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Old 07-18-2014, 08:40 PM   #1
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3 Highwall 256way fridge does not always work on ac or dc

Hello my 3 way fridge does not always work on ac and some time it the same for the dc. The gas always works and very well. I know for the fridge to work well it must be level. This i my first 3 way fridge so i do know the limitations on ac or dc if any. once all was working fine then i came back to find it was hot. turn it off put it back on and it worked fine for weeks. ONe of my trips i thought it would be a good idea to leave fridge on ac on the road 3 hours later open up the camper at the campsite everything was hot lost the food that was in it and my beer was hot Does anybody have alot of expereance with these fridges.

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Old 07-18-2014, 11:36 PM   #2
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AC is shore power, so the fridge would have been off during the drive.

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Old 07-19-2014, 01:49 AM   #3
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as was said, on the road, the fridge will only work on propane or 12v DC setting.
it will only work on the 110v AC setting when hooked to shore power or a generator.

and your tow vehicle may not be providing enough 12v power when traveling.
need to test the 7 pin plug to see how much juice is coming from the vehicle.
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Old 07-19-2014, 05:01 AM   #4
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i set it to dc on road and my truck has 7 pin connection with 20 or 30amp fuse on truck i checked the fuse on the truck they are not burnt but even thought i have dual batteries on my camperso it is not power issue.
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Old 07-19-2014, 08:29 AM   #5
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"ONe of my trips i thought it would be a good idea to leave fridge on ac on the road 3 hours later open up the camper at the campsite everything was hot "

This is confusing. You say in the original post you had it on AC on the road...thus as others have stated, it will not work on AC unless plugged into an AC circuit such as a pedestal or house or generator.

If you had it on DC, you need to check the power at the plug...just having a fuse does not necessarily mean the circuit wire is connected to the plug (common with some new trucks...had that problem on my Silverado, fuse installed, but wire not connected to fuse block under the hood). Or the wire could be cut, corroded, etc. So check for power at the plug.

And from personal experience when I had the disconnected wire to the power source, two deep cycle 27 batteries will go dead trying to power the fridge if no power from the tow vehicle. I'll make an estimate and say 8 hours was max for the two deep cycle batteries to run down trying to power the fridge. However, that is an estimate might have been less time.

I have been told by three different dealer technicians that pre 1990 fridges needed to be level when parked, later models need to be "reasonably level."

Since it works on gravity to operate correctly, the more out of level the bigger problem for the ammonia to drip (flow?) down to remix with the hydrogen. However, if you are moving it allows the chemicals to mix (from my fridge owner's manual).

This year I traveled for eight hours running the fridge on DC, parked it overnight at a friends, reasonably level and switched it to propane, then the next morning, switched it back to DC, drove it another five hours. Turned the fridge off, check and leveled as necessary, switched to propane and it was cold in the fridge. And batteries were charged.
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Old 07-19-2014, 09:06 AM   #6
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I wanted to say dc instead of ac for the road beacause it would make no sense to have it on ac when you are not connected to shore or generator. For 12 volts on 7 pin plug i also checked to make sur i had power to the camper i checked it with batteries disconnected and shore power of i can get all the 12 volt items to work with just my truck plugged into them.
The time i used my fridge on the road on dc it seemed to heating insteed of cooling and my batteries were still with 12.3 volts. yesterday i put the fridge on dc and 4 hours later it was hotter then beofre i put it on. transfered it to ac it started ot cool rigth a way not fast but you cold fell the fins in the fridge were cooling off. the other day tied it on dc it worked fine.
The camper is level in both directions. the camper is a 2009. i am starting to wonder if there is not something with the the board of the fridge.
If my spelling if off or the form of phrases are little different my first language for write is french i did most of my schooling in french now i am back in french university. so now iu am writing very little english.
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Old 07-21-2014, 01:24 PM   #7
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My 3 way fridge experiences with a 2000 Coleman Westlake, and now a 2014 FR A122 (A-frame) are as follows (both behave the same):

1) On propane, everything is great. I can freeze stuff in the fridge after a day or two if I leave it set on max. Stack gets quite hot (can burn skin).

2) On AC, works decently. It won't get quite as cold as on propane, and it takes longer to get there. Stack is hot, but not burning hot, even when on max.

3) DC is only good (sort of) for keeping cool things cool while on the road. When on DC, there is noticeably less heat produced in the stack - stack is detectably warm but not hot.

4) Air is a lot more difficult to cool than solids and liquids (food and drink). The fridge does a lot better when it's mostly full. The air is the transfer medium for cooling so efficiency can be increased by adding a small battery-powered fan inside the fridge. Also baffles and or fans to get cool air onto the outside coils and warm air out the top vent can help when the temps outside are really hot.

What does this mean in the real world? Before going on a trip, I need to pre-cool the refridgerator starting at least the night before. The fuller the fridge is (of already cooled stuff), the faster it pulls down to a good temperature. So the night before a trip, I set up and load the fridge and run it all night at max on AC. This also charges up the batteries.

On the road, I use DC rather than propane as a safety precaution. Propane is turned off at the tanks (others run on propane while on the road without problems - DC is my choice). If we spend the night at a motel instead of camping, I'll sort of level and switch to propane. On reaching the campground, I switch to AC where we have electric, and propane the rest of the time.

You may have a defective DC electric element. Disconnect all power sources, and measure the resistance of the element. It should be around 2 ohms or so for 12volt side.

just my thoughts and experiences
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Old 07-21-2014, 07:46 PM   #8
Join Date: Jun 2014
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I did the test over the weekend had on dc the became cold switched it to ac was hot tonight so i switched it back to dc i will check the board tomorrow on ac to see if the heating element has power then i will check the element if it is drawing the element is 175 watts for ac 150watts for dc element. I found the manual Dometic web site. So tomorrow i will mesure the current and resistance.
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Old 07-23-2014, 08:15 AM   #9
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Update it is the ac element that is burnt infinite mega ohms on it. Inever had a manual for my fridge so i thought that if it was in auto it would work ac or dc or gas but in the manual it says that the auto mode is just ac or gas and that dc was an overide of the auto. At the beginning of the season i noticed that the fuse holder for the dc element was burn out so i put a heavier duty fuse holder in it and now the dc works

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