Fridge Won't Run on AC or DC


Jdolling

New member
I have a 1981 P27 Canadian Westy. Love it. But, I have problem with the the fridge on DC. It works great with AC and propane, but not on DC. I found the 3 wire DC plug under the sink (red, black & white). There IS power at the connector (between black & white) when the ignition is on. What is the white wire for? I could't find it in the Bentley wiring diagram. Could whatever this wire does be a problem for me?

If this is not the problem, what is the next place/component to look at? Is it the heating element?

Thanks
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
White is usually found in the AC side of the fridge wiring. White & Black are the two colors feeding AC to the fridge with a 3rd wire for ground -- I'm not sure what color. Mine ('90) is in a molded plug & cable like any 110v appliance so not visible at the plug end. Sorry that's not much help; I dont' have similar set in mine. Westfalia installed that phase of the wiring and they were not always consistent.

If you have checked power from BOTH fuses S4 (behind driver seat) and S6 (feeding DC fridge heater), then break in ground or relay (Circuit #18) would be more likely than the actual heater element -- they are pretty durable.
 

Jdolling

New member
Well, it isn't the AC 110 feed. That wire is also there, and you are right, it is just a standard appliance plug. That extra wire has me baffled; and it is OE.

I haven't checked fuse S6 yet. Bentley says that it is in the switch panel. Do you need to pull the unit to remove the switch panel?

If this is ok, what is the test procedure for the relay or incomplete circuit? Is the relay located on the back of the unit?

Thanks again for all your help!
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
I've never had to remove mine so live in blissful ignorance and hope to remain that way. From others, I understand pulling the fridge is not as daunting as it appears, just tedious and the Bentley's tendency to leave out some important steps like the face plate on the cabinet that houses the indicator panel. (Posted elsewhere on the site.)

Under suppliers, there is a post on RV Mobile that is probably the most informative on RV fridges. It has additional fridge tech posts and diagnosis procedures. The owner occassionally will answer tech questions, but please be sure you have read every tech post & bulletin first -- I'd hate to lose them as a resource from abuse of people asking him stuff that's already posted without doing the tests & checks he recommends first. Remember, he's a business, not a free tech board.
 
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porterbrown

New member
i posted a similar message under "secondary batteries" but was rejected - my fridge (in my '90 westy) won't run on the power supplied by the auxillary battery. it will run when in "battery" mode only while the ignition is on but won't continue to refridgerate when turned off. i've checked to verify that it is on the secondary battery and am 99.9% sure that it is. battery is good, wires all seem to be intacked...........i'm not electrically inclined and would greatly appreciate any and all help!!
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Although there were a number of changes in the '90 over the '80-85 models, the Camper Wiring diagram in the Bentley (97.33) is useable for DC fridge diagnosis.

The DC runs from the fuse that is fed off the auxiliary battery (if properly wired) to the internal fridge switch and through the heater resistor relay to the 12v heater resistor (circuits 18-20), then to ground.

When installing an auxiliary battery, the fridge feed (to fuse panel behind driver seat) should be removed from the relay and run direct from the auxiliary battery positive terminal. If left on the relay, it will shut off with the engine. Your description indicates that is the most likely cause. That it runs with the engine on indicates the 12v switch and the resistor are working -- thus 12v supply is turning off.
 

icarus

Moderator
On a couple of recent trips, I became convinced that my fridge was not working on 12vdc. Coming home the other day I realized (because I have a dash mounted frige thermometer) that it was workin once again. Before going to all the trouble of r/ring the fridge I realized that the relay in the battery box was sticking, so that it wasn't sending 12vdc to the fridge. It seems to work intermitently so I guess I will change it.

Icarus
 

screendoc

New member
I have an '89 with fridge that won't run on dc (it did prior to this instance). I was able to locate the S4 fuses & they are good. Looking in the Bentley, I am not able to find the S6 fuse, nor the circuit 18 relay. Please let me know where they are.
Thanks,
Peter
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
You are appraently looking at the '80-'85 wiring. The '89 fridge wiring is on page 97-34f-34h. There is basically only one fuse S51 behind the seat on the B pillar for the fridge DC mode

Since you didn't mention having a auxilliary battery installed (Guideline #3), it would be the same as the dual-battery diagram except no auxiliary and the battery cut-out relay would then feed the fridge fuse at circuit #14 instead of the auxiliary battery. This feed is only on when the engine is running! Period. At stop, the fridge must be switched over to AC or LP. This is to prevent the main battery from discharging. This is discussed in your camper supplement manual.
 

screendoc

New member
Thanks Mike. I am a bit technically challenged & probably misread the post listing the other fuses. My '89 does have an auxilliary battery, which I assumed had a direct connection to the fridge.But since the DC ran only while the ignition is on, I am now assuming it is not connected to the auxilliary battery. Better have a technician check my wiring set up.

Thanks,Peter
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
See the auxilliary battery wiring diagram on the Tech Drwaings Page. It uses the same relay for a different purpose and power to the fridge fuse goes direct from the battery + terminal. Also see all the information on "2nd Battery" topic in the BATTERY CHARGE SYSTEM forum.
 

screendoc

New member
Great I see your drawing & the wiring for dual batteries with the relay under the driver's seat in the Bentley.. However, mine is configuered under the passenger bench with all together different relay, that I assume serves the same purpose. Again, I'd better have a qualified electrician check mine out. But I am now armed with enough specific data to give him or her.

Appreciate it.
Peter
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Yours is apparently an after-market 'home-made' installation. Thee is no indication that was factory in any market and VW's master parts list shows the same part number relay was used in all applications, further supporting this was done by a previous owner. The principles are the same if you desire the fridge to run off that battery, but the wiring will become much more complex due to the length of runs.
 

screendoc

New member
Fridge now runs on DC. Some "loose" connections. As Capt. Mike assumed, mine is an after market configueration with the auxilliary battery installed under the back seat storage compartment. The usual type relay is installed there as well-- wiring leading under the driver's seat through the fuse in back of the driver's seat, & the fridge is wired to the auxilliary battery. My local mechanic diagnosed & fixed to perfection.
Thanks for the input. Peter
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Loss of power to refirderator & sink

[Transferred to consolidate same topic.]

dpdunrite 3/16/08 2:15PM

Hello i am a new member. I have searched through the past threads in regards to refrigerator/sink power and have not found the information that I am looking for.

I have just completed installation of a new pc1200 oddessy battery and a go westy battery relay in my 1988 westfalia. As instructed.
I disconected the radio and lights from the relay from the fuse panal and reconnect to the new battery wire connection.

After I had completed this process I checked the charging system, lighting and radio to verify that that they where transfered sucefully, Inclusive of this process I started the engine to veryfy that the engine was charging the auxilery battery. Success!!

After further review I noticed a few things. My battery panal at the sink did not light up when checking with switch. I traced back to the fuses at the driver :confused: side door for the faucet and refrigerator and noticed that there was no power to this point while testing with voltage meter. I checked the main fuse panal for a fuse at this location and noticed the there where no power souces identified.

I am looking in my Bently page 97.33a and 97.33b and trying to determine where my voltage line source is?

Any one out there have any ideas? 28? 30? :confused:

Thanks for any input...

DP
 
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Capt. Mike

Moderator
The fridge fuse box behind the dirver seat is powered directly from the + terminal of the auxilliary battery; see Bentley 97.34g & 97.34h, circuits 1 & 14. Also see the auxilliary battery wiring diagram posted on the Tech Drawings link. The original wire (without the auxilliary battery) ran from the relay to that same fuse box. That wire is abandoned and insulated off when an auxilliary battery with a direct harness is installed.
 

dpdunrite

New member
electrical supply for refrigerator and pump

Capt Mike

Thanks for the reply.

I am looking in my Bently and I do not have page 97.34g and H. My book is only 1 year old. Any Idea how I can get the scimatic for these pages other than buying anothert book?

I will be tracing my installation and feeds. The only wires that I removed from Connector B was circuit 11 and 12 connecting directly to the new relay as provided by go westy.

The one thing that go westy indicate in there installation instruction is that the refrigerator maintains its stock installation.

This leeds me to believe that when I was at the main fuse panal I might have disconected the pumps original source of power.

The lights and radio work but no power at the original isolator that was under the seat.

I checked circuit 1 and 14 at the board the fuse are good. as discussed in go westy's instructions. I did not cut any wire's other than indicated.

Capt Mike to further ease your mind one of my professions is electrician and I do understand Electrical basics AC/DC.

I am verifing that my relay connections are correct...

Any input on this would be appreciated.:)

Thanks DP
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
I'm having trouble matching up with your diagrams. I have a 97.33 but no 97.33a or b. And I don't have GoWesty's diagram or instructions. Since there were no changes from '89 to '91, I have an '89 edition Bentley. In fact the '91s were all made in '90. Perhaps later editions renumbered the pages. The title of the diagram is "Camper 1986-1989 Refigerator" (tho' I'd presume later editions to say 1986-1991). However this is basically the same diagram as posted on the Tech Drawings site.

As much as I respect GoWesty for many things, I've looked at their Aux. Battery kit and it looks like a $50 solution to a $10 problem. And extremely complex compared to the original factory auxilliary battery set-up. First of all, the relay is already there! All you have to do is reverse one set of terminals to make it the the aux. battery charge connection instead of the fridge connection.

The only "B" terminal I know of in VW's reportore is the Alternator. VW taps that for the blue wire running to the relay. The relay then, with engine running, sends power to the fridge (single battery) or puts the batteries in parallel for recharging (dual battery). Engine off, the relay disconnects. Without that, what would power the relay that is tied to the engine running?

The factory cable is very simple. (Ask your dealer if he can look up the diagram -- the cable is NLA, but it may still be in the diagram. There is a picture of it on the Tech Drawings link.) It's basically a battery pole clamp with two approximately 12 gauge wires leads. One R/W goes to the relay to be the recharge feed when the engine is running; the other R/BK to feed the fridge. It connects to the old fridge lead from the relay and thus feeds the fridge fuse direct. There was an additional male ¼" spade on the side to change over the water pump lead or power something else if so desired. If I remember right, factory price was about $17. A hold down clamp (included in GoWesty's kit) and a ground strap (not shown in kit) complete the factory set-up.

The Tech Drawings diagram shows connections to & from a DC converter, but that's only necessary if you install a converter/charger to recharge when plugged into shore AC. Ignore them. The old fridge connection from relay to electic panel (and then back to fridge fuse) is disconnected. I suppose if you want to add lights, stereo and accessories to the auxiliary, Go Westy might have some experience there but then you're getting into something far away from factory, which I don't usually get into (Guideline #7).
 
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dpdunrite

New member
Capt Mike

After pulling my whole installation apart i saw that i pulled a bone head move I had the exiting battery connection reversed with the water pump feed to the solinoid provided by go westy. Your Tech drawing that you had for axilery battery along with go westy's verble explination was helpful. I trouble shot my way out of the problem. Everything work now..

Thanks for the help.

DP
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Fridge Stopped working on DC Power

Paul Welch
Junior Member

I have a 1979 Westy and was camping with my son last week. The fridge was working great on both AC/DC. On day 3 I saw battery was fair so I turned on the timer. After that the fridge thawed and will now only operate on AC or fridge light comes on only when I set the timer. I didn't want to overcharge battery so we had to go to ice for the remainder of the trip. I have checked fuse at battery and front of control panel. Any ideas why the fridge will only work on DC when the timer is on. When I turn the timer on the battery check guage is not going into charging position. If you have any advise I would love to hear it.

Thanks
 
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