Sanyo fridge repair? Manual? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-17-2011, 08:37 AM   #1
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Sanyo fridge repair? Manual?

In an earlier post I asked about buying a replacement fridge. A parts vendor asked "What's wrong with the one you have?" Darn good question.
When I bought my '72 Trillium 13' last summer the previous owners advised me the fridge didn't work pre purchase. The trim around the door is non-stock so it had been a replacement itself. It is a Sanyo SRA 02 3-way. There is a sticker on a back panel visible through the outside access door but the printing is so small my old eyes can't read it. I tried plugging in the AC and turning the dial but nothing happened. If anyone has one of the fridges, or can offer any guidance, it would be greatly appreciated. My earlier post was prompted by my assumption that given RV service shop labour rates and part costs it is probably just as economical to replace it. (unless I can get a manual and tinker with it myself.)
Thanks,
Barrie
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Old 03-17-2011, 12:46 PM   #2
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Barrie,
When you turned on the AC how long did you wait before deciding it wasn't working ?

Bill K
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Old 03-17-2011, 01:39 PM   #3
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Barrie,
When you turned on the AC how long did you wait before deciding it wasn't working ?

Bill K
Hi Bill,
I only waited a few seconds really. I didn't hear anything so I assumed it wasn't working. Should I hear it working and, if so, how long should I wait to hear it?
Thanks,
Barrie
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Old 03-17-2011, 02:54 PM   #4
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Hi Bill,
I only waited a few seconds really. I didn't hear anything so I assumed it wasn't working. Should I hear it working and, if so, how long should I wait to hear it?
Thanks,
Barrie
With an absorption fridge, you won't hear anything (yet another advantage of this type if you wake up easily at night). It is also really slow to cool. To test it, you can turn your fridge on to the AC setting, set your thermostat to a fairly low temperature or all the way on, and wait at least 4 - 6 hours (sometimes longer) to be able to tell whether it is working. Put a thermometer or a glass of water in the fridge when you start, so you can tell later, because when you open the door you may not be able to tell just from putting your hand in the fridge with the door open.

You can also put your hand near the heater unit (accessible from the main vent on the outside of the trailer) after an hour or more, to see if it is getting warm. Of course, it may get very hot, so be careful. The heater unit should be covered by insulation and probably a metal housing of some kind, but often the housing still gets warm to the touch. The heater unit can be found immediately above the propane burner flame, which makes sense since the flame heats up the heater unit, and you likely can get to it from the same place that you light the burner.

Rick G
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Old 03-17-2011, 03:13 PM   #5
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Thanks Rick. I had no idea... I have a digital laser heat gun; point it and pull the trigger and it will tell you the temperature of whatever the laser dot is hitting. I use it to check wheel bearing temperatures but it will work great for this application also.
I'll give it another try. If it works on AC it might be worth salvaging and trying to get the propane working.
Cheers,
Barrie
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Old 03-17-2011, 03:20 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Barrie Bochoff View Post
Thanks Rick. I had no idea... I have a digital laser heat gun; point it and pull the trigger and it will tell you the temperature of whatever the laser dot is hitting. I use it to check wheel bearing temperatures but it will work great for this application also.
I give it another try. If it works on AC it might be worth salvaging and trying to get the propane working.
Cheers,
Barrie
A good thought, but won't you have to open the fridge to get the laser heat gun to focus on anything? It might be simpler just to use a dollar store thermometer and leave it inside the fridge. When you open the door you would have several seconds to read the temperature before the outside air started warming it up. In fact, I always leave a thermometer inside the fridge so I can monitor temperature as I camp. The outside conditions have an effect on how well the fridge works on a given day. I am going to install a remote digital thermometer this spring so that I can read the temperature without having to open the door, but have not done so yet.

By the way, are you certain about the model number of the fridge? I couldn't find anything on Google about it, which is unusual.

Good luck,
Rick G
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Old 03-17-2011, 03:39 PM   #7
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Oh... I thought some part of the visible from the outside access door would heat up. The heat gun is very accurate; split second accurate. I opened the door and took a reading from the back wall of the fridge. It is reading the same as the outside ambient temperature per a digital thermometer. If the fridge is working, after a while, the inside back wall of the fridge should be colder than ambient. I live in the boonies and no dollar store is handy so I'll use what I have for now. Thanks for your advice.
Cheers,
Barrie
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Old 03-17-2011, 08:06 PM   #8
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Rick answered for me. Thanks Rick.

Bill K

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Originally Posted by Barrie Bochoff View Post
Hi Bill,
I only waited a few seconds really. I didn't hear anything so I assumed it wasn't working. Should I hear it working and, if so, how long should I wait to hear it?
Thanks,
Barrie
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Old 03-17-2011, 08:58 PM   #9
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Or get an inexpensive indoor outdoor thermometer. Like this one: Refrigerator thermometer

Don't have to open the door!
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Old 03-18-2011, 12:13 PM   #10
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Has anyone tried one of those 12V coolers? In place of the small refrigerator.

Just a thought, but if you have tried let me know how well it worked or not?
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Old 03-18-2011, 02:03 PM   #11
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coolers

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Has anyone tried one of those 12V coolers? In place of the small refrigerator.

Just a thought, but if you have tried let me know how well it worked or not?
The big 40qt 12 volt coolers suck. I used them in the semi and they only cool so far below the ambient temp. If you are in Phoenix and it's 100 outside and 110 in the vehicle the lunch meat aint going to be too cold.
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Old 03-18-2011, 02:17 PM   #12
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The big 40qt 12 volt coolers suck. I used them in the semi and they only cool so far below the ambient temp. If you are in Phoenix and it's 100 outside and 110 in the vehicle the lunch meat aint going to be too cold.
Thanks for the info Greg.
I've been playing with the idea of getting one. Maybe I'll rethink this idea.
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Old 03-18-2011, 02:50 PM   #13
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I picked up a thermometer and plugged in the fridge. Left it for 4 hours. No change. I guess the fridge is dead. It will probably better to pick up another fridge than to pay to diagnose and fix an (very) old one.
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Barrie
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Old 03-18-2011, 05:54 PM   #14
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did you check for 120v going to the fridge ?

They say that changing the heater element is not hard, I have not done it.

Bill K

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I picked up a thermometer and plugged in the fridge. Left it for 4 hours. No change. I guess the fridge is dead. It will probably better to pick up another fridge than to pay to diagnose and fix an (very) old one.
Thanks,
Barrie
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