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electrics on campsites


jultola

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We have just purchased a Lunar Premier motorhome, and it has a dometic full fridge/freezer,

I have no problem with it working correctly when we hook up on our house electrics, but when we

have hooked up to site electrics it wont work at all, I have been told by the person we bought it from

that we can only run it on gas when on sites, but I would be glad if anyone who has a full size fridge

can tell me if they have this problem.

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This does not compute! :-)

 

When you connect the van to mains at home, do you use the same plug and cable as when on site? If not, suspect the cable you are using when on site. Electricity is the same at home as on sites, and will flow where it can in either location. The fridge is the same at home as on site, and doesn't know where it is. So, there has to be a difference other than location, fridge, or electricity.

 

One final thought is whether you may be using caravan Club sites? If you are, are you sure mains is available for everything else once connected? The Caravan Club EHU sockets have to be twisted after the plug is inserted to set the overload trip. Is it possible that you have not been doing this?

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Welcome to the Out&AboutLive forums

 

If your fridge/freezer functions properly when it's connected to your home's 230V mains electrical power-supply, then one would it expect it to do the same when connected to a campsite's 230V mains electrical power-supply.

 

If the power-supply's voltage were significantly reduced (say below 200V) then the appliance might not function, but I would have thought this scenario would be pretty unusual (though probably more likely to happen on a campsite than in a house). The size of the appliance should not matter - my motorhome has a massive Dometic fridge/freezer and I've ever experienced the problem you've described.

 

It's possible (I guess) that you've misunderstood what your motorhome's previous owner has said. Perhaps he/she advised that IF the fridge failed to work on a campsite 230V hook-up, you'd need to operate it on gas. All I can advise is that it OUGHT to work on a campsite 230V hook-up.

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picking up on the point made by Brian re caravan club sites, I got caught with that one in July arrived at 1pm plugged in and it was not until about 6pm that I found out we had no power, went to see the warden who said "have you locked the cable in place by twisting it too the right" felt a proper fool but had never come across that before, thankfully freezer was full and nothing melted but my beer was warm
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Another (small) possibility is that the previous owner of jultola’s motorhome had advised that, if a campsite has no 230V hook-ups, the fridge/freezer must be operated on gas.

 

Although this would be stating the obvious, it might be something an experienced motorcaravanner might say to someone who has no motorhome/caravan background.

 

As I understand jultola’s posting, the motorhome has been connected to a campsite’s 230V hook-up (or to a number of campsites’ 230V hook-ups) and the Dometic fridge/freezer has failed to function. The motorhome’s previous owner has (so it would seem) been asked about this and has advised that this is normal and, when on campsites, the fridge/freezer can only be operated on gas. Such advice would, of course, be ridiculous.

 

It may well be (as Brian suggests) that the reason jultola’s fridge/freezer does not function when the motorhome is connected to a campsite 230V hook-up is simply because mains power is not reaching the motorhome, either because the hook-up cable being used is faulty or the cable has not been correctly connected.

 

However, it’s very easy to check whether or not there is 230V power reaching a motohome’s interior and I’d have expected jultola to have made that basic check. Even if there’s no indicator light to show 230V power is present within the vehicle, plugging a circuit-tester (or a 230V appliance like a light) into any of the vehicle’s 230V sockets should immediately confirm if 230V power is present or not.

 

More information is needed from jultola – like how many campsites have been involved and (when connected to the campsite power-supply) whether any tests had been made to confirm if 230V power was present in the motorhome.

 

If only one campsite has been involved and no tests have been made, then I’d go with Brian’s diagnosis – either the connection cable is faulty or the motorhome has not been connected properly.

 

I do recall (when I was a novice motorcaravanner and had just bought my first motorhome) being perplexed when connecting to a campsite 230V hook-up initially failed to provide power to the vehicle but, after disconnecting the hook-up cable from the vehicle and reconnecting it, 230V power became present. A subsequent check revealed that one of the wires in the cable’s connection-plug was loose. So a fault in the cable (or in the connector on the motorhome into which the cable plugs) can result in a sometimes-it-works and sometimes-it-doesn’t situation.

 

If tests were made when the fridge/freezer failed to function at the campsite(s) and those tests proved that 230V was present in jultola’s Lunar, then it’s very hard to understand why the fridge/freezer should not function on 230V, particularly as it works off-campsite.

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Thank you for your advice, although this is the first time we have had a motorhome and one with such a large fridge/freezer, we have been caravanning for 25yrs, and we have checked all the possibilities even getting a new plug-in cable for the electrics, it seems that we may need to get the van checked over as it looks like there could be a problem with the electric supply to the fridge/freezer, as we don't have a problem with operating any other electrical items.

At least we now know that it should definitely work on site electrics and not just on gas -- which we thought couldn't be the case.

 

thanks for your help

 

jultola

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Derek Uzzell - 2013-07-30 8:04 AM

 

If tests were made when the fridge/freezer failed to function at the campsite(s) and those tests proved that 230V was present in jultola’s Lunar, then it’s very hard to understand why the fridge/freezer should not function on 230V, particularly as it works off-campsite.

 

.....indeed. I wonder whether the 'fridge has been successfully used on "Home Hook-up" since the failure to work on-site.

 

If it has not (and now fails to work at home as well) things would be more understandable. A problem in the fridge circuit would then be suspect (or possibly a dedicated MCB has been tripped or knocked).

 

It would also be interesting whether it is a manually switched fridge, or an AES one, as the switching function of the latter type is sometimes a bit "flaky".

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