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Thetford Fridge - How Do I Know It's Working Off The Car


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#1 SamP

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 10:13 PM

Hi All

This has puzzled me since we changed our van last September. We've not gone anywhere far enough yet for the fridge to be on long enough to know if it is working off the car.

In the old van, the fridge had a red light to show if the fridge was working off the car.

In our new one, there are no indication lights to know it's on. It only has a gas indicator, and nothing for electric or car. You just turn the dial to whatever you want to run it off and it auto ignites if on gas.

So, can anybody suggest how I know if the fridge is working off the car, without leaving it running or a few hours? I'm not sure of the model number of the fridge but attach a photo if it helps.

Thanks

Sam

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#2 Lefthand Down

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 10:17 PM

My fridge is just the same. I hope we both find an answer. ;)

I may get the service engineer to install an LED when it gets pulled out for a service.

#3 klyne

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 11:21 PM

Ours is different to the photo in that it has a digital display so we can see that power is getting through. Its the first Thetford fridge we have had and unlike the previous Dometic fridges, which used to come on automatically when connected to the car, you seem to have to manually switch the 12v system on at the control panel. Just out of interest does you fridge have light inside? If so one way of checking is to open the fridge door whilst connected to the car as it would indicate that power was getting through.

David

#4 hawkaye

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 11:30 PM

...
If so one way of checking is to open the fridge door whilst connected to the car as it would indicate that power was getting through.

David


I believe the fridge light is powered by the leisure battery which the habitation relay will isolate if the 12v fridge element is getting power from the car. The inside light and the electric element are mutually exclusive.

A 12v LED across the 12v fridge element is one answer although LEDs take so little current it would light even if the fridge power or earth were dodgy.

#5 SamP

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 11:32 PM

Ours is different to the photo in that it has a digital display so we can see that power is getting through. Its the first Thetford fridge we have had and unlike the previous Dometic fridges, which used to come on automatically when connected to the car, you seem to have to manually switch the 12v system on at the control panel. Just out of interest does you fridge have light inside? If so one way of checking is to open the fridge door whilst connected to the car as it would indicate that power was getting through.

David


Ah yes it does have a light inside. I just assumed the light was powered by the van battery. Easy way to find out, next time I have the van out will connect up to car and see if the light goes out when I disconnect from the car.

Thanks

Sam

#6 Lefthand Down

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 09:49 AM

Ah yes it does have a light inside. I just assumed the light was powered by the van battery. Easy way to find out, next time I have the van out will connect up to car and see if the light goes out when I disconnect from the car.

Thanks

Sam


I have no light inside. You are lucky. ;) Must be different to yours after all

#7 Rodders53

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 10:07 AM

that's the http://www.thetford-...ezo-deluxe.aspx All the manuals are there to download.

The manual states: "Important! - Always use the gas connection or mains voltage to start up the refrigerator for the first time and to cool it. Powering from the battery of your vehicle is suitable only for maintaining the temperature of the refrigerator and its contents once it has been refrigerated.
- When powered by a vehicle battery (12 V) the refrigerator works without temperature control (i.e. constant operation).
There's no mention of a 12V indicator on that version of fridge. IIRC the 12V heater is fed separately from the electronics and lamp 12V on my Thetford N100 which comes via the habitation relay and it may be the same with the N80?.

#8 SamP

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 10:46 AM

I have no light inside. You are lucky. ;) Must be different to yours after all


Can I have a childish moment - na na mine's better than yours!!! :)

that's the http://www.thetford-...ezo-deluxe.aspx All the manuals are there to download.

The manual states: "Important! - Always use the gas connection or mains voltage to start up the refrigerator for the first time and to cool it. Powering from the battery of your vehicle is suitable only for maintaining the temperature of the refrigerator and its contents once it has been refrigerated.
- When powered by a vehicle battery (12 V) the refrigerator works without temperature control (i.e. constant operation).
There's no mention of a 12V indicator on that version of fridge. IIRC the 12V heater is fed separately from the electronics and lamp 12V on my Thetford N100 which comes via the habitation relay and it may be the same with the N80?.


Thanks Firestar

So it sounds like there is no real way of telling, apart from checking if it's still cool after a long journey. I'm not bothered for journeys of a few hours as I generally have the van on the drive the night before we go away and run the fridge of electric to get it cooled down, and it won;t hurt for a few hours. I'm more bothered for when we go to France later in the year. Guess I'm going to have to cross my fingers!

Sam

#9 kerbut

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 12:24 PM

We put 2 of those blue freezer packs in our deep freeze before we go away and transfer them to our caravan fridge , especially when we are going on ferry crossings as I unplug from the car on ferries .

#10 fred

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 05:14 PM

Our old pajero was fitted with a voltmeter and you could tell when the fridge was working as it dropped from about 14.2 to 13.8v actuallly most of the time it wasn't working from the car but may maybe a multimeter across the battery might tell you. Please don't try this when you actually moving :rolleyes:

#11 Ern

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 05:30 PM

My last 'van had a fridge with no "12V power on" display, and it bothered me somewhat. I fitted a led in the front panel just above the door. It indicates that 12V is at least connected to the fridge. Maplins have them - just a few bob, and easy to connect, but make sure you connect it to the 12Vdc and not 220Vac!!!. If you are not sure about doing it, get profesional advice.

#12 SEPS

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 07:23 PM

We've done several long overnight crossings to France (Portsmouth - St Malo - 12 Hours), followed by a long tow down to South West France. I always cool everything in the fridge as much as I can - so any liquids that will freeze (milk, apples juice etc.) any foods that will freeze (spreads, ready meals etc.) - pre freeze in your home freezer then put these in the van main compartment as well as the freezer section, just before you set off (having already pre-cooled the fridge as much as possible). Fill it as much as you can - airspaces warm up quickest. Don't be tempted to open it on your journey south. On all ocassions we've arrived with all the contents still well chilled, and ice crystals still in the milk - even in very hot weather.

I don't rely on the 12V current to the fridge from the car - we've had pins short out in the old style twin plug connector due to the load placed on them by the van fridge. A bit of forethought and good housekeeping works far better!

#13 billy23

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 08:32 AM

One way to check for certain that current is being supplied to the fridge is to buy a spare plug and socket (you never know when these might be useful so not a waste of money).

Then connect the two number 11 pins of the spare plug and socket together using cable capable of carrying 15 amps.

Connect the two number 10 pins together via an ammeter capable of reading about 15 amps.

You can then connect car to caravan using this equipment and start the engine. If all is working correctly you should get a reading of 10 to 12 amps.

#14 BrianI

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 09:16 AM

Just out of interest does you fridge have light inside? If so one way of checking is to open the fridge door whilst connected to the car as it would indicate that power was getting through.

David

The internal light, if you have one, is fed from the general 12v supplies in the caravan as you also need the light when on gas or 240v mains. The 12v from the car only goes to the frdge cooling coil.
The general 12v caravan supplies all go off in any case when the car engine is started. As this relay that controls them is triggered by a 12v supply to the fridge, then this is a good indication that power is getting to the fridge. If you have manual selector switch you still have to remember to select 12v battery.

So to sum up, an easy check is to switch on any internal 12v light. Start the car engine and if the light goes out, then you have power going to the fridge.

Brian

#15 Shirl250

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 01:25 PM

The internal light, if you have one, is fed from the general 12v supplies in the caravan as you also need the light when on gas or 240v mains. The 12v from the car only goes to the frdge cooling coil.
The general 12v caravan supplies all go off in any case when the car engine is started. As this relay that controls them is triggered by a 12v supply to the fridge, then this is a good indication that power is getting to the fridge. If you have manual selector switch you still have to remember to select 12v battery.

So to sum up, an easy check is to switch on any internal 12v light. Start the car engine and if the light goes out, then you have power going to the fridge.

Brian


Excellent ! Great Reply. Thank you Brian for your clarity ! :)




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