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Author Topic: Electrical/Refridgerator Issues  (Read 2976 times)

krmereness

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Electrical/Refridgerator Issues
« on: July 15, 2011, 11:18:59 PM »
I have a 2001 Rockwood and am new to Rving.  I just bought it and have had it plugged into my house and the fridge was working fine and freezer froze as expected.  I installed a new battery this morning (didn't come with one) and drove to the campsite about 2-3 hours late to find out the fridge was not cold and the freezer was only cool.  We also found out that a few of our outlets weren't working.  Thinking it was the battery I unhooked it here at the site.  We are hooked up to 30 amps.  All lights work fine.  Microwave works OK.  I am at a loss as to what to try next.  Can someone offer so advice to a novice???

Lowell

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Re: Electrical/Refridgerator Issues
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2011, 11:24:45 PM »
At home while plugged into AC, the refrigerator was running.  When you unpluged it at home, to keep it running, you would have needed to operate it on gas.  The battery does not operate the refrigerator.  The battery will ignite the gas for the refrigerator if gas is turned on.  now that you are at an AC hook up again, is the refrigerator working?

It is acceptable to operate the refrigrator on gas while traveling. 
« Last Edit: July 15, 2011, 11:26:30 PM by Lowell »
Lowell

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krmereness

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Re: Electrical/Refridgerator Issues
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2011, 11:36:32 PM »
Fridge don't not seem to be working.  The light in the frdige does come on though, just doesn't cool.  Also, a few of the outlets on that side of the camper are not working.  Very frustrating first time out.

Howard R

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Re: Electrical/Refridgerator Issues
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2011, 01:44:31 AM »
While I am not familiar with your new to you Rockwood, having a Class A, there are some common items. 

Take a look around, probably in the bathroom and/or kitchen area at the AC outlets ... you should find one or more with GFI's.  You will most likely find one tripped, reset and you should be good to go as commonly several more AC outlets are daisy chained to each GFI.  And if the frig is plugged into a protected outlet that could be your problem when plugged in.

DC power (12v) is required to operate the control circuits on the frig in all cases.   Along with propane when you are not connected to shore power or a generator for AC.

And by the way, Welcome to the Forum and Rv'ing !!   :)

Howard
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krmereness

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Re: Electrical/Refridgerator Issues
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2011, 10:01:30 AM »
I checked for the gfis and only found one by the sink. It wasn't tripped. I am going to recheck the fuses and relevel the trailer today. I am thinking it  has to be pretty simple. Are there any other fuses besides the one on the converter?

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Electrical/Refridgerator Issues
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2011, 10:23:50 AM »
Try to operate the fridge on 120vac and then also on LP. Does either one work? Or neither?  If its neither, odds are the problem is with the 12v supply. If LP works but 120vac doesn't, the problem is the 120v power side.

With the trailer plugged in, remove the outside access door on the fridge and check to see if you have 120v at the outlet where the fridge plugs in. If you don't have a voltmeter, plug in a table lamp or clock to see if it works in that outlet.   Since you have some other outlets that are out, there is a good chance there is no power there as well.

Lack of 120v power in the outlets suggests a tripped GFCI or circuit breaker. Have you found the breakers and reset the one for the fridge? Is there any 120v power in the trailer at all? If not, you also have to consider a possible problem in the shore power cord.
Gary
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John From Detroit

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Re: Electrical/Refridgerator Issues
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2011, 12:12:12 PM »
Possible problems: First is the unit a 30 or 50 amp (you can plug a 50 amp into a 30 amp outlet with an adapter) If it is a 50 and "half the rig" don't work, think Bad Adapter, first.  however the rest of the suspects are still on the list,, Likewise if half the rig works, (50 amp don't matter if it's plugged into 30 or 50) Think bad transfer switch as well.

If selected outlets do not work epically if these include TV or Radio, and *IF* You have an inverter... Check for circuit breakers on the inverter.

Also check all circuit breakers in the main panel, and if you have one the sub panel (Used with inverters, may be part of the inverter)

Finally, unplug from shore power, break out the flashlight and check to make all the screws in the breaker panel(s) are properly tightened... I find many RVers have a few screws loose and these are the prime suspects in the loose screw department.

After that it gets to real work tracking down a broken wire or device.

The fact the light in the fridge comes on: Means you have 12 volts to the fridge.

NOTE: May take a while for it to really cool down, they are very reliable, but also very slow.
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krmereness

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Re: Electrical/Refridgerator Issues
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2011, 01:55:37 PM »
It is a 30amp. The last time it working I was connec ted to 20 with an adaptor. I checked all the fuses and circuit breakers on the panel. If I have  an inverter  where would it be located? Also, it was working fine until I hooked up a new battery.would this have anything to do with it?


Alfa38User

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Re: Electrical/Refridgerator Issues
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2011, 04:19:46 PM »
Let's work on one problem at a time here. For the moment, let's assume that the fridge is the most important at this time. What make and model of the fridge is it??

What do the lights in the eye-brow panel above the fridge tell you? Is the AC light on? what position is the Auto switch in?  Other lights on there??

You can open the panel outside behind the fridge and see the back of it. You should find the fridge is plugged in to a socket. Is that socket live? (test with another light or a meter) If so, you will find a small black box attached to the fridge. Open it and you will see 3 or 4 small fuses. 1 is for 120 Volts (F3 on Dometic models) Check (using a meter is the best way) and replace if blown -  5amp.

 

Report you findings and we can go from there.. or proceed and try and fire up the propane side.

Test the socket with the GFI in it, is it live?
« Last Edit: July 16, 2011, 04:38:18 PM by Alfa38User »
Stu
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krmereness

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Re: Electrical/Refridgerator Issues
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2011, 08:29:46 PM »
This all  great advice I pull out of the campsite tomorrow and will trying these ideas when I get home. I definitely will try to fix it with the great  advice everyone is giving me. Stay tuned. Thanks

krmereness

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Re: Electrical/Refridgerator Issues
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2011, 04:16:31 PM »
I haven't had a chance to do any diagnosing yet, but wanted to give an update.  I can out of the bathroom yesterday. (I believe the converter is below the stove which is just outside the bathroom) and I heard a light humming noise.  After investigating I noticed that is was coming from below the stove where the fused and breakers are.  It ran for maybe 5 minutes or so.  This was later last night.  When I woke up this morning I checked the freezer and low and behold the freezer was working!!!  I am thinking the door may have hit something on the converter (loose screw) that made the refridgerator work.  The manufacturer of the fridge is Dometic, I beleive model RM 2652 or RM 2852.  The AC power light and light in the fridge was always working.  The other switch was pushed in to be in the auto mode.  Their are no other lights on the panel.  I will check the outlet and fuses in the outside panel tomorrow.

As far as the outlets not working...it is status quo.  I thought maybe since the fridge kicked on that these would be working as well.

Alfa38User

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Re: Electrical/Refridgerator Issues
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2011, 08:31:44 AM »
If the AC light was lit then there is little point in checking outside in the refrigerator area except for, perhaps, future reference.  The AC light being on says the fridge electronics has detected  AC (120V) and, incidentally, 12V DC  otherwise the light inside nor any other functions would work.

With the  Auto switch operated  the fridge defaults to 120V operation if it is present. If it is not, the fridge should  operate on propane (provided the propane tank has been turned on and the burner ignites!!!)

Remember it can take a looong time for these fridges to cool down to operating temps normally (+- 8hrs. at least, longer if warm stuff inside).

Once you are convinced the fridge is cooling properly on 120V, next step is to try it on Propane by turning on the tank(s), then unplugging the fridge in the back. I would light the stove burner first for a few minutes to purge any air in the propane lines and make it a bit easier for the fridge burner to ignite. If the Check light comes on, then the burner has not lit properly and we can, perhaps, work on that!!! It may take several attempts (by turning the fridge off and on) to get the fridge burner running satisfactorily.

Keep us posted!! and good luck!!

PS Status Quo: Certain plugs not functioning is very typical of a GFI tripped somewhere. All outside plugs and those in the bathroom sink, kitchen sink area are usually all on one or more GFIs. Up to 6 ordinary plugs can be daisy-chained from one GFI equipped plug.  (The GFI may also be part of a circuit breaker and can be identified by the "Test" button on the breaker where equipped.)
« Last Edit: July 18, 2011, 08:46:54 AM by Alfa38User »
Stu
Montréal, Canada 🍁
Snowbird, Naples Florida
Alfa Gold 38 (2000) 5ver (parked!)

"Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advise!!!"

krmereness

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Re: Electrical/Refridgerator Issues
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2011, 07:22:42 PM »
OK.. I solved the Electrical issues.  It happened to be a loose wire in the GFI.

Still haven't had a chance to trouble shoot the fridge yet.  I will keep you posted.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Electrical/Refridgerator Issues
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2011, 08:26:55 PM »
Thanks for the feedback.
Gary
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Summers: Black Mountain, NC
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driver123

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Refrig not cooling
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2018, 04:55:11 PM »
2005 Wilderness Advantage:  Freezer gets very cold however refrig may go from 68 degrees to 60  in the same amount of time.  There is no sound at all (no hum) no clicking when you first turn it on.  Realize its the same system for the freezer as the refrig but it seems I should be hearing the compressor come on when you turn on the unit.  Not sure if these RV units are different.  Need help.  Thanks.

kdbgoat

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Re: Electrical/Refridgerator Issues
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2018, 05:40:11 PM »
Not sure why the fridge is not cold, but there's no compressor on an RV fridge. How are you measuring the fridge temperature? The two best ways I know of is a remote temperature monitor, or a pocket thermometer in a glass with an inch or so of water. The temperature will skyrocket as soon as you open the door, and that can give you a false reading.
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driver123

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Re: Electrical/Refridgerator Issues
« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2018, 06:11:52 PM »
Just starting out with RVs.  I've heard it can take several hours to get the refrig down to the right temp.  I only gave it a couple of hours.  Using a regular clip on  refrig thermometer

grashley

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Re: Electrical/Refridgerator Issues
« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2018, 06:26:16 PM »
Welcome to the Forum, Driver!

Note this post is 7 years old.  You may get better response starting a new thread.

As kd said, RV fridges are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT from residential fridges. Residential fridge uses a motor and compressor to cool.  RV fridge is an absorption fridge.  It heats a gas, which cools and absorbs heat from the fridge in the process.  No motors or moving parts.

 It can take a day or two for an empty fridge to get cold.  The comments on measuring fridge temps are very good.  To improve fridge cooling, fill it with already cooled food and already frozen food in the freezer.  Fill empty spaces with frozen water bottles or jugs, which become drinking water when thawed.
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driver123

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Re: Electrical/Refridgerator Issues
« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2018, 06:46:35 PM »
Thanks for all the good info.

Madcow

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Re: Electrical/Refridgerator Issues
« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2018, 08:32:26 AM »
Not sure why the fridge is not cold, but there's no compressor on an RV fridge. How are you measuring the fridge temperature? The two best ways I know of is a remote temperature monitor, or a pocket thermometer in a glass with an inch or so of water. The temperature will skyrocket as soon as you open the door, and that can give you a false reading.

There are compressors on Dometic, Norcold, etc RV/TT fridges that are compressor units.  Those are 12v/110v fridges only. No gas.  The only way I go nowadays.   They are far more efficient (cool down in hours instead of days), safer, have the same external dimensions as their gas/electric brethren so fit the exact same locations with no modification, better internal cold storage capacity, and can operate at up to 30 degrees off of level. It is really too bad that they are not on the option list of most RV/TT manufacturers, since the cost between them is equivalent and the brand names are the same.  Look at a RV/TT parts supply list and actually these compressor units have a slightly lower cost than the gas/electric units.  They typically have to be bought as replacement units, which is the only down side.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2018, 08:36:29 AM by Madcow »

kdbgoat

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Re: Electrical/Refridgerator Issues
« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2018, 08:45:22 AM »
Thanks for the info Madcow. I guess everyone will have to post make and model of their fridge from now on. I'm still standing by my advice for Driver123.
I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
But I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant

2012 Redwood 36RL
2016 Leprechaun 319DS