Scamp Fridge Trouble - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-27-2010, 02:59 PM   #15
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Yep, and the most annoying thing is what I call "fake blocks." This is a new-and-unimproved way to make an ice block, whereby they take a bunch of cubes and form them into a block shape. Does not last anywhere near as long as a real block

I talked to a fellow from an ice company once. He explained how they make them, and how it takes orders of magnitude less time than it does to make real blocks, although he said that was not why they changed. Uh-huh.

If you get to places that still use ice commonly, such as Mexico and Central America, you find a glorious thing known as the ice plant. There you can buy good, clear, solid block ice in all kinds of sizes. You grab it with tongs and take it away. Once, in Central America, the "ice plant" consisted of a fairly rickety old wooden shed, and when I went inside the whole thing was one giant, beautiful, clear, block of ice inside! A fellow just cut off what you wanted with a saw. Sweet!
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Old 08-27-2010, 03:29 PM   #16
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Just an update. I was able to remove my AC heating element and have since talked to a local RV place that is ordering me a replacement. Unfortunately, they didn't have the part in stock. The technician I talked to also confirmed that the 120V element us usually the first thing to fail on the RV fridge.
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Old 07-23-2015, 06:39 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Shaffer View Post
The heating element is probably bad. Inside the silver sheet metal cylinder on the right side of your access panel is the chimney, this also houses the heating element. It has a thin sheetmetal wrap to conceal the insulation under it. There will be 2 black wires running from the plastic distribution board to the heating element. This is something that is easy to replace yourself and not very expensive. Most heating elements can be purchased on line or at your local rv dealer. below are a couple of pictures to show you what they look like and where to find it.
Can I revive an old thread. . Mark it sounds as if you know what you are doing. I have an old Dometic 211 in my 1980 Scamp, it cools GREAT on 110, so so on propane (although I just did a thorough cleaning so we shall see if it does better and nada on 12V.

You mentioned above that 12 V almost never goes out, what happens when it does, I cleaned the corroded wires coming in from the harness and still no improvement. Could the 12V element be bad? How can I test this.

Final note, I may have reversed the polarity on the wires when re-testing will this cause any noticible harm, or just cause it to not work?

Hope you get this and thanks. . .
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Old 07-25-2015, 09:27 PM   #18
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The polarity of the element should not matter, AC or DC. It is just a resistor and the wires are never color coded. A simple multimeter (tester) should tell you if it is open (burned out). Or, I would simply touch the heating element wires to your 12V battery to test if it heats up. I once even tested the 120 AC element the same way, but very carefully!
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Old 07-26-2015, 12:12 PM   #19
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The polarity of the element should not matter, AC or DC. It is just a resistor and the wires are never color coded. A simple multimeter (tester) should tell you if it is open (burned out). Or, I would simply touch the heating element wires to your 12V battery to test if it heats up. I once even tested the 120 AC element the same way, but very carefully!
I havent opened the box yet, im letting the element cool down from 120 use. from the diagram it looks as if there is only one element.

Also I assume I remove all the insulation packed in there to get to the elements??
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Dometic 311 wiring diagram.jpg  
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Old 07-26-2015, 01:57 PM   #20
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Well, there is more to it than I thought. That schematic helps. There are two different resistors inside the element, so the connection matters a lot. If you swapped the brown and red, you may have burnt out the 12 volt side with the 110 volts.

There is a little bit of glass insulation that you have to pull out carefully and replace later. Each side of the heating element should have continuity, tested with a meter. Then there is that 10 Ampere fuse in the grey wire line. Make sure it is good.
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Old 07-27-2015, 05:40 PM   #21
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Well, there is more to it than I thought. That schematic helps. There are two different resistors inside the element, so the connection matters a lot. If you swapped the brown and red, you may have burnt out the 12 volt side with the 110 volts.

There is a little bit of glass insulation that you have to pull out carefully and replace later. Each side of the heating element should have continuity, tested with a meter. Then there is that 10 Ampere fuse in the grey wire line. Make sure it is good.
I appreciate all the guidance, I have traced the 12V collections from battery all the way to the 2nd connection to the terminal strip (after the switch) have tested the switch etc. There is a small voltage drop but all looks good. I have started pulling out the insulation, and its really packed in there. Does this metal box come of easily?

And when I test the element, am I just testing for continuity??? or a certain resistance?? or. . . ???

BTW 120 was never hooked to the 12V element, just reversed polarity on 12V supply.
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fridge insulation 2.jpg   fridge insulation 1.jpg  

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Old 07-27-2015, 09:02 PM   #22
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OK, heres the latest. I have a 95 watt element, which means I should see 1.515 Ω at 12V and at 127.36Ω at 110V. When I check the 12V side it is almost straight on, and when I check the 110 Side it is actually a little low (but cools great at 120V).

So it appears my element works good.

BTW I connected it directly to the battery and it gets really hot really quick.

Maybe Im just not getting enough 12 V current to the unit.

thoughts??
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Old 07-27-2015, 10:00 PM   #23
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Sorry to hear you are having refrigerator problems. Hope you get it figured out soon. On block ice, ain't it the truth as the old cartoon line goes. My attitude and outlook for the next few hours improve remarkably when I happen on to a vendor who has block ice, that's hard like a rock, at
a reasonable price. All too rare but great to luck on to. Wouldn't it be great if someone created a cyber block ice / good deal on bag ice national directory. Now that would be a cool application for the I phone I could use.
Dave
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Old 07-29-2015, 07:21 PM   #24
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I am looking at this again after two days away. The next failed component could be what they call switch on the schematic in your post #19. At this point I would try to see if there is voltage on the switch terminals, on the heating element side, after you try to run the fridge. Hopefully you can gain access to the terminals.

It all does look pretty well aged and rusty in the photo.
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Old 07-30-2015, 09:57 AM   #25
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I am looking at this again after two days away. The next failed component could be what they call switch on the schematic in your post #19. At this point I would try to see if there is voltage on the switch terminals, on the heating element side, after you try to run the fridge. Hopefully you can gain access to the terminals.

It all does look pretty well aged and rusty in the photo.
Good Morning Paul, the rust is just superficial. It "does" cool, just not efficiently. I traced the circuit and all connections are good. There is a minor current drop in the 12 V line as you work your way through the circuit. But nothing Major. that being said, I removed the element, and it does get hot.

It is a 95 Watt element and my Ω reading should be 1.515 if I did the calculations right. I get high 1.4 something so it seems ok.

Put it back together (minus the insulation) and 120V gets me down to 40 degrees, am testing the 12V now (with a charger hooked to my battery) to see what the 12V pulls to.

The Gas gets the tube really really hot, in the back, but doesnt seem to drop the temperature much.

Perhaps I need a recirculating fan.

the seals on the front seem adequate.

Im sure testing it in the summer in my garage isnt the best, but the tubes in the freezer are icy and cold, but maybe just not cole enough to cool the rest of that tiny little box.

Ideas???
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Old 07-30-2015, 02:16 PM   #26
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It seems the only question remaining is how well (fast) is it supposed to cool. Most people around here, including us, turn the fridge on the day before we leave on our trip, because it is so slow to cool. We also put already frozen stuff in the freezer compartment. The absorption cooling cycle is much slower than the household fridge or freezer with the compressor cycle. I am not sure about its energy efficiency comparison, but it is slow.

Any other ideas? Maybe it is not as level as it should be (I doubt it). But, consider the opposite. Is it possible that the flow in the complex piping got disrupted and developed some sort of vapor lock? In which case I would tip the trailer this and that for a few minutes while it is running and see if that helps. Now you probably know as much about the beast as anybody on this forum!

My fridge is 110V AC or gas, no 12V DC mode. Maybe the 12V DC mode is only intended to be used while towing, because using gas on the road is not recommended. This has been a topic here repeatedly, the gas is supposed to be turned off at the cylinder while fueling the TV. The only time I am absolutely sure the gas must be turned off is on a vehicle ferry. The crews enforce that very strictly.
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Old 07-30-2015, 03:02 PM   #27
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The fridge is currently out of the trailer, it has been turned upside down and rocked as well. Maybe I need to repeat.

I ran it on 120 for 24 hours and got it to 40 degrees F, this morning I hooked up the battery and will see if it is still at 40 or has warmed considerably. Fingers crossed and thanks for the feedback.

More coming this evening.
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