90 litre 3 way fridge thermostat malfunctioning

Submitted: Saturday, May 14, 2011 at 21:05
ThreadID: 86285 Views:9145 Replies:4 FollowUps:14
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The Electrolux RM2310 3 way fridge in my van will not always maintain the indicated temperature that I select using the thermostat. The thermostat makes a dry "springy" type noise when turned. I suspect it is dirty and or rusty. I can get it to work (sometimes) if I turn it back and forward several times. I assume I am either finding a "good spot", or I am actually cleaning it by doing this. I have been told that applying oil will fix it, but how is this achieved. I assume that I really need to replace it. But at almost $200, just for the part, I am not sure if it really is wasting that on a 13 year old fridge.
Has anyone found a cheaper supplier for parts, and is it something a handy person could do themselves, if I do have to replace it.
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Reply By: Faulic_McVitte - Saturday, May 14, 2011 at 21:47

Saturday, May 14, 2011 at 21:47
There are heaps of those RM2310 failed around the countryside. Find caravan repairers in your area as they will have failed Dometic fridges out the back of their sheds. The thermostat is a simple mechanical thermostat and doubt the noise matters. Good reason to avoid all Dometic products as parts prices are disgusting and extortion. Generally if you know what you want you can buy Dometic parts from Europe, USA or Canada for around 25% of Australian price.
AnswerID: 454288

Follow Up By: barry p1 - Saturday, May 14, 2011 at 21:58

Saturday, May 14, 2011 at 21:58
Thanks for your comments. What is your comment on the quality of the Thetford fridge ? What I really should fit is a compressor fridge, but keeping up the power is a problem.
Thanks again.
FollowupID: 727119

Follow Up By: Faulic_McVitte - Saturday, May 14, 2011 at 22:23

Saturday, May 14, 2011 at 22:23
Absolutely a compressor fridge. Depends how big you go. Majority go to big for fridges. Waeco CR1110 110L will fit in place of RM2310. You could always fit an 85L if you don't need 110L for less power. You are never far from shops. If you are a couple the 110L is better.
Height MM Width MM Depth MM Weight Kg Fridge L Freezer L
RM2350 756.0 521.0 520.0 26.50 90.00 11.00
CR110 747.0 524.0 505.0 28.00 97.8 10.20

Thetford fridge are worse than your Dometic.

If you do a proper solar and charging setup a compressor fridge is magic. You don't have to attend to the fridge like it is a new born baby. I would never have a 3 way fridge again. If you use your van a lot and free camp the cost of the solar system is quickly paid for. My compressor fridge has been running for the past 6 weeks on solar only and will be for the next 12 weeks.
FollowupID: 727122

Follow Up By: Faulic_McVitte - Saturday, May 14, 2011 at 22:24

Saturday, May 14, 2011 at 22:24
Waeco CR range are the only Tropical rated compressor fridge in the world. Dont consider any other brand or model.
FollowupID: 727123

Follow Up By: Rockape - Sunday, May 15, 2011 at 13:00

Sunday, May 15, 2011 at 13:00
strange that, considering Dometic make Waeco

Have a good one
FollowupID: 727168

Follow Up By: Faulic_McVitte - Sunday, May 15, 2011 at 15:38

Sunday, May 15, 2011 at 15:38
Rockape don't let incorrect information get in the way of your statement.
Dometic recently bought Waeco, and Mobicool in China make the large majority of Waeco fridges.
FollowupID: 727176

Follow Up By: Rockape - Sunday, May 15, 2011 at 15:59

Sunday, May 15, 2011 at 15:59
don't let incorrect information get in the way of your statement.
Dometic bought Waeco in 2007, I don't class that as recent, also I will stand by my statement that Dometic make Waeco. Why? because they own the brand and are the ones that warrant it regardless of who manufactures it.

FollowupID: 727183

Reply By: oldtrack123 - Sunday, May 15, 2011 at 10:31

Sunday, May 15, 2011 at 10:31
Hi Barry
Is the problem on ALL energy sources, 240v gas & 12v]??

Re the compressor fridge just make sure YOU know what's involved

battery capacity , solar panels ,possible generator, etc

Many people make blank statements such as "NEVER TO FAR FROM SHOPS" which may apply to their methods of travel but not to lots of others.

YEs compressor fridges ARE GOOD
& possibly a generator for long periods of bad weather

THEN there is also the weight factor to consider to avoid being over weight.

So think it ALL out VERY CAREFULLY

Do not be blindly lead by others who may not have the same situation as you
AnswerID: 454328

Follow Up By: Faulic_McVitte - Sunday, May 15, 2011 at 15:36

Sunday, May 15, 2011 at 15:36
Not a lot involved with a compressor fridge and they don't kill you from food poisoning. None of the small 3 way fridges work over 30c. Have to get to 120 and over in Dometic to get tropical rated fridge.

Gas fridges up to 150L weight on average 12kg more than compressor fridge, and need 28kg of gas bottles. With compressor fridge need 2 x 4kg for 14kg. 26kg weight saving.

Up to 140L fridge 150Ah battery is sufficient which most would have, and 24kg of solar panels, and DC to DC charger for backup.
FollowupID: 727175

Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Sunday, May 15, 2011 at 17:02

Sunday, May 15, 2011 at 17:02
Faulic said:" None of the small 3 way fridges work over 30c.""

What a load of crap, all those with CORRECTLY installed 3ways must just be imaging they work ok above 30c

I have both an Engel & a correctly installed Dometic 3way, 160amp hrs of batteries,200watts of solar ,& small other power use. Many a time I have had to transfer to the 3way when batteries ran low due bad weather & low slolar charge
2 x 9kg gas bottles lasts about 6 +weeks with cooking included

Any one considering a compressor fridge should look very carefully @ their intended modes of camping
Do you have the space for sufficient panels to meet a long term stopover if bad weather sets in?
Or are you prepared to give up & run for home?
Are you prepared to go for a looong drive to allow the DC to Dc charger charge your aux batteries?
Or are you prepared to let your engine run on fast idle for hrs on end.?
A generator is another option but most are not suitable for direct charging of batteries & need a battery charger!
Not allowed in many NAT pARKS!
Possibly have to carry different fuel!

How close are you to your load limit?


If your form of caravanning is mostly caravan parks with only a day or two away from power, then a compressor fridge is the way to go

BUT if camping away from power for extended periods is your intention look very carefully @ ALL THE PROS & CONS


FollowupID: 727193

Follow Up By: Faulic_McVitte - Monday, May 16, 2011 at 12:58

Monday, May 16, 2011 at 12:58
Peter you must have a miracle 3 way fridge that works in hot weather. The Dometic Tropical rated fridges installed correctly cannot take past 36c unless you don't open them at all. Reason the Dometic tropical rated fridges cannot meet Australian Standards for health and food safety and cannot be used for government or commercial purposes.
Don't have a generator and have sufficient solar panels and dont have a power problem with a 140l compressor tropical rated fridge. The big issues with power and compressor fridges come with the non tropical rated fridges and units 150l and over especially with large freezer capacity. Having read the miracles of 230l fridges and lights, TV and laptop taking 59Ah is pig manure. The large 230l fridges manufacturers rating is 75Ah and that is low on a mild/cold day. When you get towards the 90Ah for fridge and min 30Ah for house 120Ah a day is a lot to generate every day.
FollowupID: 727284

Reply By: barry p1 - Sunday, May 15, 2011 at 16:37

Sunday, May 15, 2011 at 16:37
Thanks for all the info, (and entertainment !), regarding my faulty thermostat. I believe for me the only option is to stick with the 3 way fridge. When my will work,, it works well in reasonable temperatures. I really think I need the thermostat fixed to solve my problems. Like most of us I would rather not spend perhaps $3-400 on the fitment of a new thermostat, given my fridge is really not worth that much today. A new one is going to cost me around $1500 to supply and install. I was hoping that the "oiling" might do the trick. Another reason I am not rushing into swapping the fridge is that a true tropical rated 90 litre fridge is not available from Dometic, (I have seen TP versions). Thetford have told me all their fridges ARE tropical rated. I have not seen one however.
Once again is there a fridge mechanic out there who can tell me if I can rework/replace the thermostat myself.???????
Thanks Barry
AnswerID: 454369

Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Sunday, May 15, 2011 at 17:13

Sunday, May 15, 2011 at 17:13
Hi Barry
You have not answered the question, does it play up on all energy inputs,gas & 240v ?

It is a combined gas /electric thermostat

Oiling the shaft will not improve the actual operation.

YOU would need to be very careful that you had no gas leaks,if you changed it yourself.

FollowupID: 727195

Follow Up By: Faulic_McVitte - Monday, May 16, 2011 at 12:49

Monday, May 16, 2011 at 12:49
Thetford fridges are NOT tropical rated for the refrigeration system. The Thetford electricals are tropical rated as they have to be in Australia. If anybody from Thetford is telling you the refrigeration system is tropical rated under the European standard they are telling the massive porkies.
Was a massive mistake by the incompetent out of touch AGA to tell Thetford to put a T stamp on the plate for the electrics ONLY.
FollowupID: 727282

Reply By: barry p1 - Sunday, May 15, 2011 at 19:21

Sunday, May 15, 2011 at 19:21
Hi Peter,
Sorry. The problem IS on both gas and 240V. The fridge has always been shocking on 12V. I have recently "upped" the size of the wiring to improve this. I understand that the thermostat does not operate when 12V is selected.
AnswerID: 454391

Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Monday, May 16, 2011 at 17:25

Monday, May 16, 2011 at 17:25
Hi Barry
If it is on both. then the problem is in the theromstat sensing mechanism ,possibly worn OR sticking
Not easy to get @ that part of mechanism
Would require removal from fridge.
Looks like NEW therm would be best solution.
Can you change it your self < that depends on your patience & skill[smile]
If you feel confident you could pull the fridge out & gain access to the thermostat sensor mechanism without actually removing it @ try a bit of clean up & A LITTLE VERY LIGHT OIL ON THE MECHANISM

Re:"This will allow the fridge thermostat to work reducing the overall power load of the fridge as already said, on 12 volts the fridge is always drawing power""

NOT TOTALLY CORRECT ,though often repeated. many models [@least 10],INCLUDING YOURS, do have thermostat control on 12v

FollowupID: 727316

Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Monday, May 16, 2011 at 17:41

Monday, May 16, 2011 at 17:41
Hi Barry
If you do stick with the 3way just make sure it is installed to obtain max efficiency in coolling
It is not just the heavy 12v wiring that is important
Far more important for best operation is the phsyical installation
INADEQUATE COOLING OF THE CONDENSOR, is the primary reason these types have a bad name.
THE AIM IS TO HAVE THE REFRIGERENT no more than WARM when it enters the fridge evaporator [inside]
ie; something less than 40c

FollowupID: 727320

Follow Up By: barry p1 - Monday, May 16, 2011 at 20:57

Monday, May 16, 2011 at 20:57
Peter, (and others who have contributed)

Thank you for all your invaluable input. I have been playing with the fridge in the last 24 hours. The ambient temps are not high, but I got down to almost zero on 240V, after I had found a "good" area on the thermostat. I will persist at this point, and look at fitting a computer fan and tidy up the general installation etc.

I have read all the inputs from all contributors, and as I said the 3 way option is more suited to my needs. I have a 40 litre Engel and love it. With 2 batteries in my Pajero, but none in the van, I can't add another compressor fridge.

Once again thank you all for your advice. I have found this forum to but very educational and interesting.

Thank you all, Barry
FollowupID: 727348

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