Little niggles

The manual for our van has arrived! For some reason when we picked up the motorhome from Elite, the Carthago manual was not present and as we were inundated with manuals, we initially missed this important manual.  We were however, given manuals for the fridge, the toilet, the lights, the pump, the heating, the Fiat chassis, engine, etc. The Carthago manual itself is ok, the translation (from German) is not as bad as some I’ve seen, but nowhere near as good as a car manual. It’s also not as useful as I’d expected – but I have learned that you should “grease the blinds” with silicon lubricant!

The motorhome continues to have niggles, the latest two are the step-out warning and dashboard retractor has stopped working and the fridge does not light on gas. The step warning is important to ensure that it’s not left out when you move off. The fridge worked on gas initially but has now stopped working and is a problem when we are not on electric hookup because it quickly gets too warm.

The fridge fitted to our van is a 4 way Dometic fridge/freezer. It works on Gas, 230v, 12v – that is only three but the 12v is either battery or solar. The fridge is microprocessor controlled, as with most things these days (although it’s not yet connected to the interweb)! In automatic mode the fridge works out the best power to use, so the order is electric hookup (EHU), van battery (only when the engine is running) and finally gas.

On automatic, with EHU

This means that gas is used as a last resort as this is the most expensive. You might be wondering how a fridge, which needs to be cold, can work on a gas flame – this is because fridges in motorhomes are absorption fridges which work on a heat process rather than your normal compression fridge you have at home. Because there is no compressor, the fridge runs silently – well almost – when it turns to gas there is a distinct clicking as the piezo electric igniter lights the flame – and here is our current problem we have lost that click when the fridge switches to gas. So no cooling, we have run through the checklist as described in manual, and there appears to be nothing wrong, so it must be a fault. This demonstrates the problem with microprocessor controlled devices, when they go wrong there is typically no way to manually operate them.

Time to go back to the dealer and get it fixed. We don’t have solar yet, but the fridge manual seems to suggest that when we do it will run on solar power first – which would be great – something to look forward to.


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