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Old 05-25-2015, 07:29 PM   #1
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Outside kitchen refrigerator went kaput!!!

We are starting our 4th season camping with our 2011 Jayco TT. We have the outside kitchen on our TT, which houses a 4.1 (or 4.4, can't recall) cu. ft. Danby 120V-only refrigerator. At the campsite this weekend, I realized that the refrigerator was not running/cooling. It had been running fine at our house before we left. When turning up the t-stat, I could hear a hum (not a compressor noise though) for about 5-7 seconds and then it clicked off. I used an amprobe and it was measuring 4.7 amps when it was humming. The refrigerator is rated at 1.2 amps.

I suspect that my 3-year refrigerator is toast...how disappointing. Before comdeming it, I will get someone's opinion who is more knowledgable with refrigeration.

Some questions I have to other RVer's are...

(1) Has anyone experienced a 120V RV refrigerator going bad this soon in its lifetime?

(2) Would it be to my benefit to remove this refrigerator during olff-season and keep it running at my house? Removing it takes 5 minutes.

(3) Are these 115V refrigerators like my Danby any different than college dorm refrigerators with regard to robustness and compressor types, etc? It seems silly to ask this question given this one doesn't appear to be too robust, but if I need to replace it, I'm assuming a "college" refrigerator would be significantly cheaper than an "RV" refrigerator...there is a special bracket on my broken Danby to secure it in the outside kitchen, but I should be able to come up with a way to secure it.

(4) Any other wisdom/suggestions regarding my path forward?
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Old 05-25-2015, 08:39 PM   #2
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I've noticed that mine is plugged in below the countertop, in an area not necessarily conducive to unplugging when not in use. Well, I keep my trailer plugged in year round, which means that the fridge is getting power 24 hours a day.


I can't imagine those things are built to last more than a year or two of full time use. If we decide to keep the fridge in the outdoor kitchen, I will likely wire in a light switch that we can manually turn off the fridge when its not needed, or easily turn it on when we expect to use it. I think that by not having it run all the time, it should last longer.


So, to answer your questions;
1. Yes, my experience is these are cheapo fridges that are meant to last a couple years. I went through 2 of them in 3.5 years of college.


2. I can't think of any benefit to running it longer than you need. It costs money to run and will wear faster.


3. Same exact fridge as the dorm style. The only "difference" is the bracket.


4. Make sure its not plugged in when you don't need it.
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Old 05-25-2015, 09:00 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5arnolds View Post
We are starting our 4th season camping with our 2011 Jayco TT. We have the outside kitchen on our TT, which houses a 4.1 (or 4.4, can't recall) cu. ft. Danby 120V-only refrigerator. At the campsite this weekend, I realized that the refrigerator was not running/cooling. It had been running fine at our house before we left. When turning up the t-stat, I could hear a hum (not a compressor noise though) for about 5-7 seconds and then it clicked off. I used an amprobe and it was measuring 4.7 amps when it was humming. The refrigerator is rated at 1.2 amps.

I suspect that my 3-year refrigerator is toast...how disappointing. Before comdeming it, I will get someone's opinion who is more knowledgable with refrigeration.

Some questions I have to other RVer's are...

(1) Has anyone experienced a 120V RV refrigerator going bad this soon in its lifetime?

(2) Would it be to my benefit to remove this refrigerator during olff-season and keep it running at my house? Removing it takes 5 minutes.

(3) Are these 115V refrigerators like my Danby any different than college dorm refrigerators with regard to robustness and compressor types, etc? It seems silly to ask this question given this one doesn't appear to be too robust, but if I need to replace it, I'm assuming a "college" refrigerator would be significantly cheaper than an "RV" refrigerator...there is a special bracket on my broken Danby to secure it in the outside kitchen, but I should be able to come up with a way to secure it.

(4) Any other wisdom/suggestions regarding my path forward?

5Arnolds, sorry to hear about your issue with your refrigerator. The humming noise you are hearing is the compressor trying to start. More than likely your compressor locked up and the clicking you heard is the overload clicking off.

However, if you are handy, you can get the model number on the compressor and try to replace the current relay. It may be stuck. That relay will probably cost less than $15 at a appliance parts store. If that does not work, do not replace the compressor. It would cost more in parts and labor than what the refrigerator is worth.

Let me know if you have any other concerns about it.

Mark
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Old 05-25-2015, 09:07 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by spoon059 View Post
I can't imagine those things are built to last more than a year or two of full time use.
Thanks for the response.

We have been averaging only 5-7 trips a year for 2-3 nights most of those times, so I would estimate that this refrigerator only operated for 20 days at the most. This is why I question if I should remove and run it at home, especially over the winter months.
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Old 05-27-2015, 08:36 AM   #5
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Another killer of a 110V only (compressor) fridge is that the heavy part (the compressor) is mounted on rubber bushings to isolate the noise/vibration of the motor.


Bouncing around at the back of an RV will tear those bushings apart.


Give me a gas fridge (no moving parts) in an RV any day!
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Old 05-27-2015, 09:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spoon059 View Post
I've noticed that mine is plugged in below the countertop, in an area not necessarily conducive to unplugging when not in use. Well, I keep my trailer plugged in year round, which means that the fridge is getting power 24 hours a day.


I can't imagine those things are built to last more than a year or two of full time use. If we decide to keep the fridge in the outdoor kitchen, I will likely wire in a light switch that we can manually turn off the fridge when its not needed, or easily turn it on when we expect to use it. I think that by not having it run all the time, it should last longer.
My Jayco is a 2015 and also has the outdoor 120V fridge. But mine was not running when I first plugged in to shore power. That's when I discovered there is an ON/OFF switch on the back. The fridge owner's manual showed it, but not where it was actually located. I finally found it, and sure enough, it started chugging away.

As I face the fridge, mine is located on the back side of the unit at the upper RH corner. If yours has a switch, you can turn it off when you desire, which would be easier than wiring in a new switch for that AC circuit.
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Old 05-27-2015, 11:12 AM   #7
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Excellent suggestion, Scout. Our outdoor fridge didn't work when we first got our TT and the service manager told us about the switch in the back. Ours is accessible by lifting up the lower bunk bed platform.

Assuming these are regular refrigerators, I would think they will last longer the more they run because sitting idle is harder on a compressor than frequent running.

Ken
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