Converting 3 way fridge from 240V - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-15-2020, 11:56 AM   #21
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Ok, I'm confused. The picture on the cover looks right and the specs list the AC element at 105 watts? Did I spec the wrong one?
Boy, I am just stumbling from mistake to mistake here; what a goof I am.

I had performed a text search for "watts" on the page you linked where it says "search in this manual".

Well, as it found no such text in that manual, it then displayed a link for a different manual.

I didn't notice the fine print: "No exact matches found. Please change your request or try these results from Google:"

Raz, you're correct; 105 / 100 watts for 230 and 12 volts respectively.

I also see that they list the LP gas as running 186 and 86 watts for input and low flame respectively.
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Old 02-15-2020, 02:27 PM   #22
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Boy, I am just stumbling from mistake to mistake here; what a goof I am.

I had performed a text search for "watts" on the page you linked where it says "search in this manual".

Well, as it found no such text in that manual, it then displayed a link for a different manual.

I didn't notice the fine print: "No exact matches found. Please change your request or try these results from Google:"

Raz, you're correct; 105 / 100 watts for 230 and 12 volts respectively.

I also see that they list the LP gas as running 186 and 86 watts for input and low flame respectively.
Not to worry, we're all bozos on this bus.
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Old 02-15-2020, 04:48 PM   #23
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Not to worry, we're all bozos on this bus.
Well, just the same, maybe I better not drive!
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Old 02-16-2020, 12:49 AM   #24
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A quick online search for 120/240 Volt, 50/60 Hz, transformers, which work in either direction, turned up a 500 watt version for as low as $30 US. That should be big enough for the fridge and trailer power converter at the same time.
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Old 02-19-2020, 02:04 PM   #25
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Agree w/ Joe at Outback. Replacing the heating element is the best, cleanest solution.

Glad you are looking at the entire AC wiring harness, that's the right way to go.
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Old 02-19-2020, 02:06 PM   #26
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I suspect the 400 Watt rating might be max. (not continuous). If you consider 125 watts as fair consumption for the fridge, that leaves 275 watts (1.14A @240v) (max) for the converter and everything else.

Not much 'wiggle room'.
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Old 02-19-2020, 02:13 PM   #27
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Looking on ebay for "dometic refrigerator heater element" I found new ones for as low as $40 and used ones for less. Granted I didn't look for a specific part number but they all pretty much looked the same.
Why use a transformer that might hum and or get warm and add weight to the trailer when a simple 2 wire heater will do the job
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Old 02-19-2020, 02:55 PM   #28
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I had a '75 Puck for six years or so. I used a transformer. Ran the fridge cord behind to the next cabinet where I set the transformer at the back. Plugged in the transformer and it worked great.
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Old 02-19-2020, 05:04 PM   #29
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Thanks guys - I have to wait for the Puck to get here until I can take the thing apart and figure out what will work best. From my research it looks like a replacement element can be purchased for around $40 and I think that's the best solution with a transformer coming in a close second.


It exited the English Channel yesterday on its way to Brunswick, GA
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Old 02-20-2020, 01:49 AM   #30
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"From my research it looks like a replacement element can be purchased for around $40 and I think that's the best solution with a transformer coming in a close second."


I would use the replacement element. The 50/60 Hz thing is only a problem if you are running a motor. For example, a vent fan. The refrigerator has no motor. If you use a record player you would not enjoy your music. You would have to change out your wall sockets and the lead in for shore power. Wouldn't mess with the wiring. 15a 220v installation will definitely handle 15a 110v with no problem.

Now if you have an inverter installed you would have to change that out as well as the converter/charger. You are not going to get 12v out of that putting in 110.
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Old 02-20-2020, 04:59 AM   #31
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It would seem like you have workable solutions to your problem. I, and I'm sure others, would love to hear the details as to how you import a trailer from over seas. How did you find it? Is it expensive? How do you get it street legal? New vs used? Etc.
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Old 02-20-2020, 04:11 PM   #32
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It should be relatively easy to swap the heating element. Just use a multimeter to make sure that the new 120V one has around half the resistance of the existing 240V element.

The only problem is that you're then doubling the current. There's a chance that the existing wiring etc aren't actually spec'd for the higher current, which could be a problem.
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Old 02-20-2020, 04:44 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Defenestrator View Post
It should be relatively easy to swap the heating element. Just use a multimeter to make sure that the new 120V one has around half the resistance of the existing 240V element.

The only problem is that you're then doubling the current. There's a chance that the existing wiring etc aren't actually spec'd for the higher current, which could be a problem.

And that's exactly why I'll be rewiring the trailer. There is an existing 240V Power Control box in the trailer that I plan to replace with something like this:


https://www.etrailer.com/RV-Converte...s/PD4135K.html


I think there is only one outlet, two interior light fixtures a battery charger (that's integral to the power control center) and the fridge that run on shore power so its probably about 25' of wire I'll have to replace and its all accessible once the fridge is out of the cabinet - no big deal.

I've been a bit of an Eriba geek for years and there are a couple of dealers that sell used Eriba Caravans in Great Britain and another in the Netherlands that I browse regularly to see what they have offered for sale.

https://www.automotiveleisure.co.uk/shop/


https://www.eribacaravansales.co.uk/


Automotive Leisure is in southern England , only 30 miles from the port of Southampton, Erba Caravan Sales is up near the Lake District about 60 miles NE of Liverpool.

In order to bring a vehicle in without the DOT having an issue it has to be 25 years old according to the rules so I was looking for a 1990-95 Eriba. I saw a 2000 model that was really nice but didn't want to take the chance that it would get rejected at the port of entry. I'll see how this all works out in a couple of weeks once I collect the trailer and ask if there is any leeway and if the import rules exclude travel trailers (maybe? - but most probably not) even though I plan to bring it to DOT compliance by rewiring the lights and replacing the tires if required. I found this trailer that looked exceptionally well cared for at Eriba Caravan Sales and contacted Tony Lloyd who has been exceptional to deal with. he even delivered it to Southampton for a pretty fair price (considering what petrol costs in the UK for a 500 mile round trip).

I got a quote for shipping from nikki@shipcars.co.uk and contacted a customs broker in Savannah, Georgia to see what I needed at this end.
So far (knock on wood) everything has gone pretty smoothly and I'm hopefully going to get a very nice trailer delivered to Brunswick, GA for about what a comparable one would cost me here (providing I could find one). I told Lloyd to keep his eye out for other 25 year old or better Eribas in case any of the other trailer geeks that I know decide they want one.
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Old 02-21-2020, 04:15 AM   #34
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Thanks for sharing. That's exciting. Do let us know how things work out. And remember we do like pictures.

As far as the wiring is concerned, with a 105 watt element:

I = P/V

So half the voltage will result in twice the current but we're talking a change of about 1/2 amp to about 1 amp. I suspect the age of the wires is more of an issue than the gauge of the wire.

Finally, R= V/I.

Since the voltage halves and the current doubles, expect the new heating element resistance to change by a factor of 4. Good luck, Raz
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Old 03-11-2020, 03:50 PM   #35
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OK, I spent the day disassembling my new Eriba Puck and the heating element in the 3 way fridge is a 230V 105W # 139506 3330-00/4. It looks like a simple swap. There doesn't appear to be a circuit board, just a switch. So the easy way will be new 120V 100-105 watt element.
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Old 03-11-2020, 04:00 PM   #36
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I would advise changing all the labelling on the back of the fridge too, so someone doesn't think it's 240V.
In my opinion, you're doing the job right. A good idea, because it's not likely the unit will ever return to the other side of the pond.
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Old 03-11-2020, 07:43 PM   #37
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So forgive my ignorance here, but if the heater is basically just a big resistor, the only effects s voltage change would have is the amount of current drawn.
Ohm’s law says
I(current) = W (watts) / V (volts)
Original 240v
I= 105/240, I = .45 amps

At 120v
I=105/120, I=.875 amps

Does it need to be changed?
The wiring will be ok
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Old 03-11-2020, 08:28 PM   #38
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It does need to be changed. What you're missing is that if you use the same heating element it's the resistance that stays the same and the power that changes. The voltage is cut in half, and therefore so is the amperage, giving you a 27W heating element.

You're right about the wiring, though - chances are very slim that they cut it close enough on wiring or even fusing to be a problem at ~1.8A. Even 18AWG would have plenty of headroom.
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Old 03-11-2020, 08:49 PM   #39
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You're probably quite right as far as the wiring at the fridge goes, as even on 120V, the current will be very low. However, the wiring for outlets might be a problem: I don't know what gauge wire would have been used (metric sized), but if it appears to be as heavy (conductor only, not including insulation) as standard #14, that would likely be safe, too. The insulation value would be good, as It was made to withstand double the voltage.
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Old 04-03-2020, 06:44 AM   #40
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how are your updates coming?
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