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Subject Topic: Fridge won`t go cold
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Message posted by addbuyer on 21/6/2014 at 12:09pm
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Is it a fridge with the small freezer box or is it a fridge freezer. I thought all the latest fridges and fridge freezers were automatic in selecting the best power source available?
They are mostly absorption units which are less power hungry but are no where near as efficient as compressor units like you have at home.
Adsorption fridges take hours to cool to their operating temp but I'm sure you know that from having a caravan.
12v whilst driving is useless unless I've been unlucky with every caravan / motorhome I've owned. You need to run it on 240v whilst driving and then its as good as when on site/ your drive, simples

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Message posted by brianconwy on 21/6/2014 at 1:10pm
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It might be simples but how do you run a fridge on 240v whilst driving?

Message posted by addbuyer on 21/6/2014 at 2:29pm
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Quote: Originally posted by brianconwy on 21/6/2014It might be simples but how do you run a fridge on 240v whilst driving?[/QUOTE]

Via an inverter
I run our fridge freezer via this all the to the south of France and the temp doesn't change one degree (i have wireless temp gauges in the freezer and in the Waeco freezer that feeds back the temp to me in the cab)
Some of the top end motorhomes use this method i believe, its so simple that I'm surprised its not been adopted as the way to go instead of 12v
Inverters do take more power to run than the standard 12v system but its the same principle in so much as it only works whilst the van is running. They have a battery protection built in so wont kill the battery should the alternator fail.
Fridges / freezers dont use a high wattage



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Message posted by uxb443 on 22/6/2014 at 9:11pm
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Our motorhome is 18 years old and the fridge looks original.

We have just done 1800 miles up through Spain and France and the fridge has been beautifully chilled every day, when we have been on the move.

Some of the roads have been very hilly, especially in Northern Spain. Plenty of 1:8's. Fridge has always worked well.

As soon as we stop on site we either switch it to 230v or gas. No problems at all.

When the engine is running a relay should 'kick in' to operate the fridge off 12v. As soon as the engine stops so does the fridge to conserve battery energy.

Are your switches in the correct position(s)?
Have you got the manual for your fridge?

Sometimes life is too short to deal with some of the large caravan dealers, who only seem to understand letters from solicitors by recorded delivery.

Find a good local dealer or repair firm and stick with them. Here in Staffordshire we have found a local repair firm who are trustworthy and always fair on price. Don't even bother with asking for a quote now. Just book it in!!

Message posted by Sarahk on 22/6/2014 at 10:04pm
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We've just been away. Complete with cool box ! The fridge gets warm at the back and makes gurgling noises. It's going back yet again tomo. It's a full size fridge with freezer at the top. We met someone with the same range van bought same time (match) as ours. No prob whatsoever with fridge! When we mentioned we are told van has to be level both wats he laughed and said no way. They've not used there chocs and simply go by how van feels. I guess lowdhams just looking for excuses.

Message posted by addbuyer on 22/6/2014 at 10:17pm
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It is rubbish about the van having to be perfectly level each way. A year last February I had to put the ramps under the front and rear wheels on the same side to get the van on an angle so that rain/snow didn't pool on the roof and flow through the Heki roof light seal that decided to give way. The van was raised 5" on one side compared to the other!
If you were at Chatsworth Park at the same time and wondered why that silly man had his motorhome on the pi55, well now you know    

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Message posted by Sarahk on 24/6/2014 at 10:09pm
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Our van went back again to lowdhams yesterday. At 4.50pm today a message was left on my voicemail confirming the fridge is faulty and will need replacing !!!!! They have lied to us and put is through weeks of stress and expense. However seems we have to collect it then wait a few weeks to go back (again) and they will fit the new fridge. In the meantime tough. No fridge. So I guess we just think oh well never mind we won't bother going to france in a couple of weeks and jet off from our local airport for a hotel holiday. Only one problem being our money is spent in March on a motirhome awning accessories insurance fuel many outings to lowdhams with faulty bed fridge awning .......! Any help with the wording of my comments when I ring them tomo will be appreciated. Right now we can't actually say the words in our heads!

Message posted by addbuyer on 24/6/2014 at 11:08pm
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You ring tomorrow and ask for the email addresses of the sales manager and service manager. Then ask to be put through to sales manager. Tell him about your plight, all the backwards and forwards, the costs you've incurred, your time, ruined outings etc all as a result of their lack of interest and customer support. Further you tell him about your holiday plans (France) and its cost, all of which is now in doubt because of their poor service.
DONT give him chance to wriggle out of it, BE FIRM. Tell him that all this will be put in writing (email) when this call is over so there is a paper trail for legal proceedings. Tell him you will not be collecting the motorhome until the fridge is replaced and some form of compensation acceptable to you is offered.
Finally tell him that he has 7 days to sort this or you intend to reject the motorhome under the sales of goods act and you will seek a county court judgement for the sum of (add up your losses you will be surprised!) plus interest and costs. Believe me its not something they will want taken out against them and its very easily done for minor cost to you (i will help you if needs be, but i bet you've got your repaired motorhome back within 7 days with a goodwill gesture)
Make sure you then email them both with the aforementioned, sit back and await their response.
Dont let this ruin your holiday any further than it has. They can get a replacement fridge within a couple of days or at worst take one out of another motorhome.
I have taken on much bigger companies than this and not lost yet, i dont make a habit of it but i dont suffer fools any more now i know how easy it is to kick ass

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Message posted by Sarahk on 25/6/2014 at 10:33am
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Thank you so much for your advice. Husband at work and I am trying to work ! I've called Lowdhams. I have the emails. However the sales manager is away (holiday.. Hope his beer is cold!). I have asked for the assistant manager to call me back as busy right now.

We have a courtesy car this time which if they require back I shall suggest they collect ?

I will update you shortly

Message posted by Sarahk on 25/6/2014 at 2:14pm
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Ok.... So the update. The fridge is exclusive to the range we have and no other fridge will fit. It will have to be made in holland to order and sent over! In the meantime they are now trying to contact chausson nod thetford uk for assistance.
So.... How many different size fridges are there out there and anyone with our range of van it seems if your fridge conks out now or in a few years time you won't be getting a replacement !!!

Message posted by addbuyer on 25/6/2014 at 9:02pm
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Thetford make a special sized fridge just to fit your motorhome? Believe that and you can plat fog
What fridge manual came with your pack, it will tell you the model number(s)
Even if it is a limited supply unit they can take one out of another van for you! Are you going to let them ruin your holiday plans

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Message posted by Sarahk on 25/6/2014 at 9:33pm
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The assistant manager rang back and admitted width and height same but depth wise if they put in a fridge from another chausson it will stick out 6 1/2 cm's as depth isn't the same. The fridge in the manual isn't the one we have !!!! The manual is in the van at .... Yep lowdhams !!!

They've offered us a cool box in meantime or they will try and sort a second hand van for us to use in france if there is one taxed !!! I suggested a new one but he said if we had a car in for service we wouldn't expect a new one but then I don't eat sleep and shower (!) in a car !!!

We bought a new van surely entitled to like for like. I can't believe a company as big as thetford have the facilities or interest in making a one off misfit fridge.

Comments ready for tomo will be appreciated !

Message posted by VWT4Transporter on 27/6/2014 at 1:30pm
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Quote: Originally posted by addbuyer on 22/6/2014
It is rubbish about the van having to be perfectly level each way.


Not perfectly level but pretty much so. Take a look at how a gas fridge works. A small flame with a small tube directly above it. If the van is on a slope the flame just doesnt go up the tube and it doesnt work. Newer Gas fridges are more tolerant of slopes .


Message posted by brianconwy on 28/6/2014 at 5:01pm
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If thats the explanation for the fridge having to be level when using gas, then whats the reason for it needing to be level when on electric hook-up? Our drive is at an angle and we haven't tried using the fridge on the drive. Can any damage be done?

Message posted by Sarahk on 28/6/2014 at 5:12pm
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No... The fridge itself has gas in it. To be fair its logic to have the van reasonably straight but not 100%. If it was tipping any particular way it would be uncomfortable.
Our fridge is faulty. We told lowdhams for weeks and it ended up back twice. The fault was intermittent but they just couldn't be bothered to check it correctly clearly deciding it was much better to say we were doing something wrong. We have had fridges in caravans and now a motorhome for years. We said it was warm at the back but making a noise trying to drag through air.
I scrapped talking to the service manager on Wednesday and went to the sales manager. He so far has been excellent. I can't fault him at all. He's chatted and dealt with the problem. Still no fridge but something temporary is being rigged up so we can use while we wait.
It's a shame a few of the after sales team can't learn to follow strict procedures in customer services as they give the company a bad name.

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