Refrigerator not working on 12 volt. - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-31-2007, 08:36 PM   #1
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We are recent purchasers of a 1972 13' Boler. We have not used the Boler to camp yet as we had to do some cleaning and repairs first. The fridge is a 3 way fridge and it works well when hooked up to 110 volt. The propane also works, but we have not checked how well it works. We would really like it to work on 12 volt, but it currently does not. I would really appreciate any tips, wiring schematics, suggestions, etc. to help us get the fridge working on 12 volt. Thanks, Ken
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Old 09-01-2007, 09:33 AM   #2
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Ken;

I had a similar problem with my Fiber Stream fridge, and traced it to a bad switch which I replaced.

To start, you need the fridge make and model number.

Mine was located on the back, accessible from the outside, through the lower vent access to the back of the fridge.

If you do not have the specific manual, check the Document center at left. There are many manuals posted there. If it is not there, then post the make and model on this website, and also do a web search for it. Hope this helps;


Victor
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Old 09-05-2007, 08:06 PM   #3
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Ken;

I had a similar problem with my Fiber Stream fridge, and traced it to a bad switch which I replaced.

To start, you need the fridge make and model number.

Mine was located on the back, accessible from the outside, through the lower vent access to the back of the fridge.

If you do not have the specific manual, check the Document center at left. There are many manuals posted there. If it is not there, then post the make and model on this website, and also do a web search for it. Hope this helps;
Victor
Hi Victor. Thanks for the information. The model is a Dometic RM 211. I have checked out the manuals provided in the Document Center and I am in the process of trying to determine if the problem is the 12v supply or the heating element. I am getting it narrowed down, but I'm not there yet. Thanks, again, Ken
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Old 09-05-2007, 08:38 PM   #4
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We are recent purchasers of a 1972 13' Boler. We have not used the Boler to camp yet as we had to do some cleaning and repairs first. The fridge is a 3 way fridge and it works well when hooked up to 110 volt. The propane also works, but we have not checked how well it works. We would really like it to work on 12 volt, but it currently does not. I would really appreciate any tips, wiring schematics, suggestions, etc. to help us get the fridge working on 12 volt. Thanks, Ken
Ken. When I installed the battery on the tongue, there was a red and black wire hanging from the tongue wire assy. We hooked those wires to the battery but didn't actually check to see where the wires went. We tried the 12v lights and they worked. And the Fantastic Fan.. With a 4 wire connector, it is my understanding that the battery in your tow vehicle will not operate the fridge, but I assumed that the battery on the tongue would. Did you check to ensure that the fridge is actually hooked to a 12 v wire. I had the heater in the fridge changed when I first bought the trailer. Yours in Bolering. Jim
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Old 09-05-2007, 08:44 PM   #5
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We are recent purchasers of a 1972 13' Boler. We have not used the Boler to camp yet as we had to do some cleaning and repairs first. The fridge is a 3 way fridge and it works well when hooked up to 110 volt. The propane also works, but we have not checked how well it works. We would really like it to work on 12 volt, but it currently does not. I would really appreciate any tips, wiring schematics, suggestions, etc. to help us get the fridge working on 12 volt. Thanks, Ken
Ken. What happens when you take a separate length of wire and attach one end to the battery and the other end to the connection on the fridge. This should tell you if the 12v power is getting to the fridge system properly. As I told you, I don't know a lot about 12v systems but if this hasn't been tried, it might help. Yours in Bolering. Jim
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Old 09-06-2007, 12:04 AM   #6
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Don't think I've ever run my fridge on 12V so mine may not be working either. Maybe, should get around to checkin it some day.......
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Old 09-07-2007, 07:07 AM   #7
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Ken, forgive me if you already know and have done this, but it's always good to start with the very basics. Troubleshooting the fridge is not much different from troubleshooting any other 12v system. An inexpensive volt-ohm meter, or test lite will help you diagnose quickly if and how far your power is going. Without that, it's pretty much a shot in the dark, and you could have any number of issues.

Do you have 12v to the rest of the trailer? Are all of your connections tight and clean? Are your battery connectors and Bargman connector poles and blades tight and clean? Is your ground adequate? 99.9% of all 12v trailer wiring issues are ground issues. Once the ground is known to be good, then you can begin to troubleshoot specifics like the 3 way switch and heating element.

Good luck!

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Old 09-10-2007, 06:19 PM   #8
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We are recent purchasers of a 1972 13' Boler. We have not used the Boler to camp yet as we had to do some cleaning and repairs first. The fridge is a 3 way fridge and it works well when hooked up to 110 volt. The propane also works, but we have not checked how well it works. We would really like it to work on 12 volt, but it currently does not. I would really appreciate any tips, wiring schematics, suggestions, etc. to help us get the fridge working on 12 volt. Thanks, Ken
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO RESPONDED WITH ADVICE OR HELPFUL TIPS. AS IT TURNED OUT THE FRIDGE HAD NEVER BEEN CONNECTED TO A 12 V SOURCE. ONCE I RAN A NEW SET OF WIRES TO THE TERMINAL BOX, THE FRIDGE WAS HOLDING THE COLD. WE WILL KNOW FOR SURE WHEN WE TAKE IT ON OUR FIRST TRIP LATER NEXT WEEK. I WANTED THE 12 V BECAUSE WE WERE TRAVELLING QUITE A BIT AND I WANTED THE BATTERY TO BE CHARGED WITH THE TOW VEHICLE'S ALTERNATOR SO THAT WE COULD KEEP THE FRIDGE RUNNING ON 12 V. THANKS AGAIN EVERYONE. KEN
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Old 09-10-2007, 06:25 PM   #9
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Ken. When I installed the battery on the tongue, there was a red and black wire hanging from the tongue wire assy. We hooked those wires to the battery but didn't actually check to see where the wires went. We tried the 12v lights and they worked. And the Fantastic Fan.. With a 4 wire connector, it is my understanding that the battery in your tow vehicle will not operate the fridge, but I assumed that the battery on the tongue would. Did you check to ensure that the fridge is actually hooked to a 12 v wire. I had the heater in the fridge changed when I first bought the trailer. Yours in Bolering. Jim
HI JIM. I THINK I HAVE IT ALL SET NOW. I RAN A 12 V FUSED CHARGE LINE DIRECTLY FROM THE BATTERY OF THE TOW VEHICLE TO THE BATTERY ON THE BOLER TONGUE. THEN I RAN A NEW SET OF 14 GAUGE WIRE TO THE 12 V INPUT SIDE OF THE TERMINAL BOX IN THE BACK OF THE FRIDGE. THIS GAVE ME THE 12 V INPUT THAT THE FRIDGE 12 V HEATING ELEMENT NEEDED. I REMOVED SOME OF THE INSULATION SO THAT I COULD FEEL IF THERE WAS ANY HEAT IN THE ELEMENT AND THERE WAS. HOW WELL IT WILL WORK HAS YET TO BE DETERMINED...BUT AT LEAST WE ARE NOW HOOKED UP FOR THE POSSIBILITY. THANKS AGAIN FOR ALL OF YOUR HELP. KEN
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Old 09-10-2007, 07:20 PM   #10
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HI JIM. I THINK I HAVE IT ALL SET NOW. I RAN A 12 V FUSED CHARGE LINE DIRECTLY FROM THE BATTERY OF THE TOW VEHICLE TO THE BATTERY ON THE BOLER TONGUE. THEN I RAN A NEW SET OF 14 GAUGE WIRE TO THE 12 V INPUT SIDE OF THE TERMINAL BOX IN THE BACK OF THE FRIDGE. THIS GAVE ME THE 12 V INPUT THAT THE FRIDGE 12 V HEATING ELEMENT NEEDED. I REMOVED SOME OF THE INSULATION SO THAT I COULD FEEL IF THERE WAS ANY HEAT IN THE ELEMENT AND THERE WAS. HOW WELL IT WILL WORK HAS YET TO BE DETERMINED...BUT AT LEAST WE ARE NOW HOOKED UP FOR THE POSSIBILITY. THANKS AGAIN FOR ALL OF YOUR HELP. KEN
Hi, it seems to me, with my fridge the wires were 10 or 12 guage to the fridge as it carries a lot of voltage. A prior owner had used 14 gauage wire in some sections and the insulation had melted as it got so hot. Be very careful with the 14 guage you installed, I wouldn't want you to have the same problem I did removing melted wire.
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Old 09-10-2007, 07:55 PM   #11
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Small 3-way refrigerators typically use no more than 120 watts on DC, or about 10 amps at 12V, which should be fine on a 14-gauge wire (although thicker would be more efficient). I'm pretty sure there's nothing as large as 10 ga going to any appliance (or light circuit) in my Boler, and nothing has melted. Maybe the melted insulation was from a wiring short or appliance failure? It's a good reminder to keep the fuse sizes matched to the wiring capacity for each circuit.
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