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 Post subject: Re: 110 Volt Fridge
PostPosted: July 10th, 2017, 3:17 pm 
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Location: 1999 Concourse
Well, not running on the generator (or shore power?) does change things a bit (sorry if I missed that previously). Both of those put out AC power, so then the fridge should be running on AC. At 110 volts, voltage drop is typically not a concern (unless you had wires made of dental floss). So hmm.

Going to a good marine shop is a great idea. They typically have a good handle on electricity and compressor stuff.

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 Post subject: Re: 110 Volt Fridge
PostPosted: July 12th, 2017, 3:21 pm 
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Got on the road for about 5 minutes and the fridge guy called to reschedule for Friday. Will report back then.

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 Post subject: Re: 110 Volt Fridge
PostPosted: July 13th, 2017, 10:16 am 
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Blue~Go wrote:

I calculated and it's close to the same distance going around either way with the wire (forward or aft), so there's not much savings there. Running 6AWG around would be fairly big/clunky. So I considered running a 6AWG duplex cable (because I have a lot of 6AWG and little 8AWG) across under the rig. The generator wire already takes basically the same path. That would be something like a 12' run for me, much better.


Going back and reading through this interesting thread. Just wanted to comment on this. Mine is set up this way (going across/under the rig). I ran a 6g wire from the batteries in the generator bay directly over to the 12v load center under the sink. There's a crossmember just aft of the mudflaps that I used for a tunnel/conduit. 13 feet total run.

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 Post subject: Re: 110 Volt Fridge
PostPosted: July 14th, 2017, 3:27 pm 
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Drove up to a marina near Richmond, CA to have my Vitrifrigo fridge checked to see why it quit working. The mechanic - who has installed and serviced these units on boats - was very thorough and after testing various wires determined that the electronic control unit was faulty. He could hear the compressor trying to start but then it would quit. Replaced the box with a new one and the fridge is now working. He says this is the most likely thing to fail on these units. I asked him about the issue of having a long wire run that goes through the regular fuse panel and he asked me what the load on that wire was before. Since its the same wire that powered the 12 volt heater in the old absorption fridge that draws about 10 amps he said that connecting directly to the battery is not required. If the new control box fails then I'll have to bite the bullet and get the unit rewired.

All the work was covered by the warranty and it only took about 40 minutes from the time I arrived until it was fixed. We have another camping trip coming up so I'm happy to not have to drag ice chests with us.

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 Post subject: Re: 110 Volt Fridge
PostPosted: July 14th, 2017, 8:09 pm 
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I'm glad you got it working again. Were you by chance at KKMI?

I'm still a bit skeptical about the wiring. The thing is, the electronic control units are sensitive to voltage drop, and in my understanding they can quit working if they have to "overcome" it all the time. The old absorption fridge likely didn't have any "fancy" electronic controlled things (certainly not a variable compressor), so it could live with the voltage drop.

Here is the chart from Danfosses .pdf that includes the BD50:
Attachment:
The attachment Danfoss wire.png is no longer available


So this shows that the maximum run from the compressor to the battery, with 8AWG is 33'. Presuming your Chinook is wired like the others, you would have an 8AWG run of around 60' from the compressor to the battery, with the second 30' sharing loads with all of the other Chinook electricals (because a ~30' run of 8AWG serves the entire DC fuse panel in the brown box). That's about twice as much as they recommend (plus it supplies other loads). So...?

Here is where I got the screen shot from:

http://files.danfoss.com/TechnicalInfo/ ... 00c802.pdf


Attachments:
Danfoss wire.png
Danfoss wire.png [ 67.52 KiB | Viewed 149 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: 110 Volt Fridge
PostPosted: July 15th, 2017, 10:56 am 
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Yeah, I've been wondering if its just a matter of time before I have to have it rewired - seems odd that the control box would go bad after working for several months. Your info makes sense - I'm going to get an estimate on having it rewired and will probably not use my RV guy for this as the whole 12/110 volt fridge thing is new territory for him. I have noticed that many new trailers and RVs are equipped with all electric fridges so over time there should be more expertise out there but for now it looks like I'll be using boat yards to have the fridge serviced. Yuck - I was hoping to avoid another expense with the fridge as I'm dreaming of Schulastic Shackles but I need ice more than I need a smoother ride.

The work was done by a boat repair shop called Swedish Marine in Point Richmond, CA. The guy who fixed my fridge is Danish and his boss is Swedish. Very competent. He said that the Vitrifrigos are good units and that they generally last about five years of full-time operation.

Another question for Blue - running the wire under the rig alongside of the generator line - what route did you take out of the fridge enclosure to get the wire under the rig? I don't want to run through the generator enclosure and am wary about having a hole in the fridge compartment, given the tendency of the vent panel on the side of the rig allowing some water intrusion. Thanks in advance!

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 Post subject: Re: 110 Volt Fridge
PostPosted: July 15th, 2017, 12:13 pm 
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I haven't run that wire yet, although I did move the gen start wire from the Ford start battery to the house bank, so I got an overview of the area. And I will be running a new wire under the coach for my Vitrifrigo. (BTW, I'd be somewhat shocked to only get five years from a Danfoss compressor in the relatively easy conditions of an RV vs. a boat.) Right now I'm running a "cooler style" refrigerator (also has a BD35 compressor). I wired that with 10AWG wire right from my main fuse block (it's about a 10' run), and I eliminated the longish, skinny wire original cigarette plug (it's hard wired, but I kept the original cord in case I want to go portable).

Anyway, with that long preamble, I plan to run through the floor, probably using the hole that the original fridge drain tube went through (as I don't think my new fridge has a drain tube). However if the fridge does have a drain tube, I'll just make a new hole in that same area. There are already three holes in the floor there from Chinook: One for the original refrigerator drain tube, and two for the stove and fridge propane lines. To access this area, I removed the range (because I had an oven), and then the false wall behind the range. Then the holes are in plain sight there. Here are three photos that show it (pardon the construction mess). This is on my '99:

Here is the overview. Refrigerator and stove are out. The carpeted box is the generator enclosure (which is made of metal under the carpet).

Attachment:
overview behind stove and fridge.jpg
overview behind stove and fridge.jpg [ 152.71 KiB | Viewed 142 times ]


Closer look at stove compartment. You can see the three lines/holes. The black one is the original refrigerator drain.

Attachment:
stove area closer.jpg
stove area closer.jpg [ 149.49 KiB | Viewed 142 times ]


And the super close look. Those white "grommets" were originally set into the floor, btw.

I'll give Chinook props for not having any propane joints in the coach (except for the ones you obviously have to have at the appliances). All the other joints are beneath the coach, as they should be. That way any leaks can relatively safely drain away (propane sinks). I just helped a friend get his other-brand Ford cutaway RV ready to pass on to the next owner, and although it is a "good" brand, there were propane pipe joints galore in the coach. And not only in the coach, but in normally inaccessible places. Boo.

Attachment:
propane and drain lines, original.jpg
propane and drain lines, original.jpg [ 173.74 KiB | Viewed 142 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: 110 Volt Fridge
PostPosted: July 16th, 2017, 11:49 am 
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Thanks, Blue. I'm going to take a look at the back of my fridge to see if I can locate these holes. Pictures are very helpful. You should open a business traveling around the country helping Chinookers with their projects!!

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 Post subject: Re: 110 Volt Fridge
PostPosted: July 16th, 2017, 3:14 pm 
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Just to clarify, the three holes are behind (outboard of) the stove, not the fridge. The fridge compartment sidewalls (at least in stock configuration) are fitted pretty tightly and then sealed with caulk (as they are supposed to be when you have combustion going on behind an absorption fridge - it's supposed to be sealed off from the living area).

I don't know if you have an oven (or what has changed over years), but my range (stovetop with oven) had a false wall behind (outboard) of it. In other words, the oven was around 17" deep from front to back, and then there was a paneling wall there, and behind that a ~6" "secret compartment." The two propane lines and the fridge drain were in this compartment (which has been removed in my photos).

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 Post subject: Re: 110 Volt Fridge
PostPosted: July 18th, 2017, 11:43 am 
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Hi Blue - yeah, I was checking the photos and my rig and I can see that the oven would need to come out to get to the area where the wire could drop down. I've got a wire gauge coming from Amazon so I can check the size of wire that feeds 12 volts into the fridge as the wire looks pretty large but I want to be sure before I have it re-wired. I suspect our rigs ARE wired the same but I needed the gauge anyway.

Meanwhile, my camping spot - Lake Don Pedro near Sonora, CA - is only 20 miles from a large wildfire that is filling the area with smoke so no trip this weekend.

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