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UK Caravanning (uk.rec.caravanning) A forum for the discussion of caravanning undertaken by residents of the United Kingdom, whether in the UK or abroad. It encourages the interchange of views on the merits of models of caravan, makes of tow car, accessories, caravan sites, caravan clubs, and other related topics. The term caravan is to include trailer vans, motor caravans and trailer tents.

Another Thetford fridge prob ;)



 
 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old May 4th 09, 06:40 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
casey
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 7
Default Another Thetford fridge prob ;)

Hi - I can see that fridge problems are the current hot-topic, so here's my
own - any advice gratefully received.

Got a 2 year old Thetford N80 manual fridge (just out of warranty) which has
only ever been used on gas.

It was working perfectly when I laid the van up for the winter - tried it
this weekend and the following happens:

Lights immediately and stays lit (so far so good)

First indication of trouble was the temperature indicator - this is supposed
to move immediately into the 'green' to tell you that the burner is alight,
and then get progressively deeper into the green as the temp falls.

This is what it did last year without fail.

This weekend, however, the needle rose very slowly to just below the green
area, and stayed there all weekend, despite turning the fridge to the
coldest setting.

The fridge still worked after a fashion - ice in the freezer box, fridge
body cold - but certainly not as cold as it should have been on a max
setting.

This led me to think that perhaps the burner was partially obstructed - so
that the fridge was only working on a reduced gas supply, even though it was
set to high.

I also noticed that if I selected one of the other power sources on the
selection dial (240 or 12 volts - with neither connected) and kept the
temperature switch depressed to defeat the thermocouple, then the temp
indicator would immediately jump into the green area - where it *should*
have been in normal use.

As soon as the selector was set to 'gas' again, then the needle fell to just
under the green section, even though the fridge was reasonably cold.

So.... any thoughts what's gone wrong?

Thanks



Ads
  #2 (permalink)  
Old May 4th 09, 09:46 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
tick[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 7
Default Solar panels any good

Solar panels any good !!
Just back off a site where the van next door had 3 HUGE panels 60w bought
from maplins.
It was his 1st outing with the panels so unable to comment as he had a fully
charged battery to start with.
I would like the smaller panels about 30w or is it worth the trouble.
As the price seems crazy for some panels.
Thanks

  #3 (permalink)  
Old May 4th 09, 11:53 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
casey
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 7
Default Solar panels any good


"tick" wrote in message
...
Solar panels any good !!
Just back off a site where the van next door had 3 HUGE panels 60w bought
from maplins.
It was his 1st outing with the panels so unable to comment as he had a
fully charged battery to start with.
I would like the smaller panels about 30w or is it worth the trouble.
As the price seems crazy for some panels.
Thanks



That's the trouble with Usenet - you post a genuine question in the hope of
a genuine reply, and some moron hijacks the thread.


  #4 (permalink)  
Old May 5th 09, 12:26 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Mike Manuka
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 12
Default Solar panels any good

3 x 60w panels are not huge unless they are amorphous or Unisolar panels
which don't work to well in the cold. I would never touch an amorphous
solar panel. Crystalline panels are substantially better and don't take up
so much roof real estate. A 64w amorphous panel is slightly larger
physically than a 130w crystalline panel.
Or where you referring to the size as in wattage of the panels.

We have 2 x 120w and 2 x 85w crystalline solar panels on top of our caravan.



"tick" wrote in message
...
Solar panels any good !!
Just back off a site where the van next door had 3 HUGE panels 60w bought
from maplins.
It was his 1st outing with the panels so unable to comment as he had a
fully charged battery to start with.
I would like the smaller panels about 30w or is it worth the trouble.
As the price seems crazy for some panels.
Thanks



  #5 (permalink)  
Old May 5th 09, 12:34 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Mike Manuka
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 12
Default Another Thetford fridge prob ;)

errrrr the needle does not go more into the green at all the colder the
fridge gets. The needle is only to show the gas is alight and that is all.
There is a small fluctuation of the meter when the burner is on full power
compared to only the small pilot flame. But there is no connection between
the fridge temperature or the meter as such.

What you need to realise is that these absorption fridges take a while to
get the boiler up to operating temperature. The main thing is to have a
wireless weather station sender inside the fridge so you can see the
temperature. You want to wake-up in the morning with the temperature around
1.5C. If the temperature of the fridge rises above the 5C safe food
storage, turning up the thermostat does nothing.
I don't think you in fact have a problem. Set and forget and give the
fridge time to stabilise and don't try the fridge with nothing inside.

We put a small 40mm fan inside the fridge powered from the 12v battery
running on 9v using a 3 pin 12v to 9v voltage regulator. This fan sits
under the top shelf and runs full time. You will not believe what a
difference this fan makes. The wiring for the fan we put up through the
drain tube using small single core screened cable. The fan also means you
will never have frozen veg in the bottom again.


"casey" wrote in message
...
Hi - I can see that fridge problems are the current hot-topic, so here's
my own - any advice gratefully received.

Got a 2 year old Thetford N80 manual fridge (just out of warranty) which
has only ever been used on gas.

It was working perfectly when I laid the van up for the winter - tried it
this weekend and the following happens:

Lights immediately and stays lit (so far so good)

First indication of trouble was the temperature indicator - this is
supposed to move immediately into the 'green' to tell you that the burner
is alight, and then get progressively deeper into the green as the temp
falls.

This is what it did last year without fail.

This weekend, however, the needle rose very slowly to just below the green
area, and stayed there all weekend, despite turning the fridge to the
coldest setting.

The fridge still worked after a fashion - ice in the freezer box, fridge
body cold - but certainly not as cold as it should have been on a max
setting.

This led me to think that perhaps the burner was partially obstructed - so
that the fridge was only working on a reduced gas supply, even though it
was set to high.

I also noticed that if I selected one of the other power sources on the
selection dial (240 or 12 volts - with neither connected) and kept the
temperature switch depressed to defeat the thermocouple, then the temp
indicator would immediately jump into the green area - where it *should*
have been in normal use.

As soon as the selector was set to 'gas' again, then the needle fell to
just under the green section, even though the fridge was reasonably cold.

So.... any thoughts what's gone wrong?

Thanks





  #6 (permalink)  
Old May 5th 09, 12:58 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
casey
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 7
Default Another Thetford fridge prob ;)


"Mike Manuka" wrote in message
...
errrrr the needle does not go more into the green at all the colder the
fridge gets.


Yes it does - or, at least, ours has done so for the last 2 years (until
now, of course)

---------------

The needle is only to show the gas is alight and that is all.

As above - there has always been a noticeable difference between 'in the
green' when first lit, and 'well into the green' after the fridge has run
for some time and achieved a lower temprature.

------------------

What you need to realise is that these absorption fridges take a while to
get the boiler up to operating temperature.


I stated (quite clearly, I assumed) that the fridge was on a maximum setting
fothe entire BH weekend - and that, despite that time, the needle never once
entered the green zone.

----------------

The main thing is to have a
wireless weather station sender inside the fridge so you can see the
temperature. You want to wake-up in the morning with the temperature
around 1.5C. If the temperature of the fridge rises above the 5C safe
food storage, turning up the thermostat does nothing.



FFS!! - is it now impossible to ask a civil question on usenet without some
self opinionated arsehole spewing rubbish all over the thread???

Obviously not!

------------------
I don't think you in fact have a problem.



I seem to have two problems - a dodgy Thetford fridge, and you.
Please **** off, and solve at least one of them for me.


My bad - I should have known better than to ask a newsgroup for help - I
won't do so again.







  #7 (permalink)  
Old May 5th 09, 06:44 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Tom[_10_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 27
Default Solar panels any good

"tick" wrote in message
...
Solar panels any good !!
Just back off a site where the van next door had 3 HUGE panels 60w bought
from maplins.
It was his 1st outing with the panels so unable to comment as he had a
fully charged battery to start with.
I would like the smaller panels about 30w or is it worth the trouble.
As the price seems crazy for some panels.
Thanks


Would you not be better cost wise with a spare battery and a grey cable
extension to connect to car battery in emergency?

  #8 (permalink)  
Old May 5th 09, 07:12 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Andy R
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 821
Default Another Thetford fridge prob ;)


"casey" wrote in message
...

"Mike Manuka" wrote in message
...
errrrr the needle does not go more into the green at all the colder the
fridge gets.


Yes it does - or, at least, ours has done so for the last 2 years (until
now, of course)

---------------

The needle is only to show the gas is alight and that is all.

As above - there has always been a noticeable difference between 'in the
green' when first lit, and 'well into the green' after the fridge has run
for some time and achieved a lower temprature.

------------------

What you need to realise is that these absorption fridges take a while to
get the boiler up to operating temperature.


I stated (quite clearly, I assumed) that the fridge was on a maximum
setting fothe entire BH weekend - and that, despite that time, the needle
never once entered the green zone.

----------------

The main thing is to have a
wireless weather station sender inside the fridge so you can see the
temperature. You want to wake-up in the morning with the temperature
around 1.5C. If the temperature of the fridge rises above the 5C safe
food storage, turning up the thermostat does nothing.



FFS!! - is it now impossible to ask a civil question on usenet without
some self opinionated arsehole spewing rubbish all over the thread???

Obviously not!

------------------
I don't think you in fact have a problem.



I seem to have two problems - a dodgy Thetford fridge, and you.
Please **** off, and solve at least one of them for me.


My bad - I should have known better than to ask a newsgroup for help - I
won't do so again.


Your loss.

Rgds,

Andy R


  #9 (permalink)  
Old May 5th 09, 07:27 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
gazz
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 16
Default Another Thetford fridge prob ;)

"casey" wrote in message
...


The needle is only to show the gas is alight and that is all.

As above - there has always been a noticeable difference between 'in the
green' when first lit, and 'well into the green' after the fridge has run
for some time and achieved a lower temprature.


the meter is a very simple item, a very low voltage moving coil meter, it's
connected to the gas valves thermocouple line (you'll see the joint at the
top of the fridge if you take it out the van), all it's doing is showing the
slight voltage the thermocouple produces when it's heated up (which is in
turn holding the spring loaded safety valve off... the reason you have to
hold the knob in till it's been lit for a few seconds for the voltage to
build up)

the meter will move a bit, but in relation to the flame temp, i.e. when it's
first lit it'll be about half way up the green, when it's been going a while
all the way up, sometimes it'll come back down a bit as the burner is closed
down a bit..... so really the higher the meter reading the warmer the fridge
is as it's running the flame on high

the needle shooting to the top of the meter when you select another power
source is normal, it does that because the gas valve is shut off then, so
the current the thermocouple was producing to hold the safety valve off is
no longer needed, so the meter gets an excess of voltage, it's normal but
dosent mean anything.

holding the gas valve is is just keeping the flame lit manualy, when you
release the knob, it'll go out, and the meter fall.


What you need to realise is that these absorption fridges take a while to
get the boiler up to operating temperature.


I stated (quite clearly, I assumed) that the fridge was on a maximum
setting fothe entire BH weekend - and that, despite that time, the needle
never once entered the green zone.


i had that on my thetford fridge, a sign the flue needs a good sweeping and
the burner tube cleaning out, as crap from the flue will most likely have
blocked some of the slots in the burner tube where the flame comes out.
if it hasnt been serviced this year, then the thermocouple could be sooted
up, which insulates it,

Also check for spiders webs over the flue exit point, and burnt spiders and
webs in the burner tube and burner box area.

Also check the temp sensor tubes on the fins inside the fridge (silver solid
looking wires clipped near the fron of the fins, carefull with them, they
are hollow tubes for the thermostats, bend em too much and they can split
open,
it's easy to dislodge them if you cram the fridge full, i believe the right
hand one is for the gas, the left hand one for lecky,

Best thing to do is get the gas side serviced, or do it your self, and take
it from there,

  #10 (permalink)  
Old May 5th 09, 08:10 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
casey
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 7
Default Another Thetford fridge prob ;)


"Andy R" wrote in message
...

"casey" wrote in message


My bad - I should have known better than to ask a newsgroup for help - I
won't do so again.


Your loss.



----------------

Yes, I suppose it could be - but there comes a time when it's almost
preferable to pay a professional, rather than be subjected to the attention
of the attention seeking imbeciles, out-and-out loonies, and
know-it-all-braggarts who seem to infest Usenet these days.

That's why Usenet is in terminal decline - occasionally, someone like 'gazz'
will come along and offer a concise helpful answer to a specific problem,
and remind one of the glory days of Usenet when the argumentative trolls and
off-topic cretins were just a minor irritation.




 



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