Couple of problems....or not??

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by errpaul, Aug 24, 2010.

  1. errpaul

    errpaul Funster

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    So we have just got back from our 1st trip out in our new (well new for us!) MH, a Laika ecovip. This was our longest trip to date. We went to France where we made our compulsory trip to Disney, before heading to Ile de Re, which was lovely, although very expensive.
    A number of lessons learnt, and had a shock when MH came up as class 3 on the toll road from calais to Paris and had to pay just under 44E.:cry: That's the end of using toll roads!

    Anyway, the freezer compartment of the fridge was great when on hook up and kept things properly frozen. When running on the engine the freezer defrosted, ruining the food we had in there. Tried on gas and the fridge temperature was warmer than running on engine.
    So is this normal??? Basically on gas fridge was barely cool. When driving and running on engine fridge was cold, freezer was same as fridge. On EHU fridge very cold and freezer great.
    Is the fridge knackered???

    Also we have a couple of wind up roof vents at the rear of the van, which were put down prior to travelling. When driving these started flapping and clear daylight could be seen. There is no way to lock these down by the way.....Is this normal???
     
  2. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    The fridge does not run on full power from the engine battery - it would flatten your battery.

    It should be OK on gas. Since gas/mains is very similar ( just a heat source to make it cool ) then you might need the gas side servicing. Are you sure it's actually lighting ?
     
  3. errpaul

    errpaul Funster

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    Hi. Sorry, when I said about engine battery I meant when driving.
    That's what I thought about gas, which is why it seemed strange. It is definately lighting as the ignition led flashes if not lit and it makes the clicking noise.
     
  4. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    I also meant whilst driving, when the engine isn't charging your fridge is OFF. So if you were start stop and did not turn on the gas then the fridge has not chance.

    They don't cope too well if it's very hot.

    The only other thing I've heard but not experienced is that they are sensitive to being level.

    I've never paid much attention to the fridge but it is easy to unclip the vents ( top one ) and have a look at the works, you might spot something.
     
  5. errpaul

    errpaul Funster

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    Will give that a go. Thanks
     
  6. lorger

    lorger Funster

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    Hi Have to agree with Brian the gas should work just as good as ehu ours seems to work slightly better on gas or might just be me. When driving our freezer dosen't normally defrost as long as we dont open door. This year while in lake garda at 40 deg fridge struggled to work so attched 12v fan next to vent on outside to keep it cool.

    Gerry
     
  7. weekenders

    weekenders Funster Life Member

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    We found the same problem, our fridge worked OK on battery when travelling but on gas it barely kept the fridge cool, and when on electric hook up abroad it worked ok, it was 30-34 deg in germany and the fridge could not cope on gas, next time we will attached a fan to take the heat away.
     
  8. errpaul

    errpaul Funster

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    Have you had that problem with running on the gas every time, or just when the temperature outside is high?
     
  9. rainbow chasers

    rainbow chasers Read Only Funster

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    In higher temperatures, the gas liquid cannot boil efficiently - meaning less gas is produced. Imagine have a low battery in a clock. It will tick, but slowly.

    I have had similar problems with hire vehicles at festivals this summer during our hot spell - they complained that milk went off even though the fridge seemed cool. Upon looking at the temps that day, they were early 30's. LPG stops rpoducing gas at something similar to 29 degrees (without checking) so the neareer you get to that temp, the less efficient your appliances will be as there is less gas being produced.

    Some have tried lagging tanks - but this does not help at all as it keeps them warmer. Locker fans may help, but you are firstly blowing hot air onto them, and secondly introducing electricity into a spark zone. The effectiveness can be limited. A short term solution is to throw a bag of ice in the locker which will help cool and give you a temporary gas flow.

    12V driving supply is a stabiliser - it will not cool effectively on its' own, but once cooled on EHU, keeping the fridge shut and running on 12v will slow the warming of the fridge - that is all it is intended for!

    By all means check your gas, it may need the jets cleaning with a blast of air from an air duster. Dirt and debris often collect there, and spiders build webs here at this time of the year.

    Get into a habit of running the fridge on gas for 15 minutes, every time you stop for the day - this will clear the jets of any debris, as sometimes you can get quite a build up when running EHU for a while - especially during wet weather.:thumb:
     
  10. Dodgey

    Dodgey Funster

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    Kinda what he said.

    Our first RV had a Euro fridge, worked fine then didn't on gas.

    Dead simple, the gas nozzle/jet call it what you will was partially blocked, ignited fine, flame looked OK but it wasn't.

    I removed the fridge for a fiddle, then realised the jet was easily accesable from out side and with a blast from the compressor, having removed the jet you understand, a re assemble and refit and all was grand, back to freezing cans of beer, lettus etc:Doh:

    If you can get to the bottom back of the fridge you should see a small square (typically) cover held on but one or two screws and an obvious gas pipe running into it. Remove cover and where the gas pipe screws into the base of the flame unit is where the jet is.


    THE BIG CAVEAT/COMMON SENSE MOMENT.

    If you want to have a look remember you're playing with gas, big bang, fire etc so be sure what you are doing, confident what you're doing or take it to a professional, yes? The standard test is a soapy liquid brushed/dabbed etc round any resealed joins and look for bubbles, it may be a small ish pipe but at the end of the day a leak is a leak and gas go bang:Eeek:

    These fridges don't respond well in higher temps as has also been said but with a little thought, we ran the beer in fridge night before then put into cool box the following morning with ice packs principle and no probs, except the frozen lettus is idiot here left the thermostat control on flat out:Doh:
     
  11. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Sorry to but in but that is the opposite of everything I've ever known about gas.

    The LPG boils at something like -10deg - produces no gas, just as no steam comes off cold water.

    Then I thought Boyles Law applied:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boyle's_law

    I'd love to know if I am wrong.

    My guess is the *fridge* complex cooling cycle cannot work at your 30 deg, which ties in with people fitting cooling fans in the fridge vents.
     
  12. rainbow chasers

    rainbow chasers Read Only Funster

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    Sorry, I should have made it a little more clear - just didn't want to confuse.

    LPG cylinders will actually START boiling at .5 degrees, 15 is the optimum operating temp, where they work best. When you head up to 29/30 margin, LPG cylinders become unstable, and start venting. This means your gas appliance will receive a limited supply of gas. Figures are rough as I said above, working from old memory!:thumb:
     
  13. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    Have to say that I don't recognise any of these problems. Ours is a 97 litre Electrolux absorption fridge as typically found in a motorhome. We run it on gas more than any other energy source as we rarely hook-up. The supply is autogas LPG i.e. propane (or predominantly so) fed from a twin Gaslow system. Never had any problem with vaporisation or quantity of gas supplied in hot weather. In Bavaria this July, the fridge worked perfectly on LPG when the outside temperature was 36ºC or more (it kept ice cubes and meat frozen in the freezer compartment). The only symptom of it working harder than usual was that the hob above it got a bit warm in the vicinity of the fridge flue. We have no additional ventilation fans to help the fridge.

    As others have suggested, I suspect the problem is a dirty jet, flue or both. Have it serviced.

    Philip
     
  14. robnchris

    robnchris Funster

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    cleaning fridge flu

    Light fridge on Gas, with controls set to coldest check the size and brightness of the flame if it is small and dim more often than not you will find the gas jet coked up, it`s an easy job to rectify.
    You should be able to get to the gas jet and flu through the bottom vent on the outside of the van.
    Two screws will have the cover off the jet and lighter assembly, remove them and then a single screw will remove the jet and piezo lighter you can see all the parts here
    http://www.leisurespares.co.uk/files/rm8400.pdf

    clean out the jet, check the flue for soot deposits, remove the top of the flu all parts covered buy brackets 121, lift out of the flu part 102, this is a wire with the spiral baffle plate, clean any loose soot from this, it should be clean and shiney, clean out the flu with a long brush, be careful of soot and rust deposits dropping down.

    Assemble taking care to align the piezo lighter, from inside light the fridge as instructions you should see a much brighter light, voila, working fridge. :thumb:
     
  15. weekenders

    weekenders Funster Life Member

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    Have you had that problem with running on the gas every time, or just when the temperature outside is high?[/QUOTE]

    Hi Errpaul
    We only havethe problem when we are abroad and the temperature is hot outside.
    UK is ok on gas
     
  16. errpaul

    errpaul Funster

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    Hi Errpaul
    We only havethe problem when we are abroad and the temperature is hot outside.
    UK is ok on gas[/QUOTE]


    Hi. As we have only just got the van we have only tried it in France. I'll get the van out here as the weather is rubbish and try it on gas. If it's still not freezing properly then that rules out the issue of having used it in warm weather.
    We didn't ever notice it with our old van as the freezer compartment was so small that we never used it.
     
  17. rainbow chasers

    rainbow chasers Read Only Funster

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    Are you using propane or butane? They have different tolerances!
     
  18. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    I don't have a problem. My Dometic freezer will freeze on 12v, gas or EHU in temperatures up to 35. I don't bother much with levelling as long as I don't fall out of bed.

    I usually fill the icecube tray when I set off with the freezer at 'room' temperature and have ice on arrival (there is a lid on the icecube tray by the way)

    Perhaps I'm just lucky but it sounds like yours needs servicing.
     
  19. errpaul

    errpaul Funster

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    We're on propane. We use that due to use in cold weather
     
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