Caravan Fridge Repair – Rewire, Gas & Insulation

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Our Caravan Fridge Repair was for our 218 litre Waeco RPD218 compressor fridge. We noticed that it wasn’t cycling as much as it used to. Only turning off for short periods over night.

As we freedom camp most of the time we were noticing our batteries were dropping a lot more than usual. We have 3x 120ah lithium house batteries and 600W of solar we knew something wasn’t right.

Note: This was meant to be published in May 2020 but I forgot 🤦‍♀️

Caravan Fridge Repair

Covid19 was affecting so many businesses when our fridge needed looking at so we had to take the fridge out ourselves. Taking it to a Dometic service agent as we new he specialises in caravan fridge repairs.

Wow! The B&S8 12v power cable was clipped to the top of the back wall. This meant we couldn’t just take the fridge out, Larry had to cut the wires. The condenser was also full of dust. You can’t get to any of the main refrigeration components as they are at the top of the fridge. The vent holes are at the bottom and on the roof.

Larry always thought the wire for the fridge wasn’t heavy duty enough. When he traced where the wire went, it wasn’t a direct route to the batteries. Instead of being around 5 meters long it was more like 9 meters. This could also have given a voltage drop.

Upgrading Wiring & Insulation

On looking at the Waeco website it states the wire should be at least B&S6 in size for the distance required. Larry decided to re-wire, with the correct size wire, directly to the batteries.

He also decided to connect the wire with a couple of Anderson plugs. This way if it has to be taken out again it will be simple!

Lastly he bought some insulation to wrap around the fridge just to be double sure .

Caravan Fridge Re-gassing

The gentleman doing our Caravan Fridge Repair told us one of the compressor lines had been modified and filled up with solder. We’re not sure why? The repairman took out the old gas and re gassed the fridge. Also checking for leaks (none were found)

After running the fridge at home for a few days it looked like it was going great. cycling much better than it was. Then we purchased temperature sensors. One for the fridge and one for the freezer section. The fridge section was at the right temperature but the freezer was randomly going between -3 and -13. I was not willing to use the freezer for fear of food poisoning. We use the freezer a lot!

What Now?

Larry called Dometic and explained the situation. They think the Dometic service man may have added to much gas to the fridge. They said even the smallest amount of gas makes a big difference. So, we took the fridge back to him. He told us he had added the amount specified by Dometic. He ended up taking some gas out which worked. Our caravan fridge has been good since.

At the end of the day, we are glad we chose this size compressor fridge as we live in our van full time and have the battery capacity to run it.

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3 thoughts on “Caravan Fridge Repair – Rewire, Gas & Insulation

  1. Super neat insulation install…..
    With my old 3 way I did a little improving it’s performance with a dedicated 12volt from car with heavy gauge wire straight to fridge.
    And on my local shopping trip I drove thru a new housing development and and saw an insulation bloke throw New Bats into a skip bin… stopped, asked the question and sure enough he said for me to help myself….heck, needed longer legs. But did take 3, and once home I had to cut them bats into strips to finally after lost skin and blood wrapped them in a tight space around 3 sides and on top of said fridge…
    Now makes ice cubes in freezer…..super happy.
    But while doing this, I did procure 2 Computer fans and thermostat to assist the air movement at the back of fridge. Am wondering why manufacturers of fridges don’t do this during install…simple, cheap & effective.
    One-day when I grow up I will get a big one like Larry…LOL

    1. Ouch that sound painful Dennis.
      Larry has added a couple of fans to the back also and I know others that have done the same. Enjoy those ice cubes! 😀

  2. Thankyou very much for the info regarding your fridge repair. I will keep it in mind.

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