provide electricity for a compressor fridge via a battery which then requires charging via solar or generator.

For someone who mostly stays in caravan parks a compressor fridge is the way to go.

Stephen.
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FollowupID: 409085

Reply By: Wizard1 - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 10:08

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 10:08
To save you experiencing anymore information overload with what it could be, why not engage the services of a qualified fridge technician...Unless you are willing to start pulling your fridge our to check this stuff, I would..
AnswerID: 155112

Reply By: Member - Collyn R (WA) - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 11:58

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 11:58
A few recent Dometic three-way fridges are available as 'T-rated'. They willo operate in ambients of up to 43 degrees C (most previous were designed for 32 degrees C max).

You will find the answers to your questions on my website. Enter and click on 'Articles' - you will find a two-part article there on all aspects of three-way fridge operation and installation.

Please note this is an attempt to assist not to promote - the information is hard to obtain elsewhere.
Collyn Rivers
AnswerID: 155122

Follow Up By: pojo - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 14:37

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 14:37
Thank you for all your assistance i visited your web site and found it very good and informative
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Follow Up By: Ron173 - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 15:59

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 15:59
At the risk of sounding stupid, what would the url of this site be then?

Ron
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Follow Up By: Member - Collyn R (WA) - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 19:05

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 19:05
It is a condition of the site that one must not promote anything. Wjhilst i support this - it sometimes a problem for me when I know I have the answers to what people seek (but they are too long to precis as the brief posting that I usually try to give) but I cannot give my website details. Most people work it out. It's very similar to my email address.
Collyn
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FollowupID: 409148

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 20:54

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 20:54
>It is a condition of the site that one must not promote
>anything.

Well... it's not fair game to push your own boat too often (Derek!) but from time to time seems OK to me - especially if you usually know what you're talking about.

http://www.caravanandmotorhomebooks.com/

will find what you seek, I think

Mike Harding
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FollowupID: 409166

Follow Up By: scottp - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 22:12

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 22:12
Collyn,

I learn a lot from reading your replys to posts, and enjoy them.

Your web site is well known to all of us that reguarly read this forum, as is dereks.

A forum is a meeting, around table, a discussion.

Not a sales office like a said person (and PITA) use's it for.

Keep up the good work Collyn.

I look forward to reading your books, posts and reply's.

Scott.
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FollowupID: 409181

Reply By: Raymond from Wanderin 4 Wheelers - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 18:56

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 18:56
Hi Pojo

Just been through the same problem with a Dometic 3-way. I have now solved the problem (thanks also to input from Collyn)

1. Check that the fridge is "T" rated (Yes in my case)
2. Check that the vents are in the right place (Yes in my case)
3. Check that the cowling at the top of the fridge to the outside is correctly installed.
( In my case the cowling was only over half the evaporator instead of behind it)
4. Check that there is no airspace above the fridge ( needed more insulation in my case)

The improvement of fixing 3 + 4 has made a big difference in the preformance of the fridge

Regards Ray
AnswerID: 155187

Reply By: Member - Collyn R (WA) - Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 10:31

Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 10:31
Happy it worked out Ray!

Installers hate my repeating this, but most three-way fridge installation varies from 'could either have been done better', to 'hopelessly inadaquate'.

Often, what appear to be trivial matters make a huge difference to performance. As a result over the years gas fridges have developed a poor reputation. That poor reputation would better be associated with many an installer, rather than the product. This is especially true of the recent 'T-rated' fridges. These work superbly (even up here in the Kimberley) if correctly fitted.

One installer phoned me in a huge rage a couple of years back. Paraphrasing his comments - he said: 'I've been installing the b-y things for over thirty years - I KNOW they don't work - but the b-y idiot customers keep asking me to put them in - I'm not interested in their complaints - or b-y idiots like you". This is what users are sometimes up against.

Not just three-way fridges can be improved.

Most 12-volt electric fridges can have their performance improved (often dramatically) by replacing the almost invariably too-thin cable by heavier cable. Nowadays, installers are tending to use 6 mm auto cable (this is actually 4.6 sq mm). This is fine for up to two/three metres - but not much more.

If you are in doubt re cable adequacy, tell me (via posting on this Forum) total cable leength, and make/size of fridge, and I will tell you what cable size to use. Or give me the existing cable details (I must have the cable cross sectional area - or the conductor diameter NOT including insulation) and I can tell you the voltage drop across that cable.
Collyn Rivers
AnswerID: 155311

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