The vans back

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Reallyretired, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    Picked up my van from Johns Cross this afternoon after our fire in France that I told you about a couple of weeks ago.

    http://www.motorhomefun.co.uk/fridges-ovens/35838-serious-fridge-problem-france.html

    We are still gasping at how lucky we were that it happened under my nose and was rapidly extinguished. It could have had terminal results had it happened at night when we were asleep, and in fact had it happened 2 days earlier when we were on a packed aire we could have taken several other vans with us.

    Glenn discovered the cause of the fire was a fractured gas pipe caused by a known fault which Dometic had issued a recall notice which for reasons currently unknown I had not received. The recall work (a couple of brackets to stop the heat exchanger moving around) has been done and everything rewired (Much neater than the original wiring too).

    Glenn has currently not invoiced me and is attempting to get Dometic to foot the bill as the fire was caused by their faulty design. This is way above the call of duty and reflects the extremely high standard of service which I have always had from Johns Cross.

    I can thoroughly recommend them to anyone.:clap::clap:

    We can now start reorganising our French trip :Smile: (supposed to be a couple of months but cut short last time after 4 days)
     
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  2. dna

    dna Funster

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    We're still new to all this - How do I find out if we have the fridge which is subject to the recall / needs the brackets? Is there a way of finding out if we have already had the fix?

    Thanks
     
  3. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    As I understand it the fridges concerned are the tall ones with a separate freezer on the top. There is, I think, more than one model affected. Mine is an RM 7655L. I believe the ones affected by this problem have model numbers beginning with a 7 and those beginning with an 8 are OK.

    Its quite easy to see the modification with the bottom vent panel removed. I will be going to the van over the weekend (its stored in a compound not at home) so I can take a picture to show you.
     
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  4. podgie one

    podgie one Read Only Funster

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    Am I right in thinking that this problem is caused by escape of the amonia refrigerant from the heat exchanger rather than Butane/ Propane fuel?

    Any chance of a pic showing the modified brackets so I would know what to look for once I took th event off?

    Dear Mods,
    if we can get this info, can it be saved somewhere for general reference?
     
  5. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    The fault is apparently caused by excessive movement of the heat exchanger, while travelling, which causes it to hit the gas pipe where it connects to the solenoid valve which in time fractures (its quite a skinny little pipe). The escape is of LPG (Butane or Propane whichever you use).

    As previously mentioned I will post a picture of the extra brackets when I can take some over the weekend.
     
  6. chatter

    chatter Read Only Funster

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    This is of concern to RVs as well both certain Norcold and Dometic fridge/freezers are affected and has been debated on RVOC with links for checking if your fridge is on recall, dont know if the model numbers are the same for uk and usa units though. This was highlighted by one member loosing his van.
    http://www.rvoc.co.uk/forum/rv-general-chat/3883-rv-fire-warning.html

    there are links to both dometic and norcold so you can check but as stated i dont know if model numbers are the same for both countries. But you can contact the uk division of them also to check
     
  7. podgie one

    podgie one Read Only Funster

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    Cheers for the clarification, it seems there are a number of issues with fridges then, cos the link above refers to refrigerant leaking & igniting. I read yesterday on another forum that the Heat Exchangers can also corrode & crack too.

    Who'd a thought that fridges would be so dangerous!!! :RollEyes:

    I think I'll make sure mine's isolated from the gas supply unless running on it.
     
  8. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Hi Podgie you may well find you have a gas four way valve somewhere in your van so you can do just that.Of course it may be a idea (if you find it) to label what shuts of what :thumb:
    terry
     
  9. podgie one

    podgie one Read Only Funster

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    Yup, do have that & it's labelled!

    There don't seem to be so many problems with fridges in boats, but I think boats are a lot more rigid structures & don't get anything like the vibration that a road vehicle does. I just checked & my fridge is a 7 series, so I will be checking it out for the mod & aproaching Dometic for the upgrade if not fitted.
     
  10. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Find there number on web, give then a ring to see if yours is one that needs the fix :thumb:
    terry
     
  11. Glynn

    Glynn Read Only Funster

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    Just checked mine and thankfully it's not a Dometic it's a Thetford.
     
  12. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    You're sure you looked at the fridge and not the toilet :Rofl1:

    As promised a picture of the back of the fridge. The red stars indicate brackets which are fitted as part (if not all) of the modification, so if you've got them its been done. The blue star is the solenoid gas valve and the yellow star indicates the area my gas pipe fractured. As you can see the gas pipe from the valve to the burner is quite thin and not particularly strong if it flexes at all. Yours may look different, it won't have stars on it for one thing.:Smile:

    If you haven't got these brackets it may well be that your fridge model isn't one of those affected. As far as I know its only the AES fridge/freezers with two doors that are affected.

    Hope this helps
     

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  13. Glynn

    Glynn Read Only Funster

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    Yes absolutely sure.
     
  14. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    Speaking with a man from Dometic today. Apparently they can only send recalls to the original owner, so if you bought your van secondhand from a dealer or privately, you would not be notified.

    If you have a two door (i.e. separate freezer above) dometic fridge with a model number beginning RM 7... then it would be worth checking that you have the modification as pictured above.

    Sorry left the picture off but its there a bit further back in the thread
     
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