Refrigerator issue – Ideas needed!

We have had some ongoing issues with our Domestic RM3962 in our 2012 31’ Classic. The last known time it was working was Christmas time and it worked fine.

We have been getting ready to full-time from Jan to May of this year so the trailer was going through some changes and the refrigerator was not turned on at that time. The trailer was hooked to shore power throughout and I have a Boondocker 4 stage converter/charger so being continually plugged in does not bother me. We have a 50amp shore power connection that I have a 90-degree angle plug and then a 50 to 30amp adapter for the power from the house.

When I was installing the Solar panels and controller we had to remove the refrigerator to gain access to the roof vent. We reinstalled the refrigerator and I turned it on. All parts seemed to be working. This was when it was on the street with a 50-15amp adapter.

Once we were 2 days away from launch I turned on the refrigerator but there was no response. No display, nothing. I checked all the power points on the lower control board and the seemed to be responsive. There is also an upper eyebrow control board but I opted to replace the bottom one. The switches ohmed out just fine.

I replaced the lower control board with no luck. I then ordered the upper control board and had it shipped to my mother’s house where we would be in a few days. We took off without a working refrigerator.

When the upper control board arrived it would not fit. One connector worked fine but the other one was a 4 prong connector but I need an edge connector. No go with that.

I read somewhere that there is a reset switch on the heater flue so I tried that and it seem to be tripped. I disconnected 12v for 30 sec and reattached it. I heard the propane start up (I disconnected the 120v)! The display was flashing 8’s. However it appeared to be working. I put a remote temperature sensor in there and it started dropping.

I let it go for 2 days before it seemed like it was doing OK. We loaded it with groceries and left my mom’s house. I still couldn’t control it at all. The buttons did nothing.

The refrigerator kept items cold for about 2 weeks then the other day it just went dead again. No life, nothing. We moved all our items to the parks’ community refrigerator and contacted a local RV service. They planned on getting there that afternoon, to our trailer which surprised me. The helpful lady on the phone asked me about the voltages I was getting and I told her, via my IPN-Pro, that it was 13.2v. My solar kicks in a .1v below the threshold for my converter so the converter has priority when we hare hooked up. I also read in some troubleshooting that some converters also throw in a bit of AC when charging the DC. New to me but the Dometic refrigerator could not handle more that 6V AC. I ready 0V AC on the DC. But it got me to thinking a bit.

Prior to our trip, I put in a Progressive Industries EMS-HW50C surge protector inline inside and I had heard it click on and off a few times while here. Most importantly if I would turn off the breaker for the converter/charger and then back on it would click (the surge protector). At this RV park, I only had my 30amp setup (90-degree connector and the 50-30). I started to wonder about that.

I got out my 50amp cable, plugged it directly to the trailer and the pedestal. Reset the refrigerator and it came right on! All functionality with buttons and everything. The RV repair guys (3 of them!) showed up shortly after this. I told them all that I had done, they wanted me to keep an eye on it and didn’t even charge us! Great people here in Texas.

It is now 5 days since then and all is good with the refrigerator.

In my pea brain thinking it appears some kind of short or bad connection occurred in the adapters I was using. We had a lot of rain at home and some large amounts here. There was a bit of water that came out from the adapters when I disconnected them! This short/bad connection caused the 120V AC to do odd things to the refrigerator or perhaps the charger/converter was sending bad 12V. Thoughts and ideas are welcome. Anyone with any ideas why some short like that might cause this issue?

I will be decommissioning my twist-lock 50A connectors and getting a SmartPlug setup but for now, we have a working refrigerator again!

A non-standard day

The part that could potentially fix our refrigerator problem arrived Monday. I put it in and I immediately heard the propane fire up and the flue gets hot. Sounded good. However, when I got in the trailer the display was still not working. The light was on inside the fridge which was a good thing. About 5 minutes later it all shut down. That is some progress. I spent many hours trying to find the other part. One RV part store said they could get the part the next day but by the time they returned my call it was too late to get it next day. We decided to order the part and have it sent to my mother’s house and leave on Tuesday, the non-standard day.

We knew this was the day to leave. We went through our normal routine at breakfast but then it all changed. We had to ensure that everything was out in the truck or trailer. Take multiple passes through the house and we still managed to miss a few things. Our son can get those to us though.

We said goodbye to our neighbors and she took a few shots of us (her name is Tatiana Ruelas and does photography if you are interested). Here is one in front of our old house (right) and the new house (left):

And us driving down the street, leaving for our adventure:

Off we go! May 2, 2017 10:25am

Since heat was descending on us, and Arizona, I was hoping to find something cooler I was thinking Kingman as it was higher in elevation and about 10 degrees cooler. CA99 to CA58 to I15 to I40. A path we know very well.

We ate lunch late in Tehachapi after a bit of driving around because I missed the main road. Barstow was next for a fuel stop. More driving around because of a new stretch of 58 and a misinterpretation of a detour sign.

We eventually got on I40 and saw the famous mileage sign:

We will probably get there sometime.

2 hours of extremely boring driving before exceedingly boring Needles to eat. Fortunately, we tow our own toilet because there is not much on that road. But without everything working right in the trailer (refrigerator), it feels more like we are just towing this:

This is the first real test of the new truck and it did great! I love the engine braking going down hills. The dash is mostly a flat screen so Ford can put up whatever information it wants. Normally the gauges are the standard analog (along the top) but when it goes past the mid-point, Ford puts up the actual numbers:

Other than me being unemployed, leaving our home of almost 23 years, our town of 31+ years, getting confused twice while driving, having the rig loaded the heaviest I ever have, and driving 400+ miles in one day, there was one more non-standard.

We were out of California. At 9:25 pm we crossed into Arizona. Some 11 hours later. Another non-standard for us, not being California residents.

I hope that the days to come bring many non-standard days as we have had many years of standard days and it is time for a new part of our lives.