17' Series Travelling with fridge on 12v

Bellbirdweb

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Jan 24, 2014
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#41
Hi @Bellbirdweb,
this is the latest thread I can remember that discusses this issue in detail.
Have a read of the discussion from posting number 15 and onwards.
http://expandasdownunder.com/thread...3/#post-183050"]Travelling with fridge on 12v

Basically, when stationary, the fridge needs to be level left to right looking at the front of the fridge. This ensures that the gas / vapour coming off the top of the boiler condenses properly as it passes down the dimpled tube at the top of the fridge on its way through the cooling fins.
The level front-to back is not as critical.

I just did a Google and found a really good description of this topic.
http://beamalarm.com/Documents/why_does_the_refrigerator_need_to_be_level.html

When travelling, being level is not an issue due to the rocking motion of the van and uphills and downhills evening things out.

cheers
Mike
Thanks Mike,

That is pretty much what I was after for a discussion in another forum.
 
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Oct 19, 2017
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Vic
#42
Hi All,
First time poster after reading many articles on the topic still can't find the answer I need.
My understanding is the following. (Assumes the Corrects pins are wired from the Tug)

For the 12V Fridge Wire from the 12 Pin plug this is directly connected to the Fridge and if the fridge is on 12V when driving it will power the fridge as long as the wiring it sufficient (8AWG or higher). Therefore the battery switch does not need to be on, on the SETEC. Therefore when stopping as the Battery switch is off the fridge will not draw power from the battery flattening the battery in the van.

If this battery switch is off the Van battery will still charge through the SETEC even if only at 0.8A from the TUG Is this correct or does the battery switch need to be on for this to happen?

I just don't won't to risk flattening my Van battery by accidentally leaving the battery switch on while parked etc.

Hope this is clear but can provide any clarification is it isn't.
 

mikerezny

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Sep 11, 2016
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#43
Hi All,
First time poster after reading many articles on the topic still can't find the answer I need.
My understanding is the following. (Assumes the Corrects pins are wired from the Tug)

For the 12V Fridge Wire from the 12 Pin plug this is directly connected to the Fridge and if the fridge is on 12V when driving it will power the fridge as long as the wiring it sufficient (8AWG or higher). Therefore the battery switch does not need to be on, on the SETEC. Therefore when stopping as the Battery switch is off the fridge will not draw power from the battery flattening the battery in the van.

If this battery switch is off the Van battery will still charge through the SETEC even if only at 0.8A from the TUG Is this correct or does the battery switch need to be on for this to happen?

I just don't won't to risk flattening my Van battery by accidentally leaving the battery switch on while parked etc.

Hope this is clear but can provide any clarification is it isn't.
Hi @Brad Hardwick,
firstly, welcome to the forum.

In the recommended setup, two 8AWG or thicker wires go directly from the fridge to the thick terminals on a 12-pin plug or a separate Anderson plug. This is COMPLETELY separate from the 12V system in the van. So having the fridge switched to 12V will not flatten your van battery regardless of whether the battery switch is on or off.

There is one possible slight complication depending on what fridge you have. Please post the make and model number of your fridge as well as some details of your van and tug. That will enable you to get the best possible answers to your questions in the future.

I hope this helps.

cheers
Mike
 

Drover

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Nov 7, 2013
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#46
The usual Jayco wiring will have 12v supply from tug thru a 12pin, this will have a junction (a very dodgy junction) where the cable splits with a lead going to the frdige and another going to the Setek which powers the van lights etc and charges the battery if you have the battery switch on, the fridge will not draw from the van battery as the Setek has a diode to stop this flow..........always leave the battery switch on.
Many as stated above fit a dedicated Anderson plug from the tug to the van fridge, preferably 8 B&S you wouldn't want to go any bigger as it's too unwieldy and a waste of $$$$, if using 8 B&S it's far better to use Anderson plug than try to pair down the cable to fit the 12pin, your only going to cause resistance and may as well use 8mm wire instead, this set up does require a relay or other switch gear to shut off power when the tug engine is off, otherwise the fridge will drain the battery in an hour.
I have fitted a relay at the back of a fridge which is activated by the parking lights to turn the fridge power on, this worked quite well as the tug would chime away until I shut down the lights, have also fitted a relay activated by an ignition circuit, finding the correct circuit is a pain or just by a frdige switch and plug it in as the directions show and it's all good.
 
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Geoff83

New Member
Apr 22, 2015
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Perth
#47
Hey All, just jumping in the back of this good fridge thread. I have had it a couple of times (most recently last trip) where the fridge (on 240) temp climbs up after a few days to 10 or so and I really struggle to get anywhere bringing it back down on either 240 or gas. I’m in WA so mid to high 30’s is not uncommon, I have a solar fan kit behind I think I’ll upgrade to a couple of 12v on a switch for better control and to help reduce temp over night if need be. It’s a rm2350 90L
Before I spend the money on new elements is there a way to test them ?
Thanks in advance
Ps have learnt heaps from so many threads on here - thanks to you all
 

mikerezny

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Sep 11, 2016
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#48
Hey All, just jumping in the back of this good fridge thread. I have had it a couple of times (most recently last trip) where the fridge (on 240) temp climbs up after a few days to 10 or so and I really struggle to get anywhere bringing it back down on either 240 or gas. I’m in WA so mid to high 30’s is not uncommon, I have a solar fan kit behind I think I’ll upgrade to a couple of 12v on a switch for better control and to help reduce temp over night if need be. It’s a rm2350 90L
Before I spend the money on new elements is there a way to test them ?
Thanks in advance
Ps have learnt heaps from so many threads on here - thanks to you all
Hi Geoff,
if you are having trouble with the fridge cooling on both 240V AND gas, then it is most unlikely that only the 240V element is faulty.
To test the element you will need a multi-meter. The easiest way to do this is to unplug the fridge from the socket and then measure the resistance across the active and neutral pins of the fridge mains cord. With the selector knob set to OFF it should be Open Circuit, set the thermostat to MAX and the selector knob to 240V, it should measure about 330 Ohms (R = E * E / P where E = 240V and P = 175W, the rating of the 240V heating element in an RM2350).

I have a few questions that may help in determining what might be causing the problem.
What model van do you have?
Is it only during hot days that this problem occurs?
Does the fridge cool down overnight?
Can you post a picture of the solar fan kit and how it is mounted?

Was there much wind about when the fridge was not cooling. I had a strange problem last weekend. 23C outside, lots of wind blowing directly onto the off-side of our Penguin, and the fridge would not cool down on gas after lunch. Drove me nuts trying to figure out what was going on. Ended up that there was so much flow of cold air from the high wind into the bottom vent that the boiler could not heat up the coolant. Put a chair partially over the bottom vent and it cooled down 4C in less than an hour.

cheers
Mike
 

Drover

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Nov 7, 2013
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#49
In addition to above first off, is the van level ?? so long as the bubble is between the lines you should be good, if its outside the lines on the spirit level then it will have problems, the ammonia which is the coolant will pool in the lines and won't flow, also check the surrounds of the fridge for hot spots if the cupboard wall or bench that surrounds your fridge has hot spots outside of a few inches in from the outer wall then you have circulation problems behind the fridge, poor insulation and sealing will cause the hot air to hang around behind the fridge and cause problems.
Door seals, half full fridges and kids opening the door a couple of times an hour will make it warm up.

Mines regularly in 30 plus temps but I have resealed the back, added fans and a shade sail to keep the sun off when camped but if the fridge is only half full it doesn't hold the temp as well as when chockers...............

Would that test still work when it's an AES fridge @mikerezny , I just feel the flu for temp never got to the stage of testing the element...
 
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mikerezny

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#50
Would that test still work when it's an AES fridge @mikerezny , I just feel the flu for temp never got to the stage of testing the element...
Hi @Drover,
I have no idea. In that case, I would opt to use one of those 240V inline power meters. Similar to what Aldi have for sale occasionally.

Fortunately, the circuit for the RM 2350 is simple and easy to understand.

cheers
Mike
 

mikerezny

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Sep 11, 2016
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#52
The Domestic site shows it to be an AES fridge but not the manual, interesting.
Hi @Drover,
the RM 2350, as sold in Australia is definitely an MES (Manual Energy Selection), the RM2355 is the AES version. Well, at least that is what I believe.

Seems like there is some garbage in the description for the RM2350 on the Dometic website. The description states AES but it is stated as manual everywhere else.
The pictures also show the AES panel and having an LED interior light.
https://www.dometic.com/en-au/au/pr...eration/refrigerators/dometic-rm-2350-_-30882

Here is a link comparing them on the Dometic site:
https://www.dometic.com/en-au/au/products/food-and-beverage/refrigeration/refrigerators

As we all know, never believe any advertising or sales people.

cheers
Mike
 
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Geoff83

New Member
Apr 22, 2015
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Perth
#54
@mikerezny @Drover
Thanks Guys .. Thinking about it I think a big factor could be as the fridge is getting less in it after being away for a few days, i'll get some containers and try put the stuff in them to retain some volume as things get used. When it has happened its always after being away for a bit so thinking that could be a good one. Don't usually have a drama when turning on a couple days before and loading it up before heading off.
Ive been using my phone as a level and always run some water through the shower / sink to check for leveling. Going to order a neat little waeco level and temp gauge I found on ebay as some old school mechanical backup -

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/EZ-Leve...921333?hash=item51b7cb8cb5:g:gP4AAOSwm7pZytru

What model van do you have? * 16.49-3 2007 with the RM2350. Which 2007 has me questioning age of elements more than anything
Is it only during hot days that this problem occurs? * Dont recall having issues when cold, but im usually more concerned about fridge temp in the heat so pay more attention then
Does the fridge cool down overnight? *If the temp doesn't get too hot yes - My issue is when it has climbed during the day (which maybe due to items in the fridge being to little and kids opening fridge certainly wont help) I really struggle to get control of them temp nice and low again and that can be for a couple days (again now thinking reduced items could be a major player)
Can you post a picture of the solar fan kit and how it is mounted * Solar panel Velcro onto the roof with the fan in the back of the fridge approx. in the middle.
View attachment 59349
I' think i'll add the dreampod fan setup on a switch just for peace of mind and that way I can run that at night time aswell if need be.
Last trip away it was low to mid 30's and near enough no breeze which im sure didn't help.
Thanks
Geoff
 
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Drover

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Nov 7, 2013
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#55
That does sound like the same thing that I find with my big 2 door, even with the fans going and after much checking and experimenting I put it down to load in fridge opening door too often doesn't help either, ad for fan mounting in back of fridge I did a write up on my thread for my 14 as well as Big Mal, I have fitted quite a few and have it streamlined now, no fancy fancy stuff, fans now get Sikaflexed to vent, works really well and a simple on/off switch now instead of a thermo switch, run fan during the day and turn off at night since in QLD the thing would run non stop. I'll find the links when I get to a real computer instead of phone.


At least my favourite Van Bits Shop has the fridge info correct @mikerezny https://www.caravansplus.com.au/dom...90-litre-gas-12v-240v-521w-x-756h-p-2628.html
 
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mikerezny

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Sep 11, 2016
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#56
Hi @Geoff83,
here is a picture of the containers we use in our RM2350 fridge which is installed in our Penguin.

We have lids for the containers on the top two shelves, but seldom use them.

I believe that the main improvement is the container on the bottom shelf, which we use to store fruit and vegetables. I think it prevents a lot of the cold air from 'falling' out of the fridge when the door is opened.

cheers
Mike

IMG_4597.JPG
 

bigcol

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Nov 22, 2012
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#57
while I have not noticed any drop in the internal temp of my fridge, it very rarely gets opened during the day

I just use the engel for drinks and milk (for coffee - drink of Gods) during the day

I know years ago (when using eskys all the time) we would fill the empty spaces with the bag (goon bag) out of cask wine blown up (when empty) helped keep the ice lasting awhile longer

I have thought about a fan at the back of the fridge (where is that round tuit gone...........) and or a shade on the fridge side.........
 

mikerezny

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Sep 11, 2016
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#58
Jan 25, 2017
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Point Cook
#59
Easy enough to test the voltage getting to the 12 pin plug on the back of the car but wondering, where is the easiest place to test the voltage the fridge is getting when running off 12v?

Thanks
 

mikerezny

Well-Known Member
Sep 11, 2016
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#60
Easy enough to test the voltage getting to the 12 pin plug on the back of the car but wondering, where is the easiest place to test the voltage the fridge is getting when running off 12v?

Thanks
Hi @MarkAW,
the 12V supply comes into a terminal block at the back of the fridge near the floor.
You can usually see it clearly by removing the bottom exterior fridge vent.

I have a small cheap 12V LED voltmeter permanently connected across the terminals and mounted so it can be read by looking through the vent.
We check it every time we hook up the van as part of the testing of van lights.

With the wiring I have in the tug and the engine running, I expect to read about 0.8 V difference between the car battery terminals and the fridge terminals.
If I get more than this I have a problem that needs to be sorted. i.e. loose connection, problem with the terminals in the 12-pin plug, etc.
If they are the same, I have probably forgot to set the fridge to 12V OR I have a fridge problem, most likely a burnt out 12V heating element.

I have a Tekonsha P3 brake controller and in one of the diagnostic modes it displays input voltage.

cheers
Mike
 
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