Fridge working on DC and Propane, but not 110 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-01-2015, 08:31 AM   #1
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Fridge working on DC and Propane, but not 110

We are going to see a 2008 Casita Freedom Deluxe this weekend, and when I talked with the current owner yesterday, the only thing that he told me that really concerned me is that the 3 way fridge works on DC and propane, but not on 110. So he always uses propane. What I am wondering is how expensive and difficult is it to replace the fridge, if that is necessary. He has lowered the price due to some required repairs (power vent does not work and will need replacing (according to the owner, should be around $250), one of the captains chairs needs to be re-upholstered, the latches on about half the cabinet doors need to be replaced, and the issue with the fridge). On the other hand, the good news is that the trailer has new brakes, new tires, new bearings, and a new awning. So I wanted to get an idea what the worst case scenario would be if the fridge needs to be replaced, and not just repaired, to make sure that I'm properly accounting for the money that I will have to put into it if I do buy it. Thanks
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Old 07-01-2015, 08:58 AM   #2
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First, you don't want to even think about replacing the refrigerator (that can run from $750 to $1500) it just needs, at the most, a new 120VAC heating element.


However, as heating element failures in newer refrigerators are relatively rare, you may only be dealing with a popped circuit breaker, a defective power switch or a defective operator.


In short, as long as it works on one power source, the others are usually easy to fix, it's all about the cooing circuit working and that one apparently does.
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Old 07-01-2015, 09:19 AM   #3
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Here is a video on how to repair your cabinet latches.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...&v=oO-cxgwlpNE
Eddie
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Old 07-01-2015, 10:19 AM   #4
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$250 is a LONG way from the possible 1200-1500$ to replace the refrige. If working on 110 is a must (and definitely would be for me) they would have to prove it's going to cost $250 or drop the additonal $1250 + labor to replace/install it. But that's just me.

But DO keep in mind, replacing RV appliances- Fridges, A/C, etc can be VERY costly. I almost bought a "used" 1 yr old Scamp for about $2000 less than a new one. To make a long story short, I opted to get a new one with new warranties and glad I did. Again, that was just my preference.
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Old 07-01-2015, 10:32 AM   #5
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Thanks for the feedback

Thanks all for the feedback. Bob, that is good information about the fridge. I'm thinking/hoping that it is something minor that can be repaired. Eddie, thanks for the video, that is very helpful. And Darral, the $250 that I mentioned was what the current owner told me that a new power vent would cost, not a new Fridge. On the fridge he had no idea, but based upon Bob's feedback, since it is working on 2 of the 3 sources of power, it sounds like it may be repairable.
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Old 07-01-2015, 10:42 AM   #6
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I think there are a couple of fuses in the refer in addition to the circuit breaker. Here is a link for some more info. Refrigerator Ac Power - The Casita Club Forum - The Casita Club Forums

We never plug in and the refer uses almost no propane.... I think a tank would last a couple of months....
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Old 07-01-2015, 10:42 AM   #7
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A couple of more suggestions. If you know the name of the fridge (more than likely "Dometic"), you could give them a call and tell them what is happening. They could advise you...maybe even a repair shop. You may be possibly thinking that a repair shop is going to tell you "it's not repairable" but if so, they're most likely going to tell you that when you take it in as well. Just be careful is my highest advice. A cheaper trailer can get expensive FAST with unexpecting incurred expenses.

The final suggestion would be to "Google" and "Youtube" the problem and you can develop your own general consensus that way as well.
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Old 07-01-2015, 10:53 AM   #8
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Ziggy, that is a great link with lots of very good suggestions. And Darral, thanks for the advice, I will definitely do my homework before going to see it. What part of Tennessee are you in Darral, we live in Chapel Hill?
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Old 07-01-2015, 11:24 AM   #9
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When I bought my used 1999 16 ft Scamp in 2011, the previous owner had just replaced the 3 way refrigerator . The cost was just under $1400
(labor+material+tax) .I have to agree with Bob ,
check to make sure you have 120VAC at the unit
and at the heating element . If it works on DC and propane , the fix may be simple and relatively inexpensive.
.
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Old 07-01-2015, 12:04 PM   #10
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This is what I do in this case: I Take a Multi meter and unplug the AC fridge electrical cord and check the Cord of the fridge to see if I read some OHM residence or if I get no reading at all. No reading means it is an open circuit (Burned out) and an Ohm reading means that it has conductivity. If I have conductivity I change the meter to read AC voltage and I check the receptacle to see if 120VAC present.

If you do not understand any of the above, call an electrician.
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Old 07-01-2015, 12:41 PM   #11
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Thanks Steve and Darwin, those are some good ideas. I'm going to call the current owner later today and see what if anything he has done to troubleshoot.
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Old 07-01-2015, 02:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darwin Maring View Post
This is what I do in this case: I Take a Multi meter and unplug the AC fridge electrical cord and check the Cord of the fridge to see if I read some OHM residence or if I get no reading at all. No reading means it is an open circuit (Burned out) and an Ohm reading means that it has conductivity. If I have conductivity I change the meter to read AC voltage and I check the receptacle to see if 120VAC present.

If you do not understand any of the above, call an electrician.
From my understanding the only portion of the refrigerator that runs on 120 VAC is the heating element . The refrigerator control voltage is 12VDC . lf the refrigeraror's control circuit is not calling for cooling or the refrigerator is not in the AC mode the circuit to the 120 VAC heating element may be open( By design). Thusly your ohm meter when put across the blades of the appliance cord cap may show infinity even though the elementv is good.
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Old 07-01-2015, 04:32 PM   #13
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If you look around there is an extensive Dometic "Master Troubleshooting Guide" for all of their refrigerators available on-line. While intended for technician use, it has a ton of information pertaining to each model they make. At last look it was about 500 pages long.


You can always start troubleshooting by just unplugging the refrigerator and plugging a light in to check for power.(They are usually just plugged into a 120 VAC outlet behind the refrigerator, remove the outside doors for a look-see.)
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Old 07-01-2015, 04:48 PM   #14
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steve dunham, I had no idea it worked this way. I just thought it was a separate heating element. Thanks 4 your post.
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