Before fitting the new fridge I decided to install a panel DC volt meter with an on/off switch so I can monitor the caravan battery - which will not only show the battery voltage but I'll know that the charger is working or the solar panels, so it was off to Jaycar Electronics to purchase one. It is neat and only 45 x 25 mm.
Back at the caravan decided to place it above the fridge, but before installing, it's time to check if it works and so did a temporary connection to the fridge 12 V supply as well as my trusty Fluke DMM and ..........nothing the meter was blank and the DMM read 0000. Checked the connections, still nothing, switched a 12 V light on, no problem it works, OK time to check the fuses, all in working order, so need to trace the wiring. Under the van and follow the cable until it disappeared into the chassis. Check all the connections at the fuse box, all tight and fuses OK. So what's the problem? It will have to wait as I have promised to assist my son with a project, as I'm leaving I decide to check the Anderson plug (the one that connects the van 12 V line to the car when towing) and no voltage! The plot thickens.
While driving home from my sons place a few hours later it suddenly struck me that as the old fridge was a three way convection type, it would need heat all the time and on 12 V DC it drew about 10 Amps so it would not have been connected to the van battery. When I got back I checked and sure enough the fridge 12 V cable went directly to the Anderson plug, the wiring will have to be changed as per diagram.
Burson Auto Parts had a roll so purchased 3 meters plus Anderson plugs, etc.
As all the cabling was installed when the van was constructed it's impossible to remove so decided to "T"into the fridge 12V line where it leaves the chassis, easy to install and secure and has some protection. An hour later installation complete and we now have 12V at all times on the fridge connection, so back to fitting the panel meter and switch. The installation did not take long and then it was time to see how accurate the panel meter is.Not bad for $20.00 ?
Now it was time to fit the new fridge, it was a tight fit but I decided that would be OK and so moved it into place but had forgotten that the fixing brackets stand proud to the fridge sides so had to remove the fridge and cut 6 mm's off the one side and then refit, this time no problem. Affix the brackets to the cupboard and connect the DC and plug in the AC cord, switch on and wait for the fridge to cool. No problem, switch off the mains supply and the 12V DC takes over just like it should. Time for 'she who must be obeyed' to give her stamp of approval, she gave it a 10 out of 10 so all is well.
Now that the modification is complete I can get back to do some planning and research for the trip. We collect the sides for the awning this week so that will be another box ticked..
Until next time ...........keep the rusty side down!