Motorhome Fridges, Are They All Crap?

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by GeebeeJaybee, Jul 13, 2015.

  1. GeebeeJaybee

    GeebeeJaybee

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    We are now down in Fleurence and i am worrying about our fridge. Are they just crap or is it only ours?

    It seems alright overnight on gas when its cooler but through the day when driving with it on cab battery it does nowt. Similarly if on gas if not the middle of the night. No hook up here but was ok on that in Uk but then again it wasnt 25 degrees plus!

    So, are they just crap?

    Jen
     
  2. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    No they should work but so many things go wrong.
    Some fridges work better than others but its not confidence inspiring to know that some batches of Dometic left the factory with not enough chemicals in the cooler or non at all
     
  3. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    A bit under powered. See threads on here where people fit fans to assist the cooling.
     
  4. Geordies

    Geordies Funster

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    I put a datalogger in our fridge / freezer. In the UK early June with an ambient of about 17c, daytime, but cooler overnight we found that with almost empty fridge/freezer we got;
    On hook-up, -3c in the fridge, -14c in the freezer. Similar results on gas. But when driving on battery after 4 hours, the fridge came up to +8c and the freezer up to 0c.

    What we have found to do is put the fridge/freezer on hook up the night before we go away (assuming a long drive),and put freezer blocks in the freezer. Next morning put frozen stuff from home freezer into MH freezer and put ice blocks into the MH fridge, then fill fridge with stuff from home fridge. That would maintain the required coldness for a six hour drive. When we get to destination, put hook-up or gas on asap on full and it will take the coldness down again.

    In South of France a couple of weeks ago we had 30c ambient and on hook-up the fridge performed great, we actually had to turn the setting down as it was freezing too much.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2015
  5. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    I did 280 miles yesterday and the fridge and freezer both stayed just as cold as when we set off.
    It has taken 23 months to get mine working just before the warranty expires early August
     
  6. mjltigger

    mjltigger Funster

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    this is our 4th 3 way fridge and up to now all of them have been superb.. this one doesn't seem to cool very well on 12v but does stay cool once cold. The gas works great and I haven't tried it on hookup yet..
     
  7. Ethle the wondervan

    Ethle the wondervan

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    Our 13 year old Electrolux is consistently reliable if not a bit too cool at times. Touch wood. Good luck, hope yours is a simple fix.
     
  8. Larrynwin

    Larrynwin Funster

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    I keep mine on gas when driving , stays colder.
     
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  9. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    Ours has been hit and miss so I put an LCD thermometer on it just to keep tabs. I was told Dometics are most efficient with the thermostat on the midway setting, but ours rarely settles at the 5C that's considered about right for a home fridge - it's up and down like a yoyo. I wonder if half the problem is the ones fitted in UK-destined MHs are built for northern European ambient temperatures? Gas and Electricity cool it pretty quickly but 12v varies, and in fact I'm thinking our 12v element may have packed up recently. It doesn't help if they're stuffed full with recent supermarket purchases, as they take a while to cool down in hot weather. Best to keep freezer packs permanently in the freezer then transfer them to the main compartment whenever you stock the fridge up.

    A fault that was pointed out to me last year was the flue pipe can corrode and bits of rust fall on top of the burner, making it less efficient. Our mobile engineer guy blew it out with a pressurised air can and it made a big difference.

    It's ten years old now so I'm thinking maybe I get it properly looked at by a Dometic-registered engineer but there's not that many of them around.
     
  10. sdc77

    sdc77 Funster

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    Make sure it's full and cold (hook up or gas) before you leave and it will be fine while you're driving. Or fridge is normally on as it's the house overflow (beer) fridge when we're at home
     
  11. Ranger

    Ranger Funster

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    So pleased we have a compressor fridge.
     
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  12. SMB

    SMB Funster

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    My first Thetford fridge was crap and died after 18 months. The second works well apart from when its really hot, even with an external fan fitted inside the grill but I expected that. However the interior light doesn't work and I have emailed Thetford FIVE times asking about this and have yet to receive a reply other than 'we are experiencing problems with our email system'. I'm back in England tomorrow (hopefully as the French have decided to cause trouble again at Calais and the DFDS crossings are suspended, I'm leaving from Dunkirk ) so I will ring them then and see if one of their trained monkeys can help me with my problem. So, in reply to your question, yes they are all crap but not as bad as Thetfords customer services. Tossers :envy::envy::envy::swear2:
     
  13. etap

    etap Funster

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    Yes our new Thetford ff works ok on gas but refused to work on elect. in Italy this June, but seems to work ok at home on elect.
    I emailed Thetford twice to ask if something could be wrong ( maybe the elect. in Italy was not strong enough) but they have not answered so much for company relationships !!!
    Etap
     
  14. GeebeeJaybee

    GeebeeJaybee

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    It was cold and full when we set off and friday. Were on hook up friday night and fine. We are now unable to hook up as on aires etc so gas it is.
    It was serviced last month so maybe its just the 30 degrees temperature here.

    Thanks everyone.
     
  15. DanielFord

    DanielFord Funster

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    If you are running gas, you have got to get the van level. More import is the left to right angle, certainly in ours anyway. On hookup, the angle seems more generous, but after too much lean it will stop.
    A handy tip, the thermistor is usually attached really close to the outlet, move it closer to the middle. In ours the right hand cooling fins are much colder then the ones on the right. I moved it to the centre fins, and now the fridge gets much colder in all modes
     
  16. Manic

    Manic Funster

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    Also some motorhome builders don't fit the fridges correctly, not sealing them at the back so the heat built up goes around the sides which doesn't help the fridge operation.
     
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  17. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    The 12v side of things is only meant to maintain what ever temperature the fridge is at.. So its no good loading it up and driving off as it will not get colder..
    You really need to turn it on at least 6 hours before leaving on a trip

    The Thetforfd fridges are VERY mains voltage sensitive .. While the Dometic will struggle on at silly low voltages the Thetford will simply switch off at 190 to 200v... I would urge anyone with a Thetford who is travelling abroad to leave it on full auto so if a camp site mains voltage drops it will revert to gas
     
  18. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Also.. some don't install the 12v supply with proper sized cable for the run, which causes a volt drop.. every volt lost means almost 10% loss of power.. not hard to understand why 'some' are crap on 12v

    Ours works fine on all power options.. the 12v supply cable is 4 mm

    So if it's poor on 12v, check the voltage at the back of the fridge on the 12v element connections. .. with engine running it should be between 12v - 14v .. if not at least 12v, then consider rewiring with heavier cable.

    If you have the correct voltage check the element connections are not loose or corroded.

    Other possible fault if voltage is low, is a bad connection or contact on the 12v split charge/fridge relay found under the bonnet.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2015
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  19. dpsuk999

    dpsuk999 Read Only Funster

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    One other thing to look at is the fridge seals to make sure that they are in good condition and seal ALL the way round. A small gap anywhere in the seal will result in a big temp drop.
     
  20. gozomike

    gozomike Funster Life Member Life Member

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    Mine works well on all 3 supplies, if I leave the settings too high (or is it low for cold:rolleyes:) it can get very cold including on 12v. It is a manual changeover Thetford fitted by WildAx and has 5 levels for each :rolleyes: supply, I normally run it on number 3.

    If you are struggling in hot conditions it may be worth making sure the vents are on the shade when parked.
     
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