Fridge question

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by Dave K, Apr 3, 2015.

  1. Dave K

    Dave K Funster

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    Hi all
    I'm still trying to get to grips with MH electrics and I have a question regarding the fridge, we have a Swift Bolero and it's fitted with a Thetford fridge with a digital display, on handover the fella said that the best setting to put the fridge on was 'auto' setting, this way the fridge will find the best power source, when it has done this the blue light on the front panel will stay constant, here's my question, we drive off somewhere having disconnected the mains electric and the blue light will flash, is this because it then won't drain the battery, if so what setting would I put it onto if I was wild camping, would this then need to be powered by gas? Sorry if this sounds vague but trying to get to grips with the control panel etc is proving a bit different to the electrics in a caravan
    Thanks
    Dave
     
  2. Sheddy

    Sheddy Funster

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    In the Auto mode the fridge will default to mains 240v if hooked up, if not on hook up it will then go to gas, when you start the engine it will go to 12v, while on 12v it only maintains the fridge temperature, so not very effective to use the 12v for initial cooling.
    If the blue light is flashing when the engine is running and you are certain Auto is selected there may be a problem with either the 12v supply or the fridge controller.
    Try taking it off Auto and run it on all three power settings manually, this should test each supply.
    Good Luck (y)
     
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  3. MikeD

    MikeD Funster

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    If you change the power source it sometimes takes a bit of time to cycle through its options looking for a power source
    15 to 20 mins is not unheard off.

    So the light will flash until it finds the required option
     
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  4. Dave K

    Dave K Funster

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    Thanks for the info (y)
     
  5. Dave K

    Dave K Funster

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    Ok thanks for that, perhaps I'm being too impatient, strangely though the internal light still comes on when you open the door so something must be working
     
  6. icantremember

    icantremember Funster

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    With the fridge set to "Auto" there should be a delay of around 10-15 minutes after turning off the engine before it will fire up on gas.
    This is a safety measure for garage forecourts so the fridge shouldn't produce a flame whilst fueling the vehicle.
    I can't remember if the light flashes during this period but I think not.
     
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  7. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    The internal light runs on 12v and is independent of what the fridge is running on.

    We find with ours, if it hasn't been used for a while it will not initially operate on gas if set to Auto. Set it to gas and it goes fine, after a while set to auto it works correctly on all 3 sources as available.
     
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  8. dave newell lvs

    dave newell lvs Trader-Vehicle Services

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    As usual there are a few misconceptions being spread here. The fridge will be best on the auto setting simply because it will automatically switch to the most appropriate power supply in the order of 230 V hookup if connected, Gas, 12 Volt if engine running.

    The delay that has been mentioned is only applicable when switching from 12 Volt once the engine has been switched off. If hookup is connected the fridge will select 230 V operation immediately, if no hookup is connected then there is a 15 minute delay before the fridge will attempt to light on gas. This is deliberately engineered into the system to avoid the fridge trying to light while you're in a petrol station.

    The fridge is perfectly capable of cooling on 12 Volt with the engine running, this idea that the 12 V will only keep it cool(ish) is a throwback to the very early 3 way fridges (plus the fact that absorption fridges take a long time to cool down anyway and most of us only drive for a couple of hours at a time), modern units have a 12 V element of similar power to the 230 V element so are equally as good at cooling, modern fridges also use only one thermostat which operates on all power sources.

    D.
     
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  9. SMB

    SMB Funster

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    That's interesting to know, the only time my fridge internal lights work is when it is first powered up, subsequently when I open the door nothing happens. I have spoken to Marquis Motorhomes as the vehicle is still under warranty and they don't know what the problem is, I emailed Thetford three times and they haven't bothered to reply. No change there going off some other posts regarding Thetford :madder:
     
  10. Dave K

    Dave K Funster

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    I think they should've stuck to making toilets..
     
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  11. Dave K

    Dave K Funster

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    Thanks Dave
     
  12. mjltigger

    mjltigger Funster

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    In fact, early 3 way fridges on 12v were permanently powered and not thermostat controlled. Many was the time I got on site with the caravan and the milk was frozen.
     
  13. Photo4x4

    Photo4x4 Funster

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    Also as I understand it Dave it will take longer to cool the fridge if you start it from ambient temperature on 12v, I think that this may be where the confusion comes in. We put our vehicle on hook-up the day before we go away and that gets the fridge/freezer down to its normal operating temperature before we load it with food and set off.

    By the way I think that getting to grips with the electrics is one of the main problems for new MH owners. It certainly was for me. :)

    KH
     
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  14. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    If you are going to run on auto do make sure you know how your van is wired. Hymer's fitted with Dometic fridges, if there is no other source available will switch to the habitation battery they have been wired like this since about 2007/2008.
    I pulled the fuse in the Electroblock on mine so it can't do it, was same on my last van.
     
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  15. Dave K

    Dave K Funster

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    Thanks for the support KH, when we had the handover I was thinking how simple it looked......it obviously does in the right hands :whistle:
     
  16. SMB

    SMB Funster

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    While we are talking fridges, I was on a 12-hour ferry a few days ago and left the fridge on gas as there was no instructions to turn the gas off (Italian ferry). When I checked the contents after disembarking I found that the fridge temperature has risen above zero degrees and the milk etc wasn't chilled. I take it the motion of the ferry affected the fridge, has anybody had the same experience? Might as well just switch the fridge off from now on or travel with it empty.
     
  17. Photo4x4

    Photo4x4 Funster

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    It is very confusing at first, however after a couple of trips you will soon have it sussed.

    The first time I tried to set up our MH I did it on the drive and it took me and my brother-in-law (a seasoned caravaner) half a day and a couple of calls to the dealer where I purchased the MH, to work out how to get the gas stove working!

    It wasn't until I read the instructions properly that I realised that you had to push the gas burner control in as you turned it! :)

    You will soon get used to the routine of setting up and it will be second nature, then you will be on this forum helping other newbies to get started.

    KH
     
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  18. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    That is extremely dangerous, why would you want to endanger your life and every one else on the ferry.
     
  19. SMB

    SMB Funster

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    A bit dramatic to say the least, if it was that dangerous then I'm sure MH users would have been instructed to switch it off, as I said in my post. I also have a rupture protection system fitted which means it is safe to drive with the gas on, if I can drive down the motorway at 60mph then I'm sure its just as safe when its rocking gently from side-to-side on the ferry. I'm sure that I have read posts on MHF about leaving the gas on whilst travelling on the ferry, I don't believe I am the only one. But I will be turning it off anyway, not because I am afraid I am going to turn a ferry into a gigantic health and safety risk but because the fridge doesn't work
     
  20. SMB

    SMB Funster

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    I have had a
    Having had a look at the regulations for the ferry company (Tirrenia), the only reference I can find to LPG is regarding cars powered by it. However I take your point having researched it on the 'net, the majority of people turn it off so I will do so as well (y)
     
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