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Old 05-29-2020, 03:11 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Delano
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THOR #18821
Fridge on 15 amp Shore power

2020 Thor Delano We're leaving tonight so yesterday I plugged into a garage outlet with a 15/30 dogbone and energized the RV. Everything seemed fine so I switched the fridge on to precool. I checked it before we went to bed and the freezer was very cold fridge was getting there.

Wife is wakes me up this morning with she is loading the cold foods before work to ask why the fridge and freezer are warm.

Power was still on. No breakers or fuses out. I disconnected shore power and the fridge moved over to propane mode automatically.

I can feel the freezer already getting colder so in sure the fridge will follow.

Anyone have any idea why in the evening it was cold but by the next morning hot even while still connected to 15 amp shore power? Nothing else other than the control panels was on, so I would think 15 amp would be more than enough to power it, and the initial cooling seems to back this up.
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Old 05-29-2020, 03:31 PM   #2
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How did you verify the power was still on? Was the GFI tripped in the RV? Some mistakenly have the fridge on the GFI circuit.
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Old 05-29-2020, 03:44 PM   #3
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An electric/propane fridge needs heat for the cooling cycle to work. It also needs your use/store switch to be left “on” so the fridge controls get 12vdc to function.....just in case anyone did not already know this.

If cavie's suggestion does not work, since the fridge was working on electric (shore power) until something happened overnight......it is possible that the 120vac heating element has failed (infant mortality perhaps since your coach is new). I am assuming you still have normal 120vac to the fridge element (no breakers tripped; plug is still in power outlet inside the fridge outside access panel, no control board fuses blown related to AC heater, etc.). This heating element is usually located in the fridge chimney and is accessed via outside fridge access panel. Its easy to test with an ohm meter across the element conductors, but make sure no shore power is connected and gen if off ....if you try this. Since the coach is new, time for some warranty work by the Dealer if no other obvious AC issues can be found.
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Old 05-29-2020, 04:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cavie View Post
How did you verify the power was still on? Was the GFI tripped in the RV? Some mistakenly have the fridge on the GFI circuit.

The microwave clock was still on, it's only hooked up to inverter/110v. I checked all the breakers including the GFI, ran my fingers across them and none of them were tripped or easily moved over. There's not a reset for the gfi somewhere else is there?



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Originally Posted by javelin View Post
An electric/propane fridge needs heat for the cooling cycle to work. It also needs your use/store switch to be left “on” so the fridge controls get 12vdc to function.....just in case anyone did not already know this.

If cavie's suggestion does not work, since the fridge was working on electric (shore power) until something happened overnight......it is possible that the 120vac heating element has failed (infant mortality perhaps since your coach is new). I am assuming you still have normal 120vac to the fridge element (no breakers tripped; plug is still in power outlet inside the fridge outside access panel, no control board fuses blown related to AC heater, etc.). This heating element is usually located in the fridge chimney and is accessed via outside fridge access panel. Its easy to test with an ohm meter across the element conductors, but make sure no shore power is connected and gen if off ....if you try this. Since the coach is new, time for some warranty work by the Dealer if no other obvious AC issues can be found.

I'm working today so can't really do much else till I'm off and then we're leaving right away to head to a campground for the weekend. I guess we'll see when we get there if things are working properly on the campground 30amp. I'm hoping that is the case. I'd rather it be a weird occurrence or something odd that I can resolve at home, otherwise its a 3 1/2 hour trip back down to the dealer in Salt Lake from home in Idaho Falls, assuming i can't find a local certified shop to do warranty work.



Worst case for now we just run the fridge on propane only, as that seems to be working.
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Old 05-29-2020, 04:58 PM   #5
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At least you've got reliable power with propane...
Good luck!
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Old 05-29-2020, 08:29 PM   #6
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Yes there is a reset on the GFI outlet in the bathroom. Test and reset buttons. The breaker in the panel is a breaker only.
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Old 05-29-2020, 08:33 PM   #7
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Yes there is a reset on the GFI outlet in the bathroom. Test and reset buttons. The breaker in the panel is a breaker only.

Yeah that one was checked. All the outlets were functioning.
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Old 05-30-2020, 01:24 AM   #8
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There are several videos on You Tube related to verifying the heating element in an electric/propane RV fridge. One link attached below. Also your fridge manual may have trouble shooting info.

If you don't want to do the Dealer warranty trip (understandable) and you are capable of safely working with and testing AC power circuits, then it might be worth a quick test to see if the element has failed open....... or something else is not working:
is 115vac even getting to the AC receptacle mounted inside the fridge exterior access panel; is the fridge control board (set on automatic) switching to AC power (from propane) automatically when working AC shore is connected; etc.? Note though I am not sure if this would void the Dealer/Manufacturer warranty related to the fridge.



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Old 05-30-2020, 01:31 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by javelin View Post
An electric/propane fridge needs heat for the cooling cycle to work. It also needs your use/store switch to be left “on” so the fridge controls get 12vdc to function.....just in case anyone did not already know this.
Not required if plugged into SP - The converter will supply the 12 VDC control power - but absolutely required to be in USE with no SP (or generator).
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Old 05-30-2020, 02:24 PM   #10
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True. The DW and I start up our electric/propane fridge in auto mode the evening before a trip and even though we are on shore power at home (fridge is working, as you say), I always ensure use/store is on (keeps batteries charged) and I also turn on propane, even though the fridge defaults to shore/gen AC.

This helps to ensure if shore power fails during the night, both propane and 12vdc from batteries (via use/store) will keep the fridge operational until morning, when we complete trip preparations. I find it is just a good practise to always keep use/store on, for we rare boondockers. The latching relays seem to last longer as a bonus....haven't changed one yet (knock on wood).
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Old 05-30-2020, 02:40 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by javelin View Post
True. The DW and I start up our electric/propane fridge in auto mode the evening before a trip and even though we are on shore power at home (fridge is working, as you say), I always ensure use/store is on (keeps batteries charged) and I also turn on propane, even though the fridge defaults to shore/gen AC.

This helps to ensure if shore power fails during the night, both propane and 12vdc from batteries (via use/store) will keep the fridge operational until morning, when we complete trip preparations. I find it is just a good practise to always keep use/store on, for we rare boondockers. The latching relays seem to last longer as a bonus....haven't changed one yet (knock on wood).
Agree completely. Even boondocking you need it on to use the RV. We never turn ours to STORE as our RV is always stored plugged in to at least 15 amps.
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Old 05-30-2020, 07:09 PM   #12
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Quick update from our campsite. It's working totally fine on 30 amp power here.. I'm wondering if there was something up with the connection at home in the garage I used. It didn't trip as my sprinkler controller was also connected there and was working fine.. so I'm a bit of a loss.
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Old 05-30-2020, 07:50 PM   #13
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Intermittent electrical issues are the worst.....how do you fix what is currently working?
The morning you discovered your fridge was not cooling at home, the fridge switched to propane automatically only after you pulled the shore AC. It seems to me that the fridge control board was working as it should and detected the shore power feed OK until you manually removed it.

Then you went on your trip and the fridge has started working again on shore......so possibly the traveling has re-connected a loose connection somewhere.
If it were my situation, the first thing I would do is remove the fridge outside access panel (typically turn the panel retaining screw heads 90 degrees to loosen and then the panel should just lift off, but your coach may be different). If you have concerns about working around AC voltages then also remove your coach from shore temporarily. Check that the two wires coming from the electrical heating element (in the chimney or boiler as it’s called) are solidly connected to the control board connecting pins. Visually look for any other loose connections/ damaged or pinched wires (also make sure AC plug is solidly in the receptacle located inside the outside fridge enclosure) or any other conditions (bad wire crimps) that might cause this problem.

If nothing obvious can be found then it is possible that the heating element itself is intermittent, or perhaps one of its connecting wires is damaged inside the chimney/boiler. You are under warranty, so I wonder if after contacting Thor first, they would allow you to hire a mobile RV tech to check things out (in lieu of a long trip to your Dealer and back) and then compensate you for repairing any trouble found? Again hard to fix when things are working.....even for a trained tech. Don’t forget to reconnect shore if you disconnected prior to checking your fridge external wiring.
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Old 06-04-2020, 12:46 AM   #14
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I know it was asked a couple times and you did say “all” outlets work. Just making sure the fridge outlet was one of the “all” you mentioned. Those cheap RV outlets have been known to be intermittent at times. As a matter of fact, I had the exact same issue 2 weeks ago and found the fridge outlet bad. When I wiggled it, it would make crackling noises inside like arcing was going on. I replaced it with a commercial outlet box and double outlet receptacle. All good now. If you haven’t ever taken apart an RV outlet then you’re in for a surprise. An electrical problem waiting to happen IMO. The unstripped wires are forced into a “V” shaped sharp copper piece that slices into the coating to the copper core of the wire to establish contact. In my case, one of the wires wasn’t fully pressed into the “V” shaped part and arcing whenever a gap was present.
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Old 06-04-2020, 02:00 AM   #15
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I was having issues with my fridge outlet and to get it to work I replugged it in and it started working. I think my problem was corrosion from setting out in the weather. Or the factory push in wiring method and the outlets movement caused by replugging the plug made for better connection. That happened after buying the MH about 2.5 years back and has worked ever since.
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Old 06-04-2020, 12:22 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by crater View Post
Quick update from our campsite. It's working totally fine on 30 amp power here.. I'm wondering if there was something up with the connection at home in the garage I used. It didn't trip as my sprinkler controller was also connected there and was working fine.. so I'm a bit of a loss.
You need to buy a muli-meter and learn how to use it.
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