Refrigerator / Panel issue - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 06-29-2019, 04:19 AM   #1
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Refrigerator / Panel issue

Hey Folks,


I have a 2014 Aerolite 174e and the fridge is making me a little (a lot) mental. When connected to AC the fridge works for a while... and then stops. The exterior light may or may not stay lit so the only way to determine if it is still working is to open the door. If the interior light comes on, it's working.


I've had the circuit board for the fridge tested and it was found to be okay.



When it goes out the only way to get it back on is to disconnect the trailer from AC, pull the 40amp fuses from the panel, and wait a while. It's inconsistent and sometimes it will come back on... sometimes it won't.



I have NO idea what to try so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!


Cheers!
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Old 06-29-2019, 06:23 PM   #2
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The TT is a hybrid TT/Tent trailer?

Shore power connected.
Frig on AC or TT on AC?
Frig works for a while.
Exterior light stays light -- Is there a frig light on the outside of the frig or are you talking about outside TT yard light?
Light inside frig goes out.
Frig circuit board OK

Frig might restart:
Disconnect shore power.
Pull 40 amp fuses -- how many 40 amp fuses? Are these 12 volt fuses or 115 volt fuses?
Wait awhile.

Still need make and model of frig?
Does it run on propane?
Does it run on 115 volts AC?
Does it run on 12 volts DC?
Which of these is providing cooling power in the frig. I assume it uses 12 volt DC for the control board.

Do you have a combined converter/charger, circuit breaker panel, and 12 volt fuse panel service entrance?
Do you have only fuses, no circuit breakers?

Are the 40 amp fuses you pull for 12 volts or both 12 volts and 115 volts?

Running frig cooling on 115 volts AC or 12 volts DC with 12 volt control board:
The need to wait awhile to restart may mean something is overheated and must cool off before restarting.
A thermal overtemperature cut off may be the culprit.
It may mean there is circuit breaker that trips and resets itself after disconnecting the power.
The circuit breaker may be a thermal overload type that needs to cool down to reset itself.

Running frig on Propane with 12 volt control board:
A thermal overtemperature cut off may be the culprit.
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Old 06-30-2019, 12:33 AM   #3
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Response to persistent

Quote:
Originally Posted by persistent View Post
The TT is a hybrid TT/Tent trailer?


Yes, it's a hard sided hybrid. It has one bunk at either end of the trailer that fold up.


Shore power connected. - Yes, shore power connected.
Frig on AC or TT on AC? - Accessing the back of the fridge from the external access panel it has a 120V connection to the trailer.
Frig works for a while.
Exterior light stays light -- Is there a frig light on the outside of the frig or are you talking about outside TT yard light?
Light inside frig goes out. - There is a small green LED indicator no the front panel of the fridge next to the controls for OFF/AUTO/GAS and TEMP CONTROL.
Frig circuit board OK

Frig might restart:
Disconnect shore power.
Pull 40 amp fuses -- how many 40 amp fuses? Are these 12 volt fuses or 115 volt fuses? - There are two 40 amp fuses. Unfortunately it was working for a bit... as bad luck would have it I'm at a campground in the middle of nowhere and it's stopped working again.
Wait awhile.

Still need make and model of frig? - Norcold N611RT
Does it run on propane? - Yes
Does it run on 115 volts AC? - There is an AC connection that the fridge plugs into. It "appears" that the AC is converted to DC for operation. At this point in time it's doing nothing so I can't even switch it to propane.
Does it run on 12 volts DC?
Which of these is providing cooling power in the frig. I assume it uses 12 volt DC for the control board.

Do you have a combined converter/charger, circuit breaker panel, and 12 volt fuse panel service entrance? - The panel has both circuit breakers and fuses.
Do you have only fuses, no circuit breakers?

Are the 40 amp fuses you pull for 12 volts or both 12 volts and 115 volts? - The appear to be for DC as the breakers handle the AC.

Running frig cooling on 115 volts AC or 12 volts DC with 12 volt control board:
The need to wait awhile to restart may mean something is overheated and must cool off before restarting.
A thermal overtemperature cut off may be the culprit.
It may mean there is circuit breaker that trips and resets itself after disconnecting the power.
The circuit breaker may be a thermal overload type that needs to cool down to reset itself.

Running frig on Propane with 12 volt control board:
A thermal overtemperature cut off may be the culprit.


I was hopeful for your overtemp idea but the fridge has been off for hours now and shows no signs of coming back to life. I'm going to try disconnecting the battery, shore power, and say a short prayer to see if that makes a difference.

I'm beginning to think the main control module



This may also prove interesting. When the fridge doesn't work, the furnace also doesn't work. When the fridge works, so does the furnace.


I really appreciate your guidance!
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Old 06-30-2019, 02:50 AM   #4
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I should clarify... at this point in time it doesn't work on either propane or shore power. It's toast at the moment.
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Old 06-30-2019, 01:30 PM   #5
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Since both frig gas, electric, and furnace stop working, I guess it is loss of 12 volts DC, causing lost of control circuits.

12 volt Converter may be malfunctioning. It probably has its own overload and overtemperature controls.

Check for presence of 12 volts.

Do you have lights in the TT? If so, do they light up when refrig and furnace are not working? If they don't light, then you probably have lost 12 volt supply.

Turn lights, refrig, water heater, and furnace off. Turn off anything else that might use 12 volts. Disconnect shore power. Wait 1 minute. Reconnect shore power. Wait 1 minute. Turn on only refrig.

Does that work?
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Old 06-30-2019, 01:37 PM   #6
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What is the make and model of the electric panel-converter?
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Old 06-30-2019, 01:58 PM   #7
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12 volt converter

Dutchmen.com lists an American Enterprises CS Converter/Charger that comes in 12, 20, and 30 amp 12 volt outputs.

Dutchmen also lists a WFCO 8700 series that comes in 15 and 30 amp versions.

The American instruction manual the says a light will light when overloaded. Disconnect overload and wait for light to go out.

Adding a 12 volt battery to the system will stabilize sudden overloads. Do you have a battery? On the other hand a dead or low battery could draw lots of current.

Since it no longer resets when power is disconnected, a fuse may now be blown.

Manuals can be found at:
https://www.dutchmen.com/rv-manuals-online
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Old 06-30-2019, 02:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by persistent View Post
what is the make and model of the electric panel-converter?

wfco wf-8955pec
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Old 06-30-2019, 02:33 PM   #9
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Sorry, I am confusing your TT with another who was having difficulty finding his battery and a water supply problem.

Since you have a battery, you would have to disconnect shore power and 12 volt battery power to reset, as you did before. If it does not now reset as you said it does not, you may wish to recheck the fuses. The WFCO has lights next to each fuse. Look for a fuse blown light. I don't remember if the 40 amp reverse polarity fuse has a blown light.

It still sounds like a converter or converter wiring problem since all 12 volt power appears to be lost.
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Old 06-30-2019, 02:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by persistent View Post
Sorry, I am confusing your TT with another who was having difficulty finding his battery and a water supply problem.

Since you have a battery, you would have to disconnect shore power and 12 volt battery power to reset, as you did before. If it does not now reset as you said it does not, you may wish to recheck the fuses. The WFCO has lights next to each fuse. Look for a fuse blown light. I don't remember if the 40 amp reverse polarity fuse has a blown light.

It still sounds like a converter or converter wiring problem since all 12 volt power appears to be lost.

Everything in the trailer works on 12V except the furnace and fridge. I've just disconnected shore power and reconnected the trailer to my truck to see if two batteries solve the issue. If that doesn't work I'll disconnect the trailer battery and let everything settle... reconnect the trailer battery AND the truck battery to see if I get anything from the fridge (gas cooling option).



I've also pulled all the fuses, checked them, and reseated them and replaced the 5 amp fuse in the back of the fridge as well. (Even though it tested okay).


Thank you again very kindly for your assistance!! I really appreciate it.
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Old 06-30-2019, 02:56 PM   #11
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No joy... fridge is showing no 12V control at this point.
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Old 06-30-2019, 03:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Futzy View Post
No joy... fridge is showing now 12V control at this point.
Time to begin tracing 12 volt loss back to source.
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Old 06-30-2019, 03:30 PM   #13
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Nothing seems to be resetting the 12v control circuit. I've tried just about every combination. I'm guessing there is a problem in the panel-converter that I can't get to.
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Old 06-30-2019, 04:38 PM   #14
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So far the problem has come down to something between the converter and the furnace/frig.
You have plenty of 12 volt power from battery and converter.
The fuses are working.

1) Figure out which fuse services the furnace/frig branch circuit. Just to be sure, measure the voltage on both sides of the fuse. You should get 12 volts on both sides when the fuse is partially in the socket. I guess you will get 12 volts on both when frig is working and when it isn't.
While you have the fuse, pull it out and look for other 12 volt appliances that work with the fuse in and not with the fuse out. Possibly the water heater control board is on the same circuit. Some things on the switch panel like the tank level indicators may be affected. This gives clues as to the extent and possible routing of the branch circuit.

2) The wire from that fuse goes out the back of the converter box. It is attached to the branch circuit within a foot of the box. Dutchmen may have used crimp or twist on connectors. That would be the next place to check. The connection may have come apart. My WFCO comes out by first unscrewing the front cover. That exposes screws to remove the whole WFCO box. Pull it out. The wires connecting the WFCO usually have enough coiled behind to get access. Wiggle the wires to look for loose connections.

3) Look in the wiring behind the frig. The 12 volt wire to the frig goes to the furnace or a connecter on a wire that goes to the furnace somewhere. That would be a good place to look for a loose connecter.
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Old 06-30-2019, 11:47 PM   #15
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I'm about to pull the panel out. Interestingly the LED next to the refer/furnace fuse did NOT come on when I pulled the fuse out. I tapped the connectors and the light came on strong. Any other time I had pulled the fuse the light didn't come on. (It comes on for every other 12v circuit).



The light then faded back to nothing. Not sure what that indicates.
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Old 07-01-2019, 01:31 AM   #16
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Hey there... Just put everything back together after pulling the panel out. Found a broken wire. Problem solved! Thank you kindly.
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Old 07-01-2019, 03:09 AM   #17
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Thumbs up Celebrate

Yes!
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