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Old 02-19-2016, 04:58 PM   #1
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Battery Life

I've heard that Dometic refrigerators have an automatic defroster which will drag your batteries down within a day or two when boondocking. Is this true? If so is there a way to install an on/off switch?
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Old 02-19-2016, 05:10 PM   #2
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What Dometic fridge model do you have? It will help....
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Old 02-19-2016, 05:19 PM   #3
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Good question, I'll have to get back to you on that. I take it some do and others don't.
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Old 02-19-2016, 05:34 PM   #4
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If the little divider strip of metal that is between your fresh food compartment and the freezer is warm to the touch you have the heater.
Open both doors and just lay your finger on the metal right between
the top of the lower door and the bottom of the upper door.

Some fridges have a switch to shut the heater off.
If you have a switch it's likely located near the top of the freezer door.
Open the freezer and look right along the top edge of the freezer just above
where the freezer door seal would be if the door were shut.
It's a little rocker switch.

Warm divider means you have the dreaded "no condensation" heater.
It's 12v powered which means your fridge will be a battery hog when on
battery power. We all wonder WHY dometic didn't make the heater be
120 v ac powered then it wouldn't suck your batteries in a only a couple of
days.

Post your make and model number and we can probably help further....
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Old 02-20-2016, 11:30 AM   #5
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Battery Life

I pulled the outside cover off and pulled j2 on the control circuit board. (check schematic). That's the 12 volt heater and light. You won't have a heater or a light but you are boon docking,ha. I'm going to install an external switch on the 12 volts leaving the controller so I can flip a toggle switch to do this faster. I'm also going to install a switch on the ac heater so I don't have as much start load on my little generator.
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Old 02-20-2016, 11:38 AM   #6
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See the attached Dometic installation manual. Look at the schematic on top of page 17. Item G is your inside light. Item K is the heater strip. You can see they are both fed from the same wire on the left. To kill the heater but keep the light, you'd need to cut the wire between the heater and light. You could install a switch in this wire if desired. Of course, finding where the wire to the light and the wire to the heater connect will be interesting. I'm intending to do this, but haven't had time to look into where the wiring is at. As mentioned above, you can pull the wire off J2 at the circuit board, but then you lose the light, too.

You'll need to know your model Dometic, then find the schematic for it, and see if it has the heater strip. Not all Dometic's have it.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Dometic Refrigerator Installation Manual DM2652.pdf (3.05 MB, 42 views)
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Old 02-20-2016, 11:50 AM   #7
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the model installed on my TT is a DMR and the heater is in a 120V circuit so I assume when on batteries and propane the heater will not come on.
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Old 02-20-2016, 01:39 PM   #8
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Yes, I have the 2652 also. There's a 12v and a 120 v heater. I wish it had a switch but I haven't located one. See the picture below of the 2652. J2 all the way to the left is the light and the 12 heater. A cheap and dirty way to get rid of the battery drain if you are camping and just want to save the battery is to unplug it. The big black ones to the right are the 120 v heater.


https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxWjRGtBAZ68N1dtRjRwSlk4Vkk/view
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Old 02-20-2016, 08:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
Yes, I have the 2652 also. There's a 12v and a 120 v heater. I wish it had a switch but I haven't located one. See the picture below of the 2652. J2 all the way to the left is the light and the 12 heater. A cheap and dirty way to get rid of the battery drain if you are camping and just want to save the battery is to unplug it. The big black ones to the right are the 120 v heater.


https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxWjRGtBAZ68N1dtRjRwSlk4Vkk/view
The 120v heater is for operating the fridge. The 12V heater is for the condensation strip heater around the door seal. The 2652 schematic shows a switch for the condensation heater. I think it may be item #66 on page 7 of the attached parts document. Looks like it's kind of hidden under the control panel. I have 2652 also, but haven't seen the switch. I'll have to look when spring arrives.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Dometic Refrigerator Parts List DM2652.pdf (366.8 KB, 25 views)
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Old 02-20-2016, 10:26 PM   #10
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Great discussion! Can't wait to get into it to see the configuration.
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Old 02-21-2016, 12:18 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockfordroo View Post
The 120v heater is for operating the fridge. The 12V heater is for the condensation strip heater around the door seal. The 2652 schematic shows a switch for the condensation heater. I think it may be item #66 on page 7 of the attached parts document. Looks like it's kind of hidden under the control panel. I have 2652 also, but haven't seen the switch. I'll have to look when spring arrives.

Glad you corrected me on that. So the only heater for the condensation is the 12 volt heater on terminal J2.
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Old 02-21-2016, 11:09 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
Glad you corrected me on that. So the only heater for the condensation is the 12 volt heater on terminal J2.
Correct.
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Old 02-21-2016, 12:07 PM   #13
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I sniped and caped the wire behind the light to the heater last year, no issues so far. If need be I'll put a switch on it. Light still works.
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Old 02-21-2016, 03:43 PM   #14
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I sniped and caped the wire behind the light to the heater last year, no issues so far. If need be I'll put a switch on it. Light still works.
So you're saying that the wire to the heater and the wire to the light join in light enclosure somewhere, i.e., it's accessible "at the light?"

What model, and do you have a pic?
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Old 02-21-2016, 04:56 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockfordroo View Post
So you're saying that the wire to the heater and the wire to the light join in light enclosure somewhere, i.e., it's accessible "at the light?"
What model, and do you have a pic?
I pulled the cover off my light and snipped the wire going to the anti-condensation heater.
Light works but no battery sucking heater.
Yes it sweats a little in hot humid weather but it's never been a problem
for us.
Plus our fridge cools only marginally in hot weather and having a hot strip
of metal next to the cold area is not in the best interest of cold beer.
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Old 02-21-2016, 05:16 PM   #16
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In another forum there is a discussion about this along with pictures. Here is the link. I'm not sure if there is an issue so it might get removed. Jerry
http://www.irv2.com/forums/showthread.php?t=113116



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Old 02-21-2016, 07:03 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockfordroo View Post
So you're saying that the wire to the heater and the wire to the light join in light enclosure somewhere, i.e., it's accessible "at the light?"

What model, and do you have a pic?
Dometic 2652, didn't take pictures when I did the mod. One thing I found strange was that the wires feeding the light and case warmer are of different gauges, the heavier gauge wire went to the light. I would have thought that the larger wire would have went to the heater.
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Old 02-21-2016, 08:36 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by PhoneDude 8289 View Post
Dometic 2652, didn't take pictures when I did the mod. One thing I found strange was that the wires feeding the light and case warmer are of different gauges, the heavier gauge wire went to the light. I would have thought that the larger wire would have went to the heater.
That's strange that the light would have a heavier wire, but I'm not surprised by anything these RV guys do.

I found the pic of the switch I was looking for. I don't know that every fridge with a switch has it here, but this is where it is on this guys fridge.
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Old 02-22-2016, 07:55 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockfordroo View Post
That's strange that the light would have a heavier wire, but I'm not surprised by anything these RV guys do.

I found the pic of the switch I was looking for. I don't know that every fridge with a switch has it here, but this is where it is on this guys fridge.
Hey-that looks like MY hand!!

Just to recap and maybe avoid confusion.

If you have the switch to shut off the heater - it will be found in the
area of the pointing finger! That is a foto of my previous unit. Note- in my
case I found that after traveling on an extra bumpy stretch of highway the
switch would be moved to a sort of center position where it was ON! I guessed
the freezer door trim was bouncing just enough to contact the
rocker and move it.
We boondocked one time and found our batteries sucked nearly dead in 2
days because I'd forgotten to check the switch. I popped the switch out
and taped off one of the wires to prevent that from happening again.

The OTHER switch we've been discussing is the interior light switch.
If you DO have the heater and don't have the little rocker switch (as
shown by the pointing finger) you can pull the cover off your light switch
and snip the wire going to the heater to permanently disable the 12v heater.

I've done that on my current unit and as mentioned I believe it was the
skinny wire going to the heater and the fatter wire powered the light.
Go figure- I'm not sure if the wire gauge was actually larger or the insulation was just thicker....

Finally if you decide to do this little mod be sure and disconnect shore
and battery power or you'll likely wind up looking to replace one of the fuses on back side
of the fridge! Ask me how I know....
Plus my fridge had an incandescent bulb and it would get hot enough to burn you
in mere seconds so you don't want it on with the light cover off.
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Old 02-22-2016, 08:34 AM   #20
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For those without a switch:

Concept and photos from ZackDog at IRV2 -

1. Take the outside cover off and located the Junction box to find the J2 circuit and noted the diameter of the red wire.

2. Remove the light cover in the refrigerator and find the two red wires attached to the light switch. Pulled them out as far as possible and cut the one that is larger in diameter than the one identified in step 1.

3. Attach a female connector to the wire close to the switch and a male connector to the wire that goes through the hole in the refrigerator. Cover the male connector with electrical tape. If you need to use the heater in the future, just join the two connectors.

By doing it this way, the light still works.
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